Here are the top 10 moments in the latest episode of “Billions” where Axe experiments with a new drug and Taylor teams up with an enemy for the greater good…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
It’s unfortunate that “Billions” ended up split in two parts but due to the COVID-19 outbreak, there was no other choice unless the show was just completely delayed until later in the year.
As it stands, the seventh episode of season 5 will be our last look at “Billions” for several months until production on the series can start again. The good news is filming in Hollywood opened back up again this past week, which means many studios will start moving towards a restart in filming in the near future.
There’s no word yet when “Billions” will begin filming again but for now these seven episodes will have to tide us over until the show returns.
What is now viewed as the mid-season finale, the latest episode of “Billions” offered more than a few twists and turns including Axe taking a chance on an experimental drug, Chuck turning to some nefarious means in order to save his father’s life and Taylor teaming up with Mike Prince aka public enemy No. 1 in order to accomplish the greater good.
Or at least that’s what they think — but by the end of the episode Axe tells Taylor the terrible truth about the deal they just made.
With that said, let’s get to the top 10 moments from the mid-season finale of “Billions” titled “The Limitless Sh*t”…
1 ) How Do You Know When It’s Finished?
Following up on last week’s episode, Axe orchestrates a dinner for his nearest and dearest including Wags and the woman he intends to procreate with as well as Tanner and Wendy, who are now officially a couple. Of course, Axe is seething with jealousy but it’s not entirely clear why he’s quite so angry.
Is he mad that another man is sleeping with Wendy or is he upset that Wendy seems to be stealing way his artist’s attention? Either way, the awkward dinner only serves to make everyone a little more awkward as Axe continues to poke and prod at Tanner about the timeline for his finished paintings.
It doesn’t take long for Wendy to pick up on the tension as she returns fire at Axe for his not so subtle innuendos at dinner.
Wendy: “He reminds me of how you used to be. A guy doing what he was born to do.”
Axe: “Before I became a burned out hack?”
Wendy: “Don’t put words in my mouth.”
2 ) The Best of Me Is You
With some extra funds at his disposal, Chuck decides to put his law class at Yale to work for him by having a group of interns dig up dirt on the sitting Secretary of the Treasury, Todd Krakow.
Chuck is trying to go after Axe with every weapon in his arsenal and he knows Krakow is one of the most important assets serving his sworn enemy. But now he’s setting the next generation of legal minds loose in order to find everything possible that could be used in a potential case against Secretary Krakow.
To put them on the right track, Chuck offers some inspiration from previous presidents who were brought down or at least nearly toppled.
“Let’s find his lost tapes, his stained blue dress, his perfect call. Let’s get to work.”
It doesn’t take long before the class revolts by suggesting that the assignment is wrongly suited for them — many are wondering why the are seeking dirt on Secretary Krakow rather than following up on a crime already committed.
Chuck then spins a yarn where the moral of the story boils down to loyalty and allegiance — and if these students can’t be devoted to the cause, then they need to leave immediately. A few students leave but the remaining class is ready to do as they’re told when it comes to finding dirt on Secretary Krakow.
3 ) Midsommar’d
Thanks to a rubber stamp from Secretary Krakow, Axe is well on his way to owning his own bank but that’s not exactly sitting well with his troops.
Dollar Bill and some of the others are beginning to realize Axe’s dream of owning a bank might come by sacrificing many of them. Axe Capital will be forced to de-register as a hedge fund and Tuk notes that the company’s redundancy on the work force will end up with some of them being sacrificed to the gods of the FDIC.
Tuk: “No outside fees to cover our salaries. Redundancies will become clear to him. Some of us will be Midsommar’d
Dollar Bill: “Yes! Exactly. I don’t know what that actually means but it sounds…”
Tuk: “Horrible, utterly horrible.”
Axe doesn’t exactly offer any words of encouragement while telling the troops that it’s up to them to decide their own futures.
Axe: “Don’t ask another guy about your future. Make your own fucking future.”
Ben Kim: “It’s like my mother took the form of your body.”
4 ) Vigilantrix
Before becoming a bank, Victor Matteo has one final big play that he believes will earn Axe Capital a nice windfall of cash and it also helps Axe get inside the pharmaceutical industry after his last attempt was stolen away by Mike Prince.
Victor introduces him to Vigilantrix — a new drug seeking FDA approval that is supposedly the cure all for focus and drive that will help anybody achieve their dreams.
“This drug, Axe, it’s the killer app in the pharma space you’ve been chasing. It’s a focus ratchet. A productivity booster. It’s the Limitless shit. It’s got me firing on all … it’s giving me crazy mental clarity and acuity. I’m even using words like acuity.”
Axe decides to go for a ride and he pops the pill to see exactly what Victor is raving about.
5 ) Conflict Minerals
It seems Taylor Mason Carbon made one of their big plays on a company that produces solar cells. Unfortunately new information has come to light that the company has been using tin sourced from the Congo where anti-government warlords essentially use slave labor in order to run the mines. That means the company has to scramble to get ahead of this news before word leaks out.
In addition to Taylor’s position in the company, Mike Prince also has a vested interest but even after his No. 2 man Scooter tells him to get out while the getting’s good, he’s not ready to abandon ship. Prince isn’t going to run away from a problem like the Warriors did when fleeing from a murder they didn’t actually commit.
Instead, Prince is determined to turn this company around but it’s going to require help from some other board members — and that includes Taylor Mason.
Taylor knows their company couldn’t survive a bad story like this leaking to the press and even if they dump all of their positions, it could still doom them forever. So Lauren suggests teaming up with Prince to really turn things around because he’s got plenty of reputation behind him to secure good fortune for everybody. Needless to say it’s a risk, especially considering how Axe feels about Prince but Taylor believes it’s worth a try.
6 ) Limitations
After absorbing Victor’s wonder drug, Axe is operating on a whole new level and he’s got an idea that could help Axe Capital earn some huge returns. He wants to corner the market on many of the rare minerals being mined around the world and he puts his team on the mission.
Axe also suggests they man up and try out Victor’s other genius idea by swallowing one of these pills and join him on the ultra-focus train. Tuk is a little worried after he reads that the drug is pending FDA approval.
Tuk: “FDA approval pending? Oh god I don’t want diarrhea, involuntary muscle spasms, psychotic delusions.”
Dollar Bill: “It says in rare cases you fucking baby.”
Tuk decides to join the rest of the team and soon enough they’re offering Axe the kinds of answers he’s been seeking. They plan on cornering the market on many of the rare minerals used by the tech industry to produce cell phones and even rocket ships capable of traveling to the moon.
The drugs are so good that the team is buzzing with ideas including Taylor’s team, which has Rian learning how to speak Spanish as a second language while just reading over her computer.
7 ) Donor List
Without a single person in his family serving as a match to offer his father a kidney, Chuck decides to turn to more nefarious means to secure an organ. He turns to Pete Decker — a recurring character on “Billions,” who last appeared as a gym owner who Chuck squeezed for information in a past season. This time around, Chuck is actually calling on Pete for a favor because he’s the kind of guy who might know how to save his father’s life.
Pete knows a guy who can tune up his father’s health to help him get on the donor’s list but that still doesn’t guarantee he’ll get a kidney before he’s already dead. So Chuck also asks Pete to help him find a worthy donor who could give his father a second chance at life, sooner rather than later.
So Pete introduces Chuck to a man named Dr. Swerdlow, who is capable of tuning up his father like a fine Aston-Martin in order to get him on the donor list. But if all that internal work still doesn’t help Chuck’s father survive long enough to get a kidney, what’s the next alternative?
Dr. Swerdlow presents Chuck with a photo of a young girl who illegally crossed the border from El Salvador, who is willing to sell a kidney for $38,000.
Even Chuck isn’t willing to go quite that far but Dr. Swerdlow promises at some point or another, he’ll get desperate enough to call him to finish he job. Once Chuck realizes his father will die without his help, Dr. Swerdlow is confident he’ll be on the case.
“If times get desperate enough, which they will, you’ll call me. They usually end up calling me. Always. They always call.”
~ Dr. Swerdlow
In the end, Chuck can’t go through with buying a kid’s kidney but he does offer the $38,000 she wanted while sending along instructions that she gets to keep all of her organs. Chuck also gives Dr. Swerdlow another $38,000 to begin his treatment to get Chuck Sr. up to code so he can join the donor list.
8 ) I Won’t Be a Part of a Criminal Enterprise
Sadly, Chuck’s student army can’t come up with enough to go after Secretary Krakow so rather than filing charges, he instead decides to put a scare into him.
Chuck invites Krakow to his office where he tells him about a probe that’s looking into his tax shelters — or better yet he’s not officially telling him about this probe but just giving him a heads up about a potential legal bomb about to drop on his head.
The ideal is that Chuck will scare Krakow so bad that he’ll resign from office rather than be forced out. The fake out works because Krakow melts down during an economic advisory meeting because Chuck has him convinced that he’s being recorded.
He then makes a very public declaration that he’s not part of the corruption at the heart of the administration and Krakow is immediately fired as Secretary of the Treasury.
“I won’t be part of a criminal enterprise. I will not be a part of a criminal enterprise. I will not be a part of a goddamn criminal enterprise!”
~ Todd Krakow
Krakow leaving means that his letter to fast track Axe’s bank charter is now as worthless as the paper it’s printed on. Axe can’t help but wonder if Krakow came to this grand realization on his own or perhaps somebody else put him up to it.
9 ) Public Viewing
Axe’s battle with Wendy and Tanner eventually culminates in an impromptu viewing at the gallery he put together for his artist to create a new series of paintings. Since Tanner refuses to show Axe anything he’s been painting lately, he decides to spring a surprise on him by inviting a lot of wealthy friends — including New York Yankee great C.C. Sabathia — to have a look at the work.
But this viewing wasn’t just a way for Axe to get a look at his paintings. He wanted to prove to Wendy that her artist was a much bigger capitalist than he first seemed.
Back at dinner, Wendy remarked how no real artist gives a fuck about talk — they just want you to stare at the work, understand it, appreciate it and then get out. The incorruptible artist as Axe remarks at the time.
The viewing shows a different side of Tanner, however, when a wealthy woman makes a remark about his painting while also mentioning that she’s worth a lot of money. When the woman tries to explain to Tanner what the painting means, Wendy cuts her off and says an artist doesn’t want to hear those opinions.
Tanner then returns fire by shutting Wendy down and allowing the rich woman to tell him all about the art he just painted.
“Absolutely incorruptible. Unless you’re a socialite with a nine-figure bank account with a sweet tooth for abstract art.”
10 ) Going to the Mattresses
When Taylor returns to the office, they find Axe running around like he’s on speed as he continues this new mission to corner the rare mineral market. There’s only one problem — the drugs aren’t making them all sharper. The entire team is suffering through one gigantic psychotic break.
Rian didn’t actually learn Spanish — she just called the Chilean consulate and spoke gibberish to them about breakfast when she was convinced it was a conversation about their mineral rights.
Thankfully, Axe comes to his right mind and realizes that Taylor isn’t trying to play him — they’re actually keeping Axe Capital from flushing everything down the drain in one big swirly. Axe tells the team to pull the plug on the trades and shut down the computers for the night.
Later that day, Taylor returns with good news about Axe Capital but then sharing some bad news about the losses that Mase Cap will be absorbing after striking the deal with Mike Prince. The mere mention of his name makes Axe realize that Prince played Taylor and by extension, played him.
See Axe knows that Prince has now convinced Taylor to join him on this journey where a company will be leaking money for months upon months and that loss will end up on Axe’s balance sheet. This was a sneak attack from behind no matter how much Taylor believes Prince was genuine with his offer.
That’s when Axe dismisses Taylor and turns to Wags with a new strategy where he declares war on Mike Prince.
“Get me Bach. Get me Hall. Get me anyone who can help us find out what is near and dear to Michael Thomas Aquinas Prince. Because when I find out what matters to him, I am going to fucking destroy it. And him right along with it.”
The stage is now set for an epic encounter between two business titans as Bobby Axelrod goes to battle with Mike Prince — and Chuck Rhoades might be the only one left standing when this fight is finished.
Take a look at a brief teaser for what lies ahead when “Billions” returns for the second half of season 5 later this year.