Categories Billions Print Media Recap

Billions on Showtime, Season 4 Episode 3: Chickentown – March 31, 2019

Obsessed with Winning

by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | March 31, 2019

A migraine. An algorithm. A blossoming friendship. And lots of chickens! Billions gives us a fun episode in which Axe and Chuck fight at multiple fronts and end up in Chuck’s office drinking to their friendship of a sort 😀

Chuck’s day starts with a migraine and gets downhill from there.

Chuck Senior calls from Kingsford to tell his son it is time for Pericles, ahem, Chuck, to stroll the Parthenon, ahem, the casino built on Senior’s land.  They are having the grand opening with fanfare and two important union leaders with 400K potential votes for Chuck in attendance. Chuck has to show up with Wendy, smile, shake hands and seal the deal. And when Chuck resists:

Senior: “Do you think JFK complained when Ol’ Papa Joe sat him down with steel workers?”

Junior: “You’re delivering Schenectady, dad. Not Ohio.”

For those of you that do not know, a presidential candidate who did not win Ohio never won a presidential election. And, according to Senior, Schenectady is the Ohio of New York State.

The opening door does not bring Donna with Excedrin but Lonnie who only has Tums and bad news. And he really seems to enjoy himself as he tells Chuck that his firm may need to cancel the fundraising they have organized for him. Because Lonnie just got a call from Lucien Porter, a journalist, who has launched a missile that could kill Chuck’s campaign: SugarVape.

SugarVape turns out to be a company that develops vaping flavors targeting kids. Chuck, who was the US attorney at the time, did not only fail to prosecute the company but also abandoned the whistleblower. Given that Chuck Sr’s close circle is very friendly with the company CEO, Porter’s argument that Chuck did not prosecute in order to protect the big guns may sound compelling to the readers.

As he takes Excedrin tablets like they are M&Ms, Chuck uses both sticks and carrots to convince Porter this article is not a good idea. But Porter, who seems to be holding a grudge against Chuck because he did not give him any stories during his tenure at the SDNY, is not giving up. And because his first job was reviewing records, the man chooses to speak in Gerry Rafferty‘s “Baker Streetlyrics.

While it looks like these two are not going to Baker Street together, Chuck pays a visit to Ray Cruz, the whistleblower in the SugarVape case. Cruz lost his job after the incident, is currently living with his mom and is a Game of Thrones fan:

“You fucked me. Closed the damn gate. Left me the north of the wall.”

Chuck, in his own sweet manipulative way, convinces the man that if Porter publishes the article, SugarVape will go after Cruz with a massive civil suit, and get his mom’s house, the furniture and the paintings, too! This is enough for Ray Cruz to chicken out and walk back his statement.

So the genie is back in the bottle… until it is not.

When Porter confronts Bryan and Kate about Cruz not cooperating anymore, Kate intervenes. Don’t you think she would absolutely shine as the prosecutor of the SugarVape case?

Kate, in her own sweet manipulative way (well, she learnt from the best!), convinces Cruz that what he needs is Triple G in the ring punching SugarVape for him. Kate will prosecute SugarVape herself. She cannot guarantee Cruz a conviction, but she can guarantee she will bring out all the facts that will qualify Cruz as a federal whistleblower – Cruz will be paid.

Chuck, who thinks the article is off, is at home telling Wendy, who is packing for the trip to Kingsford, that she does not need to accompany him to the casino opening if she does not feel like it. But she can help him with one practice that has always helped with his migraine. Wendy is ready for it only if Chuck is in the mood for something mutual. And Chuck, who was asking for it just a second ago, now uses his headache as an excuse to get out of it! And guess what? He suddenly figures out a new practice that could help with his migraine:

Rubber bands!

Chuck’s tension headache probably peaks when he sees Porter’s article published next morning. And on top of that, there is his dad.

I am quite sure it was Chuck Senior who stopped Chuck from prosecuting SugarVape back then. And now Senior, who seems to have taken the pill, is not only getting sarcastic with his son but also tells him he needs to show up at the casino more than ever now. People should know Chuck is not hiding in shame. Well, if I know one thing about Senior he is as ambitious as that Ol’ Papa Joe!

It is quite fascinating to see Chuck in the men’s bathroom at the casino getting ready for the game. He wears a tight rubber band around his thigh, pulls it off and… yikes! Well, the rubber band ring is all he can afford for a thrill now…

The game is on as Chuck leaves the bathroom whistling Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street.” So what is next for him? Self-flagellation? Or the cilice like in The Da Vinci Code?

Chuck makes the rounds, shakes the hands but cannot have pictures taken with the union leaders who could provide the votes. And he hears from his dad why Michael Bolton, who is performing at the Casino’s Grand Opening, is a legend: He did not stop while others either quit or died. If others lose, you win. And Chuck could be a winner if he can outlast his opponent.

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