'Billions' Season 5 Part 2: Why a relationship between Bobby Axelrod and Wendy Rhoades will most definitely fail
For all the fierce rivalry, the big talk, the sheer audacity, the wry humor, the badassery, the fine food, the splurging and the moolah, it's safe to say Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) isn't in a great space. Season 5 of 'Billions' has been a topsy-turvy ride for Axe and he's seen mixed results. What started off as a journey of self-discovery and rejuvenated spirit saw a major plummet as Axe slipped one rung after the other and it almost cost him a fortune. At this time, the last thing he needs is a relationship.
Talking about relationships, Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff) was a crusader. Always. This is an absolutely focussed and brilliant woman who unfortunately was caught in the never-ending, vicious battle between Axe and ex-husband, Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti). Loyalty has been her biggest asset and that may have put her ahead as far as the career trajectory goes, but it is evident she's compromised a lot personally when it came to relationships.
Season 5's opening episode, 'The New Decas', signaled the start of a split between her and Chuck. Their divorce finalized and for the moment, both have parted ways even though circumstances have brought them together on more than one occasion. Both have even found solace in new partners, Nico Tanner (Frank Grillo) and Catherine Brant (Julianna Margulies). While Wendy's relationship with Tanner is charting rough waters right now, Cat and Chuck have steadily managed to up their purely physical relationship.
Bringing us to a topic that has been debated by fans for quite a while now. Axe and Wendy. Some love it, some hate it and some, well they just don't care. In focus are the naysayers who have every bit of a reason to back the theory that this is a relationship that's not good for the show. However, if we were to actually look at this from a character psyche level, there are more cons to it than hoping for a happily-ever-after story. Don't get us wrong, we're not against the two getting together, but looking at it from the current character situation, it just won't work.
To start with, we'll have to go back to Episode 4, 'Opportunity Zone' where there was a brief flicker of something that just gave the audience a hint of romance brewing. Axe and Wendy's relationship has always been the sort where the lines between professionalism and friendship blurred. They have been close, they have been in situations where they have been able to see through each other and they understand each other better than themselves. There's enough proof.
'Billions' is dissected on Reddit in detail and there have been strong opinions about the two pairing up. Some want them to get married while a bunch just want a steamy affair, but both just might end up making the pair more miserable and looking at the larger picture, this move will raise objection from some fans if not all.
At the moment, Axe is seething. Not just has he been pummeled by Mike Prince (Corey Stoll), the new kid on the block, Tanner has also been a handful. There's no denying that his behavioral pattern puts him in the picture where fans have realized he does have a special place in his heart for Wendy. Does he want to take it further? Does he intend to start a relationship with her? It is a possibility, but we're talking about a ruthless billionaire who stops at nothing to win.
And if Wendy stands in his way, he may hesitate, but still, steamroll her. The loyalty and friendship the two have and share generously might have kept them together and that might have triggered Axe to develop some feelings, but he's facing major heat and a relationship at this time might seem dangerous. Axe has always spewed anger, Wendy has been the one helping him channel that emotion strategically. And this might not be the same if the two decide to get together.
Wendy is a lot more human than Axe. Her profession has played a pivotal role in shaping her as a person and this may mean she is a lot more vulnerable than Axe. Should things go south if in case they do start a relationship, she'll be the one hurting while Axe might end up using that anger to go thump the s**t out of someone. Quite simply, he has an outlet. A classic example to back this theory is her closeness to Tanner. The artist had no qualms opening up and the fact, be it a rebound or a conscious choice, the duo did get intimate.
Axe and Wendy may have everything that gives fans a reason to see them start a relationship, but love is an ingredient missing. There are feelings, but not all of it is love all the time. 'Billions' has always been a show of complex actions and equally complex consequences. Perhaps, this is an action best avoided.