The recap is back! Welcome back to the Billions Recap Reality Index, where every week we tally a list of events from each episode that we found to be either too real to fail or as fake as a toxic asset’s triple A rating, scored on our completely subjective point system.
This week we provide you with due diligence on the fourth episode of Season 4, “Overton Window.”
When we last saw Axe in the “Chickentown” episode, he had just prevented Dollar Bill from infecting the US food supply as a way to salvage his busted Chickenman trade. Meanwhile, Chuck discovered the power of rubber bands as a coping mechanism on the campaign trail as he continued his quest for public office. This week, we see Axe Capital in crisis, as Axe and the gang are forced to fight for their survival against a cyberattack while Chuck fights for his political survival when Blackjack Foley threatens to bring his personal life public. Will hitting control-alt-delete be enough for Axe Capital’s techie to save the day? Will Wendy have to play the role of solemn candidate wife standing to the side during a press conference? Will Dollar Bill fight back against Patagonia’s discrimination against fleece vest enthusiasts who work in financial services? Let’s go over the numbers and find out.
REALER THAN A SEXUALLY DEVIANT NEW YORK STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL
- Axe had school buses sabotaged among other shenanigans to help Chuck win. Ah, election day in New York, when every trick in the book and even some new ones are used.
- Axe instructs everyone at Axe Capital to make all moves through dark pools to mask trades of their size to avoid tipping off other institutional investors about the situation in natgas.
- Black Jack Foley is dying and his only thought is- ensuring his heirs can hold on to the money he passes down and not get any grief from the justice department.
- Axe: “I don’t even have any trading desks phone numbers anymore.” Perfect.
- Fuck Patagonia’s ban on financial services firms, Dollar Bill in a fleece vest is always good for a…
- Axe using his box for the US Open to entice brokers is classic.
- Ben Kim: “I’d like to help, but I’ve never made a voice trade in my life.” Kids these days.
- They got Courtney Gross, a real life NY1 reporter for the scene where Chuck is preparing to announce he’s dropping out. NY1, a New York election day tradition unlike any other.
- You might think, no way in hell would any candidate come out and have a presser where they admit to Chuck’s adventures in his private life. And you would probably be right except for one thing. New York politics is absolutely fucking bananas.
- “Here’s to all or nothing gambits, the only way to live.”—Chuck Sr.
- Haha Chuck legit told Wendy to wait a second and see how she polls before making any hasty decisions after Chuck’s bombshells. Dude really is a politician now.
TOTAL POINTS FOR REAL:PLUS 13
FAKER THAN A FUND HAVING A MAJOR CRISIS AND ALL THE EMPLOYEES SITTING AROUND DOING NOTHING
- Axe claims his dirty tricks should cause the lowest primary turnout in history. Good luck, it’ll take more than sabotaging some school buses, the record is below 10% in a statewide primary, but lately turnout numbers have been very high.
- In under a second the IT guy determines the computer won’t restart because it’s a brute force attack on their servers. WTF?
- Bobby tells Ben Kim to execute trades using a market order instead of a limit order, which sure timing is important, but on that kind of size? And he ends up haggling on price anyways so what was the point?
- “Anything that’s been on the network has been malwared.” WTF is the IT guy talking about? Again pulling this stuff from thin air.
- Axe told his employees to reach out to friends on social media during the crisis? You really want the world to know Axe is dead in the water?
- When Axe and Wags are making calls to prime desks at banks, why is everyone else at Axe Capital just sitting around and doing nothing during this crisis?
- Wags is always over the top, but he’s pretty fucking obvious on his calls to prime desks that something is up to make him so desperate to dump natural gas stocks.
- So the story is Grigor and his stooges ran about the offices and planted devices to hack their network? That’s a bit far-fetched.
TOTAL POINTS FOR FAKE: MINUS 10
OVERALL SCORE FOR “OVERTON WINDOW”: PLUS 3
OVERALL SCORE FOR BILLIONS SEASON 4: PLUS 24
So Billions squeaks by with a Plus 3, the lowest score so far for the season but still in the black. In perhaps a nod to the exceedingly surreal times we live in, Chuck’s storyline of an AG candidate admitting his enthusiasm for S&M was among the more realistic aspects of the episode, while the Axe Capital techie who can instantly recognize a cyberattack in seconds kept the episode from really soaring in the realm of believability.
Nonetheless, I still have faith in this season of Billions and maintain my hold rating on the show. So now that Chuck has come clean, will he finally use the powers of attorney general for their intended use- exacting revenge on your political enemies? Will Axe finally find time to research friction in zero gravity? Will Wendy run back into Elon Musk’s arms like she did last time Chuck pissed her off? Stick with us when we recap Episode 5 next week.
Comfortably Smug is a government relations professional with a focus on the financial services industry. He can be found on Twitter with his musings on all things finance and politics at @ComfortablySmug