Billions is back and so is our MVP series! We continue to award our Most Valuable Players for Billions season seven in our series compilation, the ‘Billions MVP Fanbook,’ which commemorates all those in honor of achievement for the utmost brazen, uber shameless, ultra scheming, unmatched bad asses from the episode – from sports references, music and tasty food to pop culture remarks, shocking twists and ultimate paybacks. In case you missed it, catch up with the MVPs of the season seven premiere Tower of London, episode two Original Sin and episode three Winston Dick Energy.
Now let’s dive in. Here are the Billions MVP awards for Season 7, Episode 4, “Hurricane Rosie.”
Phew. That was one DIC episode. And by DIC I mean domestic crisis (Wags’s hurricane/insurance debacle), international crisis (Kai Huang Liu’s fugitive flight) and cultural crisis (Scooter conducting). Here are my MVPs.
The Grand Saboteur – Wags. I knew Wags was up to no good when he cornered Al Roker at the gym to quiz him on the process of naming and categorizing hurricanes. But I honestly thought he was going to try and name a hurricane after his fiancé Chelz LOL! You know, like some big jumbotron gesture you see at sporting events.
Wags gets the Grand Saboteur award for managing to bribe the scientist for a specific hurricane classification – grading it down to a category 4 instead of a 5 – in exchange for a sizeable research grant. Wags’s inside scheme would be detrimental for Mike Prince since Prince holds billions of dollars in catastrophic bonds with a major insurance company. The end game being – making Prince look like an insurance fraudster and therefore, thwarting his presidential run.
In the end the hatched plan doesn’t fully work for my little Tasmanian Devil, but that doesn’t stop the MPC cappers from having a little fun tracking the path of the storm and placing bets on the hurricane’s moniker, it’s categorization and whether or not the news reporter can remain upright in the high velocity winds.
Total Sketch Award – Dr. Mayer. From an ethical standpoint, it is totally sketch that Dr. Mayer did a complete 180 and referred all her MCP patients to another mental health professional so she could help Wendy with her “vitally important” mission against Mike Prince. Especially when earlier in the day Dr. Mayer ended her session with Wendy after learning of her true intentions, which would entail destroying those patients as collateral damage. What the fork? Someone with a bigger agenda is moving pieces on the chess board that I can’t see yet. But nothing is logical in Billions at first…until it is.
Assholes Gonna Asshole Award – This award is shared by both Mike Prince and Bradford Luke for crushing Scooter’s dreams of conducting an orchestra. In his past life Scooter gave up his aspirations to be a conductor, but never faltered to fulfill his ambitions. After winning the bid at a symphony charity, Prince arranges for Scooter to guest-conduct the New York Philharmonic with Leonard Bernstein’s baton. Even his nephew Philip is so proud of this moment that he called family and planned to fly all their relatives in to celebrate the occasion. Those wishes were quickly ripped away because – and get this – Bradford thinks Americans are too daft to appreciate classical music and therefore, this moment would make Prince unrelatable to the American voters. Scooter’s only consolation prize was keeping Bernstein’s baton, but he gave it back to Prince for safekeeping. Gutted.
Superior Shade Thrower – Move over NeNe Leakes of the Real Housewives of Atlanta because there’s a new shade thrower in town! Kate Sacker’s snide remarks to Chuck are the perfect read: “Chuck. You used to run a tight enough office that your murder boards were covered when visitors were anywhere in the building.” LOL! I don’t know if the Writers meant to reference Hulu’s Only Murders in the Building series – as Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez’s characters always have a murder board of suspected culprits to work out their theories each season – but either way I loved it!
Sacker goes on to read Chuck by stating the obvious, “Can’t arrest people for having family friends. If you could, your father’s connections would’ve had you locked up before your career even started.” Oh snap!!!
Finest Threads – Another award goes to Kate Sacker. That burnt sienna/cinnamon colored coat with blue-gray knit underneath was pristine and elegant.
Best Movie Reference – There were many, many movie references this episode but my 80’s childhood perked up when John G. mentioned Less Than Zero at Gambler’s Anonymous. Less Than Zero is a powerful portrait of a lost generation battling addiction – to drugs, sex and money – and how the youth culture of that time were effected by elitism and greed. It was one of my all-time favorite movies from that decade, along with Breakfast Club, St. Elmo’s Fire, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, The Lost Boys, Heathers, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Fast Times at Ridgemount High, Footloose, Valley Girl, Flashdance, Vision Quest, Beetlejuice, Back to the Future, Goonies, Ghostbusters, etc.
I do want to give an honorable mention to another 80’s classic movie reference from this episode: Stripes with the late great Harold Ramis. He’s Ziskey to some, but will always be Egon Spengler to me and others. Who ya gonna call?
Most LOL Moment – When Ira, Chuck and Karl stand stoically on the tarmac as Prince’s plane taxis in…hopefully carrying the fugitive Liu…and without a beat Karl shakes his head in doubt and says, “I feel like I’ve seen this movie before.” LMAO! Karl is referring to the fake-out from the season 5 finale when Axe’s plane arrives empty with no passenger to put in handcuffs because Axe had been tipped off to his impending arrest. That scene had definite Roadrunner vs Coyote vibes. But this time, they got their man.
Food for Thought:
This is the third episode that has mentioned or referenced vampires. I can’t help but think of Damian’s upcoming vamp comedy The Radleys.
The “Et Tu Brutus?” Award – Ben Kim
Ben Kim asks his colleagues if they were betting on whether or not people are going to lose their homes. “That’s what we’ve come to?” he asks. I expect him not to join the hurricane bets for fun. I remember that he was one of the few who did not join the celebrations when Heidecker died and Axe Cap made a lot of money in Season 3 Episode 4 Hell of A Ride. But now that Dollar Bill sarcastically responds that they are already there and Ben would better embrace it… Ben just DOES!
Et Tu, Ben Kim?
Ben seems to have a clear conscience betting on a disaster because he will donate a portion of his wins to charity – attesting to the fact that philanthropy is a way to make rich people feel good about themselves. SIGH.
Most Voldemort-like Move(s) – Mike Prince
Wendy is right. Mike Prince is a dangerous man. First we see him quote from Hitler’s “Hammer and Anvil” speech in Episode 1 Tower of London. Then he has made clear to Wendy that politics went downhill when politicians decided they needed to listen to people in Episode 3 Winston Dick Energy. And, now, ladies and gentlemen, he has promised personal favors to a business partner in Taiwan – trade privileges and a pardon for his scamster son in case he ends up in jail within first 100 days of his presidency in Episode 4! What the actual fuck? He cannot get my vote and I hope he does not get yours, either. And I highly recommend him to replace “I am the buck” sign on his desk with this new one 🙂
Tenacious Trawler – Karl
It turns out Karl has been “trawling” Gambler Anonymous meetings for years just waiting for something good to come and… Voila! A John G. talks about a Taiwanese NFT scammer that piques Karl’s interest. A quick Google search shows that the scammer is a Taiwanese tycoon’s son and his dad does business with Mike Prince of all people! So Karl and his samovar are all ears to hear John G’s entire story. And the rest is an international crisis that gives Mike Prince a major headache. No wonder Chuck calls Karl’s work a “Tom Dempsey.” 🙂
Blushing Assassin – Wendy
Think of an assassin who believes the damage she will impose on her victim is justified but is not comfortable about having to hurt many people in the process! And the moment you expect her not to feel good about hurting people she has known and cared about for years, the first person she mentions is someone who she has just met! Moreover, Dr. Mayer notices that she blushes when she talks about him. While I am not 100% sure about Wendy’s feelings for Bradford, I admit I feel some chemistry between them.
Best Movie Reference – Waterworld
Philip’s reference to the most expensive movie made at the time of its release in 1995 brings a big smile to my face. Not because it is a great movie, it is not, but because it brings back sweet memories!
Waterworld is the first movie my then boyfriend now husband Lewisto saw at a movie theatre in the U.S. back in 1995. I still lived in Turkey at the time and I vividly remember our IRC chat where I asked him all about the movie! Because, as long-time readers of this blog know well that there was Kevin Costner way before Damian Lewis! And Lewisto calls him “your ex” to this day. Haha.
I have to note that this is, I believe, the fifth reference to a Kevin Costner movie (the previous ones being Dances with Wolves, Field of Dreams, Tin Cup and The Untouchables multiple times).
The “Best Snack Selection” Award: When Wags is confronted by Taylor and Philip for his role in hurricane-gate, we get a fleeting glimpse of what the Prince Cappers have in the fridge in the snack area. I’m happy to see they are being offered some delish choices, as there is Ithaca hummus and Chobani yogurts – both of which I consume several times a week. The lemon beet flavor of Ithaca hummus is to die for!
The Degenerate Gambler Award: The whole lot of the Prince Cappers get this award! They will bet on anything it seems, but then again isn’t that what they are paid to do? However, betting to see if the weatherman gets a head injury was funny!
The “Trust No One” Award: The way Mayer joined the Stop Prince train is very sus to me. She is willing to get rid of all the other MPC patients to work with Wendy to stop Prince, but why? It’s not like Wendy told her why she thinks Prince is evil, and there is no evidence that Mayer knows Prince. This just doesn’t pass the smell test for me, and I’m surprised it passes it for Wendy.
The Zero Chemistry Award: Wendy has more chemistry with Wags than Bradford Luke. I wish they would stop trying to get Wendy in relationships – the girl can do fine on her own!
Least Believable Scandal Award – Conducting an orchestra? This is supposed to be a scandal? Please. I’m not sure why it’s in there other than as a plot point, but it is totally not believable. Voters are not going to think Prince is all high and mighty for doing this – if Prince could spin keeping a fugitive on his plane, he could spin this easily. I totally did not buy this.
Most Uncomfortable Dressing Down of a Character – Wags, in front of Prince, Scooter, Bradford and Wendy. That was brutal to watch. But also showed what an excellent actor David Costabile is, and Maggie Siff too. What they conveyed with their eyes spoke volumes, and was a s powerful as any words they spoke. A great bit of performance, from both the writers and the actors.
Name the Bands! – When Carl says at the Gambler’s Anonymous meeting that his ears aren’t just for listening to “Old British New Wave” music, my first thought was – what bands are we talking about?? Knowing that Koppleman has similar taste in bands as I do, I was hoping he would drop a few names in there – Squeeze, The Police, Depeche Mode? This is where I could’ve used a cultural reference!
Cultural Reference Wonder – How can Ira not know who Tom Dempsey is? He had the record for longest field goal in NFL history for the longest time – 63 yards – and he did it with half a foot! Given all of the vague references they all seem to know, this one seems highly odd that it wasn’t known.
Best Cultural Reference That Makes Sense and Seemed to Fit – Richard III – Wendy and Dr Mayer’s discussion around this Shakespearean classic makes total sense for the two of them – and it makes me want to go back and watch a production of it (Has Damian Lewis ever performed that role??). This worked – although it is funny that this is the type of reference Bradford means when he disses orchestral music. It is the kind that makes you feel dumber – did they intend to do that?
Cameo of the Week – Al Roker. This one worked – made much more sense than Kareem. Although will we see a fallout with Wags and his girl for so quickly ditching her to talk to him?
A couple thoughts on some relationships – I know we are all not fans of Prince here – his character is reprehensible in so many ways, and I think the writers are trying not so unintentionally to create a parallel between him and Trump – the way he mugs for the camera, the self -absorbed personality, etc – but if there’s one area where I find him redeemable, it is with his relationship with Scooter. That seems very genuine and very pure, especially given all of the impurity – I believe he wants to to do right by his friend, and I wish he could, without it boosting his own position. I enjoy their friendship.
Lastly, the dynamic between Wendy and Wags this season has been nothing short of sensational. So many great scenes – two actors at the top of their craft – they are carrying the show as far as I’m concerned – in terms of character development and delivering the goods. It would be worthy of their work if they at least got an Emmy nomination since this is their last season, but I won’t be holding my breath – the people who vote on such things don’t seem to appreciate the show the way we do.