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Billions Season 4 Episode 3 Recap: Vulture – March 31, 2019

War Isn’t Over

by Sarene Leeds  | Vulture | March 31, 2019

Grab a bucket of fried chicken, unwrap a Reggie bar, and let’s dig in to this feast of an episode.

Up until now, Chuck and Axe’s alliance was dubious at best, amorphous at worst. Their interactions were minimal enough that I didn’t see the need to delve into them just yet. But this is Billions, after all, so I suspected there was a method to the madness — and, oh, was there ever. In the final minutes of “Chickentown,” Chuck, solidifying his position as a submissive in both his personal and professional lives, indebts himself to Axe in a way I doubt he’ll ever be able to repay.

Continue reading Billions Season 4 Episode 3 Recap: Vulture – March 31, 2019

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Billions Season 4 Episode 3 Recap: Entertainment Weekly – March 31, 2019

Chicken Farms and Political Charm

by Kyle Fowle | Entertainment Weekly | March 31, 2019

Now, this is the Billions that I tell everyone about, the show that I can’t stop raving about when someone asks me what I’m watching or to name one of my favorite shows on TV. Don’t get me wrong, the first two episodes of this season are solid, especially the premiere, but there’s always that one episode early on that really kicks things into high gear. It’s an episode that sees the dialogue firing on all cylinders, the shifting relationships starting to clarify, and the plot starting to take shape in some truly fascinating ways. “Chickentown” is that kind of episode.

It all begins with Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City” and a very large man riding a scooter through a chicken farm. It’s like the beginning of a strange procedural, where we get the cold open that isn’t explained until a little bit later. You see, the man on the scooter is “The Chicken Man,” and not the one from the song. He’s key to something big that Dollar Bill has stumbled on (or slept his way to). Dollar Bill has all his eggs in the Chicken Man’s basket (sorry). On Billions, it’s never good to have all your eggs in any basket.

Continue reading Billions Season 4 Episode 3 Recap: Entertainment Weekly – March 31, 2019

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Billions on Showtime, Season 4 Episode 3: Chickentown – March 31, 2019

Obsessed with Winning

by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | March 31, 2019

A migraine. An algorithm. A blossoming friendship. And lots of chickens! Billions gives us a fun episode in which Axe and Chuck fight at multiple fronts and end up in Chuck’s office drinking to their friendship of a sort 😀

Chuck’s day starts with a migraine and gets downhill from there.

Chuck Senior calls from Kingsford to tell his son it is time for Pericles, ahem, Chuck, to stroll the Parthenon, ahem, the casino built on Senior’s land.  They are having the grand opening with fanfare and two important union leaders with 400K potential votes for Chuck in attendance. Chuck has to show up with Wendy, smile, shake hands and seal the deal. And when Chuck resists:

Senior: “Do you think JFK complained when Ol’ Papa Joe sat him down with steel workers?”

Junior: “You’re delivering Schenectady, dad. Not Ohio.”

Continue reading Billions on Showtime, Season 4 Episode 3: Chickentown – March 31, 2019

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Billions Seasons 4 Episode 3 Recap: New York Times – March 31, 2019

by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | March 31, 2019

“I used to try and pretend I was dreaming all of the pain, but don’t you kid yourself: Some things have to be endured. And that’s what makes the pleasures so sweet.”

Whether as shorthand for their feelings, metaphors for their predicaments, or models for their aspired-to lifestyles, characters on “Billions” simply love dropping pop-culture quotes on one another. In fact this week’s episode, “Chickentown,” takes its name from a bowdlerized version of the famous “Forget it, Jake …” conclusion to “Chinatown,” referenced when Bobby Axelrod and Wags Wagner stop their mad-dog lieutenant “Dollar Bill” Stern (Kelly AuCoin, delightfully amoral) from salvaging an insider-trading scheme by wiping out a poultry farm. (It’s a long story.)

Continue reading Billions Seasons 4 Episode 3 Recap: New York Times – March 31, 2019

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From the Trader’s Desk: Runnin’ With the Devil, Billions S4E2 – March 29, 2019

Relationship Status: It’s Complicated!

by LadyTrader | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | March 29, 2019

I live my life like there’s no tomorrow
And all I’ve got, I had to steal
Least I don’t need to beg or borrow
Yes I’m livin’ at a pace that kills

Runnin’ With the Devil – Van Halen

Greetings from the Trader’s Desk! I’m going to do things a bit different today. Instead of doing an in-depth recap (my partner in crime Damianista has done an amazing one), I’ll be giving my observations of the various relationships we saw this week. Also, on a good news front, I’ll be having surgery to remove my chemo port this week, and I’ll be on the disabled list for a day or so, so this will have to be a bit condensed. As always, if there is some “fin-speak” you need explained, please let me know!

I want to start with an explanation of what Private Equity is, since it was a big part of the Axe/Rebecca storyline. Private equity is composed of funds and investors that directly invest in private companies. For example, if a firm or an individual invested in Uber (a private company) they will have gotten in early, before the company goes public and IPOs. These investors now have a percentage (or shares) in the company. When the company does go public, the investment could have increased significantly, and now the shares can be sold publicly. Investing in private equity is not a guarantee – sometimes you need to kiss a lot of frogs before you get your Prince!

Continue reading From the Trader’s Desk: Runnin’ With the Devil, Billions S4E2 – March 29, 2019

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The Unbeatable, Unstoppable, Unparalleled MVP’s from Billions Season 4 Episode 2 – March 27, 2019

Billions MVP Fanbook

by Gingersnap | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | March 27, 2019

Last week we introduced you to our ‘Billions MVP Fanbook,’ a compilation  post commemorating all those in honor of achievement for the utmost brazen, uber shameless, ultra scheming, unmatched badasses to date – from sports references, music, and tasty food to pop culture remarks, shocking twists and ultimate paybacks. Let us continue with that tradition as we award our Most Valuable Players (MVPs) this week.

Here are our Billions awards for Season 4, Episode 2, “Arousal Template.”

Continue reading The Unbeatable, Unstoppable, Unparalleled MVP’s from Billions Season 4 Episode 2 – March 27, 2019

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Big Time: The Flashy Pleasures of Billions – March 25, 2019

“Over the course of four seasons, the Showtime series has shown a rare capacity to evolve, pivoting, niftily, like a company under S.E.C. investigation.”

by Emily Nussbaum | The New Yorker | March 25, 2019

Showtime’s “Billions,” a late-night snack of an antihero drama, set among finance weasels in New York and Connecticut, is the rare series that the term “guilty pleasure” suits nicely. The show has barbed dialogue and a blind-item documentary interest in the lives of the ultra-wealthy, but at heart it’s a pleasingly amoral caper series, a Wall Street fever dream, scored to ironic pop songs—more pulp than grit, with a streak of camp. Last week, in the San Francisco Chronicle, the critic Allie Pape called the show “prestige trash,” which pretty much nails the tone: it’s dirty fun, without the self-seriousness that drags down so many of its cable-drama peers.

Over the course of four seasons, “Billions,” which was created by Brian Koppelman, David Levien, and Andrew Ross Sorkin, has also shown a rare capacity to evolve, pivoting, niftily, like a company under S.E.C. investigation. The first season set a simple formula, a Coyote-versus-Road Runner duel between two styles of male ambition: in one corner, the alpha hedge-funder Bobby (Axe) Axelrod (Damian Lewis), using his saintly post-9/11 reputation as a cover for insider trading; in the other, Chuck Rhoades, the politically ambitious prosecutor (played with high dudgeon by Paul Giamatti), a resentful beta who is eager to send Axe to jail. Rhoades is the Ivy-educated son of a blue blood, while Axe has clawed his way up from nothing, a.k.a. Yonkers. There is plenty of kinky sex, too, with Maggie Siff as Wendy Rhoades, a therapist, who—ridiculously but entertainingly—is both Chuck’s wife/dominatrix and Axe’s employee, guru, and maybe soul mate. It all felt very Showtime: gimmicky and lurid, but also witty and well paced, and good at making Wall Street transactions comprehensible to English majors.

The show’s signature attraction is Axe, a fit, hyper-strategic market genius who has glimmers of conscience but at one point barks, “I’m not human. I am a machine. I’m a fucking Terminator.” His need for control is what we identify with and get off on. It’s much harder to fantasize about being Chuck, a sharply drawn and performed but more earthbound character, even when he begins to break bad: he’s too grumpy, too tormented, to be our avatar. Axe, in contrast, is a vision of pure meritocratic transcendence, of being so good at your job that the world just lets you do it, no matter whom you hurt. That’s what distinguishes “Billions” from HBO’s “Succession,” another darkly funny series about Manhattan élites, but one with a more subversive theme: its characters are fools, entitled dummies deluded about their own potential. If “Succession” is a show about Jared Kushner, “Billions” is the show that Kushner would write about himself.

Continue reading Big Time: The Flashy Pleasures of Billions – March 25, 2019

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Next Time on Billions Season 4 Episode 3 – March 25, 2019

Season 4, Episode 3: “Chickentown”

by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | March 25, 2019

On the next episode of Billions season 4 episode 3, Axe has to step in when a tip from Dollar Bill goes south quickly. Chuck faces a threat to his new career aspirations. Wendy and Axe develop a plan to derail Taylor’s business. Taylor receives an important guest.

To view more sneak peek photos, please visit our Gallery

Episode 3 trailers:

Continue reading Next Time on Billions Season 4 Episode 3 – March 25, 2019

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Billions on Showtime, Season 4 Episode 2: Arousal Template – March 24, 2019

What Turns You On?

by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | March 24, 2019

Billions creator and show runner Brian Koppelman tweeted earlier today that the first two episodes in Season 4 are the warm up. Well, if this is the warm up, I cannot imagine how crazy the best stuff will get!

Continue reading Billions on Showtime, Season 4 Episode 2: Arousal Template – March 24, 2019

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Billions Season 4 Episode 2 Recap: New York Times – March 24, 2019

by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | March 24, 2019

Zugzwang is a delightful word for a dispiriting concept. In chess, zugzwang occurs when it’s your move, but your opponent has cannily set you up to dig yourself deeper into defeat. It’s a useful concept for anyone who needs to outmaneuver an enemy without staging a frontal assault. And as Taylor Mason’s ruthless new right-hand woman, Sara Hammon (Samantha Mathis), realizes in this week’s episode of “Billions,” zugzwang is the name of the game for every player on the board right now.

Thank Grigor Andolov for that. As he has threatened many times, and proved last week by orchestrating the abduction of Wags, that menacing Russian will stop at nothing to protect his investment in Taylor’s company. This means that Bobby’s best play is to cut off his former protégé’s supply of cash by cutting sweetheart deals with banks that are in a bad way. They’ll owe him a favor and take their business elsewhere, with minimal exposure on his end.

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Billions Season 4 Episode 2 Recap: Vulture – March 24, 2019

Zugzwang

by Sarene Leeds  | Vulture | March 24, 2019

The structure of last week’s season premiere forced Wendy and Taylor slightly off to the sidelines, but, thankfully, this is not the case in “Arousal Template.” This episode features standard-fare plotting for our two alpha males, none of it necessitating detailed analysis: Axe is still scheming to take down Taylor; Chuck is still scheming to reenter politics, this time as New York State Attorney General. Axe has a new love/business interest, venture capitalist Rebecca Cantu (Nina Arianda), and Chuck is “tasked” by Commissioner Sansome in order to secure the NYPD’s endorsement for his AG bid.

Meanwhile, Wendy is silently grappling with her own long-dormant needs, and Taylor is discreetly maneuvering a genius play behind the scenes. (Juxtaposing a raucous Axe Cap party with a solitary Taylor doing tai chi was an excellent metaphor for the whole episode.)

Continue reading Billions Season 4 Episode 2 Recap: Vulture – March 24, 2019

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Billions Season 4 Episode 2 Recap: Forbes – March 24, 2019

It’s All About The Zugzwang And “Arousal Template”

by Dana Feldman | Forbes | March 24, 2019

The fourth season of Showtime’s hit series Billions is certainly living up to the very high expectations of its fans. The second episode “Arousal Template” is on par with the first three seasons when it comes to fast-paced witticisms and ever-evolving power plays. Alliances continue to shift, and loyalties are repeatedly tested as the cast of vengeance-seeking characters navigate numerous minefields in an effort to win at any cost.

Axe Will Stop At (Almost) Nothing To Destroy Taylor: 

Since Axe (Damian Lewis) didn’t take Grigor Andolov’s (John Malcovich) offer at the end of last season to “handle” Taylor (Asia Kate Dillon), we know Axe will stop just shy of murder when it comes to destroying his enemies. He will, however, gladly leave Taylor in a position that’s not much better than death by blocking capital from going into their company.  

Wags (David Costabile) worries that those on the street will start to question Axe’s motives. Is he more interested in revenge than making money? Axe always has a plan and when he meets the yin to his yang in female billionaire and venture capitalist extraordinaire, Rebecca Cantu (Nina Arianda), the pieces fall into place. She’s his equal in both intellect and determination and they form an alliance that one would be hard-pressed to beat.  

Continue reading Billions Season 4 Episode 2 Recap: Forbes – March 24, 2019