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– by Anthony Esteves

Another Sunday, another look into the lives of the players inside the world of HBO’s Ballers. A word filled with deals, fame, fortune, and failure.

In last week’s season premiere, Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) made the decision to compete to become owner of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. In an attempt to seek financial banking, Spencer visits the Anderson brothers (Richard Schiff and Steven Weber) for assistance. However, Spencer gets surprising news when he discovers that Candace (Emayatzy Corineadi), his prime pick to be Chiefs’ team president, has been promoted to second behind NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell—a position she secured when she succeeded in bringing Spencer to the table.

Related – Ballers Final Season Premiere Review: ‘Protocol Is For Losers’

At the same time, Joe (Rob Corddry) and Lance (Russell Brand) have decided to go in on developing a mega-complex for their company, SportsX. However, with a meeting with New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. looming, Joe is informed by Kate (Catherine Haena Kim) that he needs to apologize to Dan (Sam Lerner) due to Joe’s actions in creating a hostile work environment. Joe reluctantly agreed to the circumstances in order to preserve their plan for Beckham Jr.

Charles (Omar Benson Miller) has been forced to not only deal with the season-altering injury suffered by Ricky (John David Washington) when he was struck by a car, he now has to play cleanup when he discovers a video of a shooting involving one of his players. While Charles reprimands him, he decides to keep the video quiet, placing the drive containing the footage secretly in his desk.

Meanwhile, Ricky has an eight-month-long recovery ahead of him, due to all three ligaments in his knee being surgically repaired. Faced with this news, Ricky contemplates his future and whether or not it involves continuing as an active athlete or stepping away from the career he loves. With support from his father and those around him, Ricky decides to make the biggest decision of his life—one with an undetermined future.

While still containing the comedic/sarcastic element the series started with (primarily shared between Johnson and Corddry), Season 5 has shown its plans to take a more serious tone with high stakes taken by the main cast. Spencer looks to solidify his legacy by being the first POC owner in the business. Joe looks to stand out and build something without Spencer and the Andersons. Additionally, Ricky is faced with his own humanity, discovering that he may be meant for something else—and to reach whatever that is, he must walk away from the field he cherishes.

Ballers airs Sunday evenings on HBO, and is available for streaming on the HBO Go and HBO Now apps.

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