Monday, April 17, 2017
Billions: Season 2, Episode 8 “The Kingmaker” (B+)
Forget the legal battles in which Chuck gets to gloat because he got Axe to almost admit that Chuck hurt him emotionally. Axe bursting into the club screaming for Chuck’s head is a deeply personal move, one that far outweighs Chuck showing up to shake his hand at the funeral. The fact that Chuck wasn’t the one who ruined the Sandicott deal is irrelevant, especially since he barely flinched when he confronted his father about the news he had just learned regarding his involvement in it. It’s exactly what he would have done had he been aware, and therefore he’s not excused. While he initially balked at his father’s request to get Jack Foley’s niece a clerkship, he promised to do even better when he went to Foley and explicitly asked him to make him governor. It didn’t take much effort to get his prime opponent, Bob Sweeney, to back off from his pursuit of the governorship and likely become his helpful running mate. I like Matt Servitto from his work on “Brotherhood” and “Banshee,” and I think this is the perfect role for him. Axe’s declaration of war against Chuck barely fazed him because he’s good and ready to go, and Bryan and Kate are already on their way to getting people to testify against him, since it seems like, at best, those who he has dismissed are nervous about speaking out because of nondisclosure clauses but still perfectly willing to try to cleverly get around those regulations. Wags is back in form, ready to manipulate those around him to achieve the best possible result, trying hard even though he feels underused.