All Is Fair In Love, War And The ‘Infinite Game’
by Dana Feldman | Forbes | April 29, 2019
Ah, the pancake-eater story! Now it all makes sense. Everyone has that one childhood story that once relayed, explains so much about the person they are today and the choices they make in life. Finally, we get a little clarity into the sadomasochism that has plagued, and might finally end, the Rhoades marriage.
Wendy May Have Finally Reached The End Of Her Rope:
Chuck (Paul Giamatti) finally opens up to Wendy (Maggie Siff) about the seed that was planted very early on in his painful childhood by his father, Chuck Sr. (Jeffrey DeMunn). When Chuck realizes just how close it’s come to the end of his marriage, how it is all hanging by a thread, he shares with his wife just how terribly his father mistreated his mother.
He recounts how on Sundays his mother would prepare an elaborate pancake breakfast, something young Chuck looked forward to, and also feared. As week-to-week, he never knew if his father would show gratitude, or explode in a fit of rage. At one point, Chuck Sr. explained to his then little boy that he acted erratically so that his mother wouldn’t take it all for granted and would appreciate the peaceful Sundays. He also told him that women have a subconscious desire to be dominated.
Chuck, like most adults that make promises not to end up like an abusive parent, in many ways ended up just like his father. Though, as he points out, he’s not abusive, nor is he a cheater like dear old dad, he did create a mess of his marriage.
Is it too late? Wendy has put the house up for sale. He begs her not to sell their home and find their way back to one another. It may, however, be too late for Wendy, who says she doesn’t see how they can stay together after everything that’s happened. She’s specifically upset about Chuck having a dominatrix in their home. “This place doesn’t feel very much like a home to me right now,” she tells him. Can this marriage be saved?
Wendy isn’t exactly an innocent victim in life. She really does have quite the dark side and has severely burned her share of people. And, she’s called out for her actions by both Taylor (Asia Kate Dillon) and Mafee (Dan Soder). Who even knew Mafee had it in him to get so angry? We’ve never seen him as anything but calm and reasonable up to this point.
When both Taylor and Mafee realize just how played they were by Wendy, a livid Mafee goes to Axe Cap to confront her and his words cut through her like a knife. He calls her a “sick, vicious phony” among other adjectives in front of all at Axe Cap. Dollar Bill (Kelly AuCoin) comes in and a huge fight ensues. Though in the moment she remains quite stoic, we see her break down in tears later on in the episode as she literally and figuratively tries to run away from her own guilt and shame.
Chuck Juggles A Plethora Of Problems:
Chuck and his favors! Remember a few episodes back when Chuck (Paul Giamatti) got Larry Brogan (David Aaron Baker) that gun carry permit? Well, this decision has now become quite the liability when a drunken Larry, thinking he sees an intruder, shoots first and asks questions later.
Unfortunately, it was his neighbor’s dog, a Belgian Malinois. Knowing this will directly link back to him, Chuck immediately gets his attorney, Freddie Eisen (Andrew Polk) on the case. The conniving attorney and Chuck have a very Trump-Michael Cohen type of relationship and he’s always able to come up with a solution. In this case, he makes a $100,000 deal with the neighbor for his silence. Also, included in the deal, is a new puppy of show quality with papers.
Chuck explains to Larry why he has no choice other than to take the deal. If he doesn’t agree to the six-figure payout, Larry will do time for illegal discharge of a weapon. If this were to happen, he’d also take Chuck down with him and his public service career would be “burnt toast.” He cannot risk being tied to this gun carry permit. In addition, Larry would be known the world-over as a “drunken dog killer.”
It appears as though it’s problem-solved, but as we know all too well, nothing is ever easy for Chuck. He has to jump through yet another hoop. After agreeing to the initial deal, the dog owner finds out about Chuck’s involvement and realizes it’s a coverup. He then demands $250,000 or he’ll go public with the conspiracy. Chuck points out how bad it is for him to try to extort the sitting New York Attorney General in front of a witness, what Chuck calls an “open and shut case.” When Chuck presents him with a Malinois puppy and a check for the originally agreed upon $100,000 the situation is considered handled.
Though Chuck closes the book on this situation, he still has his dad to contend with. When Chuck Sr. hits a financial snag with his development project, he calls Chuck to explain how his bank is asking for too much collateral. Chuck, always there to help, later calls his dad to tell him he got him a sweetheart of a loan from a bank.
Connerty (Toby Leonard Moore) is hitting the evidence jackpot! That wiretap is really coming in handy as he and his FBI cohorts record every single word.
Taylor Is Forced To Make A Choice Between Their Dad And Mason Capital:
Taylor is backed into a corner and must decide whether it’s best to put the interests of their dad or their company first. The real test comes when Axe (Damian Lewis) sends Bureau of Industry and Security Secretary Hard Bob (Chelcie Ross) to Mason Capital, shutting down Douglas Mason’s (Kevin Pollak) aerospace project on the grounds of national-security.
Taylor knows this is Axe’s doing. His plan was to cause them to lose investors, including the Firefighter’s Fund, which is exactly what initially happens.
Taylor is forced to take a deal in order to save their company and get the firefighters back. Taylor gives their dad a check for $1.3 million and he’s devastated Taylor gave in. This causes a huge rift between the two, exactly as Axe and Wendy planned.
Rebecca Is A Good Influence On Axe:
Rebecca (Nina Arianda) is as loyal as they come. She’s more than willing to help Axe destroy Taylor. However, she’s a business person first, so as long as any plays help her bottom line, she’s in. She agrees to put $100 million into Douglas’ project with Axe’s guarantee to later buy it from her with a healthy profit tacked on.
Upon first hearing the offer, Sara (Samantha Mathis) thought it a wise move, making the point to Taylor they’d clear 38% on their investment within months. She also calculates that Douglas would walk away with over $5 million. Ever heard of that old saying if it seems too good to be true? “Returns like this could tell the story of our firm for the next five years,” Sara adds. Taylor is just too smart to bite and refuses the offer. Though their ploy fails, Rebecca has proven herself to Axe and he knows he can trust her.
So, when he asks her thoughts on Bruno’s (Arthur Nascarella) retirement plans, she advises him to do what’s in the best interest of his old pal. He wants to retire and move to Florida. Axe originally sees a multi-year business plan but Bruno wants to go now. On her advice, Axe helps him by buying him out of the pizza joint so he can live out his dream.
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