Billions (2016–…): Season 5, Episode 4 - Opportunity Zone - full transcript

Axe's latest move takes him back to his roots but puts him in Mike Prince's line of fire. Chuck steps into a new role and meets an intriguing colleague. Taylor tries to salvage a missed opportunity. Wendy takes an interesting new client.

[Sacker] Previously
on Billions...

Red dots? That means sold.
That means--

There was
a pre-pre-viewing?

Damn, man.
Not my intention to scoop you.

I'd love to buy
if you have more.

Yeah. I don't paint for money.
Never have.

Before the funds land with us,
we can designate them.

Yale Law.

Georgie boy!

Hello, Dad.

Sandicot's not getting
the gaming license.

It's over.

[Axe] You fronted like
the whole thing was wired.

Was that bait?
Or were you the bait?

[Chuck] There will
come a time

when you will be forced
to line up against Axe

for your very survival.

[Chuck] He's not capable
of a true alliance.

[Prince] Isn't it
incumbent upon us

to acknowledge that we didn't
do it alone?

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

[Axe] I am a monster.

A carnivorous
fucking monster.

♪ dramatic music ♪

[children shouting in distance]

[horn honking]

This was my favorite place
in the house.

Even though it's not technically
in the house.


I come out here
most every day, too.

Even in the winter.

My mom's worried
I'll catch pneumonia.

But I still do it.


Mine didn't
like it either.

[Axe] At night I'd even sneak
out here after she went to bed.

And just breathe.

Inside that house...

eh, for me,
this was better.

Yeah. I like it
at night.

-[car door closes]
-Til I can hardly see the hoop.

Looking at the lights go out
the other houses.

[Savion] And me thinking.

[Axe] The thinking
I did out here,

it's what set my whole life
in motion.

Hey, Randy,
I was just telling Savion

how I used to come out here
as a kid growing up in Yonkers.

You mind if I...

No. Not at all.
Go on ahead.

[cellphone chimes]

You know, this was a rough
neighborhood even back then.

No one really had
any money at all.

[Axe] Snowy mornings, I'd come
out here, shovel the driveway,

and then I'd stand here
and I'd look at other people

digging themselves out.

Eventually the plows
would come through,

but only after they had already
been to the rich neighborhoods.

Same thing now.

[Savion] They don't give much
of a shit for us.

[Axe] Yeah.
Last streets plowed, man.

If people wanted
to go to work,

they had to get out here
with a shovel.

I saw that
as an advantage.

Started up
my first business.

You know?
Did all the shoveling myself.

Then I hired
some friends.

Then I expanded
to other neighborhoods.

And I took the money I earned.
I invested it in other ideas.

That's how
I started, man.

I have Yonkers to thank
for my success.

That's why I'm glad to be back
here, returning the favor.

[window opens]

Ok, you two, that should
just about end outside time.

[Savion's mother] Come on in.

Hey, I just wanted to say I
really enjoyed meeting you both.

Then come on back,
and have dinner with us.

I'll make meatloaf.

It'll make you feel
like you're a kid again.

Can't wait.
Dinner at home in my hometown.

Only I'm not gonna allow you
to do any work.

I'm gonna bring my chef.

And we're gonna
make this special.


[window closes]

[cellphone chimes]

♪ dramatic music ♪

[Chuck] Mm.

Of course...

The man knows
no bounds.

Who's got hold
of your nectarines?


And it's a man
who's spreading his wings

from the cozy confines
of Wall Street

to the mean streets
of Yonkers.

Opportunity Zone
is up for grabs there.

Those are
pretty sweet setups--

real cap gains advantages.

[Chuck] The tax breaks
are supposed to be

for the benefit
of downtrodden neighborhoods,

to stimulate investment
and development.

And treadmills
were originally built

as a system of punishment
for convicts--

hard labor milling grain--

not firm-bunned
soccer moms.

You're right, old man.

And you know what?
I need you to suit up.

I'm not sure I--

Oh. You can develop
with the best of 'em.

And you're back
off the sidelines

now that you're
a young father.

Alright. You don't
need to win it.

Just compete hard enough that
you provoke some illegal moves,

some unfair competition
from Axe.

[Chuck] Or destabilize him.
Either way it's a win for me...

What do you say?

You need me to suit up,

I'll suit up.



Run it back.

My ball.
No dunking.

Other than that,
come at me.

And you know I will.

MP. This isn't the only
one-on-one game you're in.

Axelrod is going after
the Yonkers Opportunity Zone.


Observe and report,
so I'm ready to act--

after I handle
the Human Highlight Film.

-[basketball bouncing]

That's the only free one
you get...

♪ dramatic music ♪

Wags, get me
with Daymond John.

Ooo, a poppa shark.

I need you.
In there.

[indistinct conversations]

Sneak attack.


Alright, well, let me get
ahead of it by apologizing,

so I can start my day.

I'm sorry, Taylor...that
you're in snowflake mode--


And that your
save-the-Earth play

led me to a bigger score
with good old rock oil.

Well, Mr. Plainview,

you didn't offend
my delicate sensibilities.

What you did do was fuck up
the bigger score.

-Is that right?
-[Taylor] Yes, it is.

This is a list of colleges
and universities

with endowments that were ripe
for divestment.

This first wave had
a potential haul of 8.8 billion.

All un-gettable now,
since the pitch is ruined

because you made us look

like greedy,
opportunistic hypocrites.

Projections on potential assets
are always overly optimistic.

Listen: This comes down
to poor communication.

And a lack of alignment,
for which you're both to blame.

Taylor, you should
have trusted him

and told him
the entire play.

He cracked out of turn
and moved aggressively,

and in this case--
Bobby, that was in error.

But by holding out, Taylor,
you're just as responsible.

You know,
perception and optics

are at all-time
importance levels

in our business
and in life.

And a unified team is
a much more powerful image

than either of you

Quant and fundamental.

Impact and traditional--
the best of both worlds.

The question is: What are we
gonna do about it now?

♪ dramatic music ♪

...What if we played it
as an activist move--

-[Axe] Hmm.

Push the companies
to clean up,

to put in the kind
of initiatives

the schools
will be impressed by.

Sell it as policing
from the inside.

Which will allow us to sell
divestment to more institutions.

I should do it.
My reputation--


I'll go talk with Argyra
and Charter Offshore.

You practically dressed me down
in front of a junior.

I need to maintain
a shred of credibility.

We both know
you missed it.

I was trying to broker
the least embarrassing version.

[door opens]

[indistinct conversations]

[door beeps, opens]

Professor Rhoades.

Oh, I know--
Catherine Brant.

I heard
you were up here.

Read your book, even.

Which one?
I've written six.

Well, the one everyone read.
The O Gap.

Was it helpful?

Well, I'm not saying that
I needed it, just that--

Why is it that every time
I ask men if it was helpful,

that's the reaction
I get?

Women just give me
hugs of thanks.

Are you asking
for a hug?

[chuckling] No.

I am here
with an ask, though.

I teach in
the sociology department.

And this year,
this week, in fact,

I'm lecturing
on your speech.

Ah. Which one?
I have given many.

The one everyone saw.

The one about
owning your sexuality.

And not being
ashamed of it.

Was it helpful?


See how easy that is.

For you. Yeah.

So here's my ask:
Would you come to my class?

Let me ask you
some questions?

Let the students
ask you some?

While the idea of spending
some time together sounds fun.

The idea of talking about the
Overton Window and my life...

uh, it sounds
like root canal.

I'm trying
to leave it behind.

I understand.

Still going to teach it.

Well, as you should.

I'm about to teach
my first criminal law class.

And I didn't ask the permission
of the criminals.


Would you mind if I sat
in the back and listened?

Please do.

[indistinct conversations]

Good day.
I'm Chuck Rhoades.

And as my Criminal Law professor
said on day one:

I will do you the courtesy of
treating you like professionals.

Do me the same.


Is there a Mr. Kelly
in attendance?


We stand when addressing
one another.

This isn't college.

You will address
a judge one day.

And you will not be sitting
on your keister when you do.

Now, I assigned
Bordenkircher by email.

Tell me the facts
and the law.

I-I pass.

[students murmuring]

As my Crim prof told me
the one time I wasn't prepared:

There is no pass.
Only fail.

Since this was
the first class,

I thought it would be,
like, introductory--

No, no.
You have one chance.

All of you: If you are
not prepared with a brief

when I call your name,

you will be asked to leave
that day's class.

If you miss two classes total,

you will have to
take crim law again.

-Professor Rhoades.

This isn't
how it's done now.

We're here to learn together.
Not to be shamed.

Oh, I hardly think
I shamed--

We don't learn best
under this kind of pressure.

That's been proven now--

[students murmuring]

Holy shit, guys.
And yeah, guys.

I'm calling all of you guys,
men, women, enbies.

And I have tenure.
So suck it if you don't like it.

[Cat] You have the rarest
of opportunities here.

This man has faced
the harshest battles

the courts
can throw at you.

He sat where you now sit,

and rose to the highest level
a lawyer can.

And is ready
to share all that.

And you--you lean back,

afraid to face your own
intellectual limitations.

Instead, dive in.

I know some of you, most of you,
have done the reading,

prepared your briefs
and are ready.

[Cat] So sit up straight.

Put your hands in the air,
and let him see it.

♪ k.d. lang's
"After the Gold Rush" ♪

Very well.

Uh. Who's going to tell me
about Bordenkircher?


Yes. Green sweater
near the back.

State your name first.

I'm Mary Jane Marbach.

[Marbach] Bordenkircher is about
what a prosecutor

can threaten
a defendant with.

[Marbach] In the case,
the prosecutor...

♪ Well, I dreamed I saw
the knights in armor coming ♪

♪ Saying something
about a queen ♪

...Should I be
concerned about

what I'm seeing
on Dollar Bill's sheet?

♪ There were peasants singing ♪

There may be some...
issues at play there.

That you can't discuss.
♪ And drummers drumming ♪

I get it.

♪ And the archer
split the tree ♪

[keys clacking]

♪ A fanfare blowing to the sun ♪

You were right.

In the session
with Taylor.

I didn't like it at the time,
but I see the wisdom of it now.

I saw the tiger in there
for a minute.


It was bracing.

Well, even the great tamers
need to remember

they're dealing
with wild animals.


♪ I was lying in
a burned-out basement ♪

The, uh,
community roots angle

is playing a lot stronger
than expected up in Yonkers.

Maybe those roots are deeper
than you thought they were.

[Axe] Yeah.
Maybe you're right.

Being back at my old house--

♪ When the sun
burst through the sky ♪

I was using it as a set
for the reporter.

Thought I was.

But this kid, Savion,

he was just like I was
at that age.

Found myself wondering if he
was burning to get out too.

You should dig into that
when you go for dinner.

Yeah. I will.

♪ I was thinking about
what a friend had said ♪

[Chef Ryan] Let me
grab these for you.

♪ I was hoping it was a lie ♪

Hey. One other thing
you can help me with.

You know my new artist--Tanner--
I got working on commission.

-[Axe] He's not working.

Barely painted a stroke.

I don't know if it's
painter's block or whatever.

But any suggestions
how I can get him going?

You know what?
Let me talk to him.

I'll see what occurs.

That'd be great--

Ah, if you guys
are all set.

Yeah, we're all good.
Thanks, Chef.

Delicious as always.



So much better with Chuck
out of the picture.

No more, um...



Yeah. It's less complicated
for sure...

♪ In the yellow haze
of the sun ♪

I should probably
get back to the kids.


♪ And colors flying ♪

♪ All around the chosen ♪

♪ dramatic music ♪

[door opens]

[door closes]

-[Tanner] Wendy, yeah?
-[Wendy] Mm-hmm.

[Tanner] Axe said
you'd be stopping by.

You figured you'd start
once I left?

Oh, I already started.

I paint up here first.


Can you share your vision
for these?

Or is it still...

[chuckling] Vision.

I mean, I--You know,
I can't--I can't talk it out.

Because then it's
just in the wind.

You know?
But it's gonna be kickass.

So you can let Axe know.

You know?

He's definitely gonna
feel his--his investment

was worthwhile.

[chuckling] Whoa.

You're a trip.

Hmm. I've been told.

But this moment
isn't about me.

Those words:
"Let Axe know."

They can't have felt good
coming out of your mouth.

I don't need
a pep talk.

Well, you need
something, bub.

'Cause you're scared
out of your fucking mind.


I've been painting
since the fifth grade.

I sold my first painting
in the ninth.

So why does this
feel so different?

Who said it does?

Do I need to
stare at you again?

Okay. Alright.

When I start a new one,

I-I like to walk around
the city a lot

until I feel special.

Until I know I'm the only one
in the world that can paint it.

[Wendy] Sure.

A confidence booster.

But lately?

We sure someone's
not suffering

from a dose of
imposter syndrome?

I know what I can do.

So you're fine then.


Alright. Alright.

I can't get the feeling.

Ever since I-I-I signed
the contract

and I agreed to
the commission, I-I--

[Tanner] The walks
are getting longer,

and 'special' doesn't seem
to be around.

Accepting this commission
is a new step for you.

And you can't figure out
what it means--

what it says
about who you are.

No. I know what it says--
I'm a sellout.


Too simple.

I mean, you can vilify
the money, if you want.

Blame it for your blockage,
if it helps you get past it.

It's like
Oscar Wilde said:

"When bankers get together
for dinner, they discuss art.

When artists get together for
dinner, they discuss money."

The money shouldn't
change anything.

But it does.

It's got me
all up in my head.

That's because
you're thinking of it

as the measure
of your artistic value,

and that's never been
what's motivated you before.

Whenever I work,
I-I don't even--

I don't even imagine
a buyer's face.

I don't even think about it.
I force myself not to.

And all I can think about now
is his reaction to my work.

That's because someone,
at some time,

probably your mom or dad,

made you feel like
a disappointment.

So now you're substituting
him for them.

Maybe a gym teacher.

Nope. I was
good at sports.

Point is:
You're on the precipice

of the kind of success
very few artists ever have.

But you have
created an obstruction

between you
and that success.


♪ dramatic music ♪


Close your eyes.


Now, visualize yourself

on the other side,




See the work--

your best.

See that it all
turned out okay.

That you didn't
fuck up your muse.

See the effort it took
to get you there.

Now go create
the fucking painting.

Does that work for
your aggro trader bros?


'Cause it kind of sounds
like bullshit to me.

Well, your excuses kind of sound
like bullshit to me, pal.

See you on
the other side.

♪ dramatic music ♪

[Chef Ryan]
Breakfast fit for a shark:

A little Eggs Benny
and hollandaise.

Thank you.

Thanks, Chef.


Besides wanting
to catch up,

I wanted to talk to you
about something more specific.

Yeah. I figured.

What's up?

Opportunity Zone,
up in Yonkers.

-The old patch.
-That's right.

I got big plans:
a pedestrian mall downtown--

revitalized shopping, cultural,
residential, office space.

The town could use
a shot in the arm.

Uh, you know what?
It sure could.

And many people there
will do well,

but some will do better.

I don't need it.

But I am happy
to put in the labor.

And I would love for you to be
an important part of the board.

Take a minute to think about it
if you need to,

but we got to move quick.

I get it. You want me to be
your face--your brown face.

You want me to do a little dance
for you for the zoning folks.

♪ Da-da-da-da,
dah-da-dah ♪

You want me to hook you up
and give you an in-road

with the minority
community, right?

I want you
to be my partner.

Axe, you know I'm not gonna be
your puppet--or anybody else's.

Why don't you
bring me things

that you would bring Bensinger
or Buffett?

[elevator dings]

[indistinct conversations]

Daymond John passed.

He always was sharp.


I have intel:
Mike Prince has been meeting

with community leaders
in Yonkers.

He's building
grassroots support.

And he already has a history
of Opportunity Zone wins

in Atlanta, Detroit--

So we still need someone on our
team to ensure you beat his ass.

Someone with strong
community ties,

strong business track record,
part of the firmament...

a diversity business partner
from New York.

Here's the list
of names.

Gonna need to dig out
my sporting gear.

♪ dramatic music ♪

Nice game.

I love the tradition of this.

The guys who invented this game
definitely never pictured

a couple of gents like us
playing it.

I think that's why I took it up
in the first place.

Because "screw them?"

Fuck 'em. Yeah.

That's why I thought
a match like this

was a perfect setup
for our subject today.

I'm glad that you waited
till after we played.

Well, you know, I can be
patient, when I need to be.

But not for too long
when I got

something this good
on the table.

And what would this be?

Opportunity Zone.

I'm of a couple of different
minds about these.

No, yeah.
I know.

How do you make sure
the zones

are the ones getting
all the opportunities?

Developers score.

Meanwhile, residents are
sitting there same as before--

if they can even
afford to stay

in the same jazzed-up

That's why
I need you, Franklin.

That's not
the only reason.

I know what you need.

Plenty of African American
businessmen I could go to.

You bring much more.

And you'll keep me,
and my team, in line.

Come on. Think of the positive
effects this'll have.

On the communities we serve.
And on us.

Your usual method is
to dump money from above.

Why the boots on the ground
for this one?

Well, because this one
matters to me.

I grew up there.

Can't allow
some goddamned stranger

to come squat all over
my ancestral lands.


This is a win for us,
and a final "screw you"

to the type of folks
who built places like this,

to keep guys like us
on the outside looking in.

Send me the proposal.

[Wags] I'm so glad
you're in town.

Dying to catch up.

Let's talk about
where I went wrong.

Where I went right.

There's lots of lost time
to make up for.

I have the meatloaf,
a yam and cheese for you.

I'd like to say grace.

That's not just
a dinner thing?

Not if you mean it.

Heavenly Father, thank you
for this time here together

with my earthly father.

Please bless this food for
the nourishment of our bodies

and bless our fellowship for
the nourishment of our hearts.

Help me walk the path.

Help me rend myself
from evil.

Help me stoke the fire and keep
my promise to lift the fallen.


Did you ad lib that?

I like to speak to God from
my heart, not a prayer book.

I was going to
offer you a job here.

But if you can keep a straight
face with this bullshit,

I will fund your
ministry myself.

Because you, my young acolyte,
will make a mint.

I'm not interested
in money.

Then why are you here?

I don't want to keep
my true intentions hidden.

unburden yourself.

What are you
really after?

What do you have up the sleeve
of your vestments?

I'm here to save you--
your soul.

Let me baptize you...

from what can I see
around here,

saving you's only gonna be
the beginning.

Sorry to talk and eat,
but I'm doing the keto thing,

and I'm on a schedule.
Not at all.

So glad you gave us this chance
to talk carbon capture.

Is that what
we're talking?

As you know, the price
has really been dropping.

It's lower than
94 dollars a ton.

But the real road
to profitability

is using captured CO2
to create synthetic fuel.

Uh huh. Ca-ching.

Know what I mean?

At a dollar a liter,
it's almost in line.

And that's before you calculate
the state tax incentives.

In California,
for example--

Yeah, I crawled my way
up the corporate ladder

so I could become
a tax-grubber.

Mr. Lambert--Dell--
try to think of it

as an evolutionary
timeline question.

We all have to
get started somewhere.

Move past the fear.

When Toyota
launched the Prius,

they lost money
on every single car.

-But now--
-When they launched the Prius

my blood pressure went up
by 25 points.

And I'm not afraid
of a goddamn thing.

Look, you ladies
seem like

you have your hearts
in the right place--

but those hearts are bleeding
a little bit too much for me.

All the same to you,
if I'm gonna get worked,

I'd rather Axe do it.

After all, he's the one
who bought into my company

in the first place,
not you.

Thanks for coming.

[silverware clinking]

-I don't ghost anymore.
-[Ben Kim] That's great, Mafee!

Like growing up!

But occasionally,
I'll kind of just like

not really respond
in a timely--

Oooh, I think that's
still not great.

What a fucking softboi
you are, Mafee.

Why do we have to
label everything?

Exactly what
a softboi says

when you ask if you're
his girlfriend.

I thought
that's a fuckboi.

No. A fuckboi doesn't
stay in your apartment

long enough
for you to ask.

He's not a fuckboi
or a softboi.

In college,
we called him Doughboy.

Ohh. Come here,


Hey, Mafee!
We need you at the home shop.

-You know, where you work.


Skipper, we've
got Mike Prince-

like a case of goddamned
dandruff on our heads again.

He's making a move at
Franklin Sacker's company.

Buying up huge blocks
of stock.

Oh. that's because he knows
Franklin's with me,

and he's trying to pressure him
to drop out of Yonkers.

But this time,
he's on my turf--

and if he tries to wreck
the buffet at the Harrow Club,

I'll toss him on his ass.

Like Victor Maitland
did to Axel Foley?


Though upon
thinking about it,

things didn't work out
too great for Maitland.

No. But it must have
felt good in the moment.

Yeah. But we can't give in
to feeling good in the moment.

We have to win.

♪ dramatic music ♪

[woman] Right in here.

Mr. Sacker, I've admired
your work from a distance.

I'm glad to finally
meet you up close.

Is it that same admiration
that's driving you

to try to partner up
with me?

Because I've gotta admit it
feels like a shotgun marriage.

It's true. I've bought up
enough shares of your company

to take
three board seats.

With that I'll have the power
to oust you.

Unless I withdraw from
Axe's Opportunity Fund.

Your words,
not mine.

But any company
I sit the board on

needs to have a CEO
with unquestionable ethics.

♪ dramatic music ♪

Tough talk, Mike.

Ah, the old ambuscade.

I was wondering how you were
staying so frosty, sir.

You can buy up
all the shares you want,

and you can threaten this fine,
upstanding man.

But you won't outflank him,
or me.

[Axe] 'Cause I'll buy
three times more than you

and I'll stack the boardroom
to block you...

Oh, and I'll be sure to tell
everyone, especially the press,

how the great
Michael Thomas Aquinas Prince

is trying to run
an African American man

out of his own C-suite.

You would try to
make this about race--

No, you did--

I'm pursuing the O.Z. in Yonkers
for the right reason--

-And I'm not?
-I don't know what you're doing,

but I'll tell you
right now, Axelrod:

I hate it when people
fuck with my money.

Whoa, listen to the filthy mouth
on Saint Mike!

[door slams]

Good to know he rattles.

You must have that effect
on many.

[horn honks]

[indistinct conversations]

[car door closes]

[siren wailing]

Keep a close eye on it,
this neighborhood.

Housewarming gift.

Nothing makes a place
feel like home

as much as the smell
of warm bread baking.

What is that,
a thousand-dollar bread maker?

That'll do wonders

for my street cred.

Which is why this thing
should find itself

ensconced in an Upper East Side
classic seven.


I'm not running
for Congress there.

[Franklin] I get the
grassroots thing, Kate,

but why not move back
and run on the UES?

Steamroll the process
with money.

I can make real change here.
Which will get noticed.

Hard for a congressperson
to break out otherwise.

And in terms of steamrolling
with money--hell yeah.

We will do that--here.

How else do we
combat the notion

that I'm not really connected
to the community?

That's what my opponents
will be selling.

So tell your friends to
get their checkbooks ready.

That won't be a problem.

And, uh...I hope
this won't either.

Ah, the reason
for the visit...

I'm working with Bobby Axelrod
on the Yonkers Opportunity Zone.

Jesus, Dad.

Axe is using you
as a pawn--

thinks you're insulated
from the law because of me,

and that the diversity crowd
will like you

because you are
one of them.

[Franklin] Let's assume
that's true.

So what?

In business, everyone puts
his own interests first.

Recognizing that
is a key to success.

But want to or not,
Axe is gonna have to do good

for an underprivileged

And I'll be there
to make sure of it.

Mm. You're not
the only person

who's walked into a kissing
booth with Bobby Axelrod

certain they wouldn't
come out pregnant.

Stop channeling
your boss.

Axe has already
come through for me.

He just backed me in a proxy
fight against Mike Prince.

Because he needed you.

That'll all go away
when he doesn't anymore.

♪ dramatic music ♪

[door closes]

[sighs heavily]

Drink, Sacker?

No. I'm good.
I, uh--I need to talk--


Go ahead.

I've forgotten secrets
you wouldn't believe.

Yeah. It's fine.

I don't suppose anybody wants
to step in and help?

-I'm good--
-I don't know how.

Well, you just...
how can you not know how?

I act like I can't do anything
and I hire people who can.

Well, I'm trying to teach
the kids to do for themselves.

Never mind.
Ms. Sacker.

My father has teamed up
with Axelrod.

-[Sacker] Yep.

I felt a duty to inform, but I
don't want you going after him.

Well, you can try to
persuade him to step aside,

but if he won't--
he will be a fair target.

[Chuck] These are the waters.

Kings start making mistakes.

Sometimes they fall,

and the crown gets stolen
or passed down.


Oh, and I learned something else
from my dad:

Axe and Mike Prince are like two
dogs fighting over the same bone

when it comes to him
and the Opportunity Zone...

Make sure to match the lefts
with the rights.

There are lefts
and rights?

♪ dramatic music ♪

You know, Axelrod hasn't
gone after me at all in this.

-[door opens, closes]
-He's given me a free pass.

Which means--

Mike Prince
is Axe's real enemy.


I know how
to work this.

[cellphone vibrating]

[cellphone chimes]

Hey. Ok. So your rap might not
be total bullshit.


[Wendy] A-ha!

There we go.


Well. You'll be the first
to see it when it's done.

I better be.

[bells chiming]

[birds chirping]

[indistinct conversations]

[engine shuts off]

Welcome home, sir.

And who are you?

BJ and Sean are friends
from Fellowship.

We're psyched
to show you the way.

[BJ] You're gonna love
our music, too.

Come on.
This way.


You wanted to find
that closeness?

This is it.

Wait until
you feel this.

♪ dramatic music ♪

[knock on door]

-[door opens]


You said I didn't need
to bring a lawyer.

Didn't even go through
my lawyer, so what do we got?

You're in a battle
with Bobby Axelrod.

Help me
to help you beat him.

How would I do that?

If you announced a donation
to the city of Yonkers,

to be given after the decision,
regardless of how it turns out,

Axe will move to bribe them
or do something else illegal

along those lines
in order to win.

And I will
be there waiting.

I give you your opportunity
zone, you give me mine.

Well put.

♪ dramatic music ♪

I don't know you.

Or where the hell
this is coming from.

But I'll tell you
straight up:

I've steered clear of that line
for a long while now;

it's served me well.


Just think about it.

[Axe Cappers] Eight!




-[Dollar Bill] Stick in 15.
-[Axe Cappers] Twelve!

He was "Camp Champ"
five years in a row.

He's lobbying
for Stay-Puft.

But no matter
how many marshmallows,

he'll always
be Pillsbury.

You again?!
Don't you have a fucking desk?

[indistinct conversations]


I have been thinking a lot
about...a lot of things.

And I have noticed that you
seem to be happier

out on the main
trading floor.

Happier? No way!

Maybe you'd be
more effective, then.

Sitting out there. Being in
the flow, picking up intel.

It could benefit
all of us.

I see what you're saying.

Yeah, that could work.

I'd be willing
to give it a try.

I mean, if that's
what you want.

Yes, I'd like you to
start sitting out there.

You got it.
Thank you.

Hey, Mafee, why'd you pick me
in the first place,

out of all the intern

You were the only one
who didn't seem boring.

Who didn't seem to care
about the same bullshit

that every kid from Wharton
or HBS did.

You seemed like someone
I could learn from,

even as I was teaching.

There was no doubt you were
the winner back then.

Thank you.

[door closes]

I lost a CEO yesterday
and maybe also Mafee, too.

Something's blocking

I'll say it: I need to learn
how to win again.

The Taylor Mason I first met
never started a sentence with I.

And never talked about
personal wins.

And that Taylor Mason
won all the time.

You're right.

Focus on process,

it's where your
genius shows up.

The rest will flow.

Give me specifics.

Met with the
fossil fuel CEO.

And it went...
it didn't go well.

I don't know if it was
generational, or factional,

but--The guy only wanted
to talk to Axe.

Then you talk to Axe.
Ask for his guidance.

The younger version of me
would not have hesitated.


Taylor needs another shot
with the CEO.

And some coaching.

What happened at
the first meeting?

It didn't go as planned.

In the name of full disclosure,
I Gerry'd the meeting.



I'll get him to give you
a second meeting.

And what you do is...

You know what, what you do is
you bring Wendy along with you.

'Cause she's the best I've seen
at bridging the gap

between differing
points of view.

So she gets you
to the view she sees.

But you won't even
feel it happening.


You go for
a midday swim?

Yeah, in the
river Jordan.

I've lost another--one to
the pole and one to Jesus.

Which feels worse?

Feels about the same...

I've fucked it all up.

I don't know how to talk
to any of 'em.

I ceded the responsibility of
raising them to their mothers,

while I was working.

It was what I thought I was
supposed to do--to support them.

But this is where
we ended up.

I'm a complete
fucking washout.


I'm gonna get you a drink, but
I'm not gonna drink with you.

I'm out to Yonkers.

What'll you have?


I'll have another.


I can do it.

It's not too late.

I am not young,
but she will be.

I'm gonna go again.

A do-over.

And finally get it
fucking right.

[Senior] ...The people
of this community

have been getting the short end
of the stick for generations.

And quite frankly,
they're not very good

at using what stick they get

either as a lever or kindling
or whatever else.

Which is sad.

[Senior] But let's
stay on point.

Entrust me with heading up

this Opportunity Zone

and I will use it
as a lantern

to lead these lost people

out of the mess they've made
and into profitability.

Thank you.

Thank you,
Mr. Rhoades.

[Bledsoe] Mr. Prince,
you have the floor.

Your father
just presented.


Oh boy--

Mother taught me: If you don't
have anything nice to say--

That bad, huh?
Got it. Who's next?

Prince, then Axe.


[Prince] ...Profit comes, sure.

But there's other ways
to make money.

I could invest in tobacco
and plastics.

But I prefer to invest
in people.

In neighborhoods
like this one.

As I have done with
my partners...

[Prince] In Chicago,
Detroit, Atlanta.

We don't just build the housing
and the businesses.

We don't just build the fields
and the courts.

We establish the leagues
and the programs

that keep the kids
off the streets and playing.

Give the man
a civilian medal.

Mm. And I could use
an insulin pump. Stat.

Or a barf bag.

Our results and successes
speak for themselves.

And before I wrap up,
it's incumbent upon me

to sound a cautionary note about
certain of my colleagues here.

To make sure this project
is executed as intended.

I have brought
a special guest...

[door closes]

Meet Marc Capparello.

[Prince] He's a former
town councilman from Sandicot.

Where Robert Axelrod made
similar financial inroads

into the community.

How did that
work out, Marc?

Not too well.

[Marc] There was a lot of
rosy talk about the future

and promises were made.

Only for our town's financing
to be ripped away

like one of those wax jobs
in a beauty salon.

[Marc] Hmm?
It really stung.

And our town
will be recovering--

trying to grow its hair back,
if you will--

for generations to come.

I'm sorry.

Thank you.

[spectators murmuring]

Told you, Axelrod: I hate it
when people mess with my money.

[Bledsoe] Mr. Axelrod,
you have the floor.

Let me tell you what went wrong
in Sandicot.

It's true I made
a big investment there...

and we all had high hopes for
the future...until this man--

No, no! You're a sore
goddamned loser--

Decided to pull
his casino,

for no reason other than
his own greed,

and moved it to land
he held elsewhere.

He left us all
holding the bag.

Now, efforts
are still being made.

But that callous style
of development

is one of the real drivers
for me here...

Because this is different.

This is home...

What a steaming pile
of bullshit.


[spectators murmuring]

[door opens]

[door closes]

-Did you get that?

Can I move?

Excuse me?

Is there a rule that says

we have to do this
here in the boardroom?

♪ dramatic music ♪

You know why I can see
Yonkers' future?

'Cause I can see its past.

Right down there, that's where
Ricky's Clam House was.

You know,
you couldn't walk by

without that smell
pulling you inside.

Even when I could only afford
like, what, three baked clams,

always found my way there.

Two doors down
was Dicey Reilly's.

-Dicey Reilly's
-[woman] Yeah!

I used to take
my best friend Ike--

Damn right he did!

--Went there when we
were 14 years old.

You know, we had fake IDs,
but they never asked for 'em.

[Axe] I learned plenty
in there.

Like if an old guy
offers you odds

if you take the Giants
and the points,

don't take the damned Giants
and the points.


Used to take dates down there
to the Park Hill theater.

Yeah, right. Our pal Freddie
used to work there as an usher,

would always open up the
back door and let us sneak in.

Yeah. And then
of course, afterwards,

we'd head over
to see Bruno...

-..down at Capparello's.

And even though Bruno's
down in Florida,

living his dream,
the store still stands...

-...and will

as long as I'm alive.

That's right.

Look, I'll tell ya, I--

I'm not an
overly emotional guy,

but I could do this for
every single store in the town,

and all the houses
too, probably.

[Axe] Just as
this man could...

[Axe] Come here.

Savion Williams.

This is very moving, but
this board has one concern:

that you're a leaver.

[Bledsoe] That you won't
stay the course.

No. No.
Like Savion, I was born here.

This was my childhood.

You know the house he
lives in now was my house.

But this whole town
is my home.

And, yes, sure,
I left for a while,

but I'm back.

And the thought of anyone else
helping to rebuild this place.

Well, it just
feels wrong.

They wouldn't

[Axe] Though
rebuild it we must,

not for nostalgia,
but for the future.

For Savion's future.

[Bledsoe] Wow.
Thanks, Bobby.

[Bledsoe] That brought me back.

We'll give you
our decision shortly.

-But thanks for that.

Thank you. Thank you.
I appreciate your time.

[Axe] Thanks very much.
Come on, buddy.

[knock on door, door opens]


Heard how it all
went up there,

that you got a taste of
the old Bobby Axelrod boogie.

-I've seen worse.
-[Chuck] Ah.

I've seen all kinds.

Yeah. I'll bet.

But you're gonna
lose the O.Z.

unless you play
a little ball now.

I came here
to tell you:

I've already felt too much pull
to my old ways.

[Prince] I've fought
to not be that person.

Escaping it once
was hard enough.

I can't give in to it now.

Yeah, Axe took out
his lute

and played 'em a hypnotic
old folk ballad.

He probably won it.

-[Prince] Sucks. It does.

But heck, I'm still rich enough
for twenty lifetimes.

That's not how you became
who you are, by giving up.

The problem is
the feeling you get--

and I know you get it, too--when
you engage in a fight like this,

in the way that
you're proposing.

It feels good.

Nope. That's a lie.

It feels truly great.

The endorphins.
The adrenaline.

It all pushes
you further,




I had a game,
senior year,

I put up sixty points.

The cheering
with each bucket.

Knowing none of the guys
could stop me.



Felt like
a giant afterwards.

Couldn't sleep
for two days.

And when I came down, I saw
how I had alienated myself

from my teammates
and my family.

[Prince] I had forgotten
they existed.

[Prince] And just went
and got mine.

I've done the same
in business.

Until I shut it down
for good.

I will not let Axe
turn me back into...

[sighs] well,
in his words, a monster.

But did you win that game
when you scored the sixty?

Yah. Bet you did.

So do it again.
Win this game.

Then feel bad.

Bobby Axelrod wins.

And you did nothing
about it.

You lose.

♪ dramatic music ♪

[clears throat]

Is Axelrod
in the pisser?

[Lambert] Oh, crap.
Just you two.

Shoulda known, but Axe
said he wanted to talk.

He wanted you to talk.
To us.

This is Wendy Rhoades.

[Lambert] Ah.
I've been shanghaied.

Yeah, you got suckered
into a meeting.

[Wendy] Soak in
the feeling,

because it'll be
a hundred times worse

when you get suckered out of
your position at this company.

Or you can get smart,
right fucking now.

Pow, huh?

Your rep is you build people up,
not knock 'em down.

Oh, when we're
on the same team,

I'll have you hotter than the
barrel of a just-emptied M60.

Next week, you will announce
the new Argyra Petroleum,

striving to become the first
ESG-friendly company

in the Fortune 500.

We are trying to stop you from
the same fate the whalers had.

Back in the mid-1800s,
whaling was like Facebook.

Blubber was the oil that
lighted the Western world.

But by the second half
of that century,

whale oil was replaced
by kerosene.

Whaling became MySpace.

And then kerosene collapsed with
the invention of electricity.

So you can look like
a loser from 1830,

or you can look like a hero
of the 2020s and beyond.

[Wendy] To the
environmentalists, sure.

[Wendy] But even more to
the industry and the Street.

Because you will be
making so much money.

-I like how that sounds.
-[Wendy] You are a trailblazer.

And you are the perfect
person to do it.

They all already
admire you.

They all already think
you're a maverick.

You will set the new
industry standard.

But we're still just dealing
with the icing on the cake,

not the cake itself.

The cake is that you
will get first look

at every one
of these impact deals.

You will set the terms.

And you will
make more money

than all of your
competitors combined.


You're gonna
greenwash me.

Clean as
a newborn baby.

It's a greed play
that looks selfless.

It's the holy grail,

and you are
Sir Motherfucking Galahad.

Damn right I am.


Let's really
get into the text.


[Cat] Binds.

[Cat] Ropes.


And this was all
on live television!

Raise your hand
if you saw it live.

[students murmuring]

[Cat] You know what?
Stop taking notes.

Talk to me.

Why do you think he gave
this insane speech?

What do you think
he was trying to do?

Oh come on!

This part won't be
on the midterm.

I know you're all full
of lots of opinions,

you're just waiting for someone
to break the ice.

I see it as the ultimate act
of humiliation.

Sounds like you're
getting Freudian on me.

-Yeah, exactly--

it's classic masochism
death drive stuff.

[Narit] Rhoades was ready to
sacrifice his political career,

but only on his own terms.

But he did it
to win an election.

He's a cis white man
running for office.

[Kara] He's in
a privileged position

to control
his own narrative.

[chuckles] I'm
honestly surprised

it took one of you so long
to mention privilege.

This might be
a new record.

But I agree with you.

Is the speech
subversive at all?

Not really, no.

[Cat] So maybe that's exactly
what masochism is.

It's the pursuit of autonomy in

and the control over pain
and suffering.

Rhoades played subservient
in order to win dominance.

But why don't we
ask Rhoades himself?

Chuck, get on up here.

Thank you, Cat.

Now, don't be shy!

You ask AG Rhoades all your
questions and don't go easy.

[chuckles] Okay.

As a self-identified

did you receive
any gratification...

what I mean is--did you get off
on giving this speech?


The release I felt was
more emotional than carnal.

♪ dramatic music ♪

I feel like Carmelo
coming back to New York.

Wait, bad example.

Marbury. Fuck.

No Knicks.
I mean I--

Once you go through
the wars with someone,

they are always
your brother.

Even if they are...

Doughboy forever.


No grown man
should be that happy

at getting to sit next
to his friends...

Still, it was
nice of you,

more than nice.

Must've cost you a lot.

We should do it--
what we did today.


We nailed it for sure.

We should do it again.

Turn Mase Cap
into an impact fund.

Together. Within Axe Cap.
But ours.

There's so much
money out there.

And so much possibility
to make a change.

We could become
even bigger than--

I know...

Bigger than US Steel.

I was going to
say Axe Cap.

When we are together,
just us,

we can drop the Godfather
routine, can't we?


So what do you think?

You almost never take
this much of a beat

before saying something.

I usually know
what I think,

and don't have to
do a gut check.

This time, I--I wanted
the gut check.

Because you like it.
I do. Yes.

Once we show
a positive track record,

all the assholes
will want to invest.

It's true.
You're an asshole whisperer.

Maybe the
asshole whisperer.

And I mean that in
the best possible way.

I receive it as such.

♪ mid-tempo music ♪

Can't believe Axelrod
won that thing.

I gotta get me one of
these Opportunity Zones.

Ah, another emissary
from Yonkers.

And one with
glad tidings.

My father called me.
To gloat.

And to tell me that his alliance
with Axe isn't over,

it's only
just beginning.

I appreciate your
bringing this to me.

I know the inner turmoil that
the decision must have caused.

I can tell you that yes,
these are the waters.

And I'm channeling them
into a moat

and protecting the crown
or something like that, Chuck.


I tried to warn him.

But my father is used to doling
out advice, and not taking it.

My conscience is clear.

Well I, for one, am grateful
for your counsel.

So tell me, what other venture
are they embarking upon?

They're going
into banking.

♪ dramatic music ♪

Then so are we.

indistinct conversations]

[car door closes]

[engine shuts off]


[dog barking]

[car door closes]

[car door closes]

[cellphone vibrates]

[Prince] Axe.

I wanted you
to hear it from me.

I'm fine with you
winning in Yonkers.

I am laying down
my sword.

-[Prince] Yes.

I'll still have it nearby,
of course,

and my shield, to ward off
any possible attack,

but I sincerely hope
it won't be necessary.

[Prince] You'll do
your thing.

I'll still be
Mike Prince.

And all will return
to normal.

Fine. Good.

Though easy for you to say
now that you've lost.

I was wrong to think that
I could beat you in Yonkers.

I'm just a poser there.
It's not about me.

[Prince] But you?
Hell, man, Yonkers is you.

[Prince] You are Yonkers.
You've never really left.

[Prince] It's in your manner.
Your bearing.

You stink of the place.

And now you're
back in it.

[Prince] So, as I said,

...Yeah. Ok.

♪ Motley Crue's
"Home Sweet Home" ♪

♪ You know I'm a dreamer ♪

Ready to
head in, boss?

♪ But my heart's of gold ♪

♪ I had to run away high ♪

I should.
♪ So I wouldn't come home low ♪

It's...the right thing.

[Chef Ryan] Let's do it.
♪ Just when things went right ♪

♪ It doesn't mean
they were always wrong ♪


I don't think I can.

♪ And you'll never feel ♪

Whatever you want
to do, Axe.

♪ Left all alone ♪

Go inside.
Feed them.

I've gotta get the fuck out
of this dipshit town.

♪ Just one more night ♪
[engine revs]

♪ And I'm comin' off this long
and winding road ♪

♪ I'm on my way ♪

♪ I'm on my way ♪

♪ Home sweet home ♪

♪ Tonight, tonight ♪

♪ I'm on my way ♪

♪ I'm on my way ♪

♪ Home sweet home ♪

♪ You know that I've seen ♪

♪ Too many romantic dreams ♪

♪ Up in lights ♪

♪ Fallin' off
the silver screen ♪

♪ My heart's like an open book ♪

♪ For the whole world to read ♪

♪ Sometimes nothing ♪

♪ Keeps me together
at the seams ♪

♪ I'm on my way ♪

♪ I'm on my way ♪

♪ Home sweet... ♪

♪ Ho set. ♪