Billions Season 5 News and Recap:
We’re so excited for the return of Billions Season 5. It goes without saying, Billions has been one of the best shows about the world of trading and finance since Billions Season 1 premiered in January 2016. We’ll give you a recap of the previous 4 seasons of Billions, but before that let’s talk about our expectations for Season 5.
Billions Season 5 will likely focus on the resurfacing
tensions between Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis)
that are being manipulated by Taylor (Asia Kate Dillon) in an attempt to get
the two powerhouse players to destroy each other and leave the playing field
clear for Taylor.
Billions Season 5 is set to premiere on Sunday 3rd May, 2020.
If you want a quick recap on what all has happened since Billions Season 1, read ahead:
(If you want to learn how you can get started as a Prop Trader like the ones working for Axe Cap, read our viral article: Traders Guide to Prop Trading in 2020)
Billions is a show that centers on Bobby Axelrod – a
billionaire hedge-fund titan, who owns Axe Capital. He is shown to make
extravagant returns because of his brilliant mind and ruthless illicit approach
to indulge in activities such as insider trading and stock manipulation. Since
he’s a legend on Wall Street, he becomes a tempting target for many regulatory
bodies and government officials. One such official is the District Attorney
Chuck Rhoades who is an unforgiving prosecutor and dead-set on bringing down
Axe for his unscrupulous activities.
Interestingly, Chuck is a masochist who is shown in the first scene of the first episode, to only be able to derive sexual pleasure from being hurt and dominated by a woman. The woman is later introduced as Wendy Rhoades – Chuck’s wife and also interestingly the pivotal trader psychiatrist at Axe Capital who is responsible for fixing traders’ mindsets, so they perform at their best. Many other characters are introduced with their own side stories, dynamics, and immersive personalities.
Billions Season 1:
Bobby Axelrod (Axe) is introduced as a charismatic hedge-fund
titan who survived the 9/11 attacks because he was not in the old firm office
at the World Trade Center with his partners during the attack. This resulted in
all partners of the firm dying and Axe taking over the firm to bring it to
unprecedented heights. He does a lot of charity and even puts his partners’
kids through school. He comes from a poor background and is married to Laura –
A former nurse who also comes from a hustling background, with whom he has two
children. He is also brilliant at discerning information about stocks and
Axe is told that the FBI has opened a case against him and
meanwhile Chuck Rhoades tries to make inroads to establish a case against him.
Over the course of Season 1, Axe balances his work to maintain his throne as a
God on Wall Street with ensuring he is not prosecuted and no evidence is found
on him. To do this, he has a special “fixer” known as Hall. Hall does all the
dirty tasks for Axe such as blackmailing someone in the District Attorney’s
office to become a mole, and to fabricate evidences that lead investigators
away from Axe, even if it means sacrificing some other hedge-fund manager.
The relationship between Axe and Wendy (Chuck’s Wife) is shown to be an old and special one, but not sexual. This is shown to be a source of jealousy for Chuck. Wendy makes a lot of money working for Axe Capital however she is moralistically beyond reproach. Chuck is shown to come from an old money family with his father being quite rich but also tough, insensitive, and ruthless, much like an old school robber baron. Chuck’s father (Rhoades Sr.) is shown to have multiple affairs but truly aspires for his son to one day become Governor of New York and then President of the United States. To do so, he aids his son in trying to target Axe.
During the first half of the season Axe is shown to make a
takeover bid for a bakery business (kind of like the maker of twinkies). It’s
shown that one of the motives is also to send a message to Rhoades Sr. who is
having an affair with a woman on the company’s board. Axe is then thrown into a
short squeeze debacle where a huge short position of his is going up against
him in a trade. He takes steps to rectify this but alongside all these
occurrences there are dynamics shown of how his old (not-rich) friends and
traders employed by him play into things.
Around mid-season, Axe contemplates taking his billions of
dollars and just retiring to sail the oceans and live a relaxed life with his
family. However, certain nudges from his wife and fate make him gain a rush of
angry ambition back to become and remain a God in his world of finance.
Meanwhile, Chuck makes his first solid move to arrest “Dollar Bill” who is a
trusted trader and employee of Axe. When he is prosecuted for insider trading,
Bill comes out victorious due to a corrupt judge.
Things start taking a turn for the worse for Axe when a
story is leaked to reveal that when the 9/11 planes crashed into the towers,
Axe made immense amounts of money shorting airlines, hotels, and relevant
industries that he knew would suffer from the attacks. While not illegal, this
turns public perception against him drastically. Chuck also manages to get
someone on Axe’s team to become an informant and testify against Axe for
Eventually it is shown that this informant is an Axe Capital
trader named Donnie. As things unfold it is shown how Axe played a masterful
hand since him and Donnie are in on the scheme from the start. Donnie is shown
to have stage 4 cancer and is dying soon. He doesn’t give up enough on Axe
Capital and because of no witness present after he dies, the case against Axe
and Axe Capital is dismissed.
Near the end of the season, Chuck loses his patience and
sneaks a peak at his wife’s laptop notes about a therapy session she had with
Axe in which he admits bribing some police officers. He uses this information
to start opening up a new investigation, but when Axe finds out he believes
it’s Wendy’s fault and calls her in to blackmail her. Wendy is furious and
tells Axe she had no idea, and then goes back to Chuck and threatens him that
she’ll expose him if he doesn’t drop the case. Chuck drops the new case, but
their marriage is severely damaged by this point, as is Axe and Wendy’s
friendship. The season ends with Axe and Chuck meeting to challenge each other
Billions Season 2:
As Season 2 of Billions kicks off, we see that Chuck is
living in a hotel away from his wife because they’re separated. Chuck is also
under scrutiny from the Attorney General (his boss – Jock Jeffcoat) so he
desperately needs a high-profile case to save his job. Axe is also pursuing
litigation against Chuck Rhoades for the last case he brought against Axe and
then inexplicably dropped.
Meanwhile, Axe is focusing on new plays to make the firm
stronger. A pivotal new character is introduced as Taylor. Taylor are a
gender-neutral character (though they are played splendidly by Asia Kate Dillon
– a female) who are shown to be a prodigal genius of sorts. Axe utilizes
strategies Taylor comes up with to target rival hedge funds such as the one
owned by Krakow who Axe dislikes especially more since he hires Wendy for a
consultation since she has left Axe Capital owing to the differences between
her and Axe.
Axe eventually attempts to buy an NFL team, and is shown to
consider giving away half his fortune at the time of his death by signing a
pledge. It is shown that the founder of the giving pledge oath finds out that
Axe is just faking contemplation so he has a positive image in front of the NFL
committee so they sell him a franchise. He is thus rejected by the NFL
committee as well.
Axe continues working on several deals. His firm takes an
unexpected huge loss and they need a way to make a huge gain and fast. He gets
information from a friend of Mafee (another boy scout type trader at Axe Cap)
that the Nigerian government is planning to devalue their Naira currency. He
gathers several large hedge fund manager allies to short the currency to a tune
of $5 billion together. Axe is also brought a deal by Bruno’s nephew. Bruno
used to let Axe eat free pizzas during his childhood and has a soft place in
Axe’s heart. The deal is about buying the outstanding debt of a poor town
(Sandicot) for pennies on the dollar and then receiving repayment manifold,
since unbeknownst to the general public Sandicot is scheduled to have a huge
Casino approved for construction.
The cases against Chuck are dropped by Axe after he meets
with Wendy and persuades her to come back to the firm to provide therapy for
all traders except him (at her insistence that she would not provide him any
therapy). Meanwhile, Axe and his wife are fighting because she is well, being
difficult and eventually jealous at Axe’s consideration for Wendy’s opinions.
As events proceed, Axe has a famous impartial brokerage head
(Lawrence Boyd) appear on TV to say the Naira will devalue. This is a big win
for Axe but he finds out during the interview that Chuck is coming to arrest
Boyd, and chooses not to tell him. Once the interview is done, Axe apologizes
and Chuck arrests Boyd. Boyd fights the case for a bit, but then takes a plea
deal for a limited amount of jail time.
Meanwhile, Axe faces issues when the Casino is stopped from
going into Sandicot. He investigates further to find out there’s a big
old-money player by the name of “Black Jack” Foley who upon a request by
Chuck’s father, had the planning commission change their plans to harm Axe. Axe
is furious at this occurrence and goes in to investigate but only finds dead
ends on a way to retaliate.
Nearing the finale, Axe is presented with an opportunity to
harm Chuck. He receives a call from Boyd who informs Axe that Chuck and his
father are heavily invested in a stock (Ice Juice – ICEJ) and that Axe can hurt
them by targeting the stock. Axe gets to work by hiring people to mix a vomiting
drug provided by his doctor, into the juice and drinking it publicly. News of
these people getting sick after drinking the juice breaks out over the media
and Axe shorts the stock to make a huge gain while Chuck, his father, and his
friend lawyer’s investment in ICEJ is devastated.
It is shown towards the end of the season that Chuck starts
crying tears, but they’re tears of happiness. In a flashback it shows that
Chuck planned all this by cutting a deal with Boyd to misguide Axe. He
sacrificed his and his father’s investment so he could concretely get Axe for
doing something illegal. What follows is Axe’s wife thinking about leaving him
while Axe is indicted.
Billions Season 3:
Billions Season 3 starts by showing that Axe who is out on
bail cannot trade his firm’s funds himself and has had to appoint a new COO to
take over in his absence. This role falls to Taylor. Taylor is focused on trying
to develop AI algorithms to benefit the firm but is facing a lot of resistance
from the employees. Axe who is now separated from his wife, tries to court new
investment to keep his firm steady and is only able to find these huge sums
with a deadly Russian oligarch – Grigor Andelov.
Meanwhile, Chuck is under pressure from a new Attorney General
who has loose morals and is one of the “old boys” in a regime that seems akin
to the Trump regime. Chuck’s subordinates are busy gathering more evidence for
the Ice Juice case against Axe, while Chuck is navigating orders that go
against his own morals that the AG gives him.
What primarily evolves inside Axe Capital is the Taylor and
Axe relationship. Throughout the season it is shown that there’s friction
developing between the two, primarily because Axe keeps replacing Taylor’s strategies,
then promising Taylor and independent portfolio, then changing the amount in
the portfolio to less than Taylor wanted. Taylor is also against bringing in
investment from Grigor Andolov. It is shown midway through the season that
Taylor develops a relationship with a private equity tycoon who is planning to revolutionize
the world of medicine using AI. When Taylor unexpectedly shares an acquisition that
their love interest is planning, with Axe, Axe betrays Taylor’s trust and acquires
it before them himself.
Eventually Axe is exonerated in the ICEJ case, but a new
investigation starts coming to spiral around Wendy who had also placed a short
trade against ICEJ. This brings Axe, Chuck, and Wendy together to find a
solution to this. They end up framing Axe’s doctor who provided the medicine
and have him sent to jail.
As things in Billions Season 3 conclude, Chuck plans to make
a move against the AG by exposing the AG’s corrupt practices but is betrayed by
his subordinates Sacker and Connerty who tell the AG of Chuck’s plans. Chuck is
fired and replaced as DA by Connerty. Meanwhile, Axe has an amazing capital
pitch where he raises a lot of capital only to find that Taylor betrayed him
and walked out to set up his own fund with most of the pledges. The ending shows
Axe, Chuck, and Wendy meeting to decide that they will form a partnership to
help each other take down the rest by putting their own differences aside.
Billions Season 4:
Billions Season 4 focuses on the alliance that Axe, Chuck, and
Wendy have made to take down their adversaries. It starts off by showing Axe
determined to crush Taylor. Axe hits it off with a billionaire venture
capitalist (Rebecca Cantu played by Nina Arianda), and they start developing a
romantic relationship. Meanwhile, Chuck is trying to stay relevant and gain
some political power.
Taylor is struggling with their new fund in trying to keep
it profitable and afloat. Considering they have Grigor Andolov now as an
investor, Taylor faces unique challenges. Grigor is also crucial in keeping Axe
at bay from destroying Taylor.
Wendy and Chuck are now reconciled and in a good place in
their marriage, but Chuck finds himself in a difficult spot when he is blackmailed
by Black Jack Foley to drop out of the race for becoming State Attorney General.
Otherwise, Foley threatens to reveal Chuck’s masochism fetish. Wendy advises
Chuck to drop out, but Chuck takes a bold stance and declares in the press
conference about himself having a fetish, and him trusting voters to see that
he cannot be blackmailed and will be honest. With this, Chuck wins the election
but once again his marriage suffers.
Having won the election, Chuck uses his powers to help Axe and
exiles Grigor Andolov from the United States, leaving Taylor without an
important ally. Taylor meanwhile tries to regain their friendship with Wendy,
but Wendy betrays Taylor to Axe by telling him about certain psychological impulses
they have, which results in Axe crushing a business venture Taylor and their
father were involved in. This in turn destroys Taylor’s relationship with their
father, but also makes them bring a case against Wendy for malpractice as a
Meanwhile, Chuck is involved in attempts to bring down the AG
and his fomer boss – Jock Jeffcoat. Jock targets Chuck’s father’s real estate
development through Connerty, and Chuck literally has a train full of shit
parked outside Jock’s residency by using his own political connections and
This animosity between Chuck, Connerty, and Jeffcoat comes
to a point where Connerty manages to secure a wiretap on Chuck after he is seen
suspiciously meeting a former judge at a candy store. Chuck is shown to be
involving his father and (now the Treasury Secretary) Krakow in a shady deal.
Since Sacker has access to the recordings and does not allow Connerty to hear
what happens beyond a point his jurisdiction does not allow, he gets frustrated.
Connerty later meets AG Jeffcoat who tells him to just sneak in and listen to
the damn tape. Connerty lets his curiosity and hatred for Chuck get the better
of him and sneaks into Sacker’s office to listen to the tape. He is surprised
when he hears Chuck on the tape declaring he knew Connerty would do something
stupid, and then federal agents rush in to arrest Connerty for illegal acts.
The cherry on top is that Connerty had earlier been wearing a pin planted by
Chuck which was a secret recording device which even captured Jock Jeffcoat
telling Connerty to commit a crime.
As Billions season 4 comes towards its finale, we see that
Rebecca Cantu and Axe while in a steady relationship, are in a fight with
Taylor over Rebecca acquiring Saler’s – a huge department store (kind of a fictional
take on Sear’s). Taylor initially takes stakes in the suppliers to Saler’s, and
Axe and Rebecca struggle for it to work out. Rebecca eventually comes to Axe to
tell him that she is thinking of partnering with Taylor so that Saler’s works.
Axe initially pretends to be okay with this, but then rage gets the better of
him and he uses this as an opportunity to crush Taylor once and for all. Axe
convinces the board of Saler’s to liquidate everything and dissolve the company
– this results in a big payout for all investors including Axe and Rebecca, and
crushes Taylor’s investment in the suppliers. Rebecca is furious with Axe for
betraying her and breaks up with him, but Axe is unrepentant and blames her for
siding with Taylor over Axe’s desires.
The huge loss in Saler’s inclines Taylor to make some risky
trades that Axe provides unknown to Taylor. Then Axe gets Taylor arrested by
Chuck. At this point the relationship between Axe and Chuck is rocky as Chuck
is back to blaming Axe for his deteriorating marriage, and to be fair, Axe does
treat Chuck as a sort of lackey quite often. Axe takes the opportunity of
Taylor being down and beaten to get them to rejoin Axe Capital to which Taylor
It is shown towards the end that Taylor only pretended to
agree to return to Axe Capital so that he could leverage Chuck and Axe against
each other to destroy them both.
In conclusion, we CANNOT wait for Billions Season 5 to
premiere this 3rd May 2020. We eagerly await to see the new kinds of
hell Axe, Chuck, and Taylor raise.
To see our list of the Best Finance Movies while you wait for Billions Season 5 to return, find our article below: