Billions premiered on Showtime on January 17, 2016, exactly five years ago TODAY.
Now that the vaccination against Covid-19 is underway across the US as well as across the world, we know that there is a light at the end of this long and dark tunnel! And, with that light, comes the hope that they will resume filming Billions Season 5 as soon as it is safe to work in New York. Brian Koppelman, the Billions co-creator and show runner, confirmed this on Twitter.
And as we have Billions on the horizon in 2021, I thought it would be fun to to look at our original expectations, hopes and fantasies about Season 5 and update them for the rest of the season. ENJOY!
What do you think will happen in Season 5??
One Expectation: As with any Billions season, I expect high drama and crackling writing. Music, food, and pop culture references are the DNA of this show, and I’d have it no other way.
As of Episode 7: I don’t know about you, but I heard a lot of grumbling about this season from some fans on various social media outlets. “Boring, dull, jumped the shark” were just some of the things I read. I think that this season is more of a simmer than a boil, so I don’t know I don’t know if I got this one right. I do miss the intensity between Axe and Chuck and Axe and Taylor when they were out and out enemies; I can’t say that the rivalry with Mike Prince is in that same hemisphere. But we did get good music (Rainbow and Metallica!) and the pop culture references were there (sometimes a bit much for my liking).
Going Forward: I stick with my original expectations, because I think it’s still spot on!
One Fantasy: My fantasy would be for Rebecca to return and really screw Axe on a business deal. I so loved the character of Rebecca- a strong businesswoman – and hated what happened to her. I’m always #TeamAxe, but that doesn’t mean I don’t think he should get away with that kind of fuckery!
As of Episode 7: No sign of Rebecca, and I don’t think we will see her. I hope she is somewhere kicking ass, taking names, and making money!
Going Forward: Would it be too much to have my fantasy be Axe in another metal shirt? I mean it’s like we are having a whole new season, and they haven’t shot the last 5 episodes yet, Perhaps we can finally get Gingersnap her Iron Maiden shirt!
One Wish: I wish Wendy will realize that the two boys in her life, Axe and Chuck, are just toxic and move on and be happy. Why should she constantly be the ping pong between these two? I will admit, I was not a big Wendy fan for a long time, but last season she grew, did what was right and showed a human side that I think was lacking the previous seasons. Now that she has shown she’s not a cyborg, I’m a fan.
As of Episode 7: Well, I just might finally be right! She has kicked Chuck to the curb, and I don’t think she appreciated Axe interfering in her relationship with Tanner. Wendy seems to finally be #TeamWendy and she seems to be thriving!
Going Forward: I wish that Axe would somehow get back a bit of his humanity. He has been Gozer the Destructor this season, and I’d like to not see him destroy himself, his friends, and even his mom!
Looking Forward to: More fin-speak please! I know I’m in the minority of wanting the “in the weeds” type of financial jargon, but I love following the strategies and the moves. Last season it seemed that it was all about the dynamics between the main characters, and I enjoyed analyzing them; but give me a good stock story, and I’m in heaven.
As of Episode 7: Besides a few things here or there (Opportunity Zone being the big one), there wasn’t much fin-speak to speak of! I understand that as the show has evolved, it focuses more on the relationships between the characters, and I’m good with that. Just can we throw a sister a bone please!
Going Forward: I’m going to keep my original, and hope there is more deals and financial shenanigans! I want to hear more about short selling, options, derivatives, naked straddles!
Not Looking Forward to: This might be unpopular (and when are my opinions not?) but I’m not looking forward to the character of Catherine ‘Cat’ Brant played by Julianna Margulies. From what I have read, this is a character that explores Chuck’s most boring trait – his sexual preferences. I have always disliked that plot line, as I just have never understood its value. To me, it’s shock for shock alone (much like anything Tarantino does).
As of Episode 7: In my opinion, I was not wrong! I just don’t care about Chuck as a character, and I definitely don’t care about his after-hours activities, so having Cat just be there to highlight them makes me pick up my remote and fast forward!
Not Looking Forward to: The next bit of the season only being 5 episodes!
One Expectation: I expected Taylor to work the Trojan Horse avenue to their advantage and outsmart both Team Axe and Team Chuck, working them against each other, and come out with a win. Which means Axe would fall.
Revisited: I’m not giving up on this yet. I think this is still a work in progress and perhaps we’ll see it come to fruition in the next five episodes. I hate to see Axe fall, but in the real world Hedge Funds fail. We will be reminded Axe and Axe Capital are not invincible.
One Fantasy: After Taylor takes Axe down, I fantasized he would close up shop and move to California to be closer to his boys.
Revisited: This is still a fantasy of mine! I’m not giving up on this yet. I think this is still a work in progress and perhaps we’ll see it come to fruition in the next five episodes. It was nice to see his son Gordie again in the episode Beg, Bribe, Bully.
One Wish: I wished Wendy to find a man who’s brain she enjoys without having to whip the shit out of him. I had hoped she would find solace in her personal and professional life, leaving those two Titans behind in the dust.
Revisited: Well, this happened somewhat. Wendy began dating artist Nico Tanner but once she realized he was just as corruptible as the other two Titans in her life (as pointed out by Axe), she began second guessing her choice. I’m curious to see how this plays out in the final five episodes of the season – will she keep it strictly as a hookup or will a relationship blossom. I’m guessing she will move on. I think he’s a bit pretentious, too.
Looking Forward To: I was so looking forward to the scene between Axe and Chuck at Chuck’s house in his kitchen, because it seemed Axe gave him a cardboard box with a gift inside. What gift you may ask? I thought Axe was returning Chuck’s first edition Winston Churchill books. I even took the liberty of adding in my own version of the dialogue from episode one, The New Decas before it aired:
“Oh, have you brought me a dowry, Robert? No? Well I’m curious as to whatever could this be?”
Chuck sees what’s inside the box and says,
“Are you fucking kidding me?”
Axe replies with a devious grin:
Look at that face on Axe – like a proud toddler, as if he did YOU the favor of returning YOUR property LOL!
Revisited: NAILED IT! Axe did indeed return Chuck’s first edition Winston Churchill books 🙂
Watch the scene here:
— Billions on Showtime (@SHO_Billions) April 3, 2020
Not Looking Forward To: I was not looking forward to the new blonde this season because I much prefer a relationship-Axe. I wanted the writers to somehow bring back Rebecca or Lara.
Revisited: Yep, still didn’t like it when I watched Axe hook up with a blonde model he found from a magazine in episode one, The New Decas. He literally ripped a page from a magazine and told Wags, “I’d like to try THAT.” Then Wags procured her for Axe?!?!?!? There’s a reason why Damianista gave the whole debacle “The most stomach-turning, revolting, nauseating, unappetizing, distasteful, gross words ever spoken on Billions” award to Bobby Axelrod. They hooked up in episode two, The Chris Rock Test, and thankfully we didn’t have to see anymore of Bachelor-Acting Axe. I still like him in a relationship but I’m not holding my breath that we’ll see him happy and with someone by the time season five wraps. So no Rebecca, no Lara.
In summary, for the next five episodes of season five:
One Expectation – Remains the same, Taylor will take down Axe some how.
One Fantasy – Remains the same, Axe will get closer to his family/children once he no longer has Axe Capital.
One Wish – Well, Wendy did start dating someone else she didn’t have to beat or whip, but not sure it will last long. I still wish for her to find someone who is powerful, without all the perks 😉
Looking Forward To – Since my previous statement came true, I’m choosing a new one for this category! I am looking forward to seeing not just how Charles Senior gets a new kidney, but who his donor will be. What scheming plot will Chuck “Sonny Boy” Rhoades come up with? Will Axe be the donor? Or will Chuck get his father moved more quickly to the top of the waiting list, causing someone else to possibly die? Will this be the ruin of Chuck Rhoades? Will both Bobby and Chuck fall? So many twists and turns to look forward to! See ya on the flip side.
One Expectation: I expected Michael Prince to have a super meaty role in Season 5 because this is the first time ever in Billions that a “guest star” has made it to the new season poster!
Revisited: I was right! Prince has been at the center of multiple storylines in the first half of the season including the Vanity Fair photo shoot, psycho-ceuticals, Nico Tanner’s Implosion series, Opportunity Zone, and finally Shine-Lucense.
Going forward: I expect to see more Prince in the second half of the season since Axe is now going to the mattresses to destroy him.
As Axe is playing the war drums for a war that he is kicking off just because he is paranoid that Prince has declared war on him, Metallica’s “Hardwired” is the perfect choice closing the mid-season finale.
But unlike Axe, who is hardwired to self-destruct, I keep calm and put two and two together.
We know that Prince already told Axe that he chose his playing field very carefully now and always against opponents the same size as him during their fireside chat at The Mike. And so I believe that Prince is truly sincere in his partnership with Taylor and Wendy in Shine-Lucense because he knows that Taylor Mason Carbone cannot take a big loss.
We also know that Prince has been the only person in the show we saw Axe avoiding from a direct confrontation probably because this new deca is too powerful to fuck with.
So my expectation is that Axe will find out, sooner or later, that declaring war on Mike Prince is not a good idea.
One Fantasy: Inspired by the first Season 5 teaser trailer, particularly this very frame below where we see Chuck Senior in the background, I fantasized Senior was getting married.
Revisited: I called Chuck Senior’s wedding 😀
Going forward: My fantasy for the second half of the season is again about Chuck Senior, who is, thanks to Dr. Swerdlow’s magic, now getting on the wait list for a kidney! My hunch is that the donor will be someone unexpected and that it will make us LAUGH. My personal fantasy is Bryan or Jackie Connerty donating Senior a kidney in return for a “get out of the jail free” card for Bryan.
One Wish:My wish was for Chuck and Wendy to stay together.
Revisited: Chuck and Wendy seem to go in their separate ways this season and have new love interests.
Going forward: I am keeping my wish that the Rhoades’ marriage survives. Chuck and Wendy have always been the strong couple in Billions because, unlike Axe and Lara, they could get deep in their relationship, communicate and ultimately resolve their differences.
I believe Wendy now knows, thanks to Axe, that Tanner may not be the incorruptible guy that she thought he is. In fact, Tanner is not only corruptible, but he also seems to be in denial about it. Chuck, on the other hand, has always been true to himself and to Wendy about his own corruptibility.
Chuck’s corruptibility may actually be the end of his relationship with Cat. Chuck used Cat’s expertise on The Nordic Model to develop a counter-argument about sex workers and threaten DA Gramm so she gives him the Axelrod “painting case” on the condition that he would not follow up on his threat. There may be a point in the rest of the season where Chuck actually follows up on his threat and loses all his privileges with Cat! 🙂
While I am still holding out some hope for Chuck and Wendy to get back together, I also have an alternative scenario in mind. Now that Wendy has seen Tanner is not incorruptible and that she has just started partnering with Mike Prince, I wonder if there could be a Wendy – Mike relationship in the cards. Prince could be the incorruptible guy Wendy has been looking for.
Looking Forward to: I was looking forward to finding out where Bryan landed.
Revisited: Well, we found him in jail! Honestly, I did not expect that 🙂
Going forward: I am still looking forward to seeing where Bryan lands if he gets out of jail, and whether he will let Axe make a lion out of him 😀
Better a lion for a day than a mouse for life…. https://t.co/lRSU36wIev
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) April 17, 2018
Not Looking Forward to: I was not looking forward to seeing more of “single Axe.”
Revisited: Oh, man. I am not happy that I was right.
“I’d like to try THAT.”
What the actual fuck?
You cannot try a woman like you try a new car, a new pair of jeans, or a new fancy restaurant. And, I mean, how does Wags arrange this kind of thing? Does he just call this model 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.”
Going forward: I keep not looking forward to “Single Axe” shenanigans in the rest of the season!
The Tail That Wags The Dog
One expectation: Obviously I expect bringing Team Taylor back into the fold of Team Axe and I expect that to go badly.
I expect Taylor will be more focused on bringing down Axe than Chuck. I expect Sacker to be more involved this year. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see some interaction with her and TeamAxe which, up until now, hasn’t really happened yet.
Revisited: Well it’s not going badly but it isn’t going great. The first episode showed some childish tantrums between the two teams, but that was superplexed when Wendy brought Becky “The Man” Lynch in to straighten them out.
Since then, the biggest thing to happen between the two was when Mafee moved his desk out into the middle to join the others. Not sure I see the point of that from a business standpoint, but it makes for easier to tell storylines.
I was right about Taylor focusing more on Axe than Chuck – for now. And I totally called it on Sacker being more involved – that has come through in spades. I expect that interaction between Sacker and Team Axe to happen in those last five episodes. Wouldn’t a scene between Sacker and take your pick of Bobby, Wendy or Taylor be just awesome??
I expect that Wendy will NOT go back to Chuck this season and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if someone tried to make a move on her, although I do not expect that person to be Bobby.
Revisited: I was right here as well. She and Chuck are way done. They were done 10 minutes into episode one. And someone did make a move on her who was NOT Bobby – it was Bobby’s artist-in-residence Nico. Now that relationship seems to now be over, but I still don’t expect anything between Wendy and either Chuck or Bobby.
One wish: That we will see more of Bonnie this year. I simply adore Sarah Stiles – she is so unbelievably talented and fun to watch.
I know last year she was doing the Broadway musical Tootsie while filming was going on, but with that run over, I hope that the writers have been able to utilize her more. Every scene she is inis full of energy, spunk and attitude. She is the perfect player for Team Axe.
Revisited: Eh. Nothing really so far. Truthfully, of all the traders, the only ones who seem to have blossomed this season are Ben and Tuk. There was this supposedly great scene in episode 7 with the Bros – Dollar Bill and Spyros – but they had to cut it to work in the mid-season cliffhanger. But otherwise those two have been kinda quiet and Bonnie has barely registered at all. Sigh.
One fantasy: Wags gets his revenge on the stuffed-shirts that embarrassed him last season.
No way does Wags go down without a fight there. And he gave the best send-off threat ever there – he can’t do that and not follow through!
Revisited – maybe in Season 6? Don’t see it happening here. Wags (David) is too busy directing now. I have to tell you I am not looking forward to the Wags-is-a-new-daddy storyline. That’s just kinda creepy.
Looking Forward to: What role Connerty plays when he comes back. I believe we can expect him back by episode 5, and you know when he does he will come in with that same energy and fierceness with which he attacks every sandwich that he eats.
Revisited: Well that was a dud. One punch? That’s all we get out of Connerty?? I sure he isn’t done in terms of the entire series. I liked his character – he just went off the deep end ethically – but who on thi sshow hasn’t? (Besides Sacker that is.)
I am also looking forward to whatever happens between Dollar Bill and Spyros. They have quickly become my favorite part of the show, and that was even before the interview, at which they hinted that they have their best moments coming up. I can’t wait to see what those are!
Not looking forward to: What happens to both Chuck and Bobby as lovers and fathers. In the first season they managed to have their edge and still hold onto their roles as husbands to their wives and fathers to their two children. Now, they are both divorced (or separated – are Chuck and Wendy officially split up?) and the kids are no longer in the picture. That may be a necessity within the writing as it must be had to keep the kids relevant. Still, I think it would help their relatability if they could hold onto those otherwise everyday roles as members of a family. But I think we will see them fall further and further into the black hole of solitude they have dug for themselves, and that makes them harder to root for. I am not looking forward to that.
Revisited: Well Chuck has a new love interest, but how interesting is it? I like the character of Cat – sorry Lady Trader!! But with this mid-season pause will they still pursue it and its potential salaciousness or drop it to get other storylines in. As for Axe, all of Season 4 he had a love interest, and with someone his equal – but I don’t see them going down that road with him this season. He is too busy being an Alpha-male. I doubt we will see him with anyone other than a fling.