We continue to award our Most Valuable Players for Billions season five in a compilation post called the ‘Billions MVP Fanbook,’ which commemorates 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. In case you missed it, here are the MVPs for episode one, episode two, and episode three.
Let us continue with that tradition as we award our Most Valuable Players (MVPs) this week. Here are the Billions MVP awards for Season 5, Episode 4, “Opportunity Zone.”
Sixth Borough Snowman Award – Axe, who visits his childhood ‘home sweet home‘ in Yonkers and reminisces with current occupant 14-year-old Savion Williams about the lack of revitalization in his old neighborhood. When city snow plows cleared wealthier areas, young Bobby took to the streets with shovels and a crew, his first business venture.
Best Use of Fruit Analogy for the Male Anatomy – Charles Sr when he asked sonny boy “Who’s got a hold of your nectarines?”
Gaaaahhhhh Screaming At My Screen Award – Bobby and Wendy. First we had that tense bed making scene between these two last season, and now they share an intimate dinner together without “interference,” like a seasoned married couple working, dining, and drinking wine. Of course I don’t want the dynamics of their friendship to change, but what lies at the surface is so tangible!
Miss Fashionista Award – Lauren. The burnt orange blouse against the turquoise statement necklace was spot on.
Best Pillsbury Doughboy Impression – Mafee. Down to the little doughy giggle. Guess that college nickname of his provided plenty of tummy poking practice.
TWO AWARDS IN ONE SCENE:
1. Most Voldemort-Like Move – ‘Saint Mike’ for buying up enough shares in Franklin Sacker’s company to garner three board seats, then visiting Franklin’s office to lightly threaten ousting the CEO himself based on questionable ethics if he continues with Axe’s Opportunity Fund in Yonkers. Then later telling Axe he stinks of the place!!!
2. Best Use of the Invisibility Cloak – Axe for hiding behind Franklin’s secret door concealed by the wood paneled wall, listening to Saint Mike’s threats, then magically appearing in the office with them like he teleported by traveling the Floo Network of connecting fireplaces.
Most LOL Moment – Wagsy when he updated Axe about his children, “I lost another. One to the pole and one to Jesus.” Then exclaimed he’d just have another child and start over.
Best Sandwich Award – It could have been because I was watching early on a Sunday morning, but damn that meatloaf sandwich Wags was about to chomp into looked good!
Thank You For Making Me Feel 14 Again Award – Mötley Crüe and Stay Puft Marshmallow Man references in one episode? Thank you for bringing me back to 1984-85! As an aside, I remember vividly saving up all my money and buying the “Theatre of Pain” album from my local record shop. Yes, I’m that old!
Greatest Showman on Earth Award – Bobby from Yonkers, bringing the Zoning Board out to the street, and pointing out just how much he was Yonkers sealed the deal! Step aside Hugh Jackman!
Biggest Hypocrite Award – For the fourth week in a row, it’s Mike Prince. Mr. “all about equality” basically tries to shame Axe because he comes from a rough neighborhood? Mike Prince is officially a POS! A close second is Kate. Moving to a poorer neighborhood just because she thinks she’s got a better chance of winning an election, when she has got no connection to it. Maybe she should win the Carpetbagger of the Year Award! And speaking of that snake….
Throw Mamma From the Train Award – Well, in this case it would be the Throw Daddy Under the Bus Award, and it goes to Kate. I have hated (and yes, I know that is a strong word, but that’s why I’m using it) Sacker from Day 1, and nothing has changed. Wonder if she’ll regret selling out her Dad when she needs his friends to open up their checkbooks for her political run!
Massive Mistake(s) – Bobby Axelrod
And not one but two of them.
Axe’s first mistake is to ask Wendy to talk to Tanner about his painter’s block. I think Wendy and Tanner will hit off romantically.
Axe’s second mistake is to ask Taylor to take Wendy along to their meeting with Argyra Petroleum CEO Lambert. I think Wendy and Taylor will hit it off professionally.
And Axe to whom loyalty is everything will see both Wendy’s blooming relationship with Tanner and her successful partnership with Taylor as a betrayal. And I do not recommend him to mess with her but I bet he will.
Wildest Moment – Wags’ “Eureka” Moment
As Wags comes to accept the fact that he gloriously fucked up as a father, he has his “Eureka” moment. He may not be young but he still has an opportunity to have another child and raise her right. Oh NO! Can courts stop him from having another?!?!
Kick-Ass Professor – Catherine ‘Cat’ Brant
Not for only being a Professor of Sociology at Yale who has written six books – which is quite kick-ass on its own – but also for what she says to the law school students who were about to faint when challenged by their new criminal law professor and gets results 🙂 I have to add these are the words that I have most identified with in the history of Billions!
“Holyshit, guys. And yeah guys. I’m calling all of you guys, males, females, and enbies. And I have tenure. So suck it if you don’t like it.
You have the rarest of opportunities here. This man has faced the harshest battles the courts can throw at you. He sat where you now sit and rose to the highest level a lawyer can. And is ready to share all that.
And you — you lean back, afraid to face your own intellectual limitations. Instead, dive in. I know some of you, most of you, have done the reading, prepared your briefs, and are ready. So sit up straight. Put your hands in the air and let him see it.”
Monstrous Mindfucker – Mike Thomas Aquinas Prince
So the guy who loves to say there is enough for everyone does not think that the Opportunity Zones in Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta are not enough for him and that he also needs Yonkers! And when he does not happen, he saves face by saying to the State AG that he gave up when he felt he was going back to his old greedy ways… and then gives a mind-fucking call to Axe.
I believe Axe was already dragging his feet to his childhood home where I bet young Bobby had multiple traumatic events. And add Mike Prince’s merciless words to that and Axe is mind-fucked.
Not that Axe would not do it to someone who beat him in business. The thing is that Axe accepts he is a monster while Prince is in denial. I wonder if he thinks that the kids for whom he builds fields and courts in Opportunity Zones stink of the place they grow up, too. Shame on you, man.
Most Unexpected Personality Test – Sock Folding
Tell me what you think about sock folding and let me tell you who you are.
Senior: “I don’t know how. I act like I can’t do anything and I hire someone who can.”
Chuck: “I’m trying to teach the kids to do for themselves.”
Kate: “Make sure to match the lefts with the rights.”
Pied Piper of Yonkers – Bobby Axelrod
This MVP award is inspired by Pied Piper of Hamelin, a fairy tale that I loved as a kid, about a man who can lure anything from rats to kids. Now that I am reading about it though the legend behind this Grimms Brothers fairytale is pretty grim! Still, the luring part is relevant.
Axe enticing the Yonkers Opportunity Zone board as well as the community by his theatrical performance is outstanding. He covers all the bases – the stories of Ricky’s Clam House and Dicey O’Reillys with his best friend ‘Ike’ on his left, Savion Williams who currently lives in Bobby’s childhood home, the future of Yonkers, on his right, and a few tears in his eyes.
Best Song of the Week Award – “After the Gold Rush” – the song is by Neil Young, although they used the kd lang cover verison. Either way, it is a GREAT song, and another one I have played before. Each week they have managed to use at least one song I have played to an audience before – this is getting spooky.
The ‘Never In My Classroom’ Award – I have been teaching for 26 years, and I am happy to say I have never encountered a class like Chuck had to deal with. Maybe because I am high school not college. But if I ever did, I hope I would handle it like Cat did. Good grief!
Weekly Godfather Reference – Another common refrain this year has been their referencing The Godfather movies, which I’m totally fine with since they are quite probably the best one-two punch of movies ever made. This week they went to Hyman Roth.
Who Knew I Had Been Torturing Myself All These Years – well, maybe I did – I regularly run on a treadmill as a way of foolishly trying to stay in shape, and while I knew it wasn’t a pleasure device, I didn’t realize it was originally designed for torture. It all makes sense now.
Let Him Do His Thing – How can you have Dominique Wilkins on your show – playing basketball mind you – and NOT let him dunk!! That’s like having Damian Lewis appear on the Masked Singer and not letting him unmask at the end!
Whatever Happened To? – Where are my bros – Stephen Kunken and Kelly AuCoin??? Four episodes in and hardly a peep out of them. In my interview with them they promised some good stuff, but so far I have yet to see it. Last year I promoted Chris Carfizzi’s Rudy and he got ‘axed’ in the first episode. Now I interview Spyros and Dollar Bill and we have haven’t really seen them do anything yet! I’m beginning to feel like the Billions version of the SI Cover Jinx.
Best Cameo – Daymond John – I am not a regular viewer of Shark Tank so I was not aware of who Daymond John was. I thought he was an actor he was that convincing. When I found out he is a real-life businessman – and a very successful one, I was shocked. Well done sir!
— Billions on Showtime (@SHO_Billions) May 25, 2020
Did You Notice The Organ Music? that played when George was saying grace with Wags? I didn’t at first – my wife noticed it – a hilarious touch!!
Best Season 2 Reference – I loved it when Taylor asked Mafee why he chose them out of all the interns. It reminded me of how young they were to start and how fast they have risen in a very short time. Because Taylor is so good and so powerful now, we forget that they started at the very bottom of the totem pole just three seasons ago, and by the end of this season, maybe they will have risen to the top – with Wendy’s help perchance??
Why I Love This Show – Bobby not showing up for dinner – the easy thing to do would have been to have him join Savion and his mother for dinner – it would have made for a nice, happy ending to the episode, one which Bobby ‘wins.’ But the writers won’t let us enjoy that moment – because life is complicated, and so is Bobby. Prince struck a nerve with his dissing of Bobby there, and it haunts him. I like how they give these characters depth, and internal conflict. And an actor of the caliber of Damian Lewis can make that such a powerful scene, which he did. When he says he wants to “get the fuck out of this dipshit town” it was such a punch in the gut. The war has just begun, and it will get bloody.