Just as we were getting used to the idea of New York State Attorney General Chuck Rhoades Jr. (Paul Giamatti) and hedge-fund billionaire Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis) playing nice with each other, Billions responded with, “Eh, not so fast.”
In its season four finale, the Showtime drama recalibrated the positions of several of its main players, most notably by shifting the dubious alliance between Chuck and Axe back into a full-on rivalry. After celebrating a victory over season-long foes Attorney General Waylon “Jock” Jeffcoat (Clancy Brown) and U.S. Attorney Bryan Connerty (Toby Leonard Moore), Chuck needs someone new to take down, and he has set his sights back on Axe, who he feels has been pulling the strings of his life for far too long.
The episode “Extreme Sandbox” also saw Axe’s relationship with venture capitalist Rebecca Cantu (Nina Arianda) become collateral damage in his ongoing war with former protégé Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon). Meanwhile, Chuck’s marriage to Axe Capital performance coach Dr. Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff) is in tatters again, the lowest blow being Axe using his monetary muscle to get Wendy’s medical license reinstated. Both Axe’s and Wendy’s newfound singledom also begs the question as to whether this platonic relationship is about to move into something more romantic.
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The Worm is Always Ready For the Hook
by Dana Feldman | Forbes | June 9, 2019
Kelly AuCoin, David Costabile, Damian Lewis and Daniel K. Isaac in Billions.
PHOTO BY JEFF NEUMANN/SHOWTIME.
All good things, as they say, must come to an end. The fourth season finale of Showtime’s Billions, “Extreme Sandbox,” definitely left off with an intriguing cliffhanger. The 4.5 million weekly viewers of the show will have to wait until next year to see what happens, but in the meantime, can ponder this question: Is it better to lose and do the right thing, or win by doing the wrong thing? Each of the main players in the show seem to have a different answer to this question.
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by Sarene Leeds | Vulture | June 9, 2019
Photo: Jeff Neumann/Showtime
We’ve always known that Chuck Rhoades Jr. and Bobby Axelrod worked better as enemies, so closing out Billions’’s strongest season yet by hitting the reset button seems like the most organic decision possible. But as we head into season five, there is no question that the best part of this rebooted rivalry will be watching Wendy potentially inch toward a romantic relationship with Axe — and watching Taylor manipulate Chuck and Axe into self-destruction.
As in any excellent season finale, “Extreme Sandbox” — written by showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien — also saw the decks cleared and the stage set for next season, leaving some major casualties in its wake.
I know I overthought the ending of last week’s episode by erroneously speculating that Axe would hurt Wendy instead of Rebecca as part of his revenge on Taylor. My only excuse is that the demise of his relationship with Rebecca already seemed a foregone conclusion after she made the deal with Taylor, so I guess I was preparing for a much bigger implosion. As much as I liked Rebecca and Axe as a couple, I knew this love affair would never survive Rebecca’s betrayal.
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by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | June 9, 2019
At a key moment in the season finale of “Billions” — although neither character involved knows just how key until it’s too late — Rebecca Cantu and Wendy Rhoades take a day trip to a recreational construction site. Yes, there are recreational construction sites. A small chain of them, actually.
That chain, and this episode, is called “Extreme Sandbox.” The concept is simple: Give people the keys to actual heavy machinery and let them dig holes and smash cars on a closed course to their hearts’ content.
If the concept sounds familiar, perhaps you watched it secure funding for expansion on an episode of the entrepreneurship reality competition series “Shark Tank.” One of the sharks who backed the idea was the real-life billionaire Mark Cuban. Sure enough, he makes a cameo appearance here, playing himself, to greet the fictional billionaire Rebecca when she arrives on site.
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Peace, Love and Understanding do not live here
by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | June 9, 2019
May I just say I will miss Sundays? Thanks to Showtime releasing the new episodes Saturday midnight, I adjusted my weekend program this year. I have watched the show two times until 2am and took notes. Then I slept on it and sat down and wrote all day Sunday taking a lot of pleasure in putting together what I see, what I read between the lines, and my favorite part, speculating (I have hits and misses!) about what could happen next in this crazy ride! I give standing ovation to all brilliant minds behind and in front of the camera for surpassing all expectations! And special thanks go to my husband for bearing with me for the last couple of months and keeping my mother, who has been visiting for the last six weeks, entertained Sundays! ❤️
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There can be only one left standing
by Kyle Fowle | Entertainment Weekly | June 3, 2019
Much like “Golden Frog Time” before it, the penultimate episode of season four is Billions at its best. It’s a twisty, sometimes confusing, always entertaining episode that establishes the season’s endgame while also asking “are you surethat’s the endgame?” There are so many story threads here, so many different character motivations, that it can be difficult to parse what’s really going on — and that’s half the fun. Add in every character’s propensity for lying and you get a glorious episode that deals in unreality, shifting perspectives, and perfectly sets up a finale where loyalties and relationships will be tested.
The episode begins in a panic, as Chuck Sr. has discovered that his home is bugged. He visits his son at the crack of dawn to deliver the news—Chuck has no interest in the details of booze, drugs, and floor sex that led to the discovery—and they hatch a plan. Chuck Sr. goes on the lam, updating his son on his situation via burner phones, and Chuck Jr. decides he has to kick his moves against Jock into high gear. So, he calls in favors with multiple people, and sends them on a hunt to discover why Jock is so desperate to prevent blockchain voting. Continue reading Billions Season 4 Episode 11 Recap: Entertainment Weekly – June 3, 2019
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Dirty Deeds, Collateral Damage and a Mysterious Idiot
by Dana Feldman | Forbes | June 3, 2019
Damian Lewis and Nina Arianda in Billions.
PHOTO BY JEFF NEUMANN/SHOWTIME.
The penultimate episode of the fourth season of Showtime’s hit series Billions saw some finally tell the truth, as others went even deeper into the dark side. There are plenty of dirty deeds and collateral damage at play. Oh, and there’s also an unnamed idiot at the heart of the Rhoades’ land deal that could take down the father-son duo. Continue reading Billions Season 4 Episode 11 Recap: Forbes – June 3, 2019
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Season 4, Episode 12: “Extreme Sandbox”
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | June 3, 2019
On the next episode of Billions season 4 episode 12, Axe makes a big decision. Connerty gets closer to the truth. Tensions rise, and dynamics shift. Season Finale. Episode airs on Sunday, June 9, 2019 on Showtime.
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Bad for Business
by Sarene Leeds | Vulture | June 2, 2019
I welcome Billions’s confounding nature if it means a satisfying payoff, and if this entire season is any indication, I have a feeling that’s what awaits us.
“Lamster” is riddled with ambiguity, which is exactly why it’s so enthralling. Major plot points are left wildly open-ended — like, what is the status of those incriminating documents locked in Senior’s safe? Bryan Connerty and his safecracker brother, Jackie, do indeed break into Senior’s apartment so Bryan can photograph every page of the smoking gun, but he hasn’t revealed to anyone he has hard evidence against both Rhoades men. Also, the Connerty brothers only think they completed this mission undetected. In addition to helping himself to a pair of Senior’s cufflinks, Jackie rehung the painting that conceals the safe in an askew manner. We know this because mere seconds after the brothers leave the building, Hall enters, hired by Axe as a favor to Chuck, to procure the documents before the FBI seizes them. Axe’s fixer notices the lopsided artwork, but other than that, we’ll have to wait for the third and final act for the documents’ next appearance. Continue reading Billions Season 4 Episode 11 Recap: Vulture – June 2, 2019