TV Club: Following a soft recovery, Billions’ stock drops again

The key to understanding Billions, and why it’s such an unpleasant show to watch, is June Raichlein. June is the grieving widow from the pilot, the woman Lara pounced on after she aired her grievances publicly rather than try to make peace with the Axelrods privately. Given the brevity of her scenes in the first two episodes, June seems like an unlikely character to serve as an emblem of Billions‘ shortcoming, but then again, that’s the June of the pilot. The June in “YumTime” seems like a completely different person. In the pilot, June was mousy and wounded, but in “YumTime,” she’s a glamorous, fame-obsessed society woman. Her hair is different. Even her voice doesn’t sound quite the same. The before and after is pretty dramatic.

Why is it necessary to tweak June this way? For one thing, it gives Lara, a character who could easily …

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