Jeff Neumann/SHOWTIME
Kyle Fowle
May 13, 2018 at 10:00 PM EDT

Billions

type
TV Show
genre
Drama
run date
01/17/16
performer
Paul Giamatti, Damian Lewis, Maggie Siff, Malin Akerman
broadcaster
Showtime
seasons
2
Current Status
In Season
We gave it an A-

The third season of Billions has essentially been split into two. Everything leading up to last week’s episode involved the indictment of Bobby Axelrod over the Ice Juice sabotage, which ended up roping in Chuck and Wendy Rhoades when Bryan Connerty started to sniff out how his boss was involved in the scheme. Bryan’s always had a nose for justice, but it’s that guiding force that gets him fired in “All The Wilburys.” That’s where the second half comes into play. With the indictment behind them, Chuck, Wendy, and Axe are feeling good about their futures. This is Billions though, and all three of them should know that no play is safe, even when it’s relegated to the past.

It doesn’t take long for reality to come crashing back in to their dream state of freedom. As Wendy and Chuck enter their favorite BDSM club, they’re confronted not by the dom they’re looking for, but rather Black Jack Foley and Chuck Rhoades Sr. Nothing quite like seeing your father in your kink room to kill any illusion you had that everything was going to be alright from here on out.

Chuck Sr. and Black Jack aren’t there to join the party. Instead, they want to make a point, which is that Chuck can’t be taking these kinds of risks with a third party (the aforementioned dom) present. If he’s going to be Governor, he needs to be discreet. Private liaisons with Wendy as his dom? Go for it! BDSM clubs? Absolutely not. Politics is, after all, for the prudes. Foley lets Chuck know that it’s time to take the next step in their plan, which means that Chuck needs to resign as U.S. Attorney at Southern, and start fundraising and staffing his campaign. Foley, in all of his graciousness, has already secured a meeting with Joe Scolari, the man whom he’s appointed to run the campaign.

Foley makes a fatal mistake though, which is assuming that Chuck will take all of this lying down (no pun intended). We’ll get to that though, as “All The Wilburys” once again executes a twisty, compelling plan that involves a lot of betrayal. Like, a lot. It all begins when Wendy and Chuck get back to their house after the awkward run-in with Foley and Chuck Sr.

Chuck is shaken, both by the encounter and the sudden need to resign from Southern and run from governor. Wendy is shaken too, but for different reasons. She doesn’t want to see her husband become somebody’s puppet. So, she tells Chuck that he’s only ever been happy and passionate and driven at Southern, and that becoming Governor with somebody else pulling the strings isn’t the way to do things. She tells him to shift the power, and do so quickly, and thus begins another incredible plot where Chuck attempts to gain the upper hand.

Billions is a show where shifts in power are constantly taking place. It was just last week that Axe was still worried about going to prison. Now, he’s back at Axe Capital, welcomed with cheers and songs, and Ari awkwardly trying to go all Dead Poets Society on him. Just as Taylor’s announcing how the quants are starting to pay off, Axe returns and makes some big changes. He wants to clear the board of transactions, start from scratch, and run new deals. That involves killing the quants, too. While Axe thinks everyone will come begging him for trades, Taylor and Wendy are unsure, setting off a power struggle that has the potential to be something special.

Bryan doesn’t get nearly the same reception upon his return to Southern. He’s made to wait around all day in an office that doesn’t have a server connection. He has no idea when Chuck will see him, and it’s not until much later in the day, after many rounds of solitaire, that the two finally meet. Chuck makes it seem like he’s about to give him his new office, but the scene turns quickly. He taunts Bryan in front of the whole office, chastising him for not closing the case and for going against the Rhoades family. He drops a few F-bombs and then fires him, sending Bryan into a world of uncertainty. One thing is clear: Free of a potential indictment, the old Chuck is back in all his glory. (Recap continues on next page)

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