BOTTOM LINE: Not As Good As S4, Yet Enjoyable
Rating: 6.75 /10
Skin N Swear: A lot of both, especially the swearing
|Platform: Disney Plus Hotstar||Genre: Drama|
What Is the Story About?
After beating Taylor Mason and absorbing their company into Axe Cap, Bobby Axelrod has reached a new milestone – he has amassed over 10 billion USD. With this achievement, Axe is closer to his next goal – becoming a bank. However, with his new position comes new and powerful enemies and Axe has to be ready to take anyone on at a moment’s notice. And right behind him is Chuck Rhoades, who is now aiming himself at Bobby again, hoping to catch a slip up, so that Chuck can bring him down. Will Chuck finally lock away Axe for good? Or will Axe outwit Chuck yet again?
As always, Paul Giamatti and Damian Lewis are phenomenal. Both actors return to their roles like fish to water and continue to be brilliant onscreen. The rest of the main cast Maggie Siff, David Costabile, Condola Rashād, Asia Kate and Dillon Jeffrey do what they do best – playing well written characters well on screen. While the cast may not look as impactful as previous seasons, the writing is more to blame than the acting.
After a television series becomes popular, it starts to release new seasons with each passing year for their growing fanbase. But as time passes by, most of these shows start to lose the “oomph factor” that made them epic. While ‘Billions’ faced this issue early with season 3, the show managed to bounce back brilliantly with season 4. Season 5 seems to have fallen below 3 at the moment, but the last few episodes more than make up for the slow first half.
Season 5 is entertaining but it is not without its faults. Corey Stoll is impressive as the new recurring cast member for this season, but the buildup to his character is quite tiring. While the character is entertaining to watch on stage, and Stoll does a brilliant job to keep us invested, the direction of his storyline makes us tire of him quite quickly, initially. Yet, Stoll is one of the best parts of this show, thanks to the second half of this season.
New characters portrayed by the brilliant guest stars, Frank Grillo and Julianna Margulies, give the show more depth, but it also means that many of our favorite side characters like Kate Sacker, Lauren Turner and Mafee, all get less screen time. Still, most of the characters from ‘Billions’ manage to work into the narrative of the show, with many going through their own mini-story arcs. But this is not something we haven’t seen before on ‘Billions’.
The show also manages to make some characters a bit mind numbing. While the character, Taylor Mason, is brilliant in seasons 2,3 and 4; they quickly become a shadow of themselves from the past seasons. While the actor does a brilliant job with what they are given, the problem still stems from the writing. The writers of ‘Billions’ are brilliant, but they might have just written themselves into a corner, especially with Taylor and Wendy (another character who seems to have nothing to do on the show). If things continue to go this way, we could be looking at the end of ‘Billions’ by season 7.
Overall, the fifth season of ‘Billions’ is an entertaining one which is backed by some darn good acting and production. And while the show is quickly moving in a new direction, with the lead actor Damien Lewis stepping away from the series, we expect the show to continue delivering the goods.
As mentioned in the above section, Frank Grillo, Julianna Margulies and Corey Stoll join the season 5 cast of Billions. While the former two actors only have a few on screen appearances, Corey Stalls however, has a role that spans the entire season. He does a brilliant job as Mike Pence, and his onscreen performance (and some unforeseen circumstances) has now elevated him to the main cast.
Other actors who portray side characters like Daniel Breaker, Dan Soder, Jade Eshete and the rest have their own character arcs and round up the series well.
Music and Other Departments?
Production value is the name of the game. If you want a set to look like something billionaires will walk into, that requires some serious cash and imagination. We see both on screen this season as well, so props to the production team. The cinematography, direction and the “one-liner” providing scriptwriter deserves a mention as well.
The Guest Stars
Second Half of The Season
First Half of The Season
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Billions Season 5 Review by Binged Bureau