Hey guys! At the beginning of this season, Axe was undeniably up trying to rebuild Axe Capital and move forward while Chuck was undeniably down as he almost lost his job. Now the fortunes have reversed, the odds are in Chuck‘s favour (even though his marriage is still unsettled) and I feel he is getting quite cocky about it. This week on Billions, Axe further investigated the breakdown in his Sandicot dealings, Chuck found dirt on a political rival, Lara tried to ease tensions and Wendy helped Taylor solve a problem at Axe Capital.
Axe managed to salvage the Sandicot fiasco by completely screwing the town over. The symbol of this sad little victory is the cowboy statue was the original Remington. Axe refused to accept the idea that Jack Foley changed the venue for the casino any other reason but to mess with him and since Foley did not agree to a one-on-one meeting, Axe tried to force one through his usual tactics; he made a huge donation to an animal sanctuary on the condition that he personally present a Man of the Year award to Foley.
Taylor was given the task to find out who Foley buys ore from for his steel in hopes that Axe can snatch up a bunch of product and send a message. While Taylor was on that, Wags overheard Mafee on a call from a Spartan-Ives competitor promising to give them an offer they can’t refuse if they so choose to do business with them. Mafee showed some hesitation at taking the meeting but Wags insisted that he did even after Mafee shows some concern for his sobriety (weirdly, I miss drunk and high Wags).
Jack Foley aka The Kingmaker told Rhoades Sr. that he would be putting his weight behind someone else, two-term Buffalo mayor Bob Sweeney as Chuck couldn’t get Foley’s granddaughter the clerkship he had requested for. However, Chuck did not like to play political games so he dismissed his dad’s claim that he screwed up the Foley deal and decided to take care of Sweeney himself. At first, he offered Sweeney a spot on the Rhoades ticket as his lieutenant governor which he obviously rejected so Chuck had Ira (his lawyer and friend) dig up dirt on Sweeney.
Taylor came up with a name for Foley‘s ore seller and Axe went out to meet with the distributor to see what kind of deal he could make. Axe and Lara walked on an airstrip discussing Lara’s need to be in Sandicot to promote charter schools and the Axe Capital-funded rebuild of the city while Axe needed to make moves against Foley. They kissed and the camera zoomed out to them walk into two different private planes (like we all do with our spouses). This was one of the best scenes of the night, so simple in its execution yet it gave me chills – like major goals alert!
Bryan and Sacher tried to see if the recently fired Axe Capital employees had any stories to tell. They went to Dr. Gus (Wendy‘s substitute at Axe Capital for a while) who didn’t really treat Axe so he had not much to offer but he did tell them Steph Reed might have something as she was present for many conversations before Axe terminated her.
I always knew one of Axe‘s trusted employees would snitch on him! Steph said she would help out only with a subpoena as she signed a non-disclosure agreement while at Axe Capital. Bryan took the case to Chuck but he advised that they waited instead as there are bigger fish to fry right now than Bobby Axelrod.
Wendy and Taylor finally met after the Alpha Cup and had a session on this episode. They had quite an intellectual conversation compared to what they had with Dr Gus previously. I couldn’t have been the only person who looked forward to this session happening.
Wags and Mafee went out to dinner with the Spartan-Ives competitor and it seemed like Wags enjoyed being wooed by a potential firm as he even took them to a high-end strip club like an old pro. Mafee felt pretty out of place (he even said he made an oath with a girlfriend who isn’t exclusive to him…anyone care to explain this?) but as the scene progressed, it was clear that Wags wasn’t looking to find a new team to do business with. Apparently, it was about putting on a performance in front of the Spartan-Ives guy who was a regular at the strip club to show loyalty and Wags even squeezed a new deal which would cut Axe Capital’s fee by 20 percent for the next two years.
Axe finally got a sit-down meeting with Foley at his house and just before their meeting, he ran into an old Axe Capital employee Danny Margolis (the guy who snitched on the company last season and now works catering) outside the house. The meeting with Foley didn’t exactly give him much to go on as it was clear Foley was a loyal person. Axe left the meeting with no real hope but of course another plan came up. Axe hired Danny to be his spy and snap photos of the guests at the party.
Wendy came to take care of the kids so Chuck could go to the Foley party, and they apologized for their recent fights. She apologized for yelling at Chuck about the photo op and he revealed that he went on a date with the girl from Jujitsu class (Tammy Blanchard) but it only ended with a kiss. We know Wendy went on a date too with Craig Heidecker (James Wolk) and that it ended with much more but she did not tell him. Instead, she subtly showed with a phone call to Taylor that she was shaken up by lying to Chuck.
Foley’s party went well (including an appearance by Ben Folds on piano) and a promise by Foley to make Chuck governor, which the Rhoades men celebrated with drinks later on at the Yale Club. During the party, Chuck and Foley had a moment alone and Foley said he was impressed by Chuck’s ability to force Sweeney out of the race but that he still held all the power and no campaign for governor will succeed without him. Chuck set his ego aside for a moment and asked Foley for his help which he readily accepted.
Axe got the pictures of the party from his spy and the one of Foley talking to Chuck and Chuck’s dad stood out. He lost it and went down to the club, screaming about looking for Chuck. He accused Chuck of killing the Sandicot deal, noting that he is now destroying the town because of that. He got in a few great jabs about Chuck needing his daddy to make his decisions for him and was mocked for his outsider status in return. At first, Chuck seemed angry at his father, but then he saw the political capital that Axe just handed him on a plate; Axe had destroyed the part of the state where Chuck polled the weakest, so Chuck could take down the big businessman and be the defender of the people he needed to vote for him.
Chuck’s triumph seemed total in the final scene as he smoked perfectly aged cigars with his father who thought Chuck just might be the one “who gets to f**k them all”. What comes up must come down, however, and it feels like Chuck has been riding high for long enough now. Also, I feel one person who could get Chuck‘s way now might be Lara. There’s a chance the people upstate could really like her. Hey, Axe might even decide to run against Chuck…
I leave you with the trailer for the next episode; Sic Transit Imperium