The Unbeatable, Unstoppable, Unparalleled MVPs
by Staff | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | November 1, 2023
Billions has sadly come to an end and so has our MVP series! Here are the final season seven Most Valuable Players for Billions to complete our series compilation, the ‘Billions MVP Fanbook.’ For one last time we commemorate all those in honor of achievement for the utmost brazen, uber shameless, ultra scheming, unmatched bad asses from the episode – from sports references, music and tasty food to pop culture remarks, shocking twists and ultimate paybacks. In case you missed it, catch up with the MVPs of the season seven premiere Tower of London, episode two Original Sin, episode three Winston Dick Energy, episode four Hurricane Rosie, episode five The Gulag Archipelago, episode six The Man in the Olive Drab T-Shirt, episode seven DMV, episode eight The Owl, episode nine Game Theory Optimal, episode ten Enemies List and episode eleven Axe Global.
As you probably guessed there was a lot to unpack in the series finale, and the amount of awards bestowed reflects that. Now let’s dive in one last time. Here are the Billions MVP awards for Season 7, Episode 12, series finale “Admirals Fund.”
Honoring Our Fathers Award – I don’t know whether to bequeath this to Charles Koppelman in memoriam, Brian Koppelman the writer/showrunner, Jeffrey DeMunn and Paul Giamatti the actors, Charles Sr. the character, or all of the above. It is not lost on me that the scene between Chuck Rhoades (Giamatti) and his father Charles Sr. (DeMunn) could be a nod/final send off – a hug to and from the beyond, so to speak – from Brian Koppelman to his father Charles Koppelman whom he lost in November, 2022. In his quavering voice Charles Rhoades, Sr. tells his son Chuck Rhoades, Jr., “You did great. You marshaled all resources. You partnered with a man you’d tangled with for over a decade…that’s the kind of thing that gives me comfort for after I’m gone. The point is, I now know that you’ll be fine. You’ve learned all the lessons that I had to teach and then some.” Ugh. Insert tears and gut punch here.
To draw some comparisons, the character Charles Rhoades Sr. is an old school, blue-blood businessman who lives on the wealthiest stretch of Fifth Avenue in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Senior is of the upper echelon, high-born conviction with a not-so-subtle Bob Barker mischievous grin. He is the epitome of the WASP elite that dominated much of politics, the economy and high culture back in the day. He went to Yale and was a Whiffenpoof, and is high on the social ladder. He’s a member of the Yale Club of New York and stores his cigars in humidors at Nat Sherman Tobacco Lounge.
Brian’s father Charles Koppelman was born in New York. He was a music executive, held business executive positions at EMI and Steve Madden, and was Chairman of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. He was the former Director of A&R at CBS Records where he signed musicians the likes of Billy Joel and the band Journey, as well as played an integral role in the reunion of singer Frank Sinatra with Capitol Records while at EMI. I’d imagine he had an astute perspective you’d expect from an Elder.
L to R: Charles Koppelman and Jeffrey DeMunn playing Charles Rhoades Sr.
Little known fact, Brian’s father Charles Koppelman appeared in Billions season 3, episode 1 ‘Tie Goes to the Runner.’ Specifically the scene where top hedge-fund managers attend the Ideas Dinner at Del Posto.
The Everlasting Gobstopper Badge – Chuck Rhoades. He lightly threatens his office employees not to reveal their investigation into natural gas price fixing and collusion. Just like Willy Wonka warned the children with golden tickets not to share the Gobstopper or it’s secret recipe to Slugworth. Turns out Slugworth was Charles Sr, by design 🙂
Breaking the Fourth Wall Kudos – Wags when he seemingly sent a good-bye message to us, the viewers, but said it to Prince: “Hey man, endings are tough. Someone always ends up unsatisfied.” This one, however, wasn’t tough; this viewer is satisfied.” I’d almost bet a billion dollars the writers and showrunners were telling us fans and Billions‘ Obsessives good-bye through Wags.
Terrific Tune – Take the Money and Run by Steve Miller Band.
Game of Thrones Bestowal – Karl. He announces Kate into Chuck’s office like royalty by rattling off her titles, then bows his head to her, “Presenting Kate Sacker, formerly of the Southern District. Formerly of the Attorney General’s office. Presently General Counsel of Michael Prince Capital.” Not unlike when Khaleesi arrived in any scene on Game of Thrones “Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.”
Revenge Best Served Cold as Fuck Trophy – Axe. After Prince’s meeting with the President at Camp David, Axe calls him to gloat, “I’m glad you got your audience, ’cause that’s the closest you’ll get to that office. Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life.”
Silly Rabbit, Trix Are For Kids Prize – Prince and Scooter. Obviously lessons were not learned from Killer Mike’s private listening party that handing over their mobile phones to military police at Camp David probably means bad news and shenanigans! Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!
The Heinz Ketchup Walk of Shame Honor – Prince for throwing a printer through the glass walls of Wendy’s office after learning she and The Avengers have wiped out the company portfolio, locked him out of his company account and sealed the fate of his presidential run. Not unlike former President Donald Trump’s 2020 temper tantrum after then-Attorney General William Barr gave an interview to The Associated Press saying there was no widespread voter fraud. Trump was so enraged he (allegedly) threw his plate of food at the wall, smearing it with ketchup. This is how grown men act when they don’t get their way. Prince then declares, “I’m still a viable candidate!” at Governor Nancy Dunlop, the same magical thinking Trump still claims today. As Prince leaves MPC HQ he offers a dire warning about America, “This country’s built on second acts. And when you see mine, you’d better duck and fuckin’ cover.” Yea, heard that before.
The Next Supergroup Band Name – Robby and Carlos. Can’t wait to see them play Madison Square Garden 😉
Miami Vices – Wags. Miami-Dade county may have just gained another registered voter in the Sunshine State! Wags tells Axe he will help him get Axe Global cranking in New York, but then divulges he may head to Miami where all the other “rich fucks” are. Axe offers to take a trip with him. Who is Tubbs and who is Crockett? I have no doubt this is the set up for the Showtime spin-off already in the works titled Billions: Miami. And I’m uber pumped that David Costabile may ride the Billions franchise wave because we love our Uncle Wagsy! And just think, he could attend Little League games again since that ban probably only applies to New York.
For those that don’t know, there are four spin-offs in the works:
- Millions focuses on a younger generation of financial moguls trying to make their way in Manhattan
- Trillions examines the absolute richest people on Earth
- Billions: London takes the franchise international by hopping across the pond
- Billions: Miami is set in the world of private aviation, where the clientele believe the rules of society, government and gravity don’t apply to them, amidst the wealth, nightlife, contraband and the cryptocurrency that pulses through that city (I’m intrigued if we will also see Gordie, Axe’s son, in Miami with Wagsy since Gordie trades crypto)
The Sopranos Finale Kindred Award – This award goes to the Billions writers and showrunners for the final scene where Wendy, Chuck and their children enjoy a meal together, along with hibachi chef Bryan Connerty. Fade to black. This gave me all the feels of the The Sopranos final scene of the series where Tony, Carmela and their children enjoy onion rings together at the New Jersey diner. Albeit, no mafia hits.
Operation Restoration Medal – This award goes to the Billions writers and showrunners as well, for hitting the reset button and taking it back to the good ole days, back to where it all began and complete with Easter eggs for us die-hard fans! All is right in the world of Billions.
Some full circle moments include:
- Axe is back at his hedge fund with all his Axe Cappers, sans Wendy and Taylor
- Axe wears a Metallica 1981 t-shirt in the finale, similar to the Metallica Master of Puppets t-shirt he wore in season 1, episode 2 ‘Naming Rights’
- Axe stood on a desk to mobilize his troops in the finale just like he did in season 1, episode 6 ‘The Deal’
- Axe said “Worth it!” in the finale just like he did in season 1, episode 7 ‘The Punch’
- Axe helps mastermind Prince’s Camp David off-the-grid trip in order to destroy MPC, just like he did to Rebecca Cantu in season 4, episode 12 ‘Extreme Sandbox’ when he destroyed her Saler’s business
- Axe’s chef, Chef Ryan, is back and making cardamom buns for everyone
- The song Homecoming by Josh Ritter was part of the finale soundtrack just like it was in season 2, episode 12 ‘Ball in Hand’
- Chuck and Kate are back at SDNY
- Bryan Connerty is able to practice law again, should he choose to do so
- Taylor Mason Capital is now The Taylor Mason Foundation with a familiar TM logo
- Wendy and Chuck walked away together in the finale and had dinner with their children, which had all the feels of a possible reconciliation
- Wags yelled “COFFEE!” in the finale just like he did in season 2, episode 5 ‘Currency’
- Wags summoned the troops with his 2 fingers in the finale just like he did in season 3, episode 8 ‘All the Wilburys’
- The Admirals Fund seems similar to the Flagship Fund from season 4, episode 9 ‘American Champion,’ which was for Axe Capital elite employees, the best of the best. “First rule of Flagship is you don’t talk about Flagship.” – Dollar Bill to Bonnie
- Neil Burger directed the pilot just like he directed the series finale
My only complaint? I wanted to see Lara Axelrod, Rebecca Cantu and Rudy, Rudy, Rudy! There you have it, my final MVPs. Is this where we all start singing Auld Lang Syne in unison?
Most Balancing Act – Wendy
Wendy knows that she was the reason why Chuck started to chase Axe seven years ago. Now that both men are back to where they started, she does not want history to repeat itself. She wants to keep her relationship with both Chuck and Axe. So having seen Chuck’s “bloodhounds can’t stop blood hounding” moment in the rebels meeting, Wendy does the most balancing act and leaves Axe Global. I do not think leaving the company she helped build and grow is a trivial decision for her. But I think it is much better for such a bright, strong and independent woman like Wendy to follow her own path and help a lot of people at Mental.
Read the rest of the original article at Fan Fun with Damian Lewis