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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

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Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 1: Tie Goes to the Runner – March 25, 2018

He May be the Liege, the Nagusi, the Sahabi, but Bobby Axelrod is Lonely

by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | March 25, 2018

Season 3 picks up a few weeks after the man with nothing to lose put the cuffs on the man with unlimited resources.

Axe is indicted, the government has frozen his assets, and he and Lara are separated. While Chuck has gained his marriage back, he is not doing great, either. He has thrown his dad and his best friend under the bus to get Axe, lost his entire trust fund along the way and is now trying to figure out the the new administration in DC.

“Tie goes to the runner.”

Well, at least in the new AG Waylon “Jock” Jeffcoat’s world. We meet him and his Lucchese boots in the opening scene with “I was born in San Antone” playing in the background. Jeffcoat is from West Texas: He breeds horses, loves baseball, and believes “tie goes to the runner” when the big business is concerned. Jeffcoat gives Chuck the good news that he is keeping his job, at least for now, along with a list of high-profile cases his office should slow down on.

Continue reading Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 1: Tie Goes to the Runner – March 25, 2018

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Billions Season Premiere Recap: The Boys Are Back in Town – March 25, 2018

“The best is Wags: everyone’s favorite deeply troubled sashimi gourmand and pill-snorting powerhouse”

by Nicole Cliffe | Vulture | March 25, 2018

Source: Showtime – Photo by Jeff Neumann

Welcome back to Billions! At the end of last season, following the BANANAS double-cross, back-whammy, Chicago-two-trot maneuver heretofore known as the Ice Juice IPO, Team Windbreakers seemed like they’d finally got Team Half-Zip Navy Pullovers against the wall. This was a real burden for those of us who find Chuck Rhoades unbelievably smug, moralizing, and megarich but also remarkably judgmental of the megarich — and the extended hug that Wendy and Axe shared as the cops surrounded him was only the mildest comfort to proponents of that rather unimaginative (yet appealing) ‘ship.

The question on my mind, and on the show’s, is a far more elevated one: How fares Axe Capital Chief Investment Officer Taylor Mason? If there is any doubt in your mind about how I feel about Taylor, let me allay it: Taylor rules. Taylor is the greatest. When Dollar Bill immediately supported their new title at the end of last season, I WEPT. In my experience, despite how racist and sexist and homophobic the finance world can be, if you are actually bringing in the big bucks for your team, people will find a way to like you. Billionsdoes a good job demonstrating that shift in how people see Taylor.

Continue reading Billions Season Premiere Recap: The Boys Are Back in Town – March 25, 2018

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The Moral Lines Dividing the Dueling Parties in Billions Have Grown Compellingly Murky – March 25, 2018

“A Wicked, Decadent Comedy About Our Impending Apocalypse”

by Chuck Brown | Slant Magazine | March 25, 2018

Source: Showtime

With Billions, co-creators and showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien utilize a narrative structure that recalls Michael Mann’s Heat. Opposing worlds are contrasted in both, showing how similarly obsessive methods can serve conflicting ends that ultimately complement and even bolster one another in terms of pure process and gradations of moral relativity. In Heat, the lines between hero and villain are more material: Robert De Niro’s thief is a killer and—no matter how principled and charismatic he might be—this puts him in a morally inferior position to Al Pacino’s detective, even if the latter has a penchant for cutting investigative corners. But in Billions, the moral lines dividing the dueling parties have grown compellingly murky.

Continue reading The Moral Lines Dividing the Dueling Parties in Billions Have Grown Compellingly Murky – March 25, 2018

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Billions Season 3 Hums Behind the Scenes as Characters Grapple With Political Earthquake – March 25, 2018

“When There’s a Seismic Event, Alliances Shift and Loyalties are Tested”

by Cynthia Littleton | Variety | March 25, 2018

Source: Showtime

When “Billions” begins its third season tonight on Showtime, viewers will find Chuck Rhoades, Bobby Axelrod and the rest of the gang digging out from the upheaval inflicted by Rhoades’ machinations at the end of season two.

The characters return to an unsettled environment, but the show set in the world of Wall Street is running like a finely tuned sports car in the view of showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien, who created “Billions” with Andrew Ross Sorkin. “Billions” has hit the season-three sweet spot that comes after a series proves itself in season one, and then proves in its sophomore year that season one was no fluke.

Continue reading Billions Season 3 Hums Behind the Scenes as Characters Grapple With Political Earthquake – March 25, 2018

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Tight Writing, Intriguing Payoffs as Billions Begins New Season on Showtime – March 25, 2018

“Irresistible Characters, Addictive Story Lines and Great Writing”

by Stephen Spignesi | New Haven Register | March 25, 2018

SPOILERS – READ AT YOUR OWN RISK

Major changes are afoot when Showtime’s financial intrigue series “Billions” returns for its third season March 25 at 10 p.m. with the episode “The Tie Goes to the Runner.”

At the end of Season 2, hedge-fund billionaire Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis) was seen Ubering his way home after posting bail following his arrest on a slew of charges by his nemesis U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades Jr. (New Haven’s own Paul Giamatti). Axe had deliberately sabotaged the Ice Juice company’s signature juice product and made people sick so Ice Juice’s initial public offering would tank and Rhoades would lose a fortune, which he did.

Continue reading Tight Writing, Intriguing Payoffs as Billions Begins New Season on Showtime – March 25, 2018

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Billions Season 3: TV Review – March 24, 2018

“TV’s Most Successful Penis-Free Depiction of Non-Stop Penis-Measuring”

by Daniel Feinberg | Hollywood Reporter | March 24, 2018

Source: Showtime – Photo by Jeff Neumann

Showtime’s wonderfully acted, frequently repetitive game of Manhattan cat-and-mouse doesn’t take another qualitative leap in its third season, but the drama remains high.

Skippable pre-credit filler on many shows, the “Previously on…” recap montage is mandatory viewing for Showtime’s Billions. While your typical series might use that clip package just to remind you of the previous episode’s cliffhanger, Billions typically jumps around for refreshers on a dozen minor characters, some unseen for 10 episodes or more. Yes, if you have a Marilu Henner memory, it’s a guaranteed spoiler for which long-buried plot points are returning, but if you’re a more normal viewer it’s practically the only way to resituate yourself in a narrative that remains deliciously twisted but weirdly forgettable.

That gets to the root of my general problem with Billions, returning for its third season on Sunday (March 25) night. Despite an ensemble cast that ranks among the best on TV playing characters who are usually colorful and quirky and fun, the ponderous repetitiveness of what the series does with them is all-too-frequently mechanical.

Continue reading Billions Season 3: TV Review – March 24, 2018