Taylor’s New Venture Begins — Under a Cloud of Betrayal and Mistrust
by Kyle Fowle | Entertainment Weekly | May 31, 2020
You know, for a show that spends a lot of time engaging with ideas of masculinity and how it’s shaped, influenced by, or influential within politics, finance, and society at large, Billions hasn’t spent all that much time exploring the nuances of the father-son relationship. Sure, Chuck Sr. (identified as Charles from here on out) has been a consistent presence on the show, but there haven’t been too many story lines that tell us something larger about the Rhoades family and how the father-son dynamic impacted both Sr. and Jr. If anything, Chuck has always distanced himself from his father; he needs him, and he’s used him plenty of times, but he’s also embarrassed by much of his bravado and old school thinking.
“Contract” isn’t all about fathers, but it accounts for half of the episode’s storylines this week. At the outset of “Contract,” Charles is playing with his new daughter, following her around the house as she learns to walk and sitting on the floor with her while she plays with her toys. It’s an image that’s then echoed later in the episode, with Charles once again kneeling on the floor enjoying this newfound passion for fatherhood. Then he collapses, helpless. It’s kidney failure, and now he needs a transplant. Laying in a hospital bed, his swagger is gone. He’s frail, terrified, and begging his son to help him get on the transplant list.