Do you know what makes storms so scary?
By nature, it is always calm before the storm hits, and nothing is the same once it does.
No amount of preparedness can cushion someone from it, even if they knew it was coming.
We will discuss everything that went down on Billions Season 7 Episode 9, so if you’re yet to get caught up, beware of spoilers.
Matters finally came to a head after Prince learned of the mutinous group in his circle.
It was expected that he would find out what was happening somehow, and the show didn’t do a particularly good job of hiding how that would happen.
Everyone could see that something was happening between Wags, Wendy, and Taylor; whatever it was, it must have been unholy.
From their little meetings in the kitchen area to sharing knowing looks, the trappings of a secret plan were there.
If anything, it was a surprise that no one caught on earlier. That was a major flaw in the setup for this storyline. It could have used a little complexity. It was too easy.
Circling back to the storm, the point was not the storm but the calm.
The episode was noticeably slow-paced, which is uncommon on Billions. Even in scenes one would expect the full-on theatrics of filmmaking, there was this eerily calmness, which, in my opinion, was a refreshing break.
It was a very different hour, from the title card, which lacked the short opening music, to an extended sequence of nothing but shots of the outdoors.
It felt like a turning point in the season because everything it had been building towards reached its climax here.
Chuck had been trying to make moves throughout Billions Season 7 but had sustained major losses at every turn.
The hour saw him contemplate doing something radical, and while it wasn’t surprising that Chuck considered cutting corners, a lot more was at stake if he did.
Chuck: The practice of making sure that a guilty man goes down whether the evidence exists or needs to be helped along when no doubt exists in the minds of the arresting officers, their peers. e.t.c.
Commissioner: Used to happen sometimes. Still does, I’m sure. Guy would stick a bag of dope in a wife beater’s car, that kind of thing.
Chuck: Because he knew the world would be better with him gone.
Commissioner: Yeah, but it never works the way the cop thinks it will, flaking the guy. Not really. Somewhere between the idea and the execution, things go wrong. You must have the evidence of guilt of the actual crime, not the crime you think they might commit. You must be sure they committed the one you’re arresting him for…
Chuck: … or else …
Comissioner: Anaheim curriculum.
Chuck: Oh. You remember some of the Latin the nuns gave you. But if I wanted to ensure my soul would never be in peril, I’d have become, I don’t know, a veterinarian.
Commissioner: But still, this is different. What it does to a person’s insides to frame someone. And that’s still not why it’s my do not recommended list. The problem is the system collapses under its own weight. Not right away. Soon enough. Those lines on the road to justice exist to serve everyone. They should not be trapped so.
Chuck: What if the guy isn’t only guilty but a continuing enormous danger to society? To the world?
Commissioner: So it is some kind of permission you want? You’re after my guidance? I can’t grant it. I won’t. Bad for you, bad for the whole deal. You want absolution in advance? Take it up with a commissioner of a different department.
On Billions Season 7 Episode 8, Chuck expressed his disdain for people convinced that they are right beyond doubt, yet he displayed the same qualities in the meeting with the police commissioner.
He was convinced that Prince was evil, and it was his duty to stop Prince in whatever manner he deemed necessary.
He was willing to frame Prince for something, but the commissioner’s advice confirmed what he knew to be true. The risk was too great.
A lot was at stake if his pursuit of Prince didn’t bear the intended results. He risked exposing Main Justice and himself to much more than a lawsuit.
If Prince and his people could prove they were being targeted, it would set a bad precedent where nothing he was charged with might ever stick.
The biggest thing to happen this hour was Sacker’s discovery.
It shouldn’t have been surprising that she was the one who discovered the mutinous group, but I had thought if anyone would, it would have been Bradford.
How she and Scooter dealt with the issue was almost impressive if we ignored the illegal surveillance.
Before going to Prince with their suspicions, they decided to gather concrete evidence, which was not hard given the illegal surveillance.
The episode also saw the unification of two sides with the same goal when team MPC betrayers and crooked AG joined together for a common goal.
Chuck: I have come to understand what it will take to make it possible for us to work together on this endeavor, and I have gone to those lengths. This drive cannot be copied. It contains a catalog of moves I have made. Extra legal and plain illegal that would flush me from office and public life irrevocably. Would get me disbarred and jailed if it were to come out.
Wags: OK. And that proves what?
Chuck: I have always been highly skilled at earning people’s trust through means legit and illegit
Wendy: And betraying each other.
Chuck: Yes, that too. It’s. So I realized that now I need to give trust. Wendy, I know if I hand you this material, you will never use it against me, even if I deserve it for the sake of our children.
Wendy: Sadly true.
Chuck: But. Wags will not hesitate to ruin me, as he just made painfully clear in my office.
Seeing their interactions was hilarious because there were years of history between them, and most of it was not good.
Taylor and Wags exercised great caution when dealing with Chuck because they knew that a leopard couldn’t remove his spots. When Taylor cusses, it is serious.
With Prince learning about Wendy, Wags, and Taylor’s plotting and Chuck joining hands, it felt like the story was ready to move to the next stage.
I’m still not over how they could do all this so calmly.
Prince is a man who lives for the kill, and he seemed to have a great time squeezing the trio until it hurt and the plan he came up with was straight-up diabolical; it was admirable.
Prince: Wendy, Wags, and Taylor had been plotting an assassination. My assassination. Staying silent is the first wise thing any of you have done in a long while.
Philip: Do you need me to get security to escort them out?
Prince: I won’t be firing the three of them without making this public. Not yet. No, they’re going to be punished in a different way. First, they’re going to lose every cent of bonus money they have coming to them, and their other money is going to remain in the fund. Gated to ensure no further disloyalty. They’ll also lose their reputations when they lose the corporate espionage suit we filed. Oh, that’s right. We haven’t filed it yet. But that’s that’s good to go, right, Kate?
Sacker: Yeah, It’s already signed and sealed, waiting to be delivered.
He trapped them right next to him until the election ended, and then he’d rain hell on them.
With all the cards on the table, it appeared that Taylor, Wendy, and Wags were out of moves and would need outside to help. I wonder who that could be.
- Once bitten, twice shy. After having his heart jump to his throat thinking of his sex tapes leaking, Ira was extra cautious about recording himself on the phone.
- Chuck made a plan, and given what he was willing to give up for it, it must be effective. It is exciting to see what he cooked up in that little genius head of his.
- I’m not a fan of people being recorded without their consent, especially with audio in a place they spend a lot of time at.
- Recording their employees’ private conversations exposed the firm to a lot of risk if a hack was ever to happen.
- Seeing Prince wreck Wendy, Wags, and Taylor was kind of fun. I wouldn’t enjoy seeing very few characters on Billions in a difficult position, and those three are not on that list.
- Who’s idea was it to name a mental health company Mental? They must have not been interested in the British market.
You’re all frozen in place. Wendy, you’re a lame duck here. You’ll execute your new CEO duties. And if nothing else goes wrong, you’ll fully onboard there after the election, at which time you’ll be fired. If you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a majority owner of Mental through a shell company. Taylor, you’re done. No authority. Login privileges. A figurehead. Call it garden leave but inside a glass box. One notable exception to the outward-facing status quo, Wagner. You’ll lose your ability to authorize large trades. And small trades. Pay stubs. You can just kind of walk around shouting nonsense mantras to the traders. So, for you, nothing really changes.
Game Theory Optimal had a point to get to, and it did so beautifully. There weren’t any oblique pop culture references that have become a permanent fixture in the show.
What did you think?
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Denis Kimathi is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. He has watched more dramas and comedies than he cares to remember. Catch him on social media obsessing over [excellent] past, current, and upcoming shows or going off about the politics of representation on TV. Follow him on X.