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Billions Season 5 Episode 5 Recap: Wall Street Journal – May 31, 2020

Bobby and Chuck Should Learn from the Godfather

by Paul Vigna | Wall Street Journal | May 31, 2020

Sometimes you gotta break a bank to make a bank. Or something like that.

“Contract,” tonight’s episode of Billions, (written by Theo Travers and directed by Adam Bernstein) finds Bobby Axelrod continuing his odd quest to start a bank, and destroying another bank in the process.

Axe’s plans for his hometown of Yonkers have evolved beyond just rebuilding every store brick by brick in his opportunity zone. He wants to be Yonkers’s bank, too. He’s applied for a bank charter from the New York Department of Financial Services. Of course, the state’s Attorney General Chuck Rhoades, for some reason, wants to stop him from getting the license.

We’re here to unwind what makes sense and what doesn’t. There’s a lot that doesn’t.

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Billions Season 5 Episode 5 Recap: Entertainment Weekly – May 31, 2020

Taylor’s New Venture Begins — Under a Cloud of Betrayal and Mistrust

by Kyle Fowle | Entertainment Weekly | May 31, 2020

You know, for a show that spends a lot of time engaging with ideas of masculinity and how it’s shaped, influenced by, or influential within politics, finance, and society at large, Billions hasn’t spent all that much time exploring the nuances of the father-son relationship. Sure, Chuck Sr. (identified as Charles from here on out) has been a consistent presence on the show, but there haven’t been too many story lines that tell us something larger about the Rhoades family and how the father-son dynamic impacted both Sr. and Jr. If anything, Chuck has always distanced himself from his father; he needs him, and he’s used him plenty of times, but he’s also embarrassed by much of his bravado and old school thinking.

“Contract” isn’t all about fathers, but it accounts for half of the episode’s storylines this week. At the outset of “Contract,” Charles is playing with his new daughter, following her around the house as she learns to walk and sitting on the floor with her while she plays with her toys. It’s an image that’s then echoed later in the episode, with Charles once again kneeling on the floor enjoying this newfound passion for fatherhood. Then he collapses, helpless. It’s kidney failure, and now he needs a transplant. Laying in a hospital bed, his swagger is gone. He’s frail, terrified, and begging his son to help him get on the transplant list.

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Billions Season 5 Episode 5 Recap: Vulture – May 31, 2020

Family Drama

by Sarene Leeds | Vulture | May 31, 2020

The “fathers and sons” theme is strong in this season of Billions, with “Contract” getting to the heart of why Axe bailed on dinner at his Yonkers childhood home last week — and Chuck being tasked with saving his father’s life. In both cases, the audience is asked to once again look at the humanity beneath the monster, and search for empathy. Billions revisits the watershed moment that set Axe on his path to wealth and power: His father’s abuse and subsequent abandonment when Axe was 12. As for Charles Senior, his brush with mortality — and the news that his wealth and status can’t override age and decades of hard drinking — has transformed him into a “scared shitless” child, begging his son to help him get a kidney transplant.

The long-term damage that Axe’s unnamed father caused is indisputable — we need no further proof than Damian Lewis’s voice cracking on a single line of dialogue when confronting his mother, Laurel (Patti D’Arbanville), over Papa Axelrod’s Yonkers reappearance. But while that explains much of Axe’s heartless actions through the years, does it excuse it? A similar question goes for Senior: Will Jeffrey DeMunn’s sublime hospital-bed acting be enough to win both Chuck and the audience over after Senior’s lifetime of abhorrent behavior? (I gotta say, those adorable pre-collapse scenes of DeMunn with baby Willow sure help — damn you, Billions!)

Continue reading Billions Season 5 Episode 5 Recap: Vulture – May 31, 2020

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The Most Billions-y Things That Happened on Billions Season 5, Episode 5 – May 31, 2020

Face Punching and Car Crushing

by Kyle McGovern | Newsweek | May 31, 2020

Episode Five: Contract

To celebrate the show’s compelling brand of absurdity, we’re keeping track of the most Billions-y things that happen on Billions this season. For highlights from the latest episode, brace yourselves and head below.

Bryan Connerty Returns to Sock Chuck in the Face

Remember when Toby Leonard Moore’s Bryan Connerty—Chuck’s former-protégé-turned-bitter-rival—got busted breaking into Chuck Senior’s safe at the end of last season? As part of an extremely elaborate scheme set up by Chuck, who knew that Connerty would break the law to try and bust Chuck on anything he could? Well, that’s landed Connerty in prison, which is why we haven’t seen him this season—that is, until this most recent episode.

Continue reading The Most Billions-y Things That Happened on Billions Season 5, Episode 5 – May 31, 2020

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From the Trader’s Desk: Billions S5 Ep4 “Opportunity Zone” – May 29, 2020

Axe vs. Bobby From Yonkers

by Lady Trader | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | May 29, 2020

Times have changed and times are strange
Here I come, but I ain’t the same
Mama, I’m coming home
Mama, I’m Coming Home – Ozzy Osbourne

TGIF and welcome to The Trader’s Desk. As has been the pattern the last few weeks, I’ll give a brief explanation of what an Opportunity Zone is, some quick observations, and then focus on Axe and why “stinking” of Yonkers is a double-edged sword for him.

What is an Opportunity Zone? (The WSJ review of Billions gives a really great explanation – I use some of it here)

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The Unbeatable, Unstoppable, Unparalleled MVPs from Billions Season 5 Episode 4 – May 27, 2020

Billions MVP Awards for Season 5, Episode 4, “Opportunity Zone”

by Gingersnap | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | May 27, 2020

We continue to award our Most Valuable Players for Billions season five in a compilation post called the ‘Billions MVP Fanbook,’ which commemorates all those in honor of achievement for the utmost brazen, uber shameless, ultrascheming, unmatched bad asses to date – from sports references, music and tasty food to pop culture remarks, shocking twists and ultimate paybacks. In case you missed it, here are the MVPs for episode one, episode two, and episode three.

Let us continue with that tradition as we award our Most Valuable Players (MVPs) this week. Here are the Billions MVP awards for Season 5, Episode 4, “Opportunity Zone.”

Continue reading The Unbeatable, Unstoppable, Unparalleled MVPs from Billions Season 5 Episode 4 – May 27, 2020

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Billions Superlatives “Opportunity Zone” – May 25, 2020

Buff Artist Frank Grillo Steals the Show

by Miles Surrey | The Ringer | May 25, 2020

First, an apology: We didn’t do any superlatives for last week’s episode of Billions. Too many other things got in the way—like reflecting on the one-year anniversary of the Game of Thrones series finale, a show that is way worse than Billions, and celebrating the 15-year anniversary of Revenge of the Sith, the greatest movie ever made. But I understand if you’re upset enough to want to string me up in Chuck Rhoades’s BDSM dungeon or force me to chug Ice Juice. Totally normal recourse for skipping out on some sweet, sweet content. I get it.

But let’s focus on the positives. Billions is settling into another ridiculous groove, introducing Buff Artist Frank Grillo—the character’s name is Nico Tanner, but going forward he will be known here only as Buff Artist Frank Grillo—in the third episode doing some paintings for Axe on commission. I truly cannot believe this show added Frank Grillo—a gruff character actor from the Purge franchise and a couple Captain America movies whose whole vibe screams “law enforcement/mercenary” and decided to make him paint. My brain would never arrive at this conclusion, which is precisely why I’m not a staff writer for Billions (yet!).

Continue reading Billions Superlatives “Opportunity Zone” – May 25, 2020