‘Billions’ wraps seven-season run with fan and critical acclaim

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Warning: This article contains spoilers for the final episode of Billions.

The long-running Showtime series Billions came to an end Sunday with pretty much an overall consensus that the finale was, well, money.

The show, initially based around a shady hedge fund king and the government prosecutors standing in his way, wrapped up a seven-season run that included one of the show’s original leads, Damian Lewis, leaving for a season to be with his ailing wife who passed away in April 2021. But this final chapter brought together all of the show’s stars for what played out like one big happy party — for most of the characters, anyway.

Here’s a look at how Billions finally cashed out.

What the creators wanted to do

That big happy ending was by design according to the show’s creators, Brian Koppelman, David Levien and Andrew Ross Sorkin, who spoke to Variety about focusing on the fans of the show for this last hoorah.

“We made a decision early on that we were going to make this season of the show for true Billions fans — for the people who watch each episode more than once, who catch our references, who notice every song,” Koppelman said. “We wanted to make the final season that we wanted to see as Billions obsessives. Seeing you all get the little lines and jokes and the moments and feeling the emotional resonances is incredibly satisfying.”

Koppelman also spoke to USA Today about making it for the “superfans” and adding that they “found the ultimate landing spot for all these characters.”

How the finale played out

Before Lewis took his aforementioned hiatus from the show for season six, it was Corey Stoll’s Mike Prince who helped make Axelrod’s downfall complete in season five in order for Prince to step in as the show’s new main villain.

Upon Lewis’ return for season seven, Axelrod teamed up with his former nemesis and the show’s main protagonist — if you can call him that — in Paul Giamatti’s Chuck Rhodes to bring down Prince together.

And it was Sunday’s finale episode when all of that finally came to a head. The plan to bring down Prince, who had also become a potentially dangerous presidential candidate, was to take down his stock portfolio while he was in the middle of a meeting with the current president at Camp David and without his phone, which was locked up.

After a meltdown from Prince and a vow to one day return for a “second act” — series spinoff perhaps? — pretty much all of the show’s main players fell into a nice place. Axelrod regained the spot on his old throne as the boss and was ready to “make some … money.”

Chuck not only brought down his latest enemy and vowed to return to his roots, he also shared a lovely moment out to dinner with his ex-wife Wendy, played by Maggie Siff, and their two children.

For more on how things went for some of the show’s other popular characters like Asia Kate Dillon’s Taylor Mason, Dola Rashad’s Kate Sacker and David Costabile’s Mike “Wags” Wagner, click here.

Critical response

Here’s what Brian Lowry of CNN had to say about how the show ended:

Billions successfully landed the plane (OK, private jet) with its series finale, in a satisfying finish that reassembled the key players and even gave them time to take individual bows. For a show with so much bite and venom, it was oddly sentimental in generally the best of ways…

Billions signed off to the aptly chosen strains of Steve Miller Band’s “Take the Money and Run,” the show could take pride in having risen to the occasion, offering those who gave seven seasons’ worth of time to the Showtime series a nifty return on their investment.”

Viewer response

While the occasional viewer reaction on social media seemed a little put off by such a happy ending, the overwhelming consensus was that the finale episode was things like “perfect,” “dope” and “no joke.”

Billions can be seen on Showtime and streaming on Paramount+.



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