“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!
Continue reading Billions Recap: Black Swan – 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.
Continue reading Billions Season 3, Episode 2: ‘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.
Continue reading Billions Recap: ‘The Wrong Maria Gonzalez’ – April 2, 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.
Continue reading Billions on Showtime, Season 3 Episode 2: The Wrong Maria Gonzalez – April 1, 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.
Continue reading From the Trader’s Desk: S3 E1 The King Without a Crown – March 30, 2018