Billions (2016–…): Season 5, Episode 2 - The Chris Rock Test - full transcript

Axe chases a play at Mike Prince's conference. Chuck wrestles with his demons and chooses a new path. Wendy takes the lead as Axe Cap faces a threat. Taylor confronts a figure from their past.

[Prince] Previously
on "Billions"...

You've come far
and learned much.

Until we see each other

and move your knowledge
into the world, be well.

[Wags] An invitation for you
to do a Vanity Fair

cover photo shoot
for the "New Decas" issue.

Somebody else will probably
get the cover.

Probably Mike Prince.

[Prince] I was hoping you'd make
it to 'The Mike' this year.

You and I could do
a fireside chat.

It'd be the highlight
of the conference.

Maybe this year we will.

[Axe] Try to take me out
in some magazine?

I'll come see you
on your home fucking turf.

The separation has convinced me.

[Wendy] We need to be done.

I am not here because
you forced me to be.

Or because Chuck did.
I am here as Chuck's operative

[Taylor] because
he wants to get you.

[Axe] That crypto mine that
you busted upstate,

[Axe] I'd appreciate it
if you'd drop the case.

Best I can do is make it a civil
and not a criminal action.

An act of friendship
that goes beyond the norm.

♪ Dramatic music ♪



♪ U2's "Vertigo" ♪



[plane engine starts]


♪ Lights go down, it's dark ♪

Security, security seaplane
departing dock at 23rd Street.

♪ Can't rule your heart ♪

♪ A feeling's so much stronger
than a thought ♪

♪ Your eyes are wide and though
your soul, it can't be bought ♪

♪ Your mind can wander ♪

♪ Hello, hello ♪

♪ Hola ♪

♪ I'm at a place
called Vertigo ♪

♪ ¿Dónde está? ♪

♪ It's everything I wish
I didn't know ♪

Well, this works a little
differently than normal therapy.

[chuckles] I work a little
differently than normal.

I'm not gonna challenge or
even explore that statement.

You know why?

Because this works a little
differently than normal therapy.

The mission here is to dim

the emotional response
to past trauma.


Let's choose some people
to use as resources.

So, you're gonna need
a comforter,

a protector, and a wise person.

They can be alive or dead,
real or fictional.

Old days, Wendy
filled all these roles.

These aren't those.

No, yeah, hundred percent,
true, okay.


For my comforter,
I'm going with Ira Schirmer.

My best friend.

For my protector, Alan Alda.

Oh, that's a good one.

I use Tony Siragusa.

Oh. Big and kind.
I get it, yeah.

Um, for wisdom...

I am a voracious reader
of crime fiction.

And recently
Darkly Dreaming Dexter

has found its way
to my night table.

So for a wise person,
a serial killer?

We may need to schedule
more sessions.

Not him, his father,
of sorts, Harry‐‐

he had all the answers.

Okay. A father figure.

And finally, uh, a safe space.

A place where you‐‐

Yale Law Library.

Describe a recent moment
where you felt betrayed.

Drop a plumb line
down through your memory.

Where does it catch?

What, uh, image or idea

do you associate
this betrayal with?


Traumatic day for sure.

Yes, but, uh, not the day,
uh, the monument.

was being arrested,

and she was there.

your wife?

Wendy. Yes.


I knew she would be there.

But, uh...

[Chuck] The way they clung
to each other...

What's the emotion associated
with that image?


And, uh...




Where do you feel that...
in your body?


What negative self‐belief
does that bring up?

That Axe is a criminal.

And once again,
that's a negative belief

about the man you call Axe,
not you.

Well, once I vanquish him, uh,

then I'll be able to
focus on Rhoades.

If you do the 'you' part,
you may find

the 'him' part
doesn't matter so much.

I know that should be right.

But it just doesn't feel right.

Here, take the dampers.

Follow this light
with your eyes.

When you experience
traumatic feelings,

focus on the resources
in your safe space.


Conjure them.
Trust them.

We practiced this all week.

Follow the light with your eyes
and be with them.

Especially if you think about
the monument site‐‐

or either of the people
you saw there.

[remote beeps]

There's not a person
who meets you,

doesn't think you're special.

Even the bad guys.

Maybe especially the bad guys.

You have that thing,
gets people to come to you.

To open up even if they know
they shouldn't.

Now, your portfolio
is impressive.

But I think it could be
more impressive.

Extend far past
the isle of Manhattan.

I see that for you.

I want to make it happen.


boiled and mashed.

They call it mangú.

Fills you up for
a day in the fields.

I should feed it to my guys.

The story goes that
American soldiers down in the DR

were offered it
and they refused it.

Until one brave‐‐
and probably very hungry‐‐

infantryman went in.

And he liked it
so damn much he said:

"Man, that's good."

Got shortened to mangú.

Nifty story.

Mm. Problem is,
it's bullshit.

Doesn't hold up under scrutiny.

And neither does your offer.
Why do I get more?

Because someone else gets less.

Mm. That I believe.


Offer me nice things,
I'll take 'em‐‐

because I like nice things.

But they buy you no latitude.

You step wrong and
you'll have me after you‐‐

and you'll find I'm a lot harder
to olé than the other guy,

because I care about the crime
and not the criminal.

Hey, good.

Keep your eye on
the sparrow, ya know?

♪ Dramatic music plays ♪

[door bell jingles]


All right.
I got my part done.

She's gonna burrow up his ass
like a toilet snake.

And I have our info.
It's confirmed:

Simon Shenk is leaving
Errix Biotech for the FDA.

And he's set for the conference.

So is Jules Hakli,

The whole pharma team.

Mike Prince may think he's got
home field advantage.

But these road dogs
are gonna play spoiler.

Got your flannels?

In the car.
[engine starts]







Uh, hey, it's me.

File the order...

Yes. I know
it's a warring gesture.

I'm a man at war.
File it.



These windows, no shades.

Let the whole city watch you
do your wild thing.

Remind me not to have you
and Bill over after I move in.

Oh, that would be safe
these days...

His book's flatlined.

He can't...

perform unless
his portfolio does?

No. I can't get it up
to fuck a non‐earner.


Go deeper.
That's what I said.

Bill's been swinging from
"Fuck it, I'll do it live"

to choking back tears like he's
listening to "Goodnight Saigon."

I'm worried about him.

And I don't even like to think
about anybody but myself.

It might help if you let him
know his entire worth

isn't wrapped up in
his P&L's performance.

So... lie to him?

You want me to lie to him?

I can do that.

[realtor] I'm sorry
we've hit a snag.

Your bank just withdrew
your pre‐approval.

It seems your husband
got an automatic

temporary restraining order
on your assets.

He froze your fucking loot?


I guess it's war.

♪ Dramatic music plays ♪

I'm sorry.
I'll, uh, get right into it.



You know the shot?

Just told to be here.

That's usually not
a very good sign.


[door opens]

Ah, Chuck.

The Manhattan D. A.

[Chuck] Ah.

I always forget,
are you Law or Order?


You also have some cases
to brief the governor on?


Those crypto‐miners
damn near decimated that town.

City council had to
go to the market

and buy electricity
ten times the normal rates.

Fucking libraries are closed
because of it.

We should be having mug shots,
perp walks, prison sentences.

And instead, you handed out
a speeding ticket.

We did the best we could.

You know what?
I believe that.

Which is why Gramm gets it
from here on out.

You think you're yanking crypto
from my purview?

Was I being obtuse?

Where does a man measure from?

The base.

That's where we're yanking from.

[Sweeney] All criminal referrals
from this office

[Sweeney] will now flow to her.

[Sweeney] Lock, stock,
kit, and caboodle.

You see, because,
unlike you, Chuck,

she is not terrycloth soft
on big business.

The people of New York State
elected me

because they believed
in my judgment‐‐

They elected you so they could
feel good about their sex lives

and think of themselves
as liberal and fair.

The people of Manhattan,

elected me to punish predators.

Not slug shots of Dubonnet
with them.

You sip Dubonnet‐‐

I have no fucking idea.

That you do is
the nub of the problem.

Interface with her office,

see if there's any other
cases she wants.



Axelrod's behind this move.

Know how I know?

Tattaglia's a pimp?
Could never orchestrate

something like this?

And a move like this really
awakens my Dark Passenger‐‐

You've been reading
Dexter again.

Indeed I have.

Thinking about dismemberment
instead of prosecution?

Well, in a way.

Dexter Morgan's Dark Passenger
could only

be sated by the brutal
act of taking life.

But, in order to make something
decent of this innate drive,

he developed a code.

A way that he could kill,
but for the 'right' reasons.

I will do the same.

I will loose my urges
for dominion and victory

only in the name of justice
and in accordance with it.

You really are serious
about making a change.

That raises the degree
of difficulty.

May‐haps. But I am committed
to this course.

To purge the world of villainy.

And myself of...

I guess villainy, too.

So if you want to help yourself
and help this office,

you will find a way to get
on board with this code.

And to keep me held to it,

as Dexter's father did him.

♪ Mid‐tempo music plays ♪


I haven't been having much fun
lately, you know?

But I will enjoy using this guy
to get what I want,

and at his own fucking party.

[Taylor] Because he can fly?

Because he thinks
he can fly above me.


He'll learn it's best to
keep his feet on the ground

while trying to trade body blows

with the Theogenes
of Wall Street.

Whoa. Easy, Wags.

Must be all the high‐mindedness
in this mountain air.

[Taylor] The battle
you're talking about

is you and Prince
at the Fireside Chat?

[Axe] Yes. But that'll be
one for the crowd.

Prince has gone deep
on psycho‐ceuticals.

And we're about to go deeper.

Your trip up north.

Mm, yeah.
Wasn't just for kicks.

We got a shaman who opened us up
to the power of ayahuasca

at just the right moment.

Along with universal truths,
we saw a market.

We were late to psilocybin.

Won't happen with pharma‐huasca.

And there's the man
that can secure it.

Simon Shenk from Errix.

[Wags] Soon to be of the FDA.

He'll need to divest.

And you'll be there
to assume his shares.

Like Ed Kemper inhabited
his victims' souls.


For a drug like
medical ayahuasca

you'll need to establish
hospital‐based trials,

to help mainstream it.

[dogs barking]


[cheers and applause]

Come on!

So, we all have our missions.

Sure you can handle the
emotional component of yours?

I am the one of us who can
handle emotions, yes.

‐[man] There he is.

Welcome to 'The Mike.'

How lucky are we, to be here,
to do this, together?

I love knowing that in 24 hours,

I'm gonna be smarter and better
than I am right now.

Because of you all.

Welcome, Axe.
Thanks for being here.

Hey, thanks for
finally having me.

You don't need to
make me look good.

This is the first time
you accepted.

Let's kick some butt together.

[man] Yeah!

[woman] All right.

You got yourself
a secret golden tunnel.

I want on the trip.

Who are you again?

You're running your own money.

As hedge fund violations go,

that's like
shouting the N word‐‐

not illegal, but enough
to get you fired.

I would never do that.
And I am not running my own‐‐

You left the separate account
up on your screen

when you went to the bathroom
to jerk off.

I go to the bathroom
to go to the bathroom.

Bottle of Jergens

peeking out of your pocket
says different.

But, hey, that's your business.

My business is getting in on
your extracurricular.

I know you've got a 3 Sharpe
ratio strategy.

It's 3.64 actually,

but only to six figures.

Any bigger than that
and it won't work‐‐

we get stuck in the tube
like Augustus Gloop.

What the fuck?

Figure out how to get it
big enough to cut me in,

or I'll cut you.

Like with a knife?

Are you threatening to‐‐


But I'll flip ya.

♪ Mid‐tempo music plays ♪

I'll flip ya for real.


[Wendy] Chuck can't actually
have veto power over what I buy.

If a judge were
going by the book,

you'd be allowed to buy
ten apartments.

You can easily afford that

out of your share of
the marital assets.

But the thing is...

Chuck knows a lot of judges.

Outcome is unpredictable.

So I could lose the apartment?

Given the timeline
to get to court...

you've already lost
the apartment.

He did this because
I put out that statement‐‐

which I did because
he was too busy

hanging from the ceiling
to do it himself.

And he did because you did
because his parents

and your parents because America
because England

because ancient Rome
because primordial ooze.

I appreciate your bedside,

Yes, Chuck would behave better
if he felt better.

But that's not
my responsibility anymore.

Probably never was.

I need to make myself
feel better.

So, we go to court.

We have a situation...

♪ dramatic music plays ♪


Ali Kashkhokh.

Allocator for Ontario Educators.

I wish we'd known
you were coming.

Bobby isn't here right now.

And neither are Wagner
or Taylor Mason, right?

Ah, you knew that.

Peach, make her comfortable.

Yeah, good luck with that.


Ali Kashkhokh is hardcore‐‐

What she is is a total fuckin‐‐


We have a billion plus
of her union's dollars.

And she's a bellwether
for the industry.

[Axe] If she approves or
disapproves, people listen.

What I was gonna say.
We can be back in an hour.

Nah, it's just a spot‐check.

She's hoping to avoid us,
so she can poke around

for the second set of
Untouchables books.

And you rushing back will
make you look like Al Capone.

But we don't actually have
anything to hide, right?

Of course not.
Don't be ridiculous.

Thought not.

Losing Ontario Educators
would be bad though‐‐

Pants‐shit bad.
I get it. Lemme go.

She's already hammering away
at the weak spots...

The market's like
a fragile bridge.

We don't know exactly when, but
eventually it will collapse‐‐

[Ben Kim] And all the cars on it
will tumble into the ocean.

Many drivers will drown.

The cars in this metaphor
are the investments,

the drivers are the investors,
like you, and‐‐


I can't have you pulling people
off their desks

during trading hours.

It's not good for the fine
educators of Ontario‐‐

or any of our other investors.

Yeah, sure.
But me hearing their answers is.

Why don't I get you to IR,

have them curate a tour,
answer any further questions.



Well, I was nominated
for their Second Circuit.

That's why I sent you that box
of embargoed smokes.

May be premature.

There's a certain senator
in possession of information

that could sink my battleship.

What information?

Which senator?

Well, you know her well.

She put your name forward
for the U. S. Attorney's job.

Marcia Vandeveer.

Old pal of my father's.

A fact which suggests
we may be able to just

roll her away like a stone
from your tomb.

You didn't answer
the other part.

The senator has become aware
that when I was at DOJ

I co‐authored a memorandum
endorsing a then‐novel reading

of a subclause of
the Geneva Convention.

The torture memo?

You wrote the fucking
torture memo?

I wrote a memo.

On a fine point of legal‐‐
it wasn't the "T" word.

It was
"enhanced interrogation."

A vital tool in
intelligence gathering.

You're welcome by the way for
the very blanket of freedom‐‐

Thank you.
And how the hell

am I supposed to explain that
to the senator?

I would simply like to
defend myself publicly.

Face the shame head on.

Turn it into pride.

As I did.

Well, I was hoping
with your help

we might shift
the Overton Window once more.

Okay. But my thing
was a harmless‐‐

The waterboarding wasn't really
as bad as the media made it out.


It's torture!

I may have been wrong
on this one‐‐

You're damn fucking right‐‐
it's torture!

And if even I don't like it‐‐

Believe me, that was
the sport version.

You should see how I roll on
covert hostile actors...

Not anymore.

In fact.
Not ever.

Don't even know why I said that.

You're not a military man.
That's the way we go.

Uh, you trusted the generals.
Who would have done otherwise?

Me. No, I would not have
endorsed that shit.

No doubt. But I'm building
my case for Senator Vandeveer.

To get her to forget
his scribblings

and see him for the man he is.

Chuck, you want to think
the best of me.

Well, everyone does.

I'll get rid of this.

Don't know where I dug it up
in the first place.

No, double no, fuck no‐‐
It's your job.

We sent you on the road
to learn investor relations.

Only to find I sucked at it.


Too fucking abrasive.

While Bonnie may have
proven herself

something of a hothouse flower,

I have the rugged areole
of a desert succulent.

And an almost
pornographic knowledge

of all things Axe Capitale.

♪ Mid‐tempo music plays ♪




I need you to
gentle down an investor.

She's a beast.
You are the best choice

for the job.
It's what you do.

Well, it's what she does for
Mase Cap, not Axe Cap.

Last I checked, this all
falls under Axe Cap.

Last I checked, we still had
some sovereignty.

You can't just
conscript our officers.

If you want to borrow Lauren,

you should talk to Taylor first.

Have you?
Didn't have time.

[Hammon] Did you have time
to talk to Axe?

There is a chain of command.

You're in violation.

This is where you want
to make a stand?

Here, now, over this?

Every encroachment needs to be
called out and dealt with.

♪ Dramatic music plays ♪

Look, I am willing to meet
with this allocator

if that's going to be helpful‐‐

Where should I tell her
you're taking her tonight?

Given the moves
she's already pulled,

she doesn't want
the wine‐and‐dine

or the shot‐and‐grind.

Tomorrow, first thing
in the office.

After I have Union Square Cafe
ferry over

some very special room service
to her hotel.




[dogs whine]

Each year's Mike finds us here
in front of the fire,

tackling a big topic.

This year's: Is it time for
a new capitalism?

We can keep it short:


And who better to chop it up
with than Bobby Axelrod?


Seriously, Bobby, isn't it
incumbent upon us‐‐

those who've 'won'
by any metric‐‐

to acknowledge that we didn't
do it alone, and to‐‐

Yeah, no, I‐I‐I know
what you say about

learning and giving back
and all the rest.

And I believe it's
what you tell yourself.

But if we look at it,

we see that it's not
the whole truth. Is it?

I guess not, Axe.
Tell us what is.

You want me to reduce it
to one thing?

I can.

It's about being picked.

[Axe] Being singled out.

Every one of us has already
been singled out.

And this confers it, officially.

Like Davos.
Or the Allen conference.

You're either in Sun Valley
or you don't exist.

But what goes on there, or here,

doesn't matter beyond that,
at all.

It's not about the conversation.

It's about the invitation.

This gives me remarkable insight
into how you think about trades.

It's all bottom line.

But what if some of us
aren't like that?


Been known to throw an elbow
or two when you need to, Mike.

Sure. When I compete
I'm there to win.

But I choose my playing field
carefully now.

And always against opponents
the same size as me.

And no one's making money
while they're here.

See, that's another canard.

Every single person in this room
earns money while they sleep.

While they dream.
While they fuck.


I can honestly say
I haven't accepted payment

for that particular act
in years.


Look, you want to leave here
feeling better about yourself

than when you came.
That's it.

Isn't that the benefit
of helping others,

[Prince] the selfish part
of giving back?

Why is that something
to be ashamed of?

[Axe] It's not. But still:
not the whole thing.

Your man's getting boxed in.

No such box.
Just you watch, Scoot.

What do you think
I get out of this?

It can't be status conferred,
since I do the inviting.

For you?

Respite from guilt.

That's your whole platform,
isn't it.

From he who has too much
to she who has too little.

It's your basketball story,
your history.

You talk about how it wasn't
your own achievement.

Not only my own.

My town, in Indiana,

had the third largest
high school arena‐‐

yes, arena‐‐ in the country.

I was fortunate to be
a standout‐‐a star.

When we had a big game
coming up,

families would paint their
picket fences green and white,

my school colors.

And if I'd jog past,

everyone would come out of their
houses and cheer for me.

I can still hear the roar of it
in my head:


And what you take from that

is that you stood
on their shoulders.

That they lifted you up
to your success.

You were nothing special.

That's right.
I was supported.

It's important for all of us
to remember that.

It's what separates us from
demagogues and other monsters.

Ah. No sale.

I don't like
everyone in this room.

But I do respect everyone
in this room.

Because I know each
and every one of you has

a portfolio of accomplishments
that sets you apart,

proves your
exceptional qualities.

And I assume that goes
for you, too.

Well, unlike you, I'm not
embarrassed to say it.

As I'd expect.
Because I know your story

as much as you know mine.
How you came from nothing.

Yeah, it's true.

Your dad was
an insurance salesman.

You ate dinner with him
every night.

My dad was gonzo.

I ate dinner wherever I could.

And yet you were still
in the wealthiest state

in the wealthiest country
in the world.

With access to
the best healthcare,

schools, infrastructure.

And you were born white and male

at a time that was
a huge advantage

in the greatest capital market
in the history of mankind.

The roads were paved
for you, Bobby.

Which is why you were able to
move so quickly across them.


I knew you were
wracked with guilt,

but this takes it to
a whole different level.

The roads were paved.

But I didn't even have
a goddamned car.

Now, you see, this is
where we are different.

I don't pretend I'm
an ordinary guy got lucky.

I am a monster.

A carnivorous fucking monster.

♪ Dramatic music plays ♪

It was success or oblivion
for me just as it was for you,

whether you want to
admit it here or not.

[Axe] See, that's what all this
is for you.

[Axe] A way to forget
you are that monster.

You have to be one.

Or you could never have gotten
here in the first place.


Don't bring that weak shit
our way.

Not over yet.


Maybe you're right...

But I must be one of the cuddly
kind from Monsters, Inc.

Because tomorrow I'll be out
loading pallets

for the "Shake the Quake"
relief mission

for earthquake victims
in Honduras.

First we organize the supplies,

then we air drop 'em
next weekend.

We're not just
writing checks here.

Care to join me
and see if giving back

with your own two hands
changes your mind?


Trap door.

Uh, I was planning on leaving,
but, um...


Sure. Why not, Mike?

Count me in.



Thank you.

That genius really thinks he
trapped you into joining him.

No idea it's what you wanted.



You think they'll be putting
their backs into it tomorrow?

The bankers?

Stevens and Callahan and them?

♪ Mid‐tempo music plays ♪

Would you put your back into
anything if you were them?

Their banks have 80 billion on
their balance sheet between 'em.

So I seriously doubt it.

That's right.

Callahan's got
a contract for life.

Driscoll's got it even better‐‐
his name's on his bank.

Father's name.

Well, like I said...

Their racket's as old
as J. P. Morgan's

and Charles Merrill's

[Axe] We both got
evening plans ahead.

The world's changed over
the past year, cap'n.

To be safe, we institute
a four‐part protocol.

To prevent misunderstandings.

You send a text after:
"Hey, what a great night!"

She'll respond in kind.

You send a gift the next
morning, leave her smiling.

You make secondary plans even if

you have no intention
of keeping them.

And when you don't keep them‐‐

Who do you think
you're talking to?

I'm a gentleman.

Fucking right you are.

If I send you a text after,
it's a real text.

Text, don't text.

It's not that I've been
ducking your calls,

it's just that I've been...

Ducking my calls.

I have. Yes.

I feel like you're going to
pull your money.

Are you going to
pull your money?

I don't want to talk shop
while I'm up here‐‐

It's a financial conference.

So that's why you're here,
to keep my money on board?


It's been four months since
I moved under Axe's roof.

And we haven't had a single call
during that time

about business or anything else.

[Taylor] I wanted to see you.

And here you are.
Like King Kong in chains.

Not easy to get used to.

You know, it took me a long time
to get my balance back

after you ended our thing.

I'm glad you were able to.

♪ Dramatic music plays ♪

So, the money‐‐

So, indeed‐‐


Good game.

Particularly quick, Hikaru.





Where are we at?

Will the senator see me?

She will.
Problem is:

I'm not sure I should
walk you into it.

Why not?

Well, you did the thing.

A youthful indiscretion.

Born out of loyalty,
and commitment,

and the ability to
craft sound arguments

on any side of an issue.

[DeGiulio] It's also not
the kind I'd make again.

So people can change?

That's what you're saying.
You've changed?

You're no longer law school
DeGiulio, or Deputy AG DeGiulio.

You're truly Judge DeGiulio.

Ah, this isn't about me.

You aren't really interested
in if I can change.

Or man can change.

You want to figure out
if you can.

It's being put to the test.

I am changing.

It's happening in
front of your eyes.

Well, that's gonna be
useful to you,

stating it with authority.



Look, you've done
the impossible before.

Why not now?

Well, after a certain age
it gets harder.

Or maybe undoable.

Or so incremental as
to have no impact.

Well, I prefer to think
of it as evolving.

You want to know if
I would have written the memo

when I was younger or older?

I'm more concerned with taking
the lessons of it forward.

That's why I want to be
on the Supreme Court.

So that the accumulation of
all that I know can benefit‐‐



I do believe I have
more capacity.

For good, for ill, for anything.

The truth is‐‐

I just really want it.


I want to feel the power
of the seat make me more.

♪ Dramatic music plays ♪

What's your driver?

I, uh, let certain
of my... quests

drag me into the wastelands.

And it cost me every‐‐
it cost me too much.

I may still need to do
these kinds of things,

but I also need to serve

the best of me at the same time.


You and Axelrod.

It started as justice,

then became something
that wasn't, but...

It still can be again.

And I can help you, Chuck.

I want to.

If I'm in a position to.



You can indeed
craft an argument.

We'll keep our appointment
with the senator.

And put all this to the test.






[Wendy] Maybe now's a good time
for our one‐on‐one.

Mandatory inspection.
Like I'm back in the service.

Don't like to think
of it that way.

Why not?
When I was in the Navy,

at least I knew
what my purpose was.

Now I don't have a clue.

What the fuck do
I do here, Wendy?

My whole career

I've run operations‐‐

logistics, combat, organization.

I tried to live my life
by Jim Baker's words:

"You can either focus on
the 'Chief'

or the 'of Staff.'"

"Those who have focused
on the 'of Staff'

have done pretty well."

But if Mase Cap is no longer
an operation,

what do I do here?

Are you asking me to define that

as Human Resources
or as a performance coach?

You have two fucking jobs.
I have zero.

[Wendy] Definitely need
the performance coach.

And I can help you.

I can help you get into
Olympian form...

but towards what aim, what
discipline, is a fair question.

And you need to
be asking Taylor.

So why aren't you?

♪ Bury me with my guns on ♪

[cheers, whistles]

I confronted my ego
and let go of it.

Seems intact again.

You come back to yourself.

It's one experience,
not therapeutic dosing.

But Bram Longriver really opened
our eyes to the potential.

You spent time with Bram?

He was our personal guide
and shaman.

Longriver carries kind of
a mystical weight in the Valley.

We have that mystique behind us.

Along with the full force
of his evangelical power.

Gives us instant credibility
with the therapists

who are using
the synthetic ayahuasca

as part of their treatment...

that is, as soon as you make it

legally available
in the U. S. market.

So you know
I'm headed to the FDA.

We have real intel.

And I have worked to make sure
no one finds out

until it's done‐‐preserving
the value of your position.

Let's talk about us buying
your shares in Errix...




[MC] Now turn your attention
to the main stage

and put your hands together
for Brandi...

[cheers and applause]

♪ She's my cherry pie ♪

♪ Cool drink of water,
such a sweet surprise ♪

♪ Tastes so good,
make a grown man cry ♪

♪ Sweet Cherry Pie ♪

♪ dramatic music plays ♪



Did you close Shenk?

It was a late night.

Conversations were had.

You didn't close him?
The fuck?

Unexpected circumstances.

What, you get distracted
by a stripper?

Not in the way you mean‐‐

Well, what happened, then?
Get robbed again, roofied?

I failed the Chris Rock test.

Her stage name was Brandi,

but‐‐but it was really Mandy.

My Mandy.

My sweet little Mandy.


I didn't keep my daughter
off the pole.


Want me to shut the place down?

No, it's okay.
I got‐‐I got her out of there.

I s‐shipped her off
to a facility.

I think I'll have it
shut down anyway.

Thank you.





[clears throat]

And Shenk?

I'll close today.

Oscar wants out?

He wouldn't even engage.


Ivy, would you draft
some of your colleagues

to help put my people
back together, please?

I'll do it myself.



[Axe] Fuckin' bankers.




Didn't intend to spend
an extra day in New York.

Hope you enjoyed your
accommodations and the dinner.

Food doesn't travel well.

Let's get to it.


Let's start with
the current portfolio...

♪ dramatic music plays ♪

[Ben Kim] You have a cache of
emerging market bonds

that I'm particularly proud of.

Where are the marks?

How are you valuing that?

You saw the 13F‐‐

That's 45 days stale.
What do I own now?

How do I know there's not
a Mississippi‐sized delta?

We could show you that
if you want plain vanilla,

60‐40 for retirement.

[Lauren] But if you wanted that,
you wouldn't be here.

We had your aggression index
at a 6.7.

Do you really break things down
that way?

Not on the external documents...

But based on your goals,
the investments you made‐‐

and the investments you left
behind to come to us‐‐

we figured that
was your sweet spot.

What if we could take
a little more danger?

People talk about quant
fundamentals, human overlay.

I overlay like
you wouldn't believe.

See, there are certain risks
that are not risky to you,

they're not risky to Axe Cap.

Personally risky to me?
I don't think that way.

I just think if you're not
making 15 percent every year,

then my father
was right about me.

What did he say?

He blamed himself for not
punching my mother hard enough

to kill me the night
she told him she was‐‐

That's plenty right there.


[Spyros] Guys like that‐‐

revvin' up your engine,
metal under tension‐‐

my job is to keep you off
the highway to the danger zone.

And how do you do that?

I know my SEC like
Bear Bryant knew his.


That was a kick in the heinie.

You wanted the unvarnished look.

And we do have the numbers
to back up‐‐

Truth is, I don't care
what these people all said‐‐

just that they didn't
wilt or crack.

In many founder‐named shops,
the whole place collapses

if the founder isn't
in their face 24/7.

That clearly is not
the case here.

The numbers do
speak for themselves.

And thank you for that dinner‐‐

the gnocchi was firm and tasty
and the halibut sublime.

Thought it didn't travel?

We all have our roles to play.

Mine here was hard‐ass.

But you played yours
to perfection.

Senator, I understand
you have concerns.

Now let's address them
where they can be spoken to

most fully and frankly‐‐
right here and now.

Behind doors which are closed.

I have just one question‐‐
and I can ask it anywhere.

Judge, did you write that memo?

This memo?

I did, Senator.

Then that, as they say,
is the ballgame.

The other side protects its own
no matter the sin.

If I do the same,
I would be the same.

I must hold Judge DeGiulio

to the same standards
I keep for myself.

And they are as high
as a midnight showing

of Cheech and Chong's
Up in Smoke.

♪ Dramatic music plays ♪

Had I suffered such
a regrettable lapse,

I would withdraw my name‐‐

and I would kiss my career
and my sweet ass goodbye.


[door opens]

I think that time
I got waterboarded.

"Never let your head hang down.

Never give up
and sit down and grieve.

Find another way."

Your dad?

[elevator bell dings]
Close. Nixon.


The fuck is the other way,
the next move?

I don't know yet.
But I will reach out when I do.





I would have done
exactly the same as you.

Well, I'm glad you didn't
try to change my mind.

So you'll keep the memo buried?

I will as long as he doesn't
go for a lifetime post.


He's still destined for
great things, though.

What do you have in mind?

♪ Mid‐tempo music plays ♪

‐Hey, Eddie.
‐Keep it up.

Hey. Thanks a lot.


Gonna take care of
all these yourself?

Getting a workout too, huh?


All right, bring it in.

Gotta lift with your legs.

That's what they say.

Thanks for the help.

Well, you can return the favor:

Host Stage Three pharma‐huasca
trials at your medical center.

We're not a university hospital.

Well, that's why we need you.

Bram Longriver says:

"We're in a race between
catastrophe and consciousness."

You have Longriver?

If we're gonna win,
we need much wider testing.

Is the Axelrod Foundation
willing to back that race?

I can make a call.

Then make that call.

‐[camera shutter clicks] ‐Great.

Thanks for everything.
I'll circle back.



You Michael Johnson‐ed
right over to Jules Hakli.

The hospital CEO.

Always wanted to shake his hand.

Uh huh.
And now you're back hard at it.

You know, you and I should share
a beer at the closing dinner.

We always have
an amazing presentation.

I'll try to make it.


Not gonna let me
sort in peace, huh?

Oscar, I was bleeding out.

I couldn't just shut my firm.

If I did, I could never re‐open,
or raise again.

It was a way to preserve
the name. To continue.

It's the answer to the one
question you didn't ask

but should have: Would I do
absolutely anything to survive?

The answer is yes.

That's why you should
leave your money with me.

Last year, Axe Cap
showed returns of 17 percent

while growing by 22 percent.

I was shrinking, dying.

So you gained all the benefits
of bankruptcy‐‐

indemnification, restructuring,

without actually declaring.

And you're going to tell me that
you're going to be better.

Already are better‐‐ Yes.

Since I've been there we're up
7.2 percent‐‐you're up.

The difference between blitz
and regular chess?

In the traditional game, when
it's the other person's turn,

you consider what
you might do next.

You let your mind wander,
meditate, be open.

With fast chess,
you've anticipated their move

and your response before
they've made it.

Which game have we been playing?

I don't want to have my money
with Bobby Axelrod,

I don't want to be
associated with him.

And if you are, I don't want to
be associated with you.

And you knew that before
I opened my mouth...

I‐I‐I hope when we meet again
it's not as competitors.

If you go back out on your own,
give me a call.

Oscar: You shouldn't have made
that rook sacrifice at move 37.

That's why you lost.

♪ Mid‐tempo music plays ♪

Well, you slipped away
last night.

Personal business.

I'll bet.

I've seen a guy take a girl
straight to the Champagne Room‐‐

but never straight
out of the club.

At least not outside Thailand.

What type of bar fine
she run you?

Wasn't like that.

Just had to have a little chat.

I guess there's no such thing
as too young

when they're firm as a
genetically modified plumcot.

Mr. Axelrod and I know
Errix is a family business.

So we'll pay market
for your shares,

but we have to work together
to keep the stock price high

for your relatives.

Sell to us and do your share

with approvals
once you're at the FDA,

and we're all sitting pretty
in Schaefer city.


Ah, yes, that sounds fun.

But it's Longriver
I'm interested in.

His reach makes markets‐‐
and makes this deal.

Then you're talking to the right
guy, 'cause we got him.

Bobby, I'm gonna need to stay in
the apartment a little longer.

Is that‐‐ Yeah, more than okay.

You know I never use it.

[Wendy] Thank you.
I'm sure I'll‐‐

Thought you found
a place you loved?


the deal got "Chucked."

Ah, you could've called me in.
Why didn't you call me in?

I thought I could
sort it quickly.

But it's going to take a minute.

[Axe] The man's a delight.
You know?

Look, I can
buy the place for you.

Pay me back as soon as‐‐

It's gone.
Thank you, but... it's gone.

All right. Well, stay as long
as you need then.

Hey, one more thing.


Gut him.

That's the plan.

[Dollar Bill]
A ten percent loss?

You took my scrilla down
ten fucking percent?

I tried to warn you.
The algo‐‐

your added investment forced it
to make suboptimal trades.

Why is your brilliant machine
fucking retarded?!

Bill, what you want won't work.

Like fuck it won't‐‐

This shit is a nerdy new world.

I had to have it put into
terms I understand.

So let me translate for you:
A man can manage two wives.

But you try to keep
four wives going,

you can't keep everyone

Too many variables,
not enough Bill.

The whole thing crumbles.

I needed this.

You are a useless fucking bunch.

♪ Mid‐tempo music plays ♪

Give him back his money.

Investor beware.

Maybe. But you didn't
actually invest his shit

and risk fucking up
your side stash.

I'm keeping it
as an asshole tax.

Return it as an asshole tribute.

[door opens]

♪ dramatic music plays ♪

You know, I was almost back
at my desk when it hit me.

So I may not be able
to crawl ass‐to‐mouth

through your
algorithmic centipede,

but the one thing that has kept
me in my chair all these years,

WINNING, is that I know a liar
when I smell one.

Your trading thing might not
work with the added capital,

but when I look in your eyes,

I do not see someone
who has lost money.

I see someone who's trying
to steal from me.

So by the time I actually
get back to my desk,

my money better be there,
or this time I will cut you.


[door opens]



This is the thank you.

The way you conducted yourself‐‐

and everyone else‐‐
it was the full Dudamel.


I want you to take over IR
for all of Axe Cap.


I have a job.

You still have it.

This job is better.

More responsibility, access.

More money,
in case that matters.

When doesn't it matter?

When you're being untruthful
with yourself.

Not a risk.

It is quite the offer.

And yet, I can't help but feel
I'm being used.

So that you can isolate
Taylor even more.

I thought we were past
Mase Cap paranoia.

Is it paranoia?

I'm using your talent.

If Taylor feels
similar appreciation,

they'll bless this.

Let me sleep on it.

[knock on door]


Where'd we end up?

Well, not where you were,

not where you expected to be,

but a very good place,
I believe.

Solicitor General.

Acting SG.

Acting. [laughs]
Of course.

The price for killing the memo.

Everything stays nice and quiet.

Well, useful to you too,
isn't it?

With you as NYAG and me
on the federal bench,

weren't gonna see me that often.

It'll be better this way.

It's a prestigious post‐‐

and still an avenue to the show.

Two current Justices
were SGs before.

Everyone gets everything
he wants, huh?

I'm just glad I could
be a friend to you.

Early dinner at Luger's?

On me.

♪ Dramatic music plays ♪


[footsteps approaching]


Game's changed.

No, game's the same‐‐

Fucking computer boys
scrape data and code algos.

Slurp up all the alpha.

Need to find a new way
to beat it.

Market's closed, player,

nothing left for you
on that screen until morning.

But I'm here.

What did you have in mind?

Why don't you show me those new
cup holders in the mini‐v...?


How 'bout a raincheck.

I think I need
some alone time...



Is Taylor here?

[Lauren] They just got back.


I'm gonna roll dry.

Imagine you know about Lauren
lending herself out to Axe Cap?

And I imagine you know that

she's been asked to make it
a permanent detail.

I did not.

Are you going to agree to that?

She wants to do it.
It's a good opportunity.

She'll rep both shops.

And that's all right?
It's how it is.

And if I don't like it?
I don't know what to tell you.

There's a lot I don't like.
Doesn't mean I can change it.

♪ Dramatic music plays ♪


Pop‐quiz, hot shot.


Not really a pop‐quiz.
I'm fully prepared.

Where did I put Adam DeGiulio?

Solicitor General?

What was wrong with
the Second Circuit?

Served him, not you.

The New York Attorney General

doesn't get before them
very often.

Why Solicitor General then?

You lost your New York
criminal jurisdiction

to the Manhattan D. A.

So maybe we go big game hunting

in another neck of the woods‐‐
like the Supreme Court?

And wouldn't you know
who decides

who gets to argue
before the Court:

Solicitor fucking General.

I get up in front of the Nine,
I'm taking you with.

Oh, damn straight.

Did you, uh‐‐

you leak that memo to the
senator in the first place?

I, uh, put it in motion

before I made my deal
with the Dark Passenger.

And it was too late
to pull it back.

And you'd never do a friend
like that anymore, right?




Good thing we don't
have to know that today.


We've got something special
for you tonight.

I hope you've all
kept your appetite

[Prince] 'cause we brought
a little bit of Brooklyn up here

[Prince] to Mohonk
Mountain House.

From Lilia, Chef Missy Robbins

[Prince] and her partner,
Sean Feeney.

We're so excited for you to try
one of my favorite pasta dishes,

which is the dish that
reminds me every day

how much I love to cook.

And we hope you enjoy.


[indistinct conversations]

Give it to me.
Struck terms with Shenk.

He loves the Longriver piece.

Was a dealmaker.

I got my arms around Hakli
the same way.

Let's get the fuck out of here.

[glass clinking]

It's been my privilege,
all Mike long,

to fete so many of you.

[Prince] And it's good to end on
someone I respect so much.

[Prince] Someone I'm proud to
call a friend and a guide.

And though he's late
in arriving,

I think he's going to be
a big part of all of our lives.

Please, a warm hand
for my key partner

in a breakthrough
healthcare initiative...

Shaman Bram Longriver.


♪ dramatic music plays ♪

I feel a deep spiritual debt
to the man...

but I nevertheless
feel compelled

to separate his dick
from his balls.

Mr. Longriver's going to share
some wisdom with us

after dinner, but,
please, come say hi.


You stole my shaman.

He belongs to the whole world.

You didn't come
in the spirit of The Mike.

You came to scuttle around
and take for yourself.

But the game was
already over, man.

I thought there was
enough for everybody.

Success breeds success
and all that happy horse shit.

You don't come to
a man's house‐‐

This isn't your house‐‐
Close enough.

Like I told ya: When I compete,
hell, I'm there to win.

Well, hear me:
Game's not over, buddy boy.

Not by a country fucking mile.

I'm aware.




Look at those fat
fucking furballs...

Wags, you ever get tired of
working for a living?

Every damn day.

But I've got a nasty addiction
called money.

So I do what I do.


No. Never.

Until today.

You know, they call us traders

The world economy's
just one big casino,

fueled by a giant debt bubble
and computer driven derivatives.

And there's only
one thing better

than being a gambler
at a casino.

That's being the house.
That is right.

There's a systemized machine
out there

sucking capital from localities

and injecting it into
the global markets‐‐

where it can be used to
speculate and manipulate.

And if something goes wrong,
there are bailouts

and bail‐ins,
federal aid and easing.

Where the government
doesn't hunt you down,

but instead gives you
a nice soft net to land in.

That's your answer
to the fireside chat:

You want to become a bank.

I want to become a bank.

In order to rob it?

In order that I don't have to.


And to sleep like they do.

And to die
in my own fucking bed.





Told ya:
done giving you info.

Goes the other way.
I'm giving you information:

I know what you did.

Maybe selling me out
to Axe was a move.

But maybe you're actually,
appallingly, under his sway.

Doesn't matter.
There will come a time

when you will be forced
to line up against Axe

for your very survival.

'Cause he's not capable
of a true alliance,

only destruction.

And if such a time comes...

When it does, you will need me.

Though I have come to realize

the ways in which
Axe and I are alike.

We both are possessed of
and by a sort of monster.

But unlike Axe,
I am in control of mine.

I have a code.

And I need that code?


You need that monster.

♪ Sturgill Simpson's
"Remember To Breathe" ♪


♪ Go out late at night ♪

♪ Just to see what I can find ♪

♪ Staying in the shadows ♪

♪ Where the light
don't ever shine ♪

♪ Having one way conversations ♪

♪ With the darkness in my mind ♪

♪ He does all the talking ♪

♪ 'Cause I'm the quiet kind ♪

♪ So peel it off ♪

♪ Pull 'em down ♪

♪ Let me see it ♪

♪ Turn around ♪

♪ Just lay back ♪

♪ And let it happen ♪

♪ And remember to breathe ♪


♪ Staying off the radar ♪

♪ Like a bomber on the run ♪

♪ Do another lap
around the target ♪

♪ Just for fun ♪

♪ Staying quiet, keeping calm ♪

♪ Until I find the one ♪

♪ Feel the wave wash over me
when the deed is done ♪

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