Welcome back to “From the Trader’s Desk” for Season 5 of Billions!
Before I get into my recap/analysis, let me just say, boy, did I miss these characters from my screen! With everything that is going on in the world right now, having Axe, Wags, Taylor, Wendy, and yes, even Chuck, back and up to their usual shenanigans was like slipping into a comfortable pair of jeans!
Since there was not a lot of fin-speak this week, let’s see where the characters I call the Big Four (Axe, Chuck, Wendy and Taylor) are when we start the new season.
Before I start, I’d like to talk about the school-yard battle between the Axe Cappers and the TMCer’s. There is bad blood between these two camps. One reason is because the ACs see the TMCs as interlopers (and in the case of Taylor and Mafee, traitors). No one likes anyone coming into their “house” infringing on their territory.
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Billions MVP Awards for Season 5, Episode 1, “The New Decas”
by Gingersnap | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | May 6, 2020
Dominance. Corruption. Influence. Vicious rivalries. New enemies. New alliances. Shifting loyalties. Formidable feuds. Predator vs. prey. Take-downs. The struggle for power and the struggle for survival. All of this can only mean one thing: BILLIONS IS BACK BABY!
This season we will review each episode and award our Most Valuable Players (MVPs) for the utmost brazen, uber shameless, ultra scheming, unmatched bad asses to date – from sports references, music and tasty food, to pop culture remarks, shocking twists and ultimate paybacks. This will serve as our prize ‘Billions MVP Fanbook’ commemorating all those in honor of such achievement.
Here are the Billions MVP awards for Season 5, Episode 1, “The New Decas.”
Written By GingersnapComments Off on The Billions Cast on What They’ve Learned from Wall Street – May 5, 2020
Rage Rooms and Mason Jars
by Lane Florsheim | Wall Street Journal | May 4, 2020
When stay-at-home orders began, the cast and crew of Billions had finished seven of season 5’s twelve episodes, the first of which aired May 3. On a Zoom call with WSJ., some of the cast and crew’s most vital members were emotional about seeing each other’s faces again. “I’ll just say—looking at all of you right now, I’m very sad that we’re not together doing this,” said showrunner Brian Koppelman. “Whenever we can go back to work, we’ll finish the five remaining episodes, which are pretty much written.”
This season begins a little less harmoniously. Almost everyone is out for blood: Chuck Rhoades (played by Paul Giamatti) is back in the attorney general’s office, hellbent once again on taking down billionaire hedge fund manager Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), all while restarting a teaching career and coping with the dissolution of his marriage to Wendy (Maggie Siff). Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon), who left Axe Capital to start their own shop at the end of season 3, is back at Axe with plans to let Chuck and Axe demolish each other. New guest stars arrive this season: Corey Stoll plays woke billionaire and new Axe foe Mike Prince; Julianna Margulies stars as a sociology professor peer of Chuck’s; and comedian Eva Victor joins as Rian, a brilliant analyst with a unique market view in some of the season’s later episodes.
In a group interview, Giamatti, Dillon, Siff, Stoll, Koppelman and his co-showrunner David Levien discuss the making of season 5, how the cast’s real-life moments become parts of the show’s script and whether the characters on Billions are capable of change.
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Enlightenment and ‘Deca’-Dence
by Paul Vigna | Wall Street Journal | May 4, 2020
“Kings? They don’t blow around, man. They stand there and they take.” Axe is back, and he’s on the road, scruffy and bearded, on an ostensibly Zen motorcycle trip with Wags, his right-hand reprobate (we’re not judging). In a tent with a shaman, they trip out on ayahuasca, a psychedelic popular in all the places you’d expect—Hollywood, Silicon Valley, Brooklyn.
There’s vomiting and visions, and Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) promises the shaman they will “move your knowledge into the world.” We guarantee he’s already working out the possible returns on moving such knowledge to Wall Street.
The trip is cut short when Wags (David Costabile) gets a note that Vanity Fair wants Axe for a cover story it’s doing on “The New Decas,” as in, people who are worth $10 billion. It’s also the title of the premiere episode (written by creators Brian Koppelman and David Levien, directed by Matthew McLoota).
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Superlatives “The New Decas” – May 4, 2020
A Wedding, a Divorce, and an Ayahuasca Trip
by Miles Surrey | The Ringer | May 4, 2020
Television always has been an essential respite from the stress and daily grind of our lives. After a long day, sometimes you just want to kick back and watch some dumb robots fight each other while Aaron Paul looks very confused, or see two normal people have an on-and-off relationship for a few years. Me? I want nothing more than to unwind while watching brilliant thespian Paul Giamatti telling a bunch of reporters that his character engages in consensual BDSM with his adoring wife who whips him into submission. That is but a taste of what transpires on Showtime’s Billions: a rich, simile-loving text, and perhaps my biggest guilty pleasure on the small screen.
Under normal circumstances, I’d prepare for a new season of Billions like an upper middle class kid waiting to open presents on Christmas morning knowing Papa has provided everything on the wish list. But the COVID-19 pandemic putting a halt to things like interacting with other human beings has made the return of Chuck Rhoades, Bobby Axelrod, and their perpetual dick-swinging contest into something more than just a show that I want. It will be a spiritual journey. I plan to inhale the fifth season of Billions with the type of intensity and detail usually reserved for a smash hit like Game of Thrones (before it turned to utter shit), and there’s nothing that can stop me.
Let’s celebrate the return of Billions with some superlatives from Sunday night’s premiere, “The New Decas.”