The Billions Stock Watch is a weekly accounting of the action on the Showtime drama. Decisions will be made based on speculation and occasional misinformation and mysterious whims that are never fully explained to the general public. Kind of like the real stock market.
STOCK UP – Access
It is very cool that Billions is making Taylor a person. There was a robotic quality to the character last season that fit what the show was doing, mostly, but as Taylor has fit in and grown and become an important player at Axe Capital (and an important part of the show, with Axe banned from the office), the character needed more than “good at poker and math and bad at people.” I very much support the idea of Taylor and Tech Birbiglia — I’ll learn his name if his character keeps showing up, I promise — carrying on a torrid cross-country romance. Or Taylor just continuing to display human emotions. It was kind of a big deal when Billions — and I say this with love, but Billions? — introduced a non-binary character last year and it’s a bigger deal now that they’re giving the character love scenes.
I dig that, even if the transformation from quiet robot into master of seduction seemed to happen a little fast, which I have decided not to care about because it could be a manifestation of Taylor’s new embrace of power as the boss at Axe Cap and also because it was really cool fan service that the members of the Billions slash fiction forum would have been clamoring for if they existed at all.
That all very good. So is “Do you want access?” as a pickup line. Write that down, nerds.
STOCK DOWN – Wendy
Wendy is conflicted out the wazoo and it’s really becoming a problem. Her Switzerland routine with Axe and Chuck was always kind of dicey, given what each of them do and the way she knows for a fact that they do it, but now she’s advising Axe how to proceed with a criminal trial hanging over his head while she’s giving Chuck bedtime greenlights to use information learned from her stolen patient notes to trap Axe in the Ice Juice fraud. It’s a lot. Part of me knows the show is better with her in the middle balancing the egos of the lunatics she’s attached herself to, but another part of me wants to shout “MAKE A CHOICE, LADY.”
But she also did this move to kick Dollar Bill and Spiros out of her office, so I can’t stay mad at her.
STOCK UP – Clandestine meetings
Bobby Axelrod is the king of the clandestine meeting. He must be having them, conservatively, 10 hours a day. Yes yes, the meetings are usually short, but he has to drive to each one without getting tailed and prepare for them and meet with his creepy shark-eyed security duo before and after each one. It’s a miracle he gets anything else done. His daily planner must read, like:
9am – Clandestine meeting (bird-watching)
11am – Clandestine meeting (dock)
12pm – Intimidate witness at hot dog stand
2pm – Clandestine meeting (sidewalk)
4pm – Brood in multimillion-dollar penthouse
6pm – Continue brooding, possibly while meeting with lawyer
8pm – Private dinner at exclusive restaurant that you have scheduled for the sole purpose of intimidating an employee
10pm – Clandestine meeting (tunnel)
Glad to see he’s keeping himself busy.
STOCK DOWN – Bryan Connerty
Bryan is full-on going after Chuck, with Dake and Sacker and freakin’ Lou Avery from Mad Men all conspiring against him. Kid is taking Ls left and right. It was Rhoades senior last week basically pantsing him in the interview, and this week it was Boyd — who looks kind of like if Anthony Bourdain had gotten way into Ayn Rand — more or less saying “Congrats, you figured it out. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a fraudulently obtained boat to sail outside your jurisdiction.”
Tough break, kid. Keep working on that wall.
STOCK UP – Kate Sacker
I missed Sacker and I’m glad she got more to do this week. I was kind of ecstatic when she sold Bryan out to Chuck. I don’t know why. I like Bryan and I support what he’s doing and I respect that he’s the only person out there trying to fight the good fight, but yeah. I hope the two of them cut through the chowder-thick sexual tension and have sex on Chuck’s desk.