Welcome back 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.
Here are our Billions awards for Season 4, Episode 3, “Chickentown.”
Episode Mascot – Chicken. Whether it be chicken farms, chicken coops, chicken index, chicken man, chicken patsy, chicken business, or the Colonel’s original vs. extra crispy recipe. Hell, even eating chicken with Michter’s Whiskey. #ChickenBill
Perfect Peekaboo Player – Chuck Rhoades.
Worthiest Wags – “Oh shit. It’s a chicken holocaust.”
Speediest Recovery – Chuck Rhoades. From headaches and rubber band welts to whistling a tune, he whipped his game face on!
Best Pop Cultural Reference Ever in the History of Billions – Chinatown (again). This time not just a reference, but a slight re-enactment. The entire scene was spot on, from Bill’s longing last look down to the dramatic operatic music of Luciano Pavarotti’s La Fleur Que Tu M’avais Jetee playing over the chicken clucking. I was cry laughing! The scene emphasized just how devastating it is for Dollar Bill to lose money.
“Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown.”
“Forget it Bill, it’s Chickentown.”
Most Voldemort-Like Threat – Axe when he spoke to Wags:
Wags: “All nighter? I always forget you can do the math.”
Axe: “What can’t I do?
Wags: “Field surgery?”
Axe: “Keep talking, we’ll find out.”
Honorable Mention – Because I’m from Oklahoma, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Axe when he said “It’s a Kappa Mu Epsilon message.” Kappa Mu Epsilon is a mathematics honor society founded in 1931 at Northeastern Oklahoma State Teachers College aka Northeastern State University (NSU).
Best Chicken Carry-Out – I thought it was a bucket, but now I will only order my chicken in a bowling ball bag!
Best view of WTC (this episode anyway) – The view of the WTC at night from Paulus Hook in Jersey City was amazing. Lower Manhattan will always hold a piece of my heart, and that view will always remind me why.
Most Disturbing Sound – Every time Chuck snapped that rubber band, I flinched!
Worst Terminology – I’m sorry, it’s not “whistle-blower”; where I come from, it’s called rat. Just sayin’…
Ultimate Prop – Rubber Band!
Who knew that a tiny little rubber band could work miracles?
It is quite fascinating to see Chuck in the men’s bathroom at the casino prepping to put on his game face. He wears a tight rubber band around his thigh, pulls it off and… yikes! Well, the rubber band ring is all he can afford for a thrill now… and the game is on as he leaves the bathroom whistling Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street.”
So what is next for Chuck? Self-flagellation? Or the cilice like in The Da Vinci Code?
Most Brilliant Storytelling – The mathematical conversation between Taylor and Douglas.
The only language Taylor and Douglas seem to be able to communicate in is mathematics. And the conversation about Vadim Linetsky and his development of the derivative Taylor works out on the board is nothing but a conversation about their own relationship – a parent and a child he raises. This is my favorite kind of analogy that Billions uses brilliantly in its story telling.
Taylor: “But even when one keeps things mathematical, a satisfying solution is not always available.
Douglas: “Then you change the math.”
Taylor: “Human beings can’t command math. You can’t bend it to your will. It doesn’t exist to satisfy you. This is an example. Linetsky knew if he were to create a derivative, it would develop organically in a way he couldn’t control. His only options were to understand and accept where it was taking him, or step away. He had to be able to live with that.”
That is, when you have a child, you cannot command who they grow up to be. As a parent, who has brought the child into the world, you should know that the child will develop organically in a way you cannot control. And when your child chooses a life that you are not comfortable with you cannot just change them.Your only option is to understand and accept them as they are.
Craziness of the Highest Order – Dollar Bill’s Final Solution
We all know how loyal Dollar Bill has always been to Axe. From “fake fight” to a public apology to Spyros of all people, Bill has always done what he had to do for Axe.
But this? Risking his own health by getting into a quarantine area with thousands of sick chickens, stealing one with bird flu with the goal of making other chickens sick and potentially causing not only a serious food supply problem but also a public health crisis? YIKES!
It is good to know where Axe draws the line!
Most Outrageously Obsessed – Bobby Axelrod.
The moment Hall gives him Taylor’s algorithm, Axe knows that Taylor knows he front-runs them and this “thing of beauty” is about how Taylor will spin it to pick up the percentages Axe Capital was stealing from them. Yet the most hilarious thing is while Axe has been trying to get into Taylor’s head, Taylor has now gotten into his! Axe is extremely obsessed with Taylor’s derivative that he pulls an all-nighter to figure it out.
And when the all-nighter is not enough, he takes the algorithm with him all the way to Arkansas! And only on the flight back, he finds a mathematical mistake and understands Taylor’s message. Yet, when he meets Taylor that evening, the first thing Axe tells them is he understood Taylor wanted armistice the moment he saw the algorithm. Whaaaaa? Was it me who stayed overnight and more to figure it out? Liar! 😀
Best Pipes – Dollar Bill. Who knew he could sing like that? I think that he, Costabile and Dillon should put together their own show seeing as how all three apparently have a background in musical theater.
Best Song Choices – How they found those two songs for chickens is beyond me, although I thought for certain they would use “Chickenman” by the Indigo girls.
Most Shocking Character Development – Wendy. Does she even help out the staff with their issues any more? It seems like she is working solely for Axe now, and not in the Performance Coach kind of way she was before. Now she is part of the plotting and planning and running of the business. Including the darker side of it. She appears to have made a full pivot from the earlier seasons.