Billions Season 7: Mike for President? 6 reasons to vote no

By Gen Terblanche14 March 2024

Billions Season 7: Mike for President? 6 reasons to vote no

Money never talks louder than in an election year in the United States. And as the final Season of Billions begins, the prospect of a Mike Prince (Corey Stoll) presidency forces arch rivals Axe (Damian Lewis) and Chuck (Paul Giamatti) to unite their wealth, their powers and their allies – like Chuck’s ex-wife and Axe’s ex-advisor Wendy (Maggie Siff), financial analyst Taylor (Asia Kate Dillon) and Axe’s right-hand man Wags (David Costabile) – to bring him down. 

Read up on all the Billions drama in Seasons 1-6 »

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Vote yes for Mike Prince? 

Despite a name like Michael Thomas Aquinas Prince, Mike looks like voter catnip. He grew up on a farm in Indiana, and went to a government school where he was a basketball champion. From these humble beginnings, this investment manager and founder-owner of Mike Prince Capital (MPC) came into his first millions by investing in his friend’s software company. During Billions Season 6 Mike “fired” all his clients who weren’t squeaky clean, financially speaking. And on paper he wants to give back to society, even spearheading a campaign to have New York City host the 2028 Olympic Games, and proposing to use a third of his personal wealth to fund Mike Money – a universal basic income (UBI) project that promises Americans a real social safety net. Throughout the series Mike has tried to go high when Chuck and Axe went low.  

Corey Stoll as Michael "Mike" Prince and Piper Perabo as Andy Salter in Billions S7

For many Billions fans, the whole campaign to take down Mike Prince in Season 7 might feel out of the blue. But perhaps the signs have been there all along. As Season 7 continues, more is going to come out about the possible dangers of a Mike Prince Presidency. Here are six seeds of destruction that are starting to sprout… 

Vote no for Mike Prince 

1: How he treats family 

When Mike’s two young adult daughters, Gail (Gracie Lawrence) and Liz (Molly Brown) asked him to show them the ropes in the family business in Season 5, he instead secretly used them in a scheme to entrap and expose Axe, wrecking his attempt to start a rival digital bank. The kids went into the deal believing that they were out to pitch to their first client in a campaign, clueless that their dad had no intention of them winning. This underhanded behaviour came out again in Season 6. Mike’s determination to win back his estranged wife Andy (Piper Perabo) was a major driver behind his bid to have New York City host the Olympics. But he also blindsided her when he financially ruined her major sponsor Stewie Rask (Peter Zizzo), after uncovering his company’s human rights violations.  

On one hand it shows that Mike Prince is willing to put ethics before personal ties. On the other, it could show a man who’ll lie to and betray those closest to him with a smile. 

2: His moral compass points to hell 

Damian Lewis as Bobby "Axe" Axelrod in Billions

Mike Prince’s deadly sin is self-righteousness. That friend who helped him make his first millions? Yeah. While Mike sees himself as morally superior to the likes of Axe, in Season 5, episode 8, his ex-business partner’s mother reveals in an interview that Mike deliberately cheated her son out of hundreds of millions of dollars and a deal with Microsoft, after which the man sank into depression, drug addiction and death.  

(L-R): Toney Goins as Philip Charyn, Daniel Breaker as Roger “Scooter” Dunbar, Corey Stoll as Michael "Mike" Prince, Babak Tafti as Bradford Luke and Dola Rashad as Kate Sacker in Billions S7 on Showmax
(L-R): Toney Goins as Philip Charyn, Daniel Breaker as Roger “Scooter” Dunbar, Corey Stoll as Michael “Mike” Prince, Babak Tafti as Bradford Luke and Dola Rashad as Kate Sacker

Another hint about Mike’s wonky moral compass comes from Season 6, episode 1, when he spied on his employees’ confidential data from the health monitoring rings he gave them. In the very same episode, Mike told Chuck that he doesn’t break the law. But his efforts to run a clean ship at MCP don’t seem to be about ethics, they’re about protecting his ultimate goal of becoming the most powerful man in the world. In Season 6, episode 9, Mr “I don’t lie, I don’t break the law” bribed two thirds of the New York State Senate to get Chuck fired from his position as Attorney General.

And in Season 6, episode 10, Wendy summed up his behaviour as she told him to his face that he’s not just a liar, he’s a guy who tells his biggest lies to himself, insisting, “You don’t want to be an emperor because it’s good for other people. You want power because you like power … Because you can’t imagine anyone else deserves it more than you do.” 

3: That Bitcoin tax dodge 

Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhoades in Billions
Paul Giamatti as Chuck Rhoades

During Season 6, Mike’s determination to take down Chuck Roades saw him throw $3.5 billion to the wind. When Chuck confiscated Mike’s cryptocurrency storage boxes in a truly shady move from the Attorney General’s office, Mike claimed that there was nothing on them and refused to give anyone the PIN. The Attorney General’s office’s attempts at hacking the code led to the Bitcoin being erased, Chuck (pretend-pretend) going to jail for destruction of property, and Mike losing billions to cover up the fact that he hadn’t paid capital gains taxes on his Bitcoin billions in the Season 6 finale. Mike is not as clean as he claims to be. 

4: No votes for the stupid 

In Season 7 episode 1 while trying to get Wendy to continue her work as his performance coach during his campaign for the presidency, Mike lets slip that he doesn’t think it’s the President’s job to listen to the public because they’re… “not smart people. Not educated people. Just people.”

And he adds that America wasn’t actually meant to be a democracy. “The founders never wanted a true democracy but a constitutional republic. You know that,” he tells Wendy, with no hint that he’s speaking about disenfranchising voters because he thinks that they’re stupid compared to him … and that the President of the United States shouldn’t have to listen to stupid people. But when a guy believes that he’s the smartest man in every room, who’s he really going to listen to in the end?  

5: Diagnosis: dangerous 

Corey Stoll as Michael "Mike" Prince and Piper Perabo as Andy Salter in Billions S7

After observing Mike professionally and picking up hints that he believes he never lies, he thinks of himself as Caesar, and that he’s a once-in-a-generation genius, Wendy warns her allies (in Season 7, episode 1) that Mike is a megalomaniac. “There’s nothing more dangerous than a man who’s sure he’s never wrong,” she insists.

While Mike is brilliant, Wendy believes that’s part of the recipe for disaster when you throw in a couple more ingredients: “when those smarts are used to strengthen the idea that no one else’s opinion counts. And in add his ability to lie to himself about who he really is, and finally, fold in a textbook God complex,” she reveals. Mike’s greed is the final ingredient in this dangerous mix. In episode 2, Wendy explains, “A lot of billionaires feel they never have enough. That’s the driver? But I’ve learned that there is such a thing as too much. Too much ego, too much power. Prince is over that line.”  

6: The Hitler thing 

In Season 7, episode 1, when Mike Prince is talking to his staff he tells them, “It’s been said one is either a hammer or an anvil. Good people have been the anvil for too long.” The handful of people who hear that dog whistle quietly freak out because that reference to the hammer and the anvil, although used by poets and writers like Longfellow and Goethe, was more famously used by Adolf Hitler in his 1929 speech in Munich. For Wendy, it solidifies her belief that voting for Mike Prince means opening the door to a dictator.  

It’s all seemingly small stuff but before the end of the season we’ll see Mike claim that he’d be willing to launch a nuclear strike against a threat. See you at the polls, voters! 

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