Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Recap: Black Swan – April 2, 2018
“Axe realizes that he’s Taylor’s hedge”
by Nicole Cliffe | Vulture | April 1, 2018
Source: Showtime – Photo by: Jeff Neumann
Nothing makes an episode of Billions pop like a scheme: the high-wire tension of the initial Ice Juice play, followed by its equally-thrilling unravelling, or watching Axe squeeze a short until someone’s eyes pop out. After a (very good) week of catching up on what our buddies did over summer vacation, it’s extremely welcome to be right back in the swing of things, racing around at a hundred miles an hour.
Billions is especially good at showing the queasier side of what Chuck and his cronies do to make their cases: I’m thinking of the farmer with the sick kid who they needed in order to nail Dollar Bill, the flight attendant they tried to scam for dirt on Boyd, and so on. This week, they’re holding legal residency status above the head of housekeeper Maria Gonzalez. It’s harder to see who gets ground underfoot by Axe; most of the people he brings low or humiliates are fellow billionaires and ex-employees who’ve dared to go solo. So I appreciate that the situation Maria finds herself in is solidly on Axe’s side of the ledger: Finally, someone we can actually feel sorry for is getting screwed over by the money men. Obviously, the show knows we can do the math on Wow, if Axe has all this money, probably some of it is taken from people who need it more, but it’s easy enough to forget when we’re watching him puncture a stuffed-shirt at a charity poker tournament. He’s actually willing to deport an innocent woman!
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Season 3, Episode 2: ‘The Wrong Maria Gonzalez’ – April 2, 2018
What are the Chances Axe Can Actually Keep His Hand Out of the Cookie Jar?
by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | April 1, 2018
Live like a king. It’s a phrase that connotes wealth, luxury, excess, a life of unlimited possibility and security. How easy it is to let the sparkle of the crown jewels blind us to the dead enemies and discarded undesirables through which they were purchased. This week’s episode of “Billions” reminds us, as bluntly as the show ever has, that the games played by Bobby Axelrod and his billionaire boys club in order to remain comfortable on their thrones can have as steep a cost to bystanders as to any player in the game.
Take a close look at the title, “The Wrong Maria Gonzalez.” The right Maria Gonzalez is a maid in the home of Victor, a former analyst at Axe’s firm who led her to poisoning herself in order to tank the initial public offering of Ice Juice last season and thus get back in the good graces of his ex-employer. But to hear Maria tell it, she lived like a serf, bowing to the whims of her feudal lord and lady even before this act of industrial espionage landed her on an F.B.I. witness list. If she broke a glass, Victor’s wife broke her taillight, putting her at risk of getting pulled over and, eventually, deported.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Recap: ‘The Wrong Maria Gonzalez’ – April 2, 2018
“Welcome back, Billions”
by Kyle Fowle | Entertainment Weekly | April 1, 2018
When, near the end of last week’s season premiere of Billions, Axe agreed to give up his ability to trade in order to move the case along and maybe save Axe Capital in the process, everybody watching at home, and everybody in the office of Axe Capital, knew that it wasn’t going to be easy for him to step away. He’s made Axe Capital what it is. He’s sacrificed everything along the way, including, most recently, his marriage. It remains to be seen whether Axe Capital needs Bobby Axelrod, but there’s no doubt that Bobby Axelrod needs Axe Capital.
As “The Wrong Maria Gonzalez” kicks off, Axe stares out at the city at night. He’s lost, unsure of what to do. He calls Wendy, his lighthouse in the storm and also the wife of his enemy. Super awkward. He tells her that he can’t walk away, that he made an impulsive decision and he wants to walk it back. She tells him he needs to accept a loss for once, and that he’ll come out stronger for it in the end. He hangs up, and it isn’t long before we get to see whether he heeds Wendy’s advice or not.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 2: The Wrong Maria Gonzalez – April 1, 2018
You Can Take the Boy Out of the Trade, But You Cannot Take the Trade Out of the Boy
by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | April 1, 2018
Axe needs to stay away from trading. He does not. Chuck needs to stay away from the case. He does not. As both suffer from insomnia and operate behind the scenes to remove any uncertainty in their way, I cannot help think they have so much in common that they could have been BFFs in another life.
We find Axe where we left him at the end of the season premiere: His terrace. No wonder he said he might as well give up his license to breathe when Spyros and Bach advised the only way to make Axe Capital liquid immediately was for him to give up his license to trade. Axe feels suffocated and his phone call to Wendy in the middle of the night brings nothing but an idea that this is an opportunity for him to realign who he is.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on From the Trader’s Desk: S3 E1 The King Without a Crown – March 30, 2018
Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Crown
by Lady Trader | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | March 30, 2018
Greetings from the Trader’s Desk!
Before I dive into the episode, I would like to thank the writers of this episode, Brian Koppleman and David Levien. As a New Yorker, kid of the 80’s and a trader, I can tell you they bring the realness of all three of those things of which I am and hold dear. From the mid-town Manhattan office of Axe Capital, to the setting of my favorite place for pierogies, (Veselka) to having real hedge fund managers (Marc Lasry of Avenue Capital and Michael Platt of BlueCrest Capital Management) at the idea dinner, a line from the movie that changed my life (“Wall Street”), to a beautiful view of the Freedom Tower, they continue to not just make this one of my favorite shows, but bring it home so authentically. By Season 3 some writers would be phoning it in, but they certainly don’t.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions on Showtime, 3:01: Tie Goes to the Runner – March 28, 2018
Billions is dissecting the anatomy of self-interest, single-minded adherence to self-determination. All in the body and mind of Bobby Axelrod.
by JaniaJania | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | March 28, 2018
Billions Season 3, episode 1, long time coming, eh? Let’s skip the pleasantries and get down to it, shall we?The nation has turned, so Chuck walks warily to meet his new boss, wondering if he still has a job. Newly appointed Attorney General Jeffcoat circumnavigates into the biggest case in NYC right now: Eastern District vs. Bobby Axelrod. He tells a folksy tale of horse husbandry and goads Chuck with the raging sting of being the primer for the mare that Dake ultimately gets to fuck. (I believe the AG just called Bobby Axelrod a female horse.) Then he suggests, if Chuck wants to keep his job, he’ll want to look kindly on future Wall Street shenanigans. Tie goes to the runner in both baseball and in the high stakes gambling of the capitalist enterprise.
Don’t call a man out on a win.
Axe Capital has moved from their old digs to swanky Manhattan and Taylor is rallying the troops for new ideas to present to an annual hog show of hedgies. Dollar Bill wants none of it, he wants Axe’s assets unfrozen and his sensei back where he belongs. He’s chomping at the bit to get back to kicking financial sector ass in the name of his hero and mentor. The gambling force is strong in this padawan.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions is Back and Still More Fun Than Your Favorite Peak TV Drama – March 27, 2018
“Exceptionally well-plotted, well-acted, and gloriously, hilariously unbridled”
by Winston Cook-Wilson | Spin | March 26, 2018
The opening aerial shot of Manhattan, the throbbing electronic soundtrack that eerily fades in–suddenly, my troubles disappear like a dirty million wired to an offshore bank account. It is time for a new episode of Billions, the most enjoyable show on television if you enjoy things like it. The Showtime series–a bro-finance melodrama in the rich tradition of Wall Street, Glengarry Glen Ross, and Boiler Room–isn’t exemplary because of its innovativeness or depth of artistic vision, but it perfects the basic elements. It’s exceptionally well-plotted, well-acted, and gloriously, hilariously unbridled. It takes the thematic trappings of prestige TV as loving source material without deifying them too much. The result is a kind of platonic ideal of the average premium-cable hour-long drama in an age where there are far, far too many of them.
The key to Billions’ appeal is that it is both complicated in its particulars and, on an overarching level, deadly simple. The show feels dense in the moment, given the fact that the majority of the dialogue steeped in trader jargon, legalese, and outlandish extended metaphors. It provides the same uphill battle to figure out what the fuck anyone is talking about that makes the first few episodes of The Wire or Deadwood a hard sell for some. But the conflict is compellingly meat-and-potatoes at its core: The plot revolves around a long face-off between two impetuous and powerful men.
Written By DamianistaComments Off on New ‘Billions’ Season: The Show About Power And Money You Should Be Watching – March 27, 2018
“Billions is TV’s most compelling fable about wealth and power in modern life”
by Eric Deggans | NPR | March 27, 2018
Be warned: The review below contains plenty of spoilers about past and present episodes of Billions.
The biggest problem Showtime’s Billions has: It’s a show that is way too easy to underestimate.
At a time when income inequality and the struggles of the middle class are front-page news, it’s tough to lionize a show about a millionaire U.S. attorney in an all-consuming personal and professional grudge match with a billionaire hedge fund owner.
One guy, billionaire “hedgie” Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis), is a ruthless, self-made business titan who jumps on a private plane with his buddies to hang out with the band before a Metallica concert. The other guy, U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades Jr. (Paul Giamatti), is a scion of old New York money who bunks at the Yale Club when his marriage is on the rocks.
This seems like the definition of 1 percenters’ problems dressed up as a TV series.
The recap is back! Welcome back to the Billions Recap Reality Index, where we tally a list of events from each episode and rank on a scale of too real to fail or as fake as a toxic asset’s triple A rating, scored on our wholly subjective point system.
This week we provide you with due diligence on the first episode of Season 3, “Tie Goes To The Runner.”
When we last saw Axe and Chuck, they were both crawling from the rubble of Chuck’s pyrrhic victory of vaporizing his father’s portfolio and his own trust to lure Bobby into shorting the Ice Juice IPO. With his fund under federal investigation, his marriage in shambles, and future completely uncertain, we begin season three with Axe at his lowest point, and Chuck working to make sure this time there’s no escape for Axelrod.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Syllabus, Complete with Podcasts – March 27, 2018
Sit back, relax, and take a big slurp of Ice Juice — we’ve got everything you need for a new season of Billions
by Staff | The Ringer | March 26, 2018
Showtime’s financial drama Billions returns this week, and The Ringer has (forgive us) billions of different ways to prepare. From deep dives on past seasons to interviews with showrunner Brian Koppelman, this is your guide to making the most of the new season. Check in every week for a new Recappables podcast, which will break down the latest episode, and weekly recaps crowning the “The Best, Most, and Worst” of Billions Season 3.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Season 3 Premiere Recap: The Teaser & The Stud – March 26, 2018
Just How ‘Woke’ Billions Wants Us to Believe Axe Capital Is
by Molly Stout | Refinery 29 | March 26, 2018
After two full seasons of Billions, we are still no closer to choosing sides. In this extravagant chess match between Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis), we’re somehow still rooting for both of them to knock over the other’s king-sized ego. Or, as Axe suggested in the thrilling season 2 finale, for both of them to end up in check. Since the show’s beginning, we’ve found qualities to admire in each man: Bobby’s scrappy Yonkers childhood and ability to turn a stadium’s lights off with the God-like snap of his fingers, and Chuck’s gastrophile trivia and love of Winston Churchill first-editions. And neither man is evil enough for us to pledge allegiance to the other.
Even the characters we used to unabashedly cheer for are giving us pause. Lara Axelrod (Malin Akerman) has always made it clear, to Axe and to viewers, that she isn’t a trophy wife. She enjoys the money and the power Axe’s career has given her and the boys, but she’s still just a working-class girl at heart who loved Bobby long before he made his first million. But last season, Lara told Bobby that she wouldn’t run from the government with him. She even tried to buy off Orrin Bach (Glenn Fleshler) to counsel her on what she would get in a divorce. Then there’s Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon). It’s hard not to like the efficient, confident Taylor, but they ultimately chose the dark side of private planes, $26,000-a-month penthouses, and climbing the dirty corporate ladder, eventually telling Bryan Connerty (Toby Leonard Moore) that they don’t believe in souls. Even Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff), our favorite overpriced therapist, gave two distinctly different hugs to the men in her life last season. The one with Axe felt real, yet she returned home to Chuck.