Billions (2016) s05e04 Episode Script

Opportunity Zone

Previously on Billions Red dots? That means sold.
That means There was a pre-pre-viewing? Damn, man.
Not my intention to scoop you.
I'd love to buy if you have more.
I don't paint for money.
Never have.
Before the funds land with us, we can designate them.
Yale Law.
Georgie boy! Hello, Dad.
Sandicot's not getting the gaming license.
It's over.
You fronted like the whole thing was wired.
Was that bait? Or were you the bait? [CHUCK.]
There will come a time when you will be forced to line up against Axe for your very survival.
He's not capable of a true alliance.
Isn't it incumbent upon us to acknowledge that we didn't do it alone? I don't pretend I'm an ordinary guy got lucky.
I am a monster.
A carnivorous fucking monster.
This was my favorite place in the house.
Even though it's not technically in the house.
I come out here most every day, too.
Even in the winter.
My mom's worried I'll catch pneumonia.
But I still do it.
Mine didn't like it either.
At night I'd even sneak out here after she went to bed.
And just breathe.
Inside that house eh, for me, this was better.
I like it at night.
- Til I can hardly see the hoop.
Looking at the lights go out the other houses.
And me thinking.
The thinking I did out here, it's what set my whole life in motion.
Hey, Randy, I was just telling Savion how I used to come out here as a kid growing up in Yonkers.
You mind if I No.
Not at all.
Go on ahead.
You know, this was a rough neighborhood even back then.
No one really had any money at all.
Snowy mornings, I'd come out here, shovel the driveway, and then I'd stand here and I'd look at other people digging themselves out.
Eventually the plows would come through, but only after they had already been to the rich neighborhoods.
Same thing now.
They don't give much of a shit for us.
Last streets plowed, man.
If people wanted to go to work, they had to get out here with a shovel.
I saw that as an advantage.
Started up my first business.
You know? Did all the shoveling myself.
Then I hired some friends.
Then I expanded to other neighborhoods.
And I took the money I earned.
I invested it in other ideas.
That's how I started, man.
I have Yonkers to thank for my success.
That's why I'm glad to be back here, returning the favor.
Ok, you two, that should just about end outside time.
Come on in.
- Hey, I just wanted to say I really enjoyed meeting you both.
Then come on back, and have dinner with us.
I'll make meatloaf.
It'll make you feel like you're a kid again.
Can't wait.
Dinner at home in my hometown.
Only I'm not gonna allow you to do any work.
I'm gonna bring my chef.
And we're gonna make this special.
- - [CHUCK.]
Of course Unbelievable The man knows no bounds.
Who's got hold of your nectarines? Grapefruits.
And it's a man who's spreading his wings from the cozy confines of Wall Street to the mean streets of Yonkers.
Opportunity Zone is up for grabs there.
Those are pretty sweet setups real cap gains advantages.
The tax breaks are supposed to be for the benefit of downtrodden neighborhoods, to stimulate investment and development.
And treadmills were originally built as a system of punishment for convicts hard labor milling grain not firm-bunned soccer moms.
You're right, old man.
And you know what? I need you to suit up.
I'm not sure I Oh.
You can develop with the best of 'em.
And you're back off the sidelines now that you're a young father.
You don't need to win it.
Just compete hard enough that you provoke some illegal moves, some unfair competition from Axe.
Or destabilize him.
Either way it's a win for me What do you say? You need me to suit up, I'll suit up.
Run it back.
My ball.
No dunking.
Other than that, come at me.
And you know I will.
This isn't the only one-on-one game you're in.
Axelrod is going after the Yonkers Opportunity Zone.
Observe and report, so I'm ready to act after I handle the Human Highlight Film.
- One-nothing.
That's the only free one you get [DRAMATIC MUSIC.]
Wags, get me with Daymond John.
Ooo, a poppa shark.
I need you.
In there.
Sneak attack.
Alright, well, let me get ahead of it by apologizing, so I can start my day.
I'm sorry, Taylor that you're in snowflake mode Snowflake? And that your save-the-Earth play led me to a bigger score with good old rock oil.
Well, Mr.
Plainview, you didn't offend my delicate sensibilities.
What you did do was fuck up the bigger score.
- Is that right? - [TAYLOR.]
Yes, it is.
This is a list of colleges and universities with endowments that were ripe for divestment.
This first wave had a potential haul of 8.
8 billion.
All un-gettable now, since the pitch is ruined because you made us look like greedy, opportunistic hypocrites.
Projections on potential assets are always overly optimistic.
This comes down to poor communication.
And a lack of alignment, for which you're both to blame.
Taylor, you should have trusted him and told him the entire play.
He cracked out of turn and moved aggressively, and in this case Bobby, that was in error.
But by holding out, Taylor, you're just as responsible.
You know, perception and optics are at all-time importance levels in our business and in life.
And a unified team is a much more powerful image than either of you individually.
Quant and fundamental.
Impact and traditional the best of both worlds.
The question is: What are we gonna do about it now? [DRAMATIC MUSIC.]
What if we played it as an activist move - Yes.
- [AXE.]
Push the companies to clean up, to put in the kind of initiatives the schools will be impressed by.
Sell it as policing from the inside.
Which will allow us to sell divestment to more institutions.
- I should do it.
My reputation - Agreed.
I'll go talk with Argyra and Charter Offshore.
You practically dressed me down in front of a junior.
I need to maintain a shred of credibility.
We both know you missed it.
I was trying to broker the least embarrassing version.
Professor Rhoades.
I'm Oh, I know Catherine Brant.
I heard you were up here.
Read your book, even.
Which one? I've written six.
Well, the one everyone read.
The O Gap.
Was it helpful? Well, I'm not saying that I needed it, just that Why is it that every time I ask men if it was helpful, that's the reaction I get? Women just give me hugs of thanks.
Are you asking for a hug? [CHUCKLING.]
I am here with an ask, though.
I teach in the sociology department.
And this year, this week, in fact, I'm lecturing on your speech.
Which one? I have given many.
The one everyone saw.
The one about owning your sexuality.
And not being ashamed of it.
Was it helpful? Yes.
See how easy that is.
For you.
So here's my ask: Would you come to my class? Let me ask you some questions? Let the students ask you some? While the idea of spending some time together sounds fun, the idea of talking about the Overton Window and my life uh, it sounds like root canal.
I'm trying to leave it behind.
I understand.
Still going to teach it.
Well, as you should.
I'm about to teach my first criminal law class.
And I didn't ask the permission of the criminals.
Would you mind if I sat in the back and listened? Please do.
Good day.
I'm Chuck Rhoades.
And as my Criminal Law professor said on day one: I will do you the courtesy of treating you like professionals.
Do me the same.
Now Is there a Mr.
Kelly in attendance? Yeppers.
We stand when addressing one another.
This isn't college.
You will address a judge one day.
And you will not be sitting on your keister when you do.
Now, I assigned Bordenkircher by email.
Tell me the facts and the law.
I-I pass.
As my Crim prof told me the one time I wasn't prepared: There is no pass.
Only fail.
Since this was the first class, I thought it would be, like, introductory No, no.
You have one chance.
All of you: If you are not prepared with a brief when I call your name, you will be asked to leave that day's class.
If you miss two classes total, you will have to take crim law again.
- Professor Rhoades.
- Yes? This isn't how it's done now.
We're here to learn together.
Not to be shamed.
Oh, I hardly think I shamed We don't learn best under this kind of pressure.
That's been proven now [STUDENTS MURMURING.]
Holy shit, guys.
And yeah, guys.
I'm calling all of you guys, men, women, enbies.
And I have tenure.
So suck it if you don't like it.
You have the rarest of opportunities here.
This man has faced the harshest battles the courts can throw at you.
He sat where you now sit, and rose to the highest level a lawyer can.
And is ready to share all that.
And you you lean back, afraid to face your own intellectual limitations.
Instead, dive in.
I know some of you, most of you, have done the reading, prepared your briefs and are ready.
So sit up straight.
Put your hands in the air, and let him see it.
Very well.
Who's going to tell me about Bordenkircher? [CHUCKLES.]
Green sweater near the back.
State your name first.
I'm Mary Jane Marbach.
Bordenkircher is about what a prosecutor can threaten a defendant with.
In the case, the prosecutor Well, I dreamed I saw the knights in armor coming Saying something about a queen Should I be concerned about what I'm seeing on Dollar Bill's sheet? There were peasants singing There may be some issues at play there.
- That you can't discuss.
- And drummers drumming I get it.
And the archer split the tree [KEYS CLACKING.]
A fanfare blowing to the sun You were right.
In the session with Taylor.
I didn't like it at the time, but I see the wisdom of it now.
I saw the tiger in there for a minute.
It was bracing.
Well, even the great tamers need to remember they're dealing with wild animals.
I was lying in a burned-out basement The, uh, community roots angle is playing a lot stronger than expected up in Yonkers.
Maybe those roots are deeper than you thought they were.
Maybe you're right.
Being back at my old house When the sun burst through the sky I was using it as a set for the reporter.
Thought I was.
But this kid, Savion, he was just like I was at that age.
Found myself wondering if he was burning to get out too.
You should dig into that when you go for dinner.
I will.
I was thinking about what a friend had said [CHEF RYAN.]
Let me grab these for you.
I was hoping it was a lie Hey.
One other thing you can help me with.
You know my new artist Tanner I got working on commission.
- Yeah.
- [AXE.]
He's not working.
Barely painted a stroke.
I don't know if it's painter's block or whatever.
But any suggestions how I can get him going? You know what? Let me talk to him.
I'll see what occurs.
That'd be great Ah, if you guys are all set.
Yeah, we're all good.
Thanks, Chef.
Delicious as always.
So much better with Chuck out of the picture.
No more, um interference.
It's less complicated for sure In the yellow haze of the sun I should probably get back to the kids.
Okay And colors flying All around the chosen [DRAMATIC MUSIC.]
Wendy, yeah? - [WENDY.]
Axe said you'd be stopping by.
You figured you'd start once I left? Oh, I already started.
I paint up here first.
Can you share your vision for these? Or is it still [CHUCKLING.]
I mean, I You know, I can't I can't talk it out.
Because then it's just in the wind.
You know? But it's gonna be kickass.
So you can let Axe know.
You know? He's definitely gonna feel his his investment was worthwhile.
You're a trip.
I've been told.
But this moment isn't about me.
Those words: "Let Axe know.
" They can't have felt good coming out of your mouth.
I don't need a pep talk.
Well, you need something, bub.
'Cause you're scared out of your fucking mind.
I've been painting since the fifth grade.
I sold my first painting in the ninth.
So why does this feel so different? Who said it does? Do I need to stare at you again? Okay.
When I start a new one, I-I like to walk around the city a lot until I feel special.
Until I know I'm the only one in the world that can paint it.
A confidence booster.
But lately? We sure someone's not suffering from a dose of imposter syndrome? I know what I can do.
So you're fine then.
I can't get the feeling.
Ever since I-I-I signed the contract and I agreed to the commission, I-I [TANNER.]
The walks are getting longer, and 'special' doesn't seem to be around.
Accepting this commission is a new step for you.
And you can't figure out what it means what it says about who you are.
I know what it says I'm a sellout.
Too simple.
I mean, you can vilify the money, if you want.
Blame it for your blockage, if it helps you get past it.
It's like Oscar Wilde said: "When bankers get together for dinner, they discuss art.
When artists get together for dinner, they discuss money.
" The money shouldn't change anything.
But it does.
It's got me all up in my head.
That's because you're thinking of it as the measure of your artistic value, and that's never been what's motivated you before.
Whenever I work, I-I don't even I don't even imagine a buyer's face.
I don't even think about it.
I force myself not to.
And all I can think about now is his reaction to my work.
That's because someone, at some time, probably your mom or dad, made you feel like a disappointment.
So now you're substituting him for them.
Maybe a gym teacher.
I was good at sports.
Point is: You're on the precipice of the kind of success very few artists ever have.
But you have created an obstruction between you and that success.
Close your eyes.
Really? Now, visualize yourself on the other side, successful, satisfied, confident.
See the work your best.
See that it all turned out okay.
That you didn't fuck up your muse.
See the effort it took to get you there.
Now go create the fucking painting.
Does that work for your aggro trader bros? Really? 'Cause it kind of sounds like bullshit to me.
Well, your excuses kind of sound like bullshit to me, pal.
See you on the other side.
Breakfast fit for a shark: A little Eggs Benny and hollandaise.
Thank you.
Thanks, Chef.
So Besides wanting to catch up, I wanted to talk to you about something more specific.
I figured.
What's up? Opportunity Zone, up in Yonkers.
- The old patch.
- That's right.
I got big plans: a pedestrian mall downtown revitalized shopping, cultural, residential, office space.
The town could use a shot in the arm.
Uh, you know what? It sure could.
And many people there will do well, but some will do better.
I don't need it.
But I am happy to put in the labor.
And I would love for you to be an important part of the board.
Take a minute to think about it if you need to, but we got to move quick.
I get it.
You want me to be your face your brown face.
You want me to do a little dance for you for the zoning folks.
Da-da-da-da, dah-da-dah You want me to hook you up and give you an in-road with the minority community, right? I want you to be my partner.
Axe, you know I'm not gonna be your puppet or anybody else's.
Why don't you bring me things that you would bring Bensinger or Buffett? [ELEVATOR DINGS.]
Daymond John passed.
He always was sharp.
I have intel: Mike Prince has been meeting with community leaders in Yonkers.
He's building grassroots support.
And he already has a history of Opportunity Zone wins - in Atlanta, Detroit - Fucker.
So we still need someone on our team to ensure you beat his ass.
Someone with strong community ties, strong business track record, part of the firmament a diversity business partner from New York.
Here's the list of names.
Gonna need to dig out my sporting gear.
Nice game.
- I love the tradition of this.
The guys who invented this game definitely never pictured a couple of gents like us playing it.
I think that's why I took it up in the first place.
Because "screw them?" Fuck 'em.
That's why I thought a match like this was a perfect setup for our subject today.
I'm glad that you waited till after we played.
Well, you know, I can be patient, when I need to be.
But not for too long when I got something this good on the table.
And what would this be? Opportunity Opportunity Zone.
I'm of a couple of different minds about these.
- No, yeah.
I know.
- How do you make sure the zones are the ones getting all the opportunities? Developers score.
Meanwhile, residents are sitting there same as before if they can even afford to stay in the same jazzed-up neighborhood.
That's why I need you, Franklin.
That's not the only reason.
I know what you need.
Plenty of African American businessmen I could go to.
You bring much more.
And you'll keep me, and my team, in line.
Come on.
Think of the positive effects this'll have.
On the communities we serve.
And on us.
Your usual method is to dump money from above.
Why the boots on the ground for this one? Well, because this one matters to me.
I grew up there.
Can't allow some goddamned stranger to come squat all over my ancestral lands.
This is a win for us, and a final "screw you" to the type of folks who built places like this, to keep guys like us on the outside looking in.
Send me the proposal.
I'm so glad you're in town.
Dying to catch up.
Let's talk about where I went wrong.
Where I went right.
There's lots of lost time to make up for.
I have the meatloaf, a yam and cheese for you.
I'd like to say grace.
That's not just a dinner thing? Not if you mean it.
Heavenly Father, thank you for this time here together with my earthly father.
Please bless this food for the nourishment of our bodies and bless our fellowship for the nourishment of our hearts.
Help me walk the path.
Help me rend myself from evil.
Help me stoke the fire and keep my promise to lift the fallen.
Did you ad lib that? I like to speak to God from my heart, not a prayer book.
I was going to offer you a job here.
But if you can keep a straight face with this bullshit, I will fund your ministry myself.
Because you, my young acolyte, will make a mint.
I'm not interested in money.
Then why are you here? I don't want to keep my true intentions hidden.
Please, unburden yourself.
What are you really after? What do you have up the sleeve of your vestments? I'm here to save you your soul.
Let me baptize you from what can I see around here, saving you's only gonna be the beginning.
Sorry to talk and eat, but I'm doing the keto thing, - and I'm on a schedule.
- Not at all.
So glad you gave us this chance to talk carbon capture.
Is that what we're talking? As you know, the price has really been dropping.
It's lower than 94 dollars a ton.
But the real road to profitability is using captured CO2 to create synthetic fuel.
Uh huh.
Know what I mean? At a dollar a liter, it's almost in line.
And that's before you calculate the state tax incentives.
In California, for example Yeah, I crawled my way up the corporate ladder so I could become a tax-grubber.
Lambert Dell try to think of it as an evolutionary timeline question.
We all have to get started somewhere.
Move past the fear.
When Toyota launched the Prius, they lost money on every single car.
- But now - When they launched the Prius my blood pressure went up by 25 points.
And I'm not afraid of a goddamn thing.
Look, you ladies seem like you have your hearts in the right place but those hearts are bleeding a little bit too much for me.
All the same to you, if I'm gonna get worked, I'd rather Axe do it.
After all, he's the one who bought into my company in the first place, not you.
Thanks for coming.
- I don't ghost anymore.
- [BEN KIM.]
That's great, Mafee! - Like growing up! - But occasionally, I'll kind of just like not really respond in a timely Oooh, I think that's still not great.
What a fucking softboi you are, Mafee.
- Why do we have to label everything? - Exactly what a softboi says when you ask if you're his girlfriend.
I thought that's a fuckboi.
A fuckboi doesn't stay in your apartment long enough for you to ask.
He's not a fuckboi or a softboi.
In college, we called him Doughboy.
Come here, Pillsbury! - Whoo-hoo! - [LAUGHTER.]
Hey, Mafee! We need you at the home shop.
- You know, where you work.
- Uh-oh.
- Ohh.
- Ohh.
Skipper, we've got Mike Prince like a case of goddamned dandruff on our heads again.
He's making a move at Franklin Sacker's company.
Buying up huge blocks of stock.
that's because he knows Franklin's with me, and he's trying to pressure him to drop out of Yonkers.
But this time, he's on my turf and if he tries to wreck the buffet at the Harrow Club, I'll toss him on his ass.
Like Victor Maitland did to Axel Foley? Yeah.
Though upon thinking about it, things didn't work out too great for Maitland.
But it must have felt good in the moment.
But we can't give in to feeling good in the moment.
We have to win.
Right in here.
Sacker, I've admired your work from a distance.
I'm glad to finally meet you up close.
Is it that same admiration that's driving you to try to partner up with me? Because I've gotta admit it feels like a shotgun marriage.
It's true.
I've bought up enough shares of your company to take three board seats.
With that I'll have the power to oust you.
Unless I withdraw from Axe's Opportunity Fund.
Your words, not mine.
But any company I sit the board on needs to have a CEO with unquestionable ethics.
Tough talk, Mike.
Ah, the old ambuscade.
I was wondering how you were staying so frosty, sir.
You can buy up all the shares you want, and you can threaten this fine, upstanding man.
But you won't outflank him, or me.
'Cause I'll buy three times more than you and I'll stack the boardroom to block you Oh, and I'll be sure to tell everyone, especially the press, how the great Michael Thomas Aquinas Prince is trying to run an African American man out of his own C-suite.
You would try to make this about race No, you did I'm pursuing the O.
in Yonkers for the right reason - And I'm not? - I don't know what you're doing, but I'll tell you right now, Axelrod: I hate it when people fuck with my money.
Whoa, listen to the filthy mouth on Saint Mike! [DOOR SLAMS.]
Good to know he rattles.
You must have that effect on many.
Keep a close eye on it, this neighborhood.
Housewarming gift.
Nothing makes a place feel like home as much as the smell of warm bread baking.
What is that, a thousand-dollar bread maker? That'll do wonders for my street cred.
Which is why this thing should find itself ensconced in an Upper East Side classic seven.
I'm not running for Congress there.
I get the grassroots thing, Kate, but why not move back and run on the UES? Steamroll the process with money.
I can make real change here.
Which will get noticed.
Hard for a congressperson to break out otherwise.
And in terms of steamrolling with money hell yeah.
We will do that here.
How else do we combat the notion that I'm not really connected to the community? That's what my opponents will be selling.
So tell your friends to get their checkbooks ready.
That won't be a problem.
And, uh I hope this won't either.
Ah, the reason for the visit I'm working with Bobby Axelrod on the Yonkers Opportunity Zone.
Jesus, Dad.
Axe is using you as a pawn thinks you're insulated from the law because of me, and that the diversity crowd will like you because you are one of them.
Let's assume that's true.
So what? In business, everyone puts his own interests first.
Recognizing that is a key to success.
But want to or not, Axe is gonna have to do good for an underprivileged neighborhood.
And I'll be there to make sure of it.
You're not the only person who's walked into a kissing booth with Bobby Axelrod certain they wouldn't come out pregnant.
Stop channeling your boss.
Axe has already come through for me.
He just backed me in a proxy fight against Mike Prince.
Because he needed you.
That'll all go away when he doesn't anymore.
Drink, Sacker? No.
I'm good.
I, uh I need to talk Uh-huh.
Go ahead.
I've forgotten secrets you wouldn't believe.
It's fine.
I don't suppose anybody wants to step in and help? - I'm good - I don't know how.
Well, you just how can you not know how? I act like I can't do anything and I hire people who can.
Well, I'm trying to teach the kids to do for themselves.
Never mind.
My father has teamed up with Axelrod.
- Yonkers? - [SACKER.]
I felt a duty to inform, but I don't want you going after him.
Well, you can try to persuade him to step aside, but if he won't he will be a fair target.
These are the waters.
Kings start making mistakes.
Sometimes they fall, and the crown gets stolen or passed down.
Verily Oh, and I learned something else from my dad: Axe and Mike Prince are like two dogs fighting over the same bone when it comes to him and the Opportunity Zone Make sure to match the lefts with the rights.
There are lefts and rights? [DRAMATIC MUSIC.]
You know, Axelrod hasn't gone after me at all in this.
- He's given me a free pass.
- Which means - Mike Prince is Axe's real enemy.
I know how to work this.
So your rap might not be total bullshit.
A-ha! There we go.
You'll be the first to see it when it's done.
I better be.
Welcome home, sir.
And who are you? BJ and Sean are friends from Fellowship.
We're psyched to show you the way.
You're gonna love our music, too.
Come on.
This way.
You wanted to find that closeness? This is it.
Wait until you feel this.
- [SIGHS.]
You said I didn't need to bring a lawyer.
Didn't even go through my lawyer, so what do we got? You're in a battle with Bobby Axelrod.
Help me to help you beat him.
How would I do that? If you announced a donation to the city of Yonkers, to be given after the decision, regardless of how it turns out, Axe will move to bribe them or do something else illegal along those lines in order to win.
And I will be there waiting.
I give you your opportunity zone, you give me mine.
Well put.
I don't know you.
Or where the hell this is coming from.
But I'll tell you straight up: I've steered clear of that line for a long while now; - it's served me well.
- Mm.
Just think about it.
Eight! Nine! Ten! Eleven! - [DOLLAR BILL.]
Stick in 15.
Twelve! He was "Camp Champ" five years in a row.
He's lobbying for Stay-Puft.
But no matter how many marshmallows, he'll always be Pillsbury.
You again?! Don't you have a fucking desk? [INDISTINCT CONVERSATIONS.]
I have been thinking a lot about a lot of things.
And I have noticed that you seem to be happier out on the main trading floor.
Happier? No way! Maybe you'd be more effective, then.
Sitting out there.
Being in the flow, picking up intel.
It could benefit all of us.
I see what you're saying.
Yeah, that could work.
I'd be willing to give it a try.
I mean, if that's what you want.
Yes, I'd like you to start sitting out there.
You got it.
Thank you.
Hey, Mafee, why'd you pick me in the first place, out of all the intern applications? You were the only one who didn't seem boring.
Who didn't seem to care about the same bullshit that every kid from Wharton or HBS did.
You seemed like someone I could learn from, even as I was teaching.
There was no doubt you were the winner back then.
Thank you.
I lost a CEO yesterday and maybe also Mafee, too.
Something's blocking my efficiency.
I'll say it: I need to learn how to win again.
The Taylor Mason I first met never started a sentence with I.
And never talked about personal wins.
And that Taylor Mason won all the time.
You're right.
Focus on process, it's where your genius shows up.
The rest will flow.
Give me specifics.
Met with the fossil fuel CEO.
And it went it didn't go well.
I don't know if it was generational, or factional, but the guy only wanted to talk to Axe.
Then you talk to Axe.
Ask for his guidance.
The younger version of me would not have hesitated.
Taylor needs another shot with the CEO.
And some coaching.
What happened at the first meeting? It didn't go as planned.
In the name of full disclosure, I Gerry'd the meeting.
I'll get him to give you a second meeting.
And what you do is You know what, what you do is you bring Wendy along with you.
'Cause she's the best I've seen at bridging the gap between differing points of view.
So she gets you to the view she sees.
But you won't even feel it happening.
You go for a midday swim? Yeah, in the river Jordan.
I've lost another one to the pole and one to Jesus.
Which feels worse? Feels about the same I've fucked it all up.
I don't know how to talk to any of 'em.
I ceded the responsibility of raising them to their mothers, while I was working.
It was what I thought I was supposed to do to support them.
But this is where we ended up.
I'm a complete fucking washout.
I'm gonna get you a drink, but I'm not gonna drink with you.
I'm out to Yonkers.
What'll you have? Another.
I'll have another.
- Another - I can do it.
It's not too late.
I am not young, but she will be.
Hallelujah, I'm gonna go again.
A do-over.
And finally get it fucking right.
The people of this community have been getting the short end of the stick for generations.
And quite frankly, they're not very good at using what stick they get either as a lever or kindling or whatever else.
Which is sad.
But let's stay on point.
Entrust me with heading up this Opportunity Zone and I will use it as a lantern to lead these lost people out of the mess they've made and into profitability.
Thank you.
Thank you, Mr.
Prince, you have the floor.
Your father just presented.
And? Oh boy Mother taught me: If you don't have anything nice to say That bad, huh? Got it.
Who's next? Prince, then Axe.
Profit comes, sure.
But there's other ways to make money.
I could invest in tobacco and plastics.
But I prefer to invest in people.
In neighborhoods like this one.
As I have done with my partners [PRINCE.]
in Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta.
We don't just build the housing and the businesses.
We don't just build the fields and the courts.
We establish the leagues and the programs that keep the kids off the streets and playing.
Give the man a civilian medal.
And I could use an insulin pump.
Or a barf bag.
Our results and successes speak for themselves.
And before I wrap up, it's incumbent upon me to sound a cautionary note about certain of my colleagues here.
To make sure this project is executed as intended.
I have brought a special guest [DOOR CLOSES.]
Meet Marc Capparello.
He's a former town councilman from Sandicot.
Where Robert Axelrod made similar financial inroads into the community.
How did that work out, Marc? Honestly? Not too well.
There was a lot of rosy talk about the future and promises were made.
Only for our town's financing to be ripped away like one of those wax jobs in a beauty salon.
Hmm? It really stung.
And our town will be recovering trying to grow its hair back, if you will for generations to come.
I'm sorry.
Thank you.
Told you, Axelrod: I hate it when people mess with my money.
Axelrod, you have the floor.
Let me tell you what went wrong in Sandicot.
It's true I made a big investment there and we all had high hopes for the future until this man No, no! You're a sore goddamned loser decided to pull his casino, for no reason other than his own greed, and moved it to land he held elsewhere.
He left us all holding the bag.
Now, efforts are still being made.
But that callous style of development is one of the real drivers for me here Because this is different.
This is home What a steaming pile of bullshit.
- Did you get that? - Yeah.
Can I move? Excuse me? Is there a rule that says we have to do this here in the boardroom? [DRAMATIC MUSIC.]
You know why I can see Yonkers' future? 'Cause I can see its past.
Right down there, that's where Ricky's Clam House was.
You know, you couldn't walk by without that smell pulling you inside.
Even when I could only afford like, what, three baked clams, always found my way there.
Two doors down was Dicey Reilly's.
-Dicey Reilly's.
Yeah! I used to take my best friend Ike Damn right he did! Went there when we were 14 years old.
You know, we had fake IDs, but they never asked for 'em.
I learned plenty in there.
Like if an old guy offers you odds if you take the Giants and the points, don't take the damned Giants and the points.
Used to take dates down there to the Park Hill theater.
Yeah, right.
Our pal Freddie used to work there as an usher, would always open up the back door and let us sneak in.
And then of course, afterwards, we'd head over to see Bruno - Yeah.
- down at Capparello's.
And even though Bruno's down in Florida, living his dream, the store still stands - Mm-hmm.
- and will as long as I'm alive.
That's right.
Look, I'll tell ya, I I'm not an overly emotional guy, but I could do this for every single store in the town, and all the houses too, probably.
Just as this man could [AXE.]
Come here.
Savion Williams.
This is very moving, but this board has one concern: that you're a leaver.
That you won't stay the course.
Like Savion, I was born here.
This was my childhood.
You know the house he lives in now was my house.
But this whole town is my home.
And, yes, sure, I left for a while, but I'm back.
And the thought of anyone else helping to rebuild this place.
Well, it just feels wrong.
They wouldn't understand.
Though rebuild it we must, not for nostalgia, but for the future.
For Savion's future.
Thanks, Bobby.
That brought me back.
We'll give you our decision shortly.
- Okay.
- But thanks for that.
Thank you.
Thank you.
I appreciate your time.
Thanks very much.
Come on, buddy.
Heard how it all went up there, that you got a taste of the old Bobby Axelrod boogie.
- I've seen worse.
- [CHUCK.]
I've seen all kinds.
I'll bet.
But you're gonna lose the O.
unless you play a little ball now.
I came here to tell you: I've already felt too much pull to my old ways.
I've fought to not be that person.
Escaping it once was hard enough.
I can't give in to it now.
Yeah, Axe took out his lute and played 'em a hypnotic old folk ballad.
He probably won it.
- Mm.
It does.
But heck, I'm still rich enough for twenty lifetimes.
That's not how you became who you are, by giving up.
The problem is the feeling you get and I know you get it, too when you engage in a fight like this, in the way that you're proposing.
It feels good.
That's a lie.
It feels truly great.
The endorphins.
The adrenaline.
It all pushes you further, deeper, darker.
I had a game, senior year, I put up sixty points.
The cheering with each bucket.
Knowing none of the guys could stop me.
Woof! [LAUGHS.]
Felt like a giant afterwards.
Couldn't sleep for two days.
And when I came down, I saw how I had alienated myself from my teammates and my family.
I had forgotten they existed.
And just went and got mine.
I've done the same in business.
Until I shut it down for good.
I will not let Axe turn me back into [SIGHS.]
well, in his words, a monster.
But did you win that game when you scored the sixty? Yah.
Bet you did.
So do it again.
Win this game.
Then feel bad.
Otherwise Bobby Axelrod wins.
And you did nothing about it.
You lose.
Is Axelrod in the pisser? [LAMBERT.]
Oh, crap.
Just you two.
Shoulda known, but Axe said he wanted to talk.
He wanted you to talk.
To us.
This is Wendy Rhoades.
I've been shanghaied.
Yeah, you got suckered into a meeting.
Soak in the feeling, because it'll be a hundred times worse when you get suckered out of your position at this company.
Or you can get smart, right fucking now.
Pow, huh? Your rep is you build people up, not knock 'em down.
Oh, when we're on the same team, I'll have you hotter than the barrel of a just-emptied M60.
Next week, you will announce the new Argyra Petroleum, striving to become the first ESG-friendly company in the Fortune 500.
We are trying to stop you from the same fate the whalers had.
Back in the mid-1800s, whaling was like Facebook.
Blubber was the oil that lighted the Western world.
But by the second half of that century, whale oil was replaced by kerosene.
Whaling became MySpace.
And then kerosene collapsed with the invention of electricity.
So you can look like a loser from 1830, or you can look like a hero of the 2020s and beyond.
To the environmentalists, sure.
But even more to the industry and the Street.
Because you will be making so much money.
- I like how that sounds.
- [WENDY.]
You are a trailblazer.
And you are the perfect person to do it.
They all already admire you.
They all already think you're a maverick.
You will set the new industry standard.
But we're still just dealing with the icing on the cake, not the cake itself.
The cake is that you will get first look at every one of these impact deals.
You will set the terms.
And you will make more money than all of your competitors combined.
You're gonna greenwash me.
Clean as a newborn baby.
It's a greed play that looks selfless.
It's the holy grail, and you are Sir Motherfucking Galahad.
Damn right I am.
Let's really get into the text.
" And this was all on live television! Raise your hand if you saw it live.
You know what? Stop taking notes.
Talk to me.
Why do you think he gave this insane speech? What do you think he was trying to do? Oh come on! This part won't be on the midterm.
I know you're all full of lots of opinions, you're just waiting for someone to break the ice.
I see it as the ultimate act of humiliation.
Sounds like you're getting Freudian on me.
- Elaborate.
- Yeah, exactly It's classic masochism death drive stuff.
Rhoades was ready to sacrifice his political career, but only on his own terms.
But he did it to win an election.
He's a cis white man running for office.
He's in a privileged position to control his own narrative.
I'm honestly surprised it took one of you so long to mention privilege.
This might be a new record.
But I agree with you.
Is the speech subversive at all? Not really, no.
So maybe that's exactly what masochism is.
It's the pursuit of autonomy in and the control over pain and suffering.
Rhoades played subservient in order to win dominance.
But why don't we ask Rhoades himself? Chuck, get on up here.
Thank you, Cat.
Now, don't be shy! You ask AG Rhoades all your questions and don't go easy.
As a self-identified submissive, did you receive any gratification what I mean is did you get off on giving this speech? Uh The release I felt was more emotional than carnal.
I feel like Carmelo coming back to New York.
Wait, bad example.
No Knicks.
I mean I Once you go through the wars with someone, they are always your brother.
Even if they are Doughboy forever.
No grown man should be that happy at getting to sit next to his friends Still, it was nice of you, more than nice.
Must've cost you a lot.
We should do it what we did today.
We nailed it for sure.
We should do it again.
Turn Mase Cap into an impact fund.
Within Axe Cap.
But ours.
There's so much money out there.
And so much possibility to make a change.
- We could become even bigger than - I know Bigger than US Steel.
I was going to say Axe Cap.
When we are together, just us, we can drop the Godfather routine, can't we? Yes.
So what do you think? Partners? You almost never take this much of a beat before saying something.
I usually know what I think, and don't have to do a gut check.
This time, I I wanted the gut check.
- Because you like it.
- I do.
Once we show a positive track record, all the assholes will want to invest.
It's true.
You're an asshole whisperer.
Maybe the asshole whisperer.
And I mean that in the best possible way.
I receive it as such.
Can't believe Axelrod won that thing.
I gotta get me one of these Opportunity Zones.
Ah, another emissary from Yonkers.
And one with glad tidings.
My father called me.
To gloat.
And to tell me that his alliance with Axe isn't over, it's only just beginning.
I appreciate your bringing this to me.
I know the inner turmoil that the decision must have caused.
I can tell you that yes, these are the waters.
And I'm channeling them into a moat and protecting the crown or something like that, Chuck.
I tried to warn him.
But my father is used to doling out advice, and not taking it.
My conscience is clear.
Well I, for one, am grateful for your counsel.
So tell me, what other venture are they embarking upon? They're going into banking.
Then so are we.
I wanted you to hear it from me.
I'm fine with you winning in Yonkers.
I am laying down my sword.
- Really? - [PRINCE.]
I'll still have it nearby, of course, and my shield, to ward off any possible attack, but I sincerely hope it won't be necessary.
You'll do your thing.
I'll still be Mike Prince.
And all will return to normal.
Though easy for you to say now that you've lost.
I was wrong to think that I could beat you in Yonkers.
I'm just a poser there.
It's not about me.
But you? Hell, man, Yonkers is you.
You are Yonkers.
You've never really left.
It's in your manner.
Your bearing.
You stink of the place.
And now you're back in it.
So, as I said, congratulations.
You know I'm a dreamer Ready to head in, boss? But my heart's of gold I had to run away high - I should.
- So I wouldn't come home low It's the right thing.
Let's do it.
- Just when things went right It doesn't mean they were always wrong Yeah.
I don't think I can.
And you'll never feel - Whatever you want to do, Axe.
- Left all alone Go inside.
Feed them.
I've gotta get the fuck out of this dipshit town.
- Just one more night - [ENGINE REVS.]
And I'm comin' off this long and winding road I'm on my way I'm on my way Home sweet home Tonight, tonight I'm on my way I'm on my way Home sweet home You know that I've seen Too many romantic dreams Up in lights Fallin' off the silver screen My heart's like an open book For the whole world to read Sometimes nothing Keeps me together at the seams I'm on my way I'm on my way Home sweet
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