“Sitting Here in the Dark, Like an Assassin”
by Molly Stout | May 20, 2018 | Refinery 29
by Molly Stout | May 20, 2018 | Refinery 29
by Dana Feldman | Forbes | May 20, 2018
The third season of ‘Billions’ continues to get better with each passing episode. The show is no longer centered around the cat and mouse game between Chuck (Paul Giamatti) and Axe (Damian Lewis). Tectonic shifts in plot, wavering loyalties and ever-evolving power plays are doing as intended, keeping fans on the edge of their seats week after week. As Showtime’s No. 2 drama series, Billions averages 4.5-to-5 million weekly viewers across platforms.
And, the show’s viewership has grown season-over-season. Throughout season two, the series grew on Sunday nights by more than 35% from premiere-to-finale. And, the season three premiere was the show’s highest-rated ever with the March 25 debut up 23% from last year. A fourth season is in the works and seeds are planted in this episode that can definitely lead to very exciting storylines next year.
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.
by Nicole Cliffe | Vulture | May 20, 2018
Children, gather round. We have ourselves a “new” pair of Big Bads for the remainder of the season. I say “new” because Jock, our much hated Attorney General, has been wiggling around like a loose tooth since the season premiere, but only now is he really starting to ache. He’s not enough on his own to be interesting, of course, so we need someone to aggravate the heck out of Axe as well. And I am CONCERNED about the show’s choice for Axe’s new antagonist.
John Malkovich is always fun, he’s a fun dude! And when he plays scary, it’s particularly delicious. So I am extremely prepared for him to be good as his stint as Grigor Andolov develops, but this his first outing left me a bit… meh. It’s just more scenery-chewing than I would love to see from him. This particular character is SO in-your-face, being hugely dangerous and mercurial and Keyser Soze-y, and a softer touch of menace would make him significantly scarier. Right now he’s like a professional wrestler with an amped-up backstory, when I think the show would benefit more from a guy so dangerous that he doesn’t need to keep telling you how dangerous he is, or that you had better not lose his money.
by Kyle Fowle | Entertainment Weekly | May 20, 2018
At the outset of “Icebreaker,” Chuck is in a strange spot. He’s not fighting for his life in Southern, or working to bring charges against an enemy. Rather, he’s in West Texas in the middle of the night. He’s come to see the Attorney General about the case against Jose Lugo, the kid who was nearly beaten to death by a prison guard before killing him in self-defense. It’s a case Chuck didn’t want to take, but he had no choice but to prosecute the kid on instructions from Attorney General Waylon “Jock” Jeffcoat. Now, Chuck finds himself in the back of a pickup truck, shooting a coyote that’s bothering Jock’s cattle herd. Out of place indeed, but an apt visual metaphor for the kill or be killed nature of this episode.
“Icebreaker” is packed to the brim with important, weighty decisions that all boil down to that question of killing or being killed. It’s an episode filled with decisions that seem to have a monumental impact on the character arcs of the season, and it all begins when Axe decides to take a meeting with an advisor who works for Grigor Andolov (John Malkovich, deliciously creepy as always), a Russian oil baron and oligarch who’s also a very dangerous man. He’s the kind of man whose reputation of violence precedes him. But, he also has a ton of money and influence, and what Axe needs is an icebreaker, a first investment that gets him back in the game and tells other investors that it’s safe to start letting Axe play with their money.
by Lady Trader | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | May 18, 2018
Every day I sit and wonder
How my life it use to be
Now I feel I’m going under
Now my life is hard to see
So tell me people, am I going insane, insane?
Am I Going Insane – Black Sabbath
Greetings from the Headbanger’s Ball, oops, I mean the Trader’s Desk! It will never get old for me, but once again I’m starting my post with lyrics from Black Sabbath. This episode had me yelling at my television, and asking if Axe is going insane. He is making all the emotional decisions that have brought him to the brink of disaster.
by JaniaJania | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | May 16, 2018
First question when we got the title for Billions, Season 3, Episode 8, “All the Wilburys”: what, not just the traveling ones? Seems the Wilburys are a clever in group and the goal of this episode, now that our glorious Three are out free and clear is to delineate who among the satellites is out and who is in.
Foley and Senior catch Wendy and Junior in flagrante delicto engaging in the “childish enthusiasms” of their married sexual behavior. This gives them ammo for 1) displaying the fact they can access anything and 2) getting Chuck to commit to the work of becoming Governor by resigning his position as U.S. Attorney. Jack Foley says:
by Chris Beachum | Gold Derby | May 15, 2018
In a Gold Derby exclusive, we have learned the category placements of the key Emmy Awards contenders for Showtime. Below is a list of Billions‘ lead, supporting and guest submissions for their drama. More names might be added by the network on the final Emmy ballot. Also note that performers not included on this list may well be submitted by their personal representatives.
Drama Actor – Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis
Drama Supporting Actress – Malin Akerman, Condola Rashad, Maggie Siff
Drama Supporting Actor – Kelly AuCoin, Clancy Brown, David Costabile, Jeffrey DeMunn, Christopher Denham, Asia Kate Dillon, Glenn Fleshler, Toby Leonard Moore, Dan Soder
Drama Guest Actor – Mike Birbiglia, Eric Bogosian, Terry Kinney, John Malkovich, Rob Morrow, David Strathairn, Danny Strong
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | May 14, 2018
On the next episode of Billions, Axe makes a bold play to secure capital from a controversial source. Taylor chafes against Axe’s recent moves. Chuck recruits the allies he needs to move forward with a new plan. Connerty seeks out a career opportunity.
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by Dana Feldman | Forbes | May 14, 2018
Showtime’s hit series Billions continues to prove itself worthy of the legendary Wilbury status that’s the basis of this latest episode. This week, it’s made abundantly clear who is up and who is down and out.
In “All The Wilburys” Axe (Damian Lewis) and Wags (David Costabile) explain to Spyros (Stephen Kunken), as he’s being fired, the difference between those with Wilbury, or legend, status, and those without. Spyros falls into the latter category but gets a little help from an unexpected source: Dollar Bill (Kelly AuCoin). Do these enemies actually become friends in this episode? More on this below.
by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | May 14, 2018
Now that Axe and Chuck have dug themselves out of their own graves, both embrace their victories, and are ready to pick up the game where they left. We find them handling new situations they face in their own unique ways: sometimes with utmost care, and sometimes not so much.
by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | May 13, 2018
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.