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Billions - The Wrong Maria Gonzalez - Review

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Sunday’s episode of Billions began with Wendy assuring Bobby that letting go leads to a new kind of freedom this episode, left me wondering if he or Lara really know how to navigate their newfound freedom.

As Bobby was left unable to trade, he was left to find new ways to stay in control. That included finding a home for an orphan 2 billion and a new person he could puppeteer. It also meant making sure there was no one who could testify against him in the Ice Juice case. This leads us to our most recent episode’s namesake: Maria Gonzalez.

Maria, who was eventually deported is a reminder of the social politics in America: no matter how hard they work and what they do to prove their loyalty, the fate of undocumented immigrants are at the whims of those in power, even those trying to do the right thing. Maria, like so many others feels as if she is simply a pawn, a piece of the puzzle for the powerful to get what they ultimately want.

While she was a minor character in our larger season arc and in Bobby’s quest to maintain his lifestyle, Maria Gonzalez and all the people she stood for truly struck a chord for me this episode.

The dizzying lengths that Bobby will go to protect the life that he built are not surprising—no matter how much he has consistently looked down on the politics of the world he has dominated for so long. He needs it, he thrives off the last bit of the Wild West that exists in America.

What is most surprising is the shift we’ve seen in Lara this season. She and Bobby were the two outsiders in the show, the two working class people who made it big, but never forgot where they came from. It’s why I fell in love with them, why I was instantly on their team. The loyalty to their past and to each other was admirable. From the very first episode, it seemed that Lara put very little value on the money, but rather appreciated that she and Bobby had built something together.

While I felt some of her fire return as she set her fellow WASP-y mom straight, the Lara I’ve come to admire seems long gone. She and Bobby are no longer on the same team and since they’ve stopped fighting for one another, they’ve started fighting to keep a life they never held a great deal of weight in to begin with. My initial reaction was that I rang false, and maybe in some ways I still believe that, but I’m not sure we know who Lara is without Bobby and truthfully I’m not sure she does either. Apart from their kids, the money is the last part of the life they built together that she can hold onto. But I miss the strength of them together and do not like who they’re becoming apart, so hopefully this separation won’t last much longer (a girl can dream).

Side note: Seeing Mark Cuban once in the Billions world is something I could tolerate, but twice makes me think it was twice too many.

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