Chuck and Axe have rarely been in contact this season but the show has constantly made their story-lines circle each other, so it always feels like something big is about to happen between them even as they are now at major turning points in their careers. This week on Billions, Chuck continued to bask and capitalize on his victory while alienating Wendy, Axe assembled a war room in the Hamptons following a setback and sought counsel on recouping his losses.
With the failed Sandicot deal and Axe Capital on the hook to lose half-a-billion dollars because of it, Axe needed answers. He teamed up with Hall and set about to find the source of the fumbled deal which had them go to Marco first. Axe was furious and felt sure that Marco screwed him over since he was the one that brought him the deal but Marco seemed just as agitated as everyone else. While Axe insisted he was played, Marco said it was most likely an attack aimed at someone else and Axe just got unlucky. Axe had Hall look into Marco and everything came out clean because he clearly didn’t benefit from the Sandicot deal going under. Axe knew someone out there did and would not let Hall rest until all the connections had been made.
What was Chuck up to after his big win with Boyd? Well, he used his son as a pawn in a PR game to show off his sensitive family side with a carefully planted photo op in case he made a run for office. Chuck and Wendy’s fight attained a new level when Wendy discovered that Chuck used their son for a prop just like Chuck Sr. used him. Then she dropped a major bombshell that she wants to see other people. It turned out she had a specific person in mind; Craig Heidecker (played by James Wolk) the billionaire from The Oath. Later on, Craig and Wendy had a tryst in a hotel room and seemed to have real chemistry. Hopefully this means we would be seeing more of him even though she let him know she’s not looking for anything serious.
During a war room session with the “brain trust” team from Axe Capital, Axe probed for ideas on how to save their money, and there was really only one: austerity. This technically meant Sandicot had to pay Axe Capital before anyone else so the firm could seize their assets, take over public property, the town hall, pension funds, and even seize a valuable work of art, all in order to cancel out their loss. As Taylor pointed out, such a move would ruin the county as schools would close, people would lose their jobs, there would be no money to support important community programs and it could be a potential PR nightmare. Axe was looking for a win-win scenario for both Axe Capital and the citizens of Sandicot which was not really possible.
Chuck tried to reunite with Wendy the morning after the tryst with Craig, telling her that she could work at Axe Capital. Back at his father’s house, Chuck Sr. continued to try to push his son to bigger and better things. He withdrew a golf-club membership because they didn’t allow women and that could hurt his son in a future campaign. He was thinking that far ahead. He advised his son that he could not do this without Wendy and went on to say Chuck Jr. was a good candidate but Wendy would make him unstoppable.
Wendy was back at Axe Capital trying to make Axe’s employees unstoppable, but Mick Danzig (played by Nathan Darrow) was having a crisis of conscience. In a meeting with Wendy, he admitted to having a nightmare about Russian hackers destroying his portfolio which she interpreted as a reflection of his anxiety about Axe and Sandicot. She explained that hackers were agents of chaos who could destabilize lives and Axe Capital was an agent of chaos for citizens of Sandicot.
Mick took his concerns to the meeting the next day, suggesting an alternate route to saving both Axe Capital and Sandicot but Taylor shot it down. They said, “in many ways, a town is like a business. Would you hesitate to shut down a business in a bad financial deal? Of course not”. Shortly after the meeting, he quit. An angry Axe went to accuse Wendy of not helping his employees as she should but she insisted she was doing her job and Axe could cancel their contract whenever. Mick being a free agent is probably going to come in handy for Chuck later on which is something to remember.
Chuck took Bryan to Keen’s Chophouse, which typically meant a promotion as there was a position open for which Bryan qualified for. However, Chuck knew Bryan called the government on him and almost got him fired so Chuck played tough guy and even tried to intimidate Bryan with talk of rats. Bryan threw back that Chuck was playing dirty and he had to be called out on it. Chuck agreed and claimed there would be complete transparency from then on, encouraging Bryan to be loyal and if he could prove his loyalty, he would become Head of Crim (Head Of Criminal Prosecution).
Axe continued to balance his desire to find out who messed him up on Sandicot deal with his need to figure out what to do next. He first went to Boyd in prison, who offered advice on both dealing with Jack Foley and what to do next. He advised that handling Sandicot could change his public profile and this is the kind of deal that could lead to hatred for Axe Capital.
Finally, Axe went to the person closest to him after a pleading visit from Bruno (the pizza guy from his old neighborhood). Axe asked Lara as she rifled through expensive dresses in their walk-in closet for what he should do. Her response was not what I predicted. She noted that the people of Sandicot are of the same class that they used to be.
“Did anyone ever help us or look out for us? They can let the city implode, go in with charter schools, then build it up again. Gut the city to save it”.
Axe had a sly grin and called someone to seize literally everything, hopped in his fancy car, and drove off to pick up Chinese food for his kids ending his instructions with “Don’t stop until we get what we’re owed”.
Below is the trailer for the next episode; The Kingmaker…