Previously on Billions, Season 4 Episode 12: Extreme Sandbox

Hear Bobby Axelrod say it: “Previously on Billions”

As we cannot wait for Billions Season 5 to arrive at 9m ET on Showtime on Sunday, we would like to share with you our recaps from Season 4 Finale as a refresher about where we left our characters! We will as usual have our weekly Billions episode reviews on Mondays (Damianista) and Fridays (Lady Trader). Besides the Fan Fun team will collectively talk about the MVPs of the week’s episode on Wednesdays! Hope you come visit us, enjoy our Billions posts, and join the conversation on the blog. Cheers!


Advance Warning: This is the longest episode review I have ever written. But I feel all the feelings and have to get them out of my chest. Thanks for bearing with me. Love to you all!

Well, I cannot imagine a better title than Extreme Sandbox for Billions Season 4 finale where Brian Koppelman and David Levien play their own extreme sandbox pulling twists and turns at every opportunity. Spanning over an intense 48-hour or so period, and going into history as the TV hour during which I yell the most at my TV screen, this is the craziest ride ever!

We know Chuck has told Wendy he would not live without his BDSM way of life and so we find him this evening on a medieval-torture-equipment controlled by the dominatrix who visited him at home in Episode 6 Maximum Recreational Depth. While a worm may always be ready for the hook, Chuck feels he has not deserved his punishment yet. And, man, does he earn it or what in the next 60 minutes? 😀

Axe, on the other hand, is having a romantic evening with Rebecca. Drinking wine. Looking at Gauguin’s “Two Tahitian Women” and talking about art. It seems the originals Margolis has promised Axe now hang on the walls and I cannot help wonder if Rebecca knows they are the originals and the reproductions are in “permanent transit” state at Margolis’ freeport 🙂

We already know, thanks to the last scene in the previous episode, Axe may be cooking something where Rebecca is the potential collateral damage. And the moment Axe talks about the greats suffering more than others, you know he will be coming for her. Axe kindly asks Rebecca whether she can organize a “state changer” for Wendy: Maybe a spa retreat? His chopper is at their service. Ah, what a gentleman, you may think… for a second! Ah the bad man behind blue eyes?! Isn’t “Behind Blue Eyes” an amazing song selection here? Kudos!

The moment Axe says he is asking Rebecca to do this for him because he knows Wendy will benefit from her insights more than his, I yell at my TV:

“Don’t do it, girl. He is doing this just because his insights are needed elsewhere to bury your business.”

But, of course, Rebecca is clueless about the information Victor has recently brought Axe to use and destroy Taylor’s business with some significant collateral damage! And who can blame her for believing the man she loves?

Chuck comes home to find his wife packing for her day trip with Rebecca. Chuck knows Wendy could still not digest the fact that she is losing her medical license and promises that since they have not officially ruled on it yet, he would still work behind the scenes to save her license. And the next morning he tasks Allerd with finding what makes Dr. Zhang, the chair of the medical board, lighten up! The thing is that he is late. Sean Ayles has already found out about what can lighten Dr. Zhang up in his own father’s wisdom:

“Elbow grease alone won’t solve what elbow grease and a few silver coins will.”

Read the rest of Damianista’s review here.

Lady Trader

‘Cause what you see you might not get
And we can bet so don’t you get souped yet
You’re scheming on a thing that’s a mirage
I’m trying to tell you now it’s sabotage
Sabotage – Beastie Boys

Welcome to the last “From the Trader’s Desk” for Season 4 of Billions. We’ve seen the Good, the Bad, and ultimately, the very Ugly from our favorite characters this season (look for our upcoming “Best of Billions” for this season soon!), and this episode, “Extreme Sandbox” was no different.

Before I get into the episode, I want to say how much I have enjoyed bringing “From the Trader’s Desk” to you all each week. These posts were originally supposed to clear up any “fin-speak” that non-Wall Streeters just didn’t get. In the beginning, there was a lot of it! So much so, that we were adding to our Billions: Glossary on a weekly basis. However, as the show got more and more into the characters and the complexity of their relationships, the financial jargon got less and less. What would I write about? I decided that I would do what I do best: analyze and evaluate. If I can do it with companies I trade, I can do it with the rich characters of Billions. I didn’t know how it would go, but I have gotten some of the best feedback on my analysis posts, so thank you!

Sabotage: deliberately destroy, damage, or obstruct (something), especially for political or military advantage

This episode saw the deliberate destruction of a relationship, a business, and a career or two. Sabotage was on the mind of Axe, Chuck and Taylor, and even though there was no “Who Shot JR?” cliffhanger, all of this was the perfect setup for Season 5.

Chuck: I’ll start with Chuck because to be honest, we all kind of knew he was setting up Bryan (and Jock) from the get go. Chuck is brilliant at playing the long game, with the precision of a surgeon with a scalpel (as opposed to Axe who uses a chainsaw). I was pleasantly surprised to know that Chuck Sr. was a part of the play from the jump, but Junior’s mastery at leading Bryan down the path of his own destruction was classic Chuck. Also, Chuck has sabotaged his most important relationship: his marriage to Wendy. Every time she needed him, he was simply too caught up with his own revenge plot. Chuck is just as self-centered and egotistical as Axe, he just goes about it in a different way. I find it very interesting that Wendy is drawn to these types of men. I wonder what it says about her.

The Chuck/Bryan storyline was my least favorite of the season (I just don’t like any of the characters involved to really care), but now that Chuck has his old (and possibly favorite) enemy in his sights again, all is right with the world. It should come as no surprise that the straw that breaks the camel’s back for Chuck to refocus his anger at Axe is the $25M “donation” in order to get Wendy’s medical license reinstated. Wait until Chuck finds out Wendy went to Axe’s apartment in her time of need. He’s going to go ballistic!

Axe: I’ve been Team Axe even before the first episode of Billions aired. Hedge Fund manager, New Yorker, self-made – all things I could relate to. When it was revealed he loved heavy metal, and had a very unconventional path to Wall Street (via Yonkers Raceway!) I thought perhaps we were separated at birth. But, Axe has made it harder and harder to stay on his Team, and this episode showed a side of Axe that I knew was there but I don’t understand, and really don’t like.

We knew Axe was going to throw Rebecca under the bus. I think in a way, we’ve all kind of known it from the moment they became a couple. It was the “when not if” that was the mystery. Last week revealed the when. This week we found out how and why.

Read the rest of Lady Trader’s review here.

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!

2 thoughts on “Previously on Billions, Season 4 Episode 12: Extreme Sandbox”

  1. I am sooo excited about Season 5 premier that i just spent the last week binge re-watching Seasons 1-4. I think out of all the seasons, Season 4 is my favorite and this review really sums it all up – can’t wait to see how the story unfolds!

    1. Thank you for reading – we’d love you to come visit again – we do episode recaps and also choose the MVPs of the latest episode on Wednesdays!

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