On April 10, 2022, Billions’ sixth season came to a close with the final episode titled, Cold Storage. Despite having a difficult time adjusting to the departure of one of its main characters, Bobby Axelrod (Damien Lewis), the show managed to put together an intriguing season full of dramatic events. It also came to a magnificent conclusion.
Mike Prince (Corey Stoll) and Chuck Rhoades (Paul Giamatti) had numerous conflicts during the season, both dealing lethal and personal blows to the other. It all came to a head in the penultimate episode, with Mike triumphing but Chuck delivering a surprise twist that would keep things exciting for the rest of the season. If you missed Billions’ ig finale, here’s a rundown of what happened in the show.
The episode opens with a traditional Billions flash-forward, with Chuck and Prince sitting across from one other, lawyers by their sides, and Dave (Sakina Jaffrey) in the center mediating. Dave predicts that one of these individuals will be released and the other will be sent to prison before the end of the session. She asks, pointing to a hard disc in front of Prince, “Now what’s on the drive?” Cut to 72 hours earlier, when Chuck is digging up dirt on Kate (Condola Rashad) to get her to rat on her employer, still trying to prove that Prince isn’t the squeaky clean millionaire he claims to be in an attempt to derail his yet-to-be-announced presidential run. He shows her an old case file in which she decided not to prosecute the family largely responsible for pushing opioid prescriptions and thus fueling the crisis (here, they’re known as the Butters family, but if you want to learn more about their real-life counterpart, I recommend Patrick Radden Keefe’s Empire of Pain). Chuck points out that her father sat on three boards with the Butters family’s patriarch, and believes that this is the kind of information that would be damaging to someone who wants to run for political office or be appointed to Mike Prince’s cabinet.
Chuck digs a little more and discovers that no one, not even Prince’s typical allies, seemed to be interested in Mike Money. So, how is he going to pay for the costly UBI scheme that is supposed to kickstart his presidential campaign? Chuck is persuaded to divulge that Prince is sponsoring it with his own money, making him appear as a good guy attempting to alleviate poverty with his own money. Chuck isn’t convinced, despite the fact that it’s good PR. Prince would never give up nearly a third of his net wealth for a scheme like this. There has to be something else going on. More investigating finds that while Prince divested all Axe-related enterprises, including the charter bank, when he took over, he maintained the armored car company on the payroll for some reason. When Chuck locates a company driver, he learns that the trucks only convey a single black box. The drive from our cold open is contained within that box. One of these drives is kept at Prince’s numerous businesses across the country.
Chuck obtains one of the drives via ways that straddle the boundary between legal and illegal. They’re high-end and quite safe. To gain access to the drive, you have ten attempts at the pin. If those ten estimates are incorrect, the drive will brick and the data will be lost forever. Chuck’s hired IT guy cracks the drive and discovers $150 million in cryptocurrency. When you multiply that by the number of drives out there, Chuck reckons Prince is hiding more than $3 billion in cryptocurrency from tax officials, expecting to use it to bankroll Mike Money’s presidential campaign. To put it another way, huge tax evasion.
The billionaire had his own schemes, but he needed to concentrate on both professionally damaging Chuck and neutralizing his sexual indiscretions with Rian. Rian didn’t want money, but she also didn’t want to jeopardize her boss’s chances at the White House, so the latter was especially anticlimactic. Rian and Taylor grew closer as a result of the encounter. Chuck and Prince lay out their case against each other in front of Dave, who has used her powers as Attorney General to seize all of Prince’s hard drives.
Prince was so determined to make the former New York attorney general look like a fool that he dumped $3.5 billion down the toilet as Dave and Chuck’s crypto hacker attempted and failed to crack the boxes’ code. After ten futile tries, all of the money on each digital storage box (which Dave had legally seized) vanished. Billions, Chuck, and Ira Prince pretended not to care, but Dave observed Prince’s knees buckle just before he boarded the elevator, and she knew Prince was guilty of not paying taxes on his bitcoin, exactly as Chuck had said. Despite Dave’s knowledge, Chuck was apprehended and sentenced to prison. It was just for show, though, because she caught him a short time later.
At the very least, Dave like what she’s doing and is devising new ways to collaborate with Chuck in order to derail Prince’s presidential ambitions. Chuck believes Prince resembles Greg Stillson from The Dead Zone, and he believes he will find “the baby” Prince would use to shield himself. That metaphorical baby could be Rian, based on the ending, but who knows? Wendy, Wags, Kate, and Scooter (or perhaps just the actors portraying them) appeared to be completely bored. Even after Kate duped Chuck into thinking he had enough dirt on her to blackmail her, the disclosure was underwhelming, and her victory was short-lived because Prince lost his money and Chuck served relatively little time in prison. Season 7 should include more clear successes and defeats because the triumphs are so pyrrhic and predictable at this point that it’s criminal.