Billions on Showtime, Season 7 Episode 11: Axe Global

In one of the best episodes of the entire series, which I would call “the calm before the storm” Axe, Chuck and Wendy finally set up the game to take down Prince. The key to the episode is the three of them discussing Prince’s strengths and weaknesses in Chuck’s SDNY office where Wendy does her thing:

“We’re facing an ambitious, competent, , confident, charismatic, socially conscious strategic thinker with high emotional intelligence and deep sources. But he’s morally complex, which means he likes to think he’s more ethical than those around him. And he’s not immune from engaging in questionable tactics to achieve his goals. That is a slippery slope and once place he can be hit. And he believes his own infallibility above all else.”

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“From the Trader’s Desk” Don’t Kick the Hornet’s Nest! Billions S7E10 “Enemies List”

They cursed and buried him along with shame
And thought his timeless soul had gone
In empty burning hell, unholy one
But he’s returned to prove them wrong, so wrong
Bark at the Moon – Ozzy Osbourne

 

Hello and welcome to this weekโ€™s From the Traderโ€™s Desk. What an episode this week! Billions sure has been bringing it the last few weeks. And if these last two episodes are any indication, we are in for a wild ride the next two weeks!

I wait for this episode every season โ€“ the one when Axe wears his metal shirt, and an accompanying song plays during the scene. I have a whole post talking about the significance of the shirts and songs and have tried to make predictions for the upcoming season. Sometimes I was right (Black Sabbath in S3, Rainbow in S5) and sometimes, like this season, I was wrong. Slayer was not on my metal bingo card, and I go into why in an updated โ€œBobby Axelrod โ€“ a Man and his Musicโ€. Continue reading ““From the Trader’s Desk” Don’t Kick the Hornet’s Nest! Billions S7E10 “Enemies List””

Billions on Showtime, Season 7 Episode 10: Enemies List

Who would have guessed we would see Chuck Rhoades saying the following words to Bobby Axelrod?

“Thank God, you’re here.”

YES! Axe is back and all the world is right again!

Bookended with two showdowns between the King and the Prince in London and New York, Episode 10 Enemies List gives us a tale of two cities that sees Axe and Chuck work together to free Wendy from Prince’s trap and ultimately get their alliance together with the goal of stopping Prince from being the next POTUS.

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Billions on Showtime, Season 7 Episode 6: The Man in the Olive Drab T-Shirt

In one of the best opening scenes in Billions, Robert and Charles, as they call each other, meet at an airport in Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands) in Iceland and set the tone for the episode. This one is all about respecting your adversary. Grigor Andolov rightly points out that one adversary you should respect is the one who knows about your abilities the most. And the title of the episode is a clear tribute to President Zelensky and the people of Ukraine to whose resilience and determination Russian President Vadimir Putin has had zero respect whatsoever. Continue reading “Billions on Showtime, Season 7 Episode 6: The Man in the Olive Drab T-Shirt”

Billions on Showtime, Season 7 Episode 5: The Gulag Archipelago

The Gulag Archipelago, mentioned by Victor and that titles the episode, is a book written by Alexander Solzhenitsyn. I never read it but I am familiar with the author thanks to my Russian literature loving parents’ home library. Solzhenitsyn wrote to help raise global awareness about the political repression in the USSR. This particular book tells the story of a zek (a Gulag inmate) from his arrest to the show trial to being sent to a Gulag (labor camp in Siberia) to reflect on and learn from “his mistakes” based on interviews, reports,ย  legal documents andย  Solzhenitsyn’s own experience as a zek.ย And as Solzhenitsyn revisits the ways things could have gone in his book, our characters deal with their past mistakes in their unique ways in the episode. Continue reading “Billions on Showtime, Season 7 Episode 5: The Gulag Archipelago”