by Sarene Leeds | Vulture | June 7, 2020
“The Nordic Model” is yet another somewhat-uncomfortable reminder that Billions takes place in an alternate-reality New York, one where the attorney general has the time to pour his efforts into prosecuting a rogue billionaire — and not investigate police violence toward peaceful protesters. The episode is primarily about Chuck’s latest attempt to nail Axe, this time for tax fraud, and how Axe ultimately outwitted the state AG by turning his apartment into a museum for his art collection.
When you sign on to be a Billions fan, it means you’ve agreed to let your brain be regularly twisted into a pretzel trying to decipher the multiple, layered schemes that appear in a single episode. The real challenge is to not let yourself become so consumed with the who-did-what?/how-did-they-do-that? that you miss out on things like the pure enjoyment of specific scenes — or the menace that’s been lurking beneath the surface all along. With only one episode left for the time being, we’re being set up for something far more sinister than Chuck and Axe’s ongoing game of cat-and-mouse: Axe’s increasingly obvious interest in Wendy shifting from potentially romantic to disturbingly stalkerish.