A Behind-the-Scenes Look at “The Nordic Model”
by Brian Koppelman and David Levien | The Ringer | June 7, 2020
Before getting into “The Nordic Model,” S5E6 of Billions, cocreators Brian Koppelman and David Levien discuss the real billionaire art community, this episode’s director Shaz Bennett, script-to-screen changes in location, the show’s stellar sound department, the layers of Chuck Rhodes Sr., a laundry list of obscure references, guest cast performances, and more (0:50). They next speak with actor Stephen Kunken, who plays Ari Spyros, about joining the show as a guest star in the pilot episode, the change in his character’s demeanor as the show progresses, “defending” Spyros to fans of the show online, and more. (32:30).
Source: The Ringer
Emotions Run High as Axe’s Jealousy Threatens His Future
by Kyle Fowle | Entertainment Weekly | June 7, 2020
At the beginning of this season, it would have been safe to assume that Chuck and Wendy’s relationship was destined to be the emotional crux of the season. After all, their marriage was coming to a very public end, and it would most certainly lead to bitter fights and complications with their work. Somewhat surprisingly, there have been very few bitter fireworks when it comes to the dissolution of their union. In fact, you could critique the show’s rush to clear Wendy and Chuck of each other and find romance elsewhere; perhaps Billions could have spent a little more time diving into Chuck and Wendy’s heads as they moved on from one another.
Then there’s the other side of the criticism coin: maybe the show should be praised for not going down the same old route that comes with every single marriage that ends on a TV show. Instead, Billions has pivoted, using the end of their marriage to explore other characters and their lives, from Axe’s feelings for Wendy to Chuck’s potentially healthier and more productive relationship with Catherine. Rather than roll out scene after scene of Chuck and Wendy arguing with one another, Billions has moved beyond their relationship and found new avenues of character-based storytelling.
Continue reading Billions Season 5 Episode 6 Recap: Entertainment Weekly – June 7, 2020
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.
Continue reading Billions Season 5 Episode 6 Recap: Vulture – June 7, 2020
Axe is Facing Charges of Art Fraud
by Paul Vigna | Wall Street Journal | June 7, 2020
Bobby Axelrod still doesn’t have his bank, but he does have a museum.
Art and commerce mix quite a bit in “The Nordic Model” (story by Adam Perlman and Stephanie Mickus, directed by Shaz Bennett), the latest installment of “Billions.” Not only is Axe having trouble getting his bank, but his art collection could land him in jail, courtesy of Chuck Rhoades.
He gets around it by orchestrating an “Ocean’s Eleven”-caliber scheme that is more outlandish than anything Danny Ocean ever organized. Let’s look at what Axe did, and what would have really happened.
Continue reading Billions Season 5 Episode 6 Recap: Wall Street Journal – June 7, 2020
Fake It Till You Make It
by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | June 7, 2020
Season 5, Episode 6: ‘The Nordic Model’
Bobby has already made it, of course. But if there’s money or status involved, he just can’t help himself. And he’s not the only one.
Fakes, forgeries, phonies, fugazis — they’re all very much on the brain of this week’s crackerjack episode of ‘Billions.’ For some characters, faking it is all they know how to do.
Take Spyros, Axe Cap’s pompous compliance officer. (Compliance? Please!) He becomes a target of mockery for wearing a fake pin for the high-IQ group Mensa, fronting as if he had taken and passed the membership test. A thoroughly annoyed Bobby Axelrod rips the pin off his lapel and chucks it; Spyros spends much of the ensuing scene on his knees, quietly searching for it in the background.
Continue reading Billions Season 5 Episode 6 Recap: New York Times – June 7, 2020