Categories Billions Print Media Recap

Billions on Showtime, Season 4 Episode 2: Arousal Template – March 24, 2019

What Turns You On?

by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | March 24, 2019

Billions creator and show runner Brian Koppelman tweeted earlier today that the first two episodes in Season 4 are the warm up. Well, if this is the warm up, I cannot imagine how crazy the best stuff will get!

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Billions Season 4 Episode 2 Recap: New York Times – March 24, 2019

by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | March 24, 2019

Zugzwang is a delightful word for a dispiriting concept. In chess, zugzwang occurs when it’s your move, but your opponent has cannily set you up to dig yourself deeper into defeat. It’s a useful concept for anyone who needs to outmaneuver an enemy without staging a frontal assault. And as Taylor Mason’s ruthless new right-hand woman, Sara Hammon (Samantha Mathis), realizes in this week’s episode of “Billions,” zugzwang is the name of the game for every player on the board right now.

Thank Grigor Andolov for that. As he has threatened many times, and proved last week by orchestrating the abduction of Wags, that menacing Russian will stop at nothing to protect his investment in Taylor’s company. This means that Bobby’s best play is to cut off his former protégé’s supply of cash by cutting sweetheart deals with banks that are in a bad way. They’ll owe him a favor and take their business elsewhere, with minimal exposure on his end.

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Billions Season 4 Episode 2 Recap: Vulture – March 24, 2019

Zugzwang

by Sarene Leeds  | Vulture | March 24, 2019

The structure of last week’s season premiere forced Wendy and Taylor slightly off to the sidelines, but, thankfully, this is not the case in “Arousal Template.” This episode features standard-fare plotting for our two alpha males, none of it necessitating detailed analysis: Axe is still scheming to take down Taylor; Chuck is still scheming to reenter politics, this time as New York State Attorney General. Axe has a new love/business interest, venture capitalist Rebecca Cantu (Nina Arianda), and Chuck is “tasked” by Commissioner Sansome in order to secure the NYPD’s endorsement for his AG bid.

Meanwhile, Wendy is silently grappling with her own long-dormant needs, and Taylor is discreetly maneuvering a genius play behind the scenes. (Juxtaposing a raucous Axe Cap party with a solitary Taylor doing tai chi was an excellent metaphor for the whole episode.)

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Billions Season 4 Episode 2 Recap: Forbes – March 24, 2019

It’s All About The Zugzwang And “Arousal Template”

by Dana Feldman | Forbes | March 24, 2019

The fourth season of Showtime’s hit series Billions is certainly living up to the very high expectations of its fans. The second episode “Arousal Template” is on par with the first three seasons when it comes to fast-paced witticisms and ever-evolving power plays. Alliances continue to shift, and loyalties are repeatedly tested as the cast of vengeance-seeking characters navigate numerous minefields in an effort to win at any cost.

Axe Will Stop At (Almost) Nothing To Destroy Taylor: 

Since Axe (Damian Lewis) didn’t take Grigor Andolov’s (John Malcovich) offer at the end of last season to “handle” Taylor (Asia Kate Dillon), we know Axe will stop just shy of murder when it comes to destroying his enemies. He will, however, gladly leave Taylor in a position that’s not much better than death by blocking capital from going into their company.  

Wags (David Costabile) worries that those on the street will start to question Axe’s motives. Is he more interested in revenge than making money? Axe always has a plan and when he meets the yin to his yang in female billionaire and venture capitalist extraordinaire, Rebecca Cantu (Nina Arianda), the pieces fall into place. She’s his equal in both intellect and determination and they form an alliance that one would be hard-pressed to beat.  

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Billions Season 4 Episode 2 Recap: Entertainment Weekly – March 24, 2019

Chuck and Axe Make Their Next Move to Get Back to the Top

by Kyle Fowle | Entertainment Weekly | March 24, 2019

There’s always one question, above all else, that Chuck and Axe have to be asking themselves: who are they comfortable getting into bed with? It’s a question with a literal and figurative meaning. “Arousal Template,” perhaps more than any other episode, explores the way sex and power are intertwined, especially in this world of high finance and dirty politics. So, this episode isn’t just about Axe deciding whether to invest in a robotics company, or Chuck thinking about who he needs by his side for his next move on his way back to prominence, but also the ways that sexual relationships are all part of the cost-benefit analysis.

We’ll get to all the sex in a bit, but there are other things to cover first. Now that Axe has been warned by Grigor to lay off Taylor, he’s looking for ways to bleed the company dry in subtler ways. Or, so he says. Axe isn’t the most subtle guy, and when Taylor meets with a number of banks looking for money to use for the Quant program and is stonewalled by every single one, they all suspect that Axe is behind it. Sure enough, this is just the first stage of Axe’s plan. When he meets a very rich woman and fellow capitalist vulture named Rebecca at a robotics pitch, he begins to see another plan.

Continue reading Billions Season 4 Episode 2 Recap: Entertainment Weekly – March 24, 2019