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, episode six The Man in the Olive Drab T-Shirt, episode seven DMV, episode eight The Owl, and episode nine Game Theory Optimal.
Now let’s dive in. Here are the Billions MVP awards for Season 7, Episode 10, “Enemies List.”
Oh my gosh, you guys! This episode was the best episode of Billions season seven, and dare I say, one of the best episodes of the entire series. I’m biased though, because we got more Damian on our screen. But still, after all the build-up of chess moves leading up to squaring off, this episode was so dynamic and what we’ve all been waiting for! If you think I’ve awarded too many MVPs, just remember how phenomenal the episode was, plus the fact I held back some. It wasn’t easy.
Preet Bharara vs Donald Trump Vibes – Chuck and Prince. Chuck pretends to handle the Kai Huang Liu situation for Prince by releasing the NFT scammer to the Taiwanese authorities as a gesture of good faith in hopes Prince won’t fire him upon his 1600 Pennsylvania Ave residency. That way Prince won’t have to look duplicitous in pardoning the son of his business associate while President of the United States. This mirrors the notion of Bharara’s SDNY ousting after refusing to submit his resignation as part of the 2017 dismissal of U.S. attorneys when Trump was president. Chuck is being proactive.
Axelrod Defined – Wags sums it up perfectly. Instincts of a truffle hound + next level poker player + a cold-hearted but steady-handed sniper. Yep, that’s our Bobby Axelrod.
‘He Came to Slay’ Trophy – Axe showing up at Prince’s campaign gala wearing his Slayer heavy metal t-shirt with Andy’s lover Derek as his plus+one is chef’s kiss and the only way to slay your opponent.
Axe announces, “Any idea where I can scalp a pair of tickets to this thing?” Saying “scalp” in this scene is so fitting for two reasons: 1) Axe is wearing a concert tee and we all know the issue of scalping concert tickets (am I right all you Swifties?) and 2) Axe is there to scalp Prince’s bald head, he just doesn’t know it…yet.
— BILLIONS (@SHO_Billions) October 17, 2023
Axe and Chuck worked a prison swap behind the scenes together. Apparently Kai Huang Liu’s plane to Taiwan was diverted to Macau near China where he was traded for Derek. Axe then grinds the salt in the wound by telling Prince, “You know, he got here so last minute, he hasn’t had a chance to catch up with Andy. Yet.”
And Derek is happy to tell Anderson Cooper or Rachel Maddow about his tryst with Prince’s wife Andy and all about their open marriage should Wendy become cannon fodder. Surprise, Prince!!!
Then Axe delivers Prince a cutthroat diatribe ending with a couple of doozy zingers, “It’ll be the end for you. Forget about Andy’s embarrassment. The entire country will think of you as a man who couldn’t satisfy his own wife. They won’t care about arrangements or you getting yours. They’ll just know that she was bivouacking with the Mountain Man instead of shacking up with you. And you have to know there is nobody in this country who’s gonna vote for President Cuck. You see, this is the problem with squaring away your enemies list. You wake up all your enemies in the process. Smelling salts in all our fucking faces.”
Best Acting With One Look – Damian Lewis. When Derek starts describing Andy’s freckle on her ass and the way she exhales when she orgasms, the side eye is brilliant. A real testament to Damian’s stage acting in theatre.
When the Protégé Counsels the Mentor Award – Taylor. Taylor reminds Axe that even Icahn, Buffet and Ackman could strategize the needed moves, then Taylor brought it back full circle to season 2, episode 3 ‘Optimal Play‘ by re-quoting back to Axe his own advice, “A bad motherfucker once told me ‘Hate is nature’s most perfect energy source. Endlessly renewable.’ Lean into that feeling. Because what this is going to take is one hate-fueled bad motherfucker.”
Best Movie Reference – Victor and Wags. Victor surmises The Terrible Trio – Prince, Scooter and Kate – have screwed over Wags and sent him up the Cahulawassee River without a paddle regarding his new demotion (aka fucked him in the ass). Victor says to Wags, “They put a belt around your neck and told you to squeal like a pig for them, didn’t they?” Wags retorts, “I’ve got a real pretty mouth.” Straight from Deliverance:
Most Unappetizing Host – Senior. Chuck tells his father that his hors d’oeuvres of rolled up bologna and cheese logs staggered between gherkins are less than ideal, “Frilly toothpicks do not a canapé make.” I’ll say! This “starfish” on a plate is worse than the 1970’s Jello® molds.
Supreme Seniorisms in One Scene –
When referring to his absentee house staff, “He made me send home the domestics for privacy.”
When sitting in as an unappointed moderator at the ‘Take Down Prince’ assembly meeting, “The only object lesson that I see is that this D-team, this poor man’s McEnroe/Fleming, couldn’t take down a Christmas ornament.”
The pride Senior felt seeing his sonny-boy play good host by ordering food for the their conclave, “You think you’ve one-upped me, but I smile like Jim Nabors because it’s the only proof I need that I did one thing right in regards to your rearing.”
Thanos The Mad Titan – Prince. He threatens Axe “If you try anything, it won’t be you who suffers, it’ll be Wendy Rhoades. I have her tied to the railroad tracks and I own the whole damn Transcontinental.” Yeah, not so fast Thanos.
Food for Thought:
- Hey Kate, the 1950’s called and want their Mop & Glo reference back!
- Amanda’s Slap Leather comment to Kate took me back to the 1881 O.K. Corral from last week’s MVPs with this gunslinging from the holsters reference … walk 10 paces, then draw!
- Victor Mateo appreciation post for reminding Rian she is worth her weight in the best way he knows how via his dead, cold emotionless delivery: “You’re not one of the weaker animals. Never have been. You just walk like you are when you pass by a mirror, so you don’t have to see how strong you really are.” Awwwwwwww
- Based on the mid-season trailer, me thinkx we might see Axe in a total of three metal t-shirts for the final season. Slayer in episode 10. Guns N’ Roses and Metallica in the remaining two episodes.
Most Enthusiastic Welcome – Chuck
Who would have ever thought that Chuck would welcome Axe, the very man he made leave the country, back to the United State with the following words? Obviously Chuck himself wouldn’t 🙂
“Never thought I’d say it, never thought I’d think it, but thank God you’re here.”
YES! Axe is back and all the world is right again!
Ultimate Threat – Axe
“And you have to know, there’s nobody in this country who’s gonna vote for President Cuck.”
People vote for candidates who evade taxes, who discriminate against gender and race, who want to restrict democratic freedoms, but they will never vote for President Cuck. Sad but universally true. Hats off to Axe: this is the ultimate threat to stop Prince from messing with Wendy ever again.
Perfect Job Ad – Wags
Wags’ description of the person the alliance needs for their operation against Prince to be successful would make the perfect job ad!
“Need the instincts of a truffle hound mixed with a Daniel Negreanu-like ability to think 9 moves ahead, mixed with the cold and steady hand of a sniper a la Barry Pepper in (Saving Private) Ryan. The full package.”
It is perfect because there is only one person that fits the description!
Life of the Party – Chuck Senior
“Now, where are we at, boys?”
Chuck Senior, infinitely curious about what Chuck and Wags are plotting, playing the perfect host, complete with the horrible “hors d’oeuvres” tray from the doorman’s lunchbox, is PRICELESS.
Best Analogy – Wendy
Wendy convinces Axe to come back and join them to take down Prince with an analogy from Lawrence Kasdan’s Silverado, a movie with a great cast and a young Kevin Costner, too 🙂
Suppose Wendy is Stella (Linda Hunt) and Axe is Paden (Kevin Kline) at Midnight Star Saloon. Sheriff Cobb (Brian Dennehy) is threatening to kill Stella. So Wendy says to Axe what Stella says to Paden in the movie:
“He’s using me to stop you.”
Cobb’s threatening Stella does not mean Paden cannot kill him first. And, that is, ladies and gentlemen, enough for Axe to have his Gulfstream jet ready!
Unlikely Bookworm – Wags
Well, who would have thought Wags and Chuck would bond over a book – Trevanian’s Shibumi to be precise, that Wags loved when he read it when he was 14? Yeah Chuck is more interested in Diamond’s punctuality and Wags is more into Tanaka sisters, but so what? They may start a book club once they take down Prince.
The Fourth Times a Charm Award – This award goes to U2. This is the fourth time a song from the Irish rockers has been used in a Billions episode: “With Or Without You” S2E10 in an episode with the same name, “New Years Day” to open what else but episode 10 of season 4 also named “New Year’s Day”, “Vertigo” to open S5E3 “The Chris Rock Test”, and this week “Beautiful Day” when it turned exactly the opposite for Prince. The writer’s sure do love U2, and really, who doesn’t?
Best Dressed: This has to go to Bobby Axelrod. His standard uniform for going into battle is always a metal shirt. I’ve wrote about it here. This episode we even get the metalhead mandatory leather motorcycle jacket to go along with a classic Slayer t-shirt boot! (Useless trivia – I still have my MC jacket from high school, and it still fits!)
The I See Dead People Award: The look on Prince’s face when he sees Axe at Lincoln Center was as if he saw a ghost! Not a ghost, Mr. Prince, just the Angel of Death!
The Fast Friends Award: Somewhere out in one of the many multiverses, Michael Wagner and Charles Rhoades Sr. are best friends and share an apartment like Oscar and Felix. That is a show I would watch!
The Dr. Spock Award: I have likened Taylor to Mr. Spock, the logical Vulcan several times “From the Trader’s Desk”, but this week they get the Dr. Spock award for helping Axe with Gordie. I’m sure Taylor will combine the two Spocks and give Gordie very good logical advice.
The So-Close to Being There Award – Goes to me. I was supposed to be in that scene outside Lincoln Center. They had put out a general casting call for extras and I had applied and been accepted to be in it. I was all set to go to New York and Lincoln Center. I was going to be in a scene with Damian Lewis and Corey Stoll! This was going to be SO FRICKIN’ AWESOME! And then the day before I was supposed to go up to NYC I got this email
DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN!
The Movie References Award – They pulled out all the stops on this one! Reservoir Dogs, A Few Good Men, Silverado, Saving Private Ryan, Full Metal Jacket – each and every one of them a great film, and they all worked in context for this episode. Nicely done!
Lost Souls Award (tie) – Sacker and Philip. Sacker is just plain flat-out obnoxious to Wendy and Wags, and Philip looks like a corporate zombie when talking to the traders (especially Rian and Tuk). Can either one of them save their soul in these last two episodes? How can Sacker think any of this is ok knowing how Prince has bent and broken the law this season? How can Philip stand to do Prince’s bidding knowing what Prince did to his mentor? One of them has to show some kind of backbone here, don’t they? That would be awful if they stayed this particular course.
Dubious Sports Teammates Award – McEnroe/Fleming – from Chuck Sr to his son and Wags. McEnroe was an all-time great. Fleming was not. Together they were not so great. Chuck Sr calling them both Flemings is a brutal association, and perfectly in line with Senior. Is this the first scene with Chuck Sr and Wags sharing screen time? If so then it is long overdue. Wags could easily have been Senior’s bastard child, their depravities are so similar.
Acting With the Eyes Award – This is a talent that the Billions cast does in spades. Watch the moment when Wendy realizes why Bobby hasn’t acted, that he is doing it to protect her. She doesn’t say a word, but the story she tells with her eyes and the patience she shows in letting that story develop with her eyes is the stuff of acting brilliance. Not easily done and not appreciated enough.
LOL Award – Prince asking for loyalty from his traders. Didn’t he try to (and is continuing to try to) spy on his own workers. Why exactly would they show fealty to him? Is he that delusional? Don’t answer that.
Best Musical Reference – In The Air Tonight – Phil Collins – why is it that when someone references this song, the only thing they talk about is that drum fill? I wonder if Phil is perturbed by that, that this really good song of his is basically only known for a 10-second drum fill?
The Clever Referencing Award – Calling out Presidents by their number rather than name – 37 (Nixon), 40 (Reagan), 45 (Trump) – should I be surprised that they are all Republicans? No, I am not.
I’m Sorry But He Doesn’t Belong Award – Tuk. I know he’s a really sweet guy, but does anyone believe that he would be employed by a mercenaries group of traders and dealers the likes of which Prince would hire? I don’t. He doesn’t fit – never really did. Rudy fit better than Tuk did. Sorry – just calling it like I see it.