Billions (2016) s05e01 Episode Script

The New Decas

1 [AXE.]
Previously on Billions You want me to help put you in the State Attorney General's office.
I do.
The Churchill World War II it's a hell of a set.
Well, maybe I can circle back and grab them before they're gone.
These are the books you asked for.
Find all the other signed first editions for sale.
And buy them all, every single last one of them.
You could've been anything you chose to be a prosecutor.
You're the guy who taught me everything.
I'm glad you still feel that way.
Your father has tasted the fruits of our tribe.
Is that my little sister, for Chrissakes? - When are you coming home? - I don't know.
But you are coming home? I don't know.
When I look at the shambles my life has become [CHUCK.]
from my firing, [CHUCK.]
to my election with strings attached, [CHUCK.]
to the destruction of my marriage, it all tracks back to one source.
One man.
And that very man charged me with arresting you in order to force you back into his employ.
You were such a worthy fucking adversary.
I want you on my side.
And I want you to help me take him down, [CHUCK.]
once and for all.
Chuck Rhoades wants to use me to help him nail Axe.
They're both lined up to destroy each other.
At the right moment when both have their guns [TAYLOR.]
raised, I'll step out of the way and let it happen.
They'll put each other in the ground [TAYLOR.]
and I'll go about my fucking business.
Welcome home.
Happy to be here.
It's so wonderful to be gathered here together to witness this blessed occasion.
Two souls, who've found one another, in the great expanse.
Two people, fiery and strong, joining their flames into a single burning ember [JANE HALFTOWN.]
In our tradition, marriage means 'never alone.
So will you take this man, [JANE HALFTOWN.]
to care for, for all of your days? [ROXANNE.]
I will.
And will you take this woman, to care for, for all of your days? Of course I will.
For as many as I've got left, anyway.
You will now live together under one blanket [APPLAUSE.]
- - Hey, now, man's own kin We commend into the wind Grateful arms, grateful limbs Grateful soul, he's gone again [INDISTINCT SINGING.]
Right? Right?! Yessssssss.
See it? Feel it? It's almost too much.
Too much goodness in the world.
The great Earth Mother blowing it around like smoke from the trees [AXE.]
Kings! They don't blow around, man.
They stand there and they take.
First the village, then the city.
Mass the troops for the keep.
And once the keep Yeah.
The whole world.
That's a whole lot of war to wage.
That's a whole lot of heads to chop, heads to chop, heads to chop Chop, chop, chop Mess, messy, mess.
Beautiful mess.
Yeah [LAUGHS.]
Come on, let's see if we can make it back.
Well, my baby and me went out late Saturday night I had my hair piled high and my baby just looked so right Well, pick you up at ten, gotta have you home at two Mama don't know what I catched off of you But that's all right 'cause We're looking as cool as can be You okay, Chuck? - Oh.
You know it! - You sure? Better than okay.
A venerable occasion.
Weddings can be tough when you've become recently unattached.
All that romance in the air.
Exactly what I'm looking to capitalize on.
Who's the brunette stunner over there? [BROGAN.]
How 'bout an intro And change of a dollar for the jukebox - That'd be his wife.
- Ouch.
- Or is it ex? - Uh, uh.
Not officially.
Heading that way.
What's the statute of limitations on exes these days? - Ohh! - Until your shvantz turns to rust and falls off, Brogan.
Which is why I'm kidding! Naturally.
'Cause we're all friends.
- Sure, you're kidding.
- Absolutely.
And I am truly blessed to have a brain trust, a cadre, a kitchen cabinet such as you all.
We're gonna rock this town, rock it inside out Excuse me [INDISTINCT CONVERSATIONS.]
Hey, hey, hey, watch it, Kev.
Come on.
We don't do that.
You wanna try some wine at dinner, we can do it together.
- Like people.
- Sorry, Dad, I just wanted to taste it.
- But it's gross.
- Exactly.
It's family.
That's what families do: stick together.
That's why you're here? You're actually fucking here.
"Sticking together" while he marries someone who could be his Soldier forth.
That's what Charles always told me, and he's right.
We're gonna rock this town, make 'em scream and shout Maybe it's time to stop listening to what Rhoades men say and decide what we think for a fucking change.
We're gonna rock till you drop, we're gonna rock Excuse me.
Sorry to crash, but I have what I need to give the go-ahead on the crypto mine takedown.
As soon as you give me the go-ahead.
They will get in position tonight.
Move first thing in the morning.
- Click, click, boom.
Do it.
- What about press? They're salivating over all things crypto right now.
No press.
Then at the right moment, lots and lots of it.
Do the thing.
I have to go, uh, get back to the nuptials.
Maybe I'll stick around, watch the toast.
- See you celebrate the love.
You're a ruthless prosecutor.
It's why I hired you over.
Don't waste it here.
Use it on the operation.
First I watch you squirm.
Then I make them squirm.
We'll have our fill of tears Our share of sighs A dance with the groom? - My only prayer - Can I say no? I think not.
Is that you realize You'll always be beautiful In my eyes You will always be - Avert your eyes, Chuck.
- We'll watch for you.
We'll We'll tell you if the old man gets handsy.
Oooh, he's bringing out the old American Bandstand moves.
Feels more like Soul Train to me.
Ooh, he's got a pep in his step I'm impressed.
She looks stunned.
In a good way.
Good for him.
Not for you.
It does feel like a betrayal of some sort.
From one of them.
Or both.
No, no, no, no.
It's as it should be.
The bonds of family are stronger than - Whoa, that's a deep dip! - [LAUGHS.]
Bravo! Real Rudolph Valentino move! Ahh, Jesus.
I'll be sad to lose you as a member of the family.
You're the grandfather of my children: we'll always be family.
So stop this madness.
Go get some ass if that's what you want - [SIGHS.]
- and then re-up with the unit.
Like you did? We're at your wedding.
To someone else.
I'm sitting at a table with your ex-wife.
Thing you have to understand about me and your ex-mother-in-law is May I cut in? You had your chance, sonny.
Maybe if you'd been this insistent when she was yours Dad! Your dance, my boy.
You'll always be beautiful In my eyes I figured I'd move in for the save.
There was a time for that.
It's long passed.
You mean to say you enjoyed dancing with him? I mean, he does move like Valentino.
Oh, for Chrissakes.
- Really? You too? - [CHUCKLES.]
And the passing years will show There's not a second of this I enjoy.
Old days, we would have made our getaway.
McQueen and Ali MacGraw style.
More like Beatty and Dunaway lot of talk of escape, but in the end: [CLICKS TONGUE.]
ratatatat with the Tommy gun.
Bloody, tragic.
No escape.
From any of it.
Just because we haven't made our escape as of yet, doesn't mean we can't.
As friends, I mean, not romantically.
Just find our way out of here.
Oh, there'll be an escape.
Here it is.
Go time.
I was speaking with my mother the other day, about how hard it would be to appropriately, to honestly, salute my father on the day of this blessed union.
And she said to me: "Look, you do not have to stand in front of a group of people "and say nice things about that man.
"You do not have to valorize him.
Speak your truth, son.
" Now, as most of you know, I have no problem making a speech that goes against convention, that brooks the tide of the expected, so that I may speak the unvarnished.
And that is what I have decided to do today.
So buckle up because I am not gonna say nice things about my dad.
I don't want to.
You all know what I would say.
You all know the truth.
Instead: I want to celebrate his magnificent bride, Roxanne! [LAUGHTER.]
Because she has done that which I'd thought impossible.
Turned my dad into a big pile of mush.
- Defanged the old wolf.
Made him into one of those Build-A-Bears with the bright red valentine for a heart and the cuddly fur to hold onto and hug.
Certainly got him going to Build-A-Bear [CHUCK.]
for his little daughter.
And Roxanne, and her people, have taken him in as their own.
Much as we consider her ours.
That's the wonderful thing about family.
It lives and breathes.
It never contracts.
Only expands.
As ours has now.
I can't believe a man can get so lucky.
And, uh, now I'm speaking about me, not Dad.
Because I have someone who loves him as much as I do, someone to share him with.
- [CHUCK.]
Here's to you both.
And to all of us basking in the radiance of your joy.
As we raise our glasses - Yeah! - Cheers! - [LAUGHTER.]
- Cheers! [APPLAUSE.]
Company Always on the run You've come far and learned much.
- Destiny - Until we see each other and move your knowledge into the world, be well.
- Safe travels.
- Is the rising sun Oh, I was born Six gun in my hand - Behind a gun - [ENGINES START.]
I'll make my final stand I'll make my final stand That's why they call me Bad company And I can't deny Bad company Till the day I die Till the day I die Till the day I die [BIRDS CHIRPING.]
Kevin was drinking.
Chuck, where the fuck are you? [DRAMATIC MUSIC.]
He's sleeping it off.
I handled it.
It's handled.
There's nothing for you to do.
Babysitter will be here soon.
- Then I'll go to work.
- Oh.
I don't know how I missed your calls.
- I know.
- [SIGHS.]
I know where you were and what you were doing because that's the only time you're off the grid completely.
That's a stiff fucking shot.
And it landed.
Standing eight count for C.
Can we stop punching at each other, please? You flail at me wildly and then y-you put your chin right there.
What do you expect me to do? [SIGHS HEAVILY.]
I was in no way prepared for how that travesty of a wedding was going to hit me.
How it was gonna make me feel about things between us.
I was just totally alone.
you guys here in Bobby Axelrod's spare fucking apartment.
With goddamned Van Goghs on the walls.
While I'm, uh [CHUCKLES.]
Ahh, it was the only thing I could think of.
How could I have known there would be an emergency? Part of being a parent No, no, part of being a person, a grown person, is carrying that thought somewhere inside: that you might be needed by those you love, by those you're responsible to, and making sure you're available for that.
Instead of being a prisoner to your appetites.
You know this.
What do I know anymore, really? I have lost my bearings.
Until recently, I had always had a North Star.
Twin North Stars.
Justice and Wendy Rhoades.
And with those guiding me, I was able to move forward, to progress, to find and stay on my path.
But in the end, although they were always there for me, I served neither.
Not nearly enough.
But I have lately determined to find my way back.
It's clear that I must.
I want to dive in.
To engage.
But it's too late.
It's time for some self-care now.
I can't let my happiness be controlled by anyone but me.
It was a mistake to call you last night for help.
It was my night with the kids.
My problem.
That's how divorced people talk.
It is.
The separation has convinced me.
We need to be done.
And I want to issue a public statement.
I-I-I want to I want to do it this week.
I want it to be out there.
Have your office draw one up and have it sent it to me by day's end.
Look at me.
Look into my eyes.
I know you won't believe this, because I've given you little cause to: But I am on the brink of huge change.
I am going to force myself to evolve.
I believe that you believe that, Chuck.
You are under arrest for utility theft.
For starters.
Lock 'em up and shut 'em down.
Come on.
Let's go.
Look at all this wattage, fellas You see this little dink of a column? That was last year's usage at the warehouse - Mm-hmm.
- Then see this middle column? That was the estimated usage of a 120-unit apartment building, as it was phonily classified.
But look at this monster.
That's a big, throbbing, ugly red megawatt number - Mm.
- now isn't it? What that column means is that your little operation was pulling so much juice, the entire town ran clean out of electricity.
And had to go on the open market to buy more from the grid.
It cost hundreds of thousands of dollars and drove the town's entire rate up.
Taxpayers, eating that burden.
Because of you.
And for what? So your multitude of computers and servers could solve some abstract math equations resulting in the mining of Bitcoin.
Worth millions right now whoopee but backed by what? Nada.
What's the dollar backed by, since we went off the gold standard? Well, uh, roads, the military, industry, the credit of the federal government, that sort of thing.
But, I get your point.
We're not here to discuss monetary theory though.
We're here to discuss who put you fucking nerds sorry: 'engineers' in business.
We have information you work for a Wall Street consortium There are indeed certain finance dudes involved.
I'll allow it.
You don't get to "allow.
" That's for court.
You're going to have to say the name.
There's no way we're saying it.
Any number of hedge fund magnates.
Let's go alphabetical.
Axelrod, Robert, for starters.
Yes, but none of us dealt with that guy directly.
Then I'm gonna need the person in town who got paid off to let you pull so much power you caused a brownout across the county.
Because he did.
Didn't he? [SIGHS.]
You can tell me or I can prosecute you until your lives are smoking piles of rubble and you're put in a place where a calculator is as close as you'll get to a computer.
Your choice [DRAMATIC MUSIC.]
It's the Town Supervisor.
His name is [DOOR CLOSES.]
Gimme a ticket for a carousel Airplane.
Gimme a ticket for an airplane.
Ain't got time to take a fast train No.
Those go place to place, I'm just going around in circles.
Hence the carousel.
Why was I surprised when Axelrod's name got mentioned? - Why weren't you? - Because I knew he was in this.
That's why I wanted to go after it.
I'm happy to be working with you again, Chuck.
It has to help me advance and grow this time.
- I came over here - To help me make this place the preeminent prosecutorial office in the state.
Which we will.
We are.
And so you could be my rabbi for my congressional run, end of next year.
But I need to be on the inside.
To see the moves as they are happening.
Not as they are revealed to the world.
I need to be your worthy assistant, setting up the tricks and seeing what you did with your hands.
- Not gonna be one of those rubes in the audience gasping at the magic anymore [SCOFFS.]
You know.
The thing about change is: even when you want to, it's really fucking hard.
I know I have to bring you in.
And that I can trust you.
I know it up here.
And I'm working on bringing it down here, too.
Don't work on it.
Do it.
You don't have to trust me, but you have to trust me.
- Ya know? - You're talking about a partnership.
- You offering that, for real? - If I don't, you staying? You already know the answer.
Then you know mine.
And if you see me giving in to the man I used to be I'll be all over it.
That's good.
As it should be.
Okay people, town hall time.
This gonna be an every month thing, like my period? [LAUGHTER.]
Keep that up and we can make it a daily thing, - like you getting fisted.
- Ohh! As in up the junker just like a punker.
That'll teach ya to come at the brass Spyros! This forum should be looked forward to.
It's a chance for us to investigate issues that affect our culture here But this time it's serious.
There was an incident Someone reversing the water on the toilet flush in the unisex bathroom, which sprayed a Mase Capper [LAUGHTER.]
Gross negligence on the part of building maintenance.
And, uh, oh, I-I do mean gross.
No one can prove it was sabotage Give me that.
This shit literally has got to stop.
There were investors on premises.
They may redeem.
We're making ourselves look like world-class schmucks here.
So now it's time: We need to come together as one company, one team, one family.
Now I want to hear from you all about what exactly the problem is here.
This is a safe space.
Fine, I'll speak.
Far from being welcoming these last couple of months, the Axe Cap folks have been downright dickish - What?! - [ALL MURMURING.]
Oh, did I not properly welcome you? Let me correct that rudeness right now.
And just so you know I'm not some thin-skinned whiner, I've been through Plebe Summer at the Naval Academy.
- Wow.
This goes beyond practical jokes.
It's getting hostile and it's unprofessional.
- Exaggerated.
- Totally.
I've got to say, this isn't a one-way street.
Oh, please There's a haughty, condescending attitude flowing from the quant side.
Bunch of stuck-up bitches and bros.
- Yeah! - Lording their giant cerebellums And we're not some Luddite dumbasses just because we come from an analysis-driven [CHUCKLES.]
Could've fooled me So we don't want to debate Full Stack versus Mean Stack over bagels in the kitchen.
That doesn't mean we can't do the math Uh.
Yes, it does Some of us can do the math! - Some of them can't.
- Mafee.
- Suck my Node.
js, Bill - Oh! You don't even know what the fuck that means.
I'll take you outside! I will Hey! Hey! Hey! - Let's go! - Hey! Meeting fucking adjourned.
For now.
But this is far from over.
Your homework for next time - Homework? - Fucking right.
You will each of you will [WENDY.]
come up with three productive things that you, [WENDY.]
personally, can do to make this place function better.
Do it.
Or risk me getting really mad.
We both know it: with this business the way it is, it's a fight just to survive.
We need unity.
And this discord I won't have it.
The one you should be having this conversation with is Axe.
It's his Plug Uglies that are doing the instigating.
And we both know that.
I did have this conversation with him - before he left on his trip.
- And? He said something very similar to what you just did.
All systems have to die eventually.
Excuse me.
You okay? I don't know which end, but I feel like something's gonna come out.
You can handle your drugs, must have been the bumpy road.
Bumpy is right.
I've got a case of the grapes like they talk about in literature.
You know, what we took last night is nature's antidepressant.
I see the value.
The clarity I had, the perspective.
Everyone should have the chance to gaze upon their life from that perch.
But I did not like what I saw from that perch.
Well, archon, we had to do something to ring in your status.
Most never make it to a million much less a billion.
And you have ascended to that lofty plateau of ten of those.
If a personal net worth of ten big tubs doesn't bring a smile to your face 'You're in the wrong line of work?' - Mm.
- Well.
Maybe I am.
I thought all of this would make me feel good.
If this doesn't Yeah.
What will? Maybe this.
An invitation for you to do a Vanity Fair cover photo shoot for the "New Decas" issue, all about the rarified few who have hit the ten billion dollar mark.
That cover is valuable real estate.
Lot of fresh capital flowing in after it.
- It's worth it - No, no, we're here, we're doing this.
We should see it through.
Thirty-four hundred more miles to go.
Somebody else will probably get the cover.
- Is our claim to fame - Probably Mike Prince.
Huh So, what's your call? I can hear them say Bad company And I won't deny Bad, bad company Till the day I die Oh, yeah, till the day I die When did you know it wasn't just me? That doesn't matter at all.
It's the New Decas! The Ten-Billion crew.
The crema on top of the crème-de-la-crème.
And you are right in the center of it.
Because who is more Deca than you? What this gathering seems to say is that: We're all about the same.
Which is not really the message I'm looking to get out to our investors.
You're not gonna look the same.
Not with your posture, the way you set your eyes And where you really set yourself apart is the interview.
We'll do a five minute power session before you sit Is this why you made sure she came with? - That and - So I wouldn't kill you? I did think if there were a witness, it would be harder for you to commit homicide.
Not impossible.
But it's good you made sure she's here.
Wend, let's go psych out these motherfuckers, so they look shook on that cover.
We can do that.
We will do that.
Ah, the 'great man.
' Mm-hmm.
Mike 'Lo, Axe.
- Scooter.
- Wagsy.
I see you're still making sure his hand never touches a doorknob.
As you are trying and failing to do the same for your general.
Michael Prince.
Michael "Thomas Aquinas" Prince.
- Really? - Always an honor to meet a legend.
And yes, just like my father and his father and his and his.
Better than St.
Blaise, patron saint of throat ailments.
If that were the name my dad and the rest wore, I'd bear it proudly.
I have no doubt you'd find a way to be proud.
With just a dash of humility on top.
A man with no humility is a man with no pride at all.
Alright, let's do this.
How are ya? Turn a little bit into Yep.
Couldn't get him the cover alone, huh? [CHUCKLES.]
Wags, so sad.
We didn't want a solo cover.
Too much focus, too much attention.
We are at the place in our lives all of us where it is time to turn our focus to others.
You guys got to feel the same way, right? No, of course, mos' def.
Okay, everybody, eyes over here.
You know, they didn't tell me you'd be here, Axe.
Yeah, they failed to mention that detail in the pitch to me, too.
- Been a faster "yes" had I known.
Ball coach in high school told it to me, I never forgot: You make sure the guy passing the ball to the guy passing it to you gets as much credit as you do for putting it in the hoop.
But it was you won Mr.
Basketball in the state of Indiana that year, wasn't it? - Not the other guys.
Only because my teammates were so great.
- It's much more fun to share the praise.
Sure it is.
Wish my whole team was here with me.
Which is why I was hoping you'd make it to 'The Mike' this year.
We could keep this going.
I already accepted.
As you always do, but then you never show up.
I always mean to, you know? We'd love to host you.
You and I could do a fireside chat.
It'd be the highlight of the conference.
- Ah.
Maybe this year we will.
This looks great.
He seems in prime form.
So how was your trip? Good.
I met the Creator of Souls.
Turn your bodies [PHOTOGRAPHER.]
a little bit over on that one, please.
Yeah, that's great.
That's good.
That was really good.
- You got it? - Yeah.
I think we're great.
Let's break down the set and, uh, get ready for the individual portraits.
Got a problem upstate.
The mining town.
I can't sit for the portrait or the interview.
We reschedule for tomorrow.
You asked for me.
I know that a) you don't directly work for Axe Cap and b) this isn't exactly your job but I was hoping you might help me with something.
- Why am I the one that - It's a sensitive thing.
It needs to be released to the right people, in the right way, I figure with your experience, with your delicate touch With my connections from my W Magazine and NY Post gossip days? Yeah.
You sure you want to do this? Chuck was supposed to do it.
He didn't.
So when one of us wants to move on, with other people, in public, I don't want them to think it's some kind of a scoop.
Give the press a little red meat so they don't come looking for the kill later.
There are a couple phrases I might switch around.
Do it.
I'll email it to you.
I trust you to make it better.
That's what I'd say to someone to let them know that I see them, that they're special.
Leave 'em feeling great for doing me a service.
But you're smoother.
I think I might be able to learn something from you.
I will handle this right away.
But first, let me learn from you.
How do we fix this bullshit between your crew and ours? It's getting tribal out there.
I'm not sure that's the problem.
It might just be the result of the problem.
Instead of thinking about the culture conflict, maybe think about the culture itself.
In what way? Mafee says Axe Cap used to be the most fun place to work on earth.
At one point.
For a time.
Not lately.
And not just from Mafee.
The stories are out there the way I hear it, this place used to be outrageous.
Eating contests, body sushi, impromptu trips on the private jet to Amsterdam for frites and spacecakes from The Bulldog.
Fucking fun, you know, where anything could happen.
Now, everyone's feeling the pressure of the numbers.
The quarter.
The P&L.
Also dry.
And pressure kills results.
I can rise above.
But if you want the rest of these folks to stop thinking of each other as enemies and come together as a unit, you've got to put some fun back in this bish.
Start tossing midgets or something.
Or call 'em little people if that makes you feel better.
But toss 'em.
You're right.
Becky, Wendy Rhoades.
Long time.
I spoke to Bach: The crypto-mine action was done by the State AG not the US Attorney or the DA.
It was Chuck Rhoades.
Isn't that fucking cute.
We've got to minimize damage and figure out a way to get up and running elsewhere.
We need to talk to the other fund managers that we partnered with.
But you're the only one who might be able - to make this go away.
- [AXE.]
I'll see what I can do.
But in the meantime you make sure that the click monkeys and our inside man get some nice insulation, okay get 'em good lawyers and make 'em understand they should stand up.
- Yep.
- On it.
- Hello.
- Hey, Chuck.
I need to see you As soon as you can do it.
I'll tell you what it's about in person.
I'm, uh, in the middle of something, it's going to have to be tomorrow.
What you're in the middle of is what it's all about.
Needs to be now.
Sorry, pard, it's going to have to hold.
Rage room? I don't see a situation where I'd I can't imagine the pressure building inside of you as you try to navigate what you're trying to.
All without ever losing your cool or letting on how you really feel.
Just letting everyone believe I see the world the way they do.
I've got this.
Just so you know, there's an outlet for when you can't keep it off your face anymore.
I was about to break my PB.
For swimming in place? This is the most time and energy efficient way to get laps in.
- No need for flip turns.
- Ah.
And I'm not sure questioning my workout practices - is something I'd do - Then let me make a flip turn and tell you about the call I just got from Axe.
I have him in a Peruvian Necktie.
- You know what that is? - No.
But it sounds tight.
Gets even tighter.
I made a certain bust in the crypto space.
One that's costing him a lot of money.
Which you wouldn't have stumbled upon but for me.
What I need now is for you to get close to any small, seemingly off-the-cuff meetings you see happening, to listen to the whispers, to You still don't know how all the pieces go together on the crypto thing, huh? I can't tie it to Axe as is, if that's what you're asking.
Which means this thing won't touch him.
Axe still isn't talking to me about what you might call 'the deckle of the chop.
' Mm.
Just nibbling at the edges, huh? And, uh, swimming in place.
As you see, yes.
But you have both the imagination and the perseverance to convince yourself that this is not treading water.
What this pool says about you is that you have the capacity to fight boredom, the tide, the endless, beating march against you.
These are basically the only qualities of my own that are worth a damn.
They speak well of you.
And are almost the direct opposite of the qualities that make Axe the shining light of his age.
People like us must destroy people like him.
You're not wrong.
I understand how and why you see it that way.
As I, of course, do.
I will try my best.
I trust that you will.
Did you serve me best by letting me walk into that shoot, or would it have been better to prep me, deal with the consequences of me refusing to go? - Well, which is it? - I haven't decided yet.
Yes you have.
And you're here to thank me.
I'm here because when I hit the ten billion mark, I felt a flicker of excitement about the same as finding a twenty dollar bill on the sidewalk, and then nothing.
The ayahuasca I had a moment of seeing the whole thing, from above, from inside, from a whole other dimension.
But even from every vantage point, what I saw was ugliness, and while maybe I hadn't lost yet, there was no feeling that [SIGHS.]
that I'd won.
None at all.
You would never allow yourself to take it in, to appreciate it, because that would mean acknowledging you'd done well, succeeded, won the game.
That there was a place to pause.
Or stop.
Is it a game can be won? Eh.
The answer to that is a philosophical axiom true without needing to be proved: When you decide you've won, you've won.
Until then, no.
So you gonna thank me? You asked for Vanity Fair.
This is last month's.
The one he's gracing the cover of.
The only one that matters.
It's not out yet.
It's hitting online shortly.
- I'd like to try this.
On it, sire.
Update on the crypto situation.
Our miners walked.
- Huh.
That was quick.
You think they cut a deal? If those little shits cut a deal, I will Of course they cut a deal.
What else? The Town Supervisor was picked up.
He's being held without bail.
- They're squeezing him.
Vanity Fair article dropped.
Those ink-stained motherfuckers.
Mike Prince made a move.
We'll have this taken down.
We'll pay to pull back the print version.
We'll pulp the whole goddamned run.
Enough, Wags.
You got flanked by his guy - Fucking Scooter - And I got flanked by him.
"Investors with a traditional strategy, "like Axe, have become legends, "and they deserve to be legends.
"But legends fade, and their value is then "mostly in the stories about them, lessons to future generations on what to do, what not to do.
" Fucking Prince's pull quote.
Fucker is putting me out to pasture.
- Cocksuc - There's more: [AXE.]
"But I'm not interested in becoming a story just yet.
"So I change with the times.
"Investors like me, who are also business operators, "are always on the cutting edge, [AXE.]
"shifting to machine learning and impact investing, not just for profit but for the profitability of mankind.
" Prick.
You want me to look over his companies for weakness? - Maybe put some shorts on? - No.
He's too big, he's too powerful.
Man's a Grizz, Kodiak Island sized.
And dangerous.
We got to get close to bring him down.
Good looking cover, Mike, congratulations.
Kind of you to call, Axe.
I thought we were all going to be on there, I don't know how the hell they decided to go with that picture of me.
Yeah, of course.
How could you.
Me? I don't need that kind of press [AXE.]
you know, investors and all but good for you.
Anyway, I've, uh, decided the time is right.
Let's have that fireside chat.
Oh, that's great news.
It'll be the highlight of the conference.
- I'm looking forward to - Yeah, me too.
Try to take me out in some magazine? I'll come see you on your home fucking turf.
- [WOMAN.]
Motherfucker, just let me in.
- [WOMAN #2.]
Who are you? [WOMAN.]
I will run right through you.
Who am I? Let me in.
[WOMAN #2.]
Yeah, I'm just gonna call security, and you need to stop yelling.
No, you're not gonna call security, you stupid dope.
I will freakin' dance on your head.
I need to see Wendy Rhoades.
Not without an appointment.
You tell Wendy Rhoades to get out of her little office [WOMAN.]
right now before I go back there and fuck the head off her! I told you to never come to my place of work! You're gonna have to throw me out.
- Whoa! - Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! Ugh! [GRUNTS.]
Axe Capital, MaseCap, I give you, the champion of the world, The MAN! Becky Lynch! [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE.]
Thank you! Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Now, none of youse know this, because Wendy over here keeps her mouth shut, but when I was in my low and lost period of my life, before I became The Man, it was Wendy who convinced me that finally a woman could be the biggest star in professional wrestling.
And she was right.
I am The Man in that business now.
So when she asked me to come here and share a few professional secrets, there was no way I was lettin' her down.
So secret number one, the real Kayfabe shit: The greatest thing that you can do in my game is to "put someone over," to make them look good.
In wrestling, we don't all like each other.
- That part's not for show.
I honestly cannot stand some of them women that I have to fight.
But at the end of the day, we're all part of a bigger family, alright? And we all 'do the job' for each other.
Which is what we call it when we let someone else pin us because there is nothing more noble than taking a beatin' and makin' somebody else look good for the good of the whole goddamned operation.
And, no.
Sometimes it doesn't feel good.
We all want to fight.
We all want to win.
And when the time is right, you shut your mouth and you do the job.
And then maybe you move to a different town, and someone does the job for you.
Can I just say holy shit! Holy shit! [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE.]
You may, Mafee.
Becky, who could obviously kick my ass to the ground, just did the job for me.
To remind us that we're all in this together, and what a fucking pisser it is to work here where a stunt like this is, you know, just a Tuesday.
So: are we ready to do the fucking job for each other or what? [CHEERS AND APPLAUSE.]
That was impressive.
A grand gesture.
I can see how much you care about this place.
And it moves me to say: I'll do what I can to get my people to lean in.
If that's how you feel, then you should probably tell him.
Tell him what? Whatever it is you're really doing here.
You think this will fix the adjustment problems of our teams? And also fix the problems between me and you? We need to feel like one company.
Or none of it will work And then I would confide in you again, right? I am not here because you forced me to be.
Or because Chuck did.
I am here as Chuck's operative because he wants to get you.
I know.
I figured there was a good chance of it anyway.
How? If you were really here 'cause I forced you to be, your body language would be different.
I have tried to slump my shoulders.
But if it were real, you'd try to avoid showing me you were hurting.
You'd walk with your shoulders back If you didn't trust me, why did you want me working for you? 'Cause I thought our goals were aligned.
And I still think they can be.
Even after what I just told you? You need to be here.
Doing this not just for a living, not just to keep your name strong in the business but to feel alive.
Maybe even to be alive.
You need that feeling you get when you see what no one else can.
And bet on that vision.
And be right.
'Cause you, Taylor, are a profit generating organism.
You're just put together that way.
That's what I need.
And why we are aligned.
No matter your conflicted feelings.
And Rhoades? Fight him off, neutralize him.
- And if I can't? - Fuck 'can't.
' We just agreed on who you are.
The person who does.
I will.
I see that.
Now, how do you recommend I deal with Rhoades? He is going to continue to act like a friend.
Remind him of why actually being your friend is the smartest course of action.
- - Oh, what the fuck [LINE RINGING.]
You've reached Wendy Rhoades.
Please leave a message.
- Uh.
Yeah, Wend, it's me.
I see we've reached the place of unilateral action.
Not gracious, or cool, or reflective in any way of how we've fucking gone about Just give me a call back after you get this.
Everything okay? Oh.
Just some upheaval on the home front, as you know.
Everything'll settle into place.
What do you got there? Something meaningful.
'Never give in.
'Never in nothing, great or small; large or petty.
'Never give in, 'except to convictions of honor and good sense.
'Never yield to force.
'Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
I went back to my book seller a few months after I sold it.
He told me the set had been bought.
And I couldn't find any others.
It seems the, uh, market on first-edition Churchills had been cornered.
That's what I do to markets.
But now, I am returning these to you as an act of friendship Because I want you to remember when we weren't friends, how the world was a very hot and uncomfortable place.
And to that end, I would like you to also help me keep it cool.
How shall I do that? - That crypto mine that you busted upstate - Mm.
I'd appreciate it if you'd drop the case.
Well, Bobby, I very much want to be friends.
And I was surprised dismayed really when we made the arrests and found out you were in the middle of that.
Not really in the middle maybe loosely connected.
All the same I can't just drop it, not altogether.
It's too far along.
Questions will be raised, prying eyes will be focused.
Uh huh.
Then what can you do for me? [SIGHS.]
Best I can do is make it a civil and not a criminal action.
Which will be hard to sell to my team and my office and is an act of friendship that goes beyond the norm.
It is, in fact, of the kind you just demonstrated.
So, it'll cost you some money in fines, but as you like to remind the world, you got plenty of that.
Sure, Chuck.
That I do.
It's a triple cross.
Taylor told Axelrod why they're at Axe Cap.
- How'd you figure it? - He came at me, to remind me of the last time I went at him.
- What it cost me.
- What are we gonna do about it? He wants to be friends, so we'll be friends.
Right up until the moment we drop him.
Unless you think that's too, uh, "Old Chuck.
" No, that's just Chuck.
- As it should be.
As it ever will be.
Here's what I'm thinking.
I was down in Georgia Nothing was as real As the street beneath my feet Descending into air The cauldron was a-bubbling The flesh was lean And the women moved forward Like piranhas in a stream They spread themselves before me An offering so sweet And they beckoned and they beckoned "Come on, darling, eat" Eat the summer cannibals [GRUNTING.]
Eat, eat, eat You eat the summer cannibals Eat, eat, eat They circled around me Natives in a ring And I saw their souls a-withering Like snakes in chains And they wrapped themselves around me Mmm, what a treat And they rattled their tales hissin' "Come on, let's eat" Eat the summer cannibals Eat, eat
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