Billions (2016) s02e02 Episode Script

Dead Cat Bounce

1 [Bobby.]
Previously on "Billions" An investigation has begun into your office, and the man leading the investigation Oliver Dake.
The payment that your wife received from Axelrod, it may not be a bribe, but, dang, if it doesn't look like one.
Well, Lawrence Boyd pissed right in my face.
He didn't show.
What the hell do we do now? Bobby Axelrod could run through the Serengeti and not break a sweat.
You do what you do just as well as him.
Maybe better.
You can't allow yourself to get drawn in to an unwinnable fight.
Victory will be swift.
That will save us ten million on this trade.
This is why I need to keep you.
I'd believe the same thing were I you.
- Whoa! - You've been served.
- With a lawsuit? - One hundred and twenty seven of them.
Wendy was at Krakow Capital earlier today.
You have an amazing level of insight - into how we hedgies think.
- Yes.
I don't mean Axe Capital.
I mean Bobby himself.
- He was looking to hire you? - Yeah.
That motherfucker is just trying to poach my most valued I'm not your anything.
We handle ourselves and Chuck gives someone Head of Crim.
Or we cooperate with Dake and try our luck starting over with Chuck's replacement.
You know what Rhoades is.
You know he should be out of the job.
That was the attorney general.
She's summoned me to Washington, where she will greet me warmly, and then she'll fire me.
[ dramatic music plays .]
There was a moment in time when the only two people who knew what it was to fly were the Wright Brothers.
And we are like them in a way.
Although we have to stay airborne a lot longer than nine seconds, we and have to go into much thinner air when we do.
But how do you do it, Todd? How do you stay aloft? One of the nine poets, Pindar, said it best.
Become who you are by learning who you are.
You wouldn't know Pindar from Pantera, yet you act like you read the Harvard shelf with your morning oatmeal.
Who wrote this shit for you? - [laughter.]
- Lawrence Boyd, I respect you more than anyone in this game.
But the idea that Todd Krakow or anyone else but you here is a thought leader just because they've got a few dollars in their pocket is laughable! Let me respond.
It's a sad fact of the business today.
Hedge funds like Axelrod's, they're out of ideas, so they cut corners and go looking for that black edge.
But I'm good enough that I didn't have to get close to the line.
Really? What about the $45 million in fines you paid to the U.
? - That - [light laughter.]
No one understands those laws.
Larry, you ever found yourself afoul of British law? No, some of us have never run afoul of any international laws.
Larry, you have teams of lawyers at Spartan-Ives and locals in those countries who ensure you don't get screwed the way I did.
Oh, okay, okay, okay, I'm only the referee here, not taking sides, but you overstepped.
And let that be the first apology, not the last, to this audience, who have paid three grand for the privilege of hearing your barbaric yawp.
- Axe, Axe, Axe.
- Here's a thought.
If any of you want to continue the conversation, I'll be over by the bar with my team.
Sure hit, run, and hide, huh? You been showing the SEC the same moves for years.
But, eventually, they catch you.
[audience laughing, murmuring.]
Krakow, whatever cocktail party tutor you used to prep you for this panel owes you a goddamn refund.
Well, that was stimulating.
Okay, okay, let's move on.
Tag, Global warming I called the car around so you can go.
Why would I leave now? That's what you get for trying to steal my fucking employees.
Don't blame me for your fuck-up.
Word of advice, Axe you don't want to lose a valuable asset, don't let her walk out the door, huh? [.]
[indistinct conversations.]
Here comes Boyd.
Sorry about your panel.
The only reason you put Ric Flair in the ring is to get that heat from the crowd.
I didn't pick that panel by accident.
I knew you'd incinerate it.
You just made sure Spartan-Ives is all the Street's talking about for the rest of the month.
They'll be killing themselves they weren't in the room.
And the only way they get in there next year is by making you their prime.
I'm the bull, you're the red sash every time.
Hey, Chuck.
Come in.
I drove by Katz's on the way here.
You're killing me, man.
No? Well, I'm going in.
[clears throat.]
- Mmm! - Mmm.
Talk to me.
Well, it's thorny.
So many old cases aggregated.
Taken all together, it looks like a pattern of overreach, misconduct.
That's why the papers think it's such a good story.
And there's the Axelrod case.
- We never even brought charges.
- That's good.
You're protected by qualified immunity.
Chances are, we get it thrown out of court.
That will depend on the judge.
We gotta find a very Chuck, I'm gonna make this go away.
That's why you came to me instead of going with whatever lawyer Justice gave you.
Justice isn't defending me.
They only do that when, uh Well, they never really do that.
Well, I'm not billing you.
Oh, come on.
You gotta bill me, Ira.
It's $1,400 an hour.
Half price.
Friends and family.
Why aren't they defending you? The Attorney General's called me down to Washington.
She's gonna fire me.
Oh, it's a lot of things over years.
But the stain of this investigation has hobbled me politically.
I got no back channel out of this.
You gotta prove your loyalty, then, show her you're a soldier.
I thought about that.
A new case the administration smiles on.
Let the General take the credit, sure, but there's just no fucking time.
The A.
's got a lot of enemies, Chuck.
Take out an enemy a big, hard-to-kill one.
It's tough to fire you then.
Finding the right target might be enough.
One so gaudy, so outlandishly difficult to bring down that my replacement would certainly fail.
How much time do you have? Three days.
[chuckles softly.]
[telephone rings in distance.]
Do you know what this is about? Starting immediately, you have a new mandate.
Find me a case that's screaming for justice.
One that no one else would have the courage to take on even if no, especially if it seems impossible to win.
Where do we begin? I want to kick into the C-suites those Teflon corporations that defraud the American people on a grand scale.
No one was ever prosecuted for the financial crisis, no.
When we went after Wall Street, we got what we could get rogue traders, chip shots.
That ends today.
Anything else you can say that would narrow the target? You want us to get back up on Axe Capital? - Um, we know that they're - No, no.
Steer wide around Axe Capital for now.
That's not gonna help.
Help what? [.]
Be creative.
I look forward to your ideas, and I want them in 24 hours.
Why's he want an impossible case? It's hinky.
I'm gonna steer wide around all of it.
Hey, Axe, you know what today is? It's fuck Todd Krakow in the ear day.
Why do you think I'd want to do that? That panel was Godzilla versus Mothra.
Do you have a plan? Or are we just gonna jump him and break his kneecaps when he gets out of his McLaren? Okay, so Krakow's been running his mouth about China, right? I You can tell the way he talks.
- The way he talks? - Yeah.
Last year, he said, "watching factories grow.
" It made me wonder, "How's he seeing this?" Really, Mafee? You expect me to believe you suddenly swapped Ali G reruns for videos of Todd Krakow's speeches on China? Okay.
My analyst caught it.
Then get him in here.
[indistinct office murmuring.]
[door closes.]
I'm Taylor.
My pronouns are they, theirs, and them.
You have two minutes.
After your dispute with Krakow, I presumed roiling antipathy, so I catalogued all of his public statements going back two years.
In January 2016, Krakow's tone on China changed more bullish, omniscient, which led me to think satellite images.
So what? All the big funds are using satellite images.
How many cars are in the parking lot at Walmart indicates how big a quarter they're gonna have.
But this, let me see.
You found out which satellite company Krakow uses.
AR Metrics.
Assuming Krakow would be the biggest user [Bobby.]
Their most-viewed images, and you deduced that's what he's been looking at.
A microchip factory in the Pearl River Delta.
And now you know what he knows.
Since you're in my office, you think you know what he doesn't.
China's not just cooking the books, they're going full Iron Chef with that shit.
Everyone knows that, Mafee.
Then why is Krakow long? Come on, time's almost up.
What happened in January 2016? The Chinese factory went from totally dormant to bustling with trucking activity.
Which meant foreign investment followed.
But tell me what really happened.
An article came out on satellite-detected discrepancies between Chinese sites and what had been reported by government statistics.
And after that, they knew they were being watched, so the trucks started moving a show for the satellites.
Factory's a fake.
It's a shell to milk investors.
And what is the next move? - Short the - I asked Taylor.
Short the Chinese parent company Krakow's invested in.
It's not good enough.
As Chanos says, China's a pig on LSD you never know which way it's gonna run.
So who is this fake factory supposed to be supplying? What does this ripple out into? You find that, you find Krakow's real investment.
How long you been here? Three months.
I'm leaving in two weeks for grad school.
I'm an intern.
[door opens, closes.]
[door closes.]
How did everything go? Salutations, my dear.
Um I think Chuck's working tonight.
I wanted to talk to you.
Pas devant.
We'll see you tomorrow.
I know what pas devant means.
[door opens, closes.]
I was looking for some cufflinks I lent my son, but I couldn't find them in the bedroom.
You were in my bedroom? And most of Chuck's suits seem to be gone from the closet.
You didn't come out to Brooklyn for cufflinks.
Is Chuck living at the Yale Club? Some gal in accounting messed up, sent me a charge for a breakfast on a day that I was not there.
So I asked for the chits, and it was Chuck's signature on the line at 6:30 a.
Yes, we've separated for now.
And you've kept it from me.
I asked Chuck directly, but he denied it.
He lies better than I do.
This is idiocy.
And to think we didn't come running to you with the news.
Because I would tell you the truth.
This is selfish, destructive to your children.
We're not uprooting the kids.
They're staying in the house.
Chuck spends three nights a week with them.
No, I'm not talking about that.
I'm talking about their legacy.
Do you think that this makes it easier or harder for Kevin to meet his station in life? [scoffs.]
You must mean for him to be happier.
They are the future of my name.
And yours.
You think you and Chuck are the only ones who've grappled with some upheavals in a marriage? Unless it is broken plates and steak knives, you gut through it.
If one of you has an itch, you'll work it out.
You don't move out.
It wasn't an itch.
And what about you? You'd really rather have your three nights a week than be First Lady of the State of New York? [chuckles.]
Maybe I would.
And if you want to continue this, do it with your son.
Oh I will.
[indistinct conversations.]
Your order's there.
White clam is on top.
Thanks, Bruno.
Say hello to my nephew, Marco.
Kid just got elected to county executive up in Sandicot.
I'm Marc.
An honor to meet you, Mr.
Sit down, have some wine.
Is this yours? Made it with my own two feet.
Eh? Hey, look, I'll stay next time.
- Kids are hungry.
- Okay.
Ciao, Bobby.
Good to meet you.
That's a busy man.
There'll be time.
There'll be time.
[horn honks in distance.]
- You told my father.
- I didn't tell him.
He's like you.
He figured it out.
No, he had a theory, which you confirmed.
- He's hounding me now.
- What about these lawsuits? Were you gonna tell me about them? Why did I have to read about it in the Times? Nuisance suits.
Minor distraction.
Didn't rate a discussion.
This investigator Oliver Dake.
Yeah, well, I told you about him.
He's questioning me later.
[door opens.]
Please, come in.
So, Chuck do you still feel as if you're under attack by unseen forces? Carolyn, can we have the room for five minutes? [door opens.]
Look, I don't know what to say to him.
He knows you dropped the case.
He thinks it's connected to me.
If he puts together the session notes That will be a career-ender for me.
I'm aware.
You're the expert on this sort of thing.
How should I spin it, what kind of language should I use? Should I have an attorney present? Mmm, no.
That will make it look worse.
No, don't spin it at all.
Answer his questions truthfully, don't put any lies on the record no matter what.
I don't I don't want you to lie for me.
Probably gonna go down anyway.
I don't want you going down with me.
Kids are gonna need one parent not in custody, right? We should probably let her back in.
[ Ryan Bingham's "Top Shelf Drug" plays .]
Where in the hell have I gone I woke up this morning undressed Might have been a little too drunk I can't get you out of my head You shot me up, baby, with a wonderful love I got a little taste, now I can't get enough Shot me up, baby, with a wonderful love Running through my veins like a top-shelf drug Got me walking in my sleep The reasons all around my bed I'm lovin' these crazy dreams I can't get you out of my head Your relationship with your husband, would you say it's been healthy? We have our ups and downs.
When did you stop living together? Is that relevant? Was it before or after you were given five million dollars by the target of his investigation? We separated right before that.
I find the timing convenient.
Are you married, Mr.
Dake? My status is none of your concern.
So you are.
But it's new two years? I hope you don't find this out personally, but separating is never convenient.
If you are legitimately separated - That's been established.
- Has it? Or did the two of you work in a separation to make Axelrod's payment more palatable? They're not connected.
How long after the payment did you end your employment at Axe Capital? The same day.
What an eventful day.
How would Axelrod characterize the payment? It was compensation.
A bonus for services rendered, a very complex session for Axe himself.
What did you talk about? [chuckles.]
I'm a medical doctor, and that's privileged information, as you well know.
So if you're trying to trip me up, try harder.
You can come back with a court order, lock me up, and I'd still never tell you a goddamn thing about my patients.
I just wonder what could have been said in such a session to justify such an enormous sum.
It was commensurate with other bonuses at Axe Capital.
So five million dollars is not a large bonus? What a rarified world you live in, Ms.
Did something else happen to increase your value to Axelrod? Such as? Did you provide him information? I'm not sure what you mean.
Details about the investigation or its status, past, present, or future? No, nothing.
I see.
Do you think that your husband was really recused from the Axelrod case, as he claimed? He told me he was.
I took it at face value.
Did you ever hear him discuss the case with colleagues or on the phone? [ dramatic music plays .]
I can't say for sure that I did.
But you can't say you didn't.
No, I can't.
We're going to need to talk formally again.
Okay, I really don't have anything more to say.
You can confirm that Chuck Rhoades was secretly directing the Axelrod investigation.
He wasn't really recused, was he? Are we gonna do this over the phone? No.
In your office.
And you will give me what I need.
Or maybe we'll have a pepperoni slice in Yonkers.
You can invite your boss.
I can influence the vector of your future, Mr.
And you'd do well not to forget that.
[office murmuring, phone ringing.]
[line ringing.]
I got more on Krakow.
Get your better half in here.
Anata-Tek rising market share in wearable computers.
I know it.
It's a hedge fund group grope, Krakow leading the party.
Anata-Tek's IPO two years ago was lukewarm, but the stock is soaring ahead of the release of their flagship.
- It's called the Ring.
- I know about the Ring, Mafee.
It's a great prototype.
But can they scale up, can they ship product? Not if the microchips are supplied by a fake Chinese factory.
Booyakasha! Short two million.
Wake me up when the stock's down ten percent from the current levels.
That's where we want to cover.
[door opens.]
- This is gonna be fun.
- [door closes.]
After they've completed the order, send a tweet from my account.
Say, "Who's supplying Anata-Tek? Next Lumber Liquidators," question mark.
From your account? That may be a little blatant.
I don't want to be subtle.
I want him to know it's me.
Gus is on the premises.
Start pushing everyone through, mandatory sessions.
[ "Top Shelf Drug" plays .]
Are you a hard-ass, badass, jackass, or no ass? Sorry? And that is one of the three things that people say in that spot.
It's kind of like the "dick-for" thing.
If you apologize after I've said something confusing, that is on you, my friend.
If you say so.
What I say is, we used to live in a world that rewarded those who were very good at their jobs.
Do you know what you get now for being very good? You get keistered.
Do you want to get keistered, Ben? No.
I almost said "sorry" again because I barely understand what you're And we will work on that.
Replace "sorry" with, "What the fuck are you trying to say?" Yeah, I don't feel comfortable with that.
I'm not interested in your comfort.
Axe Capital is not interested in your comfort.
I am interested in you becoming a goddamn giant-killer.
Do you want to be a giant-killer, Ben? Sure.
What the fuck are you trying to say?! Yes.
I want to kill giants.
There ya go! There you go.
I thought we were gonna talk about the path from analyst to portfolio manager.
That is all we are talking about, and you are a long way from making the trek up that path.
Holy fuck, do you people need what I do.
Go! Tell Gayle to make an appointment for you to come and see me next week.
[elevator bell dings.]
[ dramatic music plays .]
[office conversation stop.]
You are currently engaged in a legal action against Mr.
Do you harbor suspicions of additional misconduct that you opted not to include in your public filings? Suspicions? Sure.
I'm full of suspicions.
I'm suspicious of all-you-can-eat buffets.
Each and every 10-K I have to read.
I'm suspicious that the folks you work for the federal government occasionally fuck up.
Hey, you get me started, I'll admit I'm suspicious that not all prize fights are on the up and up, that Warren Buffett and Bill Gates may not really like each other as much as they claim.
I'm even suspicious that maybe you don't really need those glasses to see.
I do.
I think you see pretty clearly.
But those are all the suspicions that I'm prepared to share with you today in your professional capacity.
Were you aware that the U.
attorney was pursuing charges against you in connection with a firearms disturbance by one of your employees? Yeah.
Axelrod finds the question irrelevant.
Consider him aware now.
The same day the U.
attorney ended the pursuit of said charges, his wife received a five million dollar payment from this company.
Highly irregular.
In your world.
Not in this one.
I don't think a judge or jury is likely to discount the linkage.
My client allowed you here as a courtesy.
No one at Axe Capital works under a contract.
Each are compensated at my client's sole discretion based on their value to the firm.
I think you misunderstand my intentions, Mr.
The DoJ has authorized me to offer the whole menu.
We would be willing to give Mr.
Axelrod immunity from prosecution if he were to testify that the five million dollars was, in fact, a bribe of the U.
After all, uh, hedge funds will do what they do, but Mr.
Rhoades answers to a higher authority justice.
Cue the orchestra.
You'll hear from us.
Lay it out.
If you take the deal, claim it was a bribe, your reputation may take a hit, but it would be the end of Chuck Rhoades.
Because although I know it wasn't a bribe, the facts line up.
He would be disgraced.
Removed from office, indicted.
But Wendy Rhoades would be indicted, too.
Indonesian? Oh.
Oh, God, yeah.
You obviously heard my stomach's cries for help.
- Thank you.
- Mmm.
So how's it going? You coming up with anything for the big case? Nah, not yet.
Maybe we should pool our resources.
I have a few things.
They might sound better coming from you.
No, I I think they'll sound great coming from you.
Look, I know what you're thinking.
We're all thinking it.
There's obviously more going on here, and none of us want to get caught in another Chuck Rhoades web.
No idea what you're talking about.
Here's how I see it, though.
Whoever comes up with this impossible case is in the lead for Head of Crim.
Counterpoint whoever comes up with this impossible case is then going to have to win said impossible case.
And then if they don't, they're fucked.
That's what Connerty thinks.
And that's why I'm not in his office.
Is that what Connerty thinks, or is that what he wants you to think? I'm hearing that multiple former AUSAs are gonna come forward against you.
Who? No names yet.
The claim is that you were capricious, that, uh, you expected them to use intimidation to get settlements.
Oh, bullshit.
Well, this gives the case teeth.
There's no way a judge is gonna throw it out now.
As your lawyer, I gotta advise you to consider the idea of a settlement.
I won't settle.
No, any appearance of guilt puts everything at risk.
Every conviction my office has ever made would be in question.
Well, you can't afford to think in absolutes.
I'm gonna fight this all the way to a trial if it comes to it.
Buddy, you gotta understand.
One hundred and twenty seven cases, if you're found liable even for a portion of them, it could bankrupt you.
So if this gets sticky, how big is your trust, how bulletproof is it? You might You might want to think - about going offshore with it.
- No.
It's a blind trust, and I made a public vow.
I can't touch the money or direct it as long as I'm in office.
Well, there's one good thing about getting fired.
Boy, it's much better to be the lawyer and go home when the hour's up, get some sleep.
If you're the client, you're up all night.
Aha, ah.
I was wondering why we were at a four-top.
I met her at SoulCycle.
She brought a friend for you, too.
- No, no, I told you.
- Just give it a chance.
She's great.
She's an artist.
She's got a new show in Soho, in Queens.
Actually Hoboken.
She's cool.
- Hey, babe.
- Hi.
Nice to meet you.
- Hi.
- Nicole.
- Charmed.
- Taiga.
Nice to meet you.
So you have to try the Green Dream.
The mixologist here makes them with Ice Juice.
It's this new cold-pressed raw juice bar.
It's literally the best thing in the world.
The guy who owns that company is a client of mine.
I'll slide you guys some gift cards.
Anata-Tek had a brutal sell-off after hours.
- We covered.
- Short it again.
If it cracked this much from just a tweet, they're terrified.
We can break the rest of it if we throw a rock.
And wait for the dead-cat bounce.
As soon as the stock's up one percent, start whacking bids again.
It'll dump, maybe by half.
All right.
Where's Wags? [knock on door.]
He's here.
I want Wags to hear this.
The Krakow play, your hostility toward him, what's really animating it? Is it coloring your strategy? Perhaps if you show restraint Restraint? Take a good look at the floor, because you don't know where the fuck you're standing right now.
- It's in my purview - You are here to keep the Visigoths outside of the city walls, not to impugn judgment of the Caesar.
No, it's a smart question.
Krakow knows your personal animus.
He could be counting on a certain hasty economic response.
It could be a trap.
[clears throat.]
Inform Mafee.
Hold on Anata-Tek until we've heard from Dollar Bill.
[door opens, closes.]
I usually depend on you to know what's in my heart, Wags.
You okay? Never better.
Good, 'cause there's something I need you on.
I need to diversify.
I'm not talking about portfolios.
I want to make a fundamental change in our standing.
We can't live inside those city walls forever.
Change is coming.
Stay ahead of it.
Start looking.
[door opens.]
I can't help feeling these ideas are uninspired.
What else do you have? We go after tech companies, the media darlings, the "don't be evil" crowd.
They're hypocrites, dodging billions in taxes.
Think smarter, bigger.
I need a narrative, victims and villains.
What if we went after Spartan-Ives? That's as big as it gets.
No, thank you.
That place is a finishing school for treasury secretaries.
And we muck in there and step wrong, we'll all be shaking cups outside of the Bar Association.
He's right.
That's exactly the opposite of what we need.
Look, I get it.
I get it.
We've all been bred in a culture of perfection.
Valedictorian, Phi Beta Kappa, Head of Crim.
You ever get a "B," Kate? - Third grade, in Art.
- [chuckles.]
- I did extra credit, got it up.
- Yeah.
Nobody wants to gamble on this, get yoked to a loser.
But you need to understand it is not a gamble, it is a calculated risk.
So go naked into the street and snare me a thundering, monumental fucking case because none of you are gonna get what you want until you cut yourselves open.
What's going on, Bryan? I think we're doing our best with what we've been given.
Well, seems to me you're a step slow.
It's a big challenge, an expansion of our moral mission.
Normally, I'd expect you'd tear into a piece of red meat like that.
It just takes time.
I'll have something by tomorrow.
By end of day today.
You're in D.
[door opens, closes.]
If you don't want to work together on this thing, great.
Do not steamroll my idea before I That was me doing you a favor.
The Spartan idea was a loser because of what Chuck's not saying.
I'm listening.
Spartan-Ives is a friend to the administration.
Lawrence Boyd and the A.
went to fucking Horace Mann together.
- So what Chuck's looking for - Is an enemy.
He wants to bring him a trophy.
I've got one.
Executive e-mails leaked by a whistle-blower.
This is the case that he's looking for.
Well, why don't you give it to Chuck yourself? Might sound better coming from you.
Well, you really do think that finding the best case would be a trap.
But if you're wrong, you don't want to risk Connerty bringing it in and getting the credit.
But this could be very good for you.
Or very bad.
I don't care.
I'll give it to Chuck anyway because it's the right thing to do.
It's what Chuck wants.
It doesn't make it right.
[ rock music plays .]
[man whistles.]
All right, let's take a break.
You know, I've been thinking about what you said.
About your next chapter.
I think we should start something a business.
What did you have in mind? I don't know.
It should be unique, you know, something that fits us.
Nothing in the warehouse, nothing in the truck.
It's a quiet racket.
I can get you more dirt if you need it.
Whole Chinese economy works like this.
So my guy likes to get his beak wet Let's stay on point.
Anata-Tek is a company with no tech.
Just as Taylor anticipated.
She spotted that from outer space? Not she.
Get it hard, keep it hard, use it! He hasn't fucked his woman in six months.
Should you be sharing that? Not in the "should" game.
- Welcome aboard, Gus.
- Thanks.
I know it was your plug that got this done for me, and I have an elephant dick of a memory.
So when are you coming in for a session? You want to go now? I'm not under the same mandate as the other staff.
You sure? Lot of changes around here.
More out there.
It'll hit ya.
Guys like you and me, we're getting older.
We got to fight for every scrap of what used to be ours by right.
Then let me buy you a steak.
Not necessary.
Omakase menu at Nakazowa.
You are good.
Have you talked to the source of the e-mails? An hour ago.
Said it's even worse than what's there.
CEO Kurt Williams knew about it, could have stopped it, directed it to continue.
Well, that'll be he said, she said.
Now, this case is far from showroom ready, but it's a real start.
- Subpoena the company documents.
- Right away.
Ace work.
Rhoades, if you're looking for a good whiskey bar near the A.
's office, I got one.
- Opens early.
- Not necessary.
I just need you to loop me in with the new deputy.
I will happily connect you to Fred Reyes.
That would mean That I have something the General would want to hear about.
that my part in this is done.
Don't worry.
Reyes knows who juiced him in.
- [keypad clicks.]
- [Fred.]
Fred, I got Chuck Rhoades on the line.
Thanks for the good word.
I appreciate you putting me up.
Well, I'm looking forward to a harmonious relationship going forward.
- Chuck, about tomorrow, it - No worries.
I just want to make sure that the A.
knows that I'm preparing an action against retail giant GoodStop.
They've bilked employees out of millions in unpaid overtime and engaged in a cover-up at the highest level.
- And you can prove that? - Evidence in hand.
It's early stages, but, uh, Kurt Williams is swimming in a dirty pool.
The same Kurt Williams anonymously funding a super PAC ripping her a new asshole? Well, that's an incredible coincidence, Chuck.
The A.
's wanted to take them down for years.
Let me sell her on it.
I think she's gonna let you bring it home.
Much appreciated.
Anata-Tek is bleeding out.
Lost half its value.
Krakow fired the CEO.
Do you want to make a statement? No.
I've said enough.
Congratulations on rooting this out.
A very good day for us.
Thank you for backing the idea.
- It really means a lot.
- What do you care? I know you already turned down a job here.
There's nothing on the line for you, so what do you care? I just like being right.
There's something else.
[ pensive music plays .]
You were testing me, and you still are.
You wanted to know if I could see you, behind Mafee, see what you saw.
I wanted to know if you're as good as they say.
I am.
So why are you leaving? I just wanted a moment with you.
Best advice you'll get.
Don't settle for just one.
Seven fifty a year.
That's double entry level for an analyst.
I'm getting my MBA in Chicago under Eugene Fama, the Nobel Laureate.
Come on.
Fama's an egghead.
Get an education right here.
Make it a million a year.
What? Three seventy-five or 750 or a million, it's all the same to you? It's an abstraction? I don't know if you can understand maybe me being the way I am, but just breathing the air here can be discomforting.
The air is thinner.
You don't belong here.
You're outside it all.
Sometimes you catch yourself watching all the people like they're another species.
So you retreat behind your aquarium walls, watching.
But you don't realize, Taylor, that glass, it's not a barrier, it's a lens.
It's an asset.
It's what makes you good.
You see things differently.
That's an edge.
What about a week-to-week deal? Done.
We'll prorate the million.
Nineteen thousand Nineteen thousand, two hundred and thirty and seventy-seven cents.
Hourly, $240.
One hundred and fourteen and forty-seven cents.
Eighty hours a week? There's 168 hours in a week.
That's what you're paying for everything.
Twenty-four seven.
All right, Wags, call me tomorrow, and I'll give you the rest.
I think I just found the thing.
- How do you feel about football? - Which team? Not sure yet, but a franchise is talking to bankers about putting itself on the block.
Go further.
[telephone rings.]
- [line clicks.]
- Axe? Can I help you, Todd? How many hours did you spend obsessing over my positions? Ah, it paid for itself.
Or, rather, you paid for it.
You got me, Axe.
You did.
But don't worry.
I'll get you back.
I'm not here for another recruiting pitch.
From the look in your eyes, I'd say you have no real idea why you're here.
I just had to get out of that office.
Now it's come to this, the one person I can turn to you.
That's what the game does to you.
I'm glad you called.
Nothing's straightforward anymore.
It's barely recognizable.
When I was in your class in law school, we didn't exactly cover - The vagaries? - Right.
What was I going to say, "When you leave these walls, none of what you do will even resemble the ideals discussed in this building, what is so cleanly laid out in the books"? When I look around the office, I do not see friends.
There was a-a woman a colleague.
Something good was starting.
But, uh, she saw me for what I was, what I was becoming, and then it was over.
To think that real relationships are possible in such a cauldron.
I didn't count on that.
But I guess I did count on a shared mission.
Yet you stay.
Yet you're loyal to Rhoades.
I can't claim the moral high ground anymore.
The Crim job.
If I'm this conflicted now There's never been a leader of any merit who was free of those doubts.
But you can't stop now.
You need to feel what it will be like to sit in that office, to be the one making the decision.
And to resolve those conflicts both the ones in the office and inside yourself.
Yeah, maybe I'll ride it out long enough to see.
[speaking Japanese.]
[speaking Japanese.]
No fucking way he gets that job.
'Cause he can't do that job! - He's a piker - Fucking cellphones.
trying to swim laps In this temple.
[indistinct conversations.]
[ dramatic music plays .]
You don't put ginger on the fish.
It's to clear the palate between pieces, not drown it out.
And it is already precisely sauced.
Doesn't need a soy bath.
Chill out, Mr.
[men chuckle.]
I won't, you fucking heathens.
This man is an artist.
He had to spend ten years learning how to make the tamago.
The egg.
The egg! Your expense accounts don't entitle you to fuck his art up the ass! Dude, that's it.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! Whoa, settle.
- Settle, Wags.
- Fuck, hold up.
It's Mike Wagner.
Axe Capital.
Apologies for the disrespect.
[speaking Japanese.]
- [speaking Japanese.]
- Hai.
Sorry you saw that.
It was a bit too revealing.
Yeah, it was.
I loved it.
That is passion, man.
When are you and I gonna go a few rounds, huh? Let me tell you an open secret.
These traders I jack up all day, they are middle-school children.
You, you are Mike Wagner.
But you need to ask yourself where are you at right now? What's churning those waters up so much that a little cub like that can break the levee? Things can't be that bad for you here if you still have the A.
's picture on your wall.
Dad, uh about Wendy and me.
You thought you could keep it from me.
These things have a way of floating up out of the murk.
Our separation is about needing space.
And I think that extends to you.
So I have to ask you I have something for you.
It occurred to me that your problem is money.
- Always has been.
- I disagree.
She has more money than you, and that's outside the natural order of things.
But it's only because everything you have is bound up in this silly trust, and you can't use it.
You're effectively a cripple.
I'm rewarded by a different metric.
But I have a solution.
A signature from me as your trustee, and it goes where we need.
You didn't.
I bought a ring.
We're in my office.
It's not a gift from me.
I bought it with your money.
Give it to Wendy.
- Show her you're serious - [scoffs.]
- about maintaining the union.
- No.
That's not a move.
That's not who she is.
It's a six-figure ring, son.
It's who they all are.
- What time does your thing start? - [cellphone buzzes.]
- Stuckey Brown told me - Stuckey Brown.
he once had a woman upstairs in his bed - Mm-hmm.
- when he heard his wife walk in the front hall.
Uh, Dad, I need to, uh So Stuckey called down to her, he said, "Elizabeth, if you don't put one foot on the stairs, I'll wire two million dollars to your account.
" - Uh-huh.
- And what did she do? She walked right back out the front door.
Take the ring.
It's a balm, it's a way Thank you, Dad.
I appreciate the gesture.
I do.
But, uh And I'm sorry that I kept our situation from you.
I know it hurt your feelings.
- No, I'm fine.
- But I cannot accept the ring.
I cannot invade my trust in any way, in this life or the next.
It would be unethical.
You have to take it back.
You're talking like a man with a terminal disease.
Have a good time at the show.
You make sure that he gets to his car.
Yeah, talk to me, Fred.
I underestimated this, Chuck.
The General is not looking for pelts.
She said that Kurt Williams would be a huge case for whoever takes over your office next.
See you tomorrow.
I'm sorry I couldn't do more.
[cellphone thuds.]
Sorry I had to skip the recital.
It's been a balled-up kind of a day.
You don't have to apologize to me.
Just your daughter.
I talked to Oliver Dake.
I didn't have to admit to anything too damaging.
But he'll be on your recusal next, and he is not gonna stop.
You have that look.
That bad, huh? I have this exercise I do with my clients called the 180.
When they've really lost the thread, when they're so fixated on a stock, they can't see it's a dumpster burning in front of them.
Maybe they can cut their losses.
But only a great few can go the opposite way, can pivot, and see that it's really a short.
You're a prime candidate for it because whatever choices you've been making, they sure as hell aren't working.
[keys clack.]
One-eighty, Chuck.
[door opens, closes.]
[trestles clacking.]
One-eighty, Chuck.
[door closes.]
[ rock music plays .]
What if we went after Spartan-Ives? That's as big as it gets.
Ari Spyros.
There's something I need you to do for me.
[telephone rings.]
I want to go on record to say that the SEC has no plans to investigate Spartan-Ives or Lawrence Boyd.
I cannot speak for the United States attorney.
No, I will not confirm that.
Do you deny there's an active investigation of Lawrence Boyd? If my office undertook such a radical endeavor against a bedrock company that has been such a friend to the administration, we would only do so with the full support of the Attorney General's Office.
But, no, I cannot confirm that.
So you have no comment on the investigation? Oh, oh, oh, oh It hurts, it hurts, it hurts And I will never see the light That I've seen shining in your eyes You just want to see me naked So I'll hold my breath I'll hold my breath, I'll hold it Hold my breath, I'll hold my breath I'll hold my breath, I'll hold my breath I'll hold my Congratulations.
If I fire you now, it'll look like the administration is protecting Boyd, obstructing justice.
They might even investigate you for that, General.
You think you're a bold player? Going after Spartan-Ives is asinine.
A man facing a firing squad has only two choices accept it or push against his restraints.
And I don't accept anything.
You were facing hard labor.
Now you're in the firing line, and you pulled me right there with you.
Not so.
Oh, if I win, Boyd goes down, and we celebrate on the podium together.
If I lose, the failure is all mine.
"If Boyd goes down.
" You really think it's that easy? There's a reason no one's done this.
So go ahead and swing your hatchet at the case.
I'll just fire you in a few months after the searchlights pass.
All you've bought is time.
[ dramatic music plays .]
I got news last night I never wanted to get Chuck Rhoades, coming at me.
I have lived my life as an exemplar of rectitude so as to never have to deal with this kind of thing.
Still he comes.
You did what I'm about to.
You squared off with him, walked away unmarked.
I need your playbook, I need to know how to beat him.
Will you help me? I don't remember your reassuring hand on my shoulder when it was my time of trouble.
What I do remember is you, the exemplar of Wall Street rectitude, steering clear and making damn certain that my stink didn't waft anywhere near you, lest it stick.
Now, before I decide, answer this.
Are you a bastard? Because for you to have a chance against Rhoades, you need to be.
Even though there will be lawyers, there are no fucking rules not if you want to win.
You will have to crawl through a river of shit and risk bleeding out a hundred yards short of victory.
You have to be prepared to do things that are entirely outside the bounds of conventional morality.
What do you imagine I had to do to get to the top of Spartan-Ives? You have no right to be depressed You haven't tried hard enough to like it Haven't seen enough of this world yet But it hurts, it hurts, it hurts, it hurts Well, stop your whining, try again No one wants to cause you pain They're just trying to let some air in But you hold your breath You hold your breath, you hold it Hold my breath, I hold my breath, I hold it
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