First things first: I hope everyone has been vaccinated and doing well!
Our earlier “On the Horizon in 2021: Billions Season 5 Episodes 8 – 12” post came out of our own thoughts based on what we have seen in Billions Season 5 – Part I. Now that we have had “I Believe in Myself” and “Trust Me” teasers as well as the official trailer for Billions Season 5 – Part II, I have revised my expectations, wishes and fantasies and am ready to talk about what may come our favorite characters’ way in the rest of the season.
Well, we know that they edit trailers in a way so they do not give away much but a taste of what is coming. Still, I cannot help dive deep into the trailer, dissect it, try to put the pieces together and ultimately have fun! Speculation rocks until we have our favorite characters wheeling and dealing on our screens on September 5 at 9:00PM ET/PT.
So shall we?
My first observation is that Chuck has lost a lot of weight and shaved off his beard. Well, we had Bobby Axelrod growing a beard earlier in the season so it is time for a beard-less Chuck! And I foresee that beard-less Chuck will be very popular and find some very powerful people of NY Finance World on his doorstep in the rest of the season…
And the first one who knocks on Chuck’s door may be Bobby Axelrod 🙂
The fact that Wendy and Taylor have started a partnership with Mike Prince has been a huge blow for Axe. He believes that Prince has manipulated Wendy and Taylor.
“Textbook fucking manipulation.”
Says the guy who took a pill and brought his own company to the brink of a disaster when we last saw him! Even though Taylor talks about the long term upside of the partnership with Prince, Axe is not listening. According to him, Taylor did this not because they volunteered but Prince staged the game in a way and manipulated them into volunteering. He bets Prince pared his position in Shine-Lucence before the news even broke out.
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. But now he is planning to take Prince down “Joan of Arc-style.” And who else but the State Attorney Chuck Rhoades can help him better with his little problem?
Now, we all know that Chuck is currently working to destroy Axe and so there is no way he could help him with his problem. But what if Axe makes him an offer that he could not resist? Like…
His kidney! 🙂
Let us remember that Axe asked Wags to get Hall and Bach into his office so they can set up the war room. The four of them will brainstorm about who they can get to help them with their little problem. And when it comes to Chuck, I am sure Hall has collected all the details about Chuck Senior’s health issues as well as Chuck’s desperation and his visit with Dr. Swerdlow!
In one scene from the trailer, Chuck Senior looks sick and may not have much time left if he does not have a kidney transplant soon. He may even be saying his farewells – trying to get the world ready for his departure. It looks like he is tasking Wendy with doing something for him when the time comes.
“You’re the cool-headed killer. You’ll do the right thing when the time comes.”
So when he finds out about the kind of favor Chuck desperately needs at the moment, Axe can run a “blood drive” at Axe Capital to find someone who is compatible with Chuck Senior. And, who knows, the only person who is compatible with Senior at Axe Capital may turn out to be the boss himself. I cannot stop laughing because I really think the opening words by Chuck in the Season 5 – Part II official trailer, may be to convince Chuck Senior, who is resisting, to accept a kidney from Bobby Axelrod.
“You love a game…. The chance to take someone else’s power for yourself…. You can’t deny how you’ll feel good Especially if that power was coming from Bobby Axelrod…”
And, lo and behold, we can see Chuck Senior alive and kicking with a part of Bobby Axelrod literally inside him for the rest of his life.
Relatedly – the meeting between Chuck and Axe in Chuck’s office where they talk about if Axe is a tarpon or a shark could be about Bobby offering his kidney to Chuck Senior in return for a favor!
And who in the world let the press know Bobby Axelrod is visiting the State Attorney?!?! 😀 😀 😀 Bobby Axelrod, the good Samaritan, now has to tell the world that his meeting with Chuck Rhoades was not judicial but it was personal 🙂
I know I may be way off in my hunches but I think this story, even if it stays as a fan fiction, is quite Billions-y and so much fun!
However the storyline folds, it is obvious from the trailer that Axe troubles the waters for Prince which makes Prince pay a visit to Axe’s Tribeca penthouse.
It seems that the Prince researched the King well. He knows that Axe likes to get a read on people’s body language and Prince is confident about his own. His hands don’t shake and he can look Axe in the eye. There is nothing in his life that Axe can use against him. While he is able keep calm when he visits Axe, Prince is very frustrated that he has been dragged into chaos by Axe and his right-hand man Scooter tells him that they hurt back when they are hurt. And that is when Prince may remember the offer Chuck made to him earlier in the season…
Isn’t this Prince standing in Chuck’s office?
“Someone has to wipe him off the face of the Earth!”
And Chuck is happy to oblige 🙂 Kate does not look as smitten as Chuck and Prince as they raise their glasses to success. Well, she is running for political office and needs to be extremely careful.
I do not trust Chuck at all. We are talking about a man who threw his own father and his best friend under the bus to get what he wanted – Bobby Axelrod to be precise – in Season 2! And we know that Chuck has been out there this season to get Axe again. So I am hoping Axe can monitor Chuck somehow – could it be that Hall is listening to Chuck’s conversations with Prince here?
One can’t help wonder whether the information that surprise Kate and Chuck below points to Axe or Mike Prince.
There are arrests made, choppers landing, and the NY State Attorney and the Manhattan District Attorney waiting…
And then there are Swiss Border Guards! Is it Mike Prince coming out of that plane which some FED-like guys and the guards are welcoming?!?!
And I do not like it at all when we see Wags telling Axe they will come for him next in the official trailer. Ugh. And worse, Axe may not have his best advisor next to him when he needs her.
Wendy has diagnosed Axe in Season 4 Episode 11 Lamster as a man who needs an enemy to exist:
“You need an enemy. Or you think you do. Like without that gravitational pull, you’ll go flying off into nothingness. No edge, no drive, no Axe.”
Based on experience, Wendy knows that the exact time Axe fucks up is when he narrows his whole gaze to retribution. So, yes, Axe may actually be hard-wired for self-destruction. And I find it very sad that even if he destroys what matters to Prince along with Prince himself, he has a comfy bed to go back to but not a family… since he lost that, too, during another stupid war.
Wendy, after many episodes of internal struggles, seems to have found her place in in the company and a new love. Yet, Axe is there to ruin her life just because he believes she has been manipulated. And if he continues to mess with Wendy, Wendy might mess with him right back. And we know that Wendy can get as good as Axe or Chuck at being bad!
We know that Axe cannot stand the fact that Wendy finds Tanner incorruptible. And the viewing party he held for Tanner was only to prove that Tanner was not the man Wendy thought he was. While Tanner told Wendy that he could not stand the bullshit interpretations of his paintings from the viewers, Wendy saw him paying utmost attention to a lady who is providing obviously bullshit interpretations and was disappointed.
I admit that I was convinced after the viewing party that if he is paid well enough, Tanner may even go to Japan and learn to make Japanese style paintings for Axe! 😀 But the official trailer has changed my mind!
Tanner may actually be the man Wendy thinks he is. Look at him tearing down the paintings he was commissioned to make for Axe. He probably wants to show Wendy that it is her what he wants, not Axe’s money. And Wendy’s astonished look speaks volumes, doesn’t it? No man has ever done anything like this for her before (honorable mentions: when Axe cut his vacation short to come back for Wendy’s trial but after all that one is also about Axe Capital’s reputation, isn’t it? and maybe when both Axe and Chuck have opted to go to prison for Wendy but they ultimately threw Dr.Gilbert under the bus and saved their asses :)) And now here is a man putting aside fame and money for her. I am impressed. Tanner is a keeper and I may have to stop rooting for Chuck and Wendy to get back together. And may I just say I cannot stop laughing about Axe and Wags finding the destroyed paintings in the studio!
I do not think that Axe will stop at messing with Wendy’s personal life. It is likely that he will try and hurt her professionally – which could turn out to be the biggest mistake Axe can ever make.
We see Wendy telling Axe to drop the fight against Prince in the official trailer. These two certainly do not see things eye-to-eye when it comes to Mike Prince, and I suspect, as Wendy gets to know Prince better, she may find out that Prince is actually like Axe in the days he was not a hedge-fund king yet. It may be time for Wendy to replace the two men in her life (Chuck and Axe) with two new men (Tanner and Prince).
Mike Prince has proven to Wendy and Taylor that he does not have an ulterior motive as he does business with them. And as he is impressed to see that Taylor is ready to play the long game with him, I am impressed with Prince. I am happy to give him a blank slate and start to believe that maybe it takes a monster like Bobby Axelrod that can make the monster in Mike Prince come out… and otherwise he is not a monster at all.
While Axe does not trust Prince one bit, Taylor does not know whether they can trust anyone. When they say “a wounded and cornered Bobby Axelrod… Few can survive that…”, are they warning someone – Mike Prince? – or are they telling someone that they will do their best to survive Axe? I cannot help wonder if Taylor, Wendy and Prince could join forces to take both Axe and Chuck down at some point, too…
And is Wendy saying “I am here to take you apart” to Taylor or what?!?!?! Gingersnap thinks maybe Wendy is there to practice with Taylor, taking them apart like Axe would, to help prepare them for a take-down. It makes sense to me. I want to believe that because I want Wendy and Taylor to stay as partners. They can do a lot of good together.
Oh, and Showtime has announced Jeanane Garafolo is joining Billions as a guest star. She will play Winslow, the hip owner of a legal cannabis corp. We will see how her story will be integrated to the storyline: Could it be related to the Ayahuesca business from the early episodes of the season? Or could it be related to Wags’ son Georgie who had a legal cannabis business in Colorado at one point but then his business crossed state lines?
Finally, since Billions is a show that incorporates what is going on in the world into its storyline, I am also looking forward to seeing how the writers will make use of the Covid-19 pandemic in the show.
“I’m not going down with that ship God damn it! You hear me? Because there is coronavirus on it. And that shit spreads.”
One quick example in the trailer is Wags having a romantic date in the office probably because restaurants are closed during the pandemic. Is this all for that baby he wants to have and raise right? 🙂