This Week In Billions' Most Ludicrous Dialogue

Jeff Neumann/Showtime
If I'm honest with myself, I only understand about three quarters of what's discussed in Billions. Everything about "short squeezes" and "stocks" (what even are stocks, anyway?) I tune out. It's a testament to the writers' brilliance that I find chatter about incomprehensible topics so incredibly enjoyable.
Aside from Wendy Rhoades' unshakably calm demeanor (she is life goals) and the ridiculously gorgeous interiors, the undeniable best part of Billions is the fast, highly quotable manner in which the characters speak. You know those comebacks you think of three hours too late? The characters on Billions experience no such lag; their tongues are intelligent comeback machines, always prepared with the exact manipulative sentence necessary to further their own personal goals. For better or for worse, the characters place more value on effective communication of ideas than on kindness, or others' feelings. Though this leads to some biting dialogue, it's somewhat refreshing to hear people actually say what they think.
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So, to celebrate the show's lean, cutting, highly efficient dialogue, I'll be taking note of the show's best lines of dialogue on a week-by-week basis, starting with the season 3 premiere. Bask in all its witty glory.
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Photo: Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME
"You got some wolf in you, which is why you're not getting fired. Not quite yet, anyway. No, sir, you are among the blessed few. It's end times for most of your brethren, but you have not been raptured yet."

— Waylon "Jock" Jeffcoat (Clancy Brown) in Season 3, Episode 1: "Tie Goes To the Runner"

The episode begins with a tense interaction between U.S. attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giammatti) and the newly appointed attorney general, Waylon "Jock" Jeffcoat (Clancy Brown). Jock quickly asserts himself as a master of drawn-out analogies and over-the-top language. He will fit right in on Billions.
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Photo: Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME
Wendy: "Are you planning to come to the office anytime soon?"
Bobby: "Yeah, once my assets are unfrozen."
Wendy: "Should everyone else go home, too?"
Bobby: "Not if they want to stay on the payroll."
Wendy: "That's inspiring stuff. Must be what Kennedy said to his staff during the Cuban missile crisis."
Bobby: "Kennedy wasn't under as much pressure as I am."

— Wendy (Maggie Siff) and Bobby (Damien Lewis) in Season 3, Episode 1: "Tie Goes To the Runner"

And the crazy thing is, Bobby definitely means it. He really does think that he's under more pressure than President John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
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"You're not authorized to guarantee bonuses. Your ego just wrote a check your body can't cash."

– Mike "Wags" Wagner (David Costabile) in Season 3, Episode 1: "Tie Goes To the Runner"

The image of an ego writing a check, and a body being a bank for cashing ego-checks, is both ridiculous and worthy of applause. It's impressive that Wags is able to somehow able to express all situations using the language of money.
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Photo: Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME
"Like Squanto should have said to the pilgrims, 'Get the fuck out of here.'"

– Mike "Wags" Wagner (David Costabile) in Season 3, Episode 1: "Tie Goes To the Runner"

Wags unveils this one-liner when Lara (Malin Akerman) and Steven Birch (Jerry O'Connell) overstay their welcome at Axe Capital. Wags may not be making the great trades, but he is bringing the verbal acrobatics, and his skill should be admired.
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Photo: Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME
Bobby: "Okay, break it down for me."
Dollar Bill: "We are the Czechoslovakian gymnastics team in the '70s. A lot of pride for what this country was, but if something doesn't change soon, defections are coming."

— Bobby and "Dollar" Bill Stearn (Kelly AuCoin) in Season 3, Episode 1: "Tie Goes To the Runner"

Bobby wants to know how Axe Capital is faring without him, and after some goading, Dollar Bill tells him the truth, by way of creative Olympic-themed metaphor.
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"I'm Taylor Mason, Chief Investment Officer, Axe Capital, and I have a silver-backed fucking gorilla of an idea."

— Taylor (Asia Kate Dillon) in Season 3, Episode 1: "Tie Goes To the Runner"

Now that Taylor is officially representing Axe Capital on the street, they know they must find a way to assert their dominance. So, Taylor bursts into the idea dinner a few minutes late, and says this gorilla-themed line. Taylor is learning how to express themselves in the language of Wall Street — animal analogies and exaggerated delivery and all.
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