Billions (2016–…): Season 2, Episode 2 - Dead Cat Bounce - full transcript

Axe spars with a rival hedge fund manager; Chuck deploys a team to find a high-profile case; Wendy is questioned.

Previously on "Billions"...

An investigation has begun
into your office,

and the man leading the
investigation... Oliver Dake.

The payment that your wife
received from Axelrod,

it may not be a bribe,

but, dang,
if it doesn't look like one.

Well, Lawrence Boyd pissed
right in my face.

He didn't show.
What the hell do we do now?

Bobby Axelrod could run
through the Serengeti

and not break a sweat.

You do what you do
just as well as him.

Maybe better.

You can't allow yourself
to get drawn in

to an unwinnable fight.

Victory will be swift.

That will save us ten million
on this trade.

This is why I need to keep you.

I'd believe the same thing
were I you.

- Whoa!
- You've been served.

- With a lawsuit?
- One hundred and twenty seven of them.

Wendy was at Krakow
Capital earlier today.

You have an amazing
level of insight

- into how we hedgies think.
- Yes.

I don't mean Axe Capital.
I mean Bobby himself.

- He was looking to hire you?
- Yeah.

That motherfucker is just trying
to poach my most valued...

I'm not your anything.

We handle ourselves and Chuck
gives someone Head of Crim.

Or we cooperate with Dake
and try our luck

starting over with
Chuck's replacement.

You know what Rhoades is.

You know he should be
out of the job.

That was the attorney general.

She's summoned me to Washington,

where she will greet me warmly,

and then she'll fire me.

There was a moment in time

when the only two people
who knew what it was to fly

were the Wright Brothers.

And we are like them in a way.

we have to stay airborne

a lot longer than nine seconds,

we and have to go into much
thinner air when we do.

But how do you do it, Todd?

How do you stay aloft?

One of the nine poets,
Pindar, said it best.

Become who you are
by learning who you are.

You wouldn't know Pindar
from Pantera,

yet you act like you read
the Harvard shelf

with your morning oatmeal.

Who wrote this shit for you?

Lawrence Boyd, I respect you

more than anyone in this game.

But the idea that Todd Krakow
or anyone else but you here

is a thought leader
just because they've got

a few dollars in their pocket
is laughable!

Let me respond.

It's a sad fact
of the business today.

Hedge funds like Axelrod's,
they're out of ideas,

so they cut corners

and go looking
for that black edge.

But I'm good enough

that I didn't have
to get close to the line.


What about
the $45 million in fines

you paid to the U.K.?


No one understands those laws.

Larry, you ever found yourself
afoul of British law?

No, some of us have never run
afoul of any international laws.

Larry, you have teams
of lawyers at Spartan-Ives

and locals in those
countries who ensure

you don't get screwed
the way I did.

Oh, okay, okay, okay,
I'm only the referee here,

not taking sides,
but you overstepped.


And let that
be the first apology,

not the last, to this audience,

who have paid three grand
for the privilege

of hearing your barbaric yawp.

- Axe, Axe, Axe.
- Here's a thought.

If any of you want
to continue the conversation,

I'll be over by the bar
with my team.

Sure... hit, run,
and hide, huh?

You been showing the SEC
the same moves for years.

But, eventually, they catch you.

Krakow, whatever
cocktail party tutor

you used to prep you
for this panel

owes you a goddamn refund.

Well, that was stimulating.

Okay, okay, let's move on.

Tag, Global warming...

I called the car around
so you can go.

Why would I leave now?

That's what you get for trying
to steal my fucking employees.

Don't blame me
for your fuck-up.

Word of advice, Axe...

You don't want to lose a
valuable asset,

don't let her walk
out the door, huh?

Here comes Boyd.

Sorry about your panel.

Sorry. The only reason you put
Ric Flair in the ring

is to get that heat
from the crowd.

I didn't pick that panel
by accident.

I knew you'd incinerate it.

You just made sure

is all the Street's talking
about for the rest of the month.

They'll be killing themselves
they weren't in the room.

And the only way
they get in there next year

is by making you their prime.

I'm the bull,
you're the red sash every time.

Hey, Chuck.
Come in.

I drove by Katz's
on the way here.

You're killing me, man.

Well, I'm going in.



- Mmm!
- Mmm.

Talk to me.

Well, it's thorny.
So many old cases aggregated.

Taken all together,
it looks like

a pattern of overreach,

That's why the papers think
it's such a good story.

And there's the Axelrod case.

- We never even brought charges.
- That's good.

You're protected
by qualified immunity.

Chances are, we get it
thrown out of court.

That will depend on the judge.
We gotta find a very...

I'm gonna make this go away.

That's why you came to me
instead of going

with whatever lawyer
Justice gave you.

Justice isn't defending me.


They only do that when, uh...

Well, they never really do that.


Well, I'm not billing you.

Oh, come on.
You gotta bill me, Ira.

It's $1,400 an hour.

Half price.
Friends and family.

Why aren't they defending you?

The Attorney General's
called me down to Washington.

She's gonna fire me.

Shit. Dake.

Oh, it's a lot of things
over years.

But the stain
of this investigation

has hobbled me politically.

I got no back channel
out of this.

You gotta prove your loyalty,
then, show her you're a soldier.

I thought about that.

A new case
the administration smiles on.

Let the General
take the credit, sure,

but there's just
no fucking time.

The A.G.'s got
a lot of enemies, Chuck.

Take out an enemy...
A big, hard-to-kill one.

It's tough to fire you then.

Finding the right target
might be enough.

One so... gaudy,

so outlandishly difficult
to bring down

that my replacement
would certainly fail.

How much time do you have?

Three days.

Do you know what this is about?

Starting immediately,
you have a new mandate.

Find me a case
that's screaming for justice.

One that no one else would have
the courage to take on...

Even if... no, especially if

it seems impossible to win.

Where do we begin?

I want to kick
into the C-suites...

Those Teflon corporations

that defraud the American people
on a grand scale.

No one was ever prosecuted
for the financial crisis, no.

When we went after Wall Street,
we got what we could get...

Rogue traders, chip shots.

That ends today.

Anything else you can say
that would narrow the target?

You want us to get back up
on Axe Capital?

- Um, we know that they're...
- No, no.

Steer wide
around Axe Capital for now.

That's not gonna help.

Help what?

Be creative.

I look forward to your ideas,
and I want them in 24 hours.

Why's he want
an impossible case?

It's hinky.

I'm gonna steer wide
around all of it.

Hey, Axe,
you know what today is?

It's fuck Todd Krakow
in the ear day.

Why do you think
I'd want to do that?

That panel was Godzilla
versus Mothra.

Do you have a plan?

Or are we just gonna jump him
and break his kneecaps

when he gets out of his McLaren?

Okay, so Krakow's been running
his mouth about China, right?

You can tell the way he talks.

- The way he talks?
- Yeah.

Last year, he said,
"watching factories grow."

It made me wonder,
"How's he seeing this?"

Really, Mafee?
You expect me to believe

you suddenly swapped
Ali G reruns

for videos of Todd Krakow's
speeches on China?


My analyst caught it.

Then get him in here.

I'm Taylor.

My pronouns are they,
theirs, and them.

You have two minutes.

After your dispute with Krakow,
I presumed roiling antipathy,

so I catalogued
all of his public statements

going back two years.

In January 2016, Krakow's
tone on China changed...

More bullish, omniscient,

which led me to think
satellite images.

So what?

All the big funds
are using satellite images.

How many cars are in the parking
lot at Walmart

indicates how big a quarter
they're gonna have.

But this, let me see.

You found out which
satellite company Krakow uses.

AR Metrics.

Assuming Krakow would be
the biggest user...

Their most-viewed images,

and you deduced that's what
he's been looking at.

A microchip factory
in the Pearl River Delta.

And now you know what he knows.

Since you're in my office,

you think you know
what he doesn't.

China's not just cooking
the books,

they're going full
Iron Chef with that shit.

Everyone knows that, Mafee.
Then why is Krakow long?

Come on, time's almost up.
What happened in January 2016?

The Chinese factory
went from totally dormant

to bustling
with trucking activity.

Which meant
foreign investment followed.

But tell me
what really happened.

An article came out
on satellite-detected

between Chinese sites

and what had been reported
by government statistics.

And after that, they knew
they were being watched,

so the trucks started moving...
A show for the satellites.

Factory's a fake.
It's a shell to milk investors.

And what is the next move?

- Short the...
- I asked Taylor.

Short the Chinese parent company
Krakow's invested in.

It's not good enough.

As Chanos says,
China's a pig on LSD...

You never know
which way it's gonna run.

So who is this fake factory
supposed to be supplying?

What does this ripple out into?

You find that, you find
Krakow's real investment.

How long you been here?

Three months.

I'm leaving in two weeks
for grad school.

I'm an intern.

How did everything go?

Salutations, my dear.


I think Chuck's working tonight.

I wanted to talk to you.

Pas devant.

We'll see you tomorrow.

I know what pas devant means.

I was looking for some
cufflinks I lent my son,

but I couldn't find them
in the bedroom.

You were in my bedroom?

And most of Chuck's suits
seem to be gone from the closet.

You didn't come out
to Brooklyn for cufflinks.

Is Chuck living
at the Yale Club?

Some gal in accounting
messed up,

sent me a charge for a breakfast
on a day that I was not there.

So I asked for the chits,

and it was Chuck's signature
on the line at 6:30 a.m.

Yes, we've separated...
for now.

And you've kept it from me.

I asked Chuck directly,
but he denied it.

He lies better than I do.

This is idiocy.

And to think we didn't come
running to you with the news.

Because I would tell you
the truth.

This is selfish,

destructive to your children.

We're not uprooting the kids.

They're staying in the house.

Chuck spends three nights
a week with them.

No, I'm not talking about that.

I'm talking about their legacy.

Do you think that this makes it
easier or harder...

for Kevin to meet
his station in life?

You must mean
for him to be happier.

They are the future of my name.

And yours.

You think you and Chuck
are the only ones

who've grappled with
some upheavals in a marriage?

Unless it is broken plates
and steak knives,

you gut through it.

If one of you has an itch,
you'll work it out.

You don't move out.

It wasn't an itch.

And what about you?

You'd really rather have
your three nights a week

than be First Lady
of the State of New York?

Maybe I would.

And if you want
to continue this,

do it with your son.

Oh... I will.

Your order's there.

White clam is on top.

Thanks, Bruno.

Say hello to my nephew, Marco.

Kid just got elected

to county executive
up in Sandicot.

I'm Marc. An honor to meet you,
Mr. Axelrod.

Sit down, have some wine.

Is this yours?

Made it with my own two feet.


Hey, look, I'll stay next time.

- Kids are hungry.
- Okay.

Ciao, Bobby.

Good to meet you.

That's a busy man.


There'll be time.
There'll be time.

- You told my father.
- I didn't tell him.

He's like you.
He figured it out.

No, he had a theory,
which you confirmed.

- He's hounding me now.
- What about these lawsuits?

Were you gonna tell me
about them?

Why did I have to read
about it in the Times?

Nuisance suits.
Minor distraction.

Didn't rate a discussion.

This investigator...
Oliver Dake.

Yeah, well,
I told you about him.

He's questioning me later.

Please, come in.

So, Chuck...

do you still feel as if
you're under attack...

by unseen forces?

Carolyn, can we have the room
for five minutes?

Look, I don't know
what to say to him.

He knows you dropped the case.

He thinks it's connected to me.

If he puts together
the session notes...

That will be
a career-Ender for me.

I'm aware.

You're the expert
on this sort of thing.

How should I spin it,
what kind of...

language should I use?

Should I have
an attorney present?

Mmm, no.
That will make it look worse.

No, don't spin it at all.

Answer his questions truthfully,

don't put any lies
on the record no matter what.

I don't...

I don't want you to lie for me.

Probably gonna go down anyway.

I don't want you
going down with me.

Kids are gonna need one parent
not in custody, right?

We should probably
let her back in.

Your relationship
with your husband,

would you say it's been healthy?

We have our ups and downs.

When did you stop
living together?

Is that relevant?

Was it before or after you
were given five million dollars

by the target
of his investigation?

We separated right before that.

I find the timing convenient.

Are you married,
Mr. Dake?

My status is none
of your concern.

So you are.

But it's new... two years?

I hope you don't find this
out personally,

but separating
is never convenient.

If you are
legitimately separated...

- That's been established.
- Has it?

Or did the two of you
work in a separation

to make Axelrod's payment
more palatable?

They're not connected.

How long after the payment

did you end your employment
at Axe Capital?

The same day.

What an eventful day.

How would Axelrod
characterize the payment?

It was compensation.

A bonus for services rendered,

a very complex session
for Axe himself.

What did you talk about?

I'm a medical doctor,

and that's privileged
information, as you well know.

So if you're trying
to trip me up, try harder.

You can come back
with a court order, lock me up,

and I'd still never tell you

a goddamn thing
about my patients.

I just wonder what could have
been said in such a session

to justify such an enormous sum.

It was commensurate with other
bonuses at Axe Capital.

So five million dollars
is not a large bonus?

What a rarified world
you live in, Ms. Rhoades.

Did something else happen

to increase your value
to Axelrod?

Such as?

Did you provide him information?

I'm not sure what you mean.

Details about the investigation

or its status,
past, present, or future?

No, nothing.

I see.

Do you think that your husband

was really recused
from the Axelrod case,

as he claimed?

He told me he was.
I took it at face value.

Did you ever hear him
discuss the case

with colleagues or on the phone?

I can't say for sure that I did.

But you can't say you didn't.

No, I can't.

We're going to need
to talk formally again.

Okay, I really don't have
anything more to say.

You can confirm
that Chuck Rhoades

was secretly directing
the Axelrod investigation.

He wasn't really recused,
was he?

Are we gonna do this
over the phone?

In your office.

And you will give me
what I need.

Or maybe we'll have
a pepperoni slice in Yonkers.

You can invite your boss.

I can influence the vector
of your future, Mr. Connerty.

And you'd do well
not to forget that.

I got more on Krakow.

No. Get your
better half in here.

Anata-Tek... rising market share
in wearable computers.

I know it.

It's a hedge fund group grope,
Krakow leading the party.

Yes. Anata-Tek's IPO
two years ago was lukewarm,

but the stock is soaring

ahead of the release
of their flagship.

- It's called the Ring.
- I know about the Ring, Mafee.

It's a great prototype.

But can they scale up,
can they ship product?

Not if the microchips
are supplied

by a fake Chinese factory.

Short two million.

Wake me up when the stock's down ten
percent from the current levels.

That's where we want to cover.

This is gonna be fun.


After they've completed
the order,

send a tweet from my account.

"Who's supplying Anata-Tek?

Next Lumber Liquidators,"
question mark.

From your account?

That may be a little...

I don't want to be subtle.

I want him to know it's me.

Dr. Gus
is on the premises.

Okay. Start pushing everyone
through, mandatory sessions.

Are you a hard-ass, badass,
jackass, or no ass?


And that is one
of the three things

that people say in that spot.

It's kind of like
the "dick-for" thing.

If you apologize after
I've said something confusing,

that is on you, my friend.

If you say so.

What I say is,

we used to live in a world
that rewarded those

who were very good
at their jobs.

Do you know what you get now
for being very good?

You get keistered.

Do you want
to get keistered, Ben?


I almost said "sorry" again

because I barely understand
what you're...

And we will work on that.

Replace "sorry" with,

"What the fuck
are you trying to say?"

Yeah, I don't feel
comfortable with that.

I'm not interested
in your comfort.

Axe Capital is not interested
in your comfort.

I am interested in you becoming

a goddamn giant-killer.

Do you want to be
a giant-killer, Ben?


What the fuck
are you trying to say?!


I want to kill giants.

There ya go!

There you go.

I thought we were gonna talk
about the path

from analyst
to portfolio manager.

That is all
we are talking about,

and you are a long way from
making the trek up that path.

Holy fuck,
do you people need what I do.


Tell Gayle
to make an appointment

for you to come and see me
next week.

You are currently engaged
in a legal action

against Mr. Rhoades.


Do you harbor suspicions
of additional misconduct

that you opted not to include
in your public filings?


I'm full of suspicions.

I'm suspicious of
all-you-can-eat buffets.

Each and every 10-K
I have to read.

I'm suspicious
that the folks you work for...

The federal government...
Occasionally fuck up.

Hey, you get me started,
I'll admit I'm suspicious

that not all prize fights
are on the up and up,

that Warren Buffett
and Bill Gates

may not really like each other
as much as they claim.

I'm even suspicious that maybe

you don't really need
those glasses to see.

I do.

I think you see pretty clearly.

But those are all the suspicions
that I'm prepared to share

with you today
in your professional capacity.

Were you aware
that the U.S. attorney

was pursuing charges against you

in connection
with a firearms disturbance

by one of your employees?


Mr. Axelrod finds
the question irrelevant.

Consider him aware now.

The same day
the U.S. attorney

ended the pursuit
of said charges,

his wife received
a five million dollar payment

from this company.

Highly irregular.

In your world.
Not in this one.

I don't think a judge or jury is
likely to discount the linkage.

My client allowed you here
as a courtesy.

No one at Axe Capital
works under a contract.

Each are compensated
at my client's sole discretion

based on their value
to the firm.

I think you misunderstand
my intentions, Mr. Bach.

The DOJ has authorized me
to offer the whole menu.

We would be willing
to give Mr. Axelrod

immunity from prosecution...

if he were to testify
that the five million dollars

was, in fact, a bribe
of the U.S. attorney.

After all, uh, hedge funds
will do what they do,

but Mr. Rhoades answers
to a higher authority...


Cue the orchestra.

You'll hear from us.

Lay it out.

If you take the deal,
claim it was a bribe,

your reputation
may take a hit, but...

it would be the end
of Chuck Rhoades.

Because although I know
it wasn't a bribe,

the facts line up.

He would be disgraced.

Removed from office, indicted.

But Wendy Rhoades
would be indicted, too.



Oh, God, yeah.

You obviously heard
my stomach's cries for help.

Thank you.

So how's it going?

You coming up with anything
for the big case?

Nah, not yet.

Maybe we should pool
our resources.

I have a few things.

They might sound better
coming from you.

No, I... I think they'll sound
great coming from you.

Look, I know
what you're thinking.

We're all thinking it.

There's obviously
more going on here,

and none of us want
to get caught

in another Chuck Rhoades web.

No idea what
you're talking about.

Here's how I see it, though.

Whoever comes up
with this impossible case

is in the lead for Head of Crim.

Counterpoint... whoever comes up
with this impossible case

is then going to have to win
said impossible case.

And then if they don't,
they're fucked.

That's what Connerty thinks.

And that's why
I'm not in his office.

Is that what Connerty thinks,

or is that what
he wants you to think?

I'm hearing
that multiple former AUSAs

are gonna come forward
against you.


No names yet.

The claim is that
you were capricious,

that, uh, you expected them
to use intimidation

to get settlements.

Oh, bullshit.

Well, this gives the case teeth.

There's no way a judge
is gonna throw it out now.

As your lawyer,
I gotta advise you

to consider the idea
of a settlement.

I won't settle.


No, any appearance of guilt
puts everything at risk.

Every conviction
my office has ever made

would be in question.

Well, you can't afford
to think in absolutes.

I'm gonna fight this
all the way to a trial

if it comes to it.

Buddy, you gotta understand.

One hundred and twenty seven
cases, if you're found liable

even for a portion of them,
it could bankrupt you.

So if this gets sticky,

how big is your trust,
how bulletproof is it?

You might...
You might want to think

about going offshore with it.

It's a blind trust,
and I made a public vow.

I can't touch the money
or direct it

as long as I'm in office.

Well, there's one good thing
about getting fired.

Boy, it's much better
to be the lawyer...

and go home when the hour's up,
get some sleep.

If you're the client,
you're up all night.

Aha, ah.

I was wondering why
we were at a four-top.

I met her at SoulCycle.

She brought
a friend for you, too.

No, no, I told you.
Just give it a chance.

She's great.
She's an artist.

She's got a new show in Soho,
in Queens.

Actually Hoboken.
Whatever. She's cool.

Hey, babe.

Nice to meet you.

Hi. Ira.

- Charmed.
- Taiga.

Nice to meet you.

So you have to try
the Green Dream.

The mixologist here
makes them with Ice Juice.

It's this new cold-pressed
raw juice bar.

It's literally the best thing
in the world.

The guy who owns that company
is a client of mine.

I'll slide you guys
some gift cards.

Anata-Tek had a brutal
sell-off after hours.

We covered.
Short it again.

If it cracked this much from
just a tweet, they're terrified.

We can break the rest of it
if we throw a rock.


And wait for
the dead-cat bounce.

As soon as the stock's
up one percent,

start whacking bids again.

It'll dump, maybe by half.

All right.

Where's Wags?

He's here.

I want Wags to hear this.

The Krakow play,
your hostility toward him,

what's really animating it?

Is it coloring your strategy?

Perhaps if you show restraint...

Take a good look at the floor,

because you don't know where the
fuck you're standing right now.

- It's in my purview...
- You are here

to keep the Visigoths
outside of the city walls,

not to impugn judgment
of the Caesar.

No, it's a smart question.

Krakow knows
your personal animus.

He could be counting on a
certain hasty economic response.

It could be a trap.

Inform Mafee.

Hold on Anata-Tek until
we've heard from Dollar Bill.

I usually depend on you

to know what's in my heart,

You okay?

Never better.

Good, 'cause there's
something I need you on.

I need to diversify.

I'm not talking
about portfolios.

I want to make a fundamental
change in our standing.

We can't live inside
those city walls forever.

Change is coming.

Stay ahead of it.

Start looking.

I can't help feeling
these ideas are uninspired.

What else do you have?

We go after tech companies,
the media darlings,

the "don't be evil" crowd.

They're hypocrites,
dodging billions in taxes.

Think smarter, bigger.

I need a narrative,
victims and villains.

What if we went
after Spartan-Ives?

That's as big as it gets.

No, thank you.

That place is a finishing school
for treasury secretaries.

And we muck in there
and step wrong,

we'll all be shaking cups
outside of the Bar Association.

He's right. That's exactly
the opposite of what we need.

Look, I get it.
I get it.

We've all been bred
in a culture of perfection.

Valedictorian, Phi Beta Kappa,

Head of Crim.

You ever get a "B," Kate?

Third grade, in Art.

- I did extra credit, got it up.
- Yeah.

Nobody wants to gamble on this,
get yoked to a loser.

But you need to understand
it is not a gamble,

it is a calculated risk.

So go naked into the street

and snare me a thundering,
monumental fucking case...

because none of you
are gonna get what you want

until you cut yourselves open.

What's going on, Bryan?

I think we're doing our best
with what we've been given.

Well, seems to me
you're a step slow.

It's a big challenge,

an expansion
of our moral mission.

Normally, I'd expect you'd tear

into a piece of red meat
like that.

It just takes time.

I'll have something by tomorrow.

By end of day today.

You're in D.C. tomorrow.


If you don't want to work
together on this thing, great.

Do not steamroll
my idea before I...

That was me doing you a favor.

The Spartan idea was a loser

because of what Chuck's
not saying.

I'm listening.

Spartan-Ives is a friend
to the administration.

Lawrence Boyd and the A.G. went
to fucking Horace Mann together.

- So what Chuck's looking for...
- Is an enemy.

He wants to bring him a trophy.

I've got one.

Executive e-mails
leaked by a whistle-blower.

This is the case
that he's looking for.

Well, why don't you give it
to Chuck yourself?

Might sound better
coming from you.

Well, you really do think

that finding the best case
would be a trap.

But if you're wrong,
you don't want to risk

Connerty bringing it in
and getting the credit.


But this could be
very good... for you.

Or very bad.

I don't care.

I'll give it to Chuck anyway

because it's the right thing
to do.

It's what Chuck wants.

It doesn't make it right.

All right, let's take a break.

You know, I've been thinking
about what you said.

About your next chapter.

I think we should start
something... a business.


What did you have in mind?

I don't know.

It should be unique, you know,
something that fits us.

Nothing in the warehouse,
nothing in the truck.

It's a quiet racket.

I can get you more dirt
if you need it.

Whole Chinese economy
works like this.

So my guy likes
to get his beak wet...

Let's stay on point.

Anata-Tek is a company
with no tech.

Just as Taylor anticipated.

She spotted that
from outer space?

Not she. They.

Get it hard,
keep it hard, use it!

He hasn't fucked his woman
in six months.

Should you...
be sharing that?

Not in the "should" game.

Welcome aboard, Gus.

I know it was your plug
that got this done for me,

and I have an elephant dick
of a memory.

So when are you coming in
for a session?

You want to go now?

I'm not under the same mandate
as the other staff.

You sure?

Lot of changes around here.

More out there.

It'll hit ya.

Guys like you and me,
we're getting older.

We got to fight for every scrap

of what used to be ours
by right.


Then let me buy you a steak.

Not necessary.

Omakase menu at Nakazowa.

You are good.

Have you talked
to the source of the e-mails?

An hour ago.

Said it's even worse
than what's there.

CEO Kurt Williams knew about it,

could have stopped it,
directed it to continue.

Well, that'll be
he said, she said.

Now, this case is far
from showroom ready,

but it's a real start.

- Subpoena the company documents.
- Right away.

Ace work.

Mr. Rhoades, if you're looking
for a good whiskey bar

near the A.G.'s office,
I got one.

Opens early.
Not necessary.

I just need you to loop me in
with the new deputy.

I will happily connect you
to Fred Reyes.

That would mean...

That I have something

the General would want
to hear about.

That my part in this is done.

Don't worry.
Reyes knows who juiced him in.


Fred, I got Chuck Rhoades
on the line.


Thanks for the good word.
I appreciate you putting me up.

Well, I'm looking forward

to a harmonious relationship
going forward.

- Chuck, about tomorrow, it...
- No worries.

I just want to make sure
that the A.G. knows

that I'm preparing an action
against retail giant GoodStop.

They've bilked employees

out of millions
in unpaid overtime

and engaged in a cover-up
at the highest level.

- And you can prove that?
- Evidence in hand.

It's early stages,

but, uh, Kurt Williams
is swimming in a dirty pool.

The same Kurt Williams
anonymously funding

a super PAC
ripping her a new asshole?

Well, that's an incredible
coincidence, Chuck.

The A.G.'s wanted
to take them down for years.

Let me sell her on it.

I think she's gonna let you
bring it home.

Much appreciated.

Anata-Tek is bleeding out.

Lost half its value.
Krakow fired the CEO.

Do you want to make a statement?

I've said enough.

on rooting this out.

A very good day for us.

Thank you for backing the idea.

It really means a lot.
What do you care?

I know you already
turned down a job here.

There's nothing
on the line for you,

so what do you care?

I just like being right.


There's something else.

You were testing me,
and you still are.

You wanted to know
if I could see you,

behind Mafee, see what you saw.

I wanted to know
if you're as good as they say.

I am.
So why are you leaving?

I just wanted a moment with you.

Best advice you'll get.
Don't settle for just one.

Seven fifty a year.

That's double entry level
for an analyst.

I'm getting my MBA in Chicago

under Eugene Fama,
the Nobel Laureate.

Come on.
Fama's an egghead.

Get an education right here.
Make it a million a year.


Three seventy-five or 750 or a
million, it's all the same to you?

It's an abstraction?

I don't know
if you can understand...

maybe me being the way I am,

but just breathing the air here
can be discomforting.

The air is thinner.


You don't belong here.

You're outside it all.

Sometimes you catch yourself
watching all the people

like they're another species.

So you retreat...

behind your aquarium walls,

But you don't realize, Taylor,

that glass, it's not
a barrier, it's a lens.

It's an asset.
It's what makes you good.

You see things differently.

That's an edge.

What about
a week-to-week deal?

We'll prorate the million.

Nineteen thousand...

Nineteen thousand, two hundred and
thirty and seventy-seven cents..

Hourly, $240.38.

One hundred and fourteen
and forty-seven cents.

Eighty hours a week?

There's 168 hours in a week.

That's what you're paying for...

Twenty-four seven.

All right, Wags,
call me tomorrow,

and I'll give you the rest.

I think I just found the thing.

- How do you feel about football?
- Which team?

Not sure yet, but a franchise
is talking to bankers

about putting itself
on the block.

Go further.



Can I help you, Todd?

How many hours did you spend
obsessing over my positions?

Ah, it paid for itself.

Or, rather, you paid for it.

You got me, Axe.
You did.

But don't worry.
I'll get you back.

I'm not here for another
recruiting pitch.

From the look in your eyes,
I'd say you have

no real idea why you're here.

I just had to get out
of that office.

Now it's come to this, the one
person I can turn to... you.

That's what the game
does to you.

I'm glad you called.

Nothing's straightforward

It's barely recognizable.

When I was in your class
in law school,

we didn't exactly cover...

- The vagaries?
- Right.

What was I going to say,
"When you leave these walls,"

none of what you do
will even resemble

the ideals discussed
in this building,

what is so cleanly laid out
in the books"?

When I look around the office,
I do not see friends.

There was a-a woman...

a colleague.

Something good was starting.

But, uh, she saw me
for what I was,

what I was becoming,
and then it was over.

To think that real
relationships are possible

in such a cauldron.

I didn't count on that.

But I guess

I did count on a shared mission.

Yet you stay.
Yet you're loyal to Rhoades.

I can't claim
the moral high ground anymore.

The Crim job.

If I'm this conflicted now...

There's never been
a leader of any merit

who was free of those doubts.

But you can't stop now.

You need to feel what it will
be like to sit in that office,

to be the one
making the decision.

And to resolve
those conflicts...

Both the ones in the office
and inside yourself.

Yeah, maybe I'll ride it out
long enough to see.


Speaking Japanese

speaking Japanese

No fucking way he gets that job.

'Cause he can't do that job!

- He's a piker...
- Fucking cellphones.

Trying to swim laps...

In this temple.

You don't put ginger
on the fish.

It's to clear the palate between
pieces, not drown it out.

And it is already
precisely sauced.

Doesn't need a soy bath.

Chill out, Mr. Miyagi.


I won't, you fucking heathens.

This man is an artist.

He had to spend ten years
learning how to make the tamago.

The egg.
The egg!

Your expense accounts
don't entitle you

to fuck his art up the ass!

Dude, that's it.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!
Whoa, settle.

- Settle, Wags.
- Fuck, hold up.

It's Mike Wagner.

Axe Capital.

Apologies for the disrespect.

Speaking Japanese

speaking Japanese Hai.

Sorry you saw that.

It was a bit too revealing.

Yeah, it was.

I loved it.

That is passion, man.

When are you and I gonna go
a few rounds, huh?

Let me tell you an open secret.

These traders I jack up all day,

they are middle-school

You, you are Mike Wagner.

But you need to ask yourself
where are you at right now?

What's churning
those waters up so much

that a little cub like that
can break the levee?

Things can't be that bad
for you here

if you still have the A.G.'s
picture on your wall.

Dad, uh...

about Wendy and me.

You thought you could
keep it from me.


These things have a way of
floating up out of the murk.

Our separation
is about needing space.

And I think that extends to you.

So I have to ask you...

I have something for you.

It occurred to me
that your problem is money.

- Always has been.
- I disagree.

She has more money than you,

and that's outside
the natural order of things.

But it's only because
everything you have

is bound up in this silly trust,
and you can't use it.

You're effectively a cripple.

I'm rewarded
by a different metric.

But I have a solution.

A signature from me
as your trustee,

and it goes where we need.

You didn't.

I bought a ring.

We're in my office.

It's not a gift from me.

I bought it with your money.

Give it to Wendy.

- Show her you're serious...

- about maintaining the union.
- No.

No. That's not a move.
That's not who she is.

It's a six-figure ring, son.
It's who they all are.

What time does your thing start?

- Stuckey Brown told me...
- Stuckey Brown.

He once had a woman
upstairs in his bed...


When he heard his wife
walk in the front hall.

Uh, Dad, I need to, uh...

So Stuckey called down to her,
he said, "Elizabeth",

if you don't put
one foot on the stairs,

"I'll wire two million dollars
to your account."

- Uh-huh.
- And what did she do?

She walked right back
out the front door.

Take the ring.

It's a balm, it's a way...

Thank you, Dad.

I appreciate the gesture.
I do.

But, uh...

And I'm sorry that I kept
our situation from you.

I know it hurt your feelings.

- No, I'm fine.
- But I cannot accept the ring.

I cannot invade my trust
in any way,

in this life or the next.

It would be... unethical.

You have to take it back.

You're talking like a man
with a terminal disease.

Have a good time at the show.

You make sure that he gets
to his car.

Yeah, talk to me, Fred.

I underestimated this, Chuck.

The General is not looking
for pelts.

She said that Kurt Williams
would be a huge case

for whoever takes over
your office next.


See you tomorrow.

I'm sorry I couldn't do more.

Sorry I had to skip the recital.

It's been a balled-up
kind of a day.

You don't have to apologize
to me.

Just your daughter.

I talked to Oliver Dake.

I didn't have to admit
to anything too damaging.

But he'll be
on your recusal next,

and... he is not
gonna stop.

You have that look.

That bad, huh?

I have this exercise I do
with my clients called the 180.

When they've really lost
the thread,

when they're so fixated
on a stock,

they can't see it's a dumpster
burning in front of them.

Maybe they can cut their losses.

But only a great few

can go the opposite way,
can pivot,

and see
that it's really a short.

You're a prime candidate for it

because whatever...
choices you've been making,

they sure as hell
aren't working.

One-eighty, Chuck.

One-eighty, Chuck.

What if we went
after Spartan-Ives?

That's as big as it gets.

Ari Spyros.

There's something I need you
to do for me.


I want to go on record
to say that the SEC

has no plans to investigate
Spartan-Ives or Lawrence Boyd.

I cannot speak for
the United States attorney.

No, I will not confirm that.

Do you deny there's an active
investigation of Lawrence Boyd?

If my office undertook
such a radical endeavor

against a bedrock company

that has been such a friend
to the administration,

we would only do so
with the full support

of the Attorney General's

But, no, I cannot confirm that.

So you have no comment
on the investigation?


If I fire you now, it'll look

like the administration
is protecting Boyd,

obstructing justice.


They might even investigate
you for that, General.

You think you're a bold player?

Going after Spartan-Ives
is asinine.

A man facing a firing squad
has only two choices...

Accept it or push against
his restraints.

And I don't accept anything.

You were facing hard labor.

Now you're in the firing line,

and you pulled me
right there with you.

Not so.

Oh, if I win, Boyd goes down,

and we celebrate
on the podium together.

If I lose,
the failure is all mine.

"If Boyd goes down."
You really think it's that easy?

There's a reason
no one's done this.

So go ahead and swing
your hatchet at the case.

I'll just fire you
in a few months

after the searchlights pass.

All you've bought is time.

I got news last night
I never wanted to get...

Chuck Rhoades, coming at me.

I have lived my life
as an exemplar of rectitude

so as to never have to deal
with this kind of thing.

Still... he comes.

You did what I'm about to.

You squared off with him,
walked away unmarked.

I need your playbook,
I need to know how to beat him.

Will you help me?

I don't remember your
reassuring hand on my shoulder

when it was my time of trouble.

What I do remember is you,

the exemplar
of Wall Street rectitude,

steering clear
and making damn certain

that my stink didn't waft
anywhere near you,

lest it stick.

Now, before I decide,
answer this.

Are you a bastard?

Because for you to have
a chance against Rhoades,

you need to be.

Even though
there will be lawyers,

there are no fucking rules...
Not if you want to win.

You will have to crawl
through a river of shit

and risk bleeding out a hundred
yards short of victory.

You have to be prepared
to do things

that are entirely
outside the bounds

of conventional morality.

What do you imagine I had to do

to get to the top
of Spartan-Ives?