Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Season 3 Awards – June 10, 2018
MVP, LVP, ROTY, CPOY, and Finale MVP, LVP
by Alec Hare | The Breakshot | June 10, 2018
Wow. What a season! In Billions Season 3, the plot went left when we thought it would go straight and it went up when we thought it was going to go down. The showrunners pivoting the plot at every turn made this season unpredictable and fun. The season was basically two different seasons as the show resets in the middle. Not to mention in Season 4 we will be getting the return of the big three Chuck, Wendy, and Axe. Enough of that, it’s time to hand out Billions Season 3 Awards!!
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Season 3, Episode 12 Finale Recap: New York Times – June 10, 2018
Crash of the Titans
by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | June 10, 2018
The fall was coming from inside the house. After years spent fending off attacks from without, from rival financiers to a certain ax-grinding United States attorney, Bobby Axelrod got caught flat-footed by his own protégé. Making good on the surprise ending of last week’s episode, in which Taylor Mason made a surprising move to go solo, the Season 3 finale of “Billions” showed Taylor’s plan in action — and it really was all action.
Named “Elmsley Count” after a magicians’ trick in which key cards are kept hidden from the audience, tonight’s hugely entertaining episode reminded me of nothing so much as another Season 3 finale: “Shut the Door. Have a Seat,” the third-season closer for “Mad Men.” That memorable hour was basically a heist movie in which the priceless treasure being stolen, by a breakaway ad agency led by Don Draper, was nothing more or less than their own talent (and client lists). Here, however, we see that heist more from the perspective of the gobsmacked titan than from that of the brash young upstart, as Bobby, Wags and Wendy slowly piece together the necessary details to form the big picture of their betrayal: the unreturned calls, the missing money, the absent analysts, and the juuuuust-this-side-of-suspicious actions of Taylor the day before.
The viral-video sensation and steakhouse hearthrob Nusret Gokce makes an unexpected appearance to open the episode. Of all the real-life restaurateurs, athletes and hedge-fund aristocracy who’ve appeared on this show, none made me laugh harder at their sheer delightful audacity. Come to think of it, I don’t know if anything on TV has made me laugh harder than this.
The look of lust in the eyes of Condola Rashad’s normally unflappable attorney Kate Sacker, accompanied by the sensual strains of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” on the sound system, simply add additional seasoning to the scenario. Silly as it sounds, the scene is a textbook example of the attention to detail “Billions” pays to its Manhattan machinations. The show never settles for satisfying when spectacular will do.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Season 3, Episode 10 Recap: New York Times – May 27, 2018
by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | May 27, 2018
“Billions” has always been an odd-couple show.
From its pilot episode to its Twitter hashtag emoji, it’s centered on the contrast between the lean, mean local boy made good Bobby Axelrod and the gruff, tough Yale-educated bulldog Chuck Rhoades. Played by Damian Lewis and Paul Giamatti respectively, they’re the proverbial study in contrasts.
But in Attorney General Jock Jeffcoat, I think Chuck has met an even better (mis)match. The man presides over the Justice Department like a Confederate caudillo, reviving Giuliani/Reagan-era drug war polices on a whim because he didn’t like the look of the neighborhoods his car drove through on the way from the airport, using an obscene epithet favored by our current commander-in-chief to describe them. And as portrayed by Clancy Brown, a charming but physically imposing actor best known for genre work, he looks as if he could squash Chuck like a bug. When this guy invites himself over to Chuck’s place for dinner, Giamatti invests the garrulous fake courtesy of his reply (“Great! O.K.! Very good!”) with just a hint of panic.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Season 3, Episode 9 Recap: New York Times – May 20, 2018
by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | May 20, 2018
You can take the boys out of the blood feud, but you can’t take the blood feud out of the boys. Just two episodes after the successful conclusion of the truce that saw the main men of “Billions” call an end to hostilities and help each other out of potentially career-ending legal trouble, both Bobby Axelrod and Chuck Rhoades have launched dangerous new contests of the will. And this time around, it’s not the courtroom versus the boardroom: Each man has entered into a rivalry with a bigger fish in their own professional pond.
For Chuck, this means setting his sights on a new white whale: Attorney General Jock Jeffcoat, the Alamo authoritarian running the Justice Department. For Bobby, it entails entering an alliance of creepy convenience with Grigor Andolov, a cheerfully violent Russian oil baron, whose bottomless reserves of liquid cash are exceeded only by his well-earned reputation for criminality and cruelty. Together, writers Adam R. Perlman and Willie Reale and director Stacie Passon operate this week’s episode, titled “Icebreaker,” like a factory assembly line, cranking out perfect new foils for two characters who are never complete without conflict.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Season 3, Episode 8 Recap: New York Times – May 13, 2018
by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | May 13, 2018
All the Wilburys
The dust has settled, but “Billions” has not. After last week’s tour de force put an end to two and a half seasons’ worth of warfare between Bobby Axelrod and Chuck Rhoades, you might expect the show to settle into what remains of its status quo: Chuck’s run for governor, for example, or Bobby’s relatively cautious relationship with his company. But by the time the closing credits roll on this week’s episode, all that has been torn to pieces too.
Written by two of the show’s creators, Brian Koppelman and David Levien, and directed with minimal flash by Mike Binder, this week’s installment tosses the seven-dimensional chessboard out the window in favor of a series of direct confrontations. Characters get together, face off, and verbally pound away at one another until only the strongest remain standing. No room for stealth mode here: It’s vulgar displays of power all the way down.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on The Schneiderman Allegations Make the TV Show Billions Look a Lot More Like Real Life – May 9, 2018
“Lewis, with his singular white-skinned, red-haired coloring and swimming-pool blue eyes, is always mesmerizing to watch”
by Eve MacSweeney | Vogue | May 9, 2018
One of the credibility stretching conceits of the Showtime drama Billions is that one of its lead characters, a high-ranking government lawyer played by Paul Giamatti, is a hard-core sexual masochist. We meet him in the pilot, bound, gagged, and hooded, cringing under the heel of a dominatrix. (That she turns out to be his wife is another of the rapid plot twists that keep the series’ heart pumping.)
With the accusations breaking this week of the physical abuse of four women by former New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, that high-concept premise is starting to look less contrived. Schneiderman is the alleged perpetrator, not the recipient, of violence in news accounts, but the disconnect common to both characters—the real and the fictional—is unsettling. Giamatti’s Chuck Rhoades, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, is so possessed by the desire to nail his nemesis, hedge-funder Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) that he is willing to sacrifice friends, family, ethics, and his own financial interest in its pursuit. This punitive zeal makes an ironic contrast with his sexual preference. Schneiderman’s apparent hypocrisy lies in his support of #MeToo, taking action against Harvey Weinstein, and, as a legislator, introducing specific laws against verbal threats and physical choking, two of the crimes of which he now stands accused.