‘Billions’ Recap Reality Index: “Ball In Hand” (Season 2 Finale, Episode 12)

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Billions

The recap is back! At long last, here we are at the finish line of Season 2 of Billions, and today we’re going to be providing the due diligence on the season finale episode of Billions, “Ball in Hand.”

Last week we saw just how far Chuck was willing to go to bring down Axe. Setting the bar for Pyrrhic victories, Chuck blew up his best friend’s, his father’s, and his own net worth to lure Bobby into a trap. This week, we see how Axe responds when he learns early on from a freshly released from jail Lawrence Boyd that his day for a perp walk has finally arrived. Will Axe make a run for it? Will the survivors of the Ice Juice IPO forgive Chuck? Will Dollar Bill get the damn spinoff show from Showtime that he deserves? We have the answer to some of those questions and the full score below:

THE BILLIONS RECAP REALITY INDEX

REALER THAN TELLING YOUR KIDS “THE GOVERNMENT IS A BUNCH OF FUCKING LIARS, GUYS”

  • Oliver Dake would be into pretend secret agent tradecraft stuff like meeting in empty churches. And he’d refer to it as tradecraft like he’s in the CIA.
    PLUS 1

  • As a top portfolio manager, Bobby would have the attention to detail to pull his EZ Pass off the windshield to avoid being tracked.
    PLUS 1

  • Axe using a burn bin to dispose of sensitive documents is legit.
    PLUS 1

  • Wags correctly points out that the first concern should be that all outside investor money in the fund will be rushing for the exits following Bobby’s arrest.
    PLUS 2

  • Bobby’s pop quiz for Taylor asking for their 30 day investment outlook and thoughts on the Fed is A+
    PLUS 1

  • Axe: “What am I going to tell my boys?”
    Wags: “Tell them the truth. The government is a bunch of fucking liars.” Perfect.
    PLUS 2

  • I have to give a shout out to Chuck Sr rocking the shawl collar cardigan, official uniform of old guy who lives on the Upper East Side.
    PLUS 1

  • Dollar Bill owns a dry cleaner, clearly as a way to launder money in the most punny way possible.
    PLUS 1

  • Hedge fund bro at Axe Capital rocking a fleece vest.
    PLUS 1

  • Kate Sacker tells Chuck she’s leaving the US Attorney’s office to take a job at Sullcrom, pretty much the best shop to make real money after a stint working for the government.
    PLUS 2

  • Axe says people will be all over Axe Capital’s 13-F after he’s arrested. It would probably be trending on Twitter.
    PLUS 1

  • Axe pointing out his boat is too big for this dipshit marina is fucking classic.
    PLUS 1

  • Axe hands over his passport to his attorney, standard procedure for a white collar criminal wanting to prove they aren’t a flight risk for bail.
    PLUS 1

  • Chuck Sr setting the bar for pettiness showing Chuck pictures of Wendy with the Elon Musk clone. Total Chuck Sr move.
    PLUS 1

  • Lara Axelrod picking up smoking again due to stress is perfect.
    PLUS 1

TOTAL FOR REAL: PLUS 18

FAKER THAN GOING FROM INTERN TO CIO IN UNDER A YEAR

  • Investment bank CEOs (even disgraced former ones) know better than to be seen being driven around town in a Maybach. Way too ostentatious.
    MINUS 1

  • When she’s in the vault, we see Lara Axelrod has Louis Vuitton luggage. She’d have Goyard instead.
    MINUS 1

  • Taylor single handedly writing some Ren Tech level algos in a day that would protect illiquid assets and repel high frequency traders is the stuff of fairy tales
    MINUS 3

  • The idea that Axe would promote Taylor, who was an intern a couple months ago, to CIO is bananas, and would not help keep outside money from fleeing Axe Capital; it would probably have the opposite effect.
    MINUS 3

  • Lara driving around in a G Wagon with suitcases full of cash is behavior you could expect from a Dip Set video, not a hedge fund wife.
    MINUS 1

  • Wendy thinks Taylor is ready to be CIO. Everyone is taking crazy pills.
    MINUS 1

  • Why did the US Attorney’s office wait around all day to try and arrest Axe? They would have hit him first thing in the morning and given him the Preet Bharara special- a perp walk in front of the press like it’s a damn parade.
    MINUS 2

  • How does Taylor still have their laptop at Axe Capital? FBI would have seized it during their raid.
    MINUS 1

  • It would not be Dollar Bill’s job to call outside investors, that would be handled by an overwhelmed and pissed off investor relations team.
    MINUS 1

  • Chuck, as much as he wants to spike the football, would not detail to Axe piece by piece every single shred of evidence he has against him.
    MINUS 1

  • Lara might have been too pissed off to pick Bobby up after he made bail but his attorney would have had a car waiting and earned that retainer money.
    MINUS 1

TOTAL FOR FAKE: MINUS 16

OVERALL SCORE FOR “BALL IN HAND: PLUS 2

With a PLUS 2, this episode books a profit, ending in positive territory and ending a stellar season. While we continue to be shocked by the speed at which Taylor has moved from fetching coffee to running Axe Capital, the writers have been able to keep the train on the tracks with a strong attention to detail and an appreciation of the fleece vest. Season 2 of Billions totally bucked the sophomore slump and has by almost every measure outdone their strong first season. The Reality Index tips our hat to the show’s writing staff who put up some strong YTD numbers in a year that has challenged even the best hedge fund managers. We can’t wait to see what they have in store for us in Season 3.

OVERALL SCORE FOR BILLIONS SEASON 2: PLUS 74

OVERALL SCORE FOR BILLIONS SEASON 1: PLUS 48

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

Watch the "Ball In Hand" episode of Billions on Showtime Anytime

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