Categories Billions Print Media Recap

Billions on Showtime, Season 4 Episode 2: Arousal Template – March 24, 2019

What Turns You On?

by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | March 24, 2019

Billions creator and show runner Brian Koppelman tweeted earlier today that the first two episodes in Season 4 are the warm up. Well, if this is the warm up, I cannot imagine how crazy the best stuff will get!

Now that he has decided to put out the fire not by pouring water on it but by sucking oxygen out of the room, Axe is busy cutting off the credit lines to Taylor Mason Capital (TMC). We find him with Wags at an ambitious robotics raise by Patriot-Trust Bank where they claim the product has the brains of Will Hunting and strength as Artis Gilmore during his American Basketball Association days. The company is looking for five investors to put in $100M in this round that includes anti-dilution rights.

Enters Rebecca Cantu, a venture capitalist.

I do not know about the robot but Rebecca has the brains like Will Hunting! Being the daughter of a mechanic, she understands how engines work, and questions the robot’s hum which tells her there is a combustion engine in there. And, no, Rebecca does not buy the “proprietary power source” bullshit. A combustion engine means the robot will have no use for the military so they need to develop the battery technology but then the profit margins there are “as thin as Kate Moss on a juice fast.” Axe is impressed.

As we expect Axe to leave the room since this robot is the new Mechanical Turk (not the Amazon one!) he goes to talk to the bank guy. Axe knows no one in the room is willing to invest in the shitty robot and that the bank cares about this investment. So how about Axe does them the favor of getting a piece of the project while they return the favor?

And this is only his first stop. Axe makes the rounds, cuts the checks, shakes the hands to make sure Taylor can get nothing from any investment bank in NYC other than more eyes going cold on them than Agent Bill Tench had in a season (I am not surprised Taylor is a Mindhunter fan) and a koozie!

While Axe does not give a shit about Spyros’ mood ring he needs to listen when both Wags and Wendy say he should not let the street think Axe may be putting revenge over making money. While Wendy refers to 1995 film Heat that she does not want Axe to be Neil McCauley to Taylor’s Waingro, Wags believes in meaningful relationships and knows where to find them. The Axe Capital team will now put together a list of all private companies Rebecca Cantu has invested in and look for new ideas in there.

Tuk, a new analyst, who seems to be too intimidated by Axe to speak in his presence, comes up with a bright idea that Ben Kim conveys to the boss. Eureka Building Solutions is a new janitorial services company chewing up the competition. Tuk has relatives without green cards working there and the company paying $16/hour wages and providing benefits is a complete hoax. Eureka is making its employees kick back salaries and threatening to report those that do not comply to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. And Rebecca is invested in Manifest Cleaning Solutions, Eureka’s chief competitor. While they cannot short Eureka since it is a private company, they can finish it and make Rebecca’s firm own the market. While Axe is calling Rebecca to arrange a dinner for two, Tuk needs to go get a job at Eureka and bring back video evidence. Me thinks may need to do some elevator dance to build some confidence first!

The big shots of NYC law enforcement are in a room hearing Kulbinder Darcha, the interim state AG, announcing his run for the seat he is currently occupying. Chuck is in the audience with Ira discussing linguistic issues, namely whether it is “champ” or “chomp.” Well, google it and you will find a number of discussions on this. But I am sold on Ira’s practical explanation: New Yorkers would like to see an AG who talks like a New Yorker! So forget about William Safire and say “chomp.”

Chuck’s new found friend Commissioner Sansome has Mr. Brogan’s gun permit ready for Chuck but he also gives him new homework: Sansome thinks Raul Gomez of the Police Pension Fund has got too rich and someone independent should look into it. Given that Gomez has a lot of connections in the city, this is risky business for Chuck. But Darcha is not Sansome’s “boy” yet and if Chuck gets the commissioner what he wants, Sansome may adopt him as his “boy.”

So Chuck starts with Michael Panay who has been able to take the Police Pension Fund business thanks to Axe and been paying him half of his 2 and 20 half of which Axe pays to Gomez in crypto. Chuck does not know what we know so his first idea is that Gomez may have seen a desperate man in Panay, whose fund was deflating like a “Tijuana breast implant” last year, and gave him a lifeline in return for some kickback. But when he learns from Panay that Gomez is as clean as they come and observes the absolute nervousness on Panay’s face when he asks him about Bobby Axelrod, Chuck has his answer: Panay is a patsy and Axelrod is still managing the fund through him. But when he cannot get a word from Gomez except that his is just a theory like flat earth Chuck decides to pay a visit to Axe.

While Taylor the boss is dealing with capital problems, Mafee the partner is having lunch at Emmys Squared Brooklyn with Rudy who has finally realized he is no Bruce Willis in Unbreakable. Rudy’s wife is super pregnant, and he needs a job. And, oh, his lawyer has told him his non-compete is not binding. Hmmm… Is that so or has Axe sent you, Rudy? Because Bach was very confident about the new non-competes being “tighter than AC/DC in 1978.”

Capital problems may be forcing Taylor to leave the statistical arbitrage opportunity — basically a project concerning heavily quantitative and computational approach to securities trading — on the table. And as they try to clear their mind with Tai Chi, a knock on the door brings them their own Mighty Mouse who is here to save the day!

Andolov is here to save the day: He has friends who can help Taylor with money and it seems he will not accept no as an answer.

Spyros is in Wendy’s office to save the day, too! It is Bonnie’s birthday and she has got an email from Mafee offering celebratory drinks. So the head of HR, while she puts Spyros in his place, needs to show up at Bonnie’s party and gets to the bottom of this. And Bonnie is smart enough to get it: She is not one to share everything with mommy but she agrees to not keep secrets as long as mummy stops snooping. Deal.

The conversation at the party turns to sex from Danzig’s “COAT” (chance of action tonight?) text to his wife to Bonnie telling the boys women may just want to get railed sometimes and Wendy seconding her that nobody wants to fuck a sexual panhandler. And Eveready, after a number of drinks, is brave enough to ask Wendy how things work in her bedroom.

“Action when one of us fucking wants it.”

It seems casual sex conversation turns Wendy on. But as she just wants to get railed, Chuck begs to have the “box.” And when she tracks down Miss Dominatrix, who seems to have moved after the incident with Black Jack and Chuck Senior,  to ask her about people who switch roles in their sexual relationships, she does not hear what she probably expects: These people who reverse their roles are role players, they are experimenting, but that is not Chuck’s arousal template. So, like Bonnie, Wendy laces the sneakers and runs to forget what she wants.

Talking about arousal templates, how about tall, blonde, smart, ambitious, bad girl with blue collar roots for Axe? Axe is at Broken Shaker, a roof top cocktail bar, with Rebecca. We learn that Rebecca left a shopping network and started her own business when she could not tolerate her bosses who did not only listen to her ideas but also had very basic thought process. When Axe offers partnership, Rebecca complains about men in business: they constantly said no to her ideas because she was a woman, and then when she was looking for capital because she was a woman, and now that she is successful and does not need them, they all want to partner with her.

Axe is very interested in half of Rebecca’s shares in her janitorial services company at 1.5 times the market price for obvious reasons that he does not share with her! But Axe is different from the other children and he is one red hot flirt!

Rebecca: “I saw value. I took. Do you think this makes me bad?”

Axe: “Yeah I do. In the best way.”

Well, it seems both fucking want it tonight.

I yell at my TV “What the fuck?” when another young woman gets into Axe’s apartment after Rebecca leaves to have the paperwork ready to give Axe his stake in Manifest. Well, it is no secret I do not like single Axe. And as long as I have been rooting for him and Lara get back together, I know it is now a very long shot given Malin Akerman will not be a regular on the show anymore. So I would take a committed Axe over single Axe any day! Imagine my relief when I find out at the same time with Chuck that Kelly is just the best stretcher in town.

Chuck may not have an office anymore but folks who do have asked him to look into Raul Gomez who may be using the Police Fund like Chris Stapleton using his Tennessee Whiskey: to satisfy his thirst. Axe offers a solution in which Panay will be the loser and he will be the winner. Oh, and, what about Sansome?

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