Billions Recap: I Want To Know What Stock I'm Running Up His A$$

Short squeezes, and slum lords, and Metallica, oh my!
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No more for you, poor man's Biff Tannen.

Hello, and welcome back to our Billions recap, wherein we discuss last night's episode of Showtime's series about hedge fund billionaire Bobby Axelrod (AKA Shmeve Shmoen) and US Attorney General for the Southern District of New York Chuck Rhoades (AKA Breet Pharara). Shall we?

Last night's episode was called "Short Squeeze," and in addition to the one viewers got re: "What's a short squeeze," the whole thing was basically full of important Life Lessons.

  • DON'T eat the vegetables an insecure douche has planted (or, more likely, his gardener planted) was the lesson that came within the first minute of the show, and it went out to the deers of Greenwich, CT. Because if you do decide to waltz onto said douche's property, he might be drunk and lamenting the fact that his positions, while profitable, haven't made more money, and decide that to exert his power and make himself feel better, he should go out and shoot at you with the assault rifle he keeps in his home.
  • On the other hand, if you're the douche in question-- whose name is actually Danzig, i.e. the trader from the first episode who butters Axelrod's ass and receives a pump up from Wendy1 when he's losing-- DOwork for a very powerful man who wants to keep certain regulators/law enforcement officials out of his business, as there will be no record of six cops taking you down on your front lawn.
  • If you're a low level staffer in the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York, as Tara Mohr is, and you've been tasked by the guy who blackmailed you with feeding him information about your employer's investigation into Bobby Axelrod, DO come up with a better way to go about your task than pretty brazenly and obviously rifling through papers on other people's desks, and just walking into your boss's office hoping to find what you need. Because you will get caught! You won't go to prison because the whole thing isn't entirely you're fault-- Axelrod's creepy fixer guy did, after all, secretly record you doing coke off of another woman's breasts and threaten to take it to your boss if you didn't comply-- but you probably should've just gone to your boss and been like, "Look, sometimes I do coke off of other women's breasts" instead of acting as a mole. The attempt to get Axelrod's creepy fixer to talk about how he set you up, while you wear a wire and people from your office sit in a parked car a block away, will be a failure, because Axelrod's creepy fixer knows and sees all, and you're going to-- we're guessing here-- be forced to resign and do press for whatever low-rent PR firm will have you.
  • If you are old high school buddies with a billionaire named Bobby Axelrod, and he's invited you to fly to Quebec on his private jet, stay in a sweet private suite, see Metallica, bang some groupies, and do a suitcase full of drugs before hitting a few golf balls around-- partially so he can clandestinely meet with a guy named Constantine, but still-- you should just be like, "Thank you for inviting me to fly to Quebec on his private jet, stay in a sweet private suite, see Metallica, bang some groupies, and do a suitcase full of drugs before hitting a few golf balls around." DON'T fire up your E*TRADE account based on a snippet of a conversation you hear about him shorting a company called Cross Co and plow your life's saving into it. Because he might bail you out when you get f*cked, but never again will you be invited to fly to Quebec on his private jet, stay in a sweet private suite, see Metallica, bang some groupies, and do a suitcase full of drugs before hitting a few golf balls around.
  • If you're the father of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and you've pinned your failed dream of being governor on your son because apparently back in the day you were the slum lord of a building that caught fire and killed a bunch of people, DON'T pump up a stock as some sort of revenge scheme to short squeeze your son's enemy. Because your son will find out-- after he's forced to cede ground to the SEC-- and you'll kind of just look like a sad, pathetic old man. Albeit a still very, very rich one despite your $480k loss on Cross Co, incurred because your son bars you from selling until the stock is at $43.72 and you've taken your "medicine."

Thoughts/Feelings/Deers Who Were At The Wrong Place At The Wrong Time:

- Pete Decker, former Axe Capital employee and son of the year from the third episode who made illegal trades in his parents', account tells Rhoades the "voice on the phone" who gave him the tip about Pepsum was a guy named "Bill Stern." Rhoades in turn tells his No. 2 that they're going to "put [Stern] on the rack and stretch him until he gives us Axe." Are they also going to incorporate any of the stuff Wendy does to Chuck when he's tied up with a ball gag shoved in his mouth? Because that would probably also get someone to flip.

- What did Constantine tell Axe? ("You know what to do with what I'm about to tell you.") Theories welcome.

- Axe returns from Canada and tells "Wags," his COO, to "sell everything" which naturally will lead people to think that he's "out." Which would sort of derail the show, which has been renewed for a second season, so I'm thinking he's not actually out? Is episode 5 going to start two minutes after this one ended, with Axe telling Wags "No, wait, I was kidding" or...?

Earlier: You're *MY* Rapacious Scumbag

1. Who in retrospect, maybe SHOULD have prescribed him some sort of anti-depressant.

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