The Most 'Billions'-y Things That Happened on the 'Billions' Season 5 Premiere

Showtime's Billions takes place in a reality all its own. Technically that's true of pretty much every work of fiction, but it feels especially so for the show created by Brian Koppelman, David Levien and Andrew Ross Sorkin.

The whole series is a high-stakes pissing contest that's dressed up like a prestige TV drama set in the world of New York finance. Really, though, Billions takes place in a different, even more heightened world—one where stock bros and members of the federal law enforcement are hyper-articulate and as fluent in sports and film references as they are in obscene insults.

Imagine a world where splashy cameos, extravagant dining and skullduggery are par for the course. Think of a place where people are constantly seduced by power, prone to operatic levels of pettiness and vulnerable to what the NBA's Pat Riley has called "the Disease of More," to throw in a Billions-esque shoutout. Picture a reality where Paul Giamatti is not only the Attorney General of New York, but also an out (and somewhat proud) member of the BDSM community. Consider the existence of a realm where John Malkovich is a Russian billionaire and speaks in the same thicker-than-whiteout-conditions accent that he had as Teddy KGB in the 1998 film Rounders—not a coincidence, since Koppelman and Levien wrote Rounders. Try to believe that Damian Lewis could somehow be from Yonkers. Once you've done all that, then you'll have an idea of what goes on in the world of Billions.

And to celebrate the show's compelling brand of absurdity, we're keeping track of the most Billions-y things that happen on Billions this season. For highlights from the fifth season premiere, brace yourselves and head below.

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Maggie Siff, Damian Lewis and David Costabile are reunited for the fifth season premiere of 'Billions,' titled "The New Decas." Jeff Neumann/Showtime

Axe and Wags Do Ayahuasca

The fourth season of Billions wrapped in June 2019. So as far as the viewers are concerned, Damian Lewis' Bobby "Axe" Axelrod and David Costabile's Mike "Wags" Wagner (nicknames are a thing on this show, if you couldn't tell) have been out in the wild for nearly a year of our time. Naturally, that means that when we first catch up with them, they're bearded, sweaty, way outside New York City somewhere and in the throes of Ayahuasca trips, searching for some deeper truth—or, more likely, just chasing a mind-melting high. (Later, Wags says he met "the creator of souls," so it sounds like he got both.)

However transcendent that experience might've been for them, we get a more sublime one moments later: We get to witness Axe and Wags, recovered from their hallucinatory haze and suited up in biker gear, ride their motorcycles away from the mountains to the sounds of "Bad Company" by Bad Company (from the album Bad Company). Just incredible.

Chuck Makes a Menacing Toast at His Father's Wedding

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If this man offers to make a toast at your wedding, do NOT take him up on it. Jeff Neumann/Showtime

Here's how you give a good toast at your father's wedding to a much younger woman—at least, according to Paul Giamatti's Chuck Rhoades: Open by sharing details of a conversation you had about your toast with your mother, who is present at the reception, watching as people celebrate the union between her domineering ex-husband and his brand-new bride.

Then reference that time that you—against your now-estranged wife's wishes—called a press conference and openly discussed your predilection for BDSM. (Don't let it bother you that your wife is also present at the reception, your marriage is already a lost cause.) Follow that by flat-out telling everyone, "Buckle up, because I am not gonna say nice things about my dad—I don't want to," in your best gravelly voice.

And then pivot by saying you'd much rather focus on celebrating your father's "magnificent bride, Roxanne." Chuckle at your own bit and bask in the applause. Nailed it.

Corey Stoll Is a Deca-Billionaire and He's on the Cover of Vanity Fair

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We'd much rather prefer if Corey Stoll's character was just named "Corey Stoll," but alas—he's named "Michael Prince," which, not bad! Jeff Neumann/Showtime

Halfway through the episode, we get our first look at Axe's newest rival, Corey Stoll. Actually, he's named Michael Prince—well, Michael Thomas Aquinas Prince—and he's only played by Corey Stoll, but still. It's Corey Stoll, he's worth $10 billion (making him part of the elite class of "deca-billionaires," a group Axe has only just joined) and he's definitely coming for Axe.

We're introduced to Stoll's Michael (Thomas Aquinas) Prince at a photoshoot for a Vanity Fair spread on all the decas. Guy struts onto the premises like he's the center of the scene, and we can confirm that this tactic works. When he's onscreen, you find yourself thinking, "Huh, weird how Corey Stoll has second-billing on Billions now, after Giamatti. Wonder how Damian Lewis feels about that?" Probably not great! Which is exactly how Axe feels when he finds out that Michael (Thomas Aquinas) Prince actually edged all the other decas off the cover of Vanity Fair, so he could appear solo.

Becky Lynch Crashes the Axe Cap Office

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She's not in this shot, but we assure you that these Axe Cap employees are reacting to Becky Lynch's cameo. Jeff Neumann/Showtime

The vibe at Axe Capital is not good. There's infighting between the longtime Axe Cap employees and the Taylor Mason Capital team, who came aboard at the end of season 4. In fact, "infighting" is putting it mildly; apparently, someone reversed the toilet-flush in the office's unisex bathroom, and it drenched a member of the Mase Cap crew. (Mercifully, this happened off-screen.) The hostility has Axe Cap's in-house performance coach, Maggie Siff's Wendy Rhoades (she's still keeping Chuck's last name—for now), worried.

So, in the interest of team-building and reminding everyone on staff how fun it can be to work at Axe Cap, Wendy does what any concerned leader would do: She calls in a favor from superstar wrestler Becky Lynch, the reigning RAW Women's Champion. Just before the episode's final stretch, Axe hears a ruckus happening at reception and walks out to find Lynch barking in her brogue that she needs to see Wendy. Recognizing her cue, Wendy marches out of her office and proceeds to pummel Lynch and throw her over a nearby desk.

It's quite a show, but the whole thing's rigged! (Did you know that about wrestling?) Lynch jumps back up and gives a speech about how she and Wendy go way back, and reveals that Wendy's the person who made her believe that a woman could become the face of professional wrestling. Bold move to credit Becky Lynch's success to Wendy Rhoades, but hey, bold is what Billions does.

And before she dips out, Lynch offers a few words of advice: "Look, in wrestling, we don't all like each other—that part's not for show. I honestly cannot stand some of them women that I have to fight. But at the end of the day, we're all part of a bigger family, right? And we all do the job for each other." Thanks, Becky Lynch.

It's a Triple Cross!

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Giamatti's Chuck Rhoades and Condola Rashād's Kate Sacker know that Axe is aware of their plot against him. But does Axe know that they know that he knows? Showtime/Jeff Neumann

Schemes and subterfuge are what really fuel Billions. But whew, the show's writers are not playing around this season. In the final few minutes of the premiere, Taylor tells Axe why they really came back to Axe Cap: because Chuck has resumed his doomed crusade against Axe, and he asked Taylor to infiltrate Axe Cap to help him get dirt on Axe. Ah, but Axe had already figured that out. (The tell was in how Taylor carried their shoulders—no, seriously.) So now, Axe and Taylor are on the same side again and united against Chuck... maybe? Honestly, since Taylor said in the season 4 finale that they wanted to exploit Chuck and Axe's blood feud to take them both down, it's hard to believe that they're aligned with anyone in this mess.

As far as Chuck is concerned, though, Taylor is back on Axe's team and he tells his lieutenant-slash-protégé, Condola Rashād's Kate Sacker, as much. Why does he figure that Taylor's switched sides? Well, because Axe pays Chuck a visit at his home and tries to remind him how mutually beneficial their friendship can be. So Axe knows something is up, which means Chuck now knows that something is up—which, of course, means that Chuck is hatching a new plan, one that we'll have to watch unfold throughout the season.