Chuck Rhoades, the powerful U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is tipped to a case of insider trading with links to Axe Capital and the billionaire hedge fund king Bobby "Axe" Axelrod. This sets Chuck on a collision course with one of the most powerful men on Wall Street. While it could be a career-defining case for Chuck, he must tread carefully, because his wife, Wendy Rhoades, is the in-house performance coach at Axe Capital and Axe's key confidante. But a costly purchase by Axe gives Chuck the opening he needs, setting off a cat and mouse game where the stakes are high and intensely personal.
Axe installs rigorous compliance measures to gird the company against the investigation by Chuck and the US Attorney's office. When Wendy questions Axe's methods, he compels her to prove her loyalty to the firm. Chuck's investigation is temporarily derailed when he has to divert resources to a case against an Axe rival, billionaire Steven Birch. Axe's black bag man and fixer, Hall, develops a mole inside the US Attorney's office, while Axe makes an aggressive move under the guise of a charitable contribution to the symphony in order to settle an old score.
Chuck discovers that while he pursued Steven Birch, the rival Eastern District has made inroads in the Axe case and that he needs to get it back. Chuck horse-trades to regain control of a key witness, Pete Decker, a hedge fund manager with ties to Axelrod. At the same time, Axe makes an activist play for YumTime, a family owned bakery corporation. This move reverberates back to Chuck by way of a very personal connection between his father and YumTime. Wendy is thrown into a moral dilemma when she discovers via a confidential session that one of the few female Portfolio Managers at Axe Capital is going to have her career sabotaged. And Lara Axelrod tries to protect Axe's reputation from a potentially damaging "tell all" book.
After getting one of his Portfolio Managers out of trouble with the police, Axe takes a spontaneous trip to see Metallica in concert with his childhood friends. While there, he meets a free spirited young woman who makes him face the limits of his own freedom. He also must fend off a short squeeze-an attack on one of his important holdings-led by Chuck's father. Back in New York, Chuck has an epic day-long proffer session with Pete Decker, learning important facts about the inner workings of Axe Capital. But Chuck must also take action against his own father for his stock manipulation. Axe reckons with a cold betrayal by one of his old friends, and upon his return, Axe makes a momentous decision about the direction of his firm.
Axe orders his traders to unload their positions, and he unceremoniously disappears from Axe Capital, plunging the firm into chaos. As Axe questions his life choices and plans a trip on his new yacht, Wags and Wendy struggle to maintain order and morale. In response to Axe's disappearance, Chuck intensifies his investigation, which leads him to a farm in Iowa, where he discovers a key witness to a questionable trade. Armed with the damning evidence, Chuck sends the FBI into Axe Capital to make a surprising arrest.
The repercussions of the raid on Axe Capital ripple outward. Axe is spoiling for a fight, and plans a scorched-earth defense against this very public attack on his company-threatening his relationship with Wendy in the process. Chuck's interrogation of Dollar Bill does not go as planned, and political pressure mounts for Chuck to recuse himself in the face of a protracted legal battle. Wendy, caught in the middle, engages in deft shuttle diplomacy to facilitate a deal in the best interests of both men. But everything hinges on a fraught face-to-face meeting between Chuck and Axe to finalize the agreement.
The pressure from the US Attorney starts to affect Axe, who gets into a physical altercation with an acquaintance over an incident involving his kids. Chuck continues to conceal his involvement with the case while using the past to get the upper hand. Wendy meets with an attractive headhunter to consider a career change - and more than just job opportunities arise. And the case against Axe Capital gains a powerful weapon when Connerty turns a member of Axe's inner circle into an informant.
Axe receives a tip about a mole inside his company, throwing the US Attorney's case into jeopardy. Connerty faces a moral dilemma in how to respond, leading to conflict with Chuck, who finds himself reconsidering his position as both he and Wendy look toward a future without Axe Capital looming between them. As the investigation begins to encroach on Lara's private life, a secret from Axe's past surfaces, threatening everything he has built.
The repercussions of the revelations come home to roost with public demonstrations, inside insurrection, and fleeing investors. A sudden and mysterious disappearance sends both Axe and Chuck spinning. Connerty, Chuck and the FBI go into manhunt mode. Meanwhile, Lara has to contend with the brotherhood of firefighters who are furious about Axe's behavior - and in an effort to circle the wagons, makes a painful sacrifice.
The death of a member of the Axe Capital family forces both Axe and Wendy to do some soul searching, while creating a devastating setback for Chuck. Much to the dismay of the Southern District, they take another loss when an insider trading case is dismissed by a corrupt judge. In a brilliant counter move, Chuck enlists Lonnie Watley to expose the judge, while greasing the rails for a future move. Axe takes his revenge on some of his defecting employees.
Axe loses hundreds of millions of dollars on a bad trade and turns to Wendy for help. Chuck sets out on an odyssey to secure powerful allies in the fight against Axe. Lu balks at Lara's suggestion she become the new chef at Axe Capital - and takes her sister back to the old neighborhood to remind her of their roots. Meanwhile, Sacker and Connerty close down the Axe Capital investigation just as Chuck finds evidence - right in his own home - that could salvage the case.
Axe learns that Chuck has new evidence against him that could land him in prison. As Lara makes plans for the Axelrod family to flee the country, Axe accuses Wendy of leaking the info to Chuck. A defiant Wendy realizes how far Chuck has gone in his pursuit of Axe and threatens to expose him. Having sacrificed so much to this case - including possibly his marriage - Chuck finds Axe for an explosive confrontation.