Billions (2016) s02e09 Episode Script

Sic Transit Imperium

1 [Lara.]
Previously on Billions Sandicot's not getting the gaming license.
The committee chose the location that will bring the greatest benefit to the greatest number of people.
The gaming license was the guarantee that Sandicot would pay off the notes.
So, it's fallen upon all of you to figure out how to get us un-fucked.
It's your only option.
Axe Cap was not what I thought it would be.
You care to be a little more specific? I'm supposed to give their lawyer a heads-up, but I think I'm pretty safe to talk if you bring me a subpoena.
The Churchill World War II.
You sure, Chuck? "Never give in.
Never give in.
" From the day I passed the bar, I have said those words to myself the first morning of every trial.
- You can still say the words.
- Hello.
I'm Taylor.
My pronouns are "they," "theirs," and "them.
" You see things differently.
That's an edge.
That's Camelot right there.
That is a picture of a man running for office.
- Our deal hold? - Yes, but not for you.
You want a session? See someone else.
My office is off-limits.
I should've told you about Wendy before I even spoke to her.
What if I won't see her? I'll draw a line.
Black Jack Foley.
How are you, Charles? I'll be better if you help me out with a little something.
I know what you and your two daddies did up in Sandicot.
dramatic music [digital virtual reality music playing from goggles.]
Thanks, Wags, but really? You got me VR goggles? What, am I turning 13? If you were, Uncle Wagsy would be getting you laid by the most beautiful call girl in the state.
But you're a big man having a big birthday, so the gift matches.
And you're not there yet.
It's called The Arque, [Wags.]
the foremost luxury bunker for end times.
A hedge against humanity.
[digital virtual reality music playing from goggles.]
Stocks of non-perishable food, [Wags.]
water purification equipment, seed banks, DNA cold storage, medical supplies, and surgical equipment.
Everything you need, jefe, even weapons.
- [Axelrod.]
For what? - [Wags.]
I don't know.
Happy birthday.
This coin means that you've got a spot reserved.
I made the down payment.
And I'm not too classy to say that it ran me 360K.
Sic Transit Imperium.
"So passes the empire.
" Thanks, Wags.
I can see you put a lot of thought into this.
You get a spot for yourself? If humanity has to be rebuilt, it sure as fuck shouldn't be in my image.
- [chuckles.]
- Besides, you know I wanna be on the outside, rocking with the marauders.
Let's go.
[birds chirping.]
You went with a sailcloth option.
- Huh? - Tent.
Oh, yeah.
Lara picked it.
dramatic music Axelrod has never made a move as brazen, as public as looting a working class town.
Yeah, now he's like the bad guy in a Springsteen song.
- [woman chuckles.]
- [Chuck.]
Exactly so.
Oh, he's the boss man closing down the factory and kicking Johnny 99 to the street.
We're going to attack.
[inhales deeply.]
Now the thrust of this muni-bond deal, buying of the debt, forcing austerity Austerity.
What a lovely word for fucking the life out of 180,000 people.
Well, the bond deal itself, reprehensible as it is, is completely legal.
It's the timing that's suspect.
Axe jumped in when he did because he knew something.
We laser in on how he came by the information, who's involved, how money may have changed hands.
Information like this is never free.
There's bribes and payoffs under it.
Real Meeting Across the River shit.
What, only white men can listen to The Boss? Oh, not at all.
In fact, like the main character in that deep cut, Axe is not gonna win here.
Something has to tie back to him.
We're on a path.
Uh, location board, gaming commission.
Uh, it's Albany.
You can't have a PTA bake sale without kickbacks.
Let's mount up.
Sandicot team has a long drive ahead of us.
[Chuck claps hands.]
Kate? That subpoena come through for Steph Reed? Thirty minutes ago.
I will have her in here this afternoon.
It's a big deal, source that close.
You have my complete confidence.
I thought Connerty did.
I have enough confidence to go around.
[whack, ball bounces.]
Aparicio Rodriguez.
- [whack, ball bounces.]
- Plays third.
Kid's the next Sal Bando.
First round draft pick next June.
I've been paying for private lessons for him since he was 13 in exchange for a chunk of the kid's future signing bonus.
- [whack.]
- It's recoup time.
- 2,000 percent ROI - [whack.]
even counting the dozen other kids I invested in - but had to cut loose.
- [whack.]
- All right, guys, take a break! - [man.]
Rodriguez, bring it in.
I got you a birthday present.
- Him? - No.
- Belgian car company.
- An auto scheme? I'd rather have the ballplayer.
At least this guy can hit.
This is better.
It's something I couldn't discuss at the office.
Did you know about this? Not the details, only that there was something worth hearing.
I heard rumors.
Dug into it off-campus, off the books.
They're headed for a recall.
Major fines, sanctions.
- Bottom's gonna drop out.
- When? Unknown, but we gotta move fast to lay in our position.
This news won't hold long.
What's your level of certainty? tense music [brake pedal clatters, engine revs, horn honks.]
[tires screech, crash.]
[shredder whirring.]
[paper rustles.]
[indistinct conversations.]
I am not uncertain.
Any particulars I need to know? No.
I'll think about it.
Whoa, wait.
This this is automatic.
This cow's got a bolt to its head, and it's hanging upside-down.
You just gotta carve it up and eat it.
Times are changing.
No matter how not uncertain you are, these days, I take a laparoscope to the fucking guts of every deal.
Gents, if I may What's to gain? A hundred million? It's a drop in the bucket.
It's not worth giving the government the opening.
Perfectly said, Wags.
Has he made you afraid of Rhoades, whispering pussy excuses in your ear? You're really that fucking scared, Axe? You back off, Bill.
Why? 'Cause he can end my world, burn my contacts, and keep every cent of my bonus for himself? That That's supposed to make me hold my tongue? - Fuck, yeah.
- [chuckles.]
See? That That's why you will never buy and sell equities.
No, all that's supposed to make me more brazen when I know I'm fucking right.
It's okay, Wags.
It's okay.
Come here.
[hand pat.]
[shoes scuff.]
If I were standing where you are, I'd be even more strident in my approach.
But I'm standing here, so I have to be the opposite - reflective, calm, considered.
- [exhales.]
It's just about who I am at this precise moment in time.
What business are we in, hmm? I thought it was a business of profit, of free men and women, beyond the apparatchiks and their pathetic rules.
Yeah, all of that and "Who is John Galt?" Look, I'm a rich man.
You're a very rich man.
If we can't live how we want, then the terrorists have already won.
[hands slap sides, claps.]
Back in the cage! - [fence rattles.]
- [man.]
Let's go.
- What the fuck was that? - [baseball bat clanks.]
That was a guy who was giving me all the right questions.
dramatic music [woman.]
We're looking at a police force at half-capacity.
The library is open 12 hours a week.
Why, that is revolting.
No, I see what's happening here.
You are not invisible.
You matter.
- Lock him up! - [man.]
Yeah! If the law gives me the power, I will.
And [chuckles.]
if the law doesn't, well, then somebody needs to get to work changing the law.
- [woman.]
- [cheers and applause.]
Robert Kennedy said, "Every society gets the criminal it deserves.
" Sandicot sure didn't deserve Bobby Axelrod.
But you do deserve the law enforcement I plan on bringing.
- [applause.]
- [man.]
Right, right, right.
Thank you.
[speaks indistinctly.]
[door handles clack.]
Go! Gotta go! [reporters shouting at once, camera shutters clicking.]
You sure you don't want to talk to 'em? No.
I don't need to sound my own horn.
Now if the people of Sandicot wanna trumpet it for me [shouting continues, camera shutters clicking.]
Will you come with me? [shouting continues.]
tense music [waitress indistinctly speaking to man in booth.]
[door creaks open.]
[door closes.]
Well, well.
Impressive ground game, showing me there's no corner of the state you don't touch.
Ah, I planned to be up here.
Ah, so Uh, is your granddaughter enjoying Washington? Just getting settled in.
She and I remain touched by the generosity of your spirit.
That's nice to hear.
Ah, there's someone, uh, I need you to see.
George Minchak.
- Okay.
- She vets all of my candidates.
You want her to know everything.
- [sighs.]
- It's a stress test.
- Yeah.
- We prepare for what - the opposition will use.
- [clicks teeth.]
I'm not really sure I'm entirely comfortable with that.
My last candidate who did not use her [exhales.]
was Spitzer.
I'll fit her right in.
And we need to do it right now because of the attention this, uh, unofficial campaign visit will bring.
I'd have told you if I'd thought that No, you you don't need to tell me everything.
You need to tell Minchak everything.
Then Minchak tells me.
- That was a joke.
- [exhales.]
Uh, what you're doing up here, um, feeling their pain? It's a time-honored tradition.
And the way you refused to, uh, play to the grandstand, thus ensuring that the, uh, reporters will chase you to the next whistle stop, that brings a smile.
Yes, I felt that to do interviews at this time would only have downside.
Yeah, it's as worthless as a $100 dollar bill to a rooster with a hard on.
- [chuckles.]
- [laughs.]
Well, if you're thinking of having a meal before you leave, try the Garbage Plate.
It's a local delicacy.
That looks hard to resist.
You'll hardly be able.
Eat the shit out of it.
[footsteps depart.]
I've been angling to get into investor relations for 16 months.
I didn't know that.
Does that mean I haven't been doing it assertively enough? Maybe, um, not necessarily.
We can talk about ways to be more clear and more goal-oriented, if that's what you're interested in.
It's just I don't know what I'd be selling.
Sandicot is is hard to swallow, placing the calls, crowing about our returns at the expense of a town.
- Just makes me feel - [hands hit lap.]
so isolated and kind of sad.
A lot of people are having problems with it.
Do you ever feel that way, like the things we have to do compromise us somehow? tense music This isn't about me.
[inhales sharply.]
But why are you feeling this way? Is it just about Sandicot? No.
There are other things that I see.
And I remember being a kid and our reverend saying, - "He who looks" - Yeah, we need to stop here.
[notebook rustles.]
I'm not sure having an overgrown conscience is gonna help you get that investor relations job, you know? - [Deb.]
Thank you.
- Mm-hmm.
[door clacks.]
[door closes.]
- You know what I hate? - Fish, fowl, or mammal? Learning something about myself.
When is that bullshit just gonna stop? - Dollar Bill? - What he said, he's kind of right.
I've become a pussy.
We just made a choice to stop living on the edge is all.
Is it? - [door opens.]
- What'd she say? - [door closes.]
- She told me to suck it up.
Then she said an overgrown conscience isn't gonna help me.
She said that? Okay.
She saw through it.
- [file thuds.]
- Axe, I was thinking about my position here, and I think I would make an excellent It was a script, Deb.
Don't internalize.
[footsteps, door opens.]
Look who's making a racket in Sandicot.
[door closes.]
He's coming again, isn't he? He never wasn't.
[tablet cover thuds.]
tense music Tell Dollar Bill no on Klaxon.
[footsteps depart.]
[door opens.]
[door closes.]
What do you get a billionaire? God, I wish I had the stones to skip it.
I hate these things.
You love parties.
Well, I recently took the Myers-Briggs personality test, and it turns out I'm an introvert.
I'm not sure that test is rock-solid.
I thought I like parties, but I don't.
On a deeper level, it disturbs my equilibrium.
Is that why you woke up the day after the Christmas party in a yellow snow drift behind the strip joint? Exactly.
[typing on keyboard.]
[knocks on door.]
- [door clatters.]
- Bearing of a Roman Centurion? - [door closes.]
- Or slices through rough seas - like a Man-O-War? - What? Birthday speech.
You got skills? Not for all that.
But the party, I have a conflict.
I want to gauge the importance of attending.
Axe doesn't take attendance, but he knows who's in the room.
- I'll leave it at that.
- Fuck.
Did you just say "fuck"? I did.
You're one of us now.
[door handle clacks.]
[door clatters.]
dramatic music What was the nature of your job at Axe Capital as you understood it? I was to be next to Axe in every meeting, to be the firewall against illicit dealings.
I was a witness and to make sure things were being done above board.
Tell me about Axe.
He was unreadable.
At three o'clock, he was writing checks to aid earthquake victims in the Caribbean.
At 3:45, he was cornering the market on Churchill first editions just to stick it to an enemy.
And then one day, he just fragged my ass.
I never really saw it coming.
Did he give an explanation? No.
I guess he just didn't want a witness anymore.
Referred to himself as a Terminator.
What does that mean? A cybernetic organism, programmed to kill.
Living tissue over robotic endoskeleton I've seen the movie.
I just meant He has some sort of programmed mission, and I was standing in the way.
The day before he fired me, Bill Stearn approached with a play that was clearly over the line, citing a source named Victor.
Did he say the They didn't talk about it because I was in the room.
But without me, one or both of them would have circled back, no doubt about it.
Or else Axe would've filled my position.
He wanted no impediments to illegal activity, and that's what he has now.
Dollar Bill's tough.
We have a history.
Anyone else? Try Taylor Mason.
They have become something of a prodigy, a go-to.
Anything big Axe is wading into, Taylor's there with a snorkel mask.
tense music [crickets chirping.]
I believe it's time, nay, long past time, to transform your charitable arm and engender a permanent foundation.
Properly stewarded, it will write the name of your benevolence on the ages, alongside Carnegie, Vanderbilt.
A creation of consequence.
Because otherwise, what's it all for? Is that right? I don't pretend to answer that which lies in the realm of the theologians.
Yet you just happened to pitch me legacy on my birthday? I won't claim happenstance.
This is the time when a man like you allows reflection to dictate action.
He thinks I need him to steward this whole legacy thing.
You don't need me, but I would be qualified for such a position.
What do you make at your current gig? I prefer not to really get into that.
It's public record, Sean.
Have some dignity and spare us the time.
Two-hundred twenty-five thousand.
And a, uh, "true steward" of a multi-billion dollar charitable foundation, what would that put me back, Wags? In the range of $350,000 to $500,000 a year, I think it was.
See, I have looked into this before.
And you are not the first one in here looking to double his salary.
[clicks teeth.]
But today is your lucky day, because I do want to set up a permanent foundation with you as its steward.
I accept.
- [palms slap.]
- With one urgent recommendation.
Cancel your party.
That's direct.
You just offered me enough, so I have to be.
You cannot throw a lavish party at the very moment when you're draining the meager resources of what amounts to a village of apple-cheeked orphans.
That party was organized long before Sandicot got grounded.
A change of course? That's reactionary.
I am not hiring you to serve me weak tea.
You're really hiring him? Why? Hired.
We shook.
[chair clatters.]
I'm setting a course that needs to be acknowledged in all future stories about wherever we go next.
Ayles may be what he is, but he speaks the nasal language of culture and credibility.
And you just bought that.
It's what all the great philanthropists did, wrote their names on the ages and laundered their reputations in the process.
I'm keen to get started.
- [doorknob rattles.]
- Hey.
I gotta go relieve Wendy.
- What was so important? - [door closes.]
[briefcase thuds.]
Ice Juice.
It's a natural beverage company.
A proprietary process called Flash-Pas.
I own a chunk of the company, and I've represented the founder forever.
[inhales deeply.]
He's done.
He wants out.
I can take it over.
Majority ownership.
It is within reach.
I just need the cash.
Your, uh, lockup period is ending? You said you wanted to do something for me.
- Now is when I need it.
- I meant what I said.
I owe you, but, I mean, you know my money's in a blind trust.
I know.
I don't want your money.
Oh, I see.
My father.
You want his money.
Except I never get involved in his business deals for ethical as well as [chuckles.]
personal reasons.
Chuck, this is my chance.
This IPO is It's a blockbuster.
This is This is that leap that I've always talked about, the one I've been waiting my whole life to take.
Well, you know him.
Why don't you just call? Well, if it comes from you, he'll take it more seriously.
If I make the call, then it's tantamount to me endorsing it, which is not something I can do right now.
Look, you know I see the inside of more deals per day than anyone.
This is the one that I've been waiting for to get me out of that goddamn law office.
I do know that you would not be here unless the deal was a winner.
I'll [sighs.]
[hands slap sides.]
[clicks teeth.]
Let me think.
Of course.
Of course.
All right.
Look what Wags got me.
The Arque? Luxury survival bunker.
It's a scam.
Why does everything need to be a scam? When the Armageddon comes, the doors will be locked.
I think it's a good idea, a fail-safe.
The end could come sooner than anyone might think.
Yeah, it might already have come.
We just don't know it yet.
Well, what do you think'll happen when it all really goes to shit? - [ladder clatters.]
- [sighs.]
Well Getting to the mountains could be a problem.
- [inhales sharply.]
- We'd have to let the pilot and his family in the Arque.
We'd really have to build it ourselves, recruit all the security forces just to ensure absolute loyalty.
- Mm, and secrecy, you know? - [chuckles.]
No VR sales tours.
And we'd also have to make room for my family, Matty and Mary and Ned and Connie and Lu and Mo, Sean.
Yeah, I'm not sure about that, Lar.
Excuse me? Well, we wouldn't leave them just to die.
We'd buy two Arques, ours in the Canadian Rockies, and one for your family in Jersey.
[clears throat.]
- So generous.
- Well, fuck it.
I should probably just go down with the whole ship, this fucking tent, hedge funds, all of it.
Half my life now is ass-covering and optics, fucking optics of everything from parties to put options.
tense music I'm spending half a mil on some stuffed shirt to brush up my fucking image.
Come on, maybe we should split for the weekend, now, before we need the goddamn Arque.
And bail on the party? Just the two of us.
We'll celebrate our way.
Big occasions like this need to be marked, acknowledged, for posterity and for fun.
You deserve to be celebrated.
And you should be surrounded by your whole gang so they can honor you, too.
They work for me.
They're not my friends.
What about Wags and Dollar Bill? If they're not your friends, they're kind of like brothers.
You know, they deserve a chance to show you how they feel.
I'm not even gonna tell you who you sound like right now.
And Wendy, too.
You know I decided not to see her.
And I was clear about that, and I've stuck to it.
So [exhales.]
I don't know if she'll want Just because you don't talk to her professionally doesn't mean that you can't take one night to commemorate the importance of it all.
She's foundational to Axe Capital and to you.
[knocks on doorframe.]
Sorry I'm late.
- No, it's okay.
I was tired.
- [book thuds.]
You were out of town? Uh Yeah.
I don't know if you heard, but I was up in Sandicot.
It's a real mess up there.
Looking to punish those responsible.
[clicks teeth.]
I was invited to Axe's birthday party.
I said no.
What's that about? My readjustment back at Axe Cap has been more difficult than I thought it would be.
How so? I've felt manipulated.
[inhales deeply.]
I may have done some of that, too.
I may have given you the impression that I was happy there, and I may well end up that way.
But the truth is, it's been bumpy.
Well, why are you staying? Oh, you don't have to answer that No, it's what I've been asking myself.
I built something.
I put myself into it, and now It's not what you remembered, not what you fell in love with.
I think I went back to see if I still could.
Something I tell my patients when they're hesitating about making some kind of move in their own life is, sometimes you have to jump in - Mm.
- all the way in to find out.
They are lucky to have you.
It's easy when it's about someone else.
It's about you, it's hard to know.
When do you keep working at it? When do you give up? tense music [whispers.]
I don't know.
[window whirs.]
Dollar Bill's telling the truth.
It looks clean.
Even if they trace his burner or get into his air-gapped laptop, like I did, nothing will come back to you, unless somebody talked.
Like his source? Victor Mateo.
You were right.
This is complicated, because Victor always puts himself where the money is, but it's usually far from pristine.
Well, then he's the potential weak link.
He's either looking to get back in your graces or trying to get close enough to jab a ricin-tipped umbrella into your thigh.
[glass clinks, cellphone clatters.]
[touchscreen clicks.]
[line rings.]
[telephone rings.]
- [beep.]
- Hello? Oh.
I was calling for Wendy.
She's not available.
Who's calling? Lara Axelrod.
This must be Chuck.
That's right.
Can I tell her what it's regarding? [Lara.]
My husband's birthday party.
She RSVP'd "no," and I just wanted to make sure she knew that both Bobby and I would really be delighted to see her at the house.
Well, uh, I will certainly pass along your message.
But I do know that she was feeling a lack of clarity in terms of going.
I'm guessing things are tense and complicated right now, and this can't be helping.
You're not guessing.
I know this is weird.
I was just calling to say she's back at the company, and the company will all be here, so she should be, too.
You know, if we don't mark the milestones, we're just passing with the time.
Well said.
And I'd invite you as her plus one, but under the circumstances [chuckles.]
There is such a thing as too weird, even for all of us.
Well, uh, I will pass along your message.
Good night.
[cellphone clicks.]
melancholy music [telephone keypad beeping.]
- [sighs.]
- [line rings.]
[automated female voice on Bluetooth.]
- Hi, Chuck.
- [Chuck.]
You know, I think that you're not going to the party because of me, which pleases me in a way that it probably shouldn't.
Oh, Chuck.
Wendy, I say go to the party.
Either it'll feel right or it won't.
- [hands thud.]
- But you gotta jump in and find out.
[door opens.]
[hands slapping, door closes.]
[palms slap.]
How's Victor been? [sighs heavily.]
Look, I would've told you it came from him, but the last time I mentioned his name For good fucking reason.
- Because Steph Reed was there.
- Yeah, because I fired his ass.
And sure, I paid him off to keep the peace, but My God, I think he'd still love to roast me.
You trust me? Right? With my life.
Because there's certain guys you just know about.
You look 'em in the eye, and you know.
Other guys, you know things about.
And with Victor, it it's both.
Yeah, I know him.
But also I know things about him.
And the things I know, he can't fuck me, so he can't fuck you.
So that might be enough for you.
I understand.
But it's not enough for me, not anymore.
[inhales and exhales deeply.]
You know, before the Old West gunslingers were turned into dime store paperbacks and cartoons, the word "outlaw" meant something.
It meant that the law didn't apply to you.
No protection.
You run across a guy on a forest road, he could kill you.
No repercussions.
I mean you used to love Victor, and trust him before all this started.
He didn't do anything to deserve the fate you gave him.
That's what makes this decision so tricky.
He had the right to cold dish me.
I just don't know that he's past it yet.
Why don't you ask him yourself? [paper rustles.]
Look him in the face.
That's your present.
And you might find it's worth more than a hundred million.
[slaps leg.]
tense music [clicking teeth.]
So, Steph Reed I wish she were more of an asset.
Axelrod has been very careful.
Here are the notes from the interview, if you're interested.
[inhales deeply.]
Terminator? Cyberdyne Systems, series 800, Resistance Infiltrator.
- Got it.
- It's kind of a miss, so I went back into the Sandicot file - and ran this down.
- [folder rustles.]
Old stock car.
Title was transferred to casino developer, Donald Thayer, from Bobby Axelrod.
Gentlemen, start your engines.
[door handle clacks.]
[door closes.]
Thought you forgot the way in here.
Know it by heart.
Couple things.
- Okay.
- Deb Kawi.
I knew you made her.
The next time you tell someone to lose their conscience - will be the first time.
- Don't run people at me.
- Got you in the office.
- No.
I'm here because of the other thing.
[inhales deeply.]
Your birthday.
[clicks teeth.]
What, specifically, about that? Your wife asked me to come.
Said you wanted me there.
- Is it true? - I think you know me well enough to know the answer to that question.
tense music [footsteps depart.]
[machinery rumbling.]
[door handle clacks.]
[door closes.]
[indistinct conversations.]
dramatic music Quite a hole you've dig yourself right here in the middle of scenic Kingsford, Thayer.
It's not my best.
It's not my worst.
I just have one question, the only question that matters.
Who is Bobby Axelrod to you? He's a friend.
[inhales deeply.]
Why else would he have given me that Dodge out front? Figured you knew that if you were here asking questions.
I also know about that above-market lease you signed on his Sandicot land.
Is it wrong to overspend? My wife dings me for that all the time.
- Uh-huh.
- Yeah, you know, - I see something I like - [chuckles.]
No one will believe that.
Oh, not when we run 'em through the litany of business dealings you've engaged in that could, uh, most charitably be described as shady and most accurately as criminal.
- [chuckles.]
- Fraudulent loan applications, union payoffs, stiffing vendors, and yet, writing off the expenses on your account.
You do everything to save a buck on the business end.
Are you leveraging me? [exhales.]
I've been strong-armed by the vowel guys.
- Never bent.
- Oh.
Oh, I bet you'd like to put me in that hole - [machinery beeping.]
- like you used to do it.
Then pour the concrete.
They never find 'em when you do that, do they? No one wants to tear a whole building down, but you can't now.
Now, you're respectable ish.
You've changed your narrative.
So let me suggest a new chapter in your story, one in which you are the unindicted co-conspirator rather than a defendant.
Which story is that? The story of Sandicot.
Let me tell it to you, then you tell it back, if it's true, of course, which it is.
You and Axelrod entered into a criminal conspiracy to bribe Marc Capparello for inside information on the deliberations of the Location Committee and where they were gonna put your casino.
[machinery rumbling.]
You're some fucking gangster, swaggering up here, making threats.
From you, "fucking gangster" sounds like a compliment.
Not how I meant it.
Axelrod is not your friend.
Let me help you keep on the right side.
You'd love to know what I got on him.
[inhales sharply.]
Problem is, I don't need whatever deal or immunity you got.
See, I already have my umbrella.
I'm singin' in the fucking rain.
You? You're just standing there, gettin' wet.
[machinery continues rumbling.]
I'll see you on Pearl Street at my arraignment if you got the brass.
pensive music [footsteps depart.]
[ball thuds.]
- [grunts.]
- [thudding.]
[palm slaps ball.]
Three and two, count is full.
I grew up playing stickball.
You wanna grab that broom handle and stand in? I'll get too intense.
[ball thuds.]
People are telling me I can't miss your party.
No, because those people think the only way to advance is by following the rules and social mores.
They have no fucking idea why we do what we do.
I don't think I'm any better than them.
Of course you do.
You even know it a little bit.
Do not feel obligated to attend.
- [bird calling in distance.]
- Okay.
Why are you missing it, by the way? You don't wanna party with me? It's my sister's wedding.
Rehearsal dinner on Mackinac Island in the U.
- Michigan.
- Oh, yeah.
I know.
Not a lot of flights.
You're rich.
They're called private planes.
- [palm slaps ball.]
- I almost booked it.
I just don't know if I can actually get on it.
The carbon footprint alone is You're really that worried about the world ending? Yes.
What about your own world? Not so much.
Well, before that existential dread racks you, buy some offsets.
Donate to the Rainforest Alliance.
As a matter of fact, if you do that, I'll have Deb book the plane for ya.
Move on.
It's not just that.
It's I never thought I'd be thinking about living this life.
You're living it already.
Do you think I ever thought I'd be here? I never thought I'd be more than just a numbers guy at the track.
Aqueduct? Nah.
I'd still be at the track if it weren't for this one guy, a gambler.
He worked a seat at Commodities.
He thought I'd be good.
So he took me to Four World Trade, and I saw it immediately.
I could read the tape just like the odds on the board.
It was like walking into something between a casino and the U.
So I bought a seat at the exchange for 64K, and that was it.
Is that a common career trajectory? Not anymore.
Wasn't back then either.
And you're glad it went this way? Yeah.
Why shouldn't I be? So before I let you get back to your childhood, the moral of the story is just get on the fucking plane, huh? No.
The moral of the story is, you get one life, so do it all.
[ball thuds.]
[engine rumbling.]
[gears shift, engine turns off.]
[horns honks in distance.]
[door handle clacks.]
Why did I have Thayer dead to rights, and he wasn't even nervous? Why were you sitting with Thayer in the first place? How does that help you with headlines, blind items - [chuckles.]
- community leaders? Oh, you weren't encouraging me to be smart.
You were protecting one of your own.
Did you handpick him for the deal? Did I make a mistake with you? Are you fighting for inches or yards? [sighs.]
I am so close to getting Axe.
I can run on that.
I can win on that.
That's what we both want.
If you are the man I think and and hope you are, you will get him on something else.
You know it's not the first time Axe has gone bad on something.
What did Thayer give you, four points? [clicks teeth.]
I don't handcuff.
You're free to go after Thayer if you want.
But play out those dominoes first, and not just for Axe.
pensive music Thayer takes a hit, the casino goes away.
Those upstate jobs go away.
It leaks that my father started things in Sandicot and the last one falls on me.
Chuck, Sandicot is a circle.
Wherever you start on that path, it leads right back to you to us.
And right now, no one knows that you and my father crushed that town as much as Axe.
- Yes.
- [sighs.]
And why don't we keep it that way? You know what, Jack? I think I'll get Axe on something else.
Whatever you feel is best.
["I Don't Want to Go Home" playing in distance from stereo.]
[Southside Johnny music band playing from stage.]
Well, I know that it's getting late [clacking.]
But I don't wanna go home - [kisses.]
- I'm in no hurry, baby Time can wait 'Cause I don't wanna go home Listen to the man sing his song You're seeming shy tonight.
We can't escape our nature.
Enough with the Myers-Briggs, Mafee.
- [woman.]
- [Ben.]
- The man here yet? - [glasses clink.]
- [Ben.]
Nah, I haven't seen him.
- [Taylor.]
What? Weird.
- [knock on door.]
- [Chuck.]
Yeah? - [doorknob rattles.]
- Hey.
Have a seat.
[door closes.]
[sighs deeply.]
Thayer stonewalled us? I'm not gonna shield you from this, Bryan, all right? I have decided not to pursue Thayer or Sandicot, for strategic reasons.
- Politics.
- Yeah.
Plain and simple.
- Tell the team.
- [palms slap.]
[engine rumbling.]
[crickets chirping.]
[engine turns off.]
[bowling pins clattering.]
Welcome to my bowling club.
I worked it out so I had it private tonight.
How are ya, Victor? [exhales.]
Lots of times, I thought about, if I ran into you, what I might say or do.
Here I am.
Hit me.
I can take it.
That's in the past.
Fuck you, Axe.
You think every time you take a meeting or take a shit, it's deep and filled with wisdom.
But you made a mistake letting me go.
You cut me, but you cut yourself worse in the process.
You're not wrong, Victor.
You were collateral damage.
I regretted it.
- Really? - Briefly.
And for a few moments after, which surprised me.
You getting soft? tense music I came all the way out here, Victor, on the recommendation of a dear friend, to look at you.
[shoes scuff.]
- What do you see? - A man who's stuck at a boutique firm, a glorified day trader.
Making good money, but not as good as it used to be.
But that's not the sticky part.
You can't be who you are, and it's ripping you up.
Bit by bit.
What do you have and what do you want? I want back in.
Not with the main fund.
I understand you can't do that, and I don't want you to.
I want my own shop, a satellite.
Terms will be very generous for you the first few years, and I will give you the prime fucking meats.
[file rustles.]
Everything I know about Klaxon.
Internal memos, company documents.
It's bigger than a recall.
You leak this cover-up, they'll drown in lawsuits.
You could cover at zero.
[papers rustle.]
[inhales sharply .]
Start looking for office space.
Welcome back.
Donna! I need Sacker now! [taps papers.]
- This.
What the fuck is this? - [door closes.]
Steph Reed says that Axe bought some enemy's books? Yes.
He cornered the first edition book market for those specific books to spite a rival.
And did she say which books? Second World War by Churchill.
tense music This is what they do.
How the fuck do you compete with something that powerful, that swims around for days on end, just waiting for the faintest smell of blood so it can attack without warning, and with all the ferocity and half the conscience of a goddamn bull shark? [inhales sharply.]
You can't.
[breathes deeply.]
Unless you can somehow anticipate where it will strike and then match its strength when it does which you can't.
I can see books are a trigger for you Thank you, Sacker.
[door opens.]
[papers thud.]
[door closes.]
[clears throat.]
pulsating music [thud.]
[clears throat.]
[touchscreen clicks.]
Dad, I'm messengering something to you, and I will be over to discuss it in a while.
- [fingers tap desk.]
- Good.
[Chuck Sr.
Son, credit where it's due.
This Ice Juice thing is a win.
I've already spoken to Ira.
He ran me through a few more of the numbers.
Yeah, well, I knew if Ira said it, it would be so.
Yeah, he told me you almost didn't bring it to me out of some worry about conflict? That would've been shortsighted.
I agree, and I am most certainly taking the longer view at the moment.
Good boy.
We can't let this opportunity slide by.
This IPO could be the start of a billion dollar windfall, and it's a life-changer for him.
You keep saying "we.
" I'm not liquid enough to pull the trigger.
I find that hard to fathom.
My cash on hand happens to be tied up in an few real estate deals right now, and it's not the right time to sell.
Let me guess.
Kingsford? I think it's best we not discuss that.
With your position, that would be unethical.
But there is a solution.
The chunk of cash I need is on a statement with your name on it.
- The blind trust.
- But, uh, why tell me about it? Uh, isn't the whole point to a blind trust that I'm not supposed to know what you're doing with the money? No, not this time.
That trust was set aside for you and the children.
But even the safest IPO has a different risk profile than a normal investment.
You have to know before I do it.
You want me to break my public vow? [hands fall to lap.]
The moment that I'm transitioning into elected office? It's only damaging if it gets out.
I'll invest silently.
Your role will be hidden.
We'll replace the funds as soon as we sell some of the stock.
No one's the wiser.
Well, if this is what it takes uh, to help you and Ira - Does that mean - Yeah.
Crack it open.
- [hands fall to lap.]
- Use a bit for your venture.
I trust your judgment.
As always.
dramatic music jazzy rock music Excuse me.
- Lara.
- Welcome.
- Thank you.
- [kisses cheek.]
You know, we never really had you over to the house enough.
Thanks for the invite.
And I appreciate the personal follow-up.
Chuck was, um [chuckles.]
quite surprised to hear from you.
Well, I'm glad you came.
Bobby will really value you being here.
I couldn't tell when I spoke to him at work.
I thought you weren't really talking at work.
I'm sure it must be hard for you to not have access to him, but we think it's best for everyone.
Clear boundaries this time.
Right which is why I set the policy.
It was the only way I could work there.
I couldn't keep seeing him.
It wasn't like doctor-patient or even athlete-coach.
It was more Hannibal-Clarice.
tense music Not seeing him was one of your conditions for coming back.
I thought it was important for both of us, really.
Thanks again for the invite.
I could use a drink.
[footsteps depart.]
[cellphone vibrates.]
Where are you? I'm at the front gate.
Come meet me.
[woman laughs.]
[camera shutter clicking.]
[car door opens, closes.]
[airplane engines whirring.]
[camera shutter clicking.]
[car door closes.]
[heels clacking.]
[door handle clacks.]
[door closes.]
Let's get outta here.
Fuck this.
It's a mistake.
I see how we made it [inhales deeply.]
because we forgot.
I forgot where I'm from.
I forgot that I don't give a fuck about any of this.
It's all sailcloth held up with poles lit by lighting designers and ripped to the ground tomorrow.
I wanna be with you.
I wanna take you somewhere that matters.
Everyone's waiting for you.
Wags is about to give his speech.
[amplified voice.]
I've had quite a challenge this week to put together words, ordinary words, to describe the most extraordinary man I ever met.
A man as steely as a Roman centurion, cooler than Jean-Paul Belmondo.
He's a jaguar shark, an American Sniper, every decision in the space of seven breaths.
If you cross him, he'll put a fucking ding in your universe.
But these are all exaggerations, derivative.
They don't limn the truth of an indefinable essence.
They don't speak to my real feelings.
It's no exaggeration to say that Bobby Axelrod is the man who gave me my life, or at least let me keep it.
But even more than that, he's given me friendship the kind of friendship, it's more than money, it's more than talent, it's [inhales deeply.]
almost family.
But unlike family, he never turns away.
He's the only one who truly sees me and doesn't judge.
He accepts me as I am, and that kind of friendship is everything.
It is the stuff of life itself.
So thank you for my life.
Traders trade.
Lovers love.
Cars are meant to go.
Happy birthday, Axe, wherever you are.
[cheers and applause.]
Way to go, Wags! Axe didn't show up? Who does that, skips his own party? That's fucking fantastic.
Maybe he's an introvert, too.
No, he's not an introvert.
He just remembered he's an outlaw.
A fucking desperado.
[indistinct conversations.]
Axe said to give this to you.
[indistinct conversations.]
- Bob Dylan's "Visions of Johanna" - Ain't it just like the night To play tricks when you're tryin' to be so quiet? We sit here stranded Though we're all doing our best to deny it And Louise holds a handful of rain Temptin' you to defy it Lights flicker from the opposite loft In this room, the heat pipes just cough The country music station plays soft But there's nothing, really nothing to turn off Just Louise And her lover So entwined And these visions Of Johanna That conquer my mind
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