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 — Poop
It brings me great pleasure to report that a train filled with human feces played a major part in this week’s episode of Billions. My favorite part is that it wasn’t a metaphor. It would have been a great one, too. It sounds like a threat someone on this show would shout at an underling. “You get this done by tomorrow morning or you’ll be on a poop train to New Mexico.” But it wasn’t a metaphor. It was a literal train filled with construction Porta Potty poop — “night soil,” in the words of Senior — that smelled so foul that it a) caused multiple people to vomit within moments of encountering it, and b) almost got Chuck everything he wanted from Jock, whose home the poop train was parked outside of. That’s some funky doo-doo. Lots of nasty mud pies in there.
It was only one part of Chuck’s plan, though. He rolled his two missions this week — getting Senior’s dock business free and clear of cops, greasing the wheels to ensure Wendy’s medical license stays valid — into one. The poop went to Texas and the oncology doc from the Ice Juice fiasco got a visit. This last thing turned out to be more gamesmanship than an actual play. It makes sense. This doc gets hosed constantly so of course his plan to get released would get foiled at the last second in a rare bit of moral clarity for Chuck Rhoades. I’m glad he’s doing okay in prison, at least.
About that moral clarity: Chuck’s refusal to budge on the blockchain voting program means that his wife and father — the only two people who can push him around — are still in their respective messes. I assume this will remedy itself by the end of the season, only because Billions is a show where good things happen to bad people a lot. You saw Chuck’s eyes. He knows something is up with Jock and the voting thing. He’s going to find out what it is and burn Jock down with it. You wait and see.
STOCK DOWN — Taylor
Perhaps you’ve noticed this: Most of the shots of Taylor this week depicted them in the shadows, almost lurking. This is as clear a symbol as there is that Taylor is going all the way to the dark side. This and the fact that Taylor appears to be spending entire work weeks on plans to destroy Axe. When was the last time you even heard Taylor mention an investment or course of action that did not involve destroying Axe? Have we had one this season? I’m genuinely asking.
Either way, the plan failed. Taylor was not able to use Bensinger’s position to control the Saler’s board and make Axe’s life miserable by making Rebecca’s life miserable. There was an important lesson learned, though: Axe cares enough for Rebecca that he’s starting to act out of character. Why, it’s almost like the character whose parent-child relationship was just tossed into the shredder by Axe might want to strike back at him in a personal way! I’m not sure that I like this evil new lurking Taylor but I am sure that I would love to see Axe take a substantial loss soon, even if it does result in Nina Arianda leaving the show. That’s how much I’m sick of Axe. I’m willing to lose Nina Arianda over it. And she rules. It’s a very serious situation.
STOCK DOWN — Wendy
Wendy wants to go legit again because she’s realized the error of her unethical ways but her plan to go straight involves asking her powerful husband to crush anyone in her path no matter what, which also seems ethically dicey.
Wendy is having problems. Chuck chose free and fair elections over her and their marriage. I honestly hope her license does get revoked. She’s guilty. She did everything she’s accused of. Wendy is spiraling bad right now and she had no one to blame but herself and maybe Chuck for his press conference. (Wow, I almost forgot about the press conference. You know a lot is happening on a show when a main character outs himself to the world as a masochist and a few weeks like you’re like “Ahhhh, right. I remember now.”)