Monday, October 04, 2021

Billions Thoughts

But not quite billions of thoughts. Anyway, some spoilers for Billions, which just wrapped its (split) season five today.

  • The terms "pro-" and "antagonist" don't mean much on Billions, but whatever Mike Prince was this season -- foil? -- he never quite sold me. Rebecca Cantu was better. I do think, however, that Prince was well set up to be a good antagonist (fine, I'll use it) next season. Him trying to operate the remainder of (the former) Axe Capital from inside the belly of the beast is at least a new plot beat.
  • Didn't fully catch how it was the Wags beat his criminal rap (yes, they said he never signed the paperwork -- but was that just made up? Did they forge something? It seems everyone just gave up kind of quickly on that).
  • Not quite sure I get what they're going with re: Taylor's character arc. Is the idea that they're struggling to hold onto their humanity? Their idealism? Why did they suddenly seem so torn up about (seemingly) successfully taking down Axe? I don't know. The belated advice to Rian ("run") didn't really land for me, and Rian herself isn't a well-developed-enough character for it to matter that she seemingly decided not to "run".
  • Billions sometimes has a habit of seemingly forcing characters off the show suddenly and without much logic. See, e.g., Sara and Lauren -- both of whom I consider to be regrettable departures. (And yet, somehow, Spyros survives).
  • On that note: if Dollar Bill and Mafee "teaming up" and leaving Axe Capital means next season will involve the exciting side adventures of Bill and Mafee (and hopefully Bonnie too), I'm all for it. If it means they're being written off the show, I'm absolutely furious. Mafee is my favorite! I just want him to be happy.
  • I know we checked in on Axe's kids at boarding school earlier in the season (when Axe got so caught up in his own head about "winning" that he unknowingly but brutally snuffed out the faint speck of conscience in his own son), but man are they ever an after thought. At least Chuck's daughter got a nice moment in the omelette scene. I actually think this show is worse without Lara.
  • As a law professor, I hated -- hated -- everything involving the law teaching and law students at Yale. Let us speak of it no more.
  • I'm torn on the Axe/Wendy romance, and it's the opposite of what typically happens in shows like this. Normally, a show with this much interaction between a male and female lead eventually tries to force a will they/won't they, even if there isn't real chemistry between them. Here, even though I objectively prefer and find genuinely interesting their deep platonic/professional bond, there's undeniable chemistry between Axe and Wendy -- the show wasn't just pulling it out of air.
  • Still waiting on a truly pure, juicy, Sacker storyline.
All in all, Billions remains one of my favorite shows on television right now, and I can't wait for the quick turnaround to season six (January 2022)!

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