Hello, all! It’s officially springtime here in Minnesota. The trees are blooming and the citizens are sneezing!
I’ve been far more entertained by the critters returning to my bird feeder after the long, cold winter, than I ever care to admit. I’m pretty sure the only thing that entertains me more, these days, has been Billions. And my-oh-my, season two has been mind-blowing!
Compared to Season 1, this season of Billions, for whatever reason, used a bit less music, fewer seminal tracks to accompany its richly crafted scenes. Music was still important this season, but somewhat less so than last. In my review of last year’s music, you’ll count 36 tracks. Here, the major songs in all episodes amounted to 20. Interesting revelation from this exercise is that they seem to follow a certain pattern in genres from one season to the next. That is to say, the aural landscape of this season seemed to contain the same proportion of arena metal, 70’s funk, contemporary alternative, live ballad, perennial classics, and lovely alt-country. All the tracks they chose, regardless of number, hit all the marks.
Let’s follow along with Season 2’s playlist, shall we?
I am an immigrant. I moved to the US for graduate study in late 1990s. My husband and I, having finished our PhDs, moved to New York in 2001, only weeks before September 11, for our first jobs. The city has since given me so much in so many different dimensions and defined me as an individual: a foodie, a film buff, a theatre lover, a feminist, a wine snob, a runner and more… Even though we moved to the South five years later for new jobs, we could not give up on New York. We still have a tiny apartment on the Upper West Side and we are proud part-time New Yorkers 😀
And, as I mentioned a billion times before, Billions is a dream show for me not only because my favorite actor is in it, but also New York, from its landmarks to city parks to its distinct neighborhoods, appears as a cast member! As someone who feels the only home she has in the world is the city that never sleeps, I particularly love it that Billions is taking over New York, the BIG film studio that it is, and shooting all over the place, from Manhattan to Queens to Brooklyn to The Bronx to Long Island and to northern suburbs. So this Billions Season 2 Location Guide is a loving tribute to my most favorite place on earth and a heartfelt thank you to the Billions show creators for giving us a love letter to the city.
We sit in the mud, my friend, and reach for the stars.
― Ivan Turgenev, Fathers and Sons
Here we are, at the end of Season 2 of Billions, and what a ride it’s been. I know I’m not alone in wishing that these folks wrote and worked and filmed and screened all at the same time, so we wouldn’t have to suffer the excruciating dry months of waiting for the next season to start. In this season, the entire lot of them exceeded all expectations. The story was tight, the performances even tighter. It’s like they all came into their own skins this season and it was a treat to watch.
My review here won’t be a recap, because you’ve already read those. Instead I’ll focus on the father and son scenes central to Season 2, Episode 12, “Ball in Hand.” And I can’t leave the season without talking a bit about Bobby and Wendy. While most other connections between characters are clear, it seems there reigns a central mystery, still, between who Bobby and Wendy are to each other. This season, wonderfully, didn’t solve the mystery a bit, it only intensified it.
Advance Warning: This post has SPOILERS about Billions Season 2 Finale.
Billions Season 2 leaves us with more questions than answers, exactly in the way that it should, and I want to add to the already long list of questions: Who do you think is the first person Axe talks to after his arrest? No, not Chuck. Be open minded. Be creative. Make a guess. Find the answer below 😀
December 9, 2016 starts as an extraordinary day. I wake up to news any academic would kill to get! My co-author and I get a revision for a paper we wrote on civil wars from one of the top journals in the profession, and believe me, given that top journal acceptance rates wander around 10%, this kind of thing RARELY happens. So, I am over the moon and decide to reward myself by taking the day off for some shopping! And, while thinking the day could not get any better, I check my Instagram on the subway and THIS happens: