Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions on Showtime, Season 4 Episode 1: Chucky Rhoades’s Greatest Game
After All, Tomorrow is Another Day!
by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | March 17, 2019
What are the odds that the two most anticipated events of the year for yours truly fall on the same day? I got up at 5am to run NYC half-Marathon earlier today and I found out later that Showtime kindly released the Billions Season Premiere today which gave me time to watch the episode two times, sit down and write.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Season 4, Episode 1 Recap: Vulture – March 17, 2019
You Gotta Pick Sides
by Sarene Leeds | Vulture | March 17, 2019
If you had trouble untangling yourself from the intricate web that was the Billions season four premiere, you’re not alone. Even star Paul Giamatti has admitted that he can’t keep track of the Showtime drama’s mind-bending plot twists. That’s not to say “Chucky Rhoades’s Greatest Game” isn’t a fantastic episode, but it is an exhausting one. And by the end, we’re still left asking the same question: Is the quest for such all-encompassing power worth it?
For now, the main players — Chuck Rhoades, Jr. (Giamatti), Bobby “Axe” Axelrod (Damian Lewis), Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff), and Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillion) — are going to answer with a resounding “yes.” Four seasons in, and the adrenaline rush of the game continues to fuel their existence. Never mind that it’s come at some seriously crippling costs: Axe has lost his family and now requires a personal detail of six bodyguards (getting mixed up with Russian oligarchs will do that). Chuck, stripped of his U.S. Attorney title, has been reduced to a private law practice in which the strings are, unsurprisingly, being pulled by his blue-blooded father, Charles Rhoades, Sr. (Jeffrey DeMunn, still making his loathsome character one of the most delicious things about Billions). And Taylor is learning some uncomfortable lessons about the high-stakes world of which they so desperately want (and deserve) a piece.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Season 4, Episode 1: Entertainment Weekly – March 17, 2019
It’s a Fresh Start, and the Same Old Enemies, for Chuck and Axe
by Kyle Fowle | Entertainment Weekly | March 17, 2019
The fourth season of Billions begins with a very familiar image: Wags in a club, flanked by women, snorting coke. Apparently, he’s on a mission to secure a deal for a sovereign wealth fund, and as always, that means partying hard until the deal is done. Things seem to be looking good. Wags tells the man he’s meeting with that their final stipulation is that the client does no business with Taylor Mason. The man seems to agree, telling Wags that they can bring the party back to the Embassy of the Arab State of Qadir, where he’ll get to seal the deal with the Shiekh. Things don’t go as planned though. Rather than get a big meeting, Wags gets drugged and thrown into a dingy storage closet.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Season 4, Episode 1: Forbes – March 17, 2019
Season 4 Opens With ‘Chucky Rhoades’s Greatest Game’
by Dana Feldman | Forbes | March 17, 2019
The fourth season of Billions begins with the episode entitled “Chucky Rhoades’s Greatest Game.” In the new 12-episode season, everyone has a score to settle and vengeance is the name of the game.
In the first episode, Chuck (Paul Giamatti) is no longer U.S. Attorney and as he struggles to regain power, he comes up with quite the plan.
Meanwhile, Axe (Damian Lewis) is also closing ranks, determined to destroy Taylor (Asia Kate Dillon). Taylor, however, is doing absolutely whatever it takes to keep their company afloat.
In the opening scene, Wags (David Costabile) parties at a strip club with the sheikh’s henchman and he makes it quite clear that Axe wants no money going to any former Axe Cap employees, meaning Taylor. That is, if the sheikh wants Axe to keep “jacking up” his returns.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Season 4, Episode 1: New York Times – March 17, 2019
by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | March 17, 2019
Season 4, Episode 1: ‘Chucky Rhoades’s Greatest Game’
“You win some, lose some, it’s all the same to me,” howls Lemmy Kilmister, the raspy singer-bassist of the heavy metal band Motörhead in their signature song, “Ace of Spades.” As he explains over warp-speed riffing, when it comes to gambling, “the pleasure is to play.”
The metal fandom of the hedge-fund billionaire Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) has been a key trait of that character from the start. It is equal parts enjoyment and self-aggrandizing, bad-boy image-making. But rarely had it been deployed as astutely as when he made his first onscreen appearance this week, in the Season 4 premiere of Showtime’s ruthlessly entertaining financial thriller, “Billions.” As “Ace of Spades” powers the soundtrack, we’re reminded that no matter what game they’re playing, men like Axe aren’t happy unless they go all-in on every hand.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Asia Kate Dillon Tells Us What It’s Like To Be In Bobby Axelrod’s Crosshairs On Billions – March 15, 2019
Axe and Taylor are Each Other’s Most Worthy Adversary and They Know It
by Jason Tabrys | Uproxx | March 15, 2019
For three seasons, we’ve watched Bobby Axelrod (the investment Golden God) and Chuck Rhoades (the power-thirsty lawman) posture, snarl, and scheme while locked in a gloriously intense battle of financial sector cops and robbers with ample nuance and viciousness. In a sense, it (in addition to the butter-smooth line readings and distinct phraseology coming out of the mouth of impish Axelrod consigliere Mike “Wags” Wagner) has allowed the show to create rooting interests amidst the backdrop of ridonculous wealth and seedy political machinations. Themes that we’re all getting a triple helping of in the real world. But in season four, everything is changing… for now.
Introduced in season two, Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon) is the embodiment of the term “does not fuck around.” Direct and hyper-analytical, Taylor climbed the ladder at Axelrod’s company (Axe Capital) and became a force of nature and someone for Axelrod (Axe) to groom… and use. An arrangement that worked for all sides until Axe traded on Mason’s personal relationship with a client (Oscar, as played by Mike Birbiglia), causing Mason to find a door and take a whole lot with them at the end of season three. A move that creates a new rival for Axelrod (Rhoades has own betrayals to contend with, allowing for a detente with Axe) as he and Mason fight for clients and supremacy.
We spoke with Dillon about the fight between Mason and Axe, whether Mason can reclaim their soul while building a rival company, and how the non-binary actor navigates moments where their (also non-binary) character is misgendered for story reasons on the show.
Written By GingersnapComments Off on Billions Season 4 Goes for Broke – March 15, 2019
“Billions shifts around enough of its usual architecture to still feel fresh in its fourth season”
by Kathryn VanArendonk | Vulture | March 15, 2019
When TV shows have been around for a few seasons, sometimes they get relaxed and hit the autopilot button. Some shows do the opposite, blowing everything up to start completely fresh, an option that usually involves major casting changes, time jumps, or entirely new premises. Season four of Billions charts a middle path, shifting around enough of its usual architecture to feel fresh, while also continuing to follow most of its original characters and stories.
That assessment may sound a touch milquetoast — more of the same, but different! And it’s true: If you liked Billions before, you will continue to like it now. If you didn’t, well, the same idea applies. But the thing I appreciated most about the first four episodes of Billions’ fourth season is the way they go about changing things: The characters are the same, but most of the relationships have inverted. Bad-boy hedge-fund genius Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) is now working on the same team as his mortal nemesis, U.S. Attorney Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti). Axelrod is now tilted against his former wunderkind protégé, Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon), who’s started their own competitor fund and is poaching Axelrod talent. It’s fun to keep the game board mostly the same while swapping all the usual allegiances. It’s especially satisfying to watch Chuck and Bobby scheme together.
More than that, though, there’s been a palpably goofy, go-for-broke mentality lurking inside Billions for the last three seasons, and season four is not shy about turning that dial up to 11. Billions’ goofy chaos impulse has always lived most noticeably in David Costabile’s Wags, Bobby Axelrod’s right-hand man who is half devoted servant, half trickster god. Now it feels like that energy is leaking out everywhere. You can sense it in the way Billions positions Chuck and Bobby to team up, and in John Malkovich’s unsubtle guest-starring role as the powerful Russian mobster Grigor Andolov, and in Taylor striking out on their own to take down the master.