In our ‘Billions’ recap with the top 10 moments from the latest episode, Wendy prepares for her upcoming hearing and Bryan goes kamikaze to bring down Chuck…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
With only two episodes of ‘Billions’ remaining this season, last week’s offering titled ‘New Year’s Day’ sets the stage for several major showdowns between former friends and current enemies.
Wendy is in for the fight of her life as she prepares to go before the medical board to defend herself against accusations of using private, confidential patient files to go after Taylor Mason during the ongoing war between them and Bobby Axelrod.
While Chuck shows up in spirit to support his wife, he’s dealing with a fight of his own after setting up a meeting with his father and Todd Krakow, the secretary of the treasury, who is helping to fund the construction project that is supposed to bring in a windfall of cash once the development is finished.
Unfortunately, Chuck, his father and the secretary haven’t exactly been doing all of this above board and Bryan Connerty is watching them like a hawk in an attempt to bring them down.
Sadly, Bryan’s efforts to get to Chuck legally keep running him into brick walls so upon the advice of his new therapist Dr. Gus, he decides to skirt the law just like his former boss would have done as he attempts to bring them all down in a blaze of glory.
With that said, let’s get to our top 10 moments from the latest episode of ‘Billions’ titled ‘ New Year’s Day’…
1 ) The Usual Suspects
“You’ve seen ‘The Usual Suspects’ — only the guilty one can sleep through the night’
~ Wendy Rhoades
It’s New Year’s Day but Wendy is spending her holiday with a team of lawyers and colleagues preparing her for the upcoming hearing with the New York State Medical Board that will decide whether or not she gets to keep her license to practice medicine after Taylor lobbied ethics violations against her for using information obtained in therapy sessions to plot against them.
Wendy isn’t fairing very well under the cross examination from the team sent into rattle her including one particularly rough question from her husband Chuck after he brings up the case he brought against Bobby Axelrod after reading her notes from their sessions on her home laptop.
While Wendy is preparing at Axe Capital, Taylor is doing their own work to get ready for the hearing while getting former Chuck disciple Lonnie Watley to lead them through the upcoming question and answer session.
Lonnie warns Taylor that the Rhoades will do whatever it takes to protect their own self interests — including trudging up any and every nasty secret that could ultimately hurt Taylor Mason Capital in the process. Taylor takes note but ultimately decides to move forward because they want to strip Wendy of her goddamn license.
2 ) The Kill Matrix
“That motherfucker just went back on my kill matrix”
Wendy is concerned about more than just the ethical violations she may have committed against Taylor because either she went against doctor-patient confidentiality and used their sessions as a weapon or she’s just a performance enhancement coach, which means none of her sessions are private and she could eventually be called into testify against Axe Capital in the future.
She wonders if Axe’s best move wouldn’t be just to fire her now and move on.
Axe calms her down by pointing out that all this bullshit will go away eventually and even if she takes a hit to her reputation, the people at Axe Capital will still seek out her advice and help in the future.
She then tells Axe that his former friend and rival Steven Birch already cast her out after she agreed to give him a session in exchange to help Chuck out earlier this season. Birch said he couldn’t be associated with her because of her pending hearing with the medical board and that didn’t sit too well with Axe, who immediately put him back on the kill matrix.
3 ) Stone Crab
“I would wait on line for exactly three things — one, the first batch of new Lemmon 714 quaaludes coming off the assembly line. Two, a chance to meet Ellen DeGeneres. And three, every time I go to Miami for some Joe’s Stone Crabs”
Wags returns from his holiday vacation with some delicious food for everybody in the room helping Wendy with her hearing while also bringing back some unfortunate news for his boss.
It seems after Taylor was unable to overthrow Rebecca Cantu as the new CEO of Saler’s department stores, they decided to go after the next best thing — the company responsible for 63-percent of Saler’s profits by buying a majority share in the Kling appliances.
If Taylor decides to shut down Kling selling to Saler’s that pretty much guts Rebecca’s business before she even has a chance to save it.
That forces Axe to call in more back up by having Dollar Bill and virtually every other member of the Axe Cap staff join them on the holiday work day.
4 ) Take the Deal
“Take the deal. Not ‘try and make a deal’. Not ‘perhaps there’s a deal to be made’. Oh you fucker. You’re not guessing or spitballing. You’re doing what magicians call ‘a force’. Letting me think I’m making a decision you’ve already made.”
The deterioration of Chuck and Wendy’s relationship continues after he tells her she should take a deal with the medical board that would perhaps see her license suspended for six months and within two years, the entire situation would be wiped from her record.
It doesn’t take Wendy long to figure out Chuck has already pre-negotiated this deal, which means he’s convinced she’s going to lose and this might be her best alternative.
Needless to say, Chuck and Wendy are a few notches away from a happy relationship.
5 ) Restoring Faith in Humanity
“She’s a professional cuddler — and a star in her field.”
Wags comes back from Miami with some Joe’s Stone Crabs but he also returns with a broken heart.
It seems while he was vacationing, he met a lovely young 22 year old woman, they connected and ended up back in his hotel room for the evening. Sadly the next morning when Wags woke up, she was gone along with the watch that his father left him before he died.
Whatever faith Wags had left in humanity was seemingly dashed away with that act of thievery.
So Wendy calls in a specialist — a professional cuddler, who consoles Wags as he cries out the pain in her loving arms.
And for those curious, the job of professional cuddler is absolutely real and there are plenty of people getting paid for a nice therapeutic cuddle session.
6 ) Finder’s Fee
“Did they paper this fucking deal?”
~ Bryan Connerty
Chuck leaves Wendy’s mock hearing to meet with his father, their lawyer Ira and Todd Krakow, the Secretary of the Treasury, who shared some bad news about the financing he lined up through a bank for Chuck Sr.’s construction project.
The bank he pulled off the restricted list has to go back on the list but he’s willing to help find financing for a five-percent cut of the profits once the project is completed.
Chuck Sr. and Jr. agree to the deal and Krakow even presents them with paperwork for everybody to sign so this entire thing is documented and nobody can renege.
What they don’t know is that U.S. District Attorney Bryan Connerty received permission to wiretap Chuck’s home and his father’s home just in case a meeting like this took place. He’s shocked to hear that they put all of this down on paper, which is exactly what he needs to get his hands on in order to prosecute.
Unfortunately, Bryan is stalled in his attempt to find out what else was said between Chuck and his father and Ira because that’s covered under attorney-client privilege and Kate refuses to bend to his will to let him hear it.
As it turns out, Bryan learned from the master of manipulation himself Chuck Rhoades because he’s not going to let this go without finding out exactly what the Rhoades and Secretary Krakow signed.
7 ) Freeport
As Axe deals with Wendy’s upcoming hearing, he’s bombarded by a slew of paintings being delivered from Switzerland after he went on a buying spree the previous year. Unfortunately the Swiss bank where he had them stored decided to tell the U.S. government about the purchase, which meant all of the paintings were getting shipped to Axe with a tax bill of approximately $75 million due immediately.
After paying off the delivery guys to hang out while he figured out a workaround, Axe calls on his old pal Victor Mateo to find a solution and he does — through former foe turned ally Danny Margolis, who you may remember as the guy who made Connerty quite uncomfortable last season while standing naked in front of him after getting out of his pool.
Danny has a freeport — a storage facility at airports where goods are kept perpetually in transit, which means they can’t be taxed — and he’s willing to store Axe’s paintings there for a medium sized fee but he’ll do him one even better.
Danny will store replicas and send Axe the originals to hang up and if anybody asks, he’s hanging the replicas and the originals are still in storage.
The deal gets done and Axe is very pleased with Victor’s work, which might soon exit him from the dog house and back amongst the big earners at the hedge fund.
“Keep it up, impress me, and soon enough you’ll get off the austerity plan.”
8 ) The Moment
After Wendy calls out Axe on overworking his staff on a holiday, he says that’s exactly why he needs her more than anybody else in the company and why she can’t lose this hearing with the medical board.
Axe has known for the better part of the past 18 years that Wendy would be his partner in this business because she will stand up for him publicly but then show no fear standing up to him in private.
That’s when Axe reminds Wendy of the moment when he knew they were going to be partners in this business forever.
Following the tragedy of 9/11 that wiped out everybody in his firm, Axe vowed to pay the bonuses for the next three years to the families who lost a loved one in addition to paying for the funerals and putting all of their kids through college. Unfortunately at the time, Axe didn’t have that kind of capital and every finance manager told him to bow out and just close the company.
Then at one particular funeral after a grueling three week stretch, Axe was confronted by some of the families who said he wasn’t paying them fast enough and they just began unloading on him. He was so exhausted by this point that he just stood there and took it.
That’s when Wendy decided to step into defend Axe and tell the families that he’s doing right by them but if he’s not moving fast enough, she’ll order him to shut down the fund and none of them will get a penny. With that, the families put away their pitchforks and torches but the moment that Axe knew Wendy was going to be his partner for life came after the funeral ended and it was just the two of them alone.
Wendy: ‘I said ‘Bobby, you better fucking deliver for those people or I won’t just make you quit. I’ll kill you myself.
Axe: “And right then I knew that you were my partner in this for life. Because you were loyal to me in the face of the world but in private you held me to account and you were loyal to the bigger cause.”
Sadly when Wendy returns home, she turns a similar question to Chuck and asks him for the moment when he knew he wanted to marry her. Chuck pauses for a second but can’t come up with an answer and then just shrugs off the question as he calls the kids for dinner.
9 ) Destroy For Me
“OK everyone, I love the effort and seeing your beautiful fucking faces but you’ve done enough so fuck off out of here and enjoy the rest of your holiday. Now when you get home you will find a case of champagne from me and a tin of caviar. You’ll have to order your own pizza, OK?
“So eat up, drink up, and then get yourselves ready to get back here for when the market opens ready to motherfucking destroy for me!”
Axe heeds the advice from Wendy and finally releases his troops to go home and enjoy their day off rather than forcing them to stay there to match his own work ethic.
As for Wendy, she takes a step to avoid at least one major obstacle at her upcoming hearing after going to Taylor and apologizing for what she did to them. Taylor doesn’t buy the apology but they believe that deep down inside, there is still some good left in Wendy.
So Taylor decides not to attend the hearing and if Wendy can defend herself and prove that she still deserves to have a medical license, the board can be the ones to decide it. Wendy knows she owes Taylor for this favor and Taylor won’t soon forget it.
10 ) Kamikaze
“Nothing makes you feel like the purest version of yourself more than going kamikaze. I want you to make an all out attack on success. The kamikaze get a bad name because everyone wants to focus on the suicide but what they miss out on is the purity of the commitment.”
~ Dr. Gus
In his latest session with Dr. Gus, Bryan gets a lesson on going kamikaze for his own career, which in turn leads him to a dangerous decision in his efforts to bring down Chuck Rhoades.
After Kate shut down his request to hear what Chuck and his father said in front of their lawyer, he decides to go after the paperwork that sealed the deal between them and Secretary Krakow that is currently locked inside Chuck Sr.’s safe.
So Bryan turns to his older brother Jackie, who is apparently a master safe cracker and the black sheep of the Connerty family. But it doesn’t take him long to figure out what Bryan needs and why he sought him out for this impromptu family reunion.
One more note — the two songs that close out the episode are “These Days” by Jackson Browne and “The Sick Bed of Cuchulainn” by The Pogues.
Only two episodes of ‘Billions’ remain this season so don’t miss the new episode this Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime. Check out the preview below: