'Billions' recap: Old friends and new foes stand in the way of Mike Prince's next big step (2023)

As Prince tries to further his Olympic bid, Chuck tries to turn the people of New York against him.

VonKyle Fowle February 6, 2022 at 10:01 p.m. EST


S6 E3

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One question in particular haunted me during the first two episodes of this season: where the hell are Mafee (Dan Soder) and Dollar Bill (Kelly AuCoin)? In theend of last seasonThey left Mike Prince Capital and refused to work for the man who supplanted Ax as their boss. Considering they are two of the best characters in an outstanding supporting cast, I couldn't wait to see them again and STD delivers.

The episode starts at 3:30 am when Ben Kim (Daniel K. Isaac) has called Bonnie (Sarah Stiles) and Tuk (Dhruv Maheshwari) into the office to do something important. He wants to keep it off the radar for now, but there are no secrets from Prince (Corey Stoll). He gets notifications on his phone when employees call in at night, saying they're either quitting and stealing hard drives or trying to deal with a disaster. In this case it is the latter.

Kim was out for drinks with his old pal Mafee when Mafee - always unable to keep his plays to himself - offers some clues as to how High Plains Management, which he runs with Dollar Bill, is in the process of closing some real estate deals for them Olympia. Mafee says it's a "total STD," meaning "a sure thing, dude." That means Prince's attempt to take the lead in moving the Olympics to New York is in jeopardy; someone else is trying the same thing and has teamed up with Dollar Bill and Mafee in High Plains.

So Prince puts a piece of land up for sale to smoke out the potential buyer. At the same time, Chuck Sr. (Jeffrey DeMunn) also happens to notice some strange land deals with shell companies bidding on public land. Don't be fooled - Chuck Sr. isn't noble when he alerts Chuck (Paul Giamatti) to the immorality of it, rather he is angry about itIswanted to use these shady tactics to buy the land. All of this means that both Chuck and Prince discover that exiled and disgraced former Treasury Secretary Todd Krakow (Danny Strong) is running a SPAC that is buying the land and building an Olympic stadium, which is the only thing that needs to be secured the 2028 Olympics are actually coming to New York.

Chuck wants to fool Prince, so he decides to make a deal with the devil and support Krakow. He allows his land purchase on the condition that Chuck runs the infrastructure and ensures that the stadium and housing can actually be used by the city's most vulnerable citizens after games. Essentially, Chuck can further solidify himself as a man of the people and also rob Prince of his beloved spot for the Olympics.

Of course, Prince doesn't give up the fight that quickly. He teams up with the mayor by outlining how partnering with him on this Olympics bid will help her become one of the country's most popular politicians. He promises to make things "right" and build a stadium outside of Manhattan, the controversial location where Kraków plans to build. Prince also promises to ensure the accommodations are state-of-the-art athlete housing, which will then be converted into the best affordable housing the city has ever seen.

So the mayor wraps Krakow's land deals in all sorts of bureaucratic regulations, and then Prince rushes in and makes a deal with him. Krakow, which has no money to shut down the country as investors back out after seeing the regulations, must take Prince's money, give him the land deeds and work with him for the Olympics. Chuck, of course, is angry. Not only has Prince found a way to keep his Olympic dream alive, he's also bringing with him Krakow and Bud Lazzara (Wayne Duvall), two people Chuck despises.

Therefore,billionset up his war for the season. Chuck will continue to claim that good billionaires don't exist and go after Prince. He crashes what was supposed to be Prince's solemn announcement, blocks traffic, and delivers a rousing speech about how billionaires control the city and seek to demolish working-class properties to build extravagant and unnecessary stadiums and housing for the Olympics.

This leads to many intriguing threads and character relationships for the season. There's the interesting way Ben Kim, Wendy (Maggie Siff) and Taylor (Asian Kate Dillon) all want to protect Mafee and Dollar Bill from Prince's attack while remaining loyal to the man they work for. They manage to keep High Plains management out of harm's way, but does that change their view of Prince and his supposedly "moralistic" approach to business? And, of course, we get plenty of delightful scenes as Scooter and Wags learn to work together, first reluctantly, then with some sort of beautiful synergy, their bond hilariously forged via a tearful interaction with Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle." Then there's Chuck, who believes that Prince's "nice billionaire" view is simply a hoax — but isn't Chuck himself just a rich, powerful man using the working class for his own gain? Can't he see his own hypocrisy that he and Prince operate in similar ways?

I really like likebilliondraws these parallels between Chuck and Prince. It feels like fertile territory to explore; While Chuck vs. Ax has always been more of a straight fight between good and evil, this fight feels more complex as it examines who these men really are versus what they think they are. At some point, these men will have to reckon with their true intentions and how they present themselves to both the world and those closest to them, and they may not like what they see.

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Related content:

  • Billions recap: Chuck is back in New York to wage war on the city's wealthiest
  • Billionaire Premiere Recap: Mike Prince Takes Over Ax Cap With Bombshell Announcement
  • Billionaire star Corey Stoll on Michael Prince's transformation into the new king



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