Billions (2016) s07e11 Episode Script

Axe Global

[AXE] Previously on Billions.
[LUKE] We got Nancy Dunlop
burning up the track ahead of us.
- Hoot-hoot!
- [ALL] Hoot-hoot!
You are my beau ideal of
a presidential candidate.
I want to talk about how
I can help you secure it.
Your former man Winston
is shopping a new piece
of risk-management software.
You will surrender the
software immediately,
as it is the property of
Michael Prince Capital.
[SCOOTER] We know that Wags and Wendy
were also with Taylor,
and went to Axelrod.
[PRINCE] So, if you try anything,
it won't be you
who'll suffer, it'll be Wendy Rhoades.
With a new leadership structure
comes new opportunity,
every rung of the ladder.
[BEN KIM] It's gonna be a bloodbath.
[AXE] You see, this is the problem
with squaring away your enemies list.
You wake up all your
enemies in the process.
[WENDY] Welcome home, Bobby.
Thank God you're here.
Ain't that the motherfucking truth.
Now let's get to work.
I had skin like leather ♪
And the diamond-hard ♪
Look of a cobra ♪
I was born ♪
Blue and weathered ♪
But I burst ♪
Just like a supernova ♪
I could walk like Brando ♪
Right into the sun ♪
Then dance ♪
Just like a Casanova ♪
With my blackjack ♪
And jacket ♪
And my hair slicked sweet ♪
Silver star studs on my duds ♪
Just like a Harley in heat ♪
When I strut down the street ♪
I could hear its heart beat ♪
The sisters fell back ♪
And said ♪
"Don't that man ♪
Look pretty" ♪
The cripple on the corner ♪
Cried out ♪
Hi, I just tried texting you.
We up and running?
Everything going smooth?
It's so hard to be a saint ♪
In the city ♪
You should have told me you were coming
so I could've had a strong,
fresh-brewed cup
of get the fuck out waiting for you.
Oh, I'll leave.
But first, let me tell you
how I spent yesterday.
[SCOOTER] As per your
"we're getting out of-slash-poised
to get out of"
I have orders at the ready
for our traders here
to start unloading
at the opening bell, but
- Copy.
- You can't copy
while there's a "but" out there.
The but says, "Don't copy yet,
there's more to discuss."
And the word "order," which you used,
says there's nothing left to discuss.
It's the rock, paper and scissors
of organizational structure.
Get it done.
You need to hear that we are
going to take a real hit,
optics-wise and wallet-wise.
We will look scared.
We are scared.
Or at least on guard, as is appropriate.
There could be lawsuits
from our investors and LPs.
Spyros and Sacker have both flagged
possible legal liability
if we really dump
out of this stuff too quickly
and take losses.
I understand all that,
and will deal with it when and if.
So, yeah, you really have to
tell me to push the button and
I did. That's what I said.
In the heat of the moment, sure.
But now, in the calm of the after,
maybe we do some
deep-breathing exercises,
get that oxygenated blood
to sort of set our somatics
back to normal,
and then review the decision
to basically have a Korvettes-level
"everything must go" kind of fire sale.
Somatic system, limbic system,
brain waves all functioning well.
I had to push aside
all the emotional pain
associated with this move to get
to a place of pure rationality.
This is not a rash decision.
It's reasoned.
I know, because I don't want to do it.
I don't want to do it. You do.
Leadership is pumping
the brakes on "want"
and putting pedal to the floor
on that which needs to be done.
[PRINCE] You will
structure the liquidation
and execute it at the open.
I will.
Yes. Okay.
Give me specifics. What can we keep?
You can't keep anything. Get us flat.
Everything becomes cash,
and exposure to Axelrod
and his attacks goes to zero.
This is a guy who's strip-mined towns,
knocked out prominent families,
taken over boards, blown up firms,
sabotaged thriving companies.
Killed my ambassadorship.
Exposure: zero.
And that's not even considering Rhoades
and all the crud he has
the capacity to do to us.
No, will stay out unless and
until we are bulletproof.
Only after we establish
completely favorable conditions
do we plow back in.
Jumping out in front of it,
like Sauce Gardner.
If you think I'm stopping there,
you don't know me.
Oh, I know you. I watch close.
[LAUGHS] Yeah, I would imagine you do.
Which is why I was watching everything.
All my people. All the things they do.
Yeah. You said.
I guess it's always
important to keep a close eye
when your people are
really your kidnap victims.
No, Axe, not a close eye.
A thousand eyes and ears,
and the software to
make sense of it all.
I stepped it up before I got
on that plane to come see you.
He's back, as you can see. We are back.
Already up and running.
I don't have to pitch you the
feeling of coming home, do I?
I can see on your faces
the effect is already hitting you.
Yeah. Emotions are present, no doubt.
Strong pull to join forces again,
but there are other forces at play.
Even more powerful.
Fucking feelings can't run this show.
If they did, I'd be all day
coaching middle school baseball.
You'll have time to if
you stay with Prince.
Nothing else for you to do.
He's pulling out of everything.
How much did he consult you about that?
How much control do you really have?
How much do you want to be
able to control your destiny?
I control my destiny. We all do.
By staying at a place that
isn't even making trades?
A money market account,
not a hedge fund?
We can't do what you did.
We can't leave all we
worked for at risk,
gated at a place we've alienated.
You can. You just get past the money.
You remember that risking
it all is what animates you.
It is all that animates you.
Or it used to.
What about you?
You were never just about the money.
Me, 20 years ago,
would have said fuck yes.
But now?
I am too old.
Don't go full Murtaugh.
It's too depressing
from former warriors.
Not being willing to lose
everything I've made
isn't the same as retirement.
[DOLLAR BILL] And Axe'll understand.
He fucking taught us
to play the best hand
to make the most money.
[VICTOR] Yeah.
We're there now, at Prince Capital.
All our money, our whole fucking future.
We gotta make this thing crush.
Whether or not he becomes president,
our money is still onboard there.
It's a really nice office.
We need Nancy Dunlop.
Do we? I took her out at The Owl.
Yes, and you got Fourth Pike's support.
But the rest of the country,
the parts that love her,
weren't privy to that.
Next step, now that she's beaten,
is for her to publicly
declare she's with you.
I need the investment
stuff here resolved first.
But, uh, I get that you're
jonesing pretty hard over this,
- so lay it out.
- Okay.
First of all, she's in New York.
And if you win her over,
Dunlop turns her
organization over to us.
That means her field
operatives around the country
and the voter data.
We get Montana and likely
the other Western states.
This is the leading Democrat
giving you her troops
and her endorsement.
Email lists, donor lists,
dark money orgs, links to unions,
lefty groups, grassroots.
The keys to the whole candy store.
That's right. We wouldn't have
to build and stock our own.
And once you have all that,
you are the presumptive candidate.
The front-runner.
The presidential
intelligence briefings start,
which will make you,
for all intents and purposes,
the heir apparent.
First time in the modern age
an independent candidate
would be in that perch.
I get it.
Book her for dinner,
but I'm not doing anything
until the money is taken care of here.
I'll say this for you, Axe.
You trained Dollar Bill and Victor well.
They did the right thing,
like Henry Hill after
the Air France heist.
They paid tribute. They kicked up.
The important thing is we said no.
Unequivocally. To Axe.
We hardly even heard him out.
Axe approached you, you rebuffed him.
This is the thing?
- His proxy, yes.
- Taylor.
Way we figure it, this is
the rocket ship we want to be on.
And they came right to me.
Didn't waffle. Didn't evade.
Didn't make us go to them.
Same with Rian.
She emailed, though,
said she's not in a talking mood.
Good. These are the trusteds.
You all are.
So start finding me base hit trades.
Singles and doubles only,
with predefined exits.
When we go back in,
it'll be a big, concerted move.
Only moves worth making.
I've got some ideas,
stuff I'm looking at.
- We start with
- [PRINCE] But not yet.
Not until I'm bulletproof.
Prepare. But don't act.
How come you two
didn't run to me or Philip?
Uh, these these two
are good guys and good earners.
And they weren't even there.
Didn't go see him.
- It's true what he says.
- But they were invited.
You were, weren't you?
You were touched,
invited to go hear
a pitch from Axe Global.
You didn't report it.
We also didn't go.
As Dollar Bill said.
Because your feelings ran so deep
you couldn't bear passing in person?
You knew if you looked
upon him you would submit.
Is that right?
- Sounds right.
- I said it, so, yeah.
It is.
But we didn't go.
We're not the bad guys here.
Nope. You're not.
But so what?
Good guys, good earners.
Go join a 4H club.
I'll find more. You're both fired.
What the fuck?
These emotions you have
can be played in ways
you aren't even gonna be aware of.
You're a risk to me. Or were. Goodbye.
You understand why Prince
had to let Ben Kim and Tuk go.
I understood what the man said.
Is that how you would have handled it?
I don't know,
but I saw the logic of it instantly.
Do you ever disagree?
If you do, does he listen?
We communicate all day long
in ways verbal and otherwise.
- He knows where I stand.
- And that'll carry over to Washington?
- That's the plan.
- You're good with that?
You see him in the chair?
You have doubts?
No. I just like him here,
steering this big boy of a ship.
You will still feel his
steady hand on the rudder
whenever you fear you
might lose control of it.
But you won't need that.
By then, you will be fully ready.
Yes, sir.
That's how you feel, isn't it?
Solid with all this right now?
As a slab of Carrara marble, Unc.
And you can get done what you need to
with the personnel
left at your disposal?
Not a problem.
[PRINCE] Sadly, your move to hire back
your people out from under me failed,
like nearly everything
you've tried lately.
Not everything, Mike, huh?
Where you headed?
Call me for the next campaign event.
I'll live up to my end of the agreement.
Till then,
I'll be bouldering in the 'Gunks.
With Derek?
Now you're not talking?
Don't, Mike.
We're don't ask, don't tell again?
We agreed to pause the
arrangement during the campaign.
That agreement got overridden
by certain other actions.
Tell me I'm wrong.
This can be used against me.
It has been.
Which raises the question
of who did what first?
Not a question I'm interested in.
So I'm going off the grid.
Nothing will be known,
nothing will be raised,
nothing will be written.
I'm just gonna go do my thing,
while you continue to do yours.
As always.
Derek sent a picture.
Big rocks.
Don't get too excited.
I kept my focus on business.
There's a matter
I need to read you in on.
But first, did you handle
the prior matter? Winston?
"Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
"Bring me my Arrows of desire:
"Bring me my Spear:
"O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!"
Do I need a bow, a spear, a chariot?
Nay, we just need your algorithm.
You know, ChatGPT-4 can adjust
the tone of the words it uses
to meet the vernacular
of the questioner.
Some humans can do the same.
Let me try.
Reviewing contents of entire Internet.
Matching your inane turn of phrase.
And, yes, locked in.
Let's try this:
"So you ride yourselves over the fields
"and you make all your animal deals,
"and your wise men
don't know how it feels
to be thick as a brick."
Yeah, that works.
Ah, the Tull.
Love it, love it, loave it.
Thick as a brick.
Hard no on that.
I can set an after-school
playdate for you two
to continue along these engaging lines,
but first
What I'm pointing out is
he must be thick as a brick
to ask for what he and you
and this place already have:
my algo.
No, I got it,
but what we need specifically
is for you to reset the
parameters on the risk algo.
Dial back profit as prime
objective temporarily
in order to really protect downside.
Yeah, that kind of adjustment
is not in the deal.
The spirit of the arrangement
we made, Winston, should
I'm more a "letter of the contract"
sort of guy, you know? So
"The letter killeth,
but the spirit giveth life."
That's some New Testament shit,
you hear me?
I see it like this.
I could remind you of all
the various and sundry ways
that I could ruin your life.
Or I could treat you like a valued,
important and brilliant
member of the team,
being asked to roll up the sleeves.
It's not about the work it'll take.
That's fine. I'm Wozniak on 'roids
up in this motherfucker.
Nope. It's about ego.
You just said that.
Ego, which translates into dollars.
The whole thing is, I am in the process
of careering off of this algorithm,
and for that to be the case,
I need it to be a money-making machine.
- Which it is.
- I get it.
So, what dollar figure would you attach
to the sublimation of that ego
in order for us to get
what we need right now?
It's a seven-figure number
that starts with "Oh, shit!"
That'll be fine.
Get started today. Now.
We have a time frame.
It's right fucking now.
That's not what I'm
here to walk through.
Well, can it wait?
Today is about the money first.
This is about the money.
I expected Chuck would be strategizing
with former Axe Cappers.
Didn't know where else
the radar blip would come from,
but I was ready.
Based on the binder Chuck
has so graciously provided,
we have a pretty good overview
of Prince's private holdings.
Now this brain trust can
lay out an attack plan.
Best targets in my opinion
are the restaurant group,
the meat-processing plants,
clothing chains,
and auto parts manufacturers.
Hey, do you mind if I burn one?
Uh, I do mind.
Whomsoever ordered these, whoa.
Well, it's Kensington Deli, so
Hey, let's lay out
how to attack this shit.
All are vulnerable to misinformation,
disinformation, false information,
all designed to drive the
enterprise value down.
Once the balance sheets start to wobble,
it just gets easier.
There's also sabotage from within.
Infiltrate personnel in to
encourage internal conflict.
Disputes among the management team.
Create divisions between employees.
Foster a toxic work environment.
I, for one, know
how debilitating that can be.
It really does lead to
decreased productivity
and a weakened company culture.
You sure I can't burn one?
I'll blow the smoke out of the window.
It makes my synapses fire faster.
I know that's not what
it typically does,
but my doctor says I have a
paradoxical reaction to weed.
Your doctor says that?
I mean, she's not technically a doctor.
More of a spirit walker.
Answer's still no.
There are also poison pill strategies.
Clandestinely encourage
unethical business practices.
- Bribery, you mean?
- Sure.
If you want to get earthy about it.
Which you fellas could then
investigate and announce.
[BACH] And legal entanglements.
Lawsuits designed to
tie up their resources
in lengthy battles that distract them
from their core business operations.
Amanda, you have a grand jury suit?
'Cause you're gonna need it.
Lots of appearances coming up.
We've stumbled upon a whole
bunch of dirty companies,
as you see.
You're going to probably
need more than one.
Try something without stripes.
- They moiré.
- [CHUCK] And get it quick.
Grand jury's open,
and we're going with a long list
of charges against these companies.
We expect indictments.
You want me to suit up
for something we're six months away on?
[CHUCK] Six months? No.
We're announcing these investigations
and coming charges tomorrow.
All of these companies are
owned by Michael Prince,
or his subsidiaries.
Mm, that's right.
We hurt the companies,
and we hurt Prince.
- Badly.
- Tag the companies as bad.
Ruin them without knowing
if anything criminal actually happened.
Do the investigation after the fact.
I plan on using the power
of this office to its fullest,
and I expect you to do the same.
Otherwise it is wasted on you,
and will be given to someone
not so easily offended.
You don't see me clutching my pearls.
I don't even own any.
Guys, there is an order to things.
Learn of a crime, investigate,
confirm, announce,
so that only companies that
are bad actors are hurt.
And I assure you we will find crimes.
Fruit of a poison tree
called Michael Prince.
You're okay with this?
We have enough to start.
And I will slumber like
a wee babe tonight.
While I will sleep as always:
deeply, but only 20 minutes at a time.
But, yes, free of moral paroxysms.
There are thousands of
employees at these companies.
Working people who will
not be once we start this.
When one man rises
to this level of threat,
that is the way the system must be used.
You're not in law school anymore.
This is the show.
So you have two choices, Miss Torre.
You can do your job and write the briefs
and stand with us as we announce
these investigations tomorrow,
or be complicit.
Is it just us,
or are we waiting for the Third Man?
You can almost hear the footsteps.
What you said.
About Chuck showing who he is.
It fucking happened.
Tell me.
The three of them.
Him and Ira and Allerd,
they all line up together
and expect what from me?
Obedience? Fealty?
I need the thing,
not your feelings about the thing.
He's got a list of
Prince's private companies.
Investigations to be announced tomorrow.
There's nothing there.
I may not be voting for your boss,
but he's as far from a crime
as I am from starring
in a Black Swan remake.
Don't have the dance moves?
My jeté is for shit.
The targets. And how targeted.
I can't stop these investigations,
or the announcements that are coming.
I can't stop him.
But I can at least knock the
intended victim out of the way.
So, yeah, I have a source
and some documentation.
I know how Chuck is gonna attack,
and where.
Who's the source? How close?
How good? And who?
- Close. All I can say.
- Without the specific name,
it's hard for me to put
confidence in the information.
I understand what you're thinking
that Chuck might want you
to know he's investigating
to induce a reaction,
but I can't tell you.
For the source's sake.
Nice of you to protect
Amanda Torre from SDNY.
So those footsteps.
I wasn't just hearing things.
Smart. Trust no one.
I don't even know who
they're tracking or when.
I just look at what they send me.
It's that same prudence
that makes me suggest
you sell out your positions
even in these private companies.
All your private equity positions.
Unless he wants us to do that.
Unless that won't be enough.
It all depends on how many steps
from the idiot he thinks I am,
and he presumes I think he is.
I-I need a whiteboard.
Dunlop just texted me, Mike.
She needs to push your dinner.
- Tomorrow?
- "Heading back home.
Next trip should be soon."
Herbert Yardley. Know the name?
WWII codebreaker.
And wrote the first great
poker strategy book.
In it, he kind of invents game theory.
Now the example we use to figure
this out is the quarterback,
because in order to defend against him,
you need to figure out
how many steps removed
from the idiot he is.
An idiot quarterback looks directly
at the man he throws to.
Now, what do you do if you're
the middle linebacker, Kate?
Jump into the path of the ball,
just go where he's looking
and intercept the pass.
And if he's one step removed,
if he looks left but
throws right each time.
- Also easy to defend.
- [LUKE] Sure.
You go to the opposite of his
eyes and intercept the pass.
But and this is where the idea
of un-exploitable play comes from
if he knows you're running
this thought process,
he can figure how many steps
removed you think he is,
and he can go eight or
nine steps further out.
Chuck is going to announce
an investigation
so I sell.
But he wants me to know,
so I don't sell.
But he knows I know,
so he doesn't really want me to sell.
On and on.
Now the question is,
how many degrees from the
idiot does he think I am?
How many is he?
That's what I need to figure, right?
Good. Good.
That's what he wants me
spending my time on.
Sorting out the financial attack
he and Axe are planning.
He wants all my focus on that flank,
ignoring the front where
the war is really taking place.
Shoot. Get back to Dunlop.
Tell her to be at my house tonight
after whatever she's doing.
Demand it.
She doesn't leave the isle
of Manhattan before we meet.
That's what you counted on.
Getting me all caught up
in your frontal attack
so I'd miss the real play:
winning Governor Dunlop and her support.
- Huh.
- But you see,
I remembered what was
most important to me:
the presidency, and how to get there.
I think you know she hasn't
made her announcement yet.
No, but I think I know
what it's gonna be.
Do you?
Well, then you should know
what I did yesterday, Mike.
So this is where the magic happens.
Never could make the elephant
disappear when it came to you.
But yeah, this is the place.
Though as you know,
the usual weapons of this office
are also coming up short against Prince.
All right, well, let's get into it.
Do your thing, Wend.
We're dealing with an ambitious,
competitive, confident,
socially conscious strategic thinker
with high emotional
intelligence and deep resources.
Jeez, it's a wonder I even thought
to come back for this fight.
Or even why I get out
of bed in the morning.
[WENDY] But he's morally complex,
which means he likes to
think he's more ethical
than those around him.
And he is not immune from engaging
in questionable tactics
to achieve his goals.
That is a slippery slope,
and one place he can be hit.
And he believes in his own
infallibility above all else.
Something you fell prey to
that last time you tangled with the man.
I thought my play was un-exploitable.
Until you found out that any
approach can be exploited
if it becomes known.
He's going to cash with everything.
Whole Street's talking about it.
It's untenable.
He's probably looking
for some sort of hard reset
to make sure we're not
already in his holdings.
He'll have to buy back in fast.
Nobody wants to pay him
two and twenty to sit in cash.
How long does he have?
A few days, max.
He'll try to massage his investors,
his employees,
but he smells the attack.
He knows we want to hurt him.
Hurt? No. Annihilate.
Send his holdings up
in a mushroom cloud.
You got a way to separate his cash
from all the people
that work there for him
before you A-bomb his shit?
You know, the ones you told me
you couldn't abandon
and had to protect,
so staying in London was out for you.
Those people?
There is no way.
Price of doing business here.
So who wins when Prince loses?
- The country.
- The world.
Like it, don't love it.
All right, let's shift venues
before your staff come into
work and clock I'm here.
You need someplace to work out of?
I'm covered, Charles.
Uh, yeah, I'd say you're covered.
It'll do for now.
Still have my eye on a different
space for the long haul.
Strength report.
I think, from what I know,
Prince is gonna try to lock up Dunlop.
But she's not easy.
We have to set it up
so she does what we want.
Bobby, you need to reach Dunlop.
Offer her whatever you can.
Make sure she doesn't
do the wrong thing.
And what is the overall
plan at the moment?
Bankrupt Prince, drain the portfolio,
use whatever we know about the man
and can glean to set it up.
You do know
He does know our money's in there too?
Like I told them:
Like it, don't love it.
Pitched Dollar Bill and Victor.
Pass from each.
They love you, but
That's the smart move.
Their money's holding them hostage.
Most people aren't crazy
like you, Taylor.
- And Ben and Tuk?
- Too emotional for them.
The whole thing. They wouldn't meet.
They knew if they saw me,
especially you,
they'd just go in for
a hug and never let go.
Dumb move. They'll be canned by now.
You may be aware that the guillotine
was originally conceived and fashioned
by Dr. Joseph-Ignace Guillotin
as a more humane means of execution.
But since we've already been
decapitated, sans the humanity
Lightning quick.
Less likely to be botched
than steel or scimitar.
So, no severance package?
So, yes severance package?
Consider the mouton to have fallen.
Detailed data sheets
of every farthing you
have tied up in this fund.
Also known as what you stand to lose
should you use or discuss
or otherwise bandy about
anything you have learned about trades
and business practices here.
You know we have
aggressive non-competes,
unless you think we're gonna bring
our inside knowledge to Starbucks.
Only place on the Street
we can still work.
You have aggressive
non-disparagement clauses too.
Should you wind up in said Starbucks,
you had better be praising Mike Prince
for the chance to quaff
their barely potable breakfast blend.
Key cards, please.
And your Nimbus rings.
Find out how long
their non-competes are.
I've got to make a call.
See, I wasn't exactly caught unawares
by any of your highlight reel plays.
[OVER PHONE] Governor,
don't meet with Michael Prince
until you sit with me.
Mr. Axelrod,
are we sharing calendars now?
What makes you think I'm
meeting with Michael Prince?
You're the key piece.
Anyone smart can see it.
And Mike Prince, for all his flaws,
is at least that.
We all know you're in New York. Come on.
[LAUGHS] All right, look,
I took the call because
you're an influential man.
I like that you get
straight to the punch.
That's my style. So I will.
Even if you max out your contributions
and get all your fancy
friends to do the same
not sure the association
is what I need right now.
I'm no Wall Street fancy pants,
so I don't see how you can help.
And I sure don't see
any value in meeting.
Oh, I think there is.
Whatever you have on
with Prince, cancel it.
Postpone it at least,
and then meet with me so I can show you.
La-da-da ♪
Da-da-da ♪
- I'm gonna go check on the
- Yeah, check on that.
How we doing, guys?
We're doing good, thanks.
[AXE] Fantastic, Tommy.
I'm liking this new red.
It's a good one.
- All right, enjoy, everybody.
- Thank you so much.
Salut, gentlemen.
Salut. Cheers.
Salut. Enjoy your dinner.
I don't impress easily,
but Rao's?
All alone?
Yeah, well, these are my people.
It can't be that simple.
I've been asked here before
by my biggest donors,
richest people in the world
offering to bring me.
But I was never in town
on the third Tuesday of the month,
or whenever they had
their regular table.
And, look, you've got the whole place.
Can't even imagine the cost.
Nah. It ain't about that.
Or net worth.
You need to be a person.
And have grip with Ron,
and Frank Jr., Joe, Dino.
They need to be your friends.
Then you need to be sure
not to act like an asshole.
Oh, this is one hell of a meatball.
Good God.
Well, that's the thing,
though, isn't it?
Riding with me.
What do they say?
The one thing you will never regret
spending money or time on
is a great experience.
A memorable time.
That's what I provide.
When I look at you,
I look at your appeal,
your infrastructure.
The memorable experience
I want to provide
is a trip to the White House.
That would be one hell
of a memorable one.
Mm-hmm. Then work with me.
Respond to Prince on your timeline,
on mine,
on the way we decide to do together.
And that's where this ends up.
I'll put you on top in the race,
but you got to do it
the way I lay it out.
This is one hell of a meatball,
like I said.
But it's a long way from
there to the presidency.
What kind of real guarantees
can you make me?
Well, that's a fair question.
What's he offered?
You asked me to cancel the meeting,
so I don't know where he'll start.
Probably cabinet positions.
But we all know where it'll end up.
Then let me help you
think through all the ramifications.
Axe, you're impressive.
This is impressive.
But this is something I've
worked my whole life for.
Then don't barter that dream
to a guy so transactional
he'll sell VP for your support.
And the truth is,
you shouldn't even settle for that.
Here we go.
- Here's the veal parm.
- Thanks, Dino.
- Enjoy.
- Thank you.
So, aside
from the best veal in the city,
what can you really offer me?
You're really doing it.
Night flight to the West Coast?
Or are you going the other way,
Prague or Stockholm?
Morocco, baby.
Sheltering Sky time.
Smoking kief.
Do you smoke it?
I don't know, do you? Or chew it.
Anyway, North Africa,
then the Middle East,
then I don't know where.
Good choice. All of it.
So, what's the plan?
Go until the money runs out?
Because I've checked and saw how much
you've slowly been
pulling out of the fund.
- Unlike the rest of us.
- Yeah, pretty much.
Time for something else.
Maybe find myself some
Kim Gordon-Thurston Moore type heat,
but with a better ending, you know?
Not gonna find that at the firm.
No, you're not.
Wait, you're not here to try to stop me?
I'm glad you're going,
but you left me that book.
That was an invitation to say goodbye.
I can't hug you with this backpack on.
Thank you for bringing me in.
For teaching me.
- I could have never
- Shh.
Two billionaires want
to take me to prom,
and neither of them are getting
me jazzed about the after-party.
- Uh-huh.
- So,
ya-fucking-hoo to me.
- Well, I have to think
if there was nothing that
Axe said worth considering,
you wouldn't have come to me.
Prince is too smooth.
Too confident. He's built different.
It's like he ate the Great Man Theory
and asked for seconds.
[CHUCKLES] Well, no argument there.
But I'm not seeing enough evidence
your guy is that different.
Which is why I am here.
And I am grateful you are, Governor.
I don't need gratitude.
I need clarity.
Well, Bobby Axelrod
doesn't lie to himself.
If he says he's gonna do
something monstrous,
that's what he does.
And that's what he is.
A self-aware monster.
If he says we can get you
to the White House,
it's not to serve his ego.
It is simply the truth.
An honest cocky son of a bitch.
And there's your difference.
Axe has ego,
and doesn't pretend otherwise.
Prince wants you to believe
he is the benevolent,
humble servant of the greater good.
A selfless billionaire.
Hmm. Sounds like a punch line.
If success in politics is
the ability to seem sincere
when no sincerity actually exists,
then Prince is the ultimate politician.
I hear what you're telling me. I do.
But see, you just said it right there.
One of them is in politics,
and that's the game I'm in.
And that's the game I want you to win.
Long term.
And I really know how
you can get this done.
It is the one thing on Earth
I am truly elite at.
Walk me through it, then.
So, you see, we put up
some roadblocks of our own.
I can see why you feel good
about this, Axe. I can.
But there's one beat
I left out of my own story.
I did, you see, end up
having my own meeting with Dunlop.
now that you've met all over town,
I'm glad you decided
to find time for me.
Well, I wanted to make you
the last meeting,
so I wouldn't have to tell you
that I'd have to think about it.
- Either way.
- Considerate.
Sure. That's what it is.
As I am considerate of those I vanquish.
No reason to pull a full Angel Reese.
[LAUGHS] I like her spunk and fire.
Of course you do.
When I played, I was more in the
"just place the ball on the
baseline after you score" mode.
That's what went in Indiana in the '90s.
Different world now.
Certain things, certain values,
should remain constant.
We aren't playing to an audience, Mike.
What can you offer me?
[LAUGHS] She is tough.
And you definitely got to her.
Sorry to make it so difficult.
Maybe we've each made it
as difficult for the other
as we should.
Maybe we try a different mode now.
Say the thing you're dancing around.
It's time to put this conflict to rest.
By way of peace talks.
Let's call them in.
All of them.
[CHUCK] You believe we've got
Dunlop where you want her?
I believe she'll do exactly
what we need her to.
In the old-timey thing,
the predominant king would, say,
surrender his Northern troops,
give back some lands.
Because he knew if the war went on,
even in victory, it would be Pyrrhic
and that he could prevent
further bloodshed
and loss on all sides by doing so.
And what do great presidents do?
Great presidents,
all great leaders, do the same.
Dictate peace through strength.
Great presidents?
Dreams of fucking grandeur.
They should deal with traitors
harshly before that peace.
Damn right they should.
You should, Mike.
Yeah, that way
you'll finally be in charge,
all by yourself,
just like you wanted from the start.
That's what you think is driving him?
That, or the nose-to-ass parades
you've been such a prominent part of.
Stockyard comment from a man
whose mind is always in the trough.
You're doing a lot of talking
about strength, Mike.
But only the king with the extra armies
or allies or siege artillery,
the fucking dreadnought weapons
Those are the nukes
he's so eager to play around with.
Only the king with all that
had the juice to dictate terms.
But you?
You just look like another
run-of-the-mill usurper
scrapping for turf in this room.
Hear, hear.
So you think.
Now, my information has Governor Dunlop
reaffirming her own candidacy
for president tonight,
with a big machine and a
lot of backing behind her.
Mine too, which means you'll be
in a dogfight for the next year.
I guess we'll soon see.
It's time.
Oh, fuck.
Hello, everyone.
No intros needed. You know who I am,
and I know those of you
it's important to know.
It's been a real kick doing
the roundy-round with you all.
But I've made my decision
to not only throw my support
behind our next president, Mike Prince,
but to become his partner.
His vice president.
For the good of our country
and the whole world.
Yeah. Like I said.
At least you got a decent price.
[PRINCE] Governor, thank you.
I'll meet up with you shortly.
Now, I know
what that's got to feel like.
And that the tendency
for you, and for me,
is to go on trying
to destroy each other.
But it'll cost both sides,
even though it's pretty clear
who'll win out here.
Which is why I propose a peace treaty
between our warring factions.
- And what would that look like?
- [PRINCE] Like this:
You, jointly and separately,
will cease all further
and future attacks on me,
my name, my candidacy,
my personal life and
my business interests,
which include my remaining personnel,
which no longer includes anyone
on that side of the table, by the way.
In return, I will do the same,
and when I become president,
I pledge not to use any
government resources
to persecute, prosecute,
fire or bankrupt any of you.
Should we jump ahead past
all the writhing and invective
to the place where we all
admit this is the best deal
you're gonna get?
We skipped ♪
The light fandango ♪
So, well, there's that.
Yeah. There it is.
I was feeling ♪
Kind of seasick ♪
[LUKE] Yes.
That was the call.
You're on the briefings, Mike.
First one is tomorrow.
So, yes, that's it, then.
When we called out ♪
For another drink ♪
All conditions satisfied.
The waiter brought a tray ♪
Tomorrow, at the open,
put the money to work as instructed.
Nothing heroic.
Prioritize return of capital,
not return on capital.
You got it, Cap'.
Where's the briefing? White House?
No. We're going to Camp David.
That's it.
You're minted.
You can say that again.
Shade of pale ♪
She said ♪
"There is no reason" ♪
"And the truth ♪
Is plain to see" ♪
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