Billions Series Finale (Season 7 Episode 12) Recap and Ending Explained: If one remembers the beginning of Billions Season 7 and the retroactively prophetic dialogue of Bobby Axelrod, one might realize that this season comes full circle. The only way Mike Prince could be defeated is by letting him get to the Presidency. Not taking into account any of the writing fallacies, but the fact that the show ends by basically resetting the status quo is very quintessentially “Billions,” just instead of the season finale, this effectively takes the show back to the status quo to where it originally had been.
Of course, not literally, because there is some level of grounding in this show, and thus there are some changes, but one could characterize this series finale as “satisfying.” Really, for a show running for Seven seasons and arguably had been running on fumes these last two, what more could be asked for?
Billions (Season 7) Episode 12 – Recap
Episode 12 – The Admiral’s Fund
This is an episode of revelations. The show wastes no time in revealing that both Kate Sacker and Philip Charyn have been part of the Axe and Rhoades front since episodes six and seven. And this is also the episode about retroactive additions. For Sacker, it’s the addition of a scene before Taylor, Wags, and Wendy are brought in front of Prince, whereby Sacker reveals that she had already sussed out Wags’ methodology. To her credit, it wasn’t very hard, even in the world of “billions.”
For Philip, after what had happened to his mentor and his invention, his disillusionment had been apparent, but credit to the writers that by including so many twists and blindsided plot progressions, it almost made eagle-eyed viewers like me forget or doubt for a second whether Philip is part of the plan. I know many viewers who weren’t fooled, so kudos to you. You are smarter than I am. Nevertheless, these revelations are always fun, like peeling layers of onion skins.
So now, while the cat is out of the way, the mice come out to play. With Prince, Luke, and Scooter en route to Camp David and being off the grid for over two hours because Camp David is strictly off the grid and no phones are allowed on the premises, Axe and Rhoades, along with their team, get to work.
The plan is to take almost all of the disparate pieces and connect them in a ridiculously circuitous scheme that needs to work just about enough to see Prince’s fall without damaging anyone else in the process. The first is Chuck Rhoades announcing to the SDNY office that there is evidence of large-scale collusion in the energy sector with the six largest nations. And Rhoades and the office are open to investigations, with the caveat that if anyone leaks it to the press, Rhoades will go medieval on them.
Taking the Winston risk algorithm, it is a matter of Taylor changing the fundamental attributes of the said algorithm: “zag when it is supposed to zig.” Then Philip would apply the algorithm to all the trades and choose to sit out and wait while the stock price plummets due to the investigation that is occurring because the algorithm takes these events as a raise and advises accordingly. However, one unlikely candidate has a chance of figuring all these out: Spyros, but the way he chooses to act is also the stupidest and yet the most Spyros thing ever.
Back at the SDNY offices, it is revealed that Kate Sacker has managed to look past her political ambitions and look at the larger picture. Thus, meekly, she submits to Chuck Rhoades’ guidance, and he advises her to get back to SDNY, lose the revealing dress code to something more reserved, and get back to her crusading ways by taking her pick of the cases. And, of course, to start by bringing back the original status quo, and yet not really, we are also given a reunion with the original trio of the SDNY: Rhoades, Sacker, and Connerty.
Yes, Brian Connerty, an ex-con and soon-to-be ex-server at Hibachi, finally has his degree reinstated (with Chuck’s financial support on the down low). Thus, Sacker takes the friend route instead of antagonizing and thus regains her old friend and colleague back, seven years ahead of schedule. The joy of closure in television storytelling is just two degrees removed from reality, a much more palatable and frothy removal if I am being honest with myself.
As Prince and his team make their way back and get back their phones, those start to blow up. All of Prince’s portfolio has been emptied, and Prince has been locked out of his own account. That is enough for Prince to drive back to the offices of MCP, which is slowly being wrested out of his very grasp. And here is where we get the season premiere opener, Shocker, with Prince entering the MPC office in seething anger and hurtling a chair through the glass of Wendy’s office.
But while we had been armed with the scathing question Prince had opened the season with, we now get the even more scathing response from Wendy—properly dressing down a presidential candidate regarding his behavior. But as Prince is readying himself to give a dressing down in return and dismiss all his employees in front of Axe and Taylor, he is shocked by the arrival of Governor Nancy Dunlop.
Cue another retroactive addition where we see the conversation between her and Axe in Rao just added, with context regarding Dunlop’s misgivings about Prince’s presidency after his perspective on the use of nukes was brought into question. And that is when Axe moves in for the kill—the promise of an uncontested run, which would only be possible once she joined his candidature as VP, and after his inevitable dismissal, running for candidature with her voting base intact.
To make matters worse, Bradford Luke makes the only possible play by joining Dunlop as her political advisor. Dunlop is more than happy to take on Bradford, as she has heard great things about him from Wendy Rhoades. And no, he hadn’t been playing against Mike because, frankly, that would have been one too many dominoes. Not to mention, Philip’s loyalty play completely works due to the Prince’s arrogance forcing him to give authorization to Wags, which ultimately falls to Philip since Wags is apparently out of the picture. A happy accident or a well-executed plan—who knows?
Either way, Prince is completely down. Removed from his money and his seat of power, he is now a broken man. But he is ready to get back into battle with his trusty aide, Scooter, by his side. Except Scooter is not ready to play loyal second fiddle any longer. This had turned out to be “one expensive lesson,” a too-close example of a real-life Icarus getting burned, and Scooter is now hesitant to get back into that fight. The removal of the money is also because of the timed press announcement of the collusion being just a rumor, but because Rhoades convinced Dave Mahaar to let all of the mistaken trades not be reversed, all the MPC trades that the faulty algorithm had suggested are all active, and thus MPC is now empty of its coffers.
Because this is the series finale, emotional closure is kind of expected. What hadn’t been expected but is still welcome is the unexpected resolution between Chuck and Rhoades Sr. Sure enough, Sr. had been responsible for leaking the news to the press about a possible collusion in the energy sector. However, what is remarkable is Sr. acknowledging the elevation and complexity of the planning in Rhoades and shaking hands with his enemy to work together. This is the moment when Sr. finally acknowledges his pride in Chuck, remarking, “I know you will be okay when I am gone.” After an affectionate hug, Sr. comments on his “sonny’s” gait to straighten his posture. That is heartwarming.
As Prince strategizes to leave, his empire now in tatters, Axe steps forward to take the “lease of this place,” reminding him of the “100 million dollars Prince still has on Killer Mike’s black-owned banks”. That is almost like being a millionaire in Indiana. But unlike what had happened to Axe two seasons ago, a wounded tiger who recuperated and built his own empire, content to step away from the battlefield, Prince sees this as the beginning of a second act. An encore, if you will, warning them that they won’t see him coming once he begins his second inning. After all, America is built on “second acts”.
And then Axe reveals his guitar solo. He is the Clapton to Rhoades’ Vinwood in “Blind Faith,” and he is itching for a moment to show off his skills and reveal his magnum opus amidst the supergroup created. Axe’s magnum opus: all the employees’ funds at MPC had been stored in a slush fund called Admiral’s Fund. Is that legal? Absolutely not, but Rhoades has to give it a pass, even if viewers like me can’t help but feel icky at seeing these greedy bastards enjoy becoming very rich again. Let’s not forget that none of these guys are the best, and they have committed some pretty heinous acts. The silver lining, though, is that even Spyros’ “betrayal”—running to warn Prince and getting effectively bodied by the Navy Seals guarding Camp David—is forgiven, and his money is returned as well.
The heartwarming familial resolution doesn’t end here. The Scooter subplot of him finally being free of the shackles of Prince and going forth with his dream of conducting comes into fruition here—Philip had sidelined Scooter’s account from being emptied in the initial fire sale. Thus, Scooter has been a prince, a pauper, and back to being a prince again in a day. Philip does that because of familial loyalty, even though he is more than happy to stay back at this “jungle of hyenas,” which is now Axe’s fiefdom.
Billions Series Finale Ending Explained
The final set of minutes deals with the resolution of the principal characters and an affirmation of their relationships in the current landscape. For Axe and Chuck, there is a mutual amount of respect and acknowledgment of how much they have grown, realizing that, like the supergroup, their partnership could only last for so long before they go back to each end of the ring. Thus, Rhoades advises Bobby to handle his company in as legal a shape as possible, while Axe hands over the incriminating hard drive that Rhoades had given to Wags as collateral for their partnership. This would allow some indulgences, he hoped, and Chuck reluctantly, albeit with a far more resigned alacrity, agreed.
For Axe and Taylor, on the other hand, there is a decisiveness to Taylor. They know that the mind-meld between Axe and them is tempting, and thus, it would be best to step away from this addictive environment and go back to doing what they had wanted to do in the first place. As a gesture of generosity, Axe hands over the former office space of Axe Global (renamed Taylor-Mason Foundation) to Taylor, while MCP becomes the headquarters of Axe Global.
The final reconciliation is between Axe and Wendy, which hammers home that while the show is returning to the status quo as it rides off into the sunset, there will be permanent changes. The big one, though, is the predictable one: Wendy won’t be staying at Axe Global; the band is not getting back together entirely. Axe would be losing her to Mental, the telehealth company she had planned to be the CEO of. And while Axe worries that he will lose her again, Wendy reminds her that, unlike the last two years, they wouldn’t be far apart.
They are in the same city, and they will strive to stay connected, just not in the same place. She also repeats the same mantra with Chuck: a way to slowly restore their relationship and maintain a friendship with the two of them because this is the only way. And honestly, as far as the ending goes, this is the healthiest one of all the characters.
As for Wags, we see Wags and Scooter having a heart-to-heart, with Wags admitting that Scooter’s loyalty and work ethic made Wags a better human and that his door is always open for Scooter to reconnect and have a drink, a form of reconciliation. This newer, perhaps more understanding Wags also admits to Axe that while he would be there for Axe to ensure Axe Global runs smoothly, he would be going to Miami (spinoff hint, I suppose). The only person who returns to the status quo is Axe, returning to the company he left, having that devilish smile on his face as he calls his army and instructs them to “make more money.”
He is home again, even though that home has changed. There is a certain happiness if you look at it from the narrative standpoint of what Axelrod is, but from a realistic perspective, there is a certain sense of melancholy. Axe is happy doing the same thing he has been doing for the last 20 years while Chuck and Wendy are enjoying a family dinner at Hibachi, both of them at peace. Honestly, who do you think is happier? However many spinoffs appear, this mothership is the one we will miss, with its grandiosity and its moments of clever commentary, pulpy narrative, and some of the most memorable characters of this decade.