Billions (2016–…): Season 3, Episode 1 - Tie Goes to the Runner - full transcript

Chuck receives a mandate from a new boss. Axe braves a hard choice following his recent indictment. Taylor generates a monster strategy. Lara threatens to pull her money from Axe Capital. Sacker strives to prove herself as Chief of Crim

Previously on "Billions"...

[Chuck] The only enemy
more dangerous

than a man with
unlimited resources...

is one
with nothing to lose.

And that is what
you are looking at

right here.

This is for you...

Look at them.
With that morning-after glow.

This is what your wife
is out doing.

You see things differently.

That's an edge.

All the analysts
now answer to you.

We've long suspected criminal
activity at Axe Capital.

- Do you know how to do this?
- Some parts of the job

are pretty intuitive.

Is there any law enforcement

[Rico] No.

You let me know
if any show up.

- You should name a C.I.O.
- I'll do it.

But I'm not running with you.
And neither are the kids.

So, you do what you got to do,
but we're staying.

[Chuck Sr.]
Black Jack Foley.

- How are you, Charles?
- [Chuck Sr.] I'll be better

if you help me out
with a little something.


Will you make me governor?

[vomits, all gasp]

The Ice Juice IPO never tracks
back to my family,

to my father's investment.

Get out of the stock, Chuck.
They're gonna crush you.

Wow, I'm glad to see
you view me as so defenseless.

The Ice Juice short,
how do I get a piece of that?

Ice Juice
never made anyone sick.

You baited him?

You used my company,
my career, my future...

Where do you get
the fucking nerve?!

I am done with you.

You've been named
interim U.S. Attorney

for the Eastern District.

You didn't think this shit
happened by accident,

did you, Mr. Dake?

I've arranged that you'll lead
the prosecution at Eastern.

Tell Sacker I'm gonna make
her Chief of Crim.

I'm gonna find it.

Whatever thread
you left behind.

And I am gonna pull on it

until your whole fucking world

I might go down behind
all of this,

but you are gonna be
right there next to me.

Worth it.

♪ Dramatic music ♪

♪ Garrett T. Capps'
"Born in San Antone" ♪

♪ I was born in San Antone ♪

♪ I was born in San Antone ♪

♪ I guess that's why
I'm a pinche gringo ♪

♪ I was born in San Antone ♪


I'm from horse country,
Chuck, West Texas.

My family bred 'em,
American quarterhorses.

Those babies
fetch quite the price,

so we were real gentle
with the product.

We used teasers.

Those are stallions
you put into the stall

with the sole purpose of
making sure the mare's in heat,

primed for breeding.

Now, a teaser, he doesn't get
to do any fucking.

He's just there
to get the mare ready.

Take her kicks.

Try to mount,
take some more kicks.

By God, that teaser,

he's got a rager going on
the whole dang time.

But that doesn't matter.

As soon as that dam
is ready,

we yank that teaser out of
there, lead the real stud in,

and he gets to do
all the fucking.

Teaser has to make do with some
mangy hay and a bucket of oats.


Yeah, nature often is.

Right now, you're
that teaser, aren't you,

with Dake
prosecuting Axelrod?

He's getting all the credit

for putting the cuffs on him
and freezing his assets.

Dake is fucking Axelrod
right now in front of everybody,

and you,
you're back in the barn,

nursing your rager
with a bucket of oats.

Well, as long
as justice is served,

credit doesn't matter
at all, General.


Why don't you tell me
how it really makes you feel

to see Dake with the lariat
in his grip?

You'd like to tear that case
from him with your bare hands

and leave him crying
in the gutter.


You got some wolf in you,

which is why
you're not getting fired.

Not quite yet, anyway.

No, sir, you are among
the blessed few.

It's end times
for most of your brethren,

but you have not been
raptured yet.

I've only kept on
seven U.S. attorneys

since the president
was good enough to appoint me

Attorney General
of these United States.

I just wanted to make sure
our agendas are aligned

when it comes to
that justice you spoke of

moments ago.

These high-profile cases you
and your people have working?

Heap of Wall Street-related

Well, the markets
are within my purview.

Well, that may be,

but I come
from baseball country.

We learn at an early age

that a tie
goes to the runner.

And that is how I want you to
think of our business community

and its leaders
from now on.

Now, look,
if there's a clear crime,

then, by all means,
you go after it.

But if it's a bang-bang play,
don't call a man out on a win.

Just let that rally continue.

I thought you come
from horse country.

West Texas
contains multitudes, Chuck.


Prioritize the cases
that make sense.

You know what to do
with the rest.

They're marked
so there's no confusion.

Come on, let's schottische on
into this ballroom.

Come on.


♪ When I was younger ♪

♪ Thought I was
oh so very bold ♪

♪ Everyone told me ♪

♪ To never leave home ♪

♪ I said I'm sorry ♪

♪ But I've got to go ♪

♪ I was born in San Antone ♪


♪ The Dictators'
"The Next Big Thing" ♪

♪ I used to shiver
in the wings ♪

♪ But then I was young ♪

♪ I used to shiver
in the wings ♪

♪ Until I found my own tongue ♪

♪ I sock 'em everywhere
that I sing ♪

♪ 'Cause you know, baby ♪

♪ I'm the next big thing ♪


First order of business.

There's going to be an idea
dinner night after tomorrow.

- Platinum invite list...
- Fuck. Fuck that.

Fuck having this meeting
without Axe here.

Fuck all of this.

- Easy, "Dollar" Bill.
- Nothing about this is easy.

I've been humping my ass
into the city,

hour and a half in traffic, into
this swanky Manhattan office,

and you haven't called
a single meeting

because the government's
frozen all the assets.

So when you called
this meeting,

I assumed that meant
it was go-time

and they've finally been

Not yet. Still frozen like
Otzi in the goddamn Alps.

That's the Frozen Man, right?

I need those funds to flow

like the Kancamangus Rapids.

I'm ready to rock and roll
on full auto

right the fuck now.

[all talking]

Where the hell is Axe?

♪ Soft music ♪

I'm over here!

Cool bachelor pad... bro.

I wasn't gonna stay
in Westport.

Guys like you
head to the city

when their marriages
fall apart

for the same reason
birds fly south

instead of freezing
their asses off.

It's in the genetic code.

You're the first person
to see the place.

Other than the kids.

What do they think?

It's stocked with video games
and snacks.

They seem fine.

How about you?

Did you just change
out of the pajamas

three minutes ago?

Are you planning to come
to the office anytime soon?

Yeah, once my assets
are unfrozen.

Should everyone else
go home, too?

Not if they want to stay
on the payroll.

That's inspiring stuff.

Must be what Kennedy said
to his staff

during the Cuban
missile crisis.

Kennedy wasn't under
as much pressure as I am.

I tell you, Bobby,
it's times like these I...

I wish you hadn't fired
Dr. Gus.


Because this...

is a fuckin' disaster.

[chuckles softly]

[all talking]

I get it!
I get it.

You're worried that every day
you're on the sidelines

makes it harder for you to make
your numbers for the year.

Not harder.

- Right?
- Well, know this.

You won't fall
below the hard deck.

No one is crashing and burning.

If you come through for me now,
you will all make a bonus

of at least what you made
last year.

But first, you need to deliver
on today's mission.

The idea dinner.

Top-ten hedge-fund managers
in the city will be there.

These rat fucks

are how these billionaires
measure themselves.

Even being in the room
confers upon you

almost mythical status,

like you're a knight
of the Round Table.

- They ride in on horses?
- Maybachs.

I've heard Axe say he'd never go
to one of these hog shows.

Yeah, that he couldn't
understand why anybody

would want to sit with his
rivals and give away good plays.

[Wags] The whys
and goddamned wherefores

are not for you to concern
your pretty little heads with.

I think it's great
that we're invited, considering.

We're kind of the most toxic
shop on the street right now.

They begged him to come,
sent emissaries, gifts,

all to ensure he'd be there
to share his insights.

I'm so radioactive right now,

I had to beg an invite
to this idea dinner.

I need to understand
why you'd do that.

Why do you think it matters?

Look at where I am.

thanks to your husband.

Thanks to you giving in
to the worst of your instincts.

Well, yeah, maybe that, too.

But the point is
I'm about to stand trial.

If I win,
I want a company to return to.

The government,
by freezing my funds,

is trying to tell the story
that we're crooked.

They know we're not.

They know they spent years
trying and failing to prove it,

but the story
is being written

every day now.

So events
like this idea dinner,

they also tell a story.

So if I'm there,
I'm telling the story

that I'm not cowering,
I'm not hiding,

I'm not defeated.

But I can't just show up.
I have to dominate it.

The only thing is,

for the first time
in my life,

I don't think I can.



We need to arm him with an idea
that will shock and awe

so the dinner ends
with Axe's idea

e-mailed and texted
from firm to firm,

leaving no doubt
we are still the sharpest.

So go generate some speedballs
he can dazzle with

or go the fuck home
for good.


You're not authorized
to guarantee bonuses.

Your ego just wrote a check
your body can't cash.

I appreciate you waiting
until after the meeting

to hit me with that one.

I know holding back
doesn't come naturally.

Well, I was so shocked
you could quote "Top Gun,"

it took me a second
to respond.

I figure speaking their language
is part of the job now.

But none of this
is going to matter

unless Axe gets us
back in the game.

I have our best man
working on it right now.

I want to run
a Dickens process.

Tony Robbins took me through it
a few years back, so...

Sit down.


I take you to specific
moments in your life,

use them to jump
into the future.

You get to experience
different possible versions

of your life, like in...

Like "A Christmas Carol,"
hence, Dickens.

Let's find a moment
early on

when your rage served you.

Close your eyes.

Let it come to you.

Fifth grade.

I needed money.

There were these rich
eighth-grade pricks

from Harrison.

God, I hated
their stupid faces.

I had an Islander jersey
and a Koho hockey stick.

I signed 'em Mike Bossy
and Bryan Trottier,

and the dickbags bought 'em.

What'd you get?

$300 cash,
new sneakers, Atari.

When they found out,
they went to town on me

Dave "The Hammer" Schultz.

God, I got so angry at them,

my parents
for not having enough money,

myself for getting caught.

That rage...

grew in me.

It worked like jet fuel
for years.

It was useful.

Yeah. Fuck, yeah, it was.
Got me here.

Your brain, instincts,
market feel, all that,

had more to do with it.

But for the moment,
let's agree

that the rage worked
for a time.

But let's look for a moment
when it was the wrong tool

and it cost you
more than it made you.

We're gonna talk
about your husband now?

No, about you

and how when you allow
your anger

to make you blind
to consequences,

it shuts off those other
more crucial skills.

Let's take a moment

from your personal life

with Lara.

She'd say I allowed my anger
to throw everything away,

to crack the foundation
of trust.

So what if you could go
back into your past?

How would you handle
that memorabilia sale?

My past?

Nah, I wouldn't change it.

Good. We can't.

But holding on
to the feeling

of that rage,
look to the future.

Where do you see yourself
in five years

if you carry on this way,

if you continue to carry
the weight of this anger?

Where are you in 10?


Are you happy?

Are you fulfilled?

Or are you lonely, bitter?

Lashing out.

Fuck Dickens!

All I see is jail

and the company I spent
my lifetime building up

reduced to rubble.

Look, I want to do this
with you.

I want to believe
that it can help.

But I just don't think
I can.


But now you know exactly
where your focus needs to be,

where you need to be.

At the office.

And when you get back home
from this conclave,

make sure you get
with your people.

Make sure we are all
on the same bill of lading.

There's a new sheriff in town.

You are all my deputies.

Gonna be one hell
of a turkey shoot!

Thank you!

God bless you.

Are we still employed?

We seem to be.

Mm. And the shift in agenda
he was talking about,

that hits us?

Mm-hmm, but we press on,
as always.

I'll handle the optics,
and we'll manage up the chain.

Just so you know,
I'm as nimble as I need to be.

I count on that.

This is the fissile material.

You'll know what to do.

Well, well, well.

Bryan Connerty
and his new lord.

May your reign be long
and fruitful.

I serve at the pleasure...

Don't we all?

Freezing the assets?

Now, that's an Ivan Koloff bear
hug you're putting on the man.

You're squeezing the breath
out of him.

I was more Iron Sheik era.

All right, fine.

It's a camel clutch,
and a hell of a good one.

You seem pretty comfy
at his elbow.

That's the job.

Until it ain't.

Man, ain't that the truth?

But you can't let this monster
have a chance to recover.

Yes. I'll use my leverage
and strength

and get something valuable
in return.

I know my job, Chuck.

And I also know the real reason
you need this to go quickly.

Oh? And what do you imagine
that is?

You are like a man who committed
a crime of passion.

In the moment,
it felt so right.

But in the morning,

all he sees is the blood
splashed on the walls

of his dead lover's bedroom,

and he just wants it
all to go away,

but it can't.

I'm going to prosecute the case
to the full extent of the law

without breaking the terms
of our agreement.

So if you don't clean up
all the blood

before the cops get there,

I cannot guarantee your DNA
stays out of the courtroom.

This is a conversation we need
to finish somewhere else...


[horns honking]



You ready?


Let's do this.

And newly appointed
U.S. Treasury Secretary

Todd Krakow was sworn in today.

Look at that preening fuck.

You know, his name on money may
actually make me like him less.

Hello, Bobby.


- Axe.
- Wendy.


I'm here
to go over my assets.

You were supposed to bring
a business manager

or accountant,
not a competitor.

I only compete with currently
active hedge funds.

Ding, ding, ding!
I want a clean fight.

Protect yourselves at all times.

There'll be no
standing eight count.

Give Lara full access
to the books.

She has a right to see
the state of things.

As you wish, my liege.

Run her through
where the bodies are buried.

[door closes]

This column,

this one,
this one, and this one

are the main holdings.

There you have it.

I see the balance
on the accounts.

And what a soaring,
fat balance it is.

We need to see
the trade history

leading up to the redemptions
and cash positions.

Sure. Let me bring up
a different screen.

Like Squanto should have said
to the pilgrims,

"Get the fuck out of here."
- Wags, come on.

It's proprietary.
You're not seeing it.

- This is bullshit, Wags.
- Lara, we're not having a fight.

I'm telling you, you're not
gonna see that shit.

As is often the case,

the longer you can hold off,
the more likely

you'll be screaming in pleasure
at the end.

We're not making a porno,

though I appreciate the effort
to make me laugh.

My father always said laughter
was the best medicine,

which is why I was so confused

when I finally tried cocaine
in the '80s.


You lightened my mood.

Now make me really happy
and tell me how we expose

all the shit
that Rhoades pulled

to suck me in.

Easier said, Bobby,
because we can't introduce that

without confirming
your actions as a response.

We'd be virtually admitting
your role.

What he did,
it's a fucking crime.

But it's not a defense.

All right, get to the rest.

Let's get our new head
of compliance up here.

♪ Hey, Mr. Jim ♪

♪ I can see
the shape you're in ♪

♪ Thinking that you're
such a lady killer ♪

♪ Think you're so slick ♪

♪ Well, all right ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh ♪

♪ Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh ♪

The answer man is here.

The charges carry
a long potential sentence.

15 to 20 years

and tens of millions
in fines, of course.

They're using the locked-up
money to distract us

as they meticulously build
their case.

They are using the locked money
to do three things.

One, to make me take a plea.

Two, to make it hard
for my people so they'll quit.

And, three, to spread the word
through implication

that this is about more than
my actions against Ice Juice,

that we are
an illegal enterprise.

Turn on the telestrator,

because you just diagramed
the shit out of this.

How long can they really
keep it frozen?

Wrong question.

This is where
the holding out comes in.

Don't let anyone know
you care.

Mm, we'll find a way
to get you liquid again

in four to six months.

Months? Fuck that.

There is one idea that might
get it done right away,

but it's one
you're going to hate.

Give up your so-called
license to trade.

Walk away from the table.
Cash in your chips.

They'd be forced to release
the bulk of your money.

That is the only angle
that I see.

And if it's the only angle
that I see,

it's the only angle there is.

You agree to stop trading,
you personally,

and they give you back
your money.

We would set something up
where Axe Cap trades it

without your direction.

It would function
like a blind trust,

but the language
would be such

and they'd be releasing
so much money back to you

that if you violated it...

Oh, that is a bozo no-no.

Do that and you would earn
yourself a lifetime ban...

and more.


No fuckin' way.

I'll never do that.

If I give up my ability
to trade, I'm agreeing

that they're right and I built
all this by cheating.

I might as well give up
my license to breathe.

You guys have to work it out

Do not put me
in the middle of it.

What the fuck is...


What's the problem?

Your lap dog
is not cooperating.

Wags, although Lara
should have faith,

because I've shown I'm pretty
good at making a dollar,

she has a right to choose
and make her own decisions,

like I told you.

I thought you were telling me
with a wink.

That's why I played back
with the "liege" stuff.

- Did I wink at you, ever?
- Not an actual wink, but...

Are you planning on giving him
your money to manage?

If it ever gets unfrozen,
I might.

- Why?
- For general health, financial,

and for things between us.

Now that I'm able
to take outside money,

I thought I'd start
with friends and family.

We're neither.

Listen, Lara,
I won't micromanage you.

But if you really plan

on giving billions of dollars
to this stock jockey,

ask him this,

how he's codified the behavioral
heuristics at his firm

from stock selection
to position sizing

to market timing
to risk management.

He hasn't,

because his
decision-flow process

is Google, Exxon,
Proctor & Gamble,

same as any old lady
in Kansas City,

except she won't charge you
two and twenty for it.

We are all in
the same game, Axe,

protecting assets
and trying to find that edge.

You have about as much edge
as Mister Rogers.

Okay, guys!


Okay, you go on ahead,

You look into everything
you want with Birch,

and I will support
whatever you decide.

Thank you, Bobby.

You really want me
to let 'em into the books

and see the trades?

Lots of guys watch
Bruce Lee movies.

Doesn't mean
you can do karate.

Boot up the screen.

I still can't believe
he made that move.

It was the smart thing
to do.

If I'd known what you were
doing, I would have never...

Yes. No.

I mean, if you'd known,
if you'd told me,

if I'd known...

It was a moment of peak.
I'm gonna stop and tell you?

Wish you had.

You were very convincing.

But, in a way, it all had to
play itself out, didn't it?

If I had known
what you were gonna do...

- You'd have tried to stop me.
- Yes, I would have,

and I might have succeeded.

Well, that would have been
better in one way...

but worse
in all the others...

because now we are home,
and we are a "we" again.

And if I hadn't have done
a thing,

who knows
how I'd have felt,

what resentments
might have festered?

But you did and I did,

and there is nothing

Except for the thing
I'm off to deal with now.


Except that.

Thank you.

Your wife,
she still down in D.C.?

Yes, outside.

You must miss her.

We talk every day,
and the train ride is only...

Sure it is.
But the problem is

that the free flow
of information,

the casual details of the day,
can get lost.

You know,
for a time, even though

we did reside in the same house,
my wife and I lived that way.

You're telling me that you
and your wife have no secrets?

Oh [chuckles] I'm certain
some are still lurking.

We all mask certain emotions,

often our most intense ones,

like Bjorn Borg did.

But like Borg,

eventually, it'll end up
costing you everything,

so we're digging in, right?

Digging in.
- Ah.

She told you
about her short on Ice Juice.

That's the kind of bond
we have.

So you are here to tell me

she will turn
state's evidence

to avoid being the subject
of prosecution?

She is a co-conspirator
in Axe's scheme.

No, sir.

She's safe due to the terms
of the deal you and I struck.

That was about your father.

I said me and my family.

And you assented.

And now you will say
this is unduly burdensome,

which will force me to say
that it is less so

than remaining a glorified
Internal Affairs grunt

working out a dank office

on the fringes
of our capital city.

And, as you saw,

Jock Jeffcoat is taking
my counsel these days

on who should be in
and who should be out.

There's only
so much compromise

of my own system of morality

that I can swallow.

I happen to know
you're a Calvinist.

You believe we're all fallen
beyond any hope for redemption.

So answer me this.

What's one more demerit
for a friend allied with you

against a common foe?

that's not exactly right,

and it's borderline

But, also, it's...

pretty much true.

Okay. I'll do all I can

to keep your wife
out of it,

but now you owe me.

Name it.

I'll hold it in reserve.

A favor to be named later.

Look at you, huh?

Muckin' in.


This is all on background,
no attribution.

[Randy] Yep, until
you want to go on record.

Good. You know, if they
were gonna charge the firm,

they would have.

Well, isn't their argument
that this one instance

could be the tip of the iceberg,
that they need to go

through all the old trades
to see if there's a pattern?

But that could take months.
It's harassment, Randy.

They've already spent years

going through
all those old trades,

trying to make a case,
and they've failed.

Now they've come up with this
story about me and sabotage,

which you will see is false.

Look, I shorted that company

'cause I saw a faulty process
and bad financials,

and I'm being penalized because
the markets agreed with me.

I was set up.

Now, soon you'll have
all these details,

but what they are doing
right now

is they're trying to ruin
not only my reputation

but that of everyone
who works at Axe Capital,

and that is the story
you should be digging into.


Want dinner?

Do we need to do that?


On Axelrod, I could use to see
the transaction records

of all the people
who bought or sold stock

in the Ice Juice IPO,
the victims in this thing.

You mean besides the people
who were poisoned?

Yeah, they were about
the only ones who got paid.

S.E.C. said you were holding
the records for some reason.

I've got forensic
financial analysts

combing through
all that now.

I didn't want you to, uh,
bog down in those details.

I like knowing
the minutiae in my cases.

as I would expect you to.

I'll get the results to you

- Great.
- Okay.

You know,
I was just wondering,

who'd you get the initial tip
from that started all this?

I should interview
him or her.

I understand
why you're asking,

but my tipster
is not exactly

Blue Horseshoe
loves Anacott Steel.

Just a foot soldier.

It was enough info
to get the FBI going

but not a firsthand witness.

If there were material value,
I would share the name.

Of course.
I know you would.

I am glad that I asked Chuck
to send you to me.

I need your expertise.

Glad to be here, boss.

Ugh. Don't call me "boss."
We're peers.

In a hierarchy, yes,
but colleagues.

Call me "Oliver."

You got it.

Never trust an officer
who doesn't ask you to salute.

It means that
what he does demand of you

is gonna be a lot worse.


All of it.

You know,
you're in law school now.

How does this fact pattern
smell to you?

I get transferred
to prosecute Axelrod,

but then he puts
a blindfold on me.

I can't access certain documents
or know who the tipster is?

Well, there's nothing to be
done about it now, so...





Have you tried blinking rapidly
100 times?

Yeah, I've tried it all.


We shouldn't have stopped
seeing her.

When you leave things

this is what happens.

Mm. Maybe you're right.

Let's make an appointment.

I'm taking a walk.

♪ I walked the town at night ♪

♪ Like a spade ♪

Chocolate egg cream, please.

[woman] Coming right up.

♪ I walked the night ♪

I thought I'd find you here.

What do you want?

I became single-minded
to the point of myopia.

I know that I have
transgressed materially

but, more importantly,
in terms of loyalty.

I will devote myself
to the long and arduous process

of making up for the latter.

As to the former,
I have an offer for you.

I have lined up a seat for you

on the Theakston-Manley
asbestos trust,

rubber-stamping claims.

One meeting per quarter.

Your fee, 350K a year.

Now, that'll lead
to more similar seats

once you impress people.

You put together
three of these babies,

that's a nice little

Well, I was on my way
to being a zillionaire,

and you're giving me
a sinecure.

I understand
the rancor, Ira.

I don't begrudge you it.

And I hesitate to bring up

what I know you already know,

but I want to hear it from you

now that the smoke
has cleared

that you will not say a word
about my role in the IPO.

You know that it's in your
best interest as well as mine,

because that's how you'll get
paid off in your civil case.

Well, I've been punting
my interview with Eastern

as long as I can.
It'll go on the books soon.

But, no, Chuck,
I won't say a word.


Funny thing,
the egg cream, hmm?

No egg in it,
no cream, either.

Just chocolate syrup,

a splash of milk, seltzer.

I guess the French had a drink
called chocolat et crème.

The American corruption for that
became "egg cream."


Wonderful arcana.

That's so Chuck of you.

God, I used to love
that shit.

Go home and write it
in my journal.

Now that the smoke
has cleared,

you need to hear something.

I've realized...

that you need all this,

to put people
in impossible positions,

to dominate with your will,

to torture.

I never think
in those terms.

Well, you've forced me to.

Let's talk it out.

No, this is it.

I'll never talk to you again
once this conversation's over,

which it is.



You coming in, nagusi?

Nope. Case. All day.

Something hot for Axe.
An iron condor with four...

- Please. Go back to B school.
- Anything good yet?

[Ben] How about a strangle where
we arb the vega on...

You go back to fucking yourself.

I just need two minutes
with Taylor.

Everyone does.
You have to wait.

- Hey, Wags, listen...
- Don't want to fucking hear it.

Nope. As soon as.

Yeah, well, be all over Taylor
till they figure it out.

If I flame this dinner...

No chance, sahabi.

Never let it happen.

Orrin, time for you
to go see your protégé.

You want me
to propose the deal?

I want you to remind him
what happens to guys like him

when they take
this big a swing and miss.

I want you to remind him

that the political winds
have shifted.

It's better if I show up
with something to offer.

Then bring him a glass of
fuckin' milk, but go do it.


Field trip. Come on.


Somewhere we can talk
without everyone coming at us.

I know a place.

Ever seen Eastern Promises?

No. Have you ever been
to one of these idea dinners?

No seconds in attendance.


Where are we on an idea?

Haven't fully cracked
the big one yet.


Are you?


Ask the real question.

Are you shopping offers
on the street?

Just to get it
out of the way,

let me apologize for anything
that might have offended

at the poker tournament.

Now that I'm at Treasury,

I need to find someone
to steward my firm.

I'm already stewarding
a firm, a bigger one.

Not that size matters.


Whatever Axe's flaws,
one thing he knows is people,

and if he believes
you can do it well,

I believe you can.

And I'd actually be
hands off.

Let you operate
as you saw fit.

That's my situation now.

Is it?

I said no.

With finality

or as a negotiating ploy?

Look, I know it's Axe's faith
that confers value on me

until I have
a track record of my own,

until others actually see
what I can do.

So I am loyal to him.

Until and unless it becomes
necessary, I will not leave.

All right.

You can take the heat.
I believe you.

Such disrespect.

Look at you,
sitting here with your tits out.

You got a problem
with my tits?

Or maybe
they're turning you on

and that's the problem.

You know, I could have done
that for myself.

I know.
I wanted the release.

It was even better
than a hand job.

You chose to meet here
in the anteroom

instead of the dining room.

I seem to have lost
my appetite lately.

- Hmm.
- And, no, it's not my health.

Full workup.

Radiology fine,
bloodwork perfect.

Heart, too.

Still, nothing
wants to stay down.

So, what's got your duodenum
inside out?

Want a hint?

His name
is the same as mine.

Oh, that boy is a feisty one,
there's no denying that.

What he is
is unfit for office,

unfit to run, even.

I came here
to tell you that I am sorry

I asked you
to put him forward.

It was a mistake.

And I will throw my full weight
behind whomever it is

that you say I should.

- Well, that's disheartening.
- It is.

I hate delivering the message,
but I owe it to you.

The candidate's
too volatile.

He's unpredictable,

a liability to all of us.

Oh, Charles.

For a father to speak
that way of his own son.

I myself will pass up
supper tonight.

That's how disappointing
I find this.

So you understand?

Not in the way
you hope I might.

I have had this
in my possession,

hoping not to be forced
to use it.

But I cannot stand by

and watch you run
that young man down.

You used his money,

without his consent,
I might add,

to invest in something
so risky

as to almost be the ruin
of both of you.

Now, I believe Chuck
will not only survive it

but that the ruthlessness
he has shown

these past few months

will serve him well
on our shared mission,

making him governor
of this great state.

I'd like you
to embrace it.

But you at least
have to accept it.


I accept nothing
when it comes to that boy.

We'll see.

Hello, Dad.

[Jack] Ah, let's all get
our appetites back, hmm?

What do you say, Charles?

This is a bridge too far,
Black Jack.

This is a bridge

too fucking far.


Ah, he'll come 'round.

I've seen this play
a thousand times.

By the time
the curtain comes down,

he'll take your hand,
and you'll share the bow.

I don't know.

Well, what's meant to happen
always does.

Let's eat.
I'm fuckin' famished.

[balls clacking]


[speaks indistinctly]

That's some serious
fucking topspin.

You putting sneakers on
for a match,

or you come up here
with a specific proposal?

Axe'll wait you out,

no matter how long you manage
to keep the money frozen.

He won't make a deal.

We'll find out, huh?

What's it going to be, Bryan?

Pistols at dawn?


You insist on picking
through every transaction,

he'll embarrass you.

Embarrassment is free.

We'll cost your client
a fortune

keeping his money
out of play for half a year,

maybe his whole fortune.

You can't even count
that high.

It doesn't matter.

The case has no support
in D.C.

It used to,
but all that's changed.

This is exactly
the type of matter

the A.G. is walking
away from these days.

No. No.

He's walking away
from insider trading,

funny accounting,
all sorts of shit,

but the reason he can

is because a case like this
gives him cover.

People care about it
on a visceral level

because it's about sabotage,

breaking the public trust,
hurting the average guy twice,

with the tainted juice,

and a second time
with the stock pricing.

How's that
for serious fucking topspin?

You want us to ease off,

you have to give something
in return.

I understand your position,

and at this time,

I don't have
anything to offer.

Then maybe wait until you do

before wasting
my fucking time.

[knock on door]

Bach almost offered up
Axe's ability to trade.

I felt it.

Either he wasn't authorized,
or he sensed weakness.

Did you show weakness?

I did not.

You have some scouting report
on me saying that I did?

It was just a question.

A better question is

which is Axelrod
going to bet on,

his present or his future?

A man who believes
he'll win at trial

sits calmly on the sideline
for six months

until his money is unfrozen,

and then he prevails in court,
goes on with his life.

But a man who thinks he's going
to lose that trial?

Well, he's desperate
to get his money

back in the game
as soon as possible

because he sees it
all going away.

Him giving up trading

would necessitate
a reinvention of who he is.

I've seen him
walk away from the table

on an impulse

when we were certain
that only a deal

would keep him
out of prison.

No one gets where he got
by acting only on impulse.

When it comes to billionaires
and Bobby Axelrod in particular,

the thing
you got to understand is...

they're meat-eaters.

The only win they can live with
is total, present and future.

If he gave up trading
and got his money back,

it'd be because he believed

he was gonna kick
our asses at trial.

He expects to get all of it,

That's who he is.

But still,
we keep the pressure on.

See if he makes a mistake
now that it's all on the line.

And then,
no matter what he does,

we have to
position ourselves

to claim victory.

Here, boy.
[clicks tongue]

Okay, break it down for me.

We are the Czechoslovakian
gymnastics team in the '70s.

A lot of pride
for what this country was,

but if something doesn't change
soon, defections are coming.

How'd Taylor do?


- I'm not asking you to rat.
- I mean, you are.

Well, I won't tell anyone
it came from you, but...

It was a shit show.


Yeah. Get me Taylor,
Wags, and Wendy.

Why the fuck did you lead
the first morning meeting back

without Wendy there
to handle the troops?

- Taylor handled it, as well...
- I'm talking to both of you,

and from what "Dollar Bill"
tells me, it was a shit show.

- Hey, you ratted.
- I pay for the information.

It's mine to use.
That's how it goes.

Wendy wasn't here.
She was with you, I gather.

We needed ideas.
We needed to come together...

So you made a bad thing worse
by jumping in

before you had a plan, and...
- No, Axe.

It wouldn't have mattered
who was in the room

with the PMs
and the traders.

It was always gonna be
a shit show

if the message wasn't
"We're liquid again."

- Hallelujah.
- Don't be an ass.

You're right.

I meant Axe,
but you, too, Bill.

Will you leave us alone
for a minute?

Whoever you're trying
to destroy, stop.

You need to focus
on fighting for your freedom.

You know what
you're suggesting I do.

The one thing
you can do right now.

You taught me an average trader
makes a trade and feels good.

A great trader makes a trade
and feels nothing,

as in be cold and act.

Don't get hung up on emotion.

Give up trading
till the case is over.

You get it back if you win.

If you lose,
you've got bigger problems.

Let them trade for you,
then feed the press a line

about how it proves
the government has no case.

Unless you're worried about
something harder to admit,

that Taylor will be the public
face of Axe Cap and not you.

It's Theseus's Ship.

Once you change out the sails
and all the planks

that make up the hull,
whose ship is it?

Yeah. You got it.

As long as it's your money,

it is still Axe Capital,

no matter who's making
the day-to-day decisions.

Are you sure?

It's not me
that has to be sure.

[cellphone vibrates]

- Yes?
- [Dake] I'm holding in my hand

Robert Axelrod's signature
relinquishing his ability

to trade securities.

He gave it up.


ol' Samson
got a real buzz cut.

Uh, we need to get
our version out right away.

I've already taken steps.

A.G. on the phone.

Got to go, Ollie.


Is this really the attorney
of the United States

for the southern district?

Am I that lucky?

There must be streams
in the desert.

General, a pleasure.

Your predecessor called
once a term.

I'm in the habit
of counting the herd

at the end of the day,


Eastern had a good day today.

Axelrod's put his office keys
on Dake's desk.

Good for them.

But you're calling
because you want to make sure

that I have adjusted
the priorities.

Pass the message along.

I'm a thorough man.

As am I. It's done.


I'll eagerly await
our next chat.

[receiver slams]

Hey, you boys ready to go?

Daddy's got to head out.

- See ya, fellas.
- Later.

Go wait in the car.
I'll be right down.

Your office said
the money's unfrozen.

Yeah, I told 'em
to call you.

Should I have it wired
to Birch?

No, Bobby.

I pictured you two
running around together.

That fuckin' starter plane
of his.

I wouldn't be caught dead
in that sardine can.



The money, Bobby.

Just don't fuckin'
lose it.

[Sacker] Now, there's one bitter
thing that we have to swallow

along with
this delicious lo mein.

We have to slow down
on a couple of cases.

You like giving up
those cases?

- I hate it.
- Me, too.

No A.G. picks our cases.
I'm chafing against it.

I'm chafed.

So, are we gonna do
something about it?

When I know, you'll know.

IoT, you know?

Sure, Internet of Things.

When companies
that make appliances

and digital thermostats
contract with the firms

that manufacture the microchips
to make their products smart,

the connected things inside,

they force the chip companies
to sign nondisclosures.

They don't want
their competitors

to be able to mimic them.
- Right, so it's hard to know

which chip companies are poised
to dominate the market.

My theory: If we could find
a common component

among a bunch
of varied devices...

You could
reverse-engineer it.

You have fun
smashing shit apart?

A blast.
And I found a component

that matched the specs
for a Quartes chip.

So I called Quartes
and claimed to be building

an Internet-connected
washing machine

that sends a message to the
owner when the laundry is done.

Got the full specs
on their latest chips.

- And they matched.
- That they did.

Everyone tries to hide it,
but Quartes is the main supplier

for 85% of loT products
on the market.

So, that's the shot?

That's the shot.

It plays.
Good work.

You'd have found something
like it if you weren't...

That's why I have you, Taylor.

It's a good thing
that you can deliver

when I can't,
not a bad thing.

Thank you.

Once you leave here,

we can't really talk
individual names

of companies again
for a long time.

Management issues, sure,
but not stocks.

It'll all be up to you.

I can't be seen
to be guiding the firm.

It'll look as though I'm
violating the terms of my deal.

I know. You saved the firm
by doing what you did.

We bought back into the market
late in the position.

Tonight's a big one for me.

The most important managers
in the business will be there.

Between them, they cover
all the meaningful strategies

currently in play.

Quite the cotillion.

It's the social event
of the season.

Tonight plants our flag
for the future.

This room will set the agenda
for what the industry's

talking about for
the next week, month, year.

And what they will be talking
about is Axe Capital.

♪ Dramatic music ♪

All right, guys.

Mom and Dad are going
to their therapist.

Hour of screen time
only, okay?

Probably grab a bite afterwards,
but we won't be late.



- Bye.
- Bye.


Look at all the trouble
you've caused.

What a disgrace.


He's almost beyond reclamation.

I can't stand the sight
of this dog.

I want to leave him here,

and I'm tempted
to take you with me.

It's up to you, mistress.

Leave with me or administer
the required corrections.

He's in need of punishment.

I'll stay.

[door closes]

Have you missed this?

Then why aren't you showing
the proper appreciation?

I should put you
in this fucking cage.

Perhaps you're in need
of something deeper?


Have you missed this?

It's not about me.

Or maybe you found, uh,
other outlets.


How dare you question me?

[whip cracks]

I can take care
of my own needs.


other fantasies, then?

What fantasies exactly?

You being with other men.



Of course.

That's your fantasy.

You're that pathetic,
aren't you?

I am. I am.

I want to hear
about you and...

Young men?

Yeah, yeah, yeah.


will he be handsome, rich?

- Of course.
- Yeah?

He's brilliant.

Barely 30 years old.

- With the washboard abs?
- Oh, yeah, he's ripped.

Tell me!

That's how you want
to be punished?

Yes! Yes!

It's... It's the most
excruciating thing

that I can think of.

I want to know
what he does to you,

what you do to him.

We're somewhere private.

- A hotel?
- A hotel.

White sheets thrown around us.

Our clothes are off.


Hands and mouths on bare skin.

I take him in my hands.

Is he...

Yeah, hard.


I give myself to him

and let him do
whatever he wants.

Is it good?

Good? No.
It's fucking amazing.

He understands me.

He knows exactly what I need.


[cork pops]

♪ Dramatic music ♪

[indistinct conversations]


[cellphones vibrating]

Oh, Axe is so fucked!
From the Journal.

"Government defangs Axelrod,
barred from trading."

I'd love to agree, but I think
he bested those fuckers,

and so does B.I.

"Axe Capital poised to plunge
heavy back into the markets."

He has his money.
What else does he need?

To do with as he pleases.
But what's the fucking point?

He's gonna be here soon.

We're gonna know by the look
on his face what happened.

Either he crushed them,
or he's become

the government's favorite bitch.


[door opens]

Who's this?

I'm Taylor Mason,

Chief Investment Officer,
Axe Capital,

and I have a silver-backed
fucking gorilla of an idea.

It's an angle of attack
on an Internet sector

that's worth 12X
what you think it is.

But the sector
is only the beginning.

I'll walk you through
both the technical side

and the types of derivatives
that are available

to both bet on it
and to effectively hedge it

so that the play
is risk-neutral.

That's how Axe Cap is doing it.

♪ Lucy Dacus'
"Troublemaker Doppelganger" ♪

♪ Is that a hearse
or a limousine? ♪

♪ It's like I've seen it
on the TV screen ♪

♪ Oh, oh ♪

♪ Oh-oh, oh ♪


♪ I wanna live in a world ♪

♪ Where I can keep my doors ♪

♪ Wide open ♪

♪ But who knows what'd get in ♪

♪ And what'd get out ♪

♪ One of these nights ♪

♪ I'll sleep
with the windows down ♪

♪ But not until
that creature's ♪

♪ In the pound ♪