Season 5, Episode 3: “Beg, Bribe, Bully”
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | May 10, 2020
Chuck returns to his alma mater to pursue an opportunity. Axe’s big venture is sidelined by a family crisis. Taylor asserts independence with a risky play. Chuck puts Wendy in an awkward position. Episode airs on Sunday, May 17, 2020 on Showtime.
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Episode 3 trailer:
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at “The Chris Rock Test”
by Brian Koppelman and David Levien | The Ringer | May 10, 2020
Before diving into S5E2, “The Chris Rock Test,” ‘Billions’ cocreators Brian Koppelman and David Levien discuss some parallels between ‘Billions’ and real-life billionaire behavior as well as how the location manager and prop master truly shined in Season 5’s second episode (0:30). Then they talk to Corey Stoll, who plays Michael Prince, about his character, joining an already established show, learning from his castmates, filming at Mohonk Mountain House, and more (36:40).
Source: The Ringer
Step Up To The Mike
by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | May 10, 2020
Season 5, Episode 2: ‘The Chris Rock Test’
Welcome to the Mike Conference, named with characteristic humility by its founder, decabillionaire Mike Prince. It’s a place for fireside chats that double as vicious duels, for charitable acts that serve to ameliorate an exponentially larger number of uncharitable ones, and for the occasional late-night excursion to a strip club that doubles as a Wagner family reunion.
Yes, Wags discovers the hard way that his daughter (Wags has adult children?!) is a stripper, thus failing “The Chris Rock Test”that gives the episode its name. He gets over it, more or less. He wouldn’t be Wags if he didn’t.
But just as the Mike Conference was really about making deals, so too was Wags and Bobby Axelrod’s ayahuasca excursion from the season premiere a business trip (emphasis on trip). Bobby is aiming to move into the “psychoceuticals” sector, so he and Wags spend their off hours at the conference buttering up Simon Shenk (played by the “Ozark” and “Affair” veteran Darren Goldstein), who looks poised to become the next head of the F.D.A. Impressed with Bobby and Wags’s acquaintance with the shaman Bram Longriver (Henri Binje), he seems poised to greenlight the practice and thus line their pockets.
Continue reading Billions Season 5 Episode 2 Recap: New York Times – May 10, 2020
Chess and Ayahuasca
by Paul Vigna | Wall Street Journal | May 11, 2020
There is a scene in Sunday’s episode of “Billions” in which guests at an exclusive conference are playing chess against a grandmaster (a cameo from real-world grandmaster Hikaru Nakamura). Tables are set up with boards, each person maneuvering and machinating while Nakamura takes them all on at the same time. Pawn threatens knight! King takes rook! Knight threatens king! Checkmate!
This is how “Billions” wants you to see every one of its characters: locked in a chess match, the best against the best, all at the same time. They don’t always win, though, and in “The Chris Rock Test” (written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, directed by Lee Tamahori) one of the best loses.
Continue reading Billions Season 5 Episode 2 Recap: Wall Street Journal – May 11, 2020
Axe Finally Met His Match
by Dana Feldman | Forbes | May 10, 2020
Not one to back down from a challenge, Axe finally takes Mike Prince up on his offer for a fireside chat at his annual charity conference but things for Axe Cappers do not go well…at all.
In “The Chris Rock Test” Axe (Damian Lewis) debates Mike (Corey Stoll) on his turf and under the exterior smiles, this chat is anything but friendly. Taylor (Asia Kate Dillon) is confronted by Oscar Langstraat (Mike Birbiglia), who tells them he doesn’t want his money with Axe, nor does he want to be associated with him, and if Taylor is, he doesn’t want to be associated with them either.
And, things for Wags (David Costabile) might just be the toughest of all when he’s confronted by his worst fears as a father. He realizes he’s failed the Chris Rock test after running into his daughter at a strip club where she works; he didn’t keep his daughter off the pole. Did we ever know he had children?
Continue reading Billions Season 5 Episode 2 Recap: Forbes – May 10, 2020