Categories Billions Print Media Recap

Billions on Showtime, Season 5 Episode 3: Beg, Bribe, Bully – May 17, 2020

The Apple Does Not Fall Far From The Tree

by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | May 17, 2020

I love the saying attributed to Woody Allen that “90% of life is showing up.” And while I believe it applies to the 99% of the population, 90% of life for the top 1% seems to be begging, bribing and bullying their way into everything – business, art, and yes even education. Written by Ben Mezrich, and set around these three actions, this episode gives us a wonderful hour that provides food for thought about essence of a person – the soul – as well as fathers and sons.

As Father and Son– one  of the best songs ever written by one of the greatest songwriters of all times – opens the episode, we find out the apple does not fall far from the tree.

The son in question is Gordie Axelrod who is turning his dorm room into a bitcoin farm to make money – lots of it! But exactly like the bitcoin farm Kate busted in Episode 1 The New Decas, Gordie’s bitcoin farm needs so much power that it does not only cause outage in the school building but also in the entire town.

Axe is having another major headache thanks to the cuddliest monster on Wall Street. It is obvious that Prince has found out about Wags arranging a preview for Axe to see the abstract painter Nico Tanner’s new “Implosion” series before the painter’s show starts. And Scooter secured the paintings for Prince’s beach house.

And I cannot help yell “Bullshit!” at my screen when Prince says he did not mean to scoop Axe and Scooter claims buying off people is a Wags’ move.

You paid Vanity Fair for the solo cover!

You paid the shaman to get him on your side!

Yes, you paid the dealer, too! I bet Wags is right,  you had to buy some “second rate dog shit” to secure the paintings!

Now, I am not saying Axe would not do it, he definitely would, but the thing is he  accepts who he is and embraces it while Prince is in complete denial that he is a monster. I think he truly deserves the Biggest Hypocrite awards he has been collecting from Lady Trader for the last two weeks.

As Wags is embarrassed to have failed the habibi and determined to send that dealer back to the armory like a disassembled M-16 in a crate, Axe is already thinking about his next move.

“If you can’t buy the art, buy the artist.”

While Tanner has the reputation of someone not giving in to collectors, and directly tells Axe that he does not paint for money, Axe believes he says so because nobody has paid him enough yet.

Axe starts with arranging an artist’s studio for Tanner to paint for him. He even moves his critical meeting with Ted Krakow and Robert “Hard Bob” Beaufort about how to get into banking to the artist’s studio.

As “Hard Bob” is harder than ever in telling Axe there is no federal bank in his future, life happens: Bobby now has to get on his plane and show up at Skinner Prep Academy to get into the bottom of Gordie’s bitcoin project. He makes Hard Bob and Krakow to accompany him and Wags on the trip so they can explain further and Krakow says it the best:

“As in all things, sequence matters.”

The bankers may have almost bankrupted the economy but the thing is they got their banking license way before they fucked the Average Joe! Axe, on the other hand, has had his share of legal troubles which would make it impossible for him to pass the FDIC background checks.

But we are talking about Bobby Axelrod here. Whe he asks for an alternative plan, Krakow recommends a state charter with different and fewer regulations, possibly more tolerant to “begging, bribing and bullying” but still Axe must have an airtight board, an unassailable CEO, high level of liquidity and get along with the corrupt state politicians. Ha! Did you know that the State AGs are the new bank regulators per Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act? This is going to be FUN!

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