by Miles Surrey | The Ringers | January 20, 2022
After Damian Lewis’s departure following Season 5, the Showtime drama forges ahead in a landscape that hardly looks like it used to. Maybe that’s a good thing.
One of the most underrated virtues of Billions is predictability. The Showtime drama has followed a familiar pattern each season, with longtime rivals Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) finding new ways to screw each other over in the overlapping spheres of finance and politics. Billions might throw in the occasional wrinkle—there was a brief period in Season 4 when Chuck and Axe became unlikely allies—but the cyclical nature of the characters’ squabbles was a feature, not a bug, elevated by the show’s scenery-chewing performances and colorful dialogue. Showtime has a tendency to run series into the ground, but Billions has always felt like it could eternally depict Chuck and Axe’s dick-swinging contest.