Billions (2016–…): Season 2, Episode 9 - Sic Transit Imperium - full transcript

Axe is offered inside information from a former employee and considers whether to use it. Chuck faces external pressure to drop an ongoing investigation. Lara plans a lavish birthday ...

Previously on Billions...

Sandicot's not getting
the gaming license.

The committee chose the
location that will bring

the greatest benefit to the
greatest number of people.

The gaming license was the guarantee

that Sandicot would pay off the notes.

So, it's fallen
upon all of you to figure out

how to get us un-fucked.

Austerity. It's your only option.

Axe Cap was not what
I thought it would be.

You care to be a little more specific?



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.

The Churchill World War II.
You sure, Chuck?

"Never give in. Never give in."

From the day I passed the bar,

I have said those words to myself
the first morning of every trial.

- You can still say the words.
- Hello. I'm Taylor.

My pronouns are "they,"
"theirs," and "them."

You see things differently.
That's an edge.

That's Camelot right there.

That is a picture of a
man running for office.

- Our deal hold?
- Yes, but not for you.

You want a session? See someone else.



My office is off-limits.

I should've told you about Wendy
before I even spoke to her.

What if I won't see her?
I'll draw a line.

Black Jack Foley.

How are you, Charles?

I'll be better if you help me
out with a little something.

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

- synced and corrected by sot26 -
www.addic7ed.com

Thanks, Wags, but... really?

You got me VR goggles?
What, am I turning 13?

If you were, Uncle Wagsy
would be getting you laid

by the most beautiful
call girl in the state.

But you're a big man
having a big birthday,

so the gift matches.
And you're not there yet.

It's called The Arque,

the foremost luxury
bunker for end times.

A hedge against humanity.

Stocks of non-perishable food,

water purification equipment,
seed banks,

DNA cold storage, medical supplies,
and surgical equipment.

Everything you need, jefe, even weapons.

- For what?
- I don't know.

Terrorists. Cannibals.

Happy birthday.

This coin means that
you've got a spot reserved.

I made the down payment.

And I'm not too classy to
say that it ran me 360K.

Sic Transit Imperium.

"So passes the empire."

Thanks, Wags.

I can see you put a lot
of thought into this.

You get a spot for yourself?

If humanity has to be rebuilt,

it sure as fuck
shouldn't be in my image.

Besides, you know I wanna be

on the outside,
rocking with the marauders.

Let's go.

You went with a sailcloth option.

- Huh?
- Tent.

Oh, yeah. Lara picked it.

Axelrod has never made a move
as brazen, as public

as looting a working class town.

Yeah, now he's like the bad
guy in a Springsteen song.

Exactly so.

Oh, he's the boss man
closing down the factory

and kicking Johnny 99 to the street.

We're going to attack. Bryan.

Now the thrust of this muni-bond deal,

buying of the debt, forcing austerity...

Austerity. What a lovely word

for fucking the life
out of 180,000 people.

Yeah. Well, the bond deal itself,
reprehensible as it is,

is completely legal.
It's the timing that's suspect.

Axe jumped in when he did
because he knew something.

We laser in on how he
came by the information,

who's involved, how money
may have changed hands.

Information like this is never free.

There's bribes and payoffs under it.

Real Meeting Across the River shit.

What, only white men
can listen to The Boss?

Oh, not at all. No.

In fact, like the main character
in that deep cut,

Axe is not gonna win here.

Something has to tie back to him.

We're on a path.
Uh, location board, gaming commission.

Uh, it's Albany.

You can't have a PTA bake
sale without kickbacks.

Let's mount up.

Sandicot team has a
long drive ahead of us.

Kate? That subpoena come
through for Steph Reed?

Thirty minutes ago.
I will have her in here this afternoon.

It's a big deal, source that close.

You have my complete confidence.

I thought Connerty did.

I have enough confidence to go around.

Aparicio Rodriguez.

Plays third.

Kid's the next Sal Bando.

First round draft pick next June.

I've been paying for private
lessons for him since he was 13

in exchange for a chunk of the
kid's future signing bonus.

It's recoup time.

2,000 percent ROI...

...even counting the dozen
other kids I invested in

but had to cut loose.

- All right, guys, take a break!
- Rodriguez, bring it in.

I got you a birthday present.

- Him?
- No. Klaxon.

- Belgian car company.
- An auto scheme?

I'd rather have the ballplayer.
At least this guy can hit.

This is better.

It's something I couldn't
discuss at the office.

Did you know about this?

Not the details, only that there
was something worth hearing.

I heard rumors.
Dug into it off-campus, off the books.

They're headed for a recall.

Major fines, sanctions.

- Bottom's gonna drop out.
- When?

Unknown, but we gotta move
fast to lay in our position.

This news won't hold long.

What's your level of certainty?

I am not uncertain.

Any particulars I need to know?

No.

I'll think about it.

Whoa, wait. This... this is automatic.

This cow's got a bolt to its head,

and it's hanging upside-down.

You just gotta carve it up and eat it.

Times are changing.

No matter how not uncertain you are,

these days, I take a laparoscope
to the fucking guts of every deal.

Gents, if I may... What's to gain?

A hundred million?
It's a drop in the bucket.

It's not worth giving the
government the opening.

Perfectly said, Wags.

Has he made you afraid of Rhoades,

whispering pussy excuses in your ear?

You're really that fucking scared, Axe?

You back off, Bill.

Why? 'Cause he can end my world,
burn my contacts,

and keep every cent of
my bonus for himself?

That... That's supposed
to make me hold my tongue?

- Fuck, yeah.
- See? That...

That's why you will never
buy and sell equities.

No, all that's supposed
to make me more brazen

when I know I'm fucking right.

It's okay, Wags. It's okay.

Come here.

If I were standing where you are,

I'd be even more
strident in my approach.

But I'm standing here,
so I have to be the opposite...

reflective, calm, considered.

It's just about who I am at
this precise moment in time.

What business are we in, hmm?

I thought it was a business of profit,

of free men and women,

beyond the apparatchiks
and their pathetic rules.

Yeah, all of that
and "Who is John Galt?"

Look, I'm a rich man.

You're a very rich man.

If we can't live how we want,
then the terrorists have already won.

Back in the cage!

Let's go.

What the fuck was that?

That was a guy who was giving
me all the right questions.

We're looking at a
police force at half-capacity.

The library is open 12 hours a week.

Why, that is... revolting.

No, I see what's happening here.

You are not invisible. You matter.

- Lock him up!
- Yeah!

If the law gives me the power, I will.

And... if the law doesn't,

well, then somebody needs to
get to work changing the law.

Yeah.

Robert Kennedy said,

"Every society gets the
criminal it deserves."

Sandicot sure didn't
deserve Bobby Axelrod.

But you do deserve the law enforcement

I plan on bringing.

Right, right, right.

Thank you.

Go! Gotta go!

You sure you don't want to talk to 'em?

No. I don't need to sound my own horn.

Now if the people of Sandicot
wanna trumpet it for me...

Sir.

Will you come with me?

Well, well.

Impressive ground game,

showing me there's no corner
of the state you don't touch.

Ah, I planned to be up here.

Sure.

Ah, so...

Uh, is your granddaughter
enjoying Washington?

Just getting settled in. Hmm.

She and I remain touched by
the generosity of your spirit.

Good. That's nice to hear.

Ah, there's someone,
uh, I need you to see.

George Minchak.

- Okay.
- She vets all of my candidates.

You want her to know everything.

It's a stress test.

- Yeah.
- We prepare for what

the opposition will use.

I'm not really sure I'm
entirely comfortable with that.

My last candidate who did not use her...

was Spitzer.

I'll fit her right in.

And we need to do it right
now because of the attention

this, uh, unofficial
campaign visit will bring.

I'd have told you if I'd thought that...

No, you... you don't need
to tell me everything.

You need to tell Minchak everything.

Then Minchak tells me.

Hmm.

- That was a joke.
- Okay.

Uh, what you're doing up here,
um, feeling their pain?

It's a time-honored tradition.

And the way you refused to,
uh, play to the grandstand,

thus ensuring that the, uh,
reporters will chase you

to the next whistle stop,
that brings a smile.

Yes, I felt that
to do interviews at this time

would only have downside.

Yeah, it's as worthless
as a $100 dollar bill

to a rooster with a hard on.

Well, if you're thinking of
having a meal before you leave,

try the Garbage Plate.

It's a local delicacy.

That looks hard to resist.

You'll hardly be able.

Eat the shit out of it.

I've been angling to get
into investor relations

for 16 months.

Hmm. I didn't know that.

Does that mean I haven't been
doing it assertively enough?

Maybe, um, not necessarily.

We can talk about ways

to be more clear and more goal-oriented,

if that's what you're interested in.

It's just... I don't know
what I'd be selling.

Sandicot is...

is hard to swallow, placing the calls,

crowing about our returns
at the expense of a town.

Just makes me feel...

so isolated...

and kind of sad.

A lot of people are
having problems with it.

Do you ever feel that way,

like the things we have to do
compromise us somehow?

This isn't about me.

But why are you feeling this way?

Is it just about Sandicot?

No. There are other things that I see.

And I remember being a kid
and our reverend saying,

- "He who looks..."
- Yeah, we need to stop here.

I'm not sure having an
overgrown conscience

is gonna help you get that
investor relations job,

you know?

- Thank you.
- Mm-hmm.

- You know what I hate?
- Fish, fowl, or mammal?

Learning something about myself.

When is that bullshit just gonna stop?

- Dollar Bill?
- What he said,

he's kind of right. I've become a pussy.

No. We just made a choice to
stop living on the edge is all.

Is it?

What'd she say?

She told me to suck it up.

Then she said an overgrown
conscience isn't gonna help me.

She said that? Okay. She saw through it.

Axe, I was thinking about

my position here, and I think
I would make an excellent...

It was a script, Deb. Don't internalize.

Look who's making a racket in Sandicot.

He's coming again, isn't he?

He never wasn't.

Tell Dollar Bill no on Klaxon.

What do you get a billionaire?

God, I wish I had the stones to skip it.
I hate these things.

You love parties.

Well, I recently took the
Myers-Briggs personality test,

and it turns out I'm an introvert.

I'm not sure that test is rock-solid.

I thought I like parties, but I don't.

On a deeper level,
it disturbs my equilibrium.

Is that why you woke up the
day after the Christmas party

in a yellow snow drift
behind the strip joint?

Exactly.

Bearing of a Roman Centurion?

Or slices through rough seas

- like a Man-O-War?
- What?

Birthday speech. You got skills?

Not for... all that.

But the party, I have a conflict.

I want to gauge the
importance of attending.

Axe doesn't take attendance,
but he knows who's in the room.

- I'll leave it at that.
- Fuck.

Did you just say "fuck"?

I did.

You're one of us now.

What was the nature of
your job at Axe Capital

as you understood it?

I was to be next to Axe
in every meeting,

to be the firewall
against illicit dealings.

I was a witness and to make sure

things were being done above board.

Tell me about Axe.

He was unreadable.

At three o'clock, he was writing checks

to aid earthquake
victims in the Caribbean.

At 3:45, he was cornering the market

on Churchill first editions
just to stick it to an enemy.

And then one day,
he just fragged my ass.

I never really saw it coming.

Did he give an explanation?

No. I guess he just didn't
want a witness anymore.

Referred to himself as a Terminator.

What does that mean?

A cybernetic organism,
programmed to kill.

Living tissue over
robotic endoskeleton...

I've seen the movie. I just meant...

He has some sort of programmed mission,

and I was standing in the way.

The day before he fired me,
Bill Stearn approached

with a play that was
clearly over the line,

citing a source named Victor.

Did he say the...

They didn't talk about it...
because I was in the room.

But without me, one or both of them

would have circled back,
no doubt about it.

Or else Axe would've filled my position.

No. He wanted no impediments
to illegal activity,

and that's what he has now.

Dollar Bill's tough. We have a history.

Anyone else?

Try Taylor Mason.

They have become something
of a prodigy, a go-to.

Anything big Axe is wading into,

Taylor's there with a snorkel mask.

I believe it's time,
nay, long past time,

to transform your charitable arm
and engender a permanent foundation.

Properly stewarded,
it will write the name

of your benevolence on the ages,

alongside Carnegie, Vanderbilt.
A creation of consequence.

Because otherwise, what's it all for?
Is that right?

I don't pretend to answer

that which lies in the
realm of the theologians.

Yet you just happened to pitch
me legacy on my birthday?

I won't claim happenstance.

This is the time when a man like you
allows reflection to dictate action.

He thinks I need him to steward
this whole legacy thing.

You don't need me,

but I would be qualified
for such a position.

What do you make at your current gig?

I prefer not to really get into that.

It's public record, Sean.

Have some dignity and spare us the time.

Two-hundred twenty-five thousand.

Okay. And a, uh, "true steward"

of a multi-billion dollar
charitable foundation,

what would that put me back, Wags?

In the range of $350,000
to $500,000 a year,

I think it was.

Yeah. See, I have looked
into this before.

And you are not the first one in here
looking to double his salary.

But today is your lucky day,

because I do want to set up
a permanent foundation

with you as its steward.

I accept.

With one urgent recommendation.

Cancel your party.

That's direct.

You just offered me enough,
so I have to be.

You cannot throw a lavish party

at the very moment when you're
draining the meager resources

of what amounts to a village
of apple-cheeked orphans.

That party was organized long
before Sandicot got grounded.

A change of course?
That's reactionary. Weak.

I am not hiring you
to serve me weak tea.

You're really hiring him? Why?

Hired. We shook.

I'm setting a course that
needs to be acknowledged

in all future stories
about wherever we go next.

Ayles may be what he is,

but he speaks the nasal language
of culture and credibility.

And you just bought that.

It's what all the great
philanthropists did,

wrote their names on the ages

and laundered their
reputations in the process.

I'm keen to get started.

Hey. I gotta go relieve Wendy.

What was so important?

Ice Juice.

It's a natural beverage company.

A proprietary process called Flash-Pas.

I own a chunk of the company,

and I've represented
the founder... forever.

He's done. He wants out.

I can take it over.

Majority ownership. It is within reach.

I just need the cash.

Your, uh, lockup period is ending?

You said you wanted
to do something for me.

- Now is when I need it.
- I meant what I said.

I owe you, but, I mean,
you know my money's in a blind trust.

I know. I don't want your money.

Oh, I see.

My father. You want his money.

Except I never get involved
in his business deals

for ethical as well as...
personal reasons.

Chuck, this is my chance.

This IPO is... It's a blockbuster.

This is... This is that leap
that I've always talked about,

the one I've been waiting
my whole life to take.

Well, you know him.
Why don't you just call?

Well, if it comes from you,
he'll take it more seriously.

If I make the call, then
it's tantamount to me endorsing it,

which is... not something
I can do right now.

Look, you know I see

the inside of more deals
per day than anyone.

This is the one that
I've been waiting for

to get me out of that
goddamn law office.

I do know that you would not be here

unless the deal was a winner.

I'll...

Let me think.

Of course. Of course.

All right.

Look what Wags got me.

The Arque?

Luxury survival bunker. It's a scam.

Why does everything need to be a scam?

When the Armageddon comes,
the doors will be locked.

I think it's a good idea, a fail-safe.

The end could come sooner
than anyone might think.

Yeah, it might already have come.

We just don't know it yet.

Well, what do you think'll happen
when it all really goes to shit?

Well...

Getting to the mountains
could be a problem.

We'd have to let the pilot
and his family in the Arque.

Yeah. We'd really
have to build it ourselves,

recruit all the security forces

just to ensure absolute loyalty.

Mm, and secrecy, you know?

No VR sales tours.

And we'd also have to
make room for my family,

Matty and Mary and Ned

and Connie and Lu and Mo, Sean.

Yeah, I'm not sure about that, Lar.

Excuse me?

Well, we wouldn't
leave them just to die.

We'd buy two Arques,
ours in the Canadian Rockies,

and one for your family in... Jersey.

- So generous.
- Well, fuck it.

I should probably just go
down with the whole ship,

this fucking tent,
hedge funds, all of it.

Half my life now is
ass-covering and optics,

fucking optics of everything
from parties to put options.

I'm spending half a mil
on some stuffed shirt

to brush up my fucking image.

Come on, maybe we should
split for the weekend, now,

before we need the goddamn Arque.

And bail on the party?

Just the two of us.
We'll celebrate our way.

No.

Big occasions like this
need to be marked,

acknowledged,

for posterity and for fun.

You deserve to be celebrated.

And you should be surrounded
by your whole gang

so they can honor you, too.

They work for me.
They're not my friends.

What about Wags and Dollar Bill?

If they're not your friends,
they're kind of like brothers.

You know, they deserve a chance
to show you how they feel.

I'm not even gonna tell you
who you sound like right now.

And Wendy, too.

You know I decided not to see her.

And I was clear about that,
and I've stuck to it.

So... I don't know if she'll want...

Just because you don't
talk to her professionally

doesn't mean that you
can't take one night

to commemorate the importance of it all.

She's foundational to Axe Capital...
and to you.

Hey. Sorry I'm late.

No, it's okay. I was... tired.

You were out of town?

Uh...

Yeah. I don't know if you heard,
but I was up in Sandicot.

It's a real mess up there.

Looking to punish those responsible.

I was invited to Axe's birthday party.

I said no.

Hmm. What's that about?

My readjustment back
at Axe Cap has been...

more difficult than I
thought it would be.

How so?

I've felt manipulated.

I may have done some of that, too.

I may have given you the impression

that I was happy there,
and I may well end up that way.

But the truth is, it's been bumpy.

Well, why are you staying?

Oh, you don't have to answer that...

No, it's what I've been asking myself.

I built something.

I put myself into it, and now...

It's not what you remembered,
not what you fell in love with.

I think I went back
to see if I still could.

Something I tell my patients

when they're hesitating about
making some kind of move

in their own life is,
sometimes you have to jump in...

- Mm.
- all the way in to find out.

They are lucky to have you.

It's easy when it's about someone else.

Yeah.

It's about you, it's hard to know.

When do you... keep working at it?

When do you... give up?

I don't know.

Dollar Bill's telling the truth.
It looks clean.

Even if they trace his burner

or get into his air-gapped
laptop, like I did,

nothing will come back to you,

unless somebody talked.

Like his source?

Victor Mateo. You were right.

Fuck.

This is complicated,
because Victor always puts himself

where the money is,
but it's usually far from pristine.

Well, then he's the potential weak link.

He's either looking to
get back in your graces

or trying to get close enough

to jab a ricin-tipped
umbrella into your thigh.

Hello?

Oh. I was... calling for Wendy.

She's not available. Who's calling?

Lara Axelrod. This must be Chuck.

That's right.

Can I tell her what it's regarding?

My husband's birthday party.

She RSVP'd "no,"
and I just wanted to make sure

she knew that both Bobby and I would

really be delighted to
see her at the house.

Well, uh, I will certainly
pass along your message.

But I do know that she
was feeling a lack of...

clarity in terms of going.

I'm guessing things are tense
and complicated right now,

and this can't be helping.

You're not guessing.

I know this is weird.
I was just calling to say...

she's back at the company,

and the company will all be here,
so she should be, too.

You know,
if we don't mark the milestones,

we're just passing with the time.

Well said.

And I'd invite you as her plus one,
but under the circumstances...

Yeah. There is
such a thing as too weird,

even for all of us.

Well, uh,
I will pass along your message.

Good night.

Chuck.

- Hi, Chuck.
- Hey.

You know, I think that
you're not going to the party

because of me,

which pleases me in a way
that it probably shouldn't.

Oh, Chuck.

Wendy,

I say go to the party.

Either it'll feel right or it won't.

But...

you gotta jump in and find out.

How's Victor been?

Look, I would've told you
it came from him,

but the last time
I mentioned his name...

For good fucking reason.

- Because Steph Reed was there.
- Yeah, because I fired his ass.

And sure, I paid him off
to keep the peace, but...

My God, I think
he'd still love to roast me.

You trust me? Right?

With my life.

Because there's certain
guys you just know about.

You look 'em in the eye, and you know.

Other guys, you know things about.

And with Victor, it... it's both.
Yeah, I know him.

But also...

I know things about him.

And the things I know, he can't fuck me,

so he can't fuck you.

So that might be enough for you.
I understand.

But it's not enough for me, not anymore.

You know,
before the Old West gunslingers

were turned into dime store
paperbacks and cartoons,

the word "outlaw" meant something.

It meant that the law
didn't apply to you.

No protection.

You run across a guy on a forest road,

he could kill you. No repercussions.

I mean... you used to love Victor,

and trust him before all this started.

He didn't do anything to
deserve the fate you gave him.

That's what makes
this decision so tricky.

He had the right to cold dish me.

I just don't know that he's past it yet.

Oh.

Why don't you ask him yourself?

Look him in the face.

That's your present.

And you might find it's worth
more than a hundred million.

So, Steph Reed...

I wish she were more of an asset.

Axelrod has been very careful.

Here are the notes from the interview,
if you're interested.

Terminator?

Cyberdyne Systems, series 800,
Resistance Infiltrator.

- Got it.
- It's kind of a miss,

so I went back into the Sandicot file
and ran this down.

Old stock car.

Title was transferred to casino
developer, Donald Thayer,

from Bobby Axelrod.

Gentlemen, start your engines.

Thought you forgot the way in here.

Know it by heart.

Couple things.

- Okay. Go.
- Deb Kawi.

I knew you made her.

The next time you tell someone
to lose their conscience

- will be the first time.
- Don't run people at me.

- Got you in the office.
- No.

I'm here because of the other thing.

Your birthday.

Okay. What, specifically, about that?

Your wife asked me to come.
Said you wanted me there.

- Is it true?
- I think you know me well enough

to know the answer to that question.

Quite a hole you've dig yourself

right here in the middle of
scenic Kingsford, Thayer.

It's not my best. It's not my worst.

I just have one question,

the only question that matters.

Who is Bobby Axelrod to you?

He's a friend.

Why else would he have given
me that Dodge out front?

Figured you knew that if you
were here asking questions.

I also know about that
above-market lease

you signed on his Sandicot land.

Is it wrong to overspend?

My wife dings me for that all the time.

- Uh-huh.
- Yeah, you know,

- I see something I like...
- Nah.

No one will believe that.

Oh, not when we run 'em through

the litany of business
dealings you've engaged in

that could, uh, most charitably
be described as shady

and most accurately as criminal.

Fraudulent loan applications,

union payoffs, stiffing vendors,

and yet, writing off
the expenses on your account.

You do everything to save
a buck on the business end.

Are you leveraging me?

I've been strong-armed
by the vowel guys.

- Never bent.
- Oh.

Oh, I bet you'd like to
put me in that hole...

like you used to do it.

Then pour the concrete.

They never find 'em
when you do that, do they?

No one wants to tear
a whole building down,

but you can't now.
Now, you're respectable... ish.

You've changed your narrative.

So let me suggest a new
chapter in your story,

one in which you are the
unindicted co-conspirator

rather than a defendant.

Which story is that?

The story of Sandicot.

Let me tell it to you,
then you tell it back,

if it's true, of course, which it is.

You and Axelrod entered
into a criminal conspiracy

to bribe Marc Capparello
for inside information

on the deliberations of
the Location Committee

and where they were
gonna put your casino.

Wow.

You're some fucking gangster,

swaggering up here, making threats.

From you, "fucking gangster"
sounds like a compliment.

Not how I meant it.

Axelrod is not your friend.

Let me help you keep on the right side.

You'd love to know what I got on him.

Problem is,

I don't need whatever
deal or immunity you got.

See, I already have my umbrella.

I'm singin' in the fucking rain.

You?

You're just standing there, gettin' wet.

I'll see you on Pearl Street
at my arraignment...

if you got the brass.

Three and two, count is full.

I grew up playing stickball.

You wanna grab that broom
handle and stand in?

I'll get too intense.

Okay.

People are telling me
I can't miss your party.

No, because those people
think the only way to advance

is by following the
rules and social mores.

They have no fucking idea
why we do what we do.

I don't think I'm any better than them.

Of course you do.

You even know it a little bit.

Do not feel obligated to attend.

Okay.

Why are you missing it, by the way?

You don't wanna party with me?

It's my sister's wedding.

Rehearsal dinner on
Mackinac Island in the U.P.

- Michigan.
- Oh, yeah. I know.

Not a lot of flights.

You're rich.
They're called private planes.

I almost booked it.

I just don't know if I
can actually get on it.

The carbon footprint alone is...

You're really that worried
about the world ending?

Yes.

What about your own world?

Not so much.

Well, before that
existential dread racks you,

buy some offsets.

Donate to the Rainforest Alliance.

As a matter of fact, if you do that,

I'll have Deb book the plane for ya.
Done. Move on.

It's not just that. It's...

I never thought I'd be thinking
about living this life.

You're living it already.

Do you think I ever thought I'd be here?

I never thought I'd be more than
just a numbers guy at the track.

Aqueduct?

Nah. Trotters. I'd still be at the track

if it weren't for this one guy,
a gambler.

He worked a seat at Commodities.
He thought I'd be good.

So he took me to Four World Trade,
and I saw it immediately.

I could read the tape just
like the odds on the board.

It was like walking into something
between a casino and the U.S. Mint.

So I bought a seat at
the exchange for 64K,

and that was it.

Is that a common career trajectory?

Not anymore. Wasn't back then either.

And you're glad it went this way?

Yeah. Why shouldn't I be?

So before I let you get
back to your childhood,

the moral of the story is...

just get on the fucking plane, huh?

No.

The moral of the story is,
you get one life,

so do it all.

Why did I have Thayer dead to rights,

and he wasn't even nervous?

Why were you sitting with
Thayer in the first place?

How does that help you
with headlines, blind items...

community leaders?

Oh, you weren't
encouraging me to be smart.

You were protecting one of your own.

Did you handpick him for the deal?

Did I make a mistake with you?

Are you fighting for inches or yards?

I am so close to getting Axe.

I can run on that.

I can win on that.

That's what we both want.

If you are the man I think and...
and hope you are,

you will get him... on something else.

You know it's not the first time
Axe has gone bad on something.

What did Thayer give you, four points?

I don't handcuff. You're free
to go after Thayer if you want.

But play out those dominoes first,

and not just for Axe.

Thayer takes a hit,
the casino goes away.

Those upstate jobs go away.

It leaks that my father
started things in Sandicot...

and the last one falls on me.

Chuck, Sandicot is a circle.

Wherever you start on that path,

it leads right back to you... to us.

And right now,
no one knows that you and my father

crushed that town as much as Axe.

Yes.

And why don't we keep it that way?

You know what, Jack?

I think I'll get Axe on something else.

Whatever you feel is best.

♪ Well, I know that it's getting late ♪

♪ But I don't wanna go home ♪

♪ I'm in no hurry, baby ♪

♪ Time can wait ♪

♪ 'Cause I don't wanna go home ♪

♪ Listen to the man sing his song ♪

You're seeming... shy tonight.

We can't escape our nature.

Enough with the Myers-Briggs, Mafee.

- Cheers.
- Cheers.

The man here yet?

- Nah, I haven't seen him.
- Cheers.

What? Weird.

Yeah?

Hey.

Have a seat.

Fuck. Thayer stonewalled us?

I'm not gonna shield you
from this, Bryan, all right?

I have decided not to
pursue Thayer or Sandicot,

for strategic reasons.

- Politics.
- Yeah.

Plain and simple.

Tell the team.

Welcome to my bowling club.

I worked it out so I
had it private tonight.

Sweet. How are ya, Victor?

Lots of times, I thought about,
if I ran into you,

what I might say... or do.

Here I am. Hit me. I can take it.

That's in the past.

Fuck you, Axe.

You think every time you take
a meeting or take a shit,

it's deep and filled with wisdom.

But you made a mistake letting me go.

You cut me, but you cut
yourself worse in the process.

You're not wrong, Victor.

You were collateral damage.
I regretted it.

- Really?
- Briefly.

And for a few moments after,
which surprised me.

You getting soft?

I came all the way out here, Victor,

on the recommendation of a dear friend,

to look at you.

- What do you see?
- A man who's stuck...

at a boutique firm,
a glorified day trader.

Making good money,
but not as good as it used to be.

But that's not the sticky part.

You can't be who you are,
and it's ripping you up.

Bit by bit.

What do you have and what do you want?

I want back in. Not with the main fund.

I understand you can't do that,
and I don't want you to.

I want my own shop, a satellite.

Terms will be very generous for you
the first few years,

and I will give you the
prime fucking meats.

Everything I know about Klaxon.

Internal memos, company documents.

It's bigger than a recall.

You leak this cover-up,
they'll drown in lawsuits.

You could cover at zero.

Start looking for office space.

Welcome back.

_

Donna!

I need Sacker now!

This. What the fuck is this?

Steph Reed says that Axe
bought some enemy's books?

Yes. He cornered the
first edition book market

for those specific
books to spite a rival.

And did she say...

which books?

Second World War by Churchill.

Motherfucker.

This is what they do.

How the fuck do you compete
with something that powerful,

that swims around for days on end,

just waiting for the
faintest smell of blood

so it can attack without warning,

and with all the ferocity
and half the conscience

of a goddamn bull shark?

You can't.

Unless you can somehow
anticipate where it will strike

and then match its
strength when it does...

which you can't.

I can see books are a trigger for you...

Thank you, Sacker.

_

Dad, I'm messengering something to you,

and I will be over to
discuss it in a while.

Good.

Son, credit where it's due.

This Ice Juice thing is a win.

I've already spoken to Ira.

He... ran me through
a few more of the numbers.

Yeah, well, I knew if Ira said it,
it would be so.

Yeah, he told me you almost
didn't bring it to me

out of some worry about... conflict?

That would've been shortsighted.

I agree, and I am most certainly
taking the longer view at the moment.

Good boy.

We can't let this opportunity slide by.

This IPO could be the start

of a billion dollar windfall,
and it's a life-changer for him.

You keep saying "we."

I'm not liquid enough
to pull the trigger.

I find that hard to fathom.

My cash on hand happens to be

tied up in an few real
estate deals right now,

and it's not the right time to sell.

Huh. Let me guess.

Kingsford?

I think it's best we not discuss that.

With your position,
that would be unethical.

But there is a solution.

The chunk of cash I need

is on a statement with your name on it.

- The blind trust.
- But, uh, why tell me about it?

Uh, isn't the whole point
to a blind trust that

I'm not supposed to know what
you're doing with the money?

No, not this time.

That trust was set aside
for you and the children.

But even the safest IPO

has a different risk profile
than a normal investment.

You have to know before I do it.

You want me to break my public vow?

The moment that I'm transitioning
into elected office?

It's only damaging if it gets out.

I'll invest silently.
Your role will be hidden.

We'll replace the funds as soon
as we sell some of the stock.

No one's the wiser.

Hmm.

Well, if this is what it takes...

uh, to help you and Ira...

- Does that mean...
- Yeah.

Crack it open.

Use a bit for your venture.

I trust your judgment.

As always.

Excuse me. Wendy.

- Lara.
- Welcome.

Thank you.

You know, we never really had
you over to the house enough.

Thanks for the invite.

And I appreciate the personal follow-up.

Chuck was, um...

quite surprised to hear from you.

Well, I'm glad you came.

Bobby will really value you being here.

Hmm. I couldn't tell when
I spoke to him at work.

Oh. I thought you weren't
really talking at work.

I'm sure it must be hard for you
to not have access to him,

but we think it's best for everyone.

Clear boundaries this time.

Right...

which is why I set the policy.

It was the only way I could work there.

I couldn't keep seeing him.

It wasn't like doctor-patient
or even athlete-coach.

It was more Hannibal-Clarice.

Not seeing him was one of your
conditions for coming back.

I thought it was important
for both of us, really.

Thanks again for the invite.
I could use a drink.

Where are you?

I'm at the front gate. Come meet me.

Let's get outta here. Fuck this.

It's a mistake.

I see how we made it...

because we forgot.

I forgot... where I'm from.

I forgot that I don't give
a fuck about any of this.

It's all sailcloth held up with poles

lit by lighting designers and
ripped to the ground tomorrow.

I wanna be with you.

I wanna take you somewhere that matters.

Everyone's waiting for you.

Wags is about to give his speech.

I've had quite a challenge this week

to put together words, ordinary words,

to describe the most
extraordinary man I ever met.

A man as steely as a Roman centurion,

cooler than Jean-Paul Belmondo.

He's a jaguar shark, an American Sniper,

every decision in the
space of seven breaths.

If you cross him,

he'll put a fucking
ding in your universe.

But these are all exaggerations,
derivative.

They don't limn the truth
of an indefinable essence.

They don't speak to my real feelings.

It's no exaggeration to say

that Bobby Axelrod is the
man who gave me my life,

or at least let me keep it.

But even more than that,
he's given me friendship...

the kind of friendship,
it's more than money,

it's more than talent, it's...

...almost family.

But unlike family, he never turns away.

He's the only one who truly
sees me and doesn't judge.

He accepts me as I am,

and that kind of friendship is...

everything.

It is the stuff of life itself.

So thank you...

for my life.

Traders trade.

Lovers love.

Cars are meant to go.

Happy birthday, Axe,

wherever you are.

Way to go, Wags!

Axe didn't show up?

Who does that, skips his own party?

That's fucking fantastic.

Maybe he's an introvert, too.

No, he's not an introvert.

He just remembered he's an outlaw.

A fucking desperado.

Hey. Axe said to give this to you.

_