Spoilers ahead for And Just Like That… and Billions.
Peloton really can’t catch a break. Not only did rumors it’s temporarily suspending production of its connected bikes and treadmills send the stock plunging on Thursday, but — in a plot twist worthy of the big screen — a second TV show character has been shown having a heart attack while riding a Peloton. This comes just over a month after a beloved character from Sex and the City was killed off after a workout on one of the company’s bikes.
In the season six premiere of Billions (available in an early release via streaming, including for free on YouTube, ahead of the show’s usual Sunday night time slot), the character Wags’ Peloton ride is interrupted by EMTs who tell him he’s having a heart attack. (The medics were called by his bosses who were secretly getting heart rate data from an Oura-like ring and initially suspect a different kind of late-night workout.) When he returns to the office, he even makes a reference to the now-infamous scene from last month: “I’m not going out like Mr. Big!” he triumphantly announces to his co-workers.
Mr. Big may be gone from And Just Like That, but he’s been haunting Peloton. First, of course, was the fictional character’s death, which hurt the company’s very real stock prices. Then, Peloton tried to quickly turn the situation around with an ad featuring Ryan Reynolds and Mr. Big’s actor, Chris Noth. The ad directly calls out the show, explaining the health benefits of regular cycling and ending with “he’s alive.” Days later, Peloton scrubbed the ad from the internet after two women accused Noth of sexual assault.
Billions using almost the same plot point as And Just Like That is completely coincidental, according to The New York Times. The scene was apparently written and shot early last year, and the line about Mr. Big was dubbed in after the fact. Even as someone who doesn’t watch Billions, this serendipity is delightful — though I don’t imagine Peloton would agree. While the company hasn’t blamed Wag’s extravagant lifestyle for the heart condition, it did point out to the Times the virtues of a good cardio workout.
I’m inclined to agree. I’m feeling great after the ab workout that laughing about this whole situation has given me.