Billions: S04.E09. “American Champion”

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There are many reasons people watch the Brian Koppelman, David Levien and Andrew Ross Sorkin co-created Showtime series Billions. It’s seriously good on numerous levels.

With the fourth season finale set to hit television screens in these United States Sunday, 9 June 2019, Billions fans need not concern themselves with there not being a fifth season. While IMDb has no reference to there being a fifth season, there will be one.

Promotional poster. Image Credit: IMDb
“Billions” promotional poster. Image Credit: IMDb

Brief Episode Synopsis: “American Champion

Attorney General of New York Chuck Rhoades, Jr. (Paul Giamatti) makes a dramatic move to help Wendy Rhoades (Maggie Siff) and Chuck Rhoades Sr. (Jeffrey DeMunn). Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon) goes after Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) by trying to sabotage someone close to him. Axelrod contends with difficulties at Axe Capital. Chuck, Jr. reveals his priorities.

SPOILER WARNING: If you are an avid viewer of Billions and have yet to watch this episode of the previous instalment, please note there are spoilers beyond this point.

The latest Naomi Geraghty directed episode, “American Champion,” is very much a Chuck, Jr. heavy instalment with a modicum of Axe and Taylor drama thrown in for flavour.

Does Chuck, Jr. manage to change the paradigm? He certainly pulls out a lot of stops to get done what he needs but at the last moment, he finds the price to costly.

The United States Attorney General Waylon ‘Jock’ Jeffcoat (Clancy Brown), with his holier-than-thou, is a pain in the arse. Even though Jock’s use of religious b*llsh*t is stomach turning, I cannot say I find Chuck, Jr.’s biblical references off-putting. The Attorney General of New York, unlike the U.S. Attorney General, is not putting on a facade. Chuck, Jr. has no interest in

The vendetta between Chuck, Jr. and Jock mirrors what we have been seeing between Axe and Taylor. All the major players in this series have a beef with someone.

Not everyone gets to win every round. Everyone in this series has a sh*t list with significant individuals occupying the ranks. In this episode, Chuck, Jr. not only has a sh*t list, he has a sh*t train stinking up Jock’s backyard.

David Costabile. Image Credit: IMDb

Favourite Character: Mike ‘Wags’ Wagner

David Costabile embodies Mike ‘Wags’ Wagner perfectly. No one could play this character the way he does. Because of this, whenever ‘Wags’ is on screen, he makes me feel seriously giddy. As a consequence of Costabile’s great work, his scenes are simply splendid.

There is a reason Wagner is Axe’s right-hand man. At no time during the past four seasons has Wags failed to have Axe’s back because he is loyal to a fault. ‘Wags’ is every bit as devious as Axe. Because of this, Axe rewards Wagner’s efforts significantly.

Final Thoughts

Billions is still THE must-see Showtime television series. The characters are fully realised. The acting talent we see on screen quintessentially inhabit their roles perfectly. Many of these characters are not the people you would want to meet in some dark alley and or boardroom.

Free, fair and frequent elections are an important aspect of maintaining a democracy. Jock either does not get it or he does but he wants to limit voting significantly.

About the author

Shain E. Thomas
Shain E. Thomas

With a BSc focusing on geography, history and political science and an MSc revolving around communication studies, history and journalism, I’m a freelance Journalist and social historian.