‘Billions’ Season 5, Episode 6 Recap: Fake It Till You Make It

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His boss, Bobby, also has fakes on his brain. With the help of his sub-faithful Danny Margolis (Daniel Cosgrove) and his dirty and children specialist Victor Mateo (Louis Cancelmi), Bobby has stored replicas of his art collection in a free-port tax haven, declaring them as the authentic article while secretly keeping the real paintings in his residences. But a law enforcement raid sends Axe and his merry men scrambling, especially when his enemy Chuck Rhoades gets wind of the arrangement: He remembers seeing a Van Gogh in the apartment where his ex, Wendy, lived on Bobby’s play, and he is convinced that he was in the presence of the master’s authentic work.

You have to do a little, but Chuck finally gets his mandate and an art authenticator to go with her, ready to loot the apartment and pin Bobby to the wall alongside his paintings. But when the team arrives, they discover that the place has been turned into a private museum, literally overnight, thanks to a daring helicopter raid by the merry men mentioned above. “I’d say you’re wasting my taxes,” Bobby says of Chuck’s attempted raid, “if I didn’t have such a giant [expletive] Deductions. It’s our Axis. He doesn’t just win, he has to let you know the margin of victory.

Chuck’s plan has had a bumpy road from the beginning. Early on, he found himself foiled by the Manhattan district attorney, Mary Ann Gramm (Roma Maffia), who took him out of the art business for reasons of competence. Chuck needs to come to his tough in order to get him back, and with the help of his sociologist girlfriend, Cat, he finds a way: threatening to throw the book on sex workers, whose Gramm profession has been hoping to decriminalize. (This is “The Nordic Model” from the episode’s title.)

Momentarily, at least, Cat is aghast when she hears Chuck’s idea. The struggle for the rights of sex workers is part of her life’s work. It’s probably an empty threat, isn’t it?

“Of course, it’s a threat,” Chuck says, before adding, “I have to Mean, because otherwise it is not a very good threat. The forgery must be indistinguishable from the real thing, in other words. And with that mindset in place, Chuck manages to snatch Gramm’s case. And while he can’t nail Axe as he hoped, Cat rewards him for not doing good on his threat, real or otherwise, by buying them the services of a sex worker. The kid-in-a-candy-store look on Chuck’s face indicates that he is quite happy with this silver lining.

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