‘Billions’ episode 4 review: Axe’s personal rock star

Billions season 1Is Bobby Axelrod on Showtime’s “Billions” really one of the greatest rock performers of all time? Hardly; he’s not even a musician. Yet, at the same time this is a guy who clearly fancies himself one, and holds on preciously to the belief that he can do almost everything.

As a matter of fact, this is the sort of insight that Decker, who finds himself and his parents in jeopardy with Rhoades unless he sings like a canary, starts to hand over to Chuck in this episode. He makes it clear just how in control Axe is in his own company. He’s powerful enough to start meetings whenever he wants, and charismatic enough that he can keep people hovering around him like a sun. This is the closest that Chuck has been so far to getting what he wants from Bobby, but he’s still rather far away. Not only that, but he realized that there is a mole on the inside in this episode and now has to contend with that.

Meanwhile, Axe showed during this episode that he is shrewd enough to negotiate and plot even while in Quebec attending a Metallica conversation. Through his conversations on the airplane we found out a little more about him, not just in terms of who he has been; this was also just as much about who he is now, and also how he is unafraid to gamble. This guy has a reputation of being a hustler, and he proved that. He also established himself as more than a little bit sleazy in his conversations with Kerry Bishe’s character. (Isn’t it nice to see her get some face-time on other shows after her great “Halt and Catch Fire” performance?)

While we can understand the complaints that are out there about the methodical pace of this show, for the most part we still have to profess that we were rather thrilled with this installment as a whole. After all, it was everything that we want “Billions” to be: Fast-paced, sharp, biting, and also political and mysterious. This is a show firmly on the way up. Grade: B+.

We’ll have some more insight on the show soon; meanwhile, head over here to get some other TV news on everything we cover, sent right to you via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: Showtime.)

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