Guess what time it is? It’s time for Wags Words of Wisdom, season three. Did you miss our first dozen that covered seasons one and two? Catch up by reading that here.
As I pointed out last time, Mike “Wags” Wagner, played by David Costabile, is my second favorite character on the Showtime hit series Billions-Axe being the first of course. Sure, he’s an acquired taste for some but we gladly claim Wags as our rapacious scumbag. He’s still that pinky ring-wearing, Michter’s whiskey drinking, vintage Mercedes driving, petite handlebar mustache sporting, sharp-dressed man with a childhood affinity for Yosemite Sam, as proven by his ass tattoo of said gun-slinging cartoon outlaw.
On Wednesday, January 24, Showtime released new promotional material for Billions season three. Are there spoilers, clues and hints hidden in the poster art and logo? I immediately began scrutinizing the photos for suggestion and significance. I mean, after all, it is instinctive to analyze everything since I have a degree in that field and do it for a living. It’s second nature. When dissecting the details of the promo material, you’ll never guess what I found. So come with me on a deep dive and see if we can come up with an indication of what’s to come.
Let’s start with the logo.
Ominous, is it not? Dark slate grey background of metal with exposed rivets. Reminds me of a war ship and we know the Billions‘ writers like to reference historical battles and cannon fodder. Is that grey metal iron? In some biblical meanings, natural iron is a symbol of natural, rational truth. Will the truth come out that Wendy violated her contract to warn Chuck about Ice Juice and will Dake discover that she shorted the Ice Juice stock? This scenario is definitely a favorite of mine and my fellow blogger/partner in crime, Damianista, and she talks about it here. Oh, and I’ll come back to biblical references in a few paragraphs below, even though it seems like it’s out of left field at the moment. Stick with me kid, it will make sense in a bit. Continue reading “Analyzing the New Billions Season 3 Poster Art and Logo”
Boy, Billions is giving its stellar coterie of actors a lot more to do this season! While the plot has always remained tight and unpredictable, this show has always been character-driven, never more so than right at this moment.
You don’t have to read the business papers to hear the real world buzz around Preet Bharara’s recent firing as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of NY. In the fictional world of Billions, this is the very position occupied by Chuck. In Tuesday’s NYT, Andrew Ross Sorkin’s regular article Dealbook , quoted the so-called “sheriff of Wall Street” Bharara saying in another interview:
I have never said that insider trading is the crime of the century. It has not been my personal focus. It’s the focus of the press because there are a lot of wealthy people that like the reporting of it.
Indeed, in the world of Wall Street, and Billions, there is ethics and then there is the appearance of ethics. Prosecution is not always (or ever?) about beating the bad guy and scoring a victory for justice. A lot of the time it’s about beating a case that’s beatable and tantalizing to the press and the public. Sure, the practice of law is about setting precedent on good and bad, right and wrong, but a lot of the time (most of the time?) it’s about managing public perception of these lofty ideals. And it’s in the managing of perception where all the play happens. This theme runs throughout Billions, and is in particular focus in Episode 4 “The Oath.”
Something else notable for this episode: the virtual encyclopedia of pop culture references! A cynical person could snark it’s a good thing all the people of this world seem to have read the same books, seen the same movies, and listened to the same music. Writing about it was one rabbit hole after another and I can only imagine the fun from the actual writing of it.
Just three episodes in and we have received terrific news that Showtime has renewed Billions for a third season! The news is not surprising given that Billions is the SMARTEST show on TV but still THIS WAS FAST! Congratulations to the entire cast and crew, we are over the moon for you and yeah, for us, too!
And who knew “Paulie Pennino” of Billions would come back to direct Axe in Season 2 Episode 4? It is a true delight Noah Emmerich is directing this episode! I love him as Agent Beeman in The Americans! And, hey, he is also directing Richard Thomas, who brings to life Beeman’s boss Agent Gaad in The Americans and whom I loved as John-Boy in The Waltons as a little girl, in this episode!
Axe is finally in the final three in his bid for the NFL team. Over lunch at Vaucluse, Mark Cuban tells Axe NFL does not like guys like them because they did come from nothing, earned their money calling bullshit openly and publicly and so they come across as people that can break the etiquette. According to Cuban, Axe needs to hang up the gloves and focus on changing the “hearts and minds” that will give him what he wants. Continue reading “Billions on Showtime, Season 2, Episode 4: The Oath”