Billions Season 7 Episode 5 Review: The Gulag Archipelago

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It is something we give people even without knowing. When you buy something at the nearest shop, you trust that the price is not hiked, the product is okay, and the seller will let you leave with it.

Most small decisions we make daily in a split second are based on trust, but those that appear bigger in implications require some thought.

An Embarrassing Problem - Billions

There really is no way to know if we are trusting the right person, and despite our best efforts to gauge it, we might end up trusting the wrong person.

We will discuss everything that went down on Billions Season 7 Episode 5, so if you’re yet to get caught up, beware of spoilers.

Ben Kim - Billions Season 7 Episode 5

Events in the episode can be broadly categorized into two. There was a problem at MPC, and on the other side of town, there was another one in main justice of a different nature.

Being elected for a public office is a full-time job that requires someone to sacrifice everything. Prince wasn’t quite aware of what he would be sacrificing, but a hefty price tag in the billion was enough of an eye-opener.

Businesses with a clear leadership hierarchy have been proven to be the most effective because decisions get made faster by whoever is supposed to. If they’re competent, then the results are spectacular.

It was something that Mike Prince had perfected and was how he built his empire.

I built my first company in a Bloomington garage. I had a flip phone and three maxed-out credit cards for capital. Don’t come in here and complain about a $500 million ceiling.


Prince - Billions Season 7 Episode 5

But current ambitions demanded so much of him that he didn’t have the time to make critical decisions at a moment’s notice, exposing himself in more ways than one.

Victory was imminent on the trading floor after Dollar Bill came with a play after playing the dutiful role of an uncle. It goes to show that everything in life is a learning opportunity.

You could almost feel the excitement and the tension emanating through the screen at the large payout that the play promised. The comp that year would be crazy.

But the decision maker was nowhere to be seen, and in his place was Spyros. He will take a breath and find a way to make it annoying. Why has Spyros been fired yet?

Dollar Bill - Billions Season 7 Episode 5

Mike was out chasing an endorsement from a prominent Black figure, and he had to sit through an album-listening party with a no-phone policy.

Did Prince even like or enjoy hip-hop music?

But in the end, he left with a win that the developments at MPC would overshadow.

Elsewhere, friendship and loyalty were tested after Ira’s phone was stolen.

Ira - Billions Season 7 Episode 5

In the least, it is embarrassing, but it can be life-destroying when someone’s sex tapes leak. Not everyone can Kardashian the opportunity to make an empire out of it, especially if they have a decades-long career in politics.

Sometimes, it makes me wonder how naïve people can be, especially concerning cell phones. The things are not secure. Nothing on there is safe, yet someone will casually carry sex videos around. Is the thrill that someone might find them satisfying?

While trying to help Ira, Chuck Rhoades came face to face with Dave’s cunning, and man was that satisfying.

I’d been waiting for Dave’s return for a while, and it wasn’t disappointing. How she was just removed from her position didn’t sit right with me, and I absolutely wanted her back.

Dave 2 - Billions Season 7 Episode 5

She first came in peace, and the meeting with Chuck didn’t go smoothly, so she used the only language Chuck understood: cornering people.

Dave: Involved is for the gals in the Junior League. No. You’re gonna make me first chair, Special Assistant United States Attorney to any federal prosecution of Prince.
Chuck: So you get to run the show.
Dave: Sharing is caring. You want to save your friend’s pasty ass? It’s your call.

While I initially wanted a bigger showdown between them, the prospects of them working together — however fickle that relationship will be — was better than a dragged-out war.

Speaking of returns, Connerty was back, and he was a chef — an overdramatic chef nonetheless!

I had almost forgotten there ever was someone like Connerty, but that’s the thing about the past, it comes up in a really unfortunate time.

Chuck Rhoades - Billions Season 7 Episode 5

Sacker has always had political ambitions, and being on the front-row seat in the Prince Campaign opened her eyes to what her campaign might look like.

After consulting Bradford, she decided the earlier, the better, and went to take care of the Connerty problem. It wasn’t a particularly impactful plot point, but I was excited about the possibility of Sacker jumping ship and pursuing her own political interest.

Wendy and Bradford went to dinner to get Bradford acquainted with all the different sides of Mike Prince.

We didn’t see much of what she told him, but who’s willing to bet it was somehow misguided?

Bardford Luke - Billions Season 7 Episode 5

The episode’s highlight was the solidification of the anti-Prince trio’s goal to take him down.

We saw Wendy and Wags make moves on Billions Season 7 Episode 4, and it begged the question of what Taylor was working on.

They hadn’t been working on anything, but they rose to the occasion gracefully when the opportunity presented itself.

They even fooled me into believing they wanted the helium play to go through.

First, I had to get the original firm to pull out of the IPO and plant some seeds of doubt about the deal. Turns out, “Are you really going to buy that shit? ” goes a long way in a volatile market. After they bailed on the IPO, I leaked word to Spartan Ives that candidate Prince would be very appreciative if we got a look and anticipated Victor being able to get us the extra hour. He is very good at what he does.


Taylor - Billions Season 7 Episode 5

While Wendy, Wags, and Taylor have made potentially damaging strikes against Prince, it all feels sporadic, which is not the way to go if they want to win this.

Wendy: You should have let us know.
Wags: Yeah. You’re completely exposed, and if things went south, we could have helped protect you. Covered your tracks.
Taylor: I had to move alone. And I was confident you’d see it eventually. But all this is only the set of getting to the payoff will be much more challenging.
Wags: Secrecy and deception starting to get misty.
Wendy: And now?
Wags: I have sign off.
Taylor: So yes, the beginnings of a plan.
Wendy: We might really have some pieces here.
Taylor: We might indeed. So, let’s send this motherfucker to Siberia.

They need to devise a plan and appraise each other on their moves.

Waiting for opportunities to present themselves and making rushed judgments is a recipe for disaster, and they’ll be found out quite easily.

Unions were strengthened on “The Gulag Archipelago,” further raising the stakes.

With what has transpired so far, I keep flashing back to Billions Season 7 Episode 1 opening scene, where Mike is furious and breaks glass trying to get to Wendy, and I see how that reaction is justified.

What did you think?

Did you enjoy seeing how the storylines unfolded?

Chime in in the comments section.

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 Twitter.

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