Bobby Axelrod: The Boy Whose Dad Never Came Back

It is no secret I have been fascinated by Bobby Axelrod’s backstory in Billions, in particular his family background. A few glimpses we had into the life of young Bobby in every season made me think hard and deep about his past as well as how that past seems to have shaped Bobby Axelrod’s life. I was able to see the trauma he went through in his relationships – from his marriage to his parenting to his friendships. And I sat down and wrote about Bobby Axelrod – the boy whose dad never came back.

Season 5 Episode 5 Contract has revealed that Bobby’s dad who left home when his son was only 12 was actually still alive and back in town trying to make Bobby’s mom feel bad about the   And I am happy to report, in its review of the episode, Vulture gave a link to my “Bobby Axelrod: The Boy Whose Dad Never Came Back” series for the readers interested in detailed information about Bobby’s past.

The web traffic to individual posts in this series of articles has considerably increased this past week that I thought it would be neat to put them altogether in a single post.


Season 1

“Grandma’s recipe. Signature dish at Empire Diner.”

Part I:

Part II:

Season 2

“You know they say that a boy never really becomes a man until he’s buried his father. Now, mine has been dead to me since the moment he walked out when I was 12 years old.”

Part III:

Season 3

  “Hi, mom.”

Part IV:

Season 4

“I felt something go cold in me. And I knew the truth was in that cold. And that eventually, it would turn hot. To rage.”

Part V:

Part VI:

It goes without saying that this season has given me enough material to write more about Bobby Axelrod who has a confident adult facade that we constantly see while carrying a broken young boy inside. Stay tuned!


Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

5 thoughts on “Bobby Axelrod: The Boy Whose Dad Never Came Back”

  1. Axe suffers from Axe.
    And that’s his destiny.
    It would be challenging to wrap it around with Descartes “I think therfore I am”. But when one begin to get into self inquiry of “Who am I” as postulated by eastern philosophy, different perspective stems out.

    Writer Koppelmann has spoken of his inspiration from meditations and rings a bell.

    Wouldn’t that be a way to see?

    1. Thanks for reading! I think his obsession with loyalty all goes back to his childhood – and loyalty rules his relationships to a very large extent. While we always see that confident adult facade in him, Axe is carrying a wounded young boy inside. And while years of therapy can heal a good chunk of it, I think some wounds are permanent and Axe is suffering from that part of himself.

      1. “Some wounds are permanent and suffering from that part of himself”

        Those words are powerful. Makes one introspective. Are these wounds accidental in nature or destined to have these and thereby suffer.

        Are the current events of injustice and violence a consequence of permanent wounds? Is confrontational approach demonstrated by leadership a sign of permanent wounds?

        If the response to that is affirmative, it opens to ask if leadership with confrontational approach is mere accident?

        1. I believe we carry some wounds inside us that shape us in ways and inform some of our life decisions. Just to give an example from my own life. I lost my dad when I was eight. I witnessed my grandmother losing her only child and not recovering from that ever. And I sort of knew I would not have kids – so that I would never have the possibility of losing someone I would love like crazy ever. Another one: Cigarettes killed my dad. He was only 44. Smoked two packs a day. Had a heart attack and died. And I never smoked cigarettes. Not even one. These are the kind of choices that I think we make consciously or subconsciously based on our life experiences – the wounds.

          Not that I want to use this platform to wear my political scientist hat but because you are asking: Racism, on the other hand, is a very deliberate belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another. Racists believe that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her biological characteristics. And it is always used by one group against another to take advantage of them or to isolate and marginalize them – so we can talk about a very large spectrum from slavery to just looking at CVs as an employer and hire people with only certain last names (there is very interesting research on this topic)! The current events of injustice i.e. the police officer killing George Floyd is a very deliberate choice by a man who obviously dislikes people of color and who thinks he can get away with doing anything to a person of color. And he would get away only with losing his job if it were not for the protests because the institution has condoned violence against African Americans for a long time. The confrontational approach by the leadership is also a very deliberate choice where the president is performing for his core constituency.

  2. Damianista, That’s interesting choice of word — deliberate. It sounds like that they had choice of actions and they chose to be what their attitude is.

    All that I am trying to ask out loud is this:: was this the only way of thought for them?

    The leadership can be confrontational only. It’s not a choice. They rejoice in being that and that’s all they know.

Join the conversation!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.