Hey guys! On this episode of Billions, Axe publicly bickered with a rival hedge fund manager and with the help of a new star intern; Taylor, he initiated a new financial play to hurt the competition. Chuck had his team find a high-profile case that might save his sinking status. Wendy was questioned by Oliver.
This season had introduced us to many new faces, one of which is Todd Krakow (played by Danny Strong) who is a professional rival of Axe’s that ends up at the top of his kill list after he tries to “woo” Wendy Rhoades to his team. Axe destroyed Krakow during a panel, moderated by another colleague Lawrence Boyd (another new face played by Eric Bogosian which seemed like we would see more of at the end of the episode) at which they go head-to-head.
Meanwhile, Chuck‘s legal issues were still pending and his buddy Ira (Ben Shenkman) promised to make them go away when he learnt that the Justice Department won’t be defending Chuck. He also advised Chuck to target one of the AG’s enemies so she would have to keep him on to finish the case, or set up his replacement for failure. This made Chuck encourage his team of AUSAs to find the right case to save his job.
“Prove your loyalty. Show her you’re a soldier”
Mafee introduced Taylor (the most exciting new addition to the Axe Capital family played by Asia Kate Dillon) to Axe. “They” (Taylor‘s pronouns are “they”, “them” and “theirs” so get in line people!) detected Axe’s antagonism for Todd Krakow and suggested a way to show him who’s boss. Axe knew immediately that “they” are special and gave “them” 2 minutes with which Taylor proved “their” value with some awesome deductions. Taylor had researched Krakow extensively and realized he’s using satellites to decide where to invest and that the information he got from those images was faulty. So Axe and Taylor used all these information against Todd who was being ill informed and it worked!
Axe offered Taylor twice the average entry-level salary to stay but Taylor said that Axe Capital can be uneasy and Axe responded that Taylor needs to value how “they” see the world differently. This made “them” agree to stay on a week-to-week deal.
Chuck Rhoades Sr. found out about the separation and had a talk with Wendy. He was more concerned about the family name and his legacy than his son or daughter-in-law’s emotional well-being. But she had more pressing matters at hand as she had to figure out what to say to Oliver Dake who was questioning her about the $5 million bonus from Axe that looked like a bribe.
A new in-house performance coach resumed at Axe Capital; an alpha male named Gus (played by Marc Kudisch) who simply bullies the staff into trying harder. I’m curious to see how his session with Taylor would be handled.
Oliver Dake came to Axe Capital for a meeting with Axe to give him a golden opportunity to put Chuck away for good. If Axe testified that his $5 million payment to Wendy had something to do with Chuck dropping his case against Axe, then he would get immunity from the Justice Department. I’m sure he won’t take the deal because of Wendy but it would have helped win his battle against Chuck for good.
Chuck thought he had found the right case to save his job and reputation but his strategy did not work…at first. He later figured out how to. He realized that instead of taking down an enemy of the AG, he needed to take down a friend. If he opens a case against an ally of the AG and she fired him it would look like she’s protecting someone. That someone turned out to be Lawrence Boyd, who went to Axe for help in how to beat his new nemesis which Axe responded with “Answer this,are you a bastard?”.
One awesome thing about Billions is how little you have to know about hedge funds (or the law) to understand it. Below is the trailer for the next episode; Optimal Play