The Unbeatable, Unstoppable, Unparalleled MVPs from Billions Season 4 Episode 2

Last week we introduced you to our ‘Billions MVP Fanbook,’ a compilation  post commemorating 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. Let us continue with that tradition as we award our Most Valuable Players (MVPs) this week.

Here are our Billions awards for Season 4, Episode 2, “Arousal Template.”


Hottest Moment – Axe flirting with Rebecca…and scoring. He really likes her confidence, and so do I. Intelligently, he’s met his match it would seem.

Rebecca: “I saw value. I took. You think that makes me bad?”

Axe: “Yeah. I do. In the best way.”

Ultimate Outfit – OHHhh meeee geerrrdd! Axe in dark jeans, white kicks, and a two-tone three-quarter sleeve baseball tee. I’ve been wanting Axe to wear those dark jeans again since season one, episode eleven “Magical Thinking.” There’s just something about those jeans! I don’t know why he looks good so dressed down, but he does. A very American Damian. #YumTime

Best Line – Chuck when he says, “Why, a year ago, I had legions at my command while your fund was deflating like a Tijuana breast implant.” The lesson here being, don’t get plastic surgery in Mexico.

Most Formidable Comeback – Rebecca to Axe: “Give me back the shares, FUCKO.”

Supreme Undercover Mud Holder – Tuk in the sting operation at Eureka Building Solutions

Most Perfect Analogy – When Chuck tells Axe that “…Raul is using the pension fund the way that Chris Stapleton uses Tennessee Whiskey – to slake his thirst.”


Most Exasperated Sandwich Eater – Bryan Connerty. No explanation necessary.

Best Stretcher in Town – Kelly! Well, Axe swears by her so I believe him 🙂

And OH MY GOD! I was about to have a heart attack when this young woman arrived at Axe’s place just after Rebecca left.  It is no secret I do not like single Axe. And as much as I have been rooting for him and Lara to get back together, I know it is a very long shot given Malin Akerman is not a regular on the show anymore. So I would take a committed Axe over single Axe any day! Imagine my relief when I find out Kelly is just the best stretcher in town.

And it turns out Kelly is playing herself in the show!

Ultimate Text Vocabulary – COAT? – Chance of Action Tonight?

Well, it may come handy 🙂 The fun thing is it turns out the show creators did not make it up. They overheard it one night.

Prominent Invader of Personal Space – Ari Spyros.

Does Ari really need to sit on Wendy’s desk and lean forward to tell her about Bonnie not reporting the email she has received from Mafee? Besides, it seems he invades his colleagues’ personal space online! Spyros, as the head of compliance, can check employee emails for potential compliance violations but he does not shy away from reading personal emails, either. Gross.

Stephen Kunken, who plays Ari Spyros on the show, had this to say in response:

Overall Episode MVP – Taylor Mason. Well, I may be Team Axe but I give credit where it is due. Taylor’s idea to use Axe to get rid of The Kozlovs is pure genius! Taylor knows the only way they can get rid of the Kozlovs is when the brothers do not have the money to give Taylor. So they call Theo at Patriot-Trust Bank to tell him they now have the money they need in a Russian accent and that Theo can go fuck himself.


When Theo confirms it is not a Russian bank who is lending money to Taylor, Axe thinks it should be The Kozlovs. And the moment Theo finds out Axe may consider making him his prime broker if he fights as hard for him as he does for his bank, he turns off the credit lines for The Kozlovs. Hats off!


Best Food – Being a half-Italian New Yorker, the Feast of San Gennaro is a must! I could just smell the sausage and peppers (or as we say it “sawsage and peppas”) cooking on the grill.

Best Finance Chick – It’s a tie between Bonnie and Rebecca.  Tough, no-nonsense Wall Street Ladies. We’re here, we’re proud, get used to it!

Worst Hangover – I’m going to guess that goes to Taylor, after all those vodka shots!

Best (or maybe Worst) Creeper – You want to love Spyros, you really do. But then the show reminds you of what a creeper he is!


Best Prop (Food version) – the sandwich. Rudy goes after his with innocence and jubilance, Chuck tosses half of his aside, and Connerty attacks his with a ferociousness usually reserved for the criminals he prosecutes.

Worst Lover – Chuck – you knew when he asked for ‘The Box’ that he wanted to go the S&M route, but you also knew Wendy didn’t want that that night, and yet she gave in – this is going to have major ramifications later on, I am sure of it.

Most Potentially Shark-Jumping Element – the obscure cultural analogies – it seems like just about every character has to make a statement at some point which involves a cultural reference that only some will get – when used in moderation this is a great element to the writing, but so many of them are doing it so often now, it could end up becoming a hindrance. Too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing.

Author: Gingersnap

Management Analyst, part-time Adjunct Professor and Computer Software Consultant by day and Damian Lewis aficionado by night.

10 thoughts on “The Unbeatable, Unstoppable, Unparalleled MVPs from Billions Season 4 Episode 2”

  1. I agree 100%, totally and completely with TTTWTD’s comment on the “obscure cultural analogies”. They are no longer clever but more a distraction from the rest of the brilliant writing and acting on this show. Who really talks like that? I’m not from New York, am not in the finance world or world of law and politics but I just can’t believe this is common communication in those worlds. Unfortunately, as the show is already written and filmed for season 4, I don’t see this changing. I only hope it doesn’t get worse. I’m sorry to lead with a negative reaction because overall the first two episodes have been fantastic. Fortunately, the story is so amazing and the acting phenomenal so I won’t stop watching but I have friends that have moved on which is too bad for such a great show.

    Damianista, you know I agree with you on single vs committed Axe and nearly screamed at the TV when Kelly, the stretcher arrived! If we can’t have married Axe back, then I’ll take committed Axe as long as he takes care of his kids.

    I’m enjoying these Wednesday MVP recaps – they are lots of fun!

    1. Thank you for reading us, Nancy! We love the Wednesdays posts, too. It’s a lot of fun and laughter to put them together.

      As far as I can see the “obscure cultural analogies” is a love-hate thing about Billions. Some fans truly love the references and some do not. I think I fall in the middle. I like them but when they are too much, they are too much. Good news is, in a given season, We only have one or two episodes with excess number of references. I obviously enjoy the references when I understand them (Mindhunter or old TV shows like Charlie’s Angels or Colombo or authors/books) but then when it is, say, wrestling, I give a blank look 🙂 I am sure some others are living for the wrestling references though! I believe the writing is the show creators’ style, their signature, if you will. So I do not think they claim in any way that people in the world of finance or law speak like that.

      Brian Koppelman has tweeted the first episode were the warm-up. So…. CANNOT WAIT FOR SUNDAY!

      Oh God. I was about have a heart attack when I saw Kelly coming in and Axe giving her a warm welcome. Imagine my relief when I found out what it was. Yes, committed Axe taking care of his kids would be perfect 🙂

  2. May I just say “Supreme Undercover Mud Holder” cracks me up? These posts are so much FUN to do!

  3. @TheTailThatWagsTheDog, i completely agree with you, they sometime way overdo referencing. salt is good, a little too much of it kills the food, that is how I feel from time to time as a viewer, i can’t get why tbe folks in the writers’ room push it that hard, there must be something that they know and i don’t. yet it is a very fun show!!!

    1. Hmmm… I see some male solidarity on Fan Fun 😀 I love it that you refer to salt: as someone that’s been living with you 23 years, I know how precise you are with the salt!

  4. I love how all our different points of view! Week 2, and I can see this is going to be a lot of fun!

    I have seen tons of people commenting on the pop culture references, especially this week. E2 did have a lot, and I have noticed that some episodes have way more than others. I’d say this week, about 70% went over my head, and relied on Damianista’s Monday morning post to explain a lot of them.

    Then there have been times where the reference is sports related or music related, and I get it, and it makes me really know the writers are really NY 80’s kids at heart.

    So, I can see both sides of the argument, but do agree this week was a bit heavy. But, I guess that is how some people feel about the financial jargon on some episodes, which I totally get (and totally live for!).

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