Tuesday, March 8, 2016

What I’m Watching: Billions

Billions: Season 1, Episode 6 “The Deal” (B+)

It seemed like way too early into this show’s run for a deal to be reached so easily and to be accepted by both sides. What we saw over the course of this hour was two men bending to pressure from those they trusted most and then throwing it all away by letting their egos get the best of them. It’s not clear which one of them is more at fault, Chuck for piling on the humiliation factor or Axe shrugging a $1.9 billion fine off as no big deal, but now things are just going to heat up. The reactions of their wives to how they were behaving was particularly fascinating. Wendy marched right into Chuck’s office to curse him out for manipulating her, and he wasn’t terribly nice in return. Lara also spoke her mind more than usual, reminding Axe that they’re a team and he shouldn’t be speaking in singular terminology, especially since his newfound pariah status has permeated their entire family. I don’t think I had commented previously on the superb casting of Glenn Fleshler, known for his third-person portrayal of Remus on “Boardwalk Empire,” as Axe Capital lawyer Orrin Bach, who does a great job blending into the background most of the time while shining through in the important moments, like his bathroom conversation with Bryan. Obviously Chuck isn’t truly recusing himself from the case, but it should at least turn the intensity down a tiny bit until the next big blow-up from either side.

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