Billions on Showtime, Episode 5: The Good Life

Well, I give it to the Billions writers that Episode 5: The Good Life has an opening like no other: A No Trespassing sign exactly like in the opening scene of Citizen Kane!  

notrespassingcollage

Welcome to Citizen Axe’s Good Life!

We leave Axe at the end of Episode 4: Short Squeeze telling Wags to sell everything: Sell 5% of all positions across the board first and then sell sector by sector starting with Telecom.

And now we’re finding him on his Passoni bike, a hand crafted Italian beauty, cycling to Axe Hills, no less, to collect fresh eggs from the chickens. He suggests Tito to “franchise that fucking hen” with the double yolkers and trades his Passoni with Tito’s well-worn bike… But we already know Bobby “Axe” Axelrod is the man of the people, don’t we? 🙂 Axe brings the eggs, cooks “Grandma’s recipe” – his mom was a waitress – signature dish at Empire Diner, an iconic New York City institution, for family breakfast and makes an announcement: The new boat is coming Friday afternoon. What about a trip to Galapagos? Lara does not fall for the idea right away since mid-summer is a crazy time for her restaurant, but it seems some afternoon sex in the pool followed by lying on the lawn with her better half is quite persuasive. She is in! They will be free and say “fuck you” to gravity together.

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As Lara needs to go to work, Axe will take doctor’s orders and watch Citizen Kane. If only Wags and Wendy and the FBI just leave the guy be 🙂

Wags calls Axe to ask if he is still sure about getting out of the game and Axe seems not to give a flying fuck about it. He just tells Wags to talk to their top investors about the company winding down. Wags tries to tell the PMs they are pruning slowly, but they do not see the strategy. Wags believes Axe is going through some “bullshit midlife meltdown” and needs Dr. Mojo’s “black magic.” Wendy advises Wags to make it REAL for Axe. It should be Axe, not Wags, talking to top investors.

Wags pays a visit to Axe as he is getting ready for his Citizen Kane screening. Wags’ reference to Xanadu, the fictional estate in the movie, is hilarious… and not so far from the truth.

The opening of the film showing Xanadu, a huge castle. The location is supposedly on the dessert coast of Florida, except Florida doesn't have dessert coast.

However, their conversation is not as hilarious. Certain investors deserve a sit down with Axe, including Raul Gomez, NYC Police Pension Fund. It was a game changer for Axe Capital when they got their business back in the day.Wags is doing his best to make Axe FEEL it. But all he gets back is Axe saying they need to get out of telecom by tomorrow. Axe needs the REAL black magic. He NEEDS Dr. Mojo.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Axe seemingly takes the kids to Kiddyland (real life Playland in Rye, New York. The Dragon Coaster makes a cameo for a second!)  and meets Hall at the shooting star only to learn that the guy he did not feel right about a few minutes ago is, in fact, an FBI agent on his tail. Hall says the US attorney’s office is either desperate or getting closer, and it may be a good time to disappear for a while. That’s exactly what Axe is planning to do.

Axe Capital is slowly but surely turning into The Lord of the Flies. Wendy suggests Wags it is time for one of his offsite team building exercises — how about Body Sushi at the joint strip? — as she drives her Porsche to Xanadu and into a very highly anticipated scene… We get to see Wendy and Lara together for the first time. I applaud Maggie Siff and Malin Akerman for fantastically portraying the awkwardness in their relationship: Their hug is seemingly warm but formal. They do some small talk that does not  go anywhere. They are kind with each other but there is no real connection. They do not really like each other, do they? I am so glad that this episode’s writer is a woman: Heidi Schreck. I don’t want to sound sexist, but I think only a woman can express this awkward encounter between Lara and Wendy. SPOT ON! I can’t help but laugh when Lara says “Of course!” to Wendy’s “This is not fun. For any of us. You trust me on that, right?” I wonder if Wendy knows “Of course!” seems more of a “My ass!” in Lara’s dictionary. And, hey, remember we have no idea about Lara and Wendy’s history. Was Lara already an Axe girl friend when Wendy got into the picture after 9/11? Or was Wendy there when Lara got into the picture? What were their first impressions of each other? Hope we find more about their history as the season unfolds.

So, the man is in the screening room and Wendy seems to know her way around the Axelrod house!  She takes a peek at the luggages — I count nine of them — this will not be very easy. But we all know it is the challenges of the job that turns Dr. Mojo on.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

In contrast to Lara and Wendy, Axe and Wendy are so comfortable with each other. They, as Axe points out to Hall in the Pilot, have been “in the trenches” together for 15 years.Wendy has built Axe Capital as much as Axe has. However, given that Axe now knows the FBI is literally on his tail, he may not trust Wendy 100%. Wendy wants to know how long THIS ONE will take for him to come back. Axe says this one is different. He just feels there may be some other kind of life he could be living and will sail to Galapagos next week. Wendy does her best to make him FEEL it, too. He needs to talk to his people about shutting down. He owes them that respect.

As Axe is readying himself for a trip to Galapagos, Chuck is readying himself for a trip to Iowa!

After Pete Decker gives them “Dollar” Bill for Pepsum trade, the US attorney’s office is all over Bill. Devoted Father. Sunday School Teacher. Volunteer Fireman. And… luckily, a Hotel Rewards Junkie 🙂

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Team Chuck finds out “Dollar” Bill has got proprietary information from a research scientist, Clayton Grunwald, in Des Moines, Iowa, about a drug called Vaccarazine that makes cows “shit better.” But they need to place Bill in Iowa. And they do — Bill, who is extremely cautious in going all cash during his trip, cannot help use his Silver Elite Card at Downtown Marriott not to lose on hotel rewards points. Wrong.

Bryan may be feeling extra content to catch Bill. Because, as Bill is doing his fishy business and making the big bucks, Bryan cannot get a new rental apartment just because he does not have a year’s rent in his bank account. Welcome to NYC real estate market! I still remember an an open house where they asked us if we had 6 times the selling price in our bank account… And you ask “who has THAT”? Many do in New York! Bryan may not have much money, but certainly has good friends. We learn Kate is coming from a wealthy family and she opts to be Bryan’s guarantor… which he declines.

Chuck tells Dale to find some woman for him: Martina Slowis. She used to live in Cobble Hill and is a Brooklyn Law dropout. Mark this name. Then he gets a visit from Mike Dimonda, the journalist from Financial Journal who broke the news about Steven Birch. He is now asking whether the US attorney’s office is investigating Axe Capital because there are rumors in town that Axe is closing the shop. Chuck doesn’t give Dimonda an answer but wants Kate to look into this through his “hedgie” friends. And as Bryan advises it may be that Axe wants to quit while at the top, Chuck delivers the line of the week: “Nobody quits while they are at the top. This is not France. It is America.” Priceless.

Chuck’s line makes me remember Damian Lewis talking about money at New Yorker Festival, in particular pointing out the cultural difference between Europe and America: “You continue to succeed and do well the more money you earn here…” So true. And it is, in fact, one of the major questions, I believe, Billions is addressing. Given that you have made much more than you will ever need, when do you stop? Or, do you ever stop?

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

While Axe is having tensions with Wags and Wendy because he’s absent, Chuck is having tensions with Bryan because he is present. Chuck’s plan to tag along with them to Iowa makes Bryan uncomfortable. He does not want to get out of line, but he does, and tells Chuck that he may want to, at some point, recuse himself from the Axe case. But Chuck is coming, seeing and conquering the cornfields of Iowa and beyond 🙂

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Ah the tricks Chuck has up his sleeve to make the key witness sing… We learn Clayton Grunwald, the scientist, has a daughter with Cystic Fibrosis and Dollar Bill approached them to help with their huge medical bills in return for information about Vaccarazine. Clayton felt like he was talking to a friend and how much difference it could make after all. Well, the difference, my dear Clayton, is a little tiny $89 million! Chuck vows to keep Clayton out of prison until his daughter graduates from high school. Clayton signs the document saying he shared the confidential results of Pepsum GMO Vaccarazine corn trials with Bill a full 24 hours before it was made public and then learns the US attorney’s office will be in touch in a few weeks about his arraignment. Oh, and by the way, he needs a lawyer, too.

Bryan and Kate bond over a few drinks at the hotel, with Bryan taking a break to pay a short visit to Terri in the middle 🙂 We learn Kate has higher office aspirations that goes all the way to the White House. And she may consider Bryan for the attorney general position. Reading The Naval War of 1812 could be a prerequisite. Bryan gives in and accepts her offer to help him out as the guarantor. It is just a signature.

Chuck’s evening is more colorful than that of his team. He has dinner with the governor, and then casually checks out a website called kinkplayfinder.com in his hotel room and, lo and behold, we see him in his car in front of a BDSM club desperately calling Wendy to tell her he just cannot help it. Oh, so, THIS is not confined to their house. “Take me with you” she says. What happens in Iowa stays in Iowa. Sure. But there is so much juice for Hall in here that he can bath in it.

Conflict of interest is looming large for Chuck upon their return from Iowa. As Chuck and Bryan chat over their delicious Knishes from Yonah’syet another node to an iconic NYC institution that has been selling Knishes at their original place on Houston Street since 1890 — Chuck gets a call from Dale who is leading the FBI surveillance on Axelrod house telling him HIS WIFE has just arrived at Axe’s house! If this is not conflict of interest, WHAT IS? And it’s not just that but Mike Dimonda is on Chuck’s tail, too. He convinces Lonnie — remember the Assistant US Attorney (AUSA) from whom Chuck gets the Statue of Liberty case for Peter Decker horse trade with the Eastern District — to tell him the backstory about Axe Capital case and argues, in his article, Chuck is taking things slowly thanks to HUGE conflict of interest in his own home. Does Chuck have the balls to tell Wendy once again he is the one working for the public good and, yes, daddy’s job is more important than mummy’s?

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Enough is enough for Chuck. He calls Wendy to make sure she is not in the office. The black magic Wendy has tried on Axe seems to have worked on her. She has taken her dancer legs to On the Town on Broadway to indulge in her first dream of being a famous Broadway dancer! So, Chuck arranges for an arrest warrant right away. He will deal with the domestic problem later.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Axe is meeting his NEW boat whose name gives this episode its title: The Good Life. The Good Life is tempting for him until he gets a text that brings him The Better Life 🙂 Chuck is right. This is not France. It’s America.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

What did I tell you last week in my recap? “Axe squeezes in a secret meeting in Quebec City with his old friend Constantine, who has worked at Mundia Tel all his career, obviously a Telecom company. Konstantin gives a tip to Axe that he knows Axe would know what to do with. Axe tells Wags to start selling with Telecom. Oh no, he is not out. Yes, it’s a zero sum game. And Axe is there to kill and eat. And not be eaten.”

I have not believed even for a split second Axe was getting out of the game. Now that the big picture is out in the open, I am also buying into my partner Bookworm’s argument that the Metallica trip was just a cover for Axe’s meeting with Constantine.

Well, the King appears at Axe Capital seconds after Wags has his A-HA moment: CEO of Mundia Tel and office presidents in six countries have been caught cooking the books! And for some reason, I have saved this gif under GreekGod1.gif 😀

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Holy Shit indeed. Yet, Axe’s smug is short-lived as his worst nightmare is coming to life at Axe Capital: Windbreakers. Axe may be thinking they are coming for him because he instructs Wags to call Orrin Bach, his lawyer, and Lara. Both Terri and Bryan are looking at him in the eye as they approach so I wonder if it is a moment of relief for Axe when they do not come directly to get him but turn left to get Bill. Bill knows what to do: “Lawyer.”

source: Showtime

The nod between Bill and Axe pinpoints an understanding between them. I am not uncertain Bill will not give much away. They are tight. They are coming from the same place. From nothing. And, hey, it was Kelly AuCoin’s birthday yesterday so I just hope he had a much better day than Dollar Bill did last evening!

So, the King is back. He loves what he does. He lives and breathes what he does. THIS IS his good life. And in him we trust for having the last laugh and the best life 🙂

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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!

45 thoughts on “Billions on Showtime, Episode 5: The Good Life”

  1. Looking at the pictures of Damian in -BAFTA Dinner on 14 february, I think Damian’s read your blog, wher I say I do not like his hairstyle in Billions, then to please me, he let one or two loops on his forehead! He is so beautifyl!!!
    He is really nice lol
    Monique

    1. Hahaha, Monique, this is wonderful! Can you imagine Damian reading the blog and telling Helen “Honey, I need to do something with this hair.” 😀 He’s there to please us! And, oh yes, that looping hair on his forehead is beautiful. Much Much Love! <3

      1. I was just discussing his beard’s return recently. Methinks that someone grew to like it when he did Wolf Hall, and demanded its return once filming ended with Billions! 🙂

        I am still not sure how I feel about that long coat he’s been wearing recently…..

        1. Go, Helen! I like the beard, too. I LOVE Damian’s scruffy look. And that hair looping in front, as Monique pointed out? Beautiful.
          I love the long coat. He wears it well. Well, Damian is a very fashionable guy, I can even say a trend-setter in ways that I expect to see more long coats on other actors soon. We’ll see 🙂

  2. As usual, a GREAT recap!!

    Well, he finally did it. I was hoping against all hope. My man Axe committed the crime! What he did was pure, uncomplicated insider trading. I kept thinking: “Why? Why do you need to do this?” I was thinking of a baseball analogy: Barry Bonds was a great player. Certain Hall of Famer. However, as he got older, I think the need to always be the best got the better of him, and he started taking steroids. Cheating. He did need to, but the pressure got the better of him. Now, nobody remembers the young Bonds, with pure talent – now it’s just Barry Bonds, the cheater.

    Axe has talent. He loves what he does. Why do something that could soil that?

    That being said, the way he covers up the insider trading is GENIUS!!

    The scene that resonated with me was the meeting between Axe and the Raul Gomez (Police Pension Fund). When he told why he invested with Axe (“you light up”) I totally got that. As Damianista will confirm (I hope!!) when we met, I think she saw how much I love my job, and how enthusiastic I am about it. I have thought about walking away a bunch of times (usually after a bad day, or week), but I always come back. Working in this business is not for everyone; but if you love it, it’s in you forever!

    1. Thank you for your kind words!

      I have skipped the scene b/w Axe and Raul deliberately – what I wanna do is to make a post just about the business relationships in Axe’s world. It is fascinating to me. We’ve seen Garth and Raul as investor, we’ve seen Ken as a fellow hedgie, Wendy as his peformance coach, we’ve seen Danzig, Dollar, Pouch, Donnie, Saldana as the PMs at Axe Capital, and Wags of course and each relationship has told me something about Axe. This is his life, maybe this is the good life for him, and it is a big chunk of who he is. These relationships are as important as his relationship with Lara or Wendy.
      So — coming soon 😀

      Yes, my lovely Lady Trader, you also are lit up when you talk about what you do and I think it’s one of the reasons why you have digged the show very early on. It’s your world! If I had that kind of money, I would definitely come invest with you like Raul did with Axe. Just hoping TIAA-CREF people care about my retirement money as much as you would care about it! By the way, I think we have all had those days of “walking away” but if you love your job enough, you just stay. I know the feeling.

      My hunch about Axe is that he wants to stay on top. As he told Danzig in Episode 4 the thing inside him does not understand “enough.” It is the adrenaline, maybe, I can totally see that, he belongs to such a small, exclusive club that I think he likes that place at that high table and wants to stay that way. I wonder if anyone will understand what he’s done but I doubt it. So I can see hoe does not tell Lara anything so he protects her, but what is the reason he did not tell Wags? He just does not trust any other living soul or what? Layer of protection? Maybe nobody knows about Constantine at all.

      1. I believe him not telling a living soul is the complete cover up of the insider trading. Since he told no one (not even a wink and a nod) the only way to link him to anything is Constantine. As I said, this cover up is brilliant!!

        On a side note, I’m re-watching Wolf Hall. Was wondering if you see similarities between Axe and Henry, and even between some of the characters in each series?

        1. Right. Not even a wink or a nod!

          I have, in fact, talked about Wolf Hall in one of my recaps likening Henry and Axe. And, Wendy constantly makes me think of Cromwell. Her conversation with Viktor was very much like Cromwell talking to Harry Percy in, I think, Episode 3. And I have a feeling there will be another moment soon (Episode 6 or 7) where I will think about Cromwell as I see Wendy talking to Axe (depending on the promo clips that I have seen so far).

      1. For me, (and I’ve been on Wall Street since 1988) this is a very new concept.
        That being said, I have worked in Asset Management firms for most of my career, where it is not as intense as Axe Capital. And now I run my own small shop with a partner, and we are each other’s therapist! I’m actually on the fence about the whole concept. To me, Wendy is just a cheer leader of sorts. But that could just be because I’m just not digging her character at all.

        1. Do you remember we talked about Steve Cohen and SAC capital as a possibility for Axe to be modeled on? I understand SAC Capital had an in-house performance coach and the Fortune article points out that it’s been a trend for some time. My hunch is only the Axe Capital-like hedge funds do that, huh? I LOVE Wendy maybe because I love strong female characters that can swim with the sharks! And, hey, you are that kind of woman, too, Lady Trader!

          1. I think I’m so into the finance part of the show, that I’m not focusing on the non-finance stuff. I’m still not sure why we need to know about Wendy & Chuck’s S&M lifestyle (unless it will be used as leverage against one or both of them). But, thank you for the compliment!! 🙂

          2. I have the feeling Chuck and Wendy’s, ahem, “proclivities” may be Chuck’s Achilles heel or amunition for someone.
            Or it’s just Showtime being Showtime.
            I think more things are being accepted as mainstream now – we see Bobby & Chuck both meditating with their phone app timers. Anything to get an edge is more embraced now, like having a life coach psychiatrist in-house.
            I don’t see these type of people trusting her with thier secrets. Wendy already meddled to help get the woman to leave to escape being crushed.
            Bobby eats too much junk food to look like Damian. Unless he eats healthy at home from their farm.

          3. I am with you about Chuck and Wendy. Hall will bath in that! Headlines about BDSM for gubernatorial hopeful? Not mainstream at all. Hehe.

  3. I felt bad for Lara in the scene where Bobby kinda blindsides her with his plans for the boat and running off. Up until then, I felt like he was on a team along with her, and wouldn’t pull that. It was an interesting mirror, too, of the first episode where Chuck blindsides Maggie with how he’s gonna go after Axe Capitol, and how she might need to step down. Here Bobby was telling her that she might need to set aside what she does, and she took it much differently than how Wendy did. Wendy blew up and pushed back, where Lara seems to defer.

    Later, obviously, it seems there is no tension between them, or that was some sort of awesome “making up” ritual 🙂 And I do adore how they laid together, and how she was touching him when he was talking. Its funny, I was adoring Damian’s freckles in the shot, and it reminded me of how I lay with my own freckly hubby. When you’ve got a redhead in your life, you really do end up loving every spot on them 🙂 The acting/direction of that scene really struck a nerve and was super true to life, in my experience.

    Great episode and great recap, as always! Always gives me a new reason to re-watch and see all the things you saw that I missed.

    1. Thank you so much, Holly! And, hey, we all help each other with stuff that we miss. It is fascinating how everyone focuses on different stuff even in the same scene. There is so much in this show, you need to watch and you really need to listen to the conversation, and when you add to this that you NEED to watch Damian closely, a-re-watch or two seem to be a must for me to absorb it all – the way I want to indulge myself in Billions 🙂

      I agree Axe has been on the selfish side in the episode. Not just in that scene where he unilaterally makes holiday plans but also when he shares with Lara he wants to watch Citizen Kane, it seems to be there is an understanding that Lara should arrange that. She will make a call. I get the vibe that he’s the king and he sort of expects (but in a gracious way) to be treated like a king.

      The scene where they lay is such an aesthetic scene that I kindly asked Jania Jania that evening to please please make a gif for me, and she very kindly did it (she is our go-to person for gifs!). I really wanted to have that because it is very telling about that marriage. Right shots + Right conversations + Superb acting = Perfect scene.

      1. I’ve been enjoying that gif, as well. 😀

        I do get the sense that Lara definitely makes things happen for Bobby, when he asks or when he doesn’t. Much the way she intercepted the book problem before he even knew it. Kind of fits that metaphor about how the leader is the head, but the second in command is the neck? He might be the head, but Lara definitely turns him to look where she wants, when needed.

    1. Good question! I think, even though one thinks the SEC and the US attorney’s office must be on the same side, they turn out to be competitors. Spyros and Chuck may have personal history on an earlier case that we have no idea about, but yeah he’s pretty nasty with him, insulting the cologne he wears and everything, and calling him a douche bag, too. That’s why I was happy when Spyros got the upper hand in Episode 4 thanks to no other than Chuck Sr. What goes around comes around, huh? 😀 Thanks for visiting and reading us!

      1. Hi,
        I’m from the Damian Lewis Yahoo Group. I joined them around 2006 I think.
        I first became aware of Damian from a TV commercial for Dreamcatcher. His red hair stood out.
        Then I met him on the street while he was here filming Keane. I just went up to him and said I love your work even though I knew nothing about him. I just recognized him. He just said hello. Helen was nearby purusing a sidewalk table of books for sale. It was around 2003-2004.
        Another anecdote is I was posting while he was on Life on NBC. Our site fans call themselves bunnies. I posted about seeing a Flemish Giant rabbit at the vet. Just thought it was funny. Next thing you know Damian has a line saying he would like to come back as a Flemish Giant rabbit. The writers must have read our site. They had a sense of humor. But I was shocked.
        They also had a big rabbit on a leash in a scene. It was fun.
        Ann
        NYC

        1. Dear Ann, Ok. Both NYer Fan and NYC fan are YOU. Nice to meet you and again thanks for reading us and hope you keep the feedback coming! I love your backstory with Damian. To be honest, I had no idea that he existed back in 2004. Apparently, he came to NY Film Festival for Keane screening, and my husband and I are avid NYFF fans, we go every year and see at least 5-6 movies, but alas we had no idea about Damian. I discovered him in Homeland, and the rest is history. You can in fact read how I first found out about him here – it was the first ever blog post: https://www.fanfunwithdamianlewis.com/?p=64 He made me a Damian Lewis fan for life and a blogger, too!
          Who knows maybe Damian was reading your site? Because he told us he read our blog back in October when we were lucky to meet him backstage at NYer festival! Did you come to that conversation by any chance since you are in NY? I was the one that asked the last question at Q&A! 🙂
          Again so happy to meet you, we of course know the bunnies, you all get the credit for discovering this guy first, and we would love to see all bunnies come visit us here 🙂 Much Love, Damianista

          1. I went to the staged reading of Cleo he did but I did not go to the interview that night. It was a bit much to do both.
            The reading was great.

          2. We were there, too; and we LOVED it. Hope they stage the play at some point and cast Damian as Richard Burton. He was GREAT. And so was Lili Rabe.

    2. Hi! Welcome!! The relationship between the US Attorney’s Office and the SEC is basically frenemies (sp?). The burden of proof for Chuck on a criminal case is much higher than for a case for the SEC. Also, the US Attorney’s Office can bring charges against someone, but lose the case. However, the SEC can come to an agreement with the same person (who usually just pays a fine) and claims a win. You could see how that would get under someone’s skin – especially someone like Chuck!!

      1. Thanks for the responses.
        I definitely feel this show is based at least in part on what I saw in the Frontline show “To Catch A Trader” which covered the Magellan and SAC Capital cases.
        The judge who sentenced the Magellan hedge fund manager (Raj something?) was a former partner at a law firm where I worked.
        It’s a small world here in NYC.
        But I love getting my questions responded to here.
        Ann
        NYC

        1. Small world indeed. Billions co-creators insist they have modeled both Axe and Chuck on a number of characters which I think make them bigger than life at some level in the show. It seems though Steve Cohen is closer to Axe than others – he apparently even had in-house performance coach as well as a great collection of modern art in his offices. And even his company’s name SAC – Steve A Cohen — is similar to Axe Capital. Thanks for visiting and reading us, please keep the feedback coming! And it’s our pleasure to answer your questions to the best of our ability and information.

      2. Something occurred to me about Chuck’s treatment of Ari. The SEC completely let Madoff get away with his Ponzi scheme for decades. They ignored Markopoulos’s warnings for years.
        I wonder if you have the power to, like Chuck, you are going to treat them with disdain as a bunch of incompetent baffoons, which they were. Or worse.
        They must have replaced a lot of staff since then but their reputation was ruined.
        There’s a great docudrama on Amazon about Markopoulos discovering the Ponzi scheme and trying to warn. It’s enraging. Probably Chuck’s wealthy family knew people who were ruined by Madoff.

        1. It’s certainly a plausible story. As Lady Trader has also pointed out, I think, the SEC and the US attorney’s office are frenemies. Even though they are supposedly on the same side, there is competition between them. I can imagine both sides have characters with aspirations for higher office. The SEC seems to do most of its business making companies pay fees for violations. Lady Trader has told me the big companies even have their fee funds! That is, independent of any particular case, those two seem not to get on well 🙂 I admit though that I was like “Go, Ari!” when Ari had the upper hand against Chuck through Chuck Sr’s stock manipulation. Chuck insulted him a bit too much – from “confused dog” to “cologne” in my opinion. It’s one thing to dislike an institution but another thing to make personal insults. My two cents 🙂

          1. Chuck can really be Mr. Cranky-Pants. I agree he shouldn’t take things out so personally on Ari. Chuck seems not to be handling the stress of his job that well. Bobby seems to handle his stress better and is more controlled. Interesting how they both meditate, though. Maybe a Wendy suggestion. Ari should know better than to wear strong cologne in business. Most people should know that by now. Best not to wear anything at all men and women. There are chemical sensitive people or they may just not like it. Keep it very subtle. I hate it on men. Yuck.
            Ann
            NYC

          2. I absolutely agree that meditation is Wendy effect – I had in fact put it into my Episode 1 recap! I love the way she bridges those two. Each guy meditates probably without knowing that other one does it, too 🙂 Hilarious! Haha cologne is a controversial subject, isn’t it? Some colognes give me watery eyes and runny nose but I am not against them. Keeping subtle is THE key 🙂

  4. I noticed similarities between Steve Cohen and Bobby.
    Both not from wealth, self-made. From outer boroughs of the city. Cohen was called the King. And so is Bobby. Both managed huge hedge funds. Both very powerful. Cohen bought a huge Hamptons house on beach like Bobby.
    Cohen had his offices outside Manhattan, maybe Long Island. Bobby is in Westport, CT.
    Cohen was targeted by the DA in a long investigation.

    1. Yes, of course, I thought there should be more similarities than the ones I could figure out. Your list seems very comprehensive. Thanks!

      1. Great recap again. The proof of which is in the discussions above me. Fantastic. So good to see so many engaging. You captured the important aspects of what is going on in all the relationships in this episode (minus as you said, Raul/Bobby which I cannot wait to read!).
        Bobby was pretty selfish in this episode, but I do think there was an element of protection in it. Interesting he says he trusts the guys between him and Decker.

        1. Thank you! Yeah, I left out Bobby and Raul deliberately – let’s see what I will make of it… hopefully soon 🙂

          I think, the reason why he left Lara out of it is certainly protection. And she may even understand where he is coming from when he cancels holidays plans all of a sudden. And I think he has a certain understanding with some of his guys, like Dollar, who are coming from a similar background. I would not say that for Wags. One explanation I could come up with is Axe does not know anyone to know about Constantine, maybe this is how they his contract with Constantine regarding the business they do together.

          1. Re Constantine – it fits with what Lisa said about ensuring he is able to completely cover up the insider trading. Exactly why he did not take Wags with him. As far as everyone is concerned he went to Quebec to see Metallica.

    2. I found another similarity between Steven Cohen of SAC Capital and Bobby Axelrod. Cohen was banned in January from managing any outside money such as in a hedge fund until 2018.
      It was because he failed to properly supervise his employee who was arrested for insider trading (and is now in prison).
      Sounds like Bobby whose guy just got pinched.
      Hmmm. The similarities keep adding up.

  5. Totally agree on the cologne! Fragrance, to me, should not be noticed unless you have your nose up against the person’s skin. Like, for me, its supposed to be shared in a very intimate way. When it surrounds a person like the dustcloud surrounds Pigpen from The Peanuts….ugh. DO NOT WANT.

    1. I am sure there is someone feeling exactly like you two re Cologne in Billions Writers Room. I love it how they touch upon day-to-day controversial issues and keep us think and talk – Billions feels like Seinfeld in that way 🙂 Mrs. Mojo / Dr. Mojo scene hit a chord with me since I LIVED THAT SCENE many times with, in particular, male students! And we had a moment in our department meeting where another colleague called me “dude” exactly like Dale called Chuck in Episode 5. I grilled that guy later. Still if only I had seen the scene earlier than our meeting. Hehe.

    1. It’s from the Pilot. Danzig comes to Wendy’s office and tells her he lost his Mojo and came to her because she is Mrs. Mojo. And Wendy corrects her: “Dr. Mojo.”

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