Sunday night’s third episode of Showtime’s third season of Billions returned to NYC and once again brought in lots of juicy local restaurant cameos to make points about the Wall Street drama.
This week in “A Generation Too Late,” we track Ira’s character arc through New York restaurants. The thing we know about Ira — a hedge fund manager who we’ve seen through lonely and desperate nights at Soho’s Goldbar and getting directly and indirectly screwed over by both lead characters Axe and Chuck — is that he loves white truffles. Not today! Still reeling from his financial ruin from the Ice Juice short last season, we find Ira eating with his girlfriend at chef Tom Colicchio’s upscale Gramercy American restaurant Craft (43 East 19th St., between Broadway and Park Avenue South). At 14 dollars an ounce, the truffle loving Ira rejects the luxurious supplement of those sweet, sweet truffles while his girlfriend gets those bad boys shaved onto her pasta in slow motion. Ouchie! The pain is felt as those 20 ounces get masterfully shaved onto that tiny bowl of pasta. With money issues abound, Ira doesn’t propose to his girlfriend, which he had been planning to do that night. She eats her truffles anyway.
Next, we find Ira speaking with Bryan at the humble Upper West Side diner, Viand Cafe (2130 Broadway at West 75th Street). Bryan attempts to get Ira to cooperate with the government in helping take Bobby “Axe” Axelrod down. The diner is a pitch perfect spot for a fed to talk to a suit, but is it enough? Let’s continue.
Axe ambushed Ira at hot dog icon Gray’s Papaya, where he mocks Ira, “Go for the recession special, even though the recession’s over.” At $5.95 for two hot dogs and a drink, that’s pretty humiliating. Bobby lets Ira know that he knows about his dinner at Craft, and the two duke it out with words. Ira claims he’s going to make sure Axe pays for screwing him over in the Ice Juice short so Axe can “take your hot dogs and shove them up your ass” and storms out.
Ira eventually does make a deal with Axe and in the final scene, Ira and his girlfriend return to Craft and Ira gives her a big ol’ ring courtesy of Axe’s tab. And as they hug, we see Ira in slow motion almost staring directly into the camera. The betrayal of his old friend Chuck is complete.