In our ‘Billions’ recap for the season 4 finale, Axe makes business personal, Chuck exacts his revenge on Jock and Connerty and Taylor is stuck between two warring factions…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
There’s a lot to like about ‘Billions’ — I’ve often called it the best show on television and the season 4 finale is a shining example why that remains the case.
The final hour saw Chuck Rhoades exact his revenge on both Jock Jeffcoat and Bryan Connerty with precision and vicious execution as he finally brought down the two people most responsible for booting him out of office last season.
The way that Chuck played both of them by manipulating their hatred for him was a thing of beauty and the final twist of the knife was unmistakable. It proved once again that for all the ways his opponents are playing checkers, Chuck is always playing chess.
Meanwhile, Bobby Axelrod decided that revenge against Taylor Mason weighed more than his relationship with Rebecca Cantu when he unleashed a plan that would net him a big windfall of cash while simultaneously sinking his girlfriend’s pet project. In the same move, Axe managed to finally strike the final blow in his battle against Taylor — but not without a lot of collateral damage.
The final moments of the season brought us back to the central fight that has fueled ‘Billions’ since the beginning — Chuck is going after Bobby Axelrod one more time except now he believes he has an ally on the inside in Taylor Mason.
What Chuck doesn’t realize is that his new partner in crime is more than ready to let him and Axe aim all of their guns at each other just before they step out of the way before the shrapnel can hit them.
With that said, let’s get into our ‘Billions’ recap with the top 10 moments from the season 4 finale titled ‘Extreme Sandbox’…
1 ) Crazy Pants
Jock Jeffcoat visits Chuck and offers him a chance to resign before he can visit upon him the many plagues he expects to unleash as a result of the ongoing investigation being cooked up alongside Bryan Connerty. Jock believes he has Chuck just where he wants him and this was his final move to give him a chance to give up and escape public wrath.
Well it’s safe to say that Chuck declined that offer before unleashing a tirade aimed at Jock in his family’s native Italian.
Now this comes courtesy of Reddit but here’s what Chuck said in Italian and then the translated version in English
ITALIAN: “Sei fuori come un balcone, figlio di buona donna, ti venisse un colpo a te e a tutta la palazzina tua! Ma guardati che sei, burino, cazzabubbolo, baciapalle, non ti volgliono manco li cani! Sei così stronzo che se pesti una merda fai scopa! Li mortacci tua! Vaffanculo!”
ENGLISH: “You crazypants, son of a bitch, may you and your townhouse die! Look at you, lout, fucker, ball licker, not even the dogs want you! You are such an asshole that if you step on a shit you make a match! For the sake of your despicable dead ancestors! Fuck you!”
Jock obviously didn’t understand a word of it but he knew the demeanor that Chuck was using towards him, which let him know this fight was far from finished.
2 ) The Idiot
“Then just tell me this — does the recording spell out who the idiot is? That’s the one person who wasn’t there but is mentioned. We could lean on him”
~ Bryan Connerty
Bryan’s obsession with bringing down Chuck puts him in a stand off with Kate Sacker over the recording the FBI obtained from the wiretaps inside the Rhoades’ houses. Bryan was able to get Chuck Sr. arrested but the missing piece to the puzzle is the so called ‘idiot’ who stands to lose the most in this entire ordeal.
On the original recording, Chuck, his father and their lawyer Ira met with Secretary of the Treasury Todd Krakow in what was supposed to be an agreement over financing for a land development deal. Bryan believes this is going to be the key in his case to bring down Chuck — and he went as far as breaking into his father’s safe to get a peak at that paperwork.
By the time everything is revealed, Bryan will look back on this moment and realize how his obsession finally got the better of him.
3 ) Extreme Sandbox
Axe asks Rebecca to take Wendy out for a day of fun in the sun to get her mind off of this medical hearing where she’s waiting to find out her suspension for using privileged information in the fight against Taylor Mason.
Rather than go to a spa, Rebecca takes Wendy to play in the ‘Extreme Sandbox’ — an actual activity where you learn to use heavy machinery to lift dirt, smash cars and all sort of other empowering acts that seem like all sorts of fun.
Dallas Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban even makes an appearance to welcome them to the Extreme Sandbox before Rebecca and Wendy get to smashing things.
In the end, Rebecca helps Wendy subside her funk over the upcoming judgment but what she doesn’t know is that her day trip to the Extreme Sandbox was also a maneuver by Axe to get her out of town for the day while he made his move against Saler’s Department Stores.
4 ) Put the Lotion in the Basket
“Look, I got Taylor in the well, it has applied the lotion from the basket. All that’s left is the skinning”
Axe pays Chuck a visit to once again put pressure on him to arrest Taylor for any sort of financial crime that will once again put them in real dire straits. He uses a little ‘Silence of the Lambs’ analogy to the position he’s in to finally strike back at Taylor once and for all.
Unfortunately, Axe fails to forget that Buffalo Bill didn’t get the skin the last girl he captured but instead he was the one shot dead.
In this situation, Axe wants Chuck to set up Taylor for some kind of sting but in the end, it will all be used to help topple their hedge fund and force his former employee to once again exist under his umbrella of protection.
What Axe doesn’t realize is that his asks are starting to feel more and more like demands and Chuck rarely reacts well to those kinds of actions.
5 ) Sinking Ship
“Saler’s is a sinking ship but I know how to get the chest of gold before it hits the ocean floor.”
Axe makes his move to bring down Taylor at the expense of his relationship with Rebecca.
After getting the idea from Victor last week, Axe decides to court a partnership with Sanford Bensinger, the largest debt holder from Saler’s, and get him on board with this plan.
The idea is to move all of the toxic debt from Saler’s over into Kling Appliances — the company Rebecca acquired a controlling interest in while striking a deal with Taylor in the previous episode. The plan is to essentially unburden all the bad debt into this one company, which will essentially destroy Kling and force them to go belly up.
In the mean time, Saler’s will be gutted with all of the pieces from the business sold off to different owners that will net the stockholders a very nice windfall of cash. All of the Saler’s stores will close and the land where they sit will be sold for profit.
Needless to say, Rebecca is gut punched when she hears what Axe is proposing but because he’s got Sanford’s backing, there’s nothing much she can do about it.
“You snake motherfucker. You sent me off and you set me up”
Axe eventually lays out how he came to this conclusion while playing out his relationship with Rebecca in his own head. In the end, Axe went for the sure thing and dumped the riskier relationship.
6 ) Five Tool
Axe: “Because it’s what I want and cause I want Taylor back at Axe Capital, working for me.
Chuck: “Come again?”
Axe: “They’re the best player I’ve seen in this league in two decades. Real five tool, you know?”
Taylor finds out that her fund is virtually destroyed thanks to Axe’s play on Kling Appliances, which leaves them in a precarious position in need of a huge windfall of cash or their hedge fund will go belly up.
Taylor decides to visit an old friend of Mafee’s with a potential way out but this is all part of a sting operation set up by Chuck to coax them into an ill advised and illegal financial move that will end with them in jail.
As it turns out, Axe has other plans.
He wants Chuck to detain Taylor but not actually charge them. Instead he wants Taylor to come back to work for him at Axe Capital because ultimately they were the best and most capable employee he’s ever hired. The request doesn’t sit well with Chuck, who is now being ordered around like Axe’s errand boy and that all but seals the deal on this fragile partnership.
7 ) Scorched Earth
“Well I mean at this point it’s gotta be clear, right? The idiot in question is Bryan Connerty”
~ Chuck Sr.
Bryan obtains search warrants to be executed by Kate so he can get her out of the office and he can forge ahead with his plan to break into sealed evidence and get the name of the so called ‘idiot’ that will help him bring down Chuck and his father.
Sadly when Bryan hears the recording he finds out that he’s been the idiot all along.
Chuck’s entire plan — from engaging in illicit activities with the land deal to his relationship with the Secretary of the Treasury — was all a set up in a sting operation to bring down Bryan Connerty and Jock Jeffcoat.
As soon as Bryan hears the tape, the doors open wide and he’s placed under arrest.
It’s later revealed that both Krakow and Chuck Sr. were in on the whole sting operation and Bryan was captured on camera breaking into the safe where he retrieved the paperwork.
8 ) Jock Strapped
“You really did it. Got me right in the onions”
~ Jock Jeffcoat
The other part of Chuck’s plan comes to fruition when he finally puts Jock Jeffcoat away right alongside Connerty.
It turns out when Chuck reached out to Kate Sacker, she really did join his team in bringing down the sitting Attorney General and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. Kate set up both Connerty and Jock by placing a wire on an American flag pin and then switching it out on Connerty’s coat.
That same day, Connerty met with Jock and he was ordered to break into that sealed evidence to get the recording that would reveal the name of the ‘idiot’ who stood to lose the most as part of this sting operation. That means Jock is the one who told Bryan to break the law and that’s exactly what he did.
In the end, Chuck finally gets what he always wanted — Jock out of office and Connerty behind bars.
“When it comes to me the thing you’ve got to learn is no one’s left standing”
9 ) Strange Bedfellows
“And I don’t want to stay at home tonight or at some hotel”
Wendy gets a call from the medical board with the verdict of her hearing — she received a strong warning but no action will be taken in regards to her license. It’s like a weight being lifted off her shoulders and this came on the heels of Chuck telling her that he would try to find a way to lean on the medical board to get this very thing to happen.
Wendy returns home ready to reconcile with Chuck until she sees a new alert — Axe donated $25 million to fund pancratic cancer research, a cause no doubt near and dear to Dr. Zhang on the medical board.
Wendy lashes out at Chuck for essentially taking credit for her freedom and she ultimately packs a bag, tells him to take care of the kids and she’s going to be gone for the night.
Wendy ends up at Axe’s penthouse to thank him for what he did for her — and what he always does for her with no questions asked. She then tells him that she doesn’t want to go home or to a hotel — so Wendy ends up staying in one of Axe’s spare rooms under the same roof.
Does this mean Wendy and Axe are headed for a romantic relationship in season 5? Tough to tell but Wendy’s fragile relationship with Chuck has been virtually shattered and now she’s turning to the other man in her life — the one who always comes through for her — for solace.
10 ) Once and For All
“When I look at the shambles my life has become from my firing to my public disgrace to my election with strings attached to the destruction of my marriage to my family falling into disrepair, did I make mistakes to cause it? Perhaps. But a truer reckoning it all tracks back to one source. One man. A man so corrosive, so virulently infective, as to strip me of every good quality I ever had — my kindness, my empathy, my sense of justice, maybe even my ability to love. And that very man charged me with arresting you in order to force you back into his employ.”
Chuck does as instructed and he picks up Taylor after they met with Rudy on an illegal scheme to get an influx of cash. Taylor turned down the offer but the tape that recorded the conversation was to be doctored in order to put Taylor on the hook with Chuck offering them a chance at escape — so long as they went back to work for Bobby Axelrod.
The problem is Chuck can see the source of his misery all pointing back to the man who helped put him into office in the first place. The constant requests and manipulations not to mention the bridges burned in his own marriage, Chuck is getting sick and tired of having Bobby Axelrod in his life.
So he wants to use Taylor to bring Axe down, once and for all.
Taylor agrees but then after convincing Lauren to join her at Axe Capital that they won’t be doing Chuck’s bidding anymore than they will be serving Axe again. Instead, Taylor plans to use her position as the inside person to get Chuck and Axe poised to destroy each other and then she will just move out of the way and let it happen.
In the end, Taylor believes this will lead to them reforming their own company, completely free and clear of Bobby Axelrod or the scrutiny of the New York State Attorney General’s office.
Still, Axe gets his moment in the end when the bones of Taylor Mason Capital arrive to start work at Axe Capital again.
Axe: “Welcome home”
Taylor: “Happy to be here”
This sets up a whole new kind of battle in ‘Billions’ season 5 as Axe reaps the rewards of his relationship with Chuck by putting Taylor back under his thumb. Little does he know that Chuck is now plotting against him — and Taylor is going to do everything in their power to watch these two vengeful men destroy each other.
The two songs featured in the ‘Billions’ season finale were ‘Behind Blue Eyes’ by The Who and “What’s So Funny Bout Peace Love and Understanding” by Elvis Costello and the Attractions.
‘Billions’ returns for season 5 in 2020 on Showtime.