Billions season 2, episode 3 recap

At the end of the first season, Chuck and Axe were continuing their mano a mano with Chuck tearing down the walls of Axe’s company in his search for a bug.  Full of bravado, Chuck tells Axe that he’s the only man that can take on Axe, a guy with unlimited resources, because he has nothing to lose.  It turns out this season that Chuck has a lot to lose, indeed.  He is now separated from his wife, and his hands are full fending off the attorney general, who is out to torpedo his career.

To rub salt in the wound, Axe plans to buy every single copy of Winston Churchill’s first-edition autographed Second World War, a book that Chuck would give his eyeteeth to own.  It’s not that Axe wants the book.  He doesn’t.  What he wants is to humiliate and break the beleaguered Chuck, screwing up Chuck’s career and his personal life as well.

Axe has already driven a wedge between Chuck and his wife by causing them to separate. Chuck can’t even have S&M with his wife anymore.  No more black-leather masochistic sessions for Chuck.  He is having a bad time of it, but he takes heart from what Churchill said:  that you should never give up.  Churchill’s words give him the strength to go on. Which is why he wants Churchill’s book so bad.  Axe knows this and will do anything to keep Chuck from owning an autographed first edition of Second World War, no matter how much money it costs to buy every single existing copy.  When his secretary tells him that’s going to be expensive, he boasts, “Then it’s a good thing I have a lot of money.”

Taboo

The TV series Taboo continues to intrigue me. It’s relentlessly dreary, but beautifully acted and lavishly produced. It’s a great period-piece melodrama. There’s always something grungy and vile going on between assorted miscreants bent on doing each other harm.  A monotonic Tom Hardy is the antihero who comes out of nowhere to seek revenge.

Westworld Comes to TV

Westworld on HBO is an interesting series with potential, although I find it confusing. Where are the humans that patronize the theme park?  It seems like everyone in the theme park is a robot.

In the Michael Crichton movie of the same name, the heroes are the humans that visit the park and are subsequently terrorized by the robots that go berserk, namely, Yul Bryner’s black-outfitted gunslinger character.

The only humans in the television series are the ones that service the robots.  Apparently, we are supposed to root for the robots as they slowly become conscious and decide they don’t like their programed fates.

Still, if humans don’t patronize the theme park and interact with the robots, what’s the point of building it?  Where’s the fun in it?

The patrons of the theme park should make an appearance.  If they’re already there, I can’t tell them from the robots.  How are we supposed to know who’s a robot and who’s a human patron?  The only humans we’ve seen are the repairmen and the scientists that created the robots.  Then again, maybe they’re robots, too.  In which case, who created them?

 

Shades of Blue

This show has potential.  The shades of blue in the title refer to the shades of moral quality found in the main characters.  Jennifer Lopez and Ray Liotta both play corrupt New York City cops.  Despite being corrupt, they are both cops and do their jobs, even if they stretch to law to do them.  The FBI discover that Lopez is corrupt and coerce her into trapping Liotta, so they can bust him.  Reluctantly, Lopez does as she’s told because she doesn’t want her daughter to grow up on her own while her mother is behind bars.  Lopez is always busy.  When she isn’t trying to trap Liotta, she’s fooling around with other women’s boyfriends.  Another one of her shades of blue morality.  Ray Liotta is volcanic as the corrupt cop with an explosive temper and keeps the show interesting.