Hi guys! This week’s episode of Billions threw major shade at Nigeria and its currency as Axe had to hunt for ideas when his numbers took a hit. Chuck, Connerty and Sacker relied on an anxious Tom, Wendy rediscovered her passion for her old job at Axe Capital and Lara‘s business might start to impact her marriage.
Wags came into Axe Capital after apparently being absent for a while. Looking clean and sober, he ignored everyone and walked right into Axe’s office, set to give a speech (which I was so certain had to do with him leaving Axe Capital for the benefit of his health and well-being). Axe cut him off, pissed, that while Wags had been off finding himself he had been “fighting the battle of Thermopylae” which led to a flashback 48 hours earlier, and us to wonder what Wags had to say to Axe.
It turned out a flaw in the manufacture of a thin-screen smartphone had caused the manufacturing company, one of Axe’s major holdings, to take a nosedive on the stock market; the first down-quarter in the history of Axe Capital. Axe learnt from Boyd that the press and public were about to crucify him for the down-quarter revelation so he needed a big play from his staff to stop the down-quarter from even happening. Steph told him taking a loss is no big deal and it happens to firms all the time, but losing isn’t in his vocabulary. Apparently, Mafee had something potentially huge, but was worried the guy with the information would end up replacing him at Axe Capital. So Axe confronted him in the bathroom stall and he set up a meeting with the guy; Everett, who told Axe about how he had insider information and research that confirmed Nigeria was on the verge of devaluing its currency, making it a huge opportunity for anyone willing to make a massive short play.
Axe went to Boyd who declined so he brought in the other risk-takers in his field; Malverne, Krakow, and Birch. Axe knew they hated him, but hoped they would help him if it was beneficial to their own self-interest. They all agreed to be in on it and he left them with Everett to show them the researches. It turned out that not all of them were really in on it as Birch leaked the information, which allowed the Nigerian government to refuse to devalue their currency. With the plan sabotaged, Axe still convinced Krakow and Malverne to stay on the deal as three of them could still make it work. Everett still thought there was a way to help things go smoothly, but Axe was going to need a big name on his side. So he came up with a new plan to go on a TV show called Street Scoop and discuss the Naira with Lawrence Boyd backing up the devaluation.
Nigeria, as we all know, is a real place with real people and a real currency suffering from devaluation, although on the show it was already going to happen. Watching fictional billionaires try to profit off an economic crisis just felt wrong to me, but hey, what do I know.
Which was the point Wags came to Axe all bright-eyed after two days in deep therapy with Wendy. We got only one real scene from the session, but it’s a good one. Wendy got Wags to find the source of his recent meltdown which turned out to be an encounter with an old colleague and mentor Wags realized was suffering from early-onset Alzheimer’s and then Axe hired Steph as his chief of staff, a role that used to be Wags’. I was right earlier, he went back to Axe, ready to leave, only to learn that he just fired Steph for being wrong and saying he was not a machine.
Okay, enough about Axe, let’s get to what Chuck was up to this episode.
Chuck and Wendy had a therapy session where she revealed how annoyed she got when he showed up in a suit to casual parties and dinner dates. She took it as Chuck being arrogant but he revealed he dressed like that was because he was insecure and tried to reduce the impression that she was out of his league(kinda touching). The scene where Chuck told his son, who was mad at Wendy, that he was to blame for the separation and nobody was perfect also sort of moved me. I really did feel like there just might be hope for the couple but Chuck flirted with a woman at the dojo he goes to and all hope was lost.
Tom tried to get a co-worker to implicate himself but it didn’t work so Chuck let him off the hook but knew he would come back begging for the opportunity to have his revenge on Boyd for sleeping with his wife, which he did. Later on Tom, while wearing a wire, went to dinner with his wife, Boyd, and Boyd’s wife where he had a little too much to drink and almost blew his cover but he pulled himself together and got Boyd to implicate himself on tape, which got Chuck and his team the evidence they needed to arrest Boyd.
The episode ended with Boyd and Axe about to go on TV to sell the Nigerian play in Axe’s favor. Axe got a call that the FBI were coming with a warrant for Boyd but did not inform him. If he had, Boyd would have cancel the appearance, the Nigerian play will fail, and Axe Capital would have its first down-quarter. Axe went on the show and said he was wearing a bracelet in solidarity with Nigeria and its currency in jeopardy. After the show, he told Boyd just few minutes before Chuck Rhoades and the FBI came in to arrest Boyd. The case would keep Chuck employed and he ate some gloriously fatty food at a deli to celebrate.
Now I feel like Boyd might turn on Axe (he seems like a chicken) and finally give Chuck what he needs to get him. Or it just might be Lara, who realized her name and her husband’s connections are both a blessing and a curse. She had Axe tell Boyd to set up a meeting for her to woo potential investors in the IV business but it did not go as she had hoped. Axe then cruelly teared apart her business plan (or lack thereof) and spoke to her the same way he does to his employees, but I’m sure Lara would not stand for that. Like I had said before, her role had been underdeveloped this season, but I think that’s about to change. I also wonder if Axe making one of the biggest mistakes of his professional career has anything to do with Wendy and Wags not really being by his side this season.
Below is the trailer for the next episode; Indian Four