by Sarene Leeds | Vulture | June 9, 2019
We’ve always known that Chuck Rhoades Jr. and Bobby Axelrod worked better as enemies, so closing out Billions’’s strongest season yet by hitting the reset button seems like the most organic decision possible. But as we head into season five, there is no question that the best part of this rebooted rivalry will be watching Wendy potentially inch toward a romantic relationship with Axe — and watching Taylor manipulate Chuck and Axe into self-destruction.
As in any excellent season finale, “Extreme Sandbox” — written by showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien — also saw the decks cleared and the stage set for next season, leaving some major casualties in its wake.
I know I overthought the ending of last week’s episode by erroneously speculating that Axe would hurt Wendy instead of Rebecca as part of his revenge on Taylor. My only excuse is that the demise of his relationship with Rebecca already seemed a foregone conclusion after she made the deal with Taylor, so I guess I was preparing for a much bigger implosion. As much as I liked Rebecca and Axe as a couple, I knew this love affair would never survive Rebecca’s betrayal.