Billions on Showtime, Season 5 Episode 1: The New Decas

Advance Warning: This will be a long review. I just wanted to touch upon everything that happened in the season premiere because it sets the tone for what is to come! And you know, I just love talking about this show. Hope you bear with me – ENJOY!

Massive  thanks go to Showtime for kindly releasing the Billions Season 5 Premiere at midnight Saturday which gave me ample time to watch the episode two times, sit down and write.

They are back! And I now know why Brian Koppelman has called this season the most Billions-y Billions! One episode in and my mind is spinning.

Season 5 picks up only a few months after we left our characters. And while it is a wild ride with twists and turns, the main theme in the season opener is unity or lack thereof – in marriage, in friendship and in partnership.  Axe and Wags bond over a road trip as things get tribal at Axe Capital. Wendy does her best to keep the work family intact as she is trying hard to get out of her marriage. Chuck gets into a new partnership with Kate. And as the Rhoadeses seem to be heading for divorce, Billions gives us hope that love still lives here with a couple being blessed in holy matrimony in the first seconds of the season premiere.

I called it the second I saw the following picture in the first official teaser.

Chuck Sr. is getting married to Roxanne in a lavishly decorated room complete with Moet & Chandon flowing, a band singing love songs, and Chuck Senior wearing a bolo necktie!

Chuck is at a table with his minions trying to endure inappropriate jokes about his failing marriage. Thankfully, a text from Kate saying she is here gives him an opportunity to leave the table and he catches his son Kevin drinking whiskey. While the young boy tells his dad that he finds it gross, he takes another sip once he makes sure his dad is out of sight. And Kate, who is here to get Chuck’s blessing for the crypto mine take down they are planning, is anxious to see the toast! 😀

And as it is always with Billions, the most shocking thing about the wedding is not the wedding but the fact that Chuck Sr’s ex wife and Chuck’s mother is attending the wedding to see her husband of more than five decades getting ready to live “under one blanket” with a woman that could be his granddaughter?!?!

As Wendy is sitting with his ex-mother-in-law trying to figure out why the fuck she is there and all she hears from her is that Chuck, the senior that is, always told her to soldier forth, and he was right. Wendy is certainly determined to soldier forth as well but on her own terms. And while she tells her ex-mother-in-law that maybe they need to put aside what the Rhoades men say and take control over their own lives, she cannot say no to the kind dance request by the bridegroom himself.

Who knew Chuck Senior had the Rudolph Valentino moves? 😀

And he can multi-task, too! Just after a deep dip with Wendy, Chuck Sr wears his family counselor hat:

“Go get some ass if that is what you want, go get it… and then re-up with the unit.”


And he does not show mercy to Chuck who arrives to save Wendy from him:

“You had your chance, Sonny…”

Sad but true. Chuck’s obsession with Jeffcoat and obliviousness towards Wendy brought them here. And while Chuck still remembers the good old days where they would get away from the wedding like McQueen and MacGraw in The Getaway

…Wendy is thinking more Beatty and Dunaway in Bonnie and Clyde. They would talk the talk about getting away but would never do it. And everyone knows how the movie ends.

Well, it turns out Kate is right about hanging out to see the toast! Chuck makes people nervous as he refers to his unconventional speeches (Overton Window anyone?) and that he does not feel like saying nice words about his dad tonight… and as I expect him to tell the crowd the notorious Pancake Eater story, he ends up celebrating Roxanne, the bride, for being able to turn his dad into a Build-a-Bear and who goes to Build-a-Bear for his young daughter!

Meanwhile, an entirely different “blessed” event is taking place somewhere off the Alaska – Canada highway. Axe and Wags are sitting in a sweat hut at a Shamanic Retreat – experiencing Ayahuasca, a psychedelic brew that Wags calls “nature’s antidepressant.” Suddenly feeling the urge to get out and vomit turns out to be an essential part of the experience and is considered physical and spiritual cleansing. I have to add that it is inevitable to think about Damian as Henry VIII as Axe and Wags, high on Ayahuasca, talk about kings and chopping heads.

The morning finds Chuck leaving Mistress Cassie’s dungeon – probably the only place he feels home these days. And when he turns on his phone, he finds zillions of messages from Wendy talking about Kevin who did not have a good night after a bit too much whiskey!

As Chuck arrives at Axe’s spare NYC apartment where Wendy is temporarily residing, he finds out that Wendy knows where he was and what he was doing last night. Because the BDSM stuff is the only thing for which Chuck lets himself completely go off the grid. And while Chuck tries to convince her that he is determined to change, Wendy is not buying it. The separation has convinced her they should get a divorce, and it would be great if Chuck had his office draft a public statement about their separation.

When confronted by Wendy as someone who is a prisoner of his appetites, Chuck defends himself by saying he lost his twin Northern stars – Justice and Wendy Rhoades – because he did not serve them right. But, hey, we all know who Chuck holds responsible for making him lose his bearings. Oh, and Chuck is working on it.

Kate finds out at the exact same time that we do that the crypto mine bust is all about Bobby Axelrod! They arrest the engineers at the mine for utility theft: they were using so much power for their computers and servers that the town had to go to the open market to buy more grid which drove the town’s rate up and the cost is incurred by the tax payers. Chuck knows some hedge fund magnates are involved and how about they start reviewing names alphabetically?

“Axelrod, Robert, for starters.”


Chuck does not have trouble in making the engineers sing since they are smart enough to see it is either Chuck’s way or the Highway in this room.  Yes, Bobby Axelrod is one of the finance dudes involved but they never interacted with him directly. And, oh, it is the town supervisor who let them get away with the “ugly red megawatt.”

Kate asks Chuck to give her a ticket for a carousel not because she does not know the lyrics to Box Tops’ “Gimme a Ticket for an Aeroplane” but because she once again finds herself going in circles. She has moved from the US Attorney’s office to State AG office to be Chuck’s assistant – to succeed and get ready to take the first step towards being the new ‘Teddy Roosevelt”: A congressional run is in the cards for Kate next year. And she will stay with Chuck only if he lets her IN when information is concerned. As they reach a deal, me thinks this will be a delicious partnership.

While Axe and Wags are thousand of miles away riding their BMW R1250 on bumpy roads, taking in the views and getting high on ayahuasca, things are getting pretty tribal at Axe Capital. And the last incident – someone reversed the flush water in the unisex bathroom and sprayed a Mase capper?!?! WTF?!?! – urges Wendy to hold a town hall meeting.

Who do you think did THAT? I mean who reverses the water in the toilet flush to spray someone? I put my money on Dollar Bill, how about you? And hey, who else has noticed Spyros’ new haircut?

As Wendy declares it a safe space, Sara is the first to talk. As someone who went through Plebe Summer at the Naval Academy, she finds Axe cappers utterly hostile and unprofessional. And I would not believe it if I did not hear it from Ben and Tuk, but it seems the condescending attitude from the Mase Cap quants is equally unprofessional. Tensions escalate quickly and as Bill and Maffee are about to have yet another boxing match, Wendy adjourns the meeting and assigns a homework to her first graders 😀 She knows the unity will be sustainable only with the cooperation of team leaders but Axe is away and Taylor believes it’s Axe’s “Plug Uglies” who create the toxic environment in the office.

It is Lauren who provides the solution! As Wendy kindly asks Lauren, who has gossip column experience, if she could help with drafting a public statement about her separation from Chuck and make it go to the right people in the right way, she also talks to Lauren  about the tribal division at the office. According to Lauren, it is fun that is lacking here. She talks about the stories she has hears about the old Axe Capital where anything could happen anytime – from eating contests and body sushi to the impromptu trips to Amsterdam for frites and space cakes (cakes made with marijuana in them) from The Bulldog. Why not make Axe Capital once again an exciting and fun workplace? Wendy is on it.

As Axe and Wags “graduate” from their Ayahuasca Retreat (filed under things that I did not know existed before Billions and you can read a personal account of a real life Ayahuasca Retreat here) they are on their bikes with 3,400 miles more to go. And as they stop to take in the beautiful views (of upstate New York masquerading as Alaska – Canada highway) Axe confides in Wags that he sees the value in ayahuasca – especially the clarity and the perspective it provides one with but he did not like what he saw.

This reminds me of Roger Sterling in Mad Men Season 5 Episode 6 Far Away Places where Roger and his wife Jane try LSD which changes their outlook on life and makes them have an honest conversation about their marriage.

Can Bobby Axelrod make a drastic change in his life?

Maybe one day, but not today.

Axe is determined to complete the road trip when Wags first mentions an invitation from Vanity Fair to be on the cover of their “New Decas” issue. Yet he turns 180 degrees when Wags teases that the magazine will then go with someone else for the cover – maybe Mike Prince?

And, lo and behold, Axe, with a haircut and clean shaven, enters the warehouse where the photo shoot will take place with Wags and Wendy only to find out that several other deca-billionaires are in the room! While Axe believes this photo shoot means all the people in the room are more or less equal and this is not the message he wants to convey to his investors, Wendy convinces him that his posture, the way he sets his eyes and the individual interview she will prepare him for in a 5-minute power session will make him stand out.

As they are getting ready to psychologically fuck the others so they look shaky in the photo, the guy thanks to whom Axe and Wags cut their road trip short, makes his entrance.

Meet Mike “Thomas Aquinas” Prince. Yes, really! Mike, exactly like his father and his father before him, is the namesake of the Catholic Saint according to whom charity is a true requirement for happiness, and it is the man’s last goal.

As they stand next to each other, front and center, in the photo shoot (I have to note the cameos by the magazine editor-in-chief Radhika Jones and the acclaimed photographer Mark Seliger), Axe and Prince constantly tease each other. And while Prince talks about his basketball coach at high school, being part of a team and so on, Axe sees through him, and so do I. A guy who names his annual conference after himself? Far too pretentious for my taste.

As soon as the group shoot is over, Axe gets a phone call about the crypto mine bust so he cannot stay for the interview or the individual portrait. And it is quite a surprise when Wags, Victor and Dollar Bill inform him that it is not the US attorney or the District Attorney that busted the crypto mine. It is Axe’s BFF Chuck Rhoades! As Axe tells his minions to get good lawyers for their men and make them understand they have to stand up to State AG, he gives a call to his BFF only to be able to make an appointment for tomorrow because Chuck is in the middle of something…

…actually tightening the Peruvian Necktie he has ready for Axe. Chuck enters Rent Bike NYC to find Taylor swimming in place. We find out that Chuck learnt about the crypto mine from Taylor but still does not have enough evidence to tie Axe to the mine. So he now needs Taylor to hear all the whispers at Axe Capital. While they tell Lauren, who gave them a free pass to All The Rage (a Rage Room where people break things to blow off steam) earlier in the episode that they are doing fine, it takes one quick look at Taylor’s face to understand the kind of pressure they are operating under.

Axe visits Wendy in her office to share the experience he had under ayahuasca. We find out that Axe was happy like a guy who randomly finds a $20 on the street corner for a flicker of time the day he became a billionaire. And as he gazed over his life from whatever angle he could under ayahuasca, he only saw ugliness. He does not feel like he won, and he does not know if one can win. Wendy’s diagnosis is that Axe has never let himself feel he has won thinking he may pause or stop.

“You win only when you decide you’ve won.”

Will Bobby Axelrod ever decide he has won?

Maybe one day, but not today.

As Axe gets back to his office in anticipation of seeing himself on Vanity Fair cover, the issue Helena brings is last month’s… But guess what it still has something in it that Axe wants to try!

What the fuck? So will Wags just call this woman and tell her Bobby Axelrod would love to enjoy her company?!?! Or is it even more straightforward, something like “Hi honey, Bobby Axelrod, yes, the deca-billionaire, wants to try you.” As I try to recover from this shock, I really think Axe is desperate to make himself feel happy!

It is Axe and Wags’ turn to be shocked when Vanity Fair drops its latest issue with a solo cover of Mike Prince! And not just that but Prince, in his interview with the magazine, while praising Axe as a legend, adds that the legends’ value is in the stories. Prince himself is not ready for a story yet because he is the future – an impact investor who does not invest only for profits but also for the profitability of the mankind.

And if Prince is the future, Axe is nothing but yesterday’s news! OUCH this should hurt bad that Axe looks like he can use an evening at The Rage Room! Yet, he turns down Victor’s offer to check for weaknesses in Prince’s companies. He finds Prince TBTFW – a first for Axe when another hedge-funder is concerned! But determined to beat Prince at his own home, Axe gives him a call to congratulate the “New Deca” for the solo cover as well as accepting his earlier invitation to a fireside chat at “The Mike.”

If you have been reading my recaps for some time, you know I do not see eye to eye with Axe most of the time but I give it to him that he is not fake. He is who he is and he does not pretend that he is someone else. Mike Prince, on the other hansd, comes across as totally fake! He talks about being part of a team, but then I wonder how much he has paid to make that last “s” go away from “The New Decas” so he makes the solo cover of Vanity Fair. His namesake is rolling in his grave! And I am sure they were already working on it as Prince’s right-wing man Scooter told Wags at the photo shoot that solo cover was too much attention and they did not want that… I totally agree with Axe that this guy would find a way to be proud if he carried the name of Saint Blaise the patron saint of those who suffer from throat diseases.  After all, wouldn’t protection against throat diseases be good for the profitability of mankind? 😀

Wendy’s solution to the tribal conflict at Axe Capital arrives in the form of one Becky Lynch aka The Man who gives us the second “pretend we’re having an argument” moment in Billions!

The way Billions writers use of The Man’s cameo is very clever. The Man is honest about how she does not like some of the women she has to fight and sometimes needs to take a beating from because she is part of a bigger family! So it makes sense that she makes someone else look good for the sake of the whole operation. Like she just did for Wendy!

One company. One team. One family.

And that is, ladies and gentlemen, why Wendy Rhoades is the spirit animal of Axe Capital. Even Taylor is moved enough to thank Dr. Mojo for the gesture – only to hear back that maybe it is time for them to share with Axe why they are here. Yikes!

Now that they know Wendy knows they are not at Axe Capital because Axe and Chuck forced them to, the optimal play for Taylor is to come out and tell the boss they are here as Chuck’s operative. Axe is not surprised but he believes his and Taylor’s goals are aligned. Taylor needs to be here at Axe Capital to feel alive – they need that feeling when they see something no one else can see and generate profit. And once he “sees” that Taylor is IN, Axe asks them how he should deal with Chuck: Taylor’s idea is for Axe to remind Chuck that it is in his best interest to stay friends with Axe.

Chuck looks pathetic with his guacamole and chips working away on the kitchen island before a notification pops up on his screen…

…and makes him to leave an utterly ridiculous voice mail for Wendy. Get a grip, man, you were the one who took a unilateral action and made your unusual sex life public! Even though I supported it, and I still do, Wendy is the last person you can question when it comes to unilateral actions.

And later a knock on the door does not only bring Axe but also, our own Gingersnap called this, the Churchill’s WWII first editions that Axe bought along with all the first editions on the market in Season 2 Episode 4 The Oath (when the NFL said “thanks, but no thanks” to Axe’s bid to buy a football team and Chuck was the only person Axe held responsible for this!) Oh, and it seems Chuck and I have something in common: I smell books, too and my favorite smell is that of a real bookstore.

The books should remind Chuck of the days he messed with Axe but Axe prefers to personally remind him that the world was a “very hot” and a “very uncomfortable” place when they were not friends. And maybe Chuck could give a hand to keep it cool by dropping the “crypto mine” case?

Trust is the most valuable currency in Billions. I do not think Axe believes a word of what Chuck is telling him – that the best he can do is to have a civil case rather than a criminal case blah blah blah. I am not sure if Axe really trusts Taylor or just pretends that he does, either. And Chuck, whose smartest option is to have Kate on his side, honors the deal he has made with her and meets Kate at 4 Charles Prime Rib: Taylor should have informed Axe about their partnership, Axe would not personally deliver his Churchills otherwise. So they need to stay friends with Axe until the very moment they drop him.

Taylor, who is not able to live with the pressure brewing in them anymore, takes Lauren’s advice to spend an evening in the Rage Room. This hints to me that Taylor is still playing the game, their own. While their optimal play was to come out to Axe, this does not necessarily mean they will not work to take him down, with or without Chuck. They may be trying to make Axe trust them so they can have access to more information but they may also be trying to have Axe go at Chuck. And as they smash stuff with the baseball bat, the only thing that comes to my mind is Robert De Niro as Al Capone, in The Untouchables smashing the head of one of his men with a baseball bat. I wonder who Taylor has in mind as they hit left and right in the rage room.

Author: Damianista

Academic, Traveler, Blogger, Runner, Theatre Lover, Wine Snob, Part-time New Yorker, and Walking Damian Lewis Encyclopedia :D Procrastinated about a fan's diary on Damian Lewis for a while and the rest is history!

19 thoughts on “Billions on Showtime, Season 5 Episode 1: The New Decas”

  1. Was this a long review? I didn’t notice because I was enjoying it so much! Isn’t it wonderful to have these characters back on our screens? Thank you for giving me info into who Becky was, as I had no idea! Still don’t really understand why she is called The Man!

    I am so happy you and I are on the same page regarding Prince! I knew I would not be a fan just from the character description when he was announced, and just seeing his BS cements it!

    I knew you were going to be pissed at Axe picking a chick out of a magazine like women come from catalogs! And yes it seems blonde is his type!

    I knew about rage rooms. They have become popular the last few years. And nice connection to the Untouchables! Who was in that? Some guy named Kevin Costner? 🙂

    1. Chuck Sr. is like a lot of men his age. He can’t bear the thought of living his last few years with a woman his own age, so he traded her in for a younger version. It was super sad seeing his long suffering wife there and “soldiering on” after years of humiliation. It’s not like they had a real marriage anyway but you would think being left for a woman he had a child before their divorce with would end her devotion to him. I guess not. It’s hard to reprogram after 50 years I guess.

      I already like Mike Prince. He may seem pretentious and fake but he’s at least Axe’s equal and maybe his superior if Axe considers him TBTBFW. Is he directly related to Thomas Aquinas or just a distant ancestor? The way he walked in screamed Alpha male who you don’t mess with. I like it.

      I’m already tired of the Mason versus Axe Cappers stuff so hopefully we’ve got that out of the way. I don’t know if Chuck thought he could embed Taylor without anyone finding out but it seems like he is setting them and Axe up.

      If I’m not mistaken, that girl from the ad is real life model Romee Strijd. There are rumors that men like Axe pick models and actresses out of catalogs and magazines. It’s gross and piggish but not surprising.

      1. Thank you so much for reading!

        As it is always with Billions, the most shocking thing about the wedding was not the wedding but Chuck’s mother attending it… Such a broken woman… All those years of humiliation but I think she may some version like “Stockholm Syndrome” where the only person she completely trusts is her captor/torturer – so much so that she even attends a wedding to see her husband of 50+ years marrying a woman that is young enough to be their granddaughter. I wonder if Chuck will have another little sibling? 🙂

        I am looking forward to the tension escalating between Axe and Prince. Your observation is so spot on: Prince is TBTFW – his equal – which we haven’t often seen before. In terms of the walk I cannot say who is more Alpha – Axe or Prince 😀 For the first time, a guest star is making to the new season poster, Prince will be a major character and a major headache for Axe! I am not sure if “The Mike” is related to Thomas Aquinas – I guess his grand grand grand father had been given the name, and it was passed from generation to generation.

        I googled Romee Strijd – BINGO! So how will this work? I guess Wags will arrange a date for them? Gross and piggish. I am sure you are right that men like Axe pick models and actresses out of catalogs, and I can imagine a man or two doing that… that said I guess then the women also know that they are in those catalogues???? OMG I am so happy that I live so away from this kind of world.

    2. Hahaha we missed this show, didn’t we — the review is not that long, longer than usual, but I guess I really missed talking about the show… and besides Billions never uses a scene just for the fun of it so I wanted to talk about everything. Thanks for reading!!! I think Becky Lynch is The Man like in the phrase “You are the man!” because she’s the star of the professional wrestling world – not that I know anything about professional wrestling 🙂

      Oh God – Prince came across so fake to me. I admit I had liked the description since he is a social impact pioneer but he feels like a total fake – talking about sportsmanship and being part of a bigger thing, but then he seems to be paying the magazine to get the solo cover – get a grip, man. His namesake Thomas Aquinas is rolling in his grave! He is also pretentious enough to name his annual conference “The Mike” 😀 😀 😀 So much BS indeed. Axe is not someone I would hang out with, I said it many times, I dislike many things about him, but I give it to him that he is not fake. He is who he is. But I am looking forward to seeing the animosity folding out between the two men — not that Prince is way younger, but it is presented to us like old school investor versus new school investor.

      Picking a chick out of magazine?!?! WHO DOES THAT??? Gross!!!!

      I don’t know if the writers had The Untouchables in mind though I know Brian Koppelman loves the film. Yeah it has a young Kevin Costner as Elliot Ness in it! I watched it so many times that the baseball scene just came to me when I saw Taylor smashing stuff with a baseball bat. And I did not know about Rage Rooms – sounds like a neat way to blow off steam!

      1. The reason you initially liked Prince is the reason I didn’t – that whole “for the greater good” thing is a bunch of BS. Rich people like that say it, but rarely mean it. It’s what sounds good today, a way of re-inventing themselves, or trying to get new investments. I’m not saying doing good is bad (does that make sense?) it’s just that I don’t see this Prince guy living like a monk. And you are 100% correct – you may not like Axe, but at least you know who he is, a carnivorous monster and it’s looking more and more like he knows what he is and is embracing it.

        And yes, the way Axe picked that girl out of the magazine was bad, but I will admit, if I had that kind of $$ and I saw Henry Cavill in an ad, I might just want to order one too!

        1. I believe there are people who care about the society they live in, the greater good – I am not saying they are not looking out for profits, of course they do, if they did not they would not become very rich. To give an example from Billions – Oscar Langstraat has come across real to me: A venture capitalist supporting smart investments in good causes – I think this kind of business practice would make one feel better about himself or herself. We never heard/saw Oscar saying he was part of a bigger thing and then trying to steal from his team. On the other hand, Mike Prince who says at the photoshoot that he would give a faster yes to Vanity Fair should he know Axe would be there works behind the scenes to have that solo cover – such a petty petty petty power move! This makes me think he is the fakest fake. That said I just read an interview with the cast and creators where Corey Stoll thinks his characters is very kind and puts community first – so I guess I will wait and see if I can find something to like about the guy as the story unfolds.

          1. I totally agree – some people really do care, and your example of Oscar was a great one. But, I think we both agree, this Prince guy ain’t one of them, as least he doesn’t seem genuine. I did read that interview as well, so either we are wrong (and when are we ever?) or it’s a bit of subterfuge!

  2. Well, I may as well get this out of my system before the day is much older. I will watch anything Damian Lewis is in that I have access to (and have since 2001), but if he were not in Billions and I saw that episode, I wouldn’t tune in again. Can’t believe I waited all these months for that! The acting was fine. While that druggie bit was just plain stupid, Axe and Wags did a marvelous acting job there outside that tent. We will probably see a reason for the whole thing later in the season, but if Axe needed to go on a trip, he could have gone anywhere.

    It is the writing I have a problem with; what happened there in the writing room? The whole thing seemed like some vignettes thrown together with little rhyme or reason. The wedding was actually fun, but unrealistic that a former wife would calmly attend the wedding of her ex. What world do these writers come from?

    Equally hard to believe was Wendy’s meeting with the 2 groups at Axe Cap. It reminded me of someone trying to settle a dispute between 2 groups of grade school kids on the playground. Also, Wendy getting advice from someone from Taylor’s crew? Can’t swallow that either. Was Axe really dumb enough to allow the whole of Taylor’s team back on his turf? Enemy at the gates? That was enemy camped in one’s living room!!

    I suppose I had better stop. I’m well aware I am in a minority here. Final thought is that it felt just a little like they are thinking of tossing Axe out, like hanging Brody in Homeland 3rd. season. There are other billionaires there. I certainly hope not. But as I take my leave, there are a few things I loved. Bonnie’s reaction to the Taylor bunch, the scenery on the motorcycle run, Wendy dumping Chuck (for good or not?), and Axe dressed in something besides those ratty tee shirts.

    Perhaps I will regret this post, but that’s okay. The season has no where to go but up. In the meantime, stay safe in these troubled times folks. I have missed everyone’s blogging.

    1. Hey don’t worry I feel a bit like you since last season, I’m mostly watching because Damian Lewis is in it. (Yeah sry :/ ) Sometimes I either feel like I’m watching some strange situations piled up together, or watching people swinging some obscure references.

      For the references part maybe it’s because I’m not american / not living in america. I don’t know. Sometimes I get one ref (yeah) and thanks to Damianista and her posts/recap I can catch most of them.

      I can compare Damianista’s posts to a heroic fantasy map to which I keep coming back when I’m reading a heroic fantasy book 😉

      1. Hello ImZenish. I wouldn’t worry about the not understanding all the references. I am an American and I don’t get half of them. But for me it is mostly a generational and interest problem. I’m a lot older than everyone else here and I seldom see movies, also I prefer music from the 1950’s, so most of those references mean nothing to me. So, I also need Damianista to explain a lot of them.

      2. OH MY GOD – thank you so much for your very kind words! I am so happy if I have been able to help you with references. You referring to my posts as “heroic fantasy maps” makes my day.

        Believe me, I do not get all the references, either. I am typically good with pop culture – books, movies, music since I am interested in them, but I have no idea about sports references from football (American), baseball, hockey, wrestling, boxing etc. But I try my best to google as many references as I can catch from the episode and give a link for the readers. It is a lot of fun for me to put together these posts – and I know it will really help with the quarantine days!

    2. Connie – thanks so much for reading! We missed you!

      I guess Wags planned this trip for Axe – a spiritual detox for bad boys 🙂 I have to say I do not think I will ever experience a shamanist retreat, my husband was tempted as we watched the episode. I am with you that I think that experience will stay with Axe and may even help him to make changes in his life – he said two times in the episode that he did not like what he saw when he gazed upon his life from different vantage points…

      Hahaha I thought the same thing about Wendy that’s why I referred to her as giving homework to her first graders 😀 I think we do not need to take that workplace conflict very seriously, it is part of the comic relief. But I thought Wendy consulting Lauren about her public statement makes sense since Lauren is a PR person and apparently (she said it in the episode) has gossip column experience at the W magazine and NY Post.

      I hear you about the episode feeling like some vignettes thrown together but I have faith in these writers. I think what we have seen in the episode will come back. For example, the wedding made Chuck Sr’s relations with the Cayuga Community stronger which may give him an edge in other businesses in the area they are living – remember the casino! I interpreted Chuck Sr’s wife being at the wedding as very sad. I think you and I cannot even comprehend that since we have never seen humiliation. This woman has been humiliated for so many years that I think she has some version of “Stockholm Syndrome” that she trusts her captor/torturer. A very broken person who told Wendy that Charles always told him to soldier forth and he was right…

      Oh we all loved seeing Axe with a beard – yum! 🙂

  3. Great job Bahar. I don’t know how you get all of this up and running so quickly after the show airs – truly impressive. I was wondering what Lisa thought of Wendy’s rah-rah speech to the troops before she blew up at them – I was half expecting Lisa to blow up her TV – but I have to say the Becky Lynch move was genius – being a long-time pro wrestling fan (another thing BK and I have in common), the idea of “jobbing” is such a great analogy for what ails the people in that building – not willing to sacrifice for the team – which also has a nice reference to the Untouchables – but I’ll save that for my Wednesday superlatives.

    And I think Prince will be a worthy adversary for Axe, who is battling on three different fronts, only two of which he knows about. He will have his hands full this season!

    1. Thank you so much!
      I watch the show two times at midnight and at 1am Saturday night.
      I sleep on it and I get up late on Sunday and start writing right away.
      Writing is the easier part. What takes more time is polishing the draft and especially getting screen shots, adding pictures, looking up the references and adding links for them.
      It is a lot of work but guess what I love doing it 🙂

      Oh yeah Prince will be a worthy adversary for sure – did we ever see Axe avoiding from openly getting into conflict with a hedge-funder? Prince is the first ever!

  4. I liked this episode and thanks to Damianista for filling in some of the blanks that I missed. Mike Prince looks like a good and worthy Axe adversary/foil. I like the actor, he was in House of Cards. This season should be good on our first looks here in ep#1 and in theory. The only problem is the pall that covid19 is casting over America. Making the hi-jinks of NYC billionaires and the NY super lawyers much less amusing or entertaining.
    And even worse that New York City is an epicenter, a disaster as far as Cov19, kinda takes the shine off what I saw last Sunday might. Enjoy this Billions season because with Covid I can see it not being renewed.

    1. Thank you for reading, I am happy that I have been helpful with filling in some blanks and… welcome back to Fan Fun!

      I agree that Mike Prince will be a worthy adversary for Axe – have we ever seen Axe avoiding from attacking a hedge-funder? He typically believes he is above them but now he sees an equal in Prince. A dangerous Grizzy!

      Your take on the Covid-19 pandemic is interesting. As far as I understand they are hopeful about resuming work sometime in the fall – fingers crossed. I guess everything depends on how the pandemic will unfold from here on – whether we will have a second wave – and I am hopeful about a drug/vaccine to arrive sooner that expected.

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