We open with a ‘hedge against humanity’ called the Arc, which Wags has bought Axe a place in for the end of times. Axe’s birthday preparations are underway.
Chuck is rallying the troops over Axe ‘looting’ Sandicot. Bryan delivers the news that the bond deal itself is legal, but the timing is suspect. Chuck adds that Axe acted when he did because he knew something. They need to consider how he came by the information and who might be involved.
The subpoena for Steph Reed is in and Kate will be taking care of this. Chuck tells Kate he has complete confidence in her and she asks “I thought Connerty did?” Chuck responds “I have enough confidence to go around.”
Bill is about to recoup on a major investment in a teenage baseball player who he has been paying private lessons for since he was 13. Bill has a birthday present for Axe…Klaxon, a Belgian car company. They are headed for a recall, fines, sanctions etc. Bill says they need to move on their position fast as the news won’t be held for long. Axe asks Bill his level of certainty and we are treated to a flashback of Victor obtaining information and passing it to Bill. Bill tells Axe he is not uncertain. Continue reading “Previously on Billions: Season 2 Episode 9 “Sic Transit Imperium””
Kings, Caesars, Mob Dons. When we think of these titles we may think of power, wealth, and loyalty. To a certain extent that is true. However, what they also have in common is the struggle to keep their place at the top, how they get there and how they fall. Kings, Caesars and Mob Dons all get to the top through violence, and usually end their reigns that way as well. Through the course of their reign, they often become distrustful of even their most loyal subjects and become deceitful in order to keep everyone off balance. In the end, they are paranoid, isolated, and alone.
What does that have to do with Billions? The titles and events of the previous two episodes “The Kingmaker” and “Sic Transit Imperium”, made me think of Axe in that light. He got to the top through violence; as we learn in “Boasts and Rails” his actions during the murder and devastation of 9/11 made Axe a lot of money, and the destruction of his former company lead to the opening of Axe Capital (I write about that here). He also has wealth, power, and from many of his employees, loyalty. However, he too is constantly fighting to stay at the top. He sees the Visigoths coming, whether in the form of the government (and Chuck in particular) or other fund managers, and he will fight them all. The Axe we see in “Sic Transit Imperium” is a tired, isolated, and reflective King, wondering if it is all worth it. Continue reading ““From the Trader’s Desk” What does Axe have in common with Kings, Caesars and Mob Dons?”
Ah, the romantic comedy: A genre when presented as an evening’s viewing option has sent many an otherwise lovey-dovey couple to opposite ends of the couch. I have to say the romantic comedy has never been my first stop when Netflix surfing. Actually, it’s rarely my choice at all, unless When Harry Met Sally is on (the last great romantic comedy, IMO) or the least appreciated but my personal favorite of the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks vehicles: Joe vs. the Volcano. [The guy falls for different versions of the SAME woman; how much more romantic (and comedic) can you get?]
William Shakespeare knew a thing or two about romantic comedies. In fact, he invented the genre! The formula of boy meets girl, they run up against some obstacles, surmount said obstacles with the help of a jocular coterie of friends, and live happily ever after: That’s Shakespeare! And perhaps the most seminal of his romantic comedies is Much Ado About Nothing. The plot and characters gave rise to many adaptations and permutations. There was the beautifully hilarious big-screen adaptation in 1993 with real-life couple-at-the-time Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson. More recently, in 2012, there was another lovely big-screen adaptation, this time by Joss Whedon, set in modern times but true to Shakespearean language. And between those two, in 2005, our very own Damian Lewis starred as Benedick in a BBC adaptation of the story, set in modern times with modern language, for their series Shakespeare ReTold.
Here comes the birthday boy! Like every other middle-aged mortal, Axe reflects on what he wants from life on his birthday in Sic Transit Imperium which I would prefer to title Dollar Bill’s Words of Wisdom 😀
While Wags’ birthday gift for Axe is a $360K downpayment for a spot in a “luxury survival bunker” called The Ark for the end times — believe it or not these luxury bunkers exist — Dollar Bill prefers to give him a business deal 😀 No, his gift is not Aparicio Rodriguez, a young baseball player, the next Sal Bando, whom Bill has been sponsoring since age 13 in return for a big chunk of his signing bonus: a 2000% return on his investment (ROI)! Instead, Bill gives Axe a Belgian Car Company: Klaxon. The company will have a recall, and even though timing is not certain, Bill is not uncertain they have to lay in their position now. In a flashback, we find out paper shredding is not as safe as we think it is and that it is Victor who let Bill know about Klaxon. When questioned about the risk of the deal, Bill provides food for thought:
“If we can’t live how we want, terrorists have already won.”