Billions (2016) s03e01 Episode Script

Tie Goes To The Runner

1 [Bobby.]
Previously on "Billions" [Chuck.]
The only enemy more dangerous than a man with unlimited resources is one with nothing to lose.
And that is what you are looking at right here.
This is for you Look at them.
With that morning-after glow.
This is what your wife is out doing.
You see things differently.
That's an edge.
All the analysts now answer to you.
We've long suspected criminal activity at Axe Capital.
- Do you know how to do this? - Some parts of the job are pretty intuitive.
Is there any law enforcement here? [Rico.]
You let me know if any show up.
- You should name a C.
- I'll do it.
But I'm not running with you.
And neither are the kids.
So, you do what you got to do, but we're staying.
[Chuck Sr.
Black Jack Foley.
- How are you, Charles? - [Chuck Sr.
I'll be better if you help me out with a little something.
Will you make me governor? [vomits, all gasp.]
The Ice Juice IPO never tracks back to my family, to my father's investment.
Get out of the stock, Chuck.
They're gonna crush you.
Wow, I'm glad to see you view me as so defenseless.
The Ice Juice short, how do I get a piece of that? Ice Juice never made anyone sick.
You baited him? You used my company, my career, my future Where do you get the fucking nerve?! I am done with you.
You've been named interim U.
Attorney for the Eastern District.
You didn't think this shit happened by accident, did you, Mr.
Dake? I've arranged that you'll lead the prosecution at Eastern.
Tell Sacker I'm gonna make her Chief of Crim.
I'm gonna find it.
Whatever thread you left behind.
And I am gonna pull on it until your whole fucking world unravels.
I might go down behind all of this, but you are gonna be right there next to me.
Worth it.
Dramatic music Garrett T.
Capps' "Born in San Antone" I was born in San Antone I was born in San Antone I guess that's why I'm a pinche gringo I was born in San Antone I'm from horse country, Chuck, West Texas.
My family bred 'em, American quarterhorses.
Those babies fetch quite the price, so we were real gentle with the product.
We used teasers.
Those are stallions you put into the stall with the sole purpose of making sure the mare's in heat, primed for breeding.
Now, a teaser, he doesn't get to do any fucking.
He's just there to get the mare ready.
Take her kicks.
Try to mount, take some more kicks.
By God, that teaser, he's got a rager going on the whole dang time.
But that doesn't matter.
As soon as that dam is ready, we yank that teaser out of there, lead the real stud in, and he gets to do all the fucking.
Teaser has to make do with some mangy hay and a bucket of oats.
- Brutal.
- Yeah, nature often is.
Right now, you're that teaser, aren't you, with Dake prosecuting Axelrod? He's getting all the credit for putting the cuffs on him and freezing his assets.
Dake is fucking Axelrod right now in front of everybody, and you, you're back in the barn, nursing your rager with a bucket of oats.
Well, as long as justice is served, credit doesn't matter at all, General.
Why don't you tell me how it really makes you feel to see Dake with the lariat in his grip? You'd like to tear that case from him with your bare hands and leave him crying in the gutter.
Hmm? You got some wolf in you, which is why you're not getting fired.
Not quite yet, anyway.
No, sir, you are among the blessed few.
It's end times for most of your brethren, but you have not been raptured yet.
I've only kept on seven U.
attorneys since the president was good enough to appoint me Attorney General of these United States.
I just wanted to make sure our agendas are aligned when it comes to that justice you spoke of moments ago.
These high-profile cases you and your people have working? Heap of Wall Street-related matters.
Well, the markets are within my purview.
Well, that may be, but I come from baseball country.
We learn at an early age that a tie goes to the runner.
And that is how I want you to think of our business community and its leaders from now on.
Now, look, if there's a clear crime, then, by all means, you go after it.
But if it's a bang-bang play, don't call a man out on a win.
Just let that rally continue.
I thought you come from horse country.
West Texas contains multitudes, Chuck.
Prioritize the cases that make sense.
You know what to do with the rest.
They're marked so there's no confusion.
Come on, let's schottische on into this ballroom.
Come on.
When I was younger Thought I was oh so very bold Everyone told me To never leave home I said I'm sorry But I've got to go I was born in San Antone The Dictators' "The Next Big Thing" I used to shiver in the wings But then I was young I used to shiver in the wings Until I found my own tongue I sock 'em everywhere that I sing 'Cause you know, baby I'm the next big thing First order of business.
There's going to be an idea dinner night after tomorrow.
- Platinum invite list - Fuck.
Fuck that.
Fuck having this meeting without Axe here.
Fuck all of this.
- Easy, "Dollar" Bill.
- Nothing about this is easy.
I've been humping my ass into the city, hour and a half in traffic, into this swanky Manhattan office, and you haven't called a single meeting because the government's frozen all the assets.
So when you called this meeting, I assumed that meant it was go-time and they've finally been unfrozen.
Not yet.
Still frozen like Otzi in the goddamn Alps.
That's the Frozen Man, right? I need those funds to flow like the Kancamangus Rapids.
I'm ready to rock and roll on full auto right the fuck now.
[all talking.]
Where the hell is Axe? Soft music I'm over here! Cool bachelor pad bro.
I wasn't gonna stay in Westport.
Guys like you head to the city when their marriages fall apart for the same reason birds fly south instead of freezing their asses off.
It's in the genetic code.
You're the first person to see the place.
Other than the kids.
What do they think? It's stocked with video games and snacks.
They seem fine.
How about you? Did you just change out of the pajamas three minutes ago? Are you planning to come to the office anytime soon? Yeah, once my assets are unfrozen.
Should everyone else go home, too? Not if they want to stay on the payroll.
That's inspiring stuff.
Must be what Kennedy said to his staff during the Cuban missile crisis.
Kennedy wasn't under as much pressure as I am.
I tell you, Bobby, it's times like these I I wish you hadn't fired Dr.
- Why? - Because this is a fuckin' disaster.
[chuckles softly.]
[all talking.]
I get it! I get it.
You're worried that every day you're on the sidelines makes it harder for you to make your numbers for the year.
Not harder.
- Right? - Well, know this.
You won't fall below the hard deck.
No one is crashing and burning.
If you come through for me now, you will all make a bonus of at least what you made last year.
But first, you need to deliver on today's mission.
The idea dinner.
Top-ten hedge-fund managers in the city will be there.
These rat fucks are how these billionaires measure themselves.
Even being in the room confers upon you almost mythical status, like you're a knight of the Round Table.
- They ride in on horses? - Maybachs.
I've heard Axe say he'd never go to one of these hog shows.
Yeah, that he couldn't understand why anybody would want to sit with his rivals and give away good plays.
The whys and goddamned wherefores are not for you to concern your pretty little heads with.
I think it's great that we're invited, considering.
We're kind of the most toxic shop on the street right now.
They begged him to come, sent emissaries, gifts, all to ensure he'd be there to share his insights.
I'm so radioactive right now, I had to beg an invite to this idea dinner.
I need to understand why you'd do that.
Why do you think it matters? Look at where I am.
Indicted, thanks to your husband.
Thanks to you giving in to the worst of your instincts.
Well, yeah, maybe that, too.
But the point is I'm about to stand trial.
If I win, I want a company to return to.
The government, by freezing my funds, is trying to tell the story that we're crooked.
They know we're not.
They know they spent years trying and failing to prove it, but the story is being written every day now.
So events like this idea dinner, they also tell a story.
So if I'm there, I'm telling the story that I'm not cowering, I'm not hiding, I'm not defeated.
But I can't just show up.
I have to dominate it.
The only thing is, for the first time in my life, I don't think I can.
Fear? Rage.
We need to arm him with an idea that will shock and awe so the dinner ends with Axe's idea e-mailed and texted from firm to firm, leaving no doubt we are still the sharpest.
So go generate some speedballs he can dazzle with or go the fuck home for good.
You're not authorized to guarantee bonuses.
Your ego just wrote a check your body can't cash.
I appreciate you waiting until after the meeting to hit me with that one.
I know holding back doesn't come naturally.
Well, I was so shocked you could quote "Top Gun," it took me a second to respond.
I figure speaking their language is part of the job now.
But none of this is going to matter unless Axe gets us back in the game.
I have our best man working on it right now.
I want to run a Dickens process.
Tony Robbins took me through it a few years back, so - Sit down.
- [sighs.]
I take you to specific moments in your life, use them to jump into the future.
You get to experience different possible versions of your life, like in Like "A Christmas Carol," hence, Dickens.
Let's find a moment early on when your rage served you.
Close your eyes.
Let it come to you.
Fifth grade.
I needed money.
There were these rich eighth-grade pricks from Harrison.
God, I hated their stupid faces.
I had an Islander jersey and a Koho hockey stick.
I signed 'em Mike Bossy and Bryan Trottier, and the dickbags bought 'em.
What'd you get? $300 cash, new sneakers, Atari.
When they found out, they went to town on me like Dave "The Hammer" Schultz.
God, I got so angry at them, my parents for not having enough money, myself for getting caught.
That rage grew in me.
It worked like jet fuel for years.
It was useful.
Fuck, yeah, it was.
Got me here.
Your brain, instincts, market feel, all that, had more to do with it.
But for the moment, let's agree that the rage worked for a time.
But let's look for a moment when it was the wrong tool and it cost you more than it made you.
We're gonna talk about your husband now? No, about you and how when you allow your anger to make you blind to consequences, it shuts off those other more crucial skills.
Let's take a moment from your personal life with Lara.
She'd say I allowed my anger to throw everything away, to crack the foundation of trust.
So what if you could go back into your past? How would you handle that memorabilia sale? My past? Nah, I wouldn't change it.
We can't.
But holding on to the feeling of that rage, look to the future.
Where do you see yourself in five years if you carry on this way, if you continue to carry the weight of this anger? Where are you in 10? 20? Are you happy? Are you fulfilled? Or are you lonely, bitter? Lashing out.
Fuck Dickens! All I see is jail and the company I spent my lifetime building up reduced to rubble.
Look, I want to do this with you.
I want to believe that it can help.
But I just don't think I can.
But now you know exactly where your focus needs to be, where you need to be.
At the office.
And when you get back home from this conclave, make sure you get with your people.
Make sure we are all on the same bill of lading.
There's a new sheriff in town.
You are all my deputies.
Gonna be one hell of a turkey shoot! Thank you! God bless you.
Are we still employed? We seem to be.
And the shift in agenda he was talking about, - that hits us? - Mm-hmm, but we press on, as always.
I'll handle the optics, and we'll manage up the chain.
Just so you know, I'm as nimble as I need to be.
I count on that.
This is the fissile material.
You'll know what to do.
Well, well, well.
Bryan Connerty and his new lord.
May your reign be long and fruitful.
I serve at the pleasure Don't we all? Freezing the assets? Now, that's an Ivan Koloff bear hug you're putting on the man.
You're squeezing the breath out of him.
I was more Iron Sheik era.
All right, fine.
It's a camel clutch, and a hell of a good one.
You seem pretty comfy at his elbow.
That's the job.
Until it ain't.
Man, ain't that the truth? But you can't let this monster have a chance to recover.
I'll use my leverage and strength and get something valuable in return.
I know my job, Chuck.
And I also know the real reason you need this to go quickly.
Oh? And what do you imagine that is? You are like a man who committed a crime of passion.
In the moment, it felt so right.
But in the morning, all he sees is the blood splashed on the walls of his dead lover's bedroom, and he just wants it all to go away, but it can't.
I'm going to prosecute the case to the full extent of the law without breaking the terms of our agreement.
So if you don't clean up all the blood before the cops get there, I cannot guarantee your DNA stays out of the courtroom.
This is a conversation we need to finish somewhere else private.
[horns honking.]
- Hey.
- Hey.
You ready? Yeah.
Let's do this.
And newly appointed U.
Treasury Secretary Todd Krakow was sworn in today.
Look at that preening fuck.
You know, his name on money may actually make me like him less.
Hello, Bobby.
Birch! - Axe.
- Wendy.
I'm here to go over my assets.
You were supposed to bring a business manager or accountant, not a competitor.
I only compete with currently active hedge funds.
Ding, ding, ding! I want a clean fight.
Protect yourselves at all times.
There'll be no standing eight count.
Give Lara full access to the books.
She has a right to see the state of things.
As you wish, my liege.
Run her through where the bodies are buried.
[door closes.]
This column, this one, this one, and this one are the main holdings.
There you have it.
I see the balance on the accounts.
And what a soaring, fat balance it is.
We need to see the trade history leading up to the redemptions and cash positions.
Let me bring up a different screen.
Like Squanto should have said to the pilgrims, - "Get the fuck out of here.
" - Wags, come on.
It's proprietary.
You're not seeing it.
- This is bullshit, Wags.
- Lara, we're not having a fight.
I'm telling you, you're not gonna see that shit.
As is often the case, the longer you can hold off, the more likely you'll be screaming in pleasure at the end.
We're not making a porno, Orrin, though I appreciate the effort to make me laugh.
My father always said laughter was the best medicine, which is why I was so confused when I finally tried cocaine in the '80s.
You lightened my mood.
Now make me really happy and tell me how we expose all the shit that Rhoades pulled to suck me in.
Easier said, Bobby, because we can't introduce that without confirming your actions as a response.
We'd be virtually admitting your role.
What he did, it's a fucking crime.
But it's not a defense.
All right, get to the rest.
Let's get our new head of compliance up here.
Hey, Mr.
Jim I can see the shape you're in Thinking that you're such a lady killer Think you're so slick Well, all right Ooh, ooh, ooh Ooh, ooh, ooh Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh The answer man is here.
The charges carry a long potential sentence.
15 to 20 years and tens of millions in fines, of course.
They're using the locked-up money to distract us as they meticulously build their case.
They are using the locked money to do three things.
One, to make me take a plea.
Two, to make it hard for my people so they'll quit.
And, three, to spread the word through implication that this is about more than my actions against Ice Juice, that we are an illegal enterprise.
Turn on the telestrator, because you just diagrammed the shit out of this.
How long can they really keep it frozen? Wrong question.
This is where the holding out comes in.
Don't let anyone know you care.
Mm, we'll find a way to get you liquid again in four to six months.
Months? Fuck that.
There is one idea that might get it done right away, but it's one you're going to hate.
Give up your so-called license to trade.
Walk away from the table.
Cash in your chips.
They'd be forced to release the bulk of your money.
That is the only angle that I see.
And if it's the only angle that I see, it's the only angle there is.
You agree to stop trading, you personally, and they give you back your money.
We would set something up where Axe Cap trades it without your direction.
It would function like a blind trust, but the language would be such and they'd be releasing so much money back to you that if you violated it Oh, that is a bozo no-no.
Do that and you would earn yourself a lifetime ban and more.
No fuckin' way.
I'll never do that.
If I give up my ability to trade, I'm agreeing that they're right and I built all this by cheating.
I might as well give up my license to breathe.
You guys have to work it out yourselves.
Do not put me in the middle of it.
What the fuck is [sighs.]
What's the problem? Your lap dog is not cooperating.
Wags, although Lara should have faith, because I've shown I'm pretty good at making a dollar, she has a right to choose and make her own decisions, like I told you.
I thought you were telling me with a wink.
That's why I played back with the "liege" stuff.
- Did I wink at you, ever? - Not an actual wink, but Are you planning on giving him your money to manage? If it ever gets unfrozen, I might.
- Why? - For general health, financial, and for things between us.
Now that I'm able to take outside money, I thought I'd start with friends and family.
We're neither.
Listen, Lara, I won't micromanage you.
But if you really plan on giving billions of dollars to this stock jockey, ask him this, how he's codified the behavioral heuristics at his firm from stock selection to position sizing to market timing to risk management.
He hasn't, because his decision-flow process is Google, Exxon, Proctor & Gamble, same as any old lady in Kansas City, except she won't charge you two and twenty for it.
We are all in the same game, Axe, protecting assets and trying to find that edge.
You have about as much edge as Mister Rogers.
Okay, guys! [scoffs.]
Okay, you go on ahead, sweetheart.
You look into everything you want with Birch, and I will support whatever you decide.
Thank you, Bobby.
You really want me to let 'em into the books and see the trades? Lots of guys watch Bruce Lee movies.
Doesn't mean you can do karate.
Boot up the screen.
I still can't believe he made that move.
It was the smart thing to do.
If I'd known what you were doing, I would have never Yes.
I mean, if you'd known, if you'd told me, if I'd known It was a moment of peak.
I'm gonna stop and tell you? Wish you had.
You were very convincing.
But, in a way, it all had to play itself out, didn't it? If I had known what you were gonna do - You'd have tried to stop me.
- Yes, I would have, and I might have succeeded.
Well, that would have been better in one way but worse in all the others because now we are home, and we are a "we" again.
And if I hadn't have done a thing, who knows how I'd have felt, what resentments might have festered? But you did and I did, and there is nothing festering.
Except for the thing I'm off to deal with now.
Except that.
Thank you.
Your wife, she still down in D.
? Yes, outside.
You must miss her.
We talk every day, and the train ride is only Sure it is.
But the problem is that the free flow of information, the casual details of the day, can get lost.
You know, for a time, even though we did reside in the same house, my wife and I lived that way.
You're telling me that you and your wife have no secrets? Oh [chuckles.]
I'm certain some are still lurking.
We all mask certain emotions, often our most intense ones, like Bjorn Borg did.
But like Borg, eventually, it'll end up costing you everything, so we're digging in, right? - Digging in.
- Ah.
She told you about her short on Ice Juice.
That's the kind of bond we have.
So you are here to tell me she will turn state's evidence to avoid being the subject of prosecution? She is a co-conspirator in Axe's scheme.
No, sir.
She's safe due to the terms of the deal you and I struck.
That was about your father.
I said me and my family.
And you assented.
And now you will say this is unduly burdensome, which will force me to say that it is less so than remaining a glorified Internal Affairs grunt working out a dank office on the fringes of our capital city.
And, as you saw, Jock Jeffcoat is taking my counsel these days on who should be in and who should be out.
There's only so much compromise of my own system of morality that I can swallow.
I happen to know you're a Calvinist.
You believe we're all fallen beyond any hope for redemption.
So answer me this.
What's one more demerit for a friend allied with you against a common foe? Ecumenically, that's not exactly right, and it's borderline offensive.
But, also, it's pretty much true.
I'll do all I can to keep your wife out of it, but now you owe me.
Name it.
I'll hold it in reserve.
A favor to be named later.
Look at you, huh? Muckin' in.
This is all on background, no attribution.
Yep, until you want to go on record.
You know, if they were gonna charge the firm, they would have.
Well, isn't their argument that this one instance could be the tip of the iceberg, that they need to go through all the old trades to see if there's a pattern? But that could take months.
It's harassment, Randy.
They've already spent years going through all those old trades, trying to make a case, and they've failed.
Now they've come up with this story about me and sabotage, which you will see is false.
Look, I shorted that company 'cause I saw a faulty process and bad financials, and I'm being penalized because the markets agreed with me.
I was set up.
Now, soon you'll have all these details, but what they are doing right now is they're trying to ruin not only my reputation but that of everyone who works at Axe Capital, and that is the story you should be digging into.
Want dinner? Do we need to do that? Hey.
On Axelrod, I could use to see the transaction records of all the people who bought or sold stock in the Ice Juice IPO, the victims in this thing.
You mean besides the people who were poisoned? Yeah, they were about the only ones who got paid.
said you were holding the records for some reason.
I've got forensic financial analysts combing through all that now.
I didn't want you to, uh, bog down in those details.
I like knowing the minutiae in my cases.
Good, as I would expect you to.
I'll get the results to you ASAP.
- Great.
- Okay.
You know, I was just wondering, who'd you get the initial tip from that started all this? I should interview him or her.
I understand why you're asking, but my tipster is not exactly Blue Horseshoe loves Anacott Steel.
Just a foot soldier.
It was enough info to get the FBI going but not a firsthand witness.
If there were material value, I would share the name.
Of course.
I know you would.
I am glad that I asked Chuck to send you to me.
I need your expertise.
Glad to be here, boss.
Don't call me "boss.
" We're peers.
In a hierarchy, yes, but colleagues.
Call me "Oliver.
" You got it.
Never trust an officer who doesn't ask you to salute.
It means that what he does demand of you - is gonna be a lot worse.
- Dake.
All of it.
You know, you're in law school now.
How does this fact pattern smell to you? I get transferred to prosecute Axelrod, but then he puts a blindfold on me.
I can't access certain documents or know who the tipster is? Well, there's nothing to be done about it now, so drinks? [sighs.]
Again? Hmm.
Have you tried blinking rapidly 100 times? Yeah, I've tried it all.
We shouldn't have stopped seeing her.
When you leave things unresolved, this is what happens.
Maybe you're right.
Let's make an appointment.
I'm taking a walk.
I walked the town at night Like a spade - [Chuck.]
Chocolate egg cream, please.
- [Woman.]
Coming right up.
I walked the night I thought I'd find you here.
What do you want? I became single-minded to the point of myopia.
I know that I have transgressed materially but, more importantly, in terms of loyalty.
I will devote myself to the long and arduous process of making up for the latter.
As to the former, I have an offer for you.
I have lined up a seat for you on the Theakston-Manley asbestos trust, rubber-stamping claims.
One meeting per quarter.
Your fee, 350K a year.
Now, that'll lead to more similar seats once you impress people.
You put together three of these babies, that's a nice little sinecure.
Well, I was on my way to being a zillionaire, and you're giving me a sinecure.
I understand the rancor, Ira.
I don't begrudge you it.
And I hesitate to bring up what I know you already know, but I want to hear it from you now that the smoke has cleared that you will not say a word about my role in the IPO.
You know that it's in your best interest as well as mine, because that's how you'll get paid off in your civil case.
Well, I've been punting my interview with Eastern as long as I can.
It'll go on the books soon.
But, no, Chuck, I won't say a word.
Funny thing, the egg cream, hmm? No egg in it, no cream, either.
Just chocolate syrup, a splash of milk, seltzer.
I guess the French had a drink called chocolat et crème.
The American corruption for that became "egg cream.
" [chuckles.]
Wonderful arcana.
That's That's so Chuck of you.
God, I used to love that shit.
Go home and write it in my journal.
Now that the smoke has cleared, you need to hear something.
I've realized that you need all this, to put people in impossible positions, to dominate with your will, to torture.
I never think in those terms.
Well, you've forced me to.
Let's talk it out.
No, this is it.
I'll never talk to you again once this conversation's over, which it is.
You coming in, nagusi? Nope.
All day.
Something hot for Axe.
An iron condor with four - Please.
Go back to B school.
- Anything good yet? [Ben.]
How about a strangle where we arb the vega on You go back to fucking yourself.
I just need two minutes with Taylor.
Everyone does.
You have to wait.
- Hey, Wags, listen - Don't want to fucking hear it.
As soon as.
Yeah, well, be all over Taylor till they figure it out.
- If I flame this dinner - No chance, sahabi.
Never let it happen.
Orrin, time for you to go see your protégé.
You want me to propose the deal? I want you to remind him what happens to guys like him when they take this big a swing and miss.
I want you to remind him that the political winds have shifted.
It's better if I show up with something to offer.
Then bring him a glass of fuckin' milk, but go do it.
Field trip.
Come on.
Where? Somewhere we can talk without everyone coming at us.
I know a place.
Ever seen Eastern Promises? No.
Have you ever been to one of these idea dinners? No seconds in attendance.
Where are we on an idea? Haven't fully cracked the big one yet.
Are you? Trying? Ask the real question.
Are you shopping offers on the street? Just to get it out of the way, let me apologize for anything that might have offended at the poker tournament.
Now that I'm at Treasury, I need to find someone to steward my firm.
I'm already stewarding a firm, a bigger one.
- Not that size matters.
- Right.
Whatever Axe's flaws, one thing he knows is people, and if he believes you can do it well, I believe you can.
And I'd actually be hands off.
Let you operate as you saw fit.
That's my situation now.
Is it? I said no.
With finality or as a negotiating ploy? Look, I know it's Axe's faith that confers value on me until I have a track record of my own, until others actually see what I can do.
So I am loyal to him.
Until and unless it becomes necessary, I will not leave.
All right.
You can take the heat.
I believe you.
Such disrespect.
Look at you, sitting here with your tits out.
You got a problem with my tits? Or maybe they're turning you on and that's the problem.
You know, I could have done that for myself.
I know.
I wanted the release.
It was even better than a hand job.
You chose to meet here in the anteroom instead of the dining room.
I seem to have lost my appetite lately.
- Hmm.
- And, no, it's not my health.
Full workup.
Radiology fine, bloodwork perfect.
Heart, too.
Still, nothing wants to stay down.
So, what's got your duodenum inside out? Want a hint? His name is the same as mine.
Oh, that boy is a feisty one, there's no denying that.
What he is is unfit for office, unfit to run, even.
I came here to tell you that I am sorry I asked you to put him forward.
It was a mistake.
And I will throw my full weight behind whomever it is that you say I should.
- Well, that's disheartening.
- It is.
I hate delivering the message, but I owe it to you.
The candidate's too volatile.
He's unpredictable, a liability to all of us.
Oh, Charles.
For a father to speak that way of his own son.
I myself will pass up supper tonight.
That's how disappointing I find this.
So you understand? Not in the way you hope I might.
I have had this in my possession, hoping not to be forced to use it.
But I cannot stand by and watch you run that young man down.
You used his money, Charles, without his consent, I might add, to invest in something so risky as to almost be the ruin of both of you.
Now, I believe Chuck will not only survive it but that the ruthlessness he has shown these past few months will serve him well on our shared mission, making him governor of this great state.
I'd like you to embrace it.
But you at least have to accept it.
I accept nothing when it comes to that boy.
We'll see.
Hello, Dad.
Ah, let's all get our appetites back, hmm? Together.
What do you say, Charles? This is a bridge too far, Black Jack.
This is a bridge too fucking far.
Ah, he'll come 'round.
I've seen this play a thousand times.
By the time the curtain comes down, he'll take your hand, and you'll share the bow.
I don't know.
Well, what's meant to happen always does.
Let's eat.
I'm fuckin' famished.
[balls clacking.]
[speaks indistinctly.]
That's some serious fucking topspin.
You putting sneakers on for a match, or you come up here with a specific proposal? Axe'll wait you out, no matter how long you manage to keep the money frozen.
He won't make a deal.
We'll find out, huh? What's it going to be, Bryan? Pistols at dawn? Fists? You insist on picking through every transaction, he'll embarrass you.
Embarrassment is free.
We'll cost your client a fortune keeping his money out of play for half a year, maybe his whole fortune.
You can't even count that high.
It doesn't matter.
The case has no support in D.
It used to, but all that's changed.
This is exactly the type of matter the A.
is walking away from these days.
He's walking away from insider trading, funny accounting, all sorts of shit, but the reason he can is because a case like this gives him cover.
People care about it on a visceral level because it's about sabotage, breaking the public trust, hurting the average guy twice, once with the tainted juice, and a second time with the stock pricing.
How's that for serious fucking topspin? You want us to ease off, you have to give something in return.
I understand your position, and at this time, I don't have anything to offer.
Then maybe wait until you do before wasting my fucking time.
[knock on door.]
Bach almost offered up Axe's ability to trade.
I felt it.
Either he wasn't authorized, or he sensed weakness.
Did you show weakness? I did not.
You have some scouting report on me saying that I did? It was just a question.
A better question is which is Axelrod going to bet on, his present or his future? A man who believes he'll win at trial sits calmly on the sidelines for six months until his money is unfrozen, and then he prevails in court, goes on with his life.
But a man who thinks he's going to lose that trial? Well, he's desperate to get his money back in the game as soon as possible because he sees it all going away.
Him giving up trading would necessitate a reinvention of who he is.
I've seen him walk away from the table on an impulse when we were certain that only a deal would keep him out of prison.
No one gets where he got by acting only on impulse.
When it comes to billionaires and Bobby Axelrod in particular, the thing you got to understand is they're meat-eaters.
The only win they can live with is total, present and future.
If he gave up trading and got his money back, it'd be because he believed he was gonna kick our asses at trial.
He expects to get all of it, everything.
That's who he is.
But still, we keep the pressure on.
See if he makes a mistake now that it's all on the line.
And then, no matter what he does, we have to position ourselves to claim victory.
Here, boy.
[clicks tongue.]
Okay, break it down for me.
We are the Czechoslovakian gymnastics team in the '70s.
A lot of pride for what this country was, but if something doesn't change soon, defections are coming.
How'd Taylor do? Fine.
- I'm not asking you to rat.
- I mean, you are.
Well, I won't tell anyone it came from you, but It was a shit show.
Get me Taylor, Wags, and Wendy.
Why the fuck did you lead the first morning meeting back without Wendy there to handle the troops? - Taylor handled it, as well - I'm talking to both of you, and from what "Dollar Bill" tells me, it was a shit show.
- Hey, you ratted.
- I pay for the information.
It's mine to use.
That's how it goes.
Wendy wasn't here.
She was with you, I gather.
We needed ideas.
We needed to come together So you made a bad thing worse by jumping in - before you had a plan, and - No, Axe.
It wouldn't have mattered who was in the room with the PMs and the traders.
It was always gonna be a shit show if the message wasn't "We're liquid again.
" - Hallelujah.
- Don't be an ass.
You're right.
I meant Axe, but you, too, Bill.
Will you leave us alone for a minute? Whoever you're trying to destroy, stop.
You need to focus on fighting for your freedom.
You know what you're suggesting I do.
The one thing you can do right now.
You taught me an average trader makes a trade and feels good.
A great trader makes a trade and feels nothing, as in be cold and act.
Don't get hung up on emotion.
Give up trading till the case is over.
You get it back if you win.
If you lose, you've got bigger problems.
Let them trade for you, then feed the press a line about how it proves the government has no case.
Unless you're worried about something harder to admit, that Taylor will be the public face of Axe Cap and not you.
It's Theseus's Ship.
Once you change out the sails and all the planks that make up the hull, whose ship is it? Yeah.
You got it.
As long as it's your money, it is still Axe Capital, no matter who's making the day-to-day decisions.
Are you sure? It's not me that has to be sure.
[cellphone vibrates.]
- Yes? - [Dake.]
I'm holding in my hand Robert Axelrod's signature relinquishing his ability to trade securities.
He gave it up.
Well ol' Samson got a real buzz cut.
Uh, we need to get our version out right away.
I've already taken steps.
on the phone.
Got to go, Ollie.
Is this really the attorney of the United States for the southern district? Am I that lucky? There must be streams in the desert.
General, a pleasure.
Your predecessor called once a term.
I'm in the habit of counting the herd at the end of the day, Chuck.
- Sure.
- Eastern had a good day today.
Axelrod's put his office keys on Dake's desk.
Good for them.
But you're calling because you want to make sure that I have adjusted the priorities.
Pass the message along.
- I'm a thorough man.
- As am I.
It's done.
- I'll eagerly await our next chat.
- [receiver slams.]
Hey, you boys ready to go? Daddy's got to head out.
- See ya, fellas.
- Later.
Go wait in the car.
I'll be right down.
Your office said the money's unfrozen.
Yeah, I told 'em to call you.
Should I have it wired to Birch? No, Bobby.
I pictured you two running around together.
That fuckin' starter plane of his.
I wouldn't be caught dead in that sardine can.
The money, Bobby.
Just don't fuckin' lose it.
Now, there's one bitter thing that we have to swallow along with this delicious lo mein.
We have to slow down on a couple of cases.
You like giving up those cases? - I hate it.
- Me, too.
No A.
picks our cases.
I'm chafing against it.
I'm chafed.
So, are we gonna do something about it? When I know, you'll know.
IoT, you know? Sure, Internet of Things.
When companies that make appliances and digital thermostats contract with the firms that manufacture the microchips to make their products smart, the connected things inside, they force the chip companies to sign nondisclosures.
They don't want their competitors - to be able to mimic them.
- Right, so it's hard to know which chip companies are poised to dominate the market.
My theory: If we could find a common component among a bunch of varied devices You could reverse-engineer it.
You have fun smashing shit apart? A blast.
And I found a component that matched the specs for a Quartes chip.
So I called Quartes and claimed to be building an Internet-connected washing machine that sends a message to the owner when the laundry is done.
Got the full specs on their latest chips.
- And they matched.
- That they did.
Everyone tries to hide it, but Quartes is the main supplier for 85% of IoT products on the market.
So, that's the shot? That's the shot.
It plays.
Good work.
You'd have found something like it if you weren't That's why I have you, Taylor.
It's a good thing that you can deliver when I can't, not a bad thing.
- Thank you.
- Once you leave here, we can't really talk individual names of companies again for a long time.
Management issues, sure, but not stocks.
It'll all be up to you.
I can't be seen to be guiding the firm.
It'll look as though I'm violating the terms of my deal.
I know.
You saved the firm by doing what you did.
We bought back into the market late in the position.
Tonight's a big one for me.
The most important managers in the business will be there.
Between them, they cover all the meaningful strategies currently in play.
Quite the cotillion.
It's the social event of the season.
Tonight plants our flag for the future.
This room will set the agenda for what the industry's talking about for the next week, month, year.
And what they will be talking about is Axe Capital.
Dramatic music All right, guys.
Mom and Dad are going to their therapist.
Hour of screen time only, okay? Probably grab a bite afterwards, but we won't be late.
Okay? Bye.
- Bye.
- Bye.
Look at all the trouble you've caused.
What a disgrace.
He's almost beyond reclamation.
I can't stand the sight of this dog.
I want to leave him here, and I'm tempted to take you with me.
It's up to you, mistress.
Leave with me or administer the required corrections.
He's in need of punishment.
I'll stay.
[door closes.]
Have you missed this? Then why aren't you showing the proper appreciation? I should put you in this fucking cage.
Perhaps you're in need of something deeper? Yeah.
Have you missed this? It's not about me.
Or maybe you found, uh, other outlets.
How dare you question me? [whip cracks.]
I can take care of my own needs.
Explored other fantasies, then? What fantasies exactly? You being with other men.
Of course.
That's your fantasy.
You're that pathetic, aren't you? I am.
I am.
I want to hear about you and - Young men? - Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Um will he be handsome, rich? - Of course.
- Yeah? He's brilliant.
Barely 30 years old.
- With the washboard abs? - Oh, yeah, he's ripped.
Tell me! That's how you want to be punished? Yes! Yes! It's It's the most excruciating thing that I can think of.
I want to know what he does to you, what you do to him.
We're somewhere private.
- A hotel? - A hotel.
White sheets thrown around us.
Our clothes are off.
Hands and mouths on bare skin.
I take him in my hands.
Is he Yeah, hard.
I give myself to him and let him do whatever he wants.
Is it good? Good? No.
It's fucking amazing.
He understands me.
He knows exactly what I need.
[cork pops.]
dramatic music [indistinct conversations.]
[cellphones vibrating.]
Oh, Axe is so fucked! From the Journal.
"Government defangs Axelrod, barred from trading.
" I'd love to agree, but I think he bested those fuckers, and so does B.
"Axe Capital poised to plunge heavy back into the markets.
" He has his money.
What else does he need? To do with as he pleases.
But what's the fucking point? - [laughter.]
- He's gonna be here soon.
We're gonna know by the look on his face what happened.
Either he crushed them, or he's become the government's favorite bitch.
[door opens.]
Who's this? I'm Taylor Mason, Chief Investment Officer, Axe Capital, and I have a silver-backed fucking gorilla of an idea.
It's an angle of attack on an Internet sector that's worth 12X what you think it is.
But the sector is only the beginning.
I'll walk you through both the technical side and the types of derivatives that are available to both bet on it and to effectively hedge it so that the play is risk-neutral.
That's how Axe Cap is doing it.
Lucy Dacus' "Troublemaker Doppelganger" Is that a hearse or a limousine? It's like I've seen it on the TV screen Oh, oh Oh-oh, oh I wanna live in a world Where I can keep my doors Wide open But who knows what'd get in And what'd get out One of these nights I'll sleep with the windows down But not until that creature's In the pound
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