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Billions Season 3, Episode 10 Recap: Vulture – May 27, 2018

All in a Day’s Work

by Nicole Cliffe | Vulture | May 27, 2018

Source: Showtime


I am delighted to report that Grigor Andolov is becoming a more interesting character/eventual antagonist for Axe! And, unsurprisingly, the nicer and more benign he is towards Axe, the scarier he seems in general. If he brought me flowers I would assume I’d be digging my own shallow grave before the day is out.

If we had to impose an overarching theme on this episode, it would be people changing others’ perceptions of them in a single day, for good or bad. Grigor, rising above mine (and Axe’s, after that late-episode reveal)! Bobby letting down Taylor in a really profound way, and Taylor fearing they’ve irrevocably changed their relationship with Oscar. Sacker stepping out from her father’s shadow so Chuck can see her teeth. And, of course, BEN KIM.

Ben Kim!!! BEN KIM! In a generally heavy episode, the show decided that we needed a truly comic interlude (which did border on absolute cringe-horror for a few minutes), and I am filled with gratitude for it. Wendy (and the audience) had been so proud of Ben Kim calling out Dollar Bill last week (I fist-bumped the air!) and it was driving her nuts to see that he was sitting on a really great play because he was too anxious to bring it to Axe. Now, having chosen to introduce it to Axe at the worst possible time (while he was courting a set of potential investors) was beyond ill-advised. (I honestly cannot personally describe the shirt removal, the song choice, any of it, I am a ghost now.) But the play? The play is good. The play is smart! Such a relief. Wendy should be proud.

The major fault line this week, of course, is Chuck kicking off his deep dive into Jock Jeffcoat’s dirty laundry. I had to giggle at one bit of weak writing in the process, Chuck’s team wondering how Cutler, the fake money guy, knew they were looking for him: My guys, do you not think the janitor who let you into the shell office had been given a burner phone and a few hundred bucks with instructions to call him at once if anyone showed up to the “company”? Cutler’s not a total idiot, just because he’s a paper tiger meant to shield Jeffcoat’s real money from view.

Jeffcoat is no dummy himself, and Chuck tends to underestimate him at his own peril. (I’m sure the aw-shucks Texas metaphors involving dogs and horses help.) Wendy, too, failed to bring her A-game to the table with Jock, and she should be better at reading people than this. She’s a professional, she can talk to a brick wall, and yet she sat around looked bored and nervous until Chuck showed up to relieve her. Also, Chuck, you can’t make up a better story that INCORPORATES the truth? All good liars do that, and you lie all the time! You had to do x, you got a flat tire?

I have to imagine that Jeffcoat’s planned Federal Day to scoop up all the unprosecuted state and municipal drug cases for prosecution is because a) he’s a REAL sonuvabitch and b) it’ll keep Chuck busy and distracted from any possible fomenting of rebellion.

Speaking of fun surprises, I think we all enjoyed Axe needing to do a LOT of fancy footwork to deal with Grigor’s unexpected redemption. David Krumholtz clearly had a lot of fun as the unfortunately named Frotty Anisman, and I was almost sad when Axe let Bruno’s wise words talk him back from hitching his wagon to Frotty’s Jordanian money of dubious source. Even if just to hear more of Wags’ grotesque body-horror insults about him!

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