‘Cause what you see you might not get
And we can bet, so don’t you get souped yet
You’re scheming on a thing that’s a mirage
I’m trying to tell you now, it’s sabotage
Sabotage – Beastie Boys
Well, ladies and gentlemen, here we are – the penultimate episode of Billions!
As the lyrics above state, what you see you might not get, and I do think what we didn’t see in this episode is going to turn out to be way more important than what we did. Let’s get into it.
Prince is so confident and so cocky he never once thinks he is being lured into a trap. He thinks he is omnipotent, knows all, sees all. That would be the only reason he would have called a sit-down to talk peace. You only talk peace if you think you are in the stronger position, as then you can set the terms.
However, Axe, Wendy, Chuck, and the rest of the rebels are going to use Prince’s self-assuredness against him. I think that has been the plan all along. I believe their plan will have a one-two punch.
I imagine the first part involves Dunlop. We never see the details of the plan that Axe or Chuck lays out for her. So, I believe that having her join Prince as his vice president was exactly what they wanted. Axe says to Chuck before sitting down with Prince that Dunlop is going to do “what we need her to do”. Not what they want, but what they need. Having her side with Prince will certainly make him believe he is now anointed. And once he feels he is bulletproof, then he can instruct Philip to have the traders start to reinvest all the fund’s money. That is where the second punch will come.
Axe knows that Prince has gong to all cash. As he said, the whole Street is talking about it. He also knows like I mentioned last week, that his clients will not be happy paying high fees for their money not to be invested and making high returns. Prince will only have a few days then will have to start to reinvest the cash, fast.
Victor and Dollar Bill may have decided to stay at MPC because they are being held hostage by their money being in the fund, but I think Axe may enlist Ben and Tuk as traders to help him work against Prince. Why else would he ask Taylor to find out how long their non-compete contracts were for? I think we will be seeing Ben and Tuk in Axe’s new office space at 26th Street and 11th Avenue sooner rather than later.
Do I know exactly what will happen or why Prince decides to throw a computer through Wendy’s window? Not a clue! If Billions has taught us anything over the past 7 seasons is that there are always twists, turns, loops, and all kinds of plotting, scheming and intrigue involved at the end of a season. I can’t imagine what is in store for the end of the series! I have tried to follow as many breadcrumbs as I could in “Axe Global” but am still prepared to be surprised by the result. There are so many questions:
Was Dr. Mayer working with Prince to set up Wendy?
Is Rian really gone, or does she want people to believe she is, only to come back and help Taylor?
Is Dunlop really all in with Prince or was this exactly what Chuck and Axe wanted?
What is Kate’s agenda?
Will Philip and Scooter flip on Prince?
What role will Winston’s algorithm play in taking down Prince?
These are just some of the questions that are rattling around my head!
While we anxiously await these answers here are just some observations:
Did we ever find out exactly how Axe was back allowed into the United States? Did I miss it?
Axe wore another metal shirt this episode, Guns N’ Roses, but thankfully no accompanying song! I do not like that band AT ALL and was so happy not to have to hear them. This is the first time this has happened, and I wonder if Billions couldn’t get the rights to a GnR song. We know we are getting one more shirt in the final episode, a Metallica Viking shirt. I would bet my life that we will get a Metallica song this time. Since the shirt is not related to any song or album it’s a toss up on what song could be used: Creeping Death? Seek & Destroy? No Remorse? The Four Horsemen (my personal favorite)? Fight Fire with Fire? For Whom the Bell Tolls? There are many more I could list but any of these would work brilliantly!
The Axe Global offices are nice, but quite a way from the Financial District. These offices are on 11th Ave and 26th Street on the west side of Manhattan. I hope that when Axe said he has his eyes on space for the long haul it’s back to his old digs and it would only be right for Axe to be back where he belongs!
I was disappointed but not surprised that Victor and Bill decided to stay at MPC for the time being. Everything they said was spot on (even Axe knew it was the right play). They have strong ties to Axe and they made their bones at Axe Cap, but with their money tied up at MPC, watertight non-competes, and the uncertainty around Axe Global, staying put is the smart move. That doesn’t mean when the time comes, they won’t be happy to be wearing Axe Global fleeces again!
And speaking of Victor and Bill, they were tasked to be prepared to start investing MPC funds on Prince’s command. He wants “singles and doubles” trades with predefined exits. I take that to mean investing in names that are liquid (shares readily available that are easy to get in and out of) and less risky, less volatile names. Think of names like Microsoft, Apple, Colgate, Lockhead Martin, etc. They are not going to make you load of money, but they won’t kill you either. It sounds like he basically wants the fund to become an ETF, and again, clients aren’t going to want to pay a high fee for something like that.
There were a lot of pop culture references this week, and I will readily admit that most went right over my head. However, I did get the “Korvettes’ fire sale” reference! Korvettes was a discount department store that had several stores in NYC. I was young, but I do remember my parents taking me to one that was located on Bay Parkway in Brooklyn!
The scene between Taylor and Rian was wonderful. I was not a big fan of Rian in S5 because she was just annoying AF. But something must have changed in S6 and she seemed much less irritating, and I could see how Taylor’s mentorship impacted her. I also enjoyed seeing Taylor being emotional and, in a way, vulnerable. We rarely get to see them like that, and it was refreshing. I’m still wondering if there was more to that hug than just emotions, i.e., did Rian slip Taylor a thumb drive with info on it?
Wendy describes Prince with many adjectives: ambitious, competitive, confident, socially conscious, a strategic thinker, morally complex and thinks he is more ethical than others. Take the name Prince out and insert Chuck and I think you would agree those descriptions would also fit. Prince believing that he is infallible will be his downfall, and if we think back, wasn’t that the exact reason Chuck took it on the chin several times?
And finally, when Taylor, Wags, Wendy, Chuck, and Axe are watching Prince and Dunlop at the campaign rally, Chuck says “There it is.” I am going to stick with my prediction that Prince bringing Dunlop on the ticket as his VP was the plan all along, and we will see flashbacks to Chuck explaining the details of the plan to Dunlop and it will all make sense.
At least I hope it will! In the final episode of Billions, “Admirals Fund”, all will be revealed!