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, episode five The Gulag Archipelago and episode six The Man in the Olive Drab T-Shirt.
Now let’s dive in. Here are the Billions MVP awards for Season 7, Episode 7, “DMV.”
Royal and Regal Rags – Rian stuns in this velvet/velour violet pantsuit at the Michael Prince Capital Casino Night at Gotham Hall.
Crackin’ and Creative Cameo – Timothy Busfield as Dr. Marc Ruloff, Philip’s former professor at Stanford. Believe it or not before there was a Billions for me, there was a Thirtysomething and I was a complete Thirtysomething junkie. I wanted to be Hope and married to Ken Olin 🙂 Who didn’t? Nice to see Busfield’s face on my screen again, but especially nice to see him give it to Prince because we all know just exactly where Dr. Ruloff wanted to put those “fucking scones”…right up Prince’s ass.
Most Apropos Song for a Scene – ‘Drive’ by R.E.M. Perfect for highlighting Kevin passing his New York driver’s test at the DMV.
Deceptive, Dynamic and Devilish Duo – Wags and Scooter.
So traders want to boycott their performance reviews this year? No problem. These two minions will throw a casino night ruse just to have professional poker player Vanessa Selbst analyze your moves and skills because after all, trading is like gambling. Like Victor indicated – not a team building exercise, but rather, an observation chamber.
Iconic Innuendo – Chuck and his Jaws reference. What better way to put a stop to Patent Sharking than to reel in a Spielbergian. “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!” and that boat’s name is the Department of Defense (DoD). Way to put the kabash on Prince!
Food For Thought: Chuck and Wendy. This right here, folks. This. Left me aching for what once was, and yearning for what it could be.
Perfect Chemistry – Chuck and Wendy
I know that many fans entertained the idea of a romantic relationship between Axe and Wendy but I have always believed in Chuck and Wendy as a true couple. They had the best partnership in the show. And Chuck’s words in this episode attest to WHY I have been holding out for these two to get back together…
Chuck: “In this arena, communication has never been an issue. We each know exactly what the other means no matter what the other says.”
Wendy:”It’s somehow reassuring and horrifying at the same time.”
I find it very reassuring! And adorable. These two belong together. Fingers crossed for more of this in the weeks to come!
Scared Kid Holding A Stuffed Toy – Ben Kim
Ben Kim turns into a little boy, desperately squeezing his stuffed toy, ahem, his original 5K in chips, for comfort when told to enjoy an evening at the casino! I wonder if he is sleeping with a teddy bear at night to reduce his anxiety levels 🙂 But, seriously, I want to see the performance evaluation results for Ben based on Wendy’s analysis of Vanessa Selbst’s raw research combined with insights from Prospect Theory. If his behavior at the casino translates directly into his behavior at the workplace, fire him now! Sorry, Ben 🙂
Most Voldemort-like Move – Mike Prince
Patent sharking seems to be a real menace to technology firms today – just another legal loophole for the rich to squeeze inventors, manufacturers, and whatnot.
Prince is buying rival technology patents, even the ones that are remotely related to Ruloff’s new concrete technology, to get a standing to sue the professor for infringement. And WHY is he doing that? Because this kind of technology is tailor-made for his administration to start nicely! What the actual fuck? And like this is not enough, he also seeks to buy the company that provides the enzyme Ruloff uses to squeeze him even more and force him to sell his life’s work to Prince.
Oh, and I agree with those of you who may say that Bobby Axelrod would do exactly the same. He certainly would, and I would call his move a Voldemort-like move as well. That said, I need to give credit to Axe that he stays in his domain and does not intend to make a presidential run!
Most Unexpected Chip Leader – Peach
I am sure that companies like Axe Cap and MPC choose their administrative staff very carefully but still… who knew Peach would be the chip leader at the Inaugural MPC Casino Night? And since she has zero interest in golf (I am with you, Peach!) she sells her prize to a PM at another hedge fund for $300K and will do whatever she pleases with the money. Go, Peach! And given that she’s been more successful than any other employee, I would not be surprised if we saw her as a new PM in the next episode!
Stellar Scene Stealer – Chuck Senior
Jeffrey DeMunn should be having the time of his life on Billions set. He is such a fantastic actor that he brightens the screen every time he appears in a scene. And he has the best lines! I am still laughing when I remember how Senior explains Kevin why Mr. Quinn did not accept the “tip” he gave him:
“There was a time when Benjamin Franklin was a key to the city. My mistake was not accounting for inflation.”
The Tell Me You Never Play Blackjack, Without Telling Me You Never Play Blackjack Award: This goes to Tuk. Everybody knows you never take the last seat at the Blackjack table. It never fails that some moron who doesn’t know what they are doing will pull a card (and bust) that would have been your card to get to you 20. If I can’t get the first seat at the table, then I’ll take the second, but only if someone I know is at the first.
The “Eyes” Have It Award: Taylor said so much in this episode without saying a word. The looks they give Wendy, Philip, and even Ruloff were speaking volumes. This can only be done because Asia Kate Dillon is amazing.
The Time Machine Award: The writers are really bringing us back to the first few seasons of Billions in some major and minor ways this season. In this episode, they harken back to S2E3 “Optimal Play” when we were first introduced to the poker skills of Taylor at the Alpha Cup Charity Poker Tournament. This time is a full blown Casino Night, and it was just as much fun and telling!
Most Reprehensible Person – Chuck Sr – he is on quite the streak here. First he disparages any and all who practice a faith last week, and this week he pulls the “I am better than you peons because I’m rich” schtick. It’s a good thing he is so much fun otherwise because if he weren’t, I would really hate him. That being said, I never mind when he gets some comeuppance. He always deserves it, but then he always bounces back too. But in truth, he really is just as terrible as Prince or Axe or Chuck or any of the others.
Best Poker Game – Craps – thank you Rian and Dollar Bill! We have a casino near us that a friend and I go to every now and then, play for an hour or so (6’s and 8’s!!) and then get the hell out of dodge before we lose it all. Best ever night was when I took $20 and turned it into $400 – that is not usually how it goes though – I teach Statistics, I know the odds are stacked against me – still, it’s fun.
Least G-Rated Cultural Reference – When Scooter comments on Wags reenacting a Rocco Siffredi scene – let’s just say that the normal rating for a Rocco movie uses a X just after W and just before Y (and yes I had to look up the name, but I figured from context that’s what Scooter was talking). And while it makes perfect sense for Wags to watch Rocco’s work, why in the world would Scooter know that????
Worst Cultural Reference of the Week – goes to the DMV guy dropping a couple NBA stars into his regular, everyday dialogue (Rick Mahorn and Dominique WIlkins). Yeah, that makes total sense that this guy would talk about these two stars from the 80’s. Once again, they have to give everyone one of these lines, and it falls flat. Flatter than Mahorn laid out many an NBA player in his day (see what I did there?)
that being said – Phi Slamma Jamma was the real deal
Best Cultural Reference – Mo Greene – the Godfather. There was a time in the first couple seasons when the writers would regularly quote from one of the greatest movies (and sequels) ever. This was a welcome return.
Most Notable Closing Song – Drive by REM. Drive is off their ‘Automatic For the People” album. Brian Koppelman considers this to be their best album. He is a HUGE REM fan so I respect his opinion, but I also respectfully disagree. Life’s Rich Pageant to me is their best work. One of my favorite moments still occurs at the end of Season 2, Episode 3 “Optimal Play”, when Bobby closes with “well it’s a good thing I’m a rich, fucking man” which then leads right into the opening riff of “Begin The Begin”. Just an incredible moment. It also turns out that that was the episode when Taylor showed their prowess in poker. Coincidence???
Last But Not Least – Chuck and Wendy – I am loving how they are drifting toward each other. Please let them reconnect before all is said and done. Of all the tumultuous relationships in this show, this one worked the most and was the most believable for me. Please!!!