‘Billions’ Season 5 Episode 1 ‘The New Decas’: 25 behind-the-scene scoops and moments you may have missed
Spoilers for ‘Billions’ Season 5 Episode 1 ‘The New Decas’
If you watched the first episode, ‘The New Decas,’ you may already be in awe with the thirst for power among the big billionaires. As the rivalries intensify, all eyes move from Bobby Axelrod (Damian Lewis) to Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) and Taylor Mason (Asia Kate Dillon).
That's not all, there's a new business titan on the block — Michael Prince (Corey Stoll). Directed by Matthew McLoota and written by Brian Koppelman and David Levien, the episode begins on a joyful note with Charles Rhoades, Sr (Jeffrey DeMunn) and Roxanne's (Lily Gladstone) lavish wedding. As you watch the hour-long drama, here are 25 notable behind-the-scene scoops revealed by the ‘Billions’ Writers Room in a tweet thread.
First song of the season
'Gone Again' by Patti Smith is the first song of the season. Fun fact: Besides being one of the best punk artists of all time, Smith also won the 2010 National Book Award for her memoir, 'Just Kids'.
Bands on the show
The Stray Cats was one of the most successful bands from the rockabilly revival era and is most famous for this song, 'Rock this Town'. The band is performing 'Beautiful in My Eyes' by Joshua Kadison from his album Painted Desert Serenade. Koppelman worked with Kadison on the album. Lots of famous groups performed on American Bandstand, such as the Jackson 5, the Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, Rick James, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Who was Rudolph Valentino?
Rudolph Valentino was a beloved actor in the silent film era. He was such a sensation that his death at age 31 led some fans to commit suicide and 10,000 people showed up for the funeral.
Chuck's Steve McQueen reference
Chuck is referring to Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw in 'The Getaway' (1972). Following its release, McQueen became the highest-paid actor in the world at the time.
Did you catch that 'Bonnie and Clyde' reference?
Wendy’s referring to Beatty and Dunaway in 'Bonnie and Clyde' (1967), which was nominated for 10 Academy Awards in nine categories, including Best Picture. It won two, but lost Best Picture to 'In the Heat of the Night'.
Build-a-Bear still does valentine hearts but one can also make raccoons, Ewoks, sloths, dinosaurs and other non-bear animals.
Aren't you in love with 'Bad Company'?
This is 'Bad Company' by the band of the same name, from the album of the same name. The band’s name comes from the 1972 western Bad Company, starring Jeff Bridges.
Oh, those Van Gogh paintings
The Van Gogh Chuck points out is Noon-Rest from Work. It is Van Gogh’s interpretation of the 1866 work Noon: Rest by Jean-Francois Millet.
An escape from 25 years of prison?
In New York, someone who participated in this level of utility theft could be subject to 25 years in prison.
What's the gold standard?
The US went off the gold standard in 1933 to combat the effects of the Great Depression. In 1971, the government officially stopped exchanging money for gold.
The quote from 'The Letter'
Sacker and Chuck are quoting 'The Letter' by The Box Tops. It was named one of the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll by Rolling Stone in 1995.
Mafee is referring to the coding platform Node.js, which is used to create servers.
A gang who wore weird hats
Taylor’s talking about the nativist gang from the 1850s in Baltimore who wore weird hats. Their first crime was racism but the last straw was their fashion sense.
Can you remember Michael Prince's full name?
Michael Thomas Aquinas Prince gets his middle name from the Catholic saint and philosopher. Aquinas tried to meld Christianity and Aristotelian philosophy to form a code of ethics, with an emphasis on the virtue of charity.
A note on St. Blaise
St. Blaise is the patron saint of throat ailments because he allegedly cured a child who was choking on a fishbone. Blaise was later torn up by iron combs and beheaded.
The New Decas shoot is a real thing
The organizers of the New Decas shoot are Radhika Jones, editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair and portrait artist Mark Seliger. One of his portraits of 'Billions' is of John Malkovich. You can see it HERE.
Some other Misters Basketball include LeBron James (twice!), Kevin Garnett, and Lonzo Ball.
Scandals of W Magazine
One of the most buzzworthy editions of W Magazine was Domestic Bliss, a 60-page photo spread of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie together a few months after Pitt had divorced Jennifer Aniston.
The New York Post’s gossip section is called Page Six, though it’s no longer located on page 6. 90-year-old Cindy Adams has been a gossip columnist for the Post for over 40 years.
A cannabis coffee house chain
The Bulldog is an Amsterdam-based cannabis coffee house chain. Space cakes are one of their most popular edibles.
So, what is a Peruvian Necktie exactly?
A Peruvian Necktie is a submission move popularized by Tony De Souza, a Peruvian MMA fighter.
Becky Lynch is The Man
Becky Lynch is the only wrestler to hold the Raw Women’s Championship and SmackDown Women’s Championship titles simultaneously.
Got your eyes on Churchill's books?
Churchill’s books have been gifted to powerful people on several occasions. Queen Elizabeth II gave an abridged first edition of The Second World War to President Donald Trump during his visit to the United Kingdom in 2019.
Chuck and Sacker are uncovering the triple-cross at 4 Charles Prime Rib. The Greenwich Village speakeasy isn’t open right now, but you can still donate to their employee relief fund.
The last song
Patti Smith bookends the episode with 'Summer Cannibals' from the same album, Gone Again.