In our ‘Billions’ recap of the top 10 moments from ‘A Proper Sendoff’, Bobby offers some valuable advice to once promising prodigy and Chuck fights to get his power back as the state attorney general…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
For all the great things that could be said about ‘Billions’ over the past four seasons, one of the best parts of this series is the way that it always manages to pull of a surprise.
Back in season 2 when Bobby Axelrod was hell bent on destroying Chuck Rhoades, his father and anybody else connected to him by tanking the launch of ‘Ice Juice’ — a promising new drink that was just about to hit the market — he was secretly the one being played.
It was revealed at the end of the season that every move Bobby was making was just sinking him deeper and deeper into the trap that Chuck had set for him. The revelation of that after Bobby had been taken to jail and Chuck came to visit him has to be one of the most satisfying moments in the history of television.
Now ‘Billions’ season 4 is only five episodes deep but the latest offering titled ‘A Proper Sendoff’ managed to unravel a couple of massive surprises, none bigger than Axe’s revenge against a former colleague’s son who decides to return the money invested to help him launch his own hedge fund.
What appears to be a fatherly bonding moment for Axe and this kid turns out to be a revenge plot that buries this would be investor deeper than the double leg takedowns he used to land as a college wrestler at Princeton.
Chuck also manages his own twists and turns this week as he fights to maintain his power as the New York State Attorney General, which means somebody is going to be forced to choose sides — either new Governor Bob Sweeney is going to back him or the state assembly is going to return his power and make the governor look week. This all culminates in an epic showdown in the middle of Jack Foley’s funeral.
Needless to say, that’s one hell of a wake.
With that said, let’s get to our top 10 moments for ‘Billions’ season 4, episode 5 titled ‘A Proper Sendoff’…
1 ) Self-Absorbed Narcissistic Assholes
A dinner with Bobby, Rebecca, Chuck and Wendy turns uncomfortable when the conversation turns to how the new state attorney general got his job. It required Chuck to come clean about his private life at home with his wife where they practices sadomasochism and he failed to clear that with Wendy before revealing it to the world.
Now she’s struggling to walk down the street much less offer therapy to the people working at Axe Cap because she believes they are all just looking her up and down and picturing her with whips and chains.
That’s when Rebecca offers her some words of wisdom that we could all probably benefit from in the future.
“When I misplay something publicly and I feel like everyone’s staring at me, I take comfort in this fact — most people are self-absorbed narcissistic assholes. So they might revel in your shit for a minute because it distracts them from theirs, but after that minute, they’re going to forget about you, just go right back to their own shitpile.”
— Billions on Showtime (@SHO_Billions) April 16, 2019
2 ) Pulp Fiction
A pair of ‘Pulp Fiction’ references are dropped as Taylor deals with the fallout of Grigor Andulov being booted from the United States along with his billions from their hedge fund.
Mafee does his best to raise morale by pointing out that Taylor is still the smartest person in most rooms.
“I still look at you like Vincent Vega did Jules Winfield — the smartest and toughest fella in the room”
As comforting as that might be, it doesn’t give Taylor the answers they need to solve the problem. To that end, Sara reveals that she’s hired somebody to help with investor relations who will take on a role similar to Winston Wolfe in ‘Pulp Fiction’. She will solve problems.
“You know how Winston Wolfe solved dead body problems? This one solves dead balance sheet problems”
3 ) Father Figure
The son of an old college of Axe’s previous firm — the one that suffered that brutal fate during 9/11 — comes to visit him to return his initial investment in his hedge fund. According to John Rice, he wants to keep his firm small and under a $1 billion evaluation so the easiest way to do that is to cash out some initial investors.
Axe soon finds out that John was lying to him — his account was the only one that got cashed out. That leads to a session from Wendy, who reveals to him that Axe only cares so much about this money being refunded to him because he feels like he failed the kid after his father died.
Axe promised to stand in for his old man and while he got a nice check to invest in his firm, he didn’t get a father figure. So Axe goes to pay him a visit to apologize and offer to make up for lost time by going on a day fishing trip together.
“This is about doing right. About re-upping a job I slacked on. Come on, let me do what I pledged to do, as your father did for me.”
4 ) Fear Is a Powerful Motivator
Chuck is called into a meeting with his father at a Duane Reede store that used to be a famous bar and restaurant where politicians drank with mobsters and the power brokers of New York would do business. It’s there when Chuck Sr. met Black Jack Foley for the first time and he told him a story.
The Mayor of Utica wasn’t toeing the company line so Foley had him removed from office and replaced with an idiot alderman, who was apparently inbred, but he was a guy who would follow through with what was needed of him.
But taking the mayor out of power wasn’t enough for Jack Foley because he reduced this man to nothing more than a lawn boy, who was cutting grass to make ends meet after he lost his job.
Chuck Sr.: “You’ve got to show them what you do with power. Now for longer than he was your enemy, Black Jack Foley was in your corner. So take this one last lesson from him.”
Chuck: “Make them fear me”
5 ) Password Chasing
Wendy is becoming obsessed trying to find out what people are saying about her, particularly when it comes to rival firms like Taylor Mason Capital. So she turns to the easiest person to hack — poor sad Rudy — so she can dig into his social media accounts.
Unfortunately, Rudy and his love of his fleshlight molded after milf superstar Lisa Ann didn’t provide the password she needed so she turns to Wags for help.
“Nicole Aniston. Blair Williams. No wait. Cory Chase. If you’re a Lisa Ann fan, you’re a Cory Chase fanatic. She’s a national treasure.”
Thanks to Wags’ endless knowledge of porn stars who would attract Rudy’s perversions, they find the password to his social media accounts.
Make sure you guys watch @SHO_Billions tonight 9pm EST. I am being mentioned by one of fav characters! 😍Catch up on the other three seasons on the Showtime Anytime app! 🤩#Wags 🥰 pic.twitter.com/YyL3Mhba8D
— Cory Chase National Treasure (@CoryChaseXXX) April 14, 2019
6 ) Check Your Rearview
All season long, Chuck Rhoades Sr. has been planning this major development in New York on a piece of land that he owns that will one day house shops, hotels and all sorts of other businesses. He expects this development to be the legacy he leaves behind when he’s gone.
In the midst of all this planning, Chuck Sr. expects his son Chuck Jr. to do whatever it takes to help his dear old dad accomplish this construction monstrosity. Chuck Jr. has declined at every turn with his focus remaining on the state attorney general’s office but his father has moved ahead including a deal with one of the heads at the Department of Sanitation to get his permits issued in quick order.
An FBI investigation into those city work orders overlaps with the U.S. District Attorney’s office when Chuck Rhoades Sr.’s name comes up and that alerts Bryan Connerty to come and talk to Jake Biancarosa, the man who is greasing the wheels to get those permits completed.
“I promise — whatever he has on you, we have more. The FBI is diligent Mr. Biancarosa. They may build slow, but they build to last.”
~ Bryan Connerty
By the end of the episode, Biancarosa has turned state’s evidence and the FBI are now investigating Chuck Rhoades Sr. and by extension they have their sights set on Chuck Rhoades Jr. as well.
7 ) Beat the Reaper
In Taylor’s search for more money, they land a meeting with the New York Firefighter’s pension fund as they look to invest $3.1 billion into a new hedge fund far away from Bobby Axelrod. Because Taylor came up under Axe, they don’t much want to do business with them either but thanks to the new investor relations hire, they get a meeting.
With only 10 minutes to sell the firm, Taylor waxes about her father’s own misfortune when he came up with a billion dollar idea working at a company who stole his idea and later fired him. He walked away penniless.
“Your member’s bravery and service are their contribution and value and if you’re not careful, it’s going to get stolen. I know this because my former fucking boss tried to steal mine. I didn’t let that happen to me. And I won’t let it happen to you”
Taylor manages to distance themselves from Axe and provide the firefighters with a game plan to make the pension a lot of money. With that, Taylor has managed to replace Grigor’s lost billions in one fell swoop.
8 ) Great Caesar’s Ghost
At the funeral of Black Jack Foley, Chuck stops by before new Governor Bob Sweeney gives his eulogy to inform him that he’s got the votes to override his executive order in the assembly and restore his powers as attorney general.
The alternative is for Governor Sweeney to sign an executive order restoring Chuck’s power and a second order that will allow him to prosecute all of the corrupt politicians currently occupying spots in the state assembly.
Earlier in the episode, Chuck covered his bases by making a similar deal with the head of the state assembly while laying out a laundry list of misdeeds from inside those chambers that would be prosecuted unless he played ball. Now that the Governor has opted to side with Chuck, he turns on the assembly as police come pouring into the funeral to arrest members of the state assembly.
“Now I have been empowered by my great friend, your August governor, not to allow bloodsport but to bring justice to the venal actors who have betrayed our great commonwealth. And we will continue to purge these pews until corruption has been cleansed from the Empire State”
With that, Chuck regains his power and makes a huge splash in his first days on the job and his father can’t help but smile from his seat as he watches his son make them all fear him again.
9 ) Stay Small
While faking that his boat wouldn’t start during the fishing trip, Axe finally gets John to admit that he wanted his money out of the hedge fund because he didn’t want to be associated with Bobby Axelrod any longer. John tells Axe how his father used to talk shit about him when he was alive and then after 9/11 happened, he knew that there was shady stuff happening that led to Axe Capital being launched in the aftermath.
So John tells Axe plain and simple — he doesn’t want to be associated with him anymore.
When they finally make it back to the car, John somewhat apologizes for his harsh words but it’s already too late — Axe knew what was happening from the moment he sat down with Wendy for a therapy session.
When John turns his phone on after leaving it in Axe’s car while they went fishin, he gets flooded with messages of people pulling out of his hedge fund. It seems Axe orchestrated this entire fishing expedition to get John away from his office while he released an interview questioning his hedge fund’s strategy along with some other hedge fund managers that led to several prominent clients fleeing with their money.
The rest were taken away by the team at Axe Cap, who worked all day to siphon away as much money as possible from John Rice’s hedge fund. In the end, John’s fund lost about 80-percent of its capital, his name was dragged through the mud and now no one will want to do future business with him.
“I told you never give back the money, kid. You said you wanted to stay small. Small enough for you now?
— Billions on Showtime (@SHO_Billions) April 15, 2019
10 ) Lame
Wendy sits down with Axe to discuss all the awful things she’s found being said about her online while also realizing that these people who couldn’t stop chattering really known nothing at all.
She also reveals that Taylor was the one person who reached out to offer compassion in the wake of that initial speech given by Chuck. Axe believes Taylor was sincere and they reached out as a true sign of person who understand vulnerability — and he brushes it off as lame.
In the end, Wendy places a phone call to a friend
“Taylor, hi. I would like to talk. I’d like to see you”
It appears Wendy has something further to discuss with Taylor in the wake of her embarrassing reality now that her private life has been made public. What does that mean for the future? Only time will tell.
‘Billions’ returns next Sunday night at 9 p.m. ET on Showtime.