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Billions Season 5 Episode 3 Recap: New York Times – May 17, 2020

Subjugate and Conquer

by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | May 17, 2020

Season 5, Episode 3: ‘Beg, Bribe, Bully’

“Billions” is a show that seems to appreciate pro wrestling, as seen in the fandom of its dudebro character Mafee and the recent cameo by Becky Lynch. So I hope it’s not too indulgent to quote one of the great heel wrestlers, Ted DiBiase, better known as the Million Dollar Man, as a kind of epigraph for this episode: “Everybody’s got a price.”

I know, I know: That’s kind of the point of the whole show, right? It’s a drama about the corrupting influence of money and power. But it felt more poignant in this week’s episode than it has in quite some time, perhaps because the institutions being assailed by the show’s money-talks characters — family, art, education, the environment — feel sacrosanct.

Not in Bobby Axelrod’s world, though, that’s for sure. Axe spends the episode questing after three things. First, he wants to become a bank. He’s informed by the government officials Todd Krakow and Hard Bob (played by the actors Danny Strong and Chelcie Ross in deliciously sleazy cameos) that there is no way for him to get past the regulatory agencies that want to keep men with criminal histories like his away from banking; his mistake was committing his misdeeds before becoming a bank, while the megabanks that caused the 2008 crash and got away largely scot-free did it the other way around.

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Billions Season 5 Episode 3 Recap: Wall Street Journal – May 17, 2020

Why Would Bobby Axelrod Want to Buy a Bank?

by Paul Vigna | Wall Street Journal | May 17, 2020

So, Bobby Axelrod wants to buy a bank. Let’s talk about that.

On “Beg, Bribe, Bully,” tonight’s episode of “Billions,” (written by Ben Mezrich, directed by John Dahl), Axe is down in the dumps. He keeps losing things to Mike Prince. Shamans. Artwork. Vanity Fair covers.

The hedge fund world sure is a slog for a poor kid from Yonkers. What could possibly make it bearable? How about owning a bank? That’s right, the founder of one of the most successful hedge funds in the (fictional) world wants to buy a bank.

Is that, like, even possible? We were intrigued so much by this question that we started Googling and calling sources. We wanted to find out for sure. As usual, our recap focuses on what’s real in “Billions,” and what’s TV.

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Billions Season 5 Episode 3 Recap: Forbes – May 17, 2020

Everyone Has A Price

by Dana Feldman | Forbes | May 17, 2020

All would be copacetic in Axe’s world if he could just buy a painter, a school headmaster and a bank. To him, everyone has a price and all he needs to do is figure out how many zeros it’ll take to make his problems go away.

If there’s a word Axe (Damian Lewis) doesn’t like to hear, it’s “no” but he’s faced with obstacles in the latest episode of Billions entitled “Beg, Bribe, Bully.” His main competitor this season is Mike Prince, played by Corey Stoll (House of Cards).

When Wags (David Costabile) gets Axe a pre-viewing of a favorite painter of his, the two are caught off guard when they realize the coveted paintings are no longer for sale. In their latest duel, Mike won the battle (but not the war) when he snatched up “The Implosion Series” by the elusive artist Nico Tanner (Frank Grillo).

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Billions Season 5 Episode 3 Recap: Entertainment Weekly – May 17, 2020

It’s ‘Like Father, Like Son’ as Axe’s Kid Gets in Hot Water

by Kyle Fowle | Entertainment Weekly | May 17, 2020

It’s been a while since Billions checked in with Axe’s kids. Ever since Axe and Laura split up, the show has been solely focused on the patriarch. But surely his children are off somewhere doing something wrong. I mean, they can’t possibly be too well-adjusted, right? Thus, the beginning of this week’s episode finds Gordie Axelrod attempting to set up some sort of bitcoin mining operation — I don’t understand the details of bitcoin mining in any way, shape, or form, but you’re stuck with me on recaps — at his prestigious preparatory school, which causes the electrical grid for the school and its surrounding area to shut down.

That little stunt gets Axe on a plane pretty quickly, but not before he starts throwing money and influence at a few problems of his own. First, he was hoping to nab some paintings by a well-respected artist, Nico Tanner, before they were officially up for grabs at a gallery, but when Axe shows up for his preview showing, he finds that Mike Prince has had a pre-preview showing and purchased the entire series. Once again, Prince has swept in and taken something Axe thought was his and his alone. So, it’s time for another plan: “If you can’t buy the art, but the artist.” Axe buys a gorgeous loft with a ton of natural light, hoping to sway Nico into becoming a commissioned artist. Axe is willing to set him up with space, time, and money if Nico gives him exclusive rights to his next eight paintings.

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Billions Season 5 Episode 3 Recap: Vulture – May 17, 2020

Sins of the Father

by Sarene Leeds | Vulture | May 17, 2020

Before we even set eyes on any character in “Beg, Bribe, Bully,” the opening track, Cat Stevens’s classic “Father and Son,” has already laid out tonight’s theme. In Billions, however, nothing is ever as simple as a son carving out a separate path from his father. It’s more about examining the depth of harm passed from father to son, and how the father’s unwillingness to repair the damage stemming from their poor parenting choices ensures the next generation’s continuance of these destructive patterns.

Since the decades of toxicity between Chuck and Charles Senior is well-trodden Billions territory, the Rhoades family cedes the center stage this episode to the Axelrods. But don’t think for a moment these blue bloods are on the road to familial harmony. As part of his self-improvement regimen, Chuck has accepted a visiting professor position at his alma mater, Yale Law School. Unfortunately, there’s a bit of a stain on the Rhoades name up in New Haven, given that a promised endowment from Senior has gone unpaid. When Chuck confronts his father about it, Senior lays the shame on thick: Turns out Chuck hasn’t been terribly welcoming toward Roxanne and Willow. A very strained family get-together at the Rhoades Brooklyn home — Chuck convinces Wendy to play along by promising to unfreeze her assets — sets things right from Senior’s perspective: “The check is in the mail, sonny.” But all it really does is prove once again that Senior is pulling all of the strings, even with the people who don’t want to be a part of the family anymore.

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