Not Everything They Say Matches Their Personalities
by Philip Etemesi | Screenrant | October 23, 2021
In Billions, the narrative is heavily driven by the dialogue, with the hedge-fund sector players and their associates all proving to be smart talkers with a firm understanding of various financial issues. For the most part, the characters’ remarks tend to seamlessly highlight distinctive personalities, but on rare occasions, their words go against who they truly are.
Several reasons push the characters to say things they normally wouldn’t. Sometimes they are trying to momentarily be nice; other times the environment or situation they are in doesn’t allow them to talk as they usually do. Whatever the reason, the remarks always feel out of place and better suited for someone else.
“We Can’t All Be Right All Of The Time. Sometimes You Just Gotta Take A Loss.” – Bobby “Axe” Axelrod
Dollar Bill Stearn is devastated when he makes a wrong prediction about the Arkansas Chicken Index stock. He desperately tries to fix his mistake in order to save the company’s money, but Axe tells him to leave it alone.
Axe is never tolerant to failure or loss, so it’s baffling that he lets it all slide this time. He has always believed he knows best and he deserves the best at all times. Previously, he has gone to extreme lengths, including blackmailing people and making unnecessary purchases worth millions of dollars just so he could get the better of his business rivals. Letting the Arkansas Chicken Index deal sink when he could have easily granted it buoyancy through manipulation is perplexing.
“I Have Nothing Against The Guy.” – Chuck Rhoades
During the iconic dinner scene in the season 3 finale, Chuck announces a ceasefire. He informs Wendy, who is ready to act as a mediator, that he is no longer interested in battling Axe.
The attorney general’s words seem genuine at the time but they are far from believable since he has spent the better part of his career trying to put Axe behind bars for insider trading. For a moment, Chuck must believe that his rivalry with Axe is behind him since he has a new enemy in Jock Jeffcoat, but time proves otherwise.
“What’s The Point Of Being Rich If You Can’t Fucking Enjoy It?” – Wendy
When Wendy finds Axe working on New Year’s Day, she advises him to enjoy his money a bit more. According to her, Axe doesn’t need to push himself too hard given his high net worth.
Even though Wendy’s words make sense, they aren’t entirely in line with her personality. She’s one of the few characters who is never seen partying or engaging in any fun activity. And she’s rich too since it’s been established that she earns eight times more than Chuck. With all her money, she could have more fun too but she loves her work.
“We Don’t Actually Have Anything To Hide, Right?” – Mike “Wags” Wagner
Upon learning that Ontario Educators Ali Kashkhokh will be coming to Axe Capital to check if all Wall Street rules and regulations are being followed, Wags boldly claims that they have nothing to hide. His words shock most people in the room, including Wendy.
As Axe’s right-hand man and Axe Capital’s COO, Wags, more than any other person, knows that the company has a lot to hide. Insider trading is in their DNA and if someone is to look keenly, they will find something. If he happened to not know whether there is incriminating information, it would be unusual since he has always been familiar with everything that’s going on.
“I’m Taking Her Out Tonight To La Grenouille For Our Anniversary.” – Charles Rhoades Sr.
As Charles Sr. laments to Chuck how Axe’s YumTime deal has cost him $200,000, Chuck wonders where his mother is. Charles Sr. informs him that she is at a hair appointment because he is taking her to the French restaurant La Grenouille later in the evening.
Charles Sr. has never been known to be romantic, let alone a good husband. As one of the most powerful Billions characters, his only focus is on conducting business and shaping his son into a cutthroat and successful man like himself. Charles is a selfish and unfaithful man, so even Chuck is a bit taken aback upon hearing news that his parents are about to have a romantic dinner.
“I Thought You Were Different. I Was Wrong.” – Taylor Mason
As Axe is parting ways with Taylor, he forces Taylor’s girlfriend Lauren to make a decision about who she really wants to work for. Lauren hints that she is considering working for Axe, so Taylor fires her.
Taylor has always emphasized the importance of placing logical thinking over emotions. Therefore, it doesn’t make any sense for them to be angry over Lauren for considering working for Axe. Logically, working for Axe is a better career step for her. It’s also unlike Taylor to think that Lauren would always stick by them, either romantically and professionally.
“Thinking About Dismemberment Instead Of Prosecution?” – Kate Sacker
When Chuck is denied the opportunity to give a speech at a pharmaceuticals conference where some of the wealthiest people in New York are present, he concludes that Axe is behind it. As Chuck is lamenting, Kate marvels at the fact that Chuck is considering hitting Axe below the belt instead of going with his grand plan of prosecuting him.
Kate has never been one to be too enthusiastic about the dirty games that Chuck and Axe play. Her being the cooler head at all times is what makes her one of the best characters in Billions. During her days working for Chuck, she has always tried her best to keep him from flying off the handle. On this occasion, she goes out of character by supporting the all-out assault on Axe.
“What The Fuck Is A Quisling?” – Dudley Mafee
Axe acts first when he gets a tip about a mole at Axe Capital. He summons everyone and declares he is going to turn everything down until he finds the quisling.
Mafee is the only employee who doesn’t seem to understand what a quisling is, so he asks. Normally, the stock analyst has been portrayed as one of the smartest characters in Billions. He has a wide reservoir of facts, even those on matters that aren’t related to finance. It’s thus rather odd that he’d be unfamiliar with the Norwegian term used to refer to soldiers who jump ship and get in bed with enemy forces.
“I Apologize For The Remarks I Made To And About Him.” – Dollar Bill Stearn
Right after Dollar Bill destroys Ari Spyros’ Porche for refusing to help him nail a stock involving a Big Pharma scandal, Wags and Axe organize a peace treaty. Dollar Bill sees some sense and apologizes for everything.
Most people at Axe Capital don’t like Spyros, but Dollar Bill has always hated him the most as he considers him childish and not tough enough. Dollar Bill is a man who stands by his words and actions, too. Logically, an apology is the last thing that would ever come out of his mouth but it does come out. And he even coats the apology with a song.
“We Should Stick To The Old Chinese Wall, Shouldn’t We?” – Bryan Connerty
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