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 DOWN – Being a semi-redeemable person
Truly a spectacular week for people being piles of trash. Just huge gross piles of trash, baking out in the sun, with little green squiggles of stink coming off of them like in a cartoon. Even on a show that revels in that (the Ice Juice fiasco, bankrupting an entire town, everything Chuck’s dad has ever said or done, including things he did before the action on the series started and the things he’s doing every second he’s not on-screen, one presumes), this was a banner week.
Let’s start with Axe. Blame it on the personal and professional tailspin, if you like, but he ran the gamut from entitled toddler throwing a tantrum (going back and forth over letting Taylor use the last $2 billion in funds or engaging in a series of shady illegal moves just because he needs the action, before settling on doing both and belittling Taylor about it for good measure) to full-on conspiratorial villain (getting Maria the housekeeper deported).
Poor Maria, man. That one hurt. Lady poisoned herself with tainted Ice Juice and cleaned whatever ungodly atrocities Victor left behind after the Eyes Wide Shut-style masked orgies I’m convinced he throws and was thanked for her troubles with an expedited and fraudulently processed deportation. And for what? To cover up a crime Axe definitely committed, which he did for the sole reason of trying to ruin another morally bankrupt millionaire over a personal vendetta? No thanks. That last shot of her at the bus station was a knife, man.
But also shout-out to Chuck. I mean, he didn’t get anyone shipped out of the country in the middle of the night using computer fraud and an over-exuberant immigration force, but he did threaten to destroy a judge’s son’s medical career in a poorly-lit hallway. Gotta count for something in the Trash Olympics. As does the judge using his status to get his son’s legal issues disappeared in the first place, giving the kid a free pass on a drug crime that would have put a less fortunate kid in jail for months or years.
Again: I hate everyone on this show and will never stop watching it.
STOCK UP – Wags
- He has been banned from attending Little League games for unknown reasons
- He has somehow, against odds so long you could use them to lasso the moon and whip it around in space, become the voice of reason on the show
- His mustache remains immaculate
I lied earlier when I said I hate everyone on this show. I still like Wags.
STOCK DOWN – Owing favors
Never owe anyone a favor. Especially not one you can’t say no to. Always pay cash at the time of the transaction. Keep a clean ledger. Do whatever it takes to keep yourself out of a situation where you are forced to employ Cutler from Mad Men. Go live in the woods and only eat what you can kill or grow, if necessary.
STOCK UP – Playing both sides
I’m still not exactly sure how Wendy is pulling this off. She’s advising Axe in midnight phone calls that she’s answering while lying next to the husband who is trying to ruin him, with her assistance, kind of. It’s a mess. I’m becoming convinced this whole thing ends with Axe and Chuck in jail and Wendy in an oceanfront mansion located on some island tax haven. Good for her?
STOCK UP – Skinny dipping
It’s your pool.
STOCK DOWN – Having a boss
Taylor is getting jerked around by Axe and then shamed about it. Sackler and Brian are getting jerked around by Chuck and Dake, respectively, even though they both know something shady is going on. Dake is getting jerked around by the new Attorney General, who continued his run of colorful Texan analogies delivered while seated with the posture of a man who considers any steak under 16 ounces to be a vegetable. I’m becoming more serious about this whole “moving to the woods” thing.
STOCK UP – Clandestine meetings
The main thing I take away from this week’s episode is that I am not having nearly enough clandestine meetings. Chuck and the judge in the hallway, Chuck and Wendy by the river, Axe in the SUV, Axe at the pier where they switched the phones. It was a real thing this week. I’m livid about it. Let’s all meet in an abandoned mall tonight and then snap our prepaid flip phones in half as we leave.