Categories Billions Print Media Review

Billions Season 3 Premiere Recap: The Teaser & The Stud – March 26, 2018

Just How ‘Woke’ Billions Wants Us to Believe Axe Capital Is

by Molly Stout | Refinery 29 | March 26, 2018

After two full seasons of Billions, we are still no closer to choosing sides. In this extravagant chess match between Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis), we’re somehow still rooting for both of them to knock over the other’s king-sized ego. Or, as Axe suggested in the thrilling season 2 finale, for both of them to end up in check. Since the show’s beginning, we’ve found qualities to admire in each man: Bobby’s scrappy Yonkers childhood and ability to turn a stadium’s lights off with the God-like snap of his fingers, and Chuck’s gastrophile trivia and love of Winston Churchill first-editions. And neither man is evil enough for us to pledge allegiance to the other.

Even the characters we used to unabashedly cheer for are giving us pause. Lara Axelrod (Malin Akerman) has always made it clear, to Axe and to viewers, that she isn’t a trophy wife. She enjoys the money and the power Axe’s career has given her and the boys, but she’s still just a working-class girl at heart who loved Bobby long before he made his first million. But last season, Lara told Bobby that she wouldn’t run from the government with him. She even tried to buy off Orrin Bach (Glenn Fleshler) to counsel her on what she would get in a divorce. Then there’s Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon). It’s hard not to like the efficient, confident Taylor, but they ultimately chose the dark side of private planes, $26,000-a-month penthouses, and climbing the dirty corporate ladder, eventually telling Bryan Connerty (Toby Leonard Moore) that they don’t believe in souls. Even Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff), our favorite overpriced therapist, gave two distinctly different hugs to the men in her life last season. The one with Axe felt real, yet she returned home to Chuck.

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Billions Premiere Recap: ‘Tie Goes to the Runner’ – March 26, 2018

“Billions is still very much intact, but what’s exciting is how things are changing.”

by Kyle Fowle | Entertainment Weekly | March 26, 2018

Source: Showtime

Every time a TV show returns for a new season there’s the question of whether it can sustain the momentum of its previous years. Billions crafted something special in its second season, really clarifying its vision in a way that felt exciting. Naturally, that leads to questions for season 3. Was the second season just a fluke? Can the show continue to craft something that’s unlike anything else on TV? Will the dialogue, characters, and ludicrous power plays start to lose their luster? The season 3 premiere, “Tie Goes to the Runner,” is a welcome affirmation that Billions isn’t slowing down any time soon.

The opening scene is, on its own, enough to quell any doubts about a slump for this show. Chuck, riding high on his takedown of Axe Capital and his run for governor, walks into a meeting with the Attorney General in Washington, DC. Billions doesn’t bother easing into the season, instead immediately giving us a scene of pumped-up macho dialogue. The AG, who’s interested in having Chuck lay off of his prosecution of various Wall Street types, presumably because he’s getting paid somewhere along the line, goes on a lengthy tangent about being from “horse country” and “baseball country” in West Texas. The man is a walking cliché, all Texas bluster and salt-of-the-earth metaphors that barely make any sense. He’s the type of guy who considers himself a cowboy or an outlaw despite his comfy seat at the head of the capitalist table.

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Billions Season 3 Premiere: The Next Big Thing – March 26, 2018

“Amusement-Park Ride of a Financial Drama”

by Sean T. Collins | The New York Times | March 26, 2018

Season 3, Episode 1: ‘Tie Goes to the Runner’

Source: Spoiler TV

“There’s a new sheriff in town,” drawls Attorney General Waylon Jeffcoat to an assemblage of United States attorneys now under his employ, “and you are my deputies. Gonna be one hell of a turkey shoot!”

Well, yes and no. After watching the Season 3 premiere of “Billions,” Showtime’s amusement-park ride of a financial drama, it is clear that the show’s creators and characters are indeed coming out guns blazing. But the new sheriff, known as Jock, hasn’t changed the series’s old winning ways. A boots-on-the-desk Texan played by the dulcet-toned character actor Clancy Brown, Jock Jeffcoat announces he’s pulling the Justice Department away from Wall Street’s white-collar crimes. Elsewhere, the revelation that the unctuous hedge-fund creep Todd Krakow (Danny Strong), previously the show’s comic-relief antagonist, has been named Treasury Secretary is perhaps the best gag of the episode, in that funny-because-it’s-true sort of way.

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Billions Season 3 Premiere Review: Looming Consequences Keep The Series Grounded – March 26, 2018

“Tie Goes to the Runner’ steps up and delivers an assured opening that upsets the balance of things in compelling way”

by Kevin Yeoman | Screen Rant | March 26, 2018

Source: Showwtime

The central conflict of Showtime’s Billions lies in the battle between Bobby ‘Axe’ Axelrod and Chuck Rhoades, but the series is admittedly limited in how far it can take that struggle without undoing the tension that essentially fuels the show’s drama. Thankfully, and much to the enjoyment of those who love the show for reasons that go well beyond the financial cat-and-mouse game played by its two leads, the series has proven adept at creating situations outside the Axe-Chuck conflict to keep things entertaining. Over the past two seasons, the show has demonstrated a willingness to become outrageous and, when coupled with some surprisingly hilarious dialogue — often delivered by David Costabile’s irascible Mike ‘Wags’ Wagner, but not exclusively so, as demonstrated by the brilliant “where we’re going, we need Rhoades” line Chuck offered up last season — those ingredients have effectively come to define Billions.

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Billions Review: Season 3 Is a Well-Oiled Machine Still Coasting on Last Year’s Twist – March 26, 2018

Billions may never top its big Season 2 shakeup, but it’s still seeing benefits in a smooth (perhaps too smooth?) Season 3

by Ben Travers |IndieWire | March 25, 2018

Source: Showtime

It all started — or ended — with the reveal of Paul Giamatti’s laughing mug. In the penultimate episode of Season 2, “Billions” pulls off one helluva hoodwink: “Golden Frog Time,” the series’ most deliciously effective hour yet, convincingly fools the audience through a series of flashbacks and setups, that the great Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) has pulled one over on his nemesis, Chuck Rhodes (Giamatti). Finally, after years at war with each other, the death blow has been dealt and the tip of the spear is skewering Chuck so painfully, he’s weeping. He’s a broken man, head in his hands, sobbing like someone who’s lost it all.

But he’s not crying; he’s laughing. And he didn’t lose everything; he took everything from Axe in a devilish long con that put the handcuffs on a trader he’s been trying to prove guilty for longer than the show has been airing episodes. It was a climactic moment not just for the season, but also the series, and it unfolded in intense time-jumping fashion that kept viewers guessing until the end.

Continue reading Billions Review: Season 3 Is a Well-Oiled Machine Still Coasting on Last Year’s Twist – March 26, 2018