The ‘Billions’ Stock Watch: An Unholy Alliance Develops (Maybe)

Editor-at-Large
04.30.18

Showtime

The Billions Stock Watch is a weekly accounting of the action on the Showtime drama. Decisions will be made based on speculation and occasional misinformation and mysterious whims that are never fully explained to the general public. Kind of like the real stock market.

STOCK UP – Unholy alliances

After a few weeks of trying to hose each other royally, sometimes using illegal methods that involve meetings in alleys and handing devious men large sacks of cash, Axe and Chuck are teaming up to fight the Ice Juice case together. Kind of. Maybe. Who even knows, really? Billions has a long history of showing you one thing then flashing back later to reveal it was actually another thing, so maybe the whole change of heart Chuck had when plotting to plant the slide was misdirection intended to trick both Axe and the audience. Or maybe it’s legit. If it was, then Sacker is gonna be pretty steamed when she shows up to serve that search warrant in the morning.

STOCK UP – The full le Carré

Showtime

This season has been non-stop clandestine meetings in parks and alleys and empty horse tracks, so it was nice to see the show lean all the way in with Spiros’s “full le Carré.” The best part was that it was even kind of believable despite the utter ridiculousness of it all because Spiros is the kind of utterly ridiculous character who would take things too far and actually do it. It has always been my dream to hand a stranger a flash drive while saying something like “The Swede knows,” so I have a great deal of respect for this move.

Semi-related: When Axe gave Wendy a burner phone, I was very disappointed to see that it was a smartphone-looking flat screen. In my mind, all burner phones are flip phones. Why even have a burner if you can’t snap it in half after you hang up and place the two pieces in separate trash cans located three blocks apart? Come on.

STOCK UP – Bryan Connerty

Bryan has spent most of this season getting whapped on the nose with a rolled-up newspaper. He’s right about Chuck’s involvement in the Ice Juice mess, and he has been from the jump, and now — thanks to Spiros — he finally has enough proof to shove it right in Dake’s stupid face and push it through. It’s a win for one of the only people on the show who is doing the right thing for the right reasons, which is always a refreshing development on a show where a character just smashed his SUV into a co-worker’s car in broad daylight, on purpose, for revenge, and appears to have suffered no consequences for it. Good for Bryan.

STOCK DOWN – Bryan Connerty

Right. But there’s also this: By discovering Wendy’s involvement in the Ice Juice business, Bryan now has Axe and Chuck working together against him. (Again, maybe.) Billions is a lot like The Americans in that no good deed on the show has even gone unpunished, even once, even a little, so I fully expect this to end with him disbarred and destitute with a four-day beard on his face, staring at his conspiracy wall in disbelief, wondering where it all went wrong.

STOCK DOWN – Weird food things

Showtime

Chuck ate ears with Black Jack Foley and Axe and Wags ate entire illegal birds, bones and all, in some sort of monastic ritual meal that seemed kind of like if the orgy in Eyes Wide Shut had been a dinner party instead. Remember the other week when Wags was shoving cheeseburgers into his mouth? That was better.

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