Categories Billions Recap

Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 6: The Third Ortolan – April 30, 2018

The Name of the Game is Wendy

by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | April 30, 2018

Source: Showtime

Well, I said it time and again that it is only Wendy’s short that could force Axe and Chuck to take a break from their pissing contest and get themselves and the woman they both care about deeply out of the huge mess called Ice Juice. And the first half of the season has seamlessly built to this climactic episode which I believe is the BEST hour of television in a while, at least since we had Golden Frog Time!

Dollar Bill is not alone in carrying bags full of money for business. We now find Chuck, the US attorney of the SDNY, paying $50K to a man who will plant the slide in Axe’s medicine cabinet while he is away at Art Basel in a few weeks. Axe and Chuck have so much in common that they seriously could have become BFFs in another life. For one, they both know how to deal with vulnerable immigrants! Like Axe ended an American dream by having Maria Gonzalez deported to Guatemala in Episode 2: Wrong Maria Gonzalez,  Chuck is now creating an American Dream by promising Mr. Adubo $50K more as well as U.S. visas for his family in Congo once he completes the job.

With the confidence he has in the slide that will put Axe in jail, Chuck goes to have some pig ears with Black Jack Foley over lunch at The Spotted Pig and talk about his political future! Foley wants to casually start Chuck’s campaign so the money people will have a feel about him as if they are at morning workouts at Churchill Downs.  Yet, he has a few reservations: Is Chuck squared away? Locked down as a Firstie at West Point. How about marriage? Solid. Foley still wants to sit with Wendy before he turns “a man of purpose” also into “a man of the people.”

It is so much fun to witness how the defense and the prosecution build strategy for the court based on what we call incomplete information in game theory.

Eastern District does not officially have the slide as evidence but this does not give Axe comfort. The new Halls advise even if they recruit an assistant at the EDNY and remotely access the case file, they may still miss the evidence with a code name. Bach’s strategy is “motion to dismiss” which would force Bryan to present the evidence to prove they have a case. And while Dollar Bill has put the pink champipple on ice, today will only be recon day at the court.

On the prosecution side, while Bryan thinks even Evel Knievel cannot jump the gap between what he knows and what he has to prove, Dake believes dismissal would be poor optics for DeGiulio. They need to do what Knievel always did.

Rev her high

Pray for mercy

Try to put her down on the ramp

And hope you are one of the elect

Dake may be the Calvinist Chuck thought he was after all.

Before the opening speeches, I want to take this opportunity to thank Chuck for bringing Axe here, because Axe does not do suits otherwise, and in Billions costume designer Eric Daman’s words, “when Axe does wear a suit, it’s like a punch to the face.”

Bach opens the defense with a tribute to Brian Piccolo: The case is like his promising career cut short by an untimely death. The prosecution does not have sufficient evidence to prove Mr. Axelrod is guilty of any charges; however, they have unfairly stripped him of his ability to trade and destabilized his firm, employees and his family.

Axe constantly studies Bryan as he struggles to make his case. He has reason to believe several of their witnesses have been tampered with. They are trying to identify an operative directly linked to Bobby Axelrod who sabotaged Ice Juice. They believe there are witnesses that can ID him. While we find out Judge DeGiulio is a fan of George Clinton’s “Free your mind and your ass will follow” he still chooses to play King Solomon: He’s splitting the baby. Bryan has one week to present evidence or DeGiulio will dismiss the case. And when Bryan pays a visit to the judge, he gets some priceless Seth Godin fix from him: The Dip is the moment you feel like the one before defeat is, in fact, the one before success. Bryan should dig in and may put Axelrod where he needs to be.

After the recon session at the court, Bach is sure Bryan does not have the slide only to hear Axe calling him Pollyanna. Axe is not taking a plea or leaving the country but he will have the new Halls look into the security at the FBI evidence lock-up. Yikes!

I find Taylor and Oscar’s story very refreshing in the midst of the on-going court case maybe because it feels very familiar! I went to school in geeky enough settings that I can easily share a few stories close to sending someone delphiniums because their leaves are clustered according to the Fibonacci sequence!

While Mafee thinks a k.d. lang album along with tickets to UFC would cover all the bases, Taylor seems to enjoy their long-distance relationship with Oscar whose “I feel like I kicked over your Lego house” is everything! And when he finds out Taylor is trying to improve their algorithm and the young quants they have hired to test the algorithm are not much help, Oscar shows up at axe Capital the next day with his “standard coding provisions” just to keep the company The two of them sitting on the bed with computers on their laps feels very familiar because my husband and I still work sitting across from each other in our study with computers in front of us. I cannot tell you how much I love the way Taylor and Oscar fall for each other’s brains.

Love life aside, Taylor is a bit stressed out about the uncertainty in the court case. What if Axe ends up in jail? Wendy understands them. They may be terrified on one hand, and secretly hoping Axe leaves so they can see what they can accomplish at Axe Capital on the other. Wendy’s advice for Taylor is to think of their gut as their deepest part, that is what Axe does at his best, or they could be doomed without knowing. If Taylor was not rattled before, they are rattled now. And now that they are used to be the boss at Axe Capital, I think the power dynamics may get interesting once Axe is back to trading.

Thanks to the new deadline, Chuck needs to have Mr. Adubo plant the slide in Axe’s apartment within one week. But even though Chuck is willing to to pay double, Adubo calls the deal off when he finds out Axe’s apartment has barbed wire. If he gets caught, even if his family makes it to America, he will be useless for them. Why not Chuck use an Axe Capital employee to put the slide in Axe’s apartment?

Chuck cannot ask Wendy, but can ask the man who brought him Axelrod in the first place two years ago: What Chuck does not know is Spyros, who Chuck catches at his lactate threshold, is not a cuckoo bird that would sneak its eggs in another mother’s nest! He is a golden eagle working for a winner for a change 😀 And, hey, he cannot care less that Chuck may use “date rape” against him.

Ah Spyros! Even though he tells Chuck he is well respected at Axe Capital, Spyros knows his colleagues are not taking him seriously. And so he somehow feels the urge to prove everyone he has the ability to save the boss from the law! Diving deep into Ice Juice IPO trades, Spyros identifies Wendy’s Ice Juice short along with two critical facts: Firstly, Wendy has not traded before ever in her whole history at Axe Capital. Secondly, and more importantly, she shorted the stock while in Chuck’s office, which Spyros finds out thanks to a friend working at NSA!

Where Spyros sees team spirit, Axe sees someone getting disqualified for sniffing glue on the team bus! While he is ready to forget this stupid moment as well as the $2K he has paid for retaining Bach for Spyros, Spyros spills the beans: He went full le Carre and Bryan now has Wendy’s short in his hands.

“The only reason you’re not flying is because these windows don’t open.”

Read the rest of the original article at Fan Fun with Damian Lewis