Billions (2016) s01e06 Episode Script

The Deal

1 Previously on "Billions" [Chuck.]
The key to bagging Axe is Dollar Bill Stearn.
Bill Stearn bribed the Pepsum researcher for proprietary information for a drug called Vaccarizine.
I wanna put him on the rack and stretch him until he gives us Axe.
The good news is this when you get out of there, you're starting at $1.
4, easy.
- Better news I'll hire you.
- I'm staying.
[Chuck Sr.
Still, Wendy's making things difficult for you.
Why is she still working there? We started to discuss it.
I've been working there since before we were married and long before you were in office.
Your value to the firm is absolute.
Stick with me.
I don't wanna be out of line, but you might wanna consider recusing from this case.
The conflict of interest it's gonna be an issue.
So what's the minimum investment for family and friends? I promised I wouldn't take any money away from Axe.
What if he never finds out? If they bring an action, the whole strategy becomes about leveraging a settlement.
I'd never settle.
William Stearn, you are under arrest Lawyer.
for insider trading and securities fraud.
- Lawyer.
- You have the right - Lawyer.
- to remain silent.
[heels clicking.]
Go on ahead.
Right through there.
tense music Hello? [footsteps approach.]
You came.
Did I have a choice? You always have a choice.
[fabric rustles.]
[robe drops.]
[water splashing.]
Come in.
[robe drops.]
[water splashing.]
[water splashing.]
It's been a weird couple of days.
[car brakes squeal, horn honks.]
[siren wailing in distance.]
tense music [horn blares, sirens continue wailing.]
Did you strike a blow for justice today, Mr.
Rhoades? I do believe we did.
You organized this and then made sure I wasn't there when it happened.
You're welcome.
Did you consider for a second what that was gonna do to me? Should I go? - Yes! - Yes.
[purse thuds.]
My name, my absence when it happened puts me under suspicion there forever.
What should I have done? Told you so that you could be there for an arrest? And if you had been there, you'd be even more pissed off.
You don't think so, but I know it.
At least then they wouldn't think I knew it was coming.
Oh, they all know it was coming.
It's Judgment Day.
- [scoffs.]
- [sighs.]
My office is taking an action, and there's nothing that you or anybody there can do about it.
And when that action is finished, it will be the end.
There will be nothing left.
So what they think of you, you can see how that might not matter so much.
It's my job.
You're beautiful and talented, and I'm sure you'll land on your feet.
Fuck you.
[grabs purse.]
Get Emi Kenyon back in here! [vehicles passing in distance.]
[front door closes.]
[keys jingle.]
Hello? [dog barks in distance.]
[breathes deeply.]
[switch clicks.]
[barking continues in distance.]
Yesterday, this company came under attack by an unscrupulous adversary who will stop at nothing to abuse the authority of the state, take away our freedoms, and close our doors forever.
- [touchscreen clicking.]
- [Bobby.]
And it left us all - wondering one thing - [door beeps, buzzer sounds.]
- [door opens.]
What happens next? [door closes.]
Dollar Bill Stearn.
Stingiest multimillionaire on the planet.
[files thud.]
Better get ready to pay full price.
[chair thuds and slides.]
Insider trading, securities fraud, conspiracy, wire fraud.
What are we up to? [sighs.]
Uh, 12-year prison term.
$9 million fine, plus civil when it moves to SEC.
Jesus, that's pricey, and that's just the beginning.
They came for Dollar Bill yesterday, but it was an attack on all of us.
- [man.]
- [man.]
- [woman.]
That's right.
- [man.]
- And I feel it.
Do you? - [man.]
Any one of us could be next.
We're with you, Bobby! - [man.]
Yeah! - [applause.]
[man whistles.]
[applause fades.]
Do you think this makes me happy, Bill? You don't need to answer that.
- You happy, Bryan? - Yeah, I'm - Right? - [sighs.]
It doesn't feel right.
It doesn't feel fair.
Why you? Why are you sitting in that chair and not somebody else? - [applause fades.]
- Today we are standing at the precipice.
Today is one day after.
You have one chance to avoid a cell.
Give me Axelrod.
The day after Pearl Harbor, everybody knew a Japanese invasion would be coming.
Air raid wardens.
Anti-aircraft artillery.
Cities blacked out.
Mothers and fathers staying by the door with baseball bats and kitchen knives, bellies full of fear of the invading hordes.
I know what he means to you.
I know you're a loyal man, and I admire that.
But this is what you know.
You know he's crooked, and you know he's going down.
But everyone was wrong.
What happened on American soil next? Nothing.
That's right.
The invasion never came.
Turned out Pearl Harbor was the best those sneak attacking motherfuckers had.
[laughter, cheers, and applause.]
I have the men.
I have the tools.
I have the will.
Now if it's not you, it'll be someone else.
I'll go through your shop, one PM at a time, pick up every piece of rotten fruit and squeeze until the juice comes out.
You know.
You know.
So you can cooperate and walk out of here free, or you can go to jail for no good reason.
You have one chance to make this deal.
A deal won't be on the table tomorrow.
What came next was a war that unleashed the might of America.
What came next was a victory that left us as the most powerful nation on Earth.
Fuck, yeah! [cheers, whistles, and applause.]
[applause fades.]
No deal.
- [cheers and applause.]
- This company This company will not wait for an uncertain future.
- We will make our own future! - [cheers and applause.]
We will fight back hard.
We will mobilize the war machine.
And those who would try to bring down our house will see their own houses fall! [loud cheering, whistles, and applause.]
[cheers and applause continue.]
[applause fades.]
The case against my client is entirely without merit.
Bill Stearn bribed a company official in exchange for material inside information.
- It does not get any clearer.
- [hits tabletop.]
He became friends with a farmer working at a company he covers.
He was so moved by the plight of that man's daughter that he arranged transportation and medical care for her.
Now if you can convince a jury of citizens that paying to save the life of a sick child constitutes an illegal benefit, then you should go ahead and take us to trial.
[scoffs softly.]
My client has no interest in cooperation, no interest in a plea [whispers indistinctly.]
And he does not recognize your authority.
- What the fuck does that mean? - [hand thuds.]
Liquidate 2% of the fund immediately.
That's our war chest.
$300 million.
Nice rack.
Legal defense is paid for.
How many billions are out the door at the first redemption? You should gate the whole damn fund before they start a run on We're fucked.
That's not the impression you gave out there.
Pretty tough talk.
You think I'm overreacting? I think open war isn't good.
- For who? - For anyone.
I think your whole mentality right now is a mistake.
You're not accepting that certain things are out of your control.
Damn right I'm not.
And it's causing you to lose more control.
If you wanna get it back, if you really wanna survive this thing, then you may need to set aside the piece of you that's raging, and do something that makes you a little uncomfortable.
tense music [door opens, closes.]
- He's not gonna flip? - No, he will, because you're gonna make it happen.
All of you.
Everything you have on him, get underneath it.
Not the what the why.
What motivates him.
He has a weak point, and we need to twist a knife in it.
Is there something else? We know how Axelrod's operation works.
He keeps himself insulated.
Is there a point you're trying to make? Some random PM at Axe Cap isn't gonna have the goods.
We need inner circle.
Bill Stearn is our best shot.
Is this something you think I don't understand? Hey, I just don't want Axe to walk away with a fine and a family office like Birch.
Is that what you think I'm doing? No.
Axe is no ordinary billionaire.
He's not Steven fucking Birch.
He's an icon of the wealth of our age, and he is a fraud.
So when he falls, he's gonna hit the ground hard.
Skilling got 14 years for Enron.
I'm gonna beat that.
I just wanna take this one to trial, let the jury decide.
We're gonna put him in a cell, and everyone is gonna see in Washington, in the fucking press there's no better defender of the public trust - than this office.
- [files thud.]
They'll say Chuck Rhoades did that, and no one is out of his reach.
- You're damn skippy they will.
- [chuckles.]
[engine revving.]
[knocks on door.]
[door creaks.]
You shouldn't be here.
Come in quickly.
I think they're watching the house.
[dog barking in distance.]
They went through everything.
They broke Bill's home office the door, in half.
And I was getting the key.
Look at this.
All our accounts are frozen.
They didn't even wipe their feet.
Sandy, stay strong, okay? It's a difficult time for everyone.
[paper crinkling.]
You brought muffins? [TV playing softly.]
[raises volume.]
[remote clatters.]
[women on TV speaking indistinctly.]
[envelopes crinkling.]
[lowered voice.]
This is your mortgage, property tax, insurance, school tuition, and that's for your foundation.
Everything is taken care of, for as long as this lasts.
[exhales sharply.]
Thank you.
Thank you so much.
[women on TV continue speaking indistinctly.]
tense music [front door closes.]
[liquor pouring.]
- [glass clinks.]
- Want a taste? [glass thuds.]
It's like whiskey dipped in milk chocolate.
[liquor pouring.]
Are we celebrating something? Mm-hmm.
I want to apologize.
I was a big, puckered asshole yesterday.
I had no right to talk to you that way.
I'll drink to that.
[purse thuds.]
[ice cubes rattle.]
[glasses clink.]
Oh, wow.
Right? Yeah, the Taiwanese do it better than the Scots these days.
- How would you talk to me? - [glass thuds.]
If you had a do-over.
What would you say? I don't want to have this fight again.
Then let's not fight.
Let's talk.
No posturing.
No bullshit.
[slides glass.]
What do you want to know? Why are you going after him so hard? Why Axe? For the same reason my office does anything.
He broke the law.
He cheated.
Then why you? How many cases are you this involved with personally? [ice cubes rattle, glass thuds.]
I don't know.
Uh, four, five.
Why does this have to be one of them? - [exhales sharply.]
- Why don't you recuse yourself? - Out of the question.
- Why? Because I owe it to my team.
I owe it to the public.
It's my responsibility to prosecute.
- [ice cubes rattle.]
- It doesn't have to be you.
Give the case to Bryan Connerty alone, or the Eastern District.
This case? SEC, Eastern, uh, State AG they have been whispering about Axelrod for years, waiting.
I'm the one that stood up.
I'm the only one that did something.
This is an action against me.
[pounds countertop.]
- Do you understand? Do you? Because this is bigger than you.
It's bigger than me.
He runs more money than the GDP of a European nation.
He's untouchable, and I have him dead to rights.
You may think you do, but you don't.
Really? What makes you so sure? - Because [inhales deeply.]
- [hits countertop.]
I have never seen him like this.
He is digging trenches and laying wire, and he will scorch the earth under our feet.
Tell me more about what he's doing.
I can't go further.
And it's wrong of you to push.
I took an oath.
Me, too.
And that's why I can't recuse myself.
Yes, you can.
You just won't.
[ice cubes rattle.]
[door opens.]
[door slams closed.]
- [ice cubes rattle.]
- [sighs.]
[rattling continues.]
- Ahh.
- [glass thuds.]
dramatic music [exhales slowly.]
[grabs cellphone.]
We've gone down this road, backwards and sideways.
Now we gotta do it on our hands and knees.
That's a fun image.
I don't even know what we're looking for anymore.
- [liquor pouring.]
- He's gotta be hiding something.
I've never seen anybody so clean in his world.
Ah, except for, you know, the bribery and securities fraud.
Ah, he might not think it's illegal.
He might be right.
The courts keep moving the goalposts.
Yeah, I know what they tell themselves.
I've been to those Sohn conferences, too.
"Capitalism is under siege.
" All those guys think if you can't prove they did the murder, then they're not a killer.
Don't fucking kid yourself.
They're only players 'cause they rigged the game.
Of course.
[speaks Japanese.]
Huh? [speaks Japanese.]
Hmm? That's all I got.
Greedy or cheap, it's a fine line.
What are his greatest hits, Terri? Uh, reusing paper towels.
$1 taco night at Acapulco's.
No Benz, no Audi.
Just two identical Honda minivans.
Who the fuck has two minivans? One in beige, one in [singsongy.]
Nobody has two minivans.
That's it.
There's something there, and we need to find out what.
[chair rattles.]
We're gonna bleed out.
We'll be a family office by the end of the year, by SEC mandate or not.
We need to take action.
We need to cut through the chatter.
We need to get it out there Rhoades has no case, he'll be laughed out of court.
You know that doesn't matter.
The smoke is enough to choke you.
There doesn't need to be a fire.
I don't accept that.
Why not embrace this? We'll be a killer family office.
We can downsize the staff.
I can't stand half the people here anyway.
I need outside capital.
Why? You have billions in assets to invest without a penny of outside money, and no one to answer to.
I'll be dead to the world.
I'll be called a cheat.
Another rich dick playing the market with his own money.
But you'll be the biggest dick.
And it's so much money.
Wags What we need is a public endorsement, from the prime brokers D-Bank, Citi, JP.
- All of them? - No.
There's only one that matters Spartan-Ives.
What would you want Lawrence Boyd to say? That he believes Axe Capital to be a reputable company, and we're gonna continue to do business together.
Yeah, that's never gonna happen.
Make it happen.
What about a dog whistle? They're seen together, photographed, Boyd's arm around you at the Met.
No, not fancy.
A game, at the Stadium or at his box at Barclays.
Boyd's touch is the healing waters of Lourdes.
Cleaner than a maiden's honor.
Get me in those waters.
Both minivans registered to Bill Stearn under the same group insurance policy.
But one of 'em EZ Pass records track it all over New Jersey, never Connecticut.
Speeding ticket from 2013 led to the Saddle River address.
You went there? This is for real? We've fucking got him.
[door beeps, buzzers sounds, door opens.]
- 601 Tanbark Trail.
- [door closes.]
That supposed to mean something? How many days a week do you stay over there? I'm guessing 3.
He's very meticulous.
I try to be fair.
He tell you? Bill Stearn has a second family.
Two kids with a mistress in Saddle River, New Jersey.
He's a family man.
I wanna know how the hell you have the time to bribe farmers, manipulate the market, and coach two travel baseball teams? Timmy's in the spring, Carson's in the fall.
I try to be fair.
I want to know, how would Sandy react if she heard this? She must be very fragile these days since your arrest.
tense music Getting the photo stream in her in-box all those happy pictures of you and Carson and Anna with a woman ten years younger than her Well, that might just break her.
I knew you'd come with that.
[touchscreen clicks.]
I wrote a letter to my wife, the whole story.
I just sent it.
[exhales sharply.]
Uh You just blew up your family for Bobby Axelrod? I'm Keyser Soze, motherfucker.
- [unzips pants.]
- [grunts.]
[sighs deeply.]
Worst part of these sessions.
I've got a small bladder.
[zips up pants.]
What is it with these guys? What what is it about the cult of Bobby Axelrod that makes them wanna immolate themselves? You wouldn't understand.
You're a lawyer.
Persuade me.
[water running.]
You're at the mercy of politics.
Loyalty is a convenience.
People turn on each other every election cycle.
You do your three or five or ten years here, then you flip to our side, cash seven figures from the same big funds you're trying to bring down.
[clicks tongue.]
For true believers like you, it's the worst 'cause you never see it coming.
[water running.]
That's the problem with being a cynic.
It blinds you.
You think everybody's as cynical as you.
Axe's guys, they're in it for life.
Bill Stearn couldn't walk down the street if he sold out his friends.
Guys who talk in their world may avoid a few years in a cell, but they're dead forever.
See you soon, I guess [sighs.]
when Chuck comes at Axe with some lame fine, because obviously you've got nothing.
No, not this time.
Not Axe.
This is personal for Chuck.
The whole city puts your boy on a pedestal.
But he doesn't he doesn't make anything.
He doesn't do anything.
He's nothing but a filthy money pig.
And I can see why he'd wanna make a deal, because he knows we're coming, and we will follow him till the end of the fucking Earth until he's walking in shackles.
You know you just work here, right? - [scoffs.]
- [chuckles.]
[door creaks open.]
[door closes.]
[indistinct conversations.]
- Lara, hi.
- Hi.
How is everything? - Great.
- Good.
Yeah, you know, we should get the kids together this Saturday.
Sure, at the Bancroft twins' party.
In Montauk.
Yes, of course.
I forgot it was this weekend.
- Right.
- I'll see you there.
All right, I'll see you there.
[woman singing slow song over speakers.]
[machine whirring.]
Hey, take it easy! You're at 120 feet per minute.
You're gonna blow an Achilles! Aah! - [exhales sharply.]
[machine stops.]
- [Velcro snaps.]
- What's wrong? - [belt clinks, thuds.]
- [panting.]
I'll be right back.
[breathing heavily.]
pulsing dramatic music Hey, I'm not getting anywhere with Lawrence Boyd.
- The problem is - Solve it.
All those years of thought and planning and calculation that you and he put in are for nothing, and there's a high probability that it does go wrong.
So it's in both your interests to I'll have to call you back.
[door slams closed.]
[touchscreen clicks.]
[continues breathing heavily.]
You took $250,000 out of the fund.
Why does it bother you? I still have $3 million in.
Why'd you take it out? It's my money.
I can do whatever I want with it.
Or can't I? Dollar Bill earned a $10 million bonus last year.
You know how much he took out? 2 grand.
You've known about this for weeks.
You're bringing it up now because you wanna know something.
What is it you wanna know? Why don't you take it all out? I am not my husband.
And I am not going to be the shuttlecock that you two smack back and forth.
[grabs purse.]
You two just sniffed each other one day and decided you didn't like the smell.
So now you think you have to do this thing, but you don't.
You don't have to do it.
[door opens, closes.]
[indistinct conversations.]
[water running.]
Dollar Bill is hard, man.
He makes me wanna lose 30 pounds and stockpile automatic weapons to protect all my sister-wives.
- [clothes rustle.]
- Will he be exonerated? It's the government.
If he is, it'll be in five years, and no one will remember it.
Look just because he's not cooperating doesn't mean they can't tie you to Pepsum, doesn't mean they can't get you on something else.
But we have an opportunity now to broach a deal.
I'll never settle.
Now's the time you drop that.
Chuck's guy, Connerty he's rattled.
They're weak.
And I think we could get a deal that would be very, very good for you.
Look, guys try to sell me deals all day.
I decide when they're good.
The one I bring you will be the best one that'll ever on the table, 'cause that's what I do all day.
- I see that.
- [picks up shoes.]
And it won't really hurt you, grand scheme, other than emotionally.
It'll seem like a win to them, and they stop.
Give them more time, who knows what they'll find? [sighs.]
I didn't do anything that anybody else in my business doesn't do.
I just did it better.
And I will not tar myself with an admission of guilt - over some - You wouldn't plead guilty.
Any success that his bullshit investigation yields is toxic.
He cannot just walk around using rumor and hearsay and destroy lives and businesses.
I won't allow it.
That needs to be the message.
- [shoe thuds.]
- He's got nothing.
Billionaires all over the world are trying to bring me down every day.
This guy? He can't even bring me to trial.
He has failed at his job.
Why the hell would I give him a win? What win? It's your win.
You go free.
You pay a fine, get busted down to a family office.
That's nothing.
It's headed that way anyway, isn't it? No! Adam.
What brings you to our fair city, sir? I'm giving the commencement at Columbia Law.
I gave that speech two years ago.
You need some tips? [chuckles.]
Hey, congrats on getting Steve Birch.
- That's a solid double.
- [basket thuds.]
Axelrod that's bigger.
You speaking for the Attorney General or is this off the cuff? I speak for everyone.
It's fundraising season.
The administration needs Wall Street money to compete.
Nobody wants this to look like some kind of crusade.
I'm doing my job.
I don't think about what it looks like.
Well, the AG does.
I see.
We feel or she feels that your investigation is problematic, given your personal connection to Axe Capital.
I mean, the optics are bad.
That article Has no basis in fact.
The idea, the very concept that I would be soft on Axe Capital because my wife works there, I'm going to erase that very, very quickly.
I have.
An arrest was made.
Okay, so maybe you targeted Axelrod because she works there, - which is fucked up.
- [scoffs.]
First, I'm too soft.
Now I'm too tough.
Uh, which is it, Goldilocks? Both.
I don't care.
The point is, she works there.
That's what they're gonna be writing about.
And Axelrod will be paying an army of white-shoe lawyers - $1,000 an hour - [sighs deeply.]
to come up with a thousand different ways to yell "conflict of interest.
" This is my office.
I have broad discretion to pursue any actions exactly the way I see fit.
Of course.
The AG doesn't care about one case.
She's thinking globally here.
She's into movements, like a maestro.
But a lost case is still a wrong note.
I've never lost a case.
And I'm sure you won't lose this one.
if that conviction gets kicked on appeal because you didn't recuse yourself, well even if you win, you lose.
Does the Attorney General want me removed? - [cellphone vibrates.]
- She just wants you to be right.
You do what you're gonna do, Chuck.
Just be right.
I gotta grab this.
- Yes? - [door opens.]
[under breath.]
Fucking maestro.
[cellphone vibrates.]
Get ready to head to Brooklyn.
Tonight's the night of your baptism at the church of Barclays.
Lawrence Boyd has invited you to his box.
Washed in the blood of the lamb, baby.
How'd it go down? Uh, maitre d' at a place I go had $1,000 on him to tell me when Boyd came in.
Sent over a '61 Château Latour and picked up his dinner, courtesy of Bobby Axelrod.
- Well played.
- I have my moments.
[touchscreen clicks.]
[door closes.]
[thunder rumbling, rain falling.]
[glasses clatter.]
How you holding up? My lawyer today told me they don't have a case against me, but I should still settle.
Can you believe that? [cellphone clatters.]
I'm guessing you don't mean that in a "fucking lawyers" kind of way.
I think you have the best fucking lawyers.
They know the law like you know the market.
And if they're giving you a piece of advice, I think you should consider it.
How does Chuck Rhoades terrify everybody so much? I don't give a shit about Chuck Rhoades.
I care about protecting this family.
We're gonna be pariahs.
The kids got uninvited to the Bancroft party, and nothing's even happened yet.
So if there is even close to an easy way out of this, I hope you would take it.
Since when do I take the easy way out? This isn't some stock play.
It's no different.
It's all about tolerance and risk.
Look, you don't win, you don't get to where I am without tolerating a lot of risk.
Where we are.
This is real, Bobby.
You're risking our lives.
You could go to jail.
We could lose everything.
And you can make it all go away and you won't? I can't.
Not like that.
Why not? Because I don't get on bended knee and pledge fealty to the king.
It's not who I am.
It's not who you married.
Well, that's just fucking stupid.
The ground is shifting, and you don't even see it.
Or you refuse to see it.
But if this were some stock play, it wouldn't be about pride.
You'd have already cut your losses.
Lara, the ground is shifting because I'm the one moving it.
Lawrence Boyd invited me to his box today.
That tells the Street, tells the world, that my stock, our stock, is about to rally because Spartan-Ives does not back a loser.
[thunder rumbles.]
I gotta go to work.
[door opens.]
I know for a fact Garth Sykes is dumping Axe.
- Mm.
- Moving over to Vista Verde.
So there is blood in the water.
It's a thing of beauty.
I guess the invisible hand of the market is, uh, pushing him off a cliff.
[Chuck Sr.
I would kill for a window into the panic flowing through that place.
Charles, be sensitive.
Axe must take three sessions just to make it through a day, huh? [Ellen.]
They're Neanderthals.
It's the hormones.
It makes their brains seem small.
It's all right, Ellen.
It is a difficult time.
And it's going to get worse before it gets better.
I don't understand why you can't smoke in the house.
I don't smoke.
You're not allowed to, you mean? - [sighs.]
[dog barking in distance.]
I pretty much do what I want.
- [clink.]
- Maybe not as much as you.
[dog continues barking.]
- [lighter strikes.]
- Mm.
- [barking continues.]
- [chuckles.]
Getting him to take the plea deal that's the trick.
A big settlement that'll hurt him, get him off of outside money.
What makes you think I would settle? My desktop calendar.
A conviction could take years.
You don't want it to be your successor that gets the credit.
No, I'll be on the podium for this.
Son, has your vision of the future changed? Or is it just my vision? Because after after that short squeeze incident and I understand that I put you in a bad position.
I understand that.
[clears throat.]
Your performance left me more convinced than ever of your greatness.
There is no high office in the land you could not attain.
- Okay, Dad, I appreciate - But if you want that, you have to think about things in a certain way.
I didn't when I was younger, and it cost me.
You can't allow yourself to get drawn in to an unwinnable fight.
And I won't.
Victory will be swift, Dad.
Be realistic.
This guy is gearing up - [sighs deeply.]
- for trench warfare.
dramatic music [exhales sharply.]
You've been talking to Wendy, haven't you? Well, you're the one who's always telling me that she has your best interests at heart.
What the hell was that? You've twisted my father into carrying your water now? He called.
I told him what I think.
He agreed with me.
That I should settle, huh? Nice try.
You want me to think that, uh, you're trying to save your job? Really, you're trying to save Axelrod.
I am trying to save you and me and him [clatter.]
- and your father.
Do you trust me? Just because I trust you doesn't mean I think you're right.
Ask me anything.
Are you gonna open up the book on Axe for me? The whole way? - What about the oath? - What do you want to know? What's he thinking right now? What's he doing? He's looking for a win.
He needs to find at least a small win in every endeavor, every exchange.
What happens if he can't find one? Then he'll play a different game, with different rules ones you don't know, no one knows, where he can make your loss bigger than his loss.
A lose-lose scenario.
And that doesn't bother him? Of course it does, but Axe came from nothing.
So unconsciously, he fears No, he may even expect he'll have nothing again.
- [sighs.]
- So he loves to put that same fear into others, especially if they're not familiar with it.
Like the Eads family.
The naming rights? I heard about that.
But that's just the part of him I know that he's allowed me to see.
But you know him better than anybody.
Well, I think I do, but I'm not really sure anyone can.
He's most likely ahead of you [sighs heavily.]
Especially when it looks like he's not.
And if he does go down, he will pull you down with him.
I'm not afraid to prosecute anybody.
Okay, it's not about that.
It's about you being your alpha self, not letting him pull you out of your game.
That's his goal in all his deals get under their skin, get them to make a mistake.
[sighs deeply.]
If this was a different case, uh, at this stage, I would pursue a plea agreement.
You would.
It's a cardinal rule you don't trust your career in the hands of a jury of 12 random crazy people who might decide a case based on a wink and a smile and not the law, which they can't fucking understand in the first place.
tense music Would he take a deal? He'd settle if he thought it was a win.
If he thought he tricked you, even better.
The only deal with teeth would have to take him out of business forever.
That's the only deal he would never take.
Would he take a family office? Would he admit guilt? Why don't you ask his lawyer? No, they have to come to me.
If they come to me, then it's on my terms.
I can get him to come to you.
Are you sure? I mean [chuckles.]
what if the Axe we're dealing with now What if that's the part of him you don't know about? [footsteps approach.]
What happened? Well, Lawrence Boyd sent me the message.
He pissed right in my face.
- [exhales.]
[indistinct conversations.]
Holy shit.
Bobby Axelrod! Can I get a selfie? I'll get mad followers on my Instagram.
He didn't show.
The room was full of 20-year-old dipshits.
It was mailroom night.
[exhales deeply.]
Well, what the hell do we do now? [crickets chirping.]
It's worse than I thought.
That's why we're standing here.
I didn't think it would go like this, this fast.
What's the counter? It's easy.
Rhoades is vulnerable, exposed.
Conflict of interest.
I make it look like she's involved.
Fraud, embezzlement.
Or maybe she's having an affair with Bill Stearn.
- With you, even.
- [scoffs.]
Watch how fast the case goes away.
I'll let you know.
[indistinct conversations.]
He's working out of the office today.
Will you tell him I need to talk? In person.
It's important.
Of course.
You're gonna give him a deal? You're gonna fucking let him walk? If Axelrod comes to the table, we'll see what we can get.
It's the smart way to go.
That's not what you said two days ago.
What happened? I changed my mind.
Y Ah, this is fucking Birch all over again.
I didn't come here and sacrifice real money to let these guys write their own "get out of jail free" cards.
Was it Is that all just bullshit posturing? Why?! Because you don't have him! Give me more time.
And I will build this case into a fucking guillotine and drop the blade.
It's too late.
We went into his house and, uh we shit the bed.
Every day I don't bring charges, we lose leverage, and the deal gets better for him.
So, uh, take the rest of the day off.
Or better yet, wait by the phone for his people to reach out.
[papers rustling.]
[sighs heavily.]
[car approaches.]
Hello, Wendy.
[engine turns off, door opens.]
Have we met? No.
And we still haven't.
If you wanna talk to him, get in.
tense music Where are we going? [heels clicking.]
We have to take precautions.
There's a protocol.
[water splashing.]
It's been a weird couple of days.
It's hard to be sure about anything anyone.
I understand.
I need to understand something, too.
That's why we're sitting here like this.
No one listening but us.
Have I won your trust? What do you want to understand? Why are you sticking around? [exhales.]
I am interested in what that question means to you.
I wanna know No, I know, I you just wanna hear my answer.
I'm not gonna tell you I'm staying because you need me.
Even though you do, more than ever.
And I'm not gonna tell you I'm here for my patients or because I love my job, even though I do love my job.
And your collection of insecure egomaniacs would lose a billion a year if I didn't keep their heads straight.
And I am not going to tell you I'm here spying for Chuck, Because you know that's total fucking nonsense.
The answer My answer is, I'm here for me.
Because I built this company just as much as you did.
That's a bold statement.
That's a true statement.
I put you back together again when your whole world burned.
And I found meaning in that.
I still do.
I'm not happy here, not always.
Not now.
But meaning matters more to me than happiness.
And I am in this water because I don't want to see you throw it all anyway when you don't have to.
I know.
And I don't want us to lose you.
I wanna make a deal.
Will he make one? - Yes.
- Will I be able to live with it? That's up to you.
That has nothing to do with the deal.
[footsteps approach.]
How do you feel? Like somebody else.
[shoe clatters.]
What am I gonna say about it? - [clicks tongue.]
[shoe clatters.]
That I did the right thing.
[rubs palms.]
For all of us.
Adam, hi.
Uh, just wanted to thank you for stopping by the other day.
I thought about what you said, and I'm not gonna recuse myself.
Well, that's unfortunate.
I believe the Greeks call that hamartia.
I disagree, because I'm not gonna lose, and there will not be an appeal.
Axelrod surrendered.
What? A deal? Mm-hmm.
Yeah, we have a deal on the table, a termination, a plea, and $1.
9 billion.
[mouths word.]
Biggest insider fine ever paid.
Anyway, thanks again.
Give my regards to the maestro.
- [knuckles tap desk.]
- You got it, Chuck.
Good job.
[button clicks.]
[touchscreen clicks.]
- [chuckles.]
[intercom beeps.]
Your father's still holding on the other line.
[cellphone clatters.]
Dad, hello.
Chuckie boy, I heard.
I heard you took him down.
I'm, uh, I'm smoking a cigar for you right now as soon as I get outside.
I'm not supposed to in the house now that your mother heard Wendy's rule.
- [glass clinks.]
- But congratulations! Yeah, we're quite happy with the terms.
- Well, it's the smart play.
- Yeah.
And even as a kid, you would never get into a fight unless you knew you could win it.
Oh, do you remember that Mintz boy? He was a head taller than you, probably could've made you eat dirt.
And he left that ball field thinking you were best friends.
Okay, Dad, I gotta go.
And then I made sure he didn't get into Dalton.
Goodbye! [receiver clatters.]
Highest fucking fine ever levied $1.
9 billion.
We got everything we wanted.
Family office.
- Yeah.
- That's worse - than the fucking fine.
- [door closes.]
The money I can get back, but not my name.
We'll petition for reinstatement, after Rhoades leaves, after the White House turns over.
We'll get it.
You'll be managing outside money again within five years.
That's five years I'll never get back.
Where's the silverware? No, it's, uh, it's Ethiopian.
I got you extra injera, and, uh, you use your hands.
This is an opportunity to be here with us.
Step it up, Ben Kim.
Step it up.
I'll go I'll go get some.
You have it? - [door closes.]
- Right here.
[inhales sharply.]
pensive music [pen clicks.]
Uh there's one other thing.
I do not like other things.
I sensed a possible waffle on the specifics of the plea.
Connerty did commit to a no guilty plea but said he would have to reconfirm with Rhoades.
What could they come with? At worst, the company will have to plead guilty to conspiracy.
- Fuck.
- Penalty is the same.
An admission of guilt? If they put that in front of me tomorrow, I don't think I can sign it.
[inhales deeply.]
It's gonna be okay.
[ice cubes rattle.]
[door opens.]
They're coming up.
tense music You've been briefed by your lawyers, Mr.
We'll try to get you out of here as soon as possible.
"As part of the proposed global resolution, the defendant agrees to an aggregate financial penalty of $1.
9 billion.
To the termination of their investment advisory business and the company agrees to plead guilty to conspiracy.
" [file drops on table.]
Do we have a deal, Mr.
Axelrod? [inhales deeply.]
Axe Capital accepts such a penalty as fair, reasonable, and adequate within the limitations Congress has imposed on federal regulators to recover investor losses.
Bryan [exhales deeply.]
didn't he say that he would never settle? That's what he's been saying.
You know, out there, you guys always talk so tough, but you always end up in here.
Why is that? Because he knows he's a crook.
Innocent people would never take a hit like that.
Beyond the pale.
My client You got me, Rhoades.
9 billion.
It's gonna hurt.
But not not like a shark bite.
It's more like a what? A bee sting.
Bee sting? No, that hurts.
More like a horse-fly.
One of those little green horse-flies? Yeah, a nasty nip.
No, more like an ant.
Like a red ant.
Yeah, yeah.
Stings for a minute but doesn't ruin the picnic.
"Plea Agreement is subject to judicial approval, pursuant to Rule 11(c) (1) (C) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure.
" Actually, it's good to get past this stuff.
You know, just get it out of the way.
And we can make that $1.
9 back in, what, eight months? Six.
The termination of Axe Capital's advisory business closes the fund to outside investors.
Yeah, you can score that one for the superstars over at the SEC.
As a family office, Mr.
Axelrod can invest his personal assets No.
No family office.
Lifetime ban.
Put the money in a trust, fine.
but you never trade securities again.
Not for institutions, not for individual investors, not even for yourself.
[check rips.]
dramatic music [door opens.]
- [chuckles.]
[door closes.]
What the fuck just happened? [ Metallica's "Master of Puppets" playing .]
End of passion play crumbling away I'm your source of self-destruction - Pull over.
- Veins that pump with fear [tires screech.]
- Sucking darkest clear Leading on your death's construction [engine revving.]
Taste me, you will see More is all you need - Dedicated to [tires screech.]
- How I'm killing you [horn blares.]
Come crawling faster Obey your master Your life burns faster - Obey your master [door opens.]
[water running, glass clinks.]
I heard.
How did it happen? The moment came and, uh, Axe blew a gasket.
[clicks tongue.]
Took down the whole meeting.
Tore the check up into tiny pieces.
I thought he might trash the room on his way out.
- [bottle clinks.]
- We're back to this.
No, it's fucking worse.
I c I can't live in the middle.
You you won't.
I've decided, for the good of our marriage, I'm not gonna be a part of the case going forward.
- Really? - Mm-hmm.
I've recused myself.
I already notified Washington.
- I am proud of you.
- Mm.
Looking past yourself.
- Seeing the bigger picture.
- [kissing.]
Five years ago, you wouldn't have.
That is substantial fucking growth.
- [blouse rips.]
- [gasps.]
I gotta go walk the dog.
I'll be back.
Thanks for coming out so late.
You're a goddamn hero for standing up to those pricks today.
You can count on me to finish what you started.
I'm all in.
And I'm gonna put a hurt on him that he can't buy his way out of.
I want you to keep me in the loop about what you're doing.
But you're recusing yourself.
I'm still gonna need you to keep me informed.
Then you're not really recused.
I am.
There can't be any trail back to me.
No documents, no e-mail chains, no witnesses.
We only talk behind closed doors.
I can handle this case on my own.
Of course you can, but the gloves are off.
We do whatever it takes.
Master of puppets, I'm pulling your strings Twisting your mind and smashing your dreams Blinded by me, you can't see a thing Just call my name 'cause I'll hear you scream Master Master Just call my name 'cause I'll hear you scream Master Master [speed metal guitar solo playing.]

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