Home Sweet Home
by Sarene Leeds | Vulture | May 24, 2020
How good is Bobby Axelrod when it comes to grandstanding? We thought he couldn’t get more Axe-y than last week’s “Greed is good” speech, delivered to an auditorium full of privileged youngsters. Apparently, he was just getting warmed up for tonight’s opportunity zone bid, which saw Yonkers, New York’s native son pouring his heart and soul into revitalizing his old neighborhood, or “ancestral lands,” as he arrogantly puts it at one point. Here’s the thing about Axe’s plea: I believe he believed he was sincere, and not just because he gave a shoutout to Ricky’s Clam House. At that moment, he was playing to win, which means he would do whatever it took to secure that deal, despite all the warning signs that he would bail.
That’s what made the final scene of this episode such a melancholy one. (The use of Mötley Crüe’s “Home Sweet Home” didn’t hurt either.) I wasn’t surprised in the slightest that, after Mike Prince conceded his defeat over the Yonkers opportunity zone, Axe immediately reneged on his promise to have dinner with Savion Williams (Akili McDowell), the 14-year-old African-American kid who now lives in the billionaire’s childhood home. Now that he’s triumphed over Mike, he realizes what we knew all along — That win was all he was after in the first place, regardless of how well he convinced himself otherwise. We could see that Savion was a pawn in his game, even if Axe couldn’t.
Continue reading Billions Season 5 Episode 4 Recap: Vulture – May 24, 2020
by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | May 24, 2020
While Opportunity Zone as a golden opportunity of tax breaks for the rich stays at the heart of the story, all kinds of opportunities – pursued, missed, noticed, favorable, fitting, promising, unique, rare, ample – abound in this week’s episode! Oh, and I think love is in the air for some!
The Bobby Axelrod that I came to like – the boy who grew up in Yonkers and beat the odds to become the billionaire that he is today – makes an appearance in the first few minutes of the episode…
Continue reading Billions on Showtime, Season 5 Episode 4: Opportunity Zone – May 24, 2020
The Cryptocurrency Bitcoin Blockchain Explainer
by Sarene Leeds | Vulture | May 17, 2020
If you’re a fan of the Showtime drama Billions but having a tough time following the current season’s cryptocurrency story lines, you’re not alone. Not only do the actors have trouble keeping up with the series’ twists and turns, even those who work in the financial sector don’t necessarily understand crypto mining, a subject that pops up several times in season five. “Half the people in finance couldn’t explain what mining is to you,” says New York Times best-selling author Ben Mezrich, who joined the Billions writers’ room this season as a consulting producer. “A large percentage of them have no idea, because it’s complex.”
As the writer of Bitcoin Billionaires and The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook: A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal — the latter of which was adapted into the movie The Social Network — Mezrich is a natural fit for the Billions team. His expert knowledge of cryptocurrency has provided the series with an opportunity to further explore this once-dark, underground area of finance. He also wrote this season’s third episode, which has Gordie Axelrod (Jack Gore), son of billionaire Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis), running his own crypto-mining operation.
From the safety of his home in Quechee, Vermont, where he’s riding out the COVID-19 pandemic, Mezrich was kind enough to guide Vulture through the intricacies of these esoteric plotlines. The result is this useful explainer for those of us who love Billions, but are still lost when characters like Axe and Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) start talking Bitcoin and blockchain.
Continue reading What to Know About Billions’ Cryptocurrency Drama If You Know Nothing About Cryptocurrency – May 22, 2020
Is Axe the Modern-Day Gordon Gekko?
by Lady Trader | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | May 22, 2020
Kings will be crowned, and the word goes around
From father to son, to son
“Father to Son” – Queen
Welcome back to the Trader’s Desk. This week Billions seems to have Daddy issues! I’ll get into that, some observations, and then my thoughts on Axe and his audition for the role of modern day Gorden Gekko!
I think it was fitting that this episode opened with the song “Father and Son” (and a big thank you to Damianista and Gingersnap for educating me on the singer and the song, as I had never heard of it!). We all know that Axe and Chuck have some major Daddy issues, and those were on display this week, along with Axe setting some up for his son Gordie. Also, did anyone else notice the plethora of The Godfather references? Now that’s a movie about Daddy issues! And let’s not even start about the state of Wags’ kids because he was an absent father. This episode should have been shown on Father’s Day!
Continue reading From the Trader’s Desk: “Beg, Bribe, Bully” Billions S5 Ep3 – May 22, 2020
Billions Financial Glossary
by Lady Trader | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | May 20, 2020
We don’t think it’s essential to be a financial or legal expert to enjoy Billions. It is a show more about characters and their interesting relationships than about the workings of Axe Capital or the US Attorney’s office.
Having said that, we believe we are more likely to enjoy Billions once we understand exactly what’s going on…which brings us to this Billions glossary.
We have seen it mentioned on various social media that some are distracted by the fact they are finding the stock market jargon difficult to follow. Only natural for those of us who do not spend our days talking about longing and shorting and looking out for people ditching stock through back doors at lunch time.
Think of this page as a constant work in progress.
We list terms that we think could be helpful, in alphabetical order, and we will keep adding to it! If you hear a term (or terms) we haven’t added yet, let us know and we will be on it!
Without further ado:
Continue reading Bogged Down with Financial Speak in Billions? Let Us Help – May 20, 2020