Billions has sadly come to an end and so has our MVP series! Here are the final season seven Most Valuable Players for Billions to complete our series compilation, the ‘Billions MVP Fanbook.’ For one last time we commemorate 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 our 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, episode nine Game Theory Optimal, episode ten Enemies List and episode eleven Axe Global.
As you probably guessed there was a lot to unpack in the series finale, and the amount of awards bestowed reflects that. Now let’s dive in one last time. Here are the Billions MVP awards for Season 7, Episode 12, series finale “Admirals Fund.”
Honoring Our Fathers Award – I don’t know whether to bequeath this to Charles Koppelman in memoriam, Brian Koppelman the writer/showrunner, Jeffrey DeMunn and Paul Giamatti the actors, Charles Sr. the character, or all of the above. It is not lost on me that the scene between Chuck Rhoades (Giamatti) and his father Charles Sr. (DeMunn) could be a nod/final send off – a hug to and from the beyond, so to speak – from Brian Koppelman to his father Charles Koppelman whom he lost in November, 2022. In his quavering voice Charles Rhoades, Sr. tells his son Chuck Rhoades, Jr., “You did great. You marshaled all resources. You partnered with a man you’d tangled with for over a decade…that’s the kind of thing that gives me comfort for after I’m gone. The point is, I now know that you’ll be fine. You’ve learned all the lessons that I had to teach and then some.” Ugh. Insert tears and gut punch here.
To draw some comparisons, the character Charles Rhoades Sr. is an old school, blue-blood businessman who lives on the wealthiest stretch of Fifth Avenue in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Senior is of the upper echelon, high-born conviction with a not so subtle Bob Barker mischievous grin. He is the epitome of the WASP elite that dominated much of politics, the economy and high culture back in the day. He went to Yale and was a Whiffenpoof, and is high on the social ladder. He’s a member of the Yale Club of New York and stores his cigars in humidors at Nat Sherman Tobacco Lounge.
Brian’s father Charles Koppelman was born in New York. He was a music executive, held business executive positions at EMI and Steve Madden, and was Chairman of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. He was the former Director of A&R at CBS Records where he signed musicians the likes of Billy Joel and the band Journey, as well as played an integral role in the reunion of singer Frank Sinatra with Capitol Records while at EMI. I’d imagine he had an astute perspective you’d expect from an Elder.
Little known fact, Brian’s father Charles appeared in Billions season 3, episode 1 ‘Tie Goes to the Runner.’ Specifically the scene where top hedge-fund managers attend the Ideas Dinner at Del Posto.
The Everlasting Gobstopper Badge – Chuck Rhoades. He lightly threatens his office employees not to reveal their investigation into natural gas price fixing and collusion. Just like Willy Wonka warned the children with golden tickets not to share the Gobstopper or it’s secret recipe to Slugworth. Turns out Slugworth was Charles Sr, by design 🙂
Breaking the Fourth Wall Kudos – Wags when he seemingly sent a good-bye message to us, the viewers, but said it to Prince: “Hey man, endings are tough. Someone always ends up unsatisfied.” This one, however, wasn’t tough; this viewer is satisfied.” I’d almost bet a billion dollars the writers and showrunners were telling us fans and Billions‘ Obsessives good-bye through Wags.
Terrific Tune – Take the Money and Run by Steve Miller Band.
Game of Thrones Bestowal – Karl. He announces Kate into Chuck’s office like royalty by rattling off her titles, then bows his head to her, “Presenting Kate Sacker, formerly of the Southern District. Formerly of the Attorney General’s office. Presently General Counsel of Michael Prince Capital.” Not unlike when Khaleesi arrived in any scene on Game of Thrones “Daenerys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.”
Revenge Best Served Cold as Fuck Trophy – Axe. After Prince’s meeting with the President at Camp David, Axe calls him to gloat, “I’m glad you got your audience, ’cause that’s the closest you’ll get to that office. Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life.”
Silly Rabbit, Trix Are For Kids Prize – Prince and Scooter. Obviously lessons were not learned from Killer Mike’s private listening party that handing over their mobile phones to military police at Camp David probably means bad news and shenanigans! Silly Rabbit, Trix are for kids!
The Heinz Ketchup Walk of Shame Honor – Prince for throwing a printer through the glass walls of Wendy’s office after learning she and The Avengers have wiped out the company portfolio, locked him out of his company account and sealed the fate of his presidential run. Not unlike former President Donald Trump’s 2020 temper tantrum after then-Attorney General William Barr gave an interview to The Associated Press saying there was no widespread voter fraud. Trump was so enraged he (allegedly) threw his plate of food at the wall, smearing it with ketchup. This is how grown men act when they don’t get their way. Prince then declares, “I’m still a viable candidate!” at Governor Nancy Dunlop, the same magical thinking Trump still claims today. As Prince leaves MPC HQ he offers a dire warning about America, “This country’s built on second acts. And when you see mine, you’d better duck and fuckin’ cover.” Yea, heard that before.
The Next Supergroup Band Name – Robby and Carlos. Can’t wait to see them play Madison Square Garden 😉
Miami Vices – Wags. Miami-Dade county may have just gained another registered voter in the Sunshine State! Wags tells Axe he will help him get Axe Global cranking in New York, but then divulges he may head to Miami where all the other “rich fucks” are. Axe offers to take a trip with him. Who is Tubbs and who is Crockett? I have no doubt this is the set up for the Showtime spin-off already in the works titled Billions: Miami. And I’m uber pumped that David Costabile may ride the Billions franchise wave because we love our Uncle Wagsy! And just think, he could attend Little League games again since that ban probably only applies to New York.
For those that don’t know, there are four spin-offs in the works:
- Millions focuses on a younger generation of financial moguls trying to make their way in Manhattan
- Trillions examines the absolute richest people on Earth
- Billions: London takes the franchise international by hopping across the pond
- Billions: Miami is set in the world of private aviation, where the clientele believe the rules of society, government and gravity don’t apply to them, amidst the wealth, nightlife, contraband and the cryptocurrency that pulses through that city (I’m intrigued if we will also see Gordie, Axe’s son, in Miami with Wagsy since Gordie trades crypto)
The Sopranos Finale Kindred Award – This award goes to the Billions writers and showrunners for the final scene where Wendy, Chuck and their children enjoy a meal together, along with hibachi chef Bryan Connerty. Fade to black. This gave me all the feels of the The Sopranos final scene of the series where Tony, Carmela and their children enjoy onion rings together at the New Jersey diner. Albeit, no mafia hits.
Operation Restoration Medal – This award goes to the Billions writers and showrunners as well, for hitting the reset button and taking it back to the good ole days, back to where it all began and complete with Easter eggs for us die-hard fans! All is right in the world of Billions.
Some full circle moments include:
- Axe is back at his hedge fund with all his Axe Cappers, sans Wendy and Taylor
- Axe wears a Metallica 1981 t-shirt in the finale, similar to the Metallica Master of Puppets t-shirt he wore in season 1, episode 2 ‘Naming Rights’
- Axe stood on a desk to mobilize his troops in the finale just like he did in season 1, episode 6 ‘The Deal’
- Axe said “Worth it!” in the finale just like he did in season 1, episode 7 ‘The Punch’
- Axe helps mastermind Prince’s Camp David off-the-grid trip in order to destroy MPC, just like he did to Rebecca Cantu in season 4, episode 12 ‘Extreme Sandbox’ when he destroyed her Saler’s business
- Axe’s chef, Chef Ryan, is back and making cardamom buns for everyone
- The song Homecoming by Josh Ritter was part of the finale soundtrack just like it was in season 2, episode 12 ‘Ball in Hand’
- Chuck and Kate are back at SDNY
- Bryan Connerty is able to practice law again, should he choose to do so
- Taylor Mason Capital is now The Taylor Mason Foundation with a familiar TM logo
- Wendy and Chuck walked away together in the finale and had dinner with their children, which had all the feels of a possible reconciliation
- Wags yelled “COFFEE!” in the finale just like he did in season 2, episode 5 ‘Currency’
- Wags summoned the troops with his 2 fingers in the finale just like he did in season 3, episode 8 ‘All the Wilburys’
- The Admirals Fund seems similar to the Flagship Fund from season 4, episode 9 ‘American Champion,’ which was for Axe Capital elite employees, the best of the best. “First rule of Flagship is you don’t talk about Flagship.” – Dollar Bill to Bonnie
- Neil Burger directed the pilot just like he directed the series finale
My only complaint? I wanted to see Lara Axelrod, Rebecca Cantu and Rudy, Rudy, Rudy! There you have it, my final MVPs. Is this where we all start singing Auld Lang Syne in unison?
Most Balancing Act – Wendy
Wendy knows that she was the reason why Chuck started to chase Axe seven years ago. Now that both men are back to where they started, she does not want history to repeat itself. She wants to keep her relationship with both Chuck and Axe. So having seen Chuck’s “bloodhounds can’t stop blood hounding” moment in the rebels meeting, Wendy does the most balancing act and leaves Axe Global. I do not think leaving the company she helped build and grow is a trivial decision for her. But I think it is much better for such a bright, strong and independent woman like Wendy to follow her own path and help a lot of people at Mental.
Biggest Fall – Mike Prince
The difference between Prince’s facial expression before arriving at Camp David and as he is leaving Camp David says it all. The man has gone from living the dream to living the nightmare in a few seconds with a phone call he has taken very lightly. And he transitioned from “G-D damn to “Goddamn”in an instant!
Prince lost nearly all of his money along with his presidential hopes in the hour and a half that he was off the grid to see the president. He should seriously call and thank Killer Mike because he is still richer than most people in America thanks to the deposits he made to black-owned banks.
Proudest Papa – Chuck Senior
Have we ever seen Senior praising Chuck the way he has done in the series finale? The man, who recently said that he would not trust Chuck’s team even with taking down his Christmas ornaments, is now saying that he is proud of his son who was able to set aside the fight he had with Axe for almost a decade to fight a bigger threat and making the two heaviest letters in the alphabet feel right for Chuck!
Brilliant Déjà vu – Axe
Axe wearing a Metallica t-shirt like he did in Season 1 Episode 2 Naming Rights, saying “Worth it!” exactly like he did in Season 1 Episode 7 The Punch, jumping on the desk to lecture his troops at Axe Global like he did at the original Axe Capital HQ in Season 1 Episode 6 The Deal, Josh Ritter’s Homecoming playing as Axe is a free man again taking back his CEO seat like it played in Season 2 Finale Ball in Hand when Axe made bail and came back home to his broken marriage, and Axe hugging Wendy to say goodbye at the end of Series Finale like he did in Season 2 Finale Ball in Hand when he was getting arrested at the 9/11 Memorial are all Easter Eggs that the writers have put in there for die-hard Billions fans and I am here for them!
Dangerous Dozen – The Revolutionaries
These men and women have actively participated in the successful revolution against Mike Prince, beating him at his own game, collectively impoverishing him and finishing his presidential campaign. I do not think anyone in their right mind wants to mess with any of them.
Best Guest on a Two-Guitar Band – Axe
Axe who already said in Episode 11 Axe Global that he liked Chuck’s plan but did not love it, sort of rebels against Chuck in the season finale. He feels like the whole plan is Chuck’s guitar solo and he would want to introduce his own overdub This music exchange, coupled with Wags’ compliment about a supergroup, refers to Blind Faith but…
…I would also take it as an Easter Egg about Damian playing the guitar with his fabulous band for over a year now! I have been to a number of gigs, and here is a video of him with a cover of J.J. Cale’s After Midnight which Eric Clapton made famous! ENJOY!
The Ship – Chuck and Wendy
No other words needed. These two belong together.
The Great Nephew Award – I think Scooter will certainly make sure that Philip gets an extra piece of pie at the next holiday get together! Philip making sure Scooter’s account was out of the fray and kept whole shows that sometimes blood is truly thicker than water.
The Best Seat in the House Award – Axe, Taylor, Wags and the rest of the employees of MPC (soon to be of Axe Global) got the best seats in the house to watch Prince have his melt-down!
The King of Delusion Award – Even when he realizes the whole world is against him, Prince still thinks his mission was “righteous” ! There are levels of delusion, then there are Mike Prince levels of delusion!
The Benevolent King Award – Even though Victor and Dollar Bill wouldn’t join Axe Global, Axe still makes sure they are in the Admirals Fund and are very wealthy men! Axe takes care of his people – that is why they would follow him into the gates of hell.
He Is a Wilbury Award – Well Spyros, you finally made it! You were in the Admirals Fund so I guess you are a Wilbury!
Decorator of the Year Award – As soon as Axe is back behind the desk, he immediately needs some redecorating done – like getting rid of all the green in the office. Hey Axe, can you send me that Larry Bird signed basketball you’re getting rid of? I’m sure you can tell Prince it got lost in the mail!
Most Poignant Wendy-Chuck Connection? – The very first “Previously on Billions” intro was spoken by Maggie Siff in season 1, episode 2 (they obviously wouldn’t need it for the pilot). For the final episode, it was spoken by Paul Giamatti. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that was done purposefully.
Welcome Back Award – Chef Ryan, along with Hall and Orrin Bach – atriumvirate of Axe loyalists. He’s getting the whole band back together!
Time Travel Award – To Spyros, who apparently went from Manhattan to Camp David to confront the Marines and try and warn Prince and then got back to Manhattan all in the course of an afternoon. It’s 240 miles one way – even if he had Prince’s helo he couldn’t have done that in time.
Best Film Homage – I know our fearless leader Bahar likens the plot of this season to Murder on the Orient Express since Wendy references that film early in the season, but I wonder if it might also relate to other, “gather the troops to thwart a common foe” film like The Sting or Oceans 11. I could definitely see Koppelman being a fan of, and inspired by, The Sting. I half expected to see Chuck and Bobby do a little nose swipe at the end.
Biggest Opportunist – Bradford – Can there be any question. He jumped ship faster than an Indiana fastbreak. Can’t say I blame him, but damn that was cold.
Best Sci-Fi Reference – Taylor with the mind-meld comment to Bobby. You would figure they would be a trekkie. I assume Taylor is Spock in this case and Bobby is James Tiberius Kirk.
Best Ass-Kisser – Was there ever any doubt it was Wags? He brings ass-kissing to a whole new level. Chuck’s comment was spot on – and expertly delivered.
Best Song – Blind Faith’s “Can’t Find My Way Home” – as soon as they mentioned Clapton and Winwood I knew they were going to use this song. It is their best song, and the lines surrounding this intro and playing of the song captured the tenor and life of the band perfectly. I defer to my heavy-metal partners on all things harder, but when it comes to classic rock, this is my domain. And this song is one of the best, and a great addition to the already-incredible Billions playlist.