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, episode three Winston Dick Energy, episode four Hurricane Rosie and episode five The Gulag Archipelago.
Now let’s dive in. Here are the Billions MVP awards for Season 7, Episode 6, “The Man in the Olive Drab T-Shirt.”
Most Apropos Song for a Scene – PJ Harvey’s ‘Rid of Me’ plays when Axe and Chuck meet on the tarmac in Vestmannaeyjar, Iceland under the cover of darkness. The song plays again when Chuck calls Axe on the phone at the end of the episode. And just when Chuck thought he was rid of Axe…
Tie yourself to me
No one else, no
You’re not rid of me, mmm
You’re not rid of me
Surprise Cameo (sort of) – Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is the ‘Man in the Olive Drab T-Shirt!’ In his cameo Zelenskyy is speaking to Axe, Grigor and four other oligarchs via video phone conferencing, thanking them for the weapons they brokered for the Ukrainian military defense. It appears Billions edited existing footage of him into the episode, which makes me wonder if Showtime/Paramount still had to request approval for that and if so, who did they call? “Oh hi President Zelenskyy, this is Brian Koppelman of Billions. Could we obtain approval to splice you into footage with Bobby Axelrod?”
Clever Kumquat Comeback Award – Axe to Grigor: “Oh did I forget to send you a fucking fruit basket?” Charlie Crews would be so proud.
Best Line – Ira. When Chuck announced he would do a favor for Bobby Axelrod, Ira retorts with, “Those words just tumbled out of your mouth like a meth addict’s teeth. And just as fucked up.”
Supreme Sleaze Ball Swerdlow Sayings in a Scene – Monogramed Adidas tracksuit man is back! Another one of my wishful thinking character re-appearances I wrote about here. Rick Hoffman plays Swerdlow with the perfect amount of 1970’s creepy uncle vibes. IMO the funniest scene in the entire episode was the exchange between Chuck, Charles, Swerdlow and Ira discussing Bunky’s seminal fluid in Chuck’s office.
The doc explains to Chuck how women (younger trophy third and fourth wives is implied) are getting pregnant after their husbands’ death without pre-frozen sperm or eggs. “Post-mortem jizz retrieval, you dig? Well, you get the stiff on the table even though he ain’t so stiff no more. Get my drift? And then you drain those berries. And you do it soon enough, you end up with viable swimmers. Jizz. Stuff of life.”
These third and fourth wives leave nothing for the previous first families when it comes to inheritance. He goes on to state, “No respect for the starter wives in our culture, chicks who break the seal. In Thailand, even the minor wives get one hell of a birthday bunfight.”
And it doesn’t end there. When Swerdlow lets the cat out of the bag that he has been supplying erectile dysfunction pills to Ira, Chuck is dismayed. The Doc explains that the sublingual supreme Viagra-like lozenges hit the bloodstream instantly: “Like a ball-peen fucking hammer. Turns any man into a world-class sheet athlete.” HAHAHAHAHA Sheet Athlete!
And the gifts keep on giving with Doc Swerdlow:
— BILLIONS (@SHO_Billions) September 17, 2023
Terrific Title – I award this to Chuck who dubbed Charles Senior “The guardian of the product of [Bunky’s] vas deferens.” LMAO
Emily Post Etiquette Award – I hereby present this medal to Charles Senior who is aghast at Chuck’s breakfast table manners. He demands, “Continental style in this house, left hand, tines downward. This look like Ruby fucking Tuesday to you!?!?”
Food For Thought:
- Love when Axe and Chuck banter different names at each other. On the tarmac Chuck says, “I’ll need a name, Robert.” We know Bobby, we know Axe; but Robert on the other hand is Chuck’s formal way of chastising. Like when you were a kid and you knew you were in trouble when one of your parents yelled your first, middle and last name at you from another room. But this isn’t the first time Chuck has called Axe out of his name. Back in season 1, episode 12 The Conversation, Chuck pronounces, “Because you’re a criminal…BOB!!”
- My smug little man Krakow is back! Love that character. Don’t give him wings, don’t want him flying out some window!!!
- Another cinematography honorable mention: From afar the camera pans over a dark Manhattan lit up by its city lights, with a visible Statue of Liberty aglow, her island surrounded by the waters of Upper New York Bay. Then the camera lens tightens in on the Statue of Liberty sculpture from a window view in a room in which Prince will deliver his speech.
Champion of Table Manners – Chuck Senior
Chuck Senior always has the best lines. And he makes me laugh hard when he scolds Chuck about not using the proper table etiquette at HIS table! Look at the pic below. Chuck is using the fork with his right hand which is no-no for Senior 🙂
“Continental style in this house, left hand, tines downward. This look like Ruby fucking Tuesday to you!?!?”
I am still laughing 🙂
First Rate Hypocrite – Dollar Bill
Bill before the MPC employee survey:
“I’m calling bullshit on this whole exercise, and I sure as fuck won’t suck up.”
Bill at the MPC employee survey:
“Mike, you’re like a combination of Benjamin Graham and fucking Hal from Space Odyssey. Everywhere all at once… Processing, prodding me to make better trades.”
Needy Narcissist – Mike Prince
Prince is such a narcissist that he genuinely believes everyone loves him, and in case they do not, they certainly will when they get to know him. And that narcissism makes him believe that the employee survey they run with Prince sitting in the room is reliable! Just to make a comparison, if this was Axe, he would certainly tell his employees his cholesterol is high enough and they should stop buttering up his ass – like he did in Season 1 Episode 1: The Pilot.
And when the survey results are completely different under anonymity, Prince turns into a whiny dictator:
“This is insubordination.”
Formidable Wake-Up Alarm – Andy
Andy shows up and wakes up Prince, who is still talking about how much he was loved by his team members at Indiana A&M, from his sweet dreams and puts him back together with her strong words.
“If we’re really taking inventory, some of them hated your guts. Until you led them to some wins… Then they loved you. Team was all about you. Always. You always had the ball, made your shots or dished it. They had to learn that path to glory ran through you.”
Self-Declared Deity – Chuck Senior
I do not know how many people I have diagnosed with God complex so far in this show, but Chuck Senior is the most recent one! The one-off little story about Senior being terrified that he may not have full control over his legacy because his little daughter is praying to God – an alternative to the self-declared deity that lives in the same apartment with her – makes me feel for Chuck. The man has turned out to be quite alright despite the childhood trauma(s) he had thanks to his spooky dad. Anybody remembers the “pancake eater” story? YIKES!
Best Duo – Bobby and Chuck – this has always been the best part of this show. Any scene that involved these two acting titans was and is must-see-tv. Talk about Combatants Code – these two bring out the best in each other, both in character and on screen. I hope there are a few more scenes with these two before all is said and done.
Cameo of the Week – The Game – Triple H – Hunter Hearst Helmsley -Paul Levesque – one of the greatest wrestlers in WWE history. It is well known that Koppleman is a huge pro wrestling fan, so this cameo makes sense in that regard. Why HHH would pal around with Chuck makes absolutely no sense at all – like the Kareem cameo, but I am a huge fan of HHH so we will let this one slide.
His role in working the “heel turn” for Grigor was well played. That was another nice return with Grigor there – he above all other characters creeped the hell out of me. Malkovich is a brilliant actor.
Chuck Sr May Have Delivered the Line But We Know Who Wrote Them – Chuck is all anti-religion huh? And quite vociferously at that. That seems a bit over the top. I wouldn’t be surprised if we looked back at some Chuck Sr scenes in the first six seasons and found him proclaiming to some deity along the way. But this fits their M.O. The writers are obviously not fans of the Christian right and so this is their way of mocking them. Weak sauce. There is plenty to critique in organized religion, but this is not the way to make a convincing statement. (Full disclosure, I am a cradle Catholic).
Best Returning Character (after Swedlow and Grigor) – Troy!! Always loved her. She just exudes control, and it is fun watching Chuck squirm and try and maintain control around her when you know he doesn’t want to. Jane Boon did a great writeup of that whole element to the Billions world in this post from a few years ago.
Best Line Related to That – Chuck Sr to Chuck commenting on how he “got some sense whipped into” him. If only!!
Stand By Your Man Award – Andy giving Prince the tough love/pep talk that he needed to hear. It reminded me of the kind of harsh talk Lara used to give Bobby in season 1. Both women were protecting their livelihood and their turf just as much as they were protecting their man, but it worked very well. They come across as women not to be messed with. This is the first time we see a really tough side to Andy. The look she gives Wendy at the presser is just brutal.
Best Line of the Night – Grigor to Axe – “What makes you think it is just a threat?” Chills.