Billions: The Short Squeeze

All Rhoades lead somewhere and if Senior doesn’t stop trying to help Junior soon the only thing he will be watching is his son’s career go down the drain and he will be doing it from a prison cell.

Many thanks to Lady Trader for her help ensuring we have it right. It is greatly appreciated.

There is so much going on in this episode but Damianista and JaniaJania have that covered. Let us talk about the episode title. The short squeeze.

What is a short Squeeze?

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Billions ep 4 : Short Squeeze

But they are not the Me myself.
Apart from the pulling and hauling stands what I am,
Stands amused, complacent, compassionating, idle,
Looks down, is erect, or bends an arm on an impalpable
certain rest,
Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next,
Both in and out of the game and watching and wondering
at it.           —-Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

Billions, episode 4, Short Squeeze set the bar for pacing and it set the bar for tension and for all that, the writer, Young Il Kim, deserves to be called out. Bravo, for finding that astounding sweet spot to so perfectly show the anxiety of Bobby Axelrod as he becomes a hunted man.

Witness the military precision as he gets out of bed to answer a call, his feet firmly on the ground. Axe has so many layers of insulation around him protecting him, that when he gets a call at the wee hour of morning he knows it’s going to be serious, and he is on his toes before even answering the phone. Or else, with all the data in his head at all times and a refusal to leave a paper trail for fear of entrapment, he’s just constantly vigilant, even in sleep.


We see in Short Squeeze, a Bobby Axelrod wound tight. Not tight like a fetal ball or a pretzel, but more like a twizzler, on tiptoe, sometimes leaning against a wall to keep from keeling over with the long lean tension of being a targeted man. And a guilty man. Bobby’s body doesn’t hold the same tension as Brody did, in his broken man trying to force his skin to hold together his brokenness one fleeting minute at a time. Bobby’s body is more like a spring, ready to pounce, ready for action, perpetually ready for self-preservation. He’s a survivor (something Brody was decidedly NOT). It’s in the camera shots and the direction and writing, this twisting thing, but it’s remarkably there in Damian’s body as well. Continue reading “Billions ep 4 : Short Squeeze”

Billions on Showtime, Episode 4: Short Squeeze

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Episode 4 opens with Axe Capital PM Mick Danzig slowly walking in his yard at 4:42am with a Singani 63 bottle in one hand and a semiautomatic in the other as Andrew Bird sings his Oh No with lyrics going “arm in arm we are harmless sociopaths…” in the background… Danzig starts shooting at deer eating his plants and gets squeezed by the police. Whether he is just a harmless sociopath is up for debate.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

Axe and Hall take care of the situation that there will be no report on Danzig. But Axe cannot give the world another reason to hate them. What the fuck is happening? Danzig seems to lack adrenaline. He may feel a twinge when he goes down. But he feels nothing when he goes up. Then he sees the deer outside his window: “Eat. Move. Shit. Repeat.” And Bang! Where is Dr. Mojo when we need her? Continue reading “Billions on Showtime, Episode 4: Short Squeeze”

Billions ep 3 – YumTime

imageedit_6_9750129636As the credits roll, 9/11 widow June, wife of Axe’s deceased business partner, Rake, seems to have penned a manuscript and is thanking her publisher for giving her a book deal. Bryan is getting in good with the FBI. Meanwhile Axe sips his morning coffee as a truck pulls into his driveway. Again, the Billions writers seem to have effectively taken the beep-beep-beep of a truck backing up and the cranking chain sound of its opening door out of the strict purview of the mafioso drama.

Continue reading “Billions ep 3 – YumTime”

Billions on Showtime, Episode 2:
Naming Rights

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

We have left Axe saying “I am ready” on the phone at the end of Pilot. Now we find him in Episode 2 Naming Rights with some time in his hands — he is about to derail Chuck’s plans by presenting the US attorney’s office with Steven Birch’s head on a silver platter — to figure out ways to be ready!

While Pilot opens with a bound and gagged Chuck in his underwear on the floor in submission to a dominatrix, Naming Rights opens with Axe his underwear telling Pete Decker on the phone Gold Standard is never coming back and if it did, the world would be so fucked up that he would buy space travel… while his secretary as well as his COO are on standby to dress him for his next gig!

Axe is the King of his realm.

source: Showtime
source: Showtime

A comparison to the other king Damian Lewis has recently brought to life is inevitable. Do Axe and Henry have anything in common? Continue reading “Billions on Showtime, Episode 2: Naming Rights”