A slice of pizza here, a perfectly coiffed pompadour there, and badda bing badda boom Damian Lewis has transformed himself into a born and bred New Yorker. Let’s visit the ways and means by which he’s achieved the transformation. This post originally came about as speculation fueled by some tantalizing previews we got late last year, before Billions first aired in the States. Now that we have our friends across the pond tuning in every week, speculation has gotten a new lease on life. Some gems from Brit Twitter so far:
So here we are, a revisit to my post “Billions: Guns in a Pool and the False Bravado of a New Yorker” with some notes added here and there without being too spoiler-y for those who didn’t splurge on the Sky Atlantic box set.
We were all talking earlier today about spoilers…The thing is I can handle visual spoilers via trailers and promos just fine, but something about written spoilers gets me slamming my computer shut and quickly walking away, particularly for shows I’m interested in getting to know completely. You see, images and the world of visuals can be contained. Images are manageable, relegated to a separate part of the brain that loves them, no doubt, but doesn’t keep too tight a hold on them. They’re fleeting, flashing in and out of real cognition. The written word on the other hand knows no such boundaries. Words, whether they be plot summaries or entire scenes with dialogue, when they are strong, have the capacity to sear into the brain for much longer. And words open up worlds. You read something and you want to know: Well, how? What? If x, y, and z happen, then what comes next? And you imagine so much more than a measly 60 second promotional spot of a series of flashing images can ever provide. There’s no end to the worlds that good words can open up in your head. Thus, sometimes, it all just becomes too much and your head feels ready to explode with its own set of visuals and ideas and speculation.
We love to speculate on here and so I am going to do exactly that by dissecting the 6 episode synopses that have been released so far. There are potential spoilers in the episode synopses. I may or may not get some ideas right and more than likely I will be wide of the mark, but that is a risk I’m willing to take.
All definitions from ‘Investopedia.com’
“Insider trading” is defined as ‘the trading of stock or securities by individuals with access to non-public information.’
I think it could be safe to assume that we may see many an “insider” joke from the writers over the season.
From recent trailers and pictures (I’m looking at you, Damianista), it appears that Bobby’s wife calls him “Axe” and it may in fact be his nickname going forward. It is the perfect name for him as:-
“Axe” is defined as ‘the interest that a person or trader shows in buying or selling a financial security’.
Billions hasn’t even officially started yet and the writers are laughing at us and have been for quite a while!
Breaking it down “the term ‘axe’ may be derived from the phrase ‘axe to grind’ which means to possess an ulterior motive or selfish aim.”
For my part, I would put Bobby in the ulterior motive category rather than the selfish aim category…though I suppose you could argue that is semantics.
Episode 1, the Pilot
Chuck Rhoades, the powerful U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is tipped to a case of insider trading with links to Axe Capital and the billionaire hedge fund king Bobby “Axe” Axelrod.
So you know how we dissected each and every little snippet of preview of Billions just as soon as our fingers could get to hitting rewind and clicking away? Well, friends, we did even more of that cogitating and guesswork and forensic investigation behind the scenes. Allow me to share with you today one such IM marathon we had about Chuck’s board. Chuck’s board, you say? We thought it was just ropes and lit cigarettes, you say. No, I don’t mean THAT kind of board. But, who knows, as the season progresses we may have some kinky Billions/Homeland tie-in (so to speak) with torture rooms, water, and boards. I’m talking about the board upon which Chuck has written pertinent points of his investigation of Bobby Axelrod. We haven’t seen it on the series yet. Heck, we just barely saw Chuck’s appetite whet for some fresh new prey in the hedge fund king. Prey in hedges? Hm. Oh, I digress. And we do that a lot when he talk behind the scenes, we team of bloggers here. You may not believe it, but lots of good stuff comes from our digressions.
So, as I was saying, allow me to share a bit of our conversation about Chuck’s board. Most of what we saw back before the pilot aired may be reading too much into things or totally wrong, but, if anything, it’ll give you a brief window into the process of forensic fandom. (I’m trademarking that phrase BTW…or I would if only we had a patent attorney on board)
One of the many reasons why I can’t wait for Billions — the MAJOR one being the prospect of having my weekly Damian Lewis fix on TV — is that the show is giving us not one but two smart and strong female characters in Wendy Rhoades and Lara Axelrod. I just LOVE smart and strong women that give hard time to men — sorry, Bobby!