Billions (2016–…): Season 2, Episode 8 - The Kingmaker - full transcript

Axe investigates who was behind the breakdown in his Sandicot dealings but faces formidable opposition. Chuck digs up dirt on a political rival. Lara makes a PR trip to Sandicot to ease ...

Previously on Billions...

Danny fucking Margolis.
What brings you back?

I have some ideas,

and I'd love
to share them with you.

Did you hear it okay?

I'm Taylor.

My pronouns are they,
theirs, and them.

- How long you been here?
- I'm an intern.

Just breathing the air here
can be discomforting.

The air is thinner.

That is a picture of a man
running for office.

Which mansion will it be,
Gracie or the Governor's?

Relax, dad.

You need some personal time
with Black Jack Foley.

You must be talking
about Sandicot.

The proposed
location of a casino.

- Does it have to go there?
- If the town defaults,

I know what you stand to lose.

You need that casino as soon
as goddamned possible.

Go, do whatever the fuck
you want, and so will I.

You want the freedom
to see other people.

Consider that door open.

I am committed

to complete transparency
between us.

So you can either quit
right now... or you can stay.

Sandicot's not getting
the gaming license. It's over.

So, why would Foley
want to fuck me?

The committee chose the location

that would bring
the greatest benefit to

the greatest number of people.

What do you know about Sandicot?

Go ahead, seize their assets.

- What kind of assets?
- Sandicot also has

- an original Remington.
- The fuck's a Remington?

American artist
from the 19th century.

He specialized in depictions
of the Old West.

I don't know why you want
to hurt all of these people

who got so little as it is.

You go up there, and you cut off
the gangrenous parts.

And then we go in with charter
schools and outreach,

for about $30 million,
we capture the tax write-off,

and those kids will be better
off than their parents,

or we, ever were.

Seize all their assets,

property, utilities,
machinery, vehicles, buildings.

even Town fucking Hall.

Jack Foley! This is how
I like to start the day.

Oh, I can't match
your enthusiasm at the moment.

Sorry to hear that.

I've done for you, haven't I?

Recently and at a great
profit to you,

and yet, your son lets me down.

The clerkship.

It's the bad form
that bothers me.

He doesn't know about Sandicot,
doesn't know how you stepped up.

Can never know.

That was a favor for me.

Yes, I torpedoed Axelrod
at your behest,

and while Chuck
may not know that,

he does know that I was planning
to help him in Albany.

That should have been
more than enough.

I'm throwing in with
Bob Sweeney for governor now.

That pains me to hear, Jack.

I-I hope that this, uh...

Ah, don't get it
in a twist, Charles.

You and I are fine.

I look forward
to seeing you at the party.


Is that Sandicot's Remington?

Not anymore.

That is the most magnificent
thing I've ever seen.

Is that Yul Brynner?

- The Remington is here.
- Don't confuse

that hunk of bronze for a
"Mission Accomplished" banner.

I need to know
why Foley donkey-punched us.

I haven't been able
to find a deal we did

- where he got screwed.
- You won't.

He could have been nursing
that grudge for a decade.

Look, I know why is among
the more tantalizing questions,

but you're usually disciplined
enough not to get into it.

This isn't undisciplined.
It's vigilant.

If there is someone out there
with the focus, the animus,

the reach to crush me,
I need to know.

That describes
a hundred hedgies.

but I see those guys coming.

I can handle them.
Foley's different.

He has proven
that he can cause great damage

without leaving
any clues behind.

Light touch.
Tight grip.


Call Foley directly.
Get me in a room with him.

Then I'll know
if I have an enemy.

Your locker,
Mr. Rhoades.

Thank you, Domingo.

Now, some people,
when aging a cigar,

keep it at 70 percent humidity.

That mellows the puro.

I, of course,
want no such thing.

I take it to 80 percent
'cause I prefer...

The funk.

Exactly right.

Look at these.

1998 Special Fundadores.

Aged to peak complexity.

And if they're not smoked soon,

they'll go one-dimensional.

I was hoping to smoke them
with you at Foley's party,

but while I've received
my invitation,

you were left off the list.

You didn't get his granddaughter
that clerkship,

and she went crying to him.

Well, I'm sorry that Foley
feels let down.

He feels disrespected.

He could have gotten the girl
the damned clerkship himself,

but he wanted you
to do it for him to show fealty,

to show that
when you were governor,

you would remember him.

What he wanted
were his balls gargled.

And if he thinks that's the
relationship we'll have

- as this campaign progresses...
- Oh Sonny...

it's a little too late
for that now.

He got himself a new show pony.


Bob Sweeney.

Buffalo Bob?

Two terms as mayor,
three in the Senate,

and he puts on that damn
EMT uniform at every parade.

- He's second-tier.
- He was.

But now he has the inside track
to the nomination.

Because Foley says he does.

Yes, sir!

We don't have kings, Dad.

We live in a democracy.

You sound like a fucking hippie.

I know that this
is difficult to grasp,

but the age of the kingmaker
is past.

I don't need a power broker.

I have my own power.

And when it is made manifest,

Foley will zip
his fucking pants up

and look me in the eye.

Foley won't talk to you.

He won't even talk to me.

Does that seem like the behavior

of a man whose acts
were unintentional?

No. But it doesn't mean
you have to engage.

Sure it does.
And do it old-school.

Rough him up?

I'm all for it, but his
company's not publicly traded.

We don't operate
in the steel sector.

Well, figure out where the fuck
he gets his iron.

He can't own all the mines.

I need to know where
Jack Foley sources his ore.

Most steel in this country
doesn't come

from ore these days,
it comes from scrap.

Foley ain't a scrapper.
Someone's supplying him.

Find out who, and Axe is gonna
crush Foley's business.

No. I like a porterhouse
as much as anybody,

but I don't want to waste
your time.

- We're not switching primes.

Hold on. What? He's trying
to get us to switch brokers.

Wants to wine and dine us... me.

- Tell him we accept.
- Okay, in this context,

I don't understand
"we" or "accept."

Yeah, you know what,
let's hear the pitch.

Tonight at eight?

See you then.

I thought we were loyal
to Spartan-Ives.

We're loyal to the bottom line.

If there's money to be made
by switching...

Plus a night
of hard-core partying

in the name of business.

You're all over it?

I bet my life
you won't say that again.

- I didn't mean...
- Oh, your meaning was clear!

This was
a compound fuck-up.

First, you misplay
the invitation.

Then you treat me like
I'm Courtney Love in '93.

You think I can't handle myself

in a simple fucking
sell-side hug and tug?

- I, no, I...
- Organize a car

to pick me the fuck up later!

I didn't want him relapsing
on my watch.

I'm not a big self-help guy.

This is Dr. Lenny "Gus"

Currently works freelance,
but until recently,

he was the performance coach
over at Axe Cap.

What, they fired him after
they brought back Wendy Rhoades?


Don't suppose
he was happy about that.

Can't imagine that he was.

Now, what about doctor-patient

Even if he wanted to talk...

Well, he may be Dr. Gus,
but he's not an MD.

Degrees in kinesthesiology

and from the Martha Beck
Life Star program.

No, you know what,
I don't want to know about him.

You don't think that's what
Chuck really wants?

No, I'm out of

the guessing-what-Chuck-Rhoades-
wants business.

My new line is listening
to what he actually says,

and his standing directive
is stay clear of Axelrod,

so that's what we're gonna do.

Is Marc meeting you
at the airport?

Just the architect.
Wanted to keep it

- under the radar.
- You know, you really don't

have to go to Sandicot
if you don't want to.

That's kind of the whole point
of having people.

Yeah, but if we're building
a school to coax some goodwill,

I think it's probably
a good idea

for one of us
to actually be involved.

It's the least we can do.

We did take their prize statue.

Huh, well, you know I'd come
up with you if I could.


Today Suny Binghamton
takes precedence.

- Have a good trip.
- Yeah, you, too.

You realize she is a he, okay?

And she's huge. Like 300 pounds.
We finally flip her over.

She's coding, and the darned
paddles don't work.

We all know what it's like
when the paddles don't work.

Means I got to go manual.

Uh, excuse me, folks.

- To be continued.
- Thanks, Bob.

Back to chasing ambulances,

Bobby boy.

All wrapping wounds

and pressing flesh,
or have you got a minute?

The state has
a lieutenant governor, an AG,

university presidents.

All are a tick or two
ahead of you.

And some of them,
Hell, maybe all of them,

are gonna get in this thing.

Foley thought you were the one

that would cede
the most control.

A few months from now,
when you and all those others

are in the gubernatorial scrum,

churning, gasping,

drowning on dry land,

you know where I'll be?

Sitting in the corner,
watching, jerking off.

Gliding above you.

Sailing straight
into every debate.

A mainstay
of every conversation.

You've been polling.

No, but I've seen numbers.
They're encouraging.

I bet you've seen
the same numbers.

I know which end
of the poll is up.

So then you know

that there are some areas
where I could use some help.

- Upstate.
- Your backyard.

Oh, shit.

You want me to be
your lieutenant governor.

Come on, I'm here with you.

Man to man,
sketching the way forward.

You know,
I have won the lowliest

fucking elected offices
we've got.

Hell, I was the goddamned

sanitation commissioner
for a year.

Yeah, and I rode the trucks.

I've done it right.
I've done it hard.

And this...
this is my time.

My name recognition
is eight times yours.

Don't underestimate
Black Jack Foley... or me.

And name recognition means dick.

Nobody knew
George Pataki's name,

and then they elected him
three times, Chuck.

So when I've been governor
for 12 years,

they'll know my fucking name.

- This is insubordinate.
- Oh?

And what would you call
snaking someone else's lead?

Don't say
you were protecting me.

Protecting you?

This is the kind of shit
that made me...

What, like me or dump me?


Well, since we're here...

We can wait out here
till they're done.


I'm offering
to buy your product.

I'm offering to buy the product

from all seven
of your scrap yards

at a considerable premium.

And you're saying no?

I'm saying I already
have a buyer.

You didn't take this meeting
to tell me no.

Actually, I did.

But to tell you no nicely.

I don't know what's going on
between you and Foley,

but I know it's enough that
you're taking aim on him,

and I don't want
to do you disrespect

because I don't want you
taking aim on me.

Okay, I'm gonna skip the part

where I say, "Who's Foley?"

or, "What does he have to do
with this?"

I'm gonna go straight
to doubling the offer.

370 percent
of what you normally make.

I'm basically extorting myself.

And I wish I could
take advantage,

but this isn't a negotiation.

- There's no magic number.
- There's always a number.

Not in this case.
I do business in this state.

I live in this state.

Foley could make
both of those more unpleasant

than six hours
on the cross at Calvary.

I get out of bed one morning

and find overnight I'm jammed up

with licenses
and unions and taxes

and he's found
a dozen other ways

to hurt me I didn't see coming.

I thank you for your offer.

Hopefully we part on good terms,

but if not...

You're more afraid of him
than you are of me.

A billion dollars.

Are you offering me that?

I'm not fucking insane.

But you would have taken it.

I do something that's valuable.

I strip people naked
to the elements,

and then I help rebuild them
out of solid fucking rock.

- Now, can you appreciate that?
- I can.

Don't believe you.

Because if you did,

you wouldn't be asking me
to snitch.

Axelrod banished you.

He made you a Ronin.

I'm willing to bet he didn't
give it a moment's thought,

while you've been thinking about
it every second of the day,

suffering from something
you've never felt before.


And all because
you pledged yourself

to an unworthy lord.

Axelrod lacks five of the eight
virtues of the Bushido.


he wasn't even polite.

Under these circumstances,

honor doesn't demand
silence or self-harm.

It demands vengeance.

I can't deliver that vengeance.

I didn't have that much
one-on-one time with Axe.

He was used to flirting
with Wendy Rhoades.

I offered a different
kind of medicine.

So I didn't have access

to the kind of conversations
that you're interested in.

But I know who did.

His chief of staff.

Steph Reed.
That's her name.

She was in on every pitch,

and she doesn't work there
anymore, either.

- Taylor, right?
- Right.

How can I help you?

I have to tell you, I've had
927 hours of therapy.

So you've seen cognitive,

probably some holistic.

What do you think you need?

I need to know...

He's struggling.

He's our executing trader.
He needs to be "on." He's not.

And his fall-off coincided
with my advancement,

which makes me...

I was his intern.

He could have taken credit
for my work. He didn't.

So now you're feeling guilty.

And you're wondering
if that's healthy?

More than that.

I want to know if it's useful.

Do you care about

your relationships at Axe Cap?

How are those relationships?


- Why do you think that is?
- I know why.

Because the culture
is set from the top.

Since Axe likes me,
other people do, or pretend to.

Why do you think he likes you?

One of the two reasons
anyone likes anyone else.

Either they recognize
a part of themselves,

or they see
something they can use.

In this case,
I imagine it's both.

There's another reason
people like each other.

They see something
they're lacking,

and they want to be near it.

Is that what's between
the two of you?

I've noticed a... connection.

Everyone always just assumes
we were fucking.

I didn't.


We met at a similar moment,
when we were both trying

to figure out
who we were going to be.

- And did you?
- What?

Turn out the way you figured
back then?

In some ways, we did.

And in other important ways,
we maybe fell a little short.

You're at a similar moment

with a similar unlimited

- Okay.
- In all my years here,

no one has walked
through that door

because they were worried
how another person was feeling.

If you were anyone else,
I'd think you were pranking me.

I am different.

Uh, yeah.

As far as Mafee goes,
maybe just tell him

you think he's doing a good job.

He's not.

And I don't like to lie.
To myself, to others.

I've been there,
and I'm past that.

Well, then encourage him
without words.

Let him know you care.


Just buy him something.

Look, I'm just saying.

How many major banks
have had their CEOs

sent to fucking jail?

It's a small list, isn't it?

Spartan-Ives is tainted.

A lot of shops don't want them
walking through the door.

I get the anti-them.
What's the pro-you?

Industry leaders,
like Axe Capital,

need to get away
from the gilded cage.

- That's why we host...
- How much will you undercut

over the next two years?

Ten percent.

That's promising.
On the money.

But on the pleasure end,
it's not gonna cut it.

I mean, dinner.

An ordinary evening
augurs ordinary returns.

Let me show you how I like it.

Fire-walk with me.

Oh, sorry.
Does anyone want one?

He's actually vaping alcohol.


It really enhances the flavor
of the green fairy.

Maybe you say "when," Wags.

Apart from being able
to smoke your beverages,

how is this different from
where we would have taken you?

You would have brought us
to a demeaning,

run-of-the-mill titty bar.

This is an empowering cabaret

that celebrates
the feminine ideal.

College-educated professionals
by day,

entertainers by night.

Martha here is a viral marketer.

And a SoulCycle instructor.

You know I can't
do that out here.

Ohh. Capital idea.

Whoo-hoo, hoo-hoo-hoo!

You don't want
to get in on this?

No lap dances.
I made a pledge.

To Deb?

You're exclusive?

She's not. I am.

I like your mustache.

I have a mustache?

You ever see guys in here
from SoulCycle?

All the time.

Small world when
you're tapping it back.

That guy is staring at you.

Tommy Barkow.


- Fuck!
- He doesn't get Martha.

You bought her
for me for the night.

You got to jump primes now.


Enjoy your white truffle drink.

You're wasting the world's
most perfect fungus.

- Try it.
- Pass.

You know what it takes
to find a truffle?

A hog, a dog,
whatever keenly scented,

carefully trained animal
gets the assignment,

spends a lifetime
traipsing through the dark,

sniffing out
the slightest aroma.

And only then
the digging begins.

And what do you think
they're digging through?


That's the thing we don't
say much about, right?

The things we most value,

the things we pay
most dearly to ingest

are grown in shit.

What the fuck
are you talking about?

I had a conversation
with Bob Sweeney

that didn't go as smoothly
as a Dick Button figure eight.

Now my only option is
to squash him where he stands.

Oppo research, leverage.

Only I can't do it.

Well, that kind of politics,
it's disgusting.

You know, I interned once
on the Hill...

I meant I can't be a party
to it personally.

The due diligence.

The digging.

You want me to do it.

That's what this night is.

What makes you think
I know how to do something...

- Do you know?
- Of course.

I'm well-mannered.
I'm not nice.


You're basically asking me

to form the committee
to re-elect the president.

I always knew I'd end up
like John Mitchell.

- Ira.
- I'll do it.

Fuck it.

You know that I practically
live at St. Venus.

I must have forgotten that.

You didn't throw those
fucking Patriot Bank twinks

in my face to tell me
we're over.

You did it to spice up
the relationship.

What will you give me
to stay home?

Wags, what are you doing here?

Spartan-Ives is reducing
their fee 20 percent

- for the next two years.
- Outstanding.

I guess loyalty gets rewarded.

Mafee helped.

Say the other thing,
the thing that made you

come out here
instead of just texting.

20 percent is good.
It's great.

But it's not drive-over-


It... I'm not
supposed to be the one

all fucking worried about
grinding out the extra 20.

Uh, yeah, you are.
It's your job.

On paper.

But when I'm actually doing it,
it means you're not

because you're worried
about something else.


There is no reason to spend this
much energy, time, and money

trying to parse
the secret motives

of some son of St. Tammany.

You're right.
There isn't.

Except for one.

That's what
it tastes like, anyway.

Fear in the back of my throat.

You know, most people,
they try to move away from fear,

try to organize it out of their
lives as soon as they're able.

I cultivate it.

I try to recognize it
and order it and use it.

That's how I survived
growing up,

and it's how I still live
my life today,

heeding and listening
to my fear.

And what's it telling you now?

That this is not just
some political move.

It's personal.

And I cannot rest
until I fucking know why.

Axe Cap was not what
I thought it would be.

What did you expect?

A training ground.

A chance to observe
every part of the industry

sitting next to the best mind
in the industry.

And instead?

You ever read
The Banality of Evil?

I could see myself
ending up like that.

Following orders, normalizing.

In a way,
it was a relief to be let go.

You care to be a little
more specific

about the orders you didn't
want to follow?

I signed an NDA.

If I tell you any details
about Axe Cap,

I expose myself to liability.

And the loss
of a classic-six.

Look, you're the lawyers.

You're not honestly advising me

to break a valid contract,
are you?

Your medal.

We knew that you went
to West Point,

but that you care enough
to display it,

well, you weren't just making
your family proud.

That's a real sense of service.

I know I'm supposed to give
their lawyer a heads-up,

but I think I'm pretty safe
to talk...

if you bring me a subpoena.

I would have loved
to bring you more,

but she won't talk
without a subpoena.

I can't get one without
creating a paper trail,

and I wouldn't make this
official without your blessing.

Well, you might as well put
a bowl of ramen in front of me.

- I mean, I wanna slurp this up.
- I knew you would.

But I no longer give in
to those appetites.

This isn't an indulgence.
It's an obsession.

- Tell me I'm wrong.
- No, you're not.

But that obsession nearly
had me out on the street.

So now I have to ask
what's the upside?

Seeing that fuck in jail.

You still want that, don't you?

I want to see him in the ground.

But I also want
to see myself in Albany

and you in here.

So maybe there will be a time
when the moment presents itself,

and then I'll sign subpoenas
and request warrants

and we'll mobilize
and we will take him.

But that can't be now.

I'm glad I stayed.

I'm glad I let you.

Remember that board that's been
begging me to join?

The petting zoo.

It's an animal conservancy,
I think.

Anyway, tell them I'm in,
along with the big donation.

The only thing I want from them
is their assurance

that Jack Foley be named
their man of the year

and that I'll be the one
presenting him the damn thing.

A package came for you.
I put it on your desk.

It smells musty.

Thank you, Donna.






I thought my secretary

was fucking with me
when she said you were here.

- No, she told it true.
- So I see.

Tell me you didn't, uh, trek all
the way up to beautiful Buffalo

to ask to be
my lieutenant governor.

You know, see, I need diversity
down the ticket, you know?

Oh, don't sell our
potential ticket short.

Come on. We have so many
areas of commonality.

Gun control, healthcare.

Everything but family values.

What do you mean?

Well, I was thinking
about your son.

- The gay one.

You really think people have
a problem with that

- in this day and age?
- No, I think you do.

Which is why you sent him
to that religious boot camp

when he was 17...
to pray the gay away.

Boy, the letters that poor kid
sent to his friends.

You sling innuendo like that
without evidence,

you're gonna look like...

"They said we sexualized
masculine connection"

because we didn't have
enough healthy, non-sexual

connection with our fathers.

So they made me sit

with another kid

and then put our arms
around each other.

They called it 'healing touch, '

though, of course,
all I could think about

"was kissing his shoulder."


There was
a sympathetic counselor.

He made copies,
smuggled them out.

- I can read more if you'd like.
- Don't.

I see the wheels turning.

I see you trying to figure out
how to triage this one.

Well, what about
the political confessional?

You can stare into the camera
and deliver your mea culpa.

It would work, only you would
need to start out

with name recognition.

So I guess you have a choice.

This can be the way

the people of New York
finally learn your name

for forcing your son straight
in the name of the Lord.

"Healing touch" should play
great in the five boroughs.

Or you can step aside
and explain

that you have looked
at the future,

and where we're going,

"We need Rhoades."

You think this is how
this is gonna go?

I will see you
in the primaries, Chuck.

Looking forward to it.

A Hell in a Cell poster?

Autographed by Taker
and Mankind?!

- Ben, did you get me this?
- What?

I know it wasn't you.

Everything after
Sanmartino/Zbyszko is bullshit.

Okay, you just called
the Macho Man bullshit.

What was Stan Stasiak
and his heart punch?

Actually, I got it.

Uh, thanks.

It's got a "Brokeback"
sort of charm.

"I just can't quit you."


Yeah, I know where that is.

I'll be there.

That was Foley.
Just invited me to his house.

For the party?


This just arrived.

There are so many things

that we have gotten
relaxed about.

Running out ground balls
to first.

Knowing a martini means gin.

Isn't it nice that someone
is maintaining standards?

What do you think it means?

That he appreciates
your aggression.

Or he's furious
that you assassinated an ally.


Sweeney quit.

Out of the race before
it even began,

on the heels of your visit.

Come on.
Let's go pick out some tails.

Can someone take care of my car?

Valet's not open yet.

Shit. Danny.
Danny Margolis.

Anyway, uh, I'm not a valet.

I started as a valet.
Worked my way up to waiter.

Barback's just around
the corner, so... Heh.

Heard you ended up doing time.

Didn't make me happy.

Yeah, paid my debt, all that.

Hey, uh, Axe,
if you can use somebody

to analyze companies
or bring you ideas, you know...

You know,
I always liked you, Danny.

But you did the one thing
no one can ever come back from.

I'm honored

that the Restore the Eastern
Timber Wolf Conservancy

has seen fit to name me
its man of the year,

but I'm also a little surprised,

since I didn't, well,
until this morning,

actually know what an eastern
timber wolf looked like.

Kind of mangy.

I understand
it's the coyote blood.

Terrific organization, though.
Wouldn't you agree?

Haven't a clue.

Hell of a gambit, hmm?

If this was just a little row
between the two of us,

we'd shake hands,
I'd take that stupid award,

and you'd have nothing more
to fear.

So, are we shaking hands?

Humbled as I am
to have been singled out,

I must decline.

Do I need to call those
wolf people back, or...?

I'll take care of it.

So, you got what you came for.

You now know...

That you weren't trying
to fuck me over

out of some personal animus.

Someone asked you a favor,

and you wouldn't want
that same person

to see us cozy together
on the dais.

Would you mind telling me who?

Inelegant of you to even ask.

Because it forces me to say
that the Location Board

combs through many factors.

Sandicot submitted a proposal
and was under consideration,

as were many other locations.

The committee chose the location
that would bring

the greatest benefit to
the greatest number of people.

Yes, I know the party line.

You could have written
something more stylish.

It's not supposed to be stylish.

It's supposed to make you feel
a little bit ill,

like an out-of-season oyster.

You got into this room,
Mr. Axelrod,

because I appreciated the, uh,
fluidity of your tactics.

Thank you.

But our relationship ends
right there.

If we'd come together
some other way, I'd feel certain

we might have been
something like friends,

but that can never happen now,

despite the rareness
of your gifts.

I hold to a code of loyalty,

which may very well be outmoded,
but has served me well.

And to be honest,

I like the way it makes me feel
when I choose sides.

Well, that's something
I can understand.

Understand this, too, then.

I know you're not satisfied
with what you've learned.

Your search will continue,

and it may take you down
a great number of paths.

But don't come back down
this one.

There's nothing for you here.

Now, if you'll excuse me...

Yeah, sure.

Ahh, you have to get ready
for your thing.

A last question,
if you'll indulge me.


Do you like parties?

Oh, I fucking love 'em.

Hey, Margolis.

Turns out I do have
something for you after all.

That's great.
Should I stop by the office?

You're not walking through
that door ever again.

This isn't a fresh start.

I have to use you
for what you are now, Danny.

But if you come through for me,
I'll pay off your house.

Oh, thank you for
switching nights with me.

It has all been
really last-minute.

Yeah, I know.

If you think my dinner suit
was trying too hard,

this must look ridiculous.

No, no, I wasn't...

I've been thinking
about our fight.

Which one?

After you used Kevin
as a photo op.


It was a mistake.

Yes, I know. You told me.
Hence the fight.

No, what I said
when I was angry,

that, that was
the bigger mistake.

I was closing off,
and boundaries are one thing,

but we shouldn't be encouraging
each other not to share things.

Honesty is essential
if we're gonna figure this out,

whether we're finding our way
back to each other or...

I've been regretting
the same conversation myself.

I didn't mean what I said
about seeing other people.

I twisted your words
to get us there

because I was feeling defensive,

and, uh, I suppose, guilty.

I went on a date, I think.

No, it was a date.

A woman from jiu-jitsu.

Nothing really happened.

A kiss.

I stopped it there

because whatever
our declared status,

in my heart,
it felt like adultery.

It's okay.


Yeah. Yeah.

I'm sorry.
I hijacked the conversation.

No, no, I, um...

I feel like I should
volunteer something, too,

in the spirit of honesty.


You have something like that?


Yeah, I have something to admit.

You don't look ridiculous.
You look fuckin' hot.


It's Wendy Rhoades.

I'm sorry to call so late,
but I figured

- you'd still be at the office.
- I am.

That first question you asked.

Are your feelings
about Mafee helpful?

More than any stock
you'll ever champion,

more than any time you'll
impress somebody by being right.

You haven't noticed yet.

By the time anyone notices,
it's usually too late,

but that place has a way
of obscuring,

corroding, eating you
from the fucking inside.

And you have a rare chance
to survive.

You're so far ahead
of where Axe and I were

when we were your age.

We hadn't made hard choices.
You know yourself better.

And your feelings are a lifeline

connecting you back
to that place,

screaming at you from your core,
"Don't forget me.

Don't forget.
I don't like to lie."

I don't.

If you start to feel yourself

not feeling,

do what you did the other day
and come find me...

before it's too late...
for both of us.

I have to go.

- This is how you do it.
- Uh-huh.

He's got piss
all over his big boy's.

I'm just gonna play one.
Uh, maybe two.

Foley doesn't fuck around.
That's Ben Folds.

No, even when he fucks around,
he means business.

- Mr. Rhoades.
- Yes.

Mr. Foley would like to see you
in the library.

Your father's
been telling me about you

since you were
in knickerbockers.

Don't think I ever wore those.

No, he showed me the pictures.

Must have been you.

He'd never go around
with photos of the bastards.

He's put a lot of time into you.

My own children
didn't have the drive.

Maybe I spoiled them too much.

Had to find other prospects.

But by this point,
it's a pretty deep farm system.

I've been drafting
blue-chippers, high upsides,

and reclamations
for three decades.

So why should I sign you
off the street?

Oh, I think you're confused.

I'm not trying
to sell myself to you.

You didn't just put Sweeney
out of the race.

You crushed his spirit.

No reason to do that
unless you wanted

to tell me something about you.

Maybe I just couldn't
help myself.

Or maybe I knew
you were dangling him

to see what I would do.

Whatever's meant to happen
always does.

I had a gut feeling.

That's how I do this.
That's how I do all of it.

So, what's the trick?

The trick?

Well, like most,
it's bracingly simple.

You pick the right man,

and then you get him
the fuck out of his own way

so people can actually see him.

Elections aren't about ideas.

Elections are about candidates.


And candidates
are about what's in here.

I am the right man.

I am not going to ask you.

You can't think
it works that way.


Will you make me governor?


My friends will become
your friends,

and your enemies
will become mine,

as some already have.

Uh, about that clerkship,
you can put that

- out of your mind.
- Well, thank you.

I'm sure my granddaughter
has put it out of hers.

It's not really over.

There are other judges
more senior and prestigious.

I will deliver you
that clerkship.

Whatever's meant to happen
always does.

I know. I know.
It's starting to feel real.

Heavy lies the head that...

The hesitation
is still about Axelrod.



You know the joke about
the two bulls on top of the hill

and the cows down below?

The young bull wants
to run down and fuck one.

And the old bull says, "Let's
walk on down and fuck 'em all."

That has been repeated so many
times in movies, TV shows.

It's taken as received wisdom,

except the thing is you can't.

Nobody gets to fuck 'em all.

You got to choose
which one you're gonna fuck,

and then... fuck her good.

Son of a bitch.

Welcome to the Yale Club.

Hey. Excuse me.
Are you a member?

Do I look like a fucking member?

- We have a dress code.
- Good for you.

And she stepped
on the billiard ball!



You fucking weasel!

Show your fucking weasel face!



Well, uh, Bobby,

if you wanted to play squash,
you should have called ahead.

I know what you and your two
daddies did up in Sandicot.

I really don't know
what you're talking about.

You thought moving that casino
would, what, fuck me up?

Get me to sell off
one of my jets?

Well, guess what I'm doing now.

Losing your religion
in the Yale Club?

Drinking that town's
fucking milkshake.

Everything that was once theirs
will be mine,

sold off, recycled,

stuck on a pedestal
in my office, doesn't matter.

In the end, I will not lose

one single penny from Sandicot.

In fact, I will be made whole,
more than whole,

but you will have spent all that
political capital for nothing.

Well, as I said,
I really have no idea

what you're talking about.

But, Dad, isn't there a dress
code in the common areas?

Did Morgan at the front desk
not offer you a courtesy blazer?

- Hmm.
- We apologize on his behalf.

That type of rudeness
is unacceptable.

You know, they say

that a boy never
really becomes a man

until he's buried his father.

Now, mine's been dead to me

since the moment he walked out
when I was 12 years old.

I don't remember if I cried,

but I do remember that I was
forced to grow the fuck up.

So it always warms my heart
when I see a boy

who still has his father's
shoulder to lean on,

his father's contacts to deploy,

his father's balls clanking
around in place of his own,

which haven't quite dropped yet.

Hold on to this man, Chuck,

for one day soon,
he will be gone,

and then you will finally

have to do something
for yourself.

Let's take a walk.

Son, everything I did
was for you.

Because you were born too soon
and started too late?

Look, if you're going
to hide me, just let loose.

Dad, Dad, I'm not mad at you.

Not this time.

Is that your way
of finally saying thank you?

Axelrod is spiraling.

Oh, I recognize the signs

because that was me
not too long ago,

and a man like that
can be induced to a mistake.

He's already made one,
hasn't he?


You know, I don't know

if it was part of your plan
or a happy accident,

but Axelrod has decimated
the part of the state

where I poll weakest.

He's shown you his neck.

He has.

And you get to become
the defender of the people.

And you'll get

the governor's mansion
for your efforts.

And Connerty's started.

You got one of those Cheroots?

- Fundadores.
- Mm-hmm.

Yes, I do.

Maybe in the end,

you're the one guy that does
get to fuck 'em all.