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Billions - With Or Without You - Review

Last week felt like a filler episode, but it also laid some important groundwork for episode 10. This week's episode of Billions begins with a sleeping Bobby Axelrod. As he wakes up, the remains of his party are being torn down, and he seems to be in good spirits. That is, until he realizes he is in bed alone and he sees a note on the bedside table that reads "You lied to me. -Lara" Bobby immediately freaks out, and finds that his wife and his children are gone. Not gone to run errands or for a fun day out, gone, gone.

Bobby then goes to confront Wendy. She tells him about the conversation between her and Lara at the party, and he blames her for Lara leaving. He also admits something surprising. This is, apparently, the first time in 15 years that he's lied to his wife.

For the first time in a while, we get to see how much Lara really matters to Bobby. He is used to being in control and has taken that even further this season, all while pushing Lara away. He started taking her for granted, and this being the season of his downfall in many ways, it makes sense that his marriage would suffer, much in the way Chuck and Wendy's did in season 1.

Speaking of Chuck and Wendy, the two of them spent a lot of time together this episode, ending with the two of them in bed. There are some nice conversations and moments throughout the episode, and as they reflect on old times together it brings them closer.

While, as you know if you've read my past reviews, I like the scenes that just allow them to be a couple, I'm skeptical. Chuck is preparing for Albany and part of that preparation, is figuring out where his marriage is going. While their scenes together feel sincere, I can't help but wonder if his efforts in repairing his marriage have more to do with his desire to be governor, than to be Wendy's husband. Beyond that, I'm not sure that Chuck has really changed. I'm not sure I believe that he is redeemed. Wendy is right back were she started with both the men in her life, and she's not better for it.

For the majority of the episode, Chuck is with Mary-Louise Parker's character. She is an investigator who spends the episode questioning Chuck in order to find any metaphorical land mines she will have to cover before the election. Parker is great in this role, bringing a new relaxed energy to the show and a southern accent.

Axe spends the episode, searching for Lara and leaving her voicemail after voicemail, each becoming angrier and more aggressive. This is one voicemail, however, when Bobby tries to remind of a beautiful memory from the beginning of their relationship as a way to lure her back.

In the end, Lara does come back, after Wendy comes to see her. Just as Bobby thinks that he has his family back, Lara makes it clear that things between them are broken. She is back, but true forgiveness is still a ways away. When she goes upstairs, Bobby deletes all his voicemails from her phone.

Bobby is also back to having Wendy watched, something that helped damage their relationship greatly at the end of last season. This definitely won't end well.

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