We may still have three months to go until the long wait is over but we now have Billions Season 2 first promo here! Woot Woot!
Awwww we missed you all so much… Yeah okay I may have missed one of you more than the others…
…and speculation rocks until you all hit our screens on February 19! 🙂
First let us remember the short blurb Showtime provided along with Billions Season 2 premiere date:
“Season 2 finds the characters vying for control in a changing world that presents an existential threat. For all of them, it’s a choice between evolution and extinction.”
Ha! Existential threat. Evolution. Extinction. Is this a National Geographic documentary or a High Finance drama? But, hey, this is the whole point, isn’t it? Billions has time and again shown us we, human beings, despite all our glitter and fanfare, are animals after all. It is all about survival of the fittest and we just evolve, refine, and adapt in our own special ways to keep our place in the fluid state of the world! And it seems the new season will be about how our characters, in particular Axe and Chuck, evolve to avoid extinction.
My head is spinning!
We have so much to say about this three minute Billions promo and will put together a post about our initial thoughts on Monday. But I cannot help say this here and now: This promo sets the tone for Season 2 and I cannot agree more with Axe that “change is coming.” I can even take the next step and say the change has come. Now, I don’t know what change Axe is talking about here but the change that has fascinated me (and, hey, this is speculation, and I may be totally off the mark) in this video is the looks on people’s faces. The people that used to look up to their leader with admiration and respect. The people that used to aspire to be like their leader. But what I am reading on their faces is very different now. They seem to be more exhausted than impressed by their leader.
And neither team is an exception here.
Chuck pontificates to his team over dinner: “What I figured recently is find another way. What I am asking of all of you…”
Bryan, Kate and Lonnie are listening. What do you see in their faces? I just see three people sick and tired of their boss trying to find another way and yet another way… most probably to rebuild his reputation first but then take down Bobby Axelrod who, in Chuck’s mind, cost him not only his reputation but also his marriage. And this man who has nothing to lose is more than ready to do whatever it takes to take his revenge. But his team does not seem to embrace the idea. They may even be thinking Chuck is losing it. And maybe he is.
Axe pontificates, too, to different members of his team. To Wags: “As long as Rhoades is in that job, I am not safe.” And to Orrin Bach: “I have called you here tonight to tell you how we are going to win.” And Axe’s guys who used to look up to Axe every step of the way do not seem to look at him the same way anymore. There is surprise with a hint of second-guessing there even in Lara’s face. They may even be thinking Axe is losing it. And maybe he is.
Both Axe and Chuck see the other side as an existential threat that needs to be eliminated for himself to survive and thrive. And, I believe, not the other man, but this unhealthy obsession with the other man, could be the biggest existential threat for both of them. It is, in Paul Giamatti’s words, a “constant game of one-upmanship” and I cannot wait to see who will be digging his own grave and who will be the last man standing.
In addition to the first Season 2 promo, we have exciting casting news for the new season as well!
Oh, I LOVED him as the more-than-eager-to-please ad man Bob Benson in Mad Men. And he is currently headlining Zoo, a CBS series based on James Patterson’s thriller of the same name. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am talking about the brilliant James Wolk, who will guest star in Billions Season 2 as an innovative and ambitious young tech billionaire Craig Heidecker!
Hmmm… Given that “existential threat” is at the center of the new season: Is Craig a friend or foe for Axe? Is he someone that looks up to Axe as a hero, like Bob Benson used to look up to Don Draper, or is he one of those guys that has made a ridiculous amount of money at a young age who overestimates himself and underestimates anyone over 40? Will he help Axe protect himself from an “existential threat” or is Craig himself an existential threat to Axe?
Eric Bogosian who you are most likely to know from Law and Order: Criminal Content will play Lawrence Boyd in a recurring role. Well, we did not meet Mr. Boyd in Season 1, but we heard of him multiple times. Lawrence Boyd runs the investment bank Spartan Ives and is one of the most respected figures in the world of finance. He never bets on a bad stock. That is why, Axe, to keep his high profile image, has himself invited to Boyd’s box at Barclays Center just to find out it is mailroom night in Episode 6: The Deal. They kiss and make up once Axe’s punch video goes viral and makes him an instant hero: Axe receives a personal text from Lawrence Boyd offering him a ride in his chopper to the Hamptons for the Clean Water gala. So we cannot wait to meet Mr. Boyd aka “healing waters of Lourdes” to whom, I believe, we see Axe telling “no fucking rules, not if you wanna win” in the first promo video followed by the “windbreakers” carrying boxes out of the Spartan Ives building. From healing waters to troubled waters?
Danny Strong, yet another Mad Men alum (Danny Siegel, anyone?) is joining Billions in a recurring role, too. Well, Mad Men is one line on Strong’s impressive resume: the man wrote Game Change and co-created Empire. Strong is bringing to life Todd Krakow, who is described as “a stylish and smooth hedge fund whale” and that seems to give Axe a bit of a headache. I wonder if Krakow knows who he is dancing with.
And, last but absolutely not the least, Mary-Louise Parker of The West Wing and Weeds fame will appear in Billions Season 2 for an episode. Parker will be playing “a brilliant strategist” called George Minchak. Given that they are currently shooting Episode 10 Parker should appear in one of the last episodes of the season.
If you want to find out about what else we know so far about Billions Season 2, you can see our earlier blog post here. And stay tuned for our Monday post!