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by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | September 26, 2021
WOW. Is this it? Is this checkmate?
I don’t think a scene-by-scene recap like I always do will not do justice to this utterly crazy episode. That is why I have decided to talk about how Chuck has made sure that Axe gets caught in the trap he set up for him along with the personal costs of doing that for everyone involved.
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Up In Smoke
by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | September 26, 2021
Season 5, Episode 11: ‘Victory Smoke’
Axe closes in on the big investment bucks he needs for his new bank. But don’t light those victory cigars just yet.
Watching “Billions” may be a breeze, but watching “Billions” to recap it is not. Constant pausing and rewinding is required to catch the countless twists and turns of every scheme; I would estimate that an hourlong episode takes me an hour and a half — at a minimum — to finish.
Nice work if you can get it, but it makes covering even famously dense shows like “The Wire” or “Game of Thrones” feel like recapping “Blue’s Clues.”
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Axe’s Back Is Against the Wall
by Kyle Fowle | Entertainment Weekly | September 26, 2021
One of Billions‘ greatest strengths is how beautifully it sets up all its pieces before knocking them down. This season has been building towards the moment where Axe seems truly trapped, and this episode really delivers on that moment.
By the end of the episode, Axe will be looking at potential jail time, but for now, he’s desperately looking to get money into his bank before the whole thing is DOA. But that desperation is what will ultimately be his downfall. So, first things first, Axe needs Chuck Sr. to go to the Delaware Attorney General and report that the bank is all up to code and ready to move past its probationary period. Of course, Chuck Sr. wants something in return, so he gets a profit share for the upcoming cannabis deal. Then he goes to the AG and recommends lifting the probationary terms. The AG is confused because his understanding was that this plan was meant to trap Axe in something illegal, but he’s more than happy to sign off and get these chaotic people out of his life.
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Chains of Love
by Sarene Leeds | Vulture | September 26, 2021
Two episodes ago, I wrote about how Axe opened himself up to massive vulnerability by allowing emotion to guide all of his decisions. This is exactly how Chuck, Taylor, and Mike Prince claim their “victory smoke” in tonight’s episode.
But what makes the final moments of “Victory Smoke” a true cliffhanger isn’t the revelation that Axe has been utterly played by Chuck & Co. and is 24 hours away from arrest. It is how he hesitates to execute his escape plan, which, I can only assume, is to flee the country (something he’s had in place since season one). He doesn’t even need to say why — one lock of the eyes with Wendy over Zoom (yep, Axe is still “in quarantine,” with Damian Lewis again only appearing in this episode either solo or via video chat) tells us everything we needed to know: He’s willing to risk imprisonment for luuurrrvvve.
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Billions MVP Awards for Season 5, Episode 10, “Liberty”
by Gingersnap | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | September 22, 2021
We continue to award our Most Valuable Players for Billions season five in our series compilation, the ‘Billions MVP Fanbook,’ which commemorates all those in honor of achievement for the utmost brazen, uber shameless, ultra scheming, 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 season five episodes one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and nine.
Let us resume that tradition as we award our Most Valuable Players (MVPs) for the most recent episode. Here are the Billions MVP awards for Season 5, Episode 10, “Liberty.”
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by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | September 21, 2021
Love the food in Billions? From plantains and falafels, to a chopped liver sandwich, Fan Fun with Damian Lewis is now serving the Billions season 5 Dining Guide, episodes 1 – 10.
One of my favorite things about my favorite TV show is how it showcases the New York dining scene from hole-in-the-walls to neighborhood gems to Michelin-starred restaurants. And it has been my pleasure to share the information about restaurants appearing on the show first in my weekly recaps and then in a full dining guide by the end of the season for Season 1, Season 2, Season 3. and Season 4.
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Season 5, Episode 11: “Victory Smoke”
by Gingersnap | damian-lewis.com | September 19, 2021
With victory in sight for his bank, Axe plots to secure his deposits by poaching from Prince, a move that proves more complicated than it seems. Chuck, Prince and Sacker wrestle with the personal cost of their plan. Taylor looks to enlist an old foe. Wags prepares for a big day. Airs Sunday, September 26, 2021 at 9:00 EST / 8:00 CST on Showtime.
To view more sneak peek photos, please visit our Gallery here
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Nothing Is What It Seems
by Damianista | Fan Fun with Damian Lewis | September 19, 2021
Ladies and Gentlemen: WOW. WOW. WOW. While I called last week’s episode as the most Billions-y in a while, as a game theorist, I declare this week’s episode the most game-theoretic to date. Hats off to Billions writers who are at the peak of their powers. I cannot imagine better or smarter writing. Since alliances shift like sand in this show, I really cannot see where we will end up in the Season Finale, but I know we are in for an epic roller coaster. Bring it on!
Well, they gave the first hints of Covid-19 hitting New York in Episode 9 Implosion with Chuck telling Kate to “go gome and stock up on canned food for the coming plague” and Swerdlow telling Chuck that it is great Senior is having his operation before the hospitals are overrun because of the “Chinese bug”…. and here you go. Covid-19 has arrived at Axe Capital.
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You Can’t Make an Omelet…
by Sean T. Collins | New York Times | September 19, 2021
Season 5, Episode 10: ‘Liberty’
Eggs will be broken. The question amid all this conniving, though, is whose?
Chuck Rhoades is cooking eggs.
That’s it. That’s the scene.
For three uninterrupted minutes — without dialogue, without music, without so much as a single cut — the attorney general for the great state of New York cracks, scrambles, fries, flips and serves an omelet to his daughter, Eva (Alexa Swinton), and their guest, the billionaire Mike Prince. In “Billions” time, those three minutes might as well be an eternity. Suddenly, we’re miles away from the mile-a-minute patter and breakneck plot twists that make “Billions” one of the fastest-moving shows on television. For these three minutes, it is slow cinema, a cousin to the endless floor-sweeping and glacial soup-sipping of its sister Showtime series, “Twin Peaks: The Return.”
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Business Takes a Back Seat as Axe and Wendy Get Personal
by Kyle Fowle | Entertainment Weekly | September 19, 2021
As the folk troubadour once said, the times they are certainly changing. The Axe Cap office looks different, as Billions makes the jump into COVID times. After an indeterminate amount of time spent working from home, all the Ax Cap employees are now back in the office wearing masks and social distancing. There are more changes on the horizon, too, as Axe completely overhauls Axe Cap’s structure so he can get his bank off the ground. That means some of the employees won’t make it through the transition, and some will have new titles.
It’s a crucial time for the bank, as Axe has had trouble getting money in because of COVID. So he’s got Wags looking for different ways to bring big money in as quickly as possible. Meanwhile, Taylor is worried about Ax’s potential influence over Taylor Mason Carbon after the restructure. They want to keep things completely separate, but they’re obviously concerned that this new order of business could complicate things.
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Eggs at Dawn
by Sarene Leeds | Vulture | September 19, 2021
We’ve come to the point in the season where I think I know what the long game is, but given my history covering Billions, I could still be way off. It’s for this reason that I’m glad things aren’t entirely clear on the scheming end in “Liberty.” As if, gasp, the writers — showrunners Brian Koppelman and David Levien teamed up with Emily Hornsby for this particular episode — wanted us to remain somewhat in the dark.
The Billions universe now exists in a post-COVID world, and through no fault of its own, the show is stumbling a bit. Because it’s had to adapt its pre-pandemic scripts, we’re dealing with a few square-peg-in-round-hole situations. Namely, the timeline has become a little murky: We can assume that some months have passed between “Implosion” and “Liberty” because (a) COVID has hit, (b) the Axe Cap offices closed down, and (c) Senior has recovered from his kidney transplant. However, the distribution of vaccines and a full-on return to the office (featuring masks and strategically placed hand sanitizer) would suggest a full year has gone by between last week’s episode and this one — but if that’s the case, then, what? Did the plotlines somehow enter stasis during Billions’ unspecified lockdown period?
Happy Friday from the Trader’s Desk. Once you add Wendy (who I think will be majorly pissed at Axe for his role in Tanner flying the coop) Chuck, Prince, and Taylor they will officially become the Four Horsemen who will be riding to finally bring Axe to his demise. I’ll get into why I believe that the bullseye on Axe’s forehead is rightfully earned, but first the tranya!