‘Ballers’ Season 5, Episode 6 synopsis/review: ‘A century-old institution’
Much like an 18-game NFL regular season would provide disappointment for many NFL players, it looks like fans of “Ballers” might be in for some similar sentiments as the show ends its near.
The latest episode of “Ballers” set the tone for the rest of the show’s final season, with drama galore during the annual NFL owners meeting and the latest episode of Ricky Jarret’s radio show.
However, many football fanatics were treating themselves to some other action Sunday night that was actually happening on the field, as the Cowboys and Saints battled down to the wire in Week 4 on Sunday Night Football.
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If you were one of those people and missed out on Sunday night’s episode of Ballers, you’re in luck. As always, we’ve got you covered like Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore against the league’s best receivers.
Without further adieu, here’s a full recap and review of the sixth episode of the final season of “Ballers.”
The show opens in the aftermath of last week’s fatal shooting, with friends and family showing up for Kisan Teague’s funeral.
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As Kisan’s life is remembered and a choir sings at his service, we get shots of Reggie, Vernon and Charles sitting together in one section of the church, and Spencer and Jason together in the back.
“I hate f—ing funerals, I hate grieving,” Jason says. “I don’t feel anything, that’s the problem.”
“I’m the same way brother,” Spencer replies.
Spencer leaves the service after he gets a call from the Boss Man, and Spencer mentions where he is as the Cowboys owner calls.
“Feel like your kids, but they aren’t,” Boss Man says, talking about Kisan’s death.
The two switch gears to the upcoming owners meeting, with the major topic being the proposed 18-game season.
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“18 games is going to be good for the players,” Boss Man says.
“How would you know?” Spencer replies. “You’re not a player?”
“Neither are you,” Boss Man says.
“I might not be a player, but I’m a player’s owner,” Spencer bounces back with before he sees Deacon Eller, a former NFL player.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Ricky and TTD are at home playing dominoes, missing Kisan’s funeral in the process.
“Next one I go to will be my own,” Ricky says as he talks about not doing funerals anymore.
Ricky’s child’s mother comes into the room and mentions how the NFL players’ wifes are snubbing her at the gym because of Ricky’s comments on his radio show.
As his girlfriend mentions that he should try to help the players rather than tear them down, he brings up an idea for his next guest for TTD to book: Joe Krutel.
In Los Angeles, Charles is talking with his assistant, as the stress from last week starts to take hold of him. Saints running back Alvin Kamara’s agent is avoiding his calls, and the news isn’t pleasing to the Rams general manager.
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To add onto the stress, Bennie, Charles’ assistant, mentions some other bad news: he got a job offer from the Cleveland Browns.
“You thought this was the right time?” Charles asks.
As Charles rips into Bennie, he takes a seat and can’t seem to stand back up. He begins to lose feeling in his hands, but is only focused on the Kamara deal coming through.
Bennie brings up that Charles could be having a stroke, and says he should call for an ambulance. Focused on not being embarrassed, however, Charles decides to drive himself so his boss won’t see him carted out of the building.
Joe then calls Jason and asks for him to come on the show, hoping to get some support and build on the opportunity to plug Sports X. However, Jason has a lot on his own plate, between the funeral for Kisan and the two-year anniversary for him and his girlfriend.
The two discuss whether or not Jason’s planning on proposing, and Jason brings up the fact that he doesn’t believe in marriage.
“It’s not a tooth fairy, it’s a century-old institution,” Joe rebuts.
Jason redirects the conversation to something else, however, and tells Joe not to embarrass them on the radio show. Joe replies by saying if Jason actually cared, he’d be there.
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Kate’s in the room during Joe’s talk about commitment, leading to a painful relevation for the latter: Their relationship is just a thing, not a thing. While Joe pretends to agree with the news, it seems to bring some pain back into Joe’s life.
Spencer’s then back at the home of the former NFL player he encountered at the funeral, and they have a fitting conversation about the pain that comes with the end of an NFL career.
As the two have a conversation about their biggest challenges on the field and their battles with fear, Spencer asks Deacon how he wants it all to end.
“A lot less pain,” Deacon says.
In the less entertaining aspect of the season, Lance, Reggie and Vernon meet with Joe to discuss their esports endeavors, with Joe presenting a check for $2 million.
The former three say that the money won’t be enough for them to get off the ground running and find good enough players after they pay their franchise fee, but Lance says that it’s just time to find diamonds in the rough.
They head to a young gamer’s house who was recently kicked out of a league for fighting his brothers/teammates after a loss at an event.
“I’m here to offer you a path back to glory,” Lance says.
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Lance, Reggie and Vernon try their best to convince the young gamer to join their squad, but the news is revealed that they’re looking to recruit all of the brothers. While that upsets the initial brother, all sides agree to sit down together to talk it all out.
At the hospital, Charles finds out he had not one, but two mild heart attacks, and the doctor warns that a bigger one could be on the way if Charles doesn’t change. Charles is asked about his diet, stress and family life, and Charles fires back with a nonexistent diet, large amounts of stress and a lonely family life.
As the doctor recommends that he take a few months off, Charles takes a big breath before the episode turns back to Joe and Kate.
The two are at the Sports X office ahead of a meeting with Odell Beckham Jr., and Joe asks why he’s already back for more meetings, questioning if they’re going to get fired already.
Right on cue, OBJ walks in, and makes fun of Joe for focusing on the NFL star’s outfit rather than the work they need to get done for their new campus.
As OBJ asks for more progress, Kate shows off a presentation she worked on the previous night, which pleases the Browns wide receiver.
“Is that so f—ing hard?” OBJ says, as the trio agrees to do dinner to hash out all of the plans for the facility.
We get some more narration from Spencer’s season-long interview, ahead of a call with the Boss Man before the owners meeting.
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“My dad always told me in order to get what you want, the first thing you need to do is ask,” Spencer says. “It’s simple but essential.”
Boss Man makes a quick Robert Kraft joke, and eventually asks Spencer what the price will be for him to vote “yes” on the 18-game season.
“How bad do you want the 18-game season?” Spencer asks.
The next scene shows the meeting of the three gaming brothers as Lance, Reggie and Vernon bring them together, but the event quickly turns into a bar fight after the three gamers exchange words with three boys. Security separates the groups as Lance cheers on the potential new Sports X esports team.
“Fight the power,” Lance says.
The next few scenes are a bit faster and to the point, with Bennie letting Charles know that Alvin Kamara dropped his agent and is interested in joining the Rams, and Joe and Kate establishing that things won’t be awkward between the two of them.
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The big piece of advice in this comes from Kate, who brings up Joe’s jealousy as an unattractive quality.
“Jealousy isn’t cute, it’s a sign of weakness,” Kate says. “It’s lame and gross. Look around, self esteem should not be an issue of yours.”
Jason meets up with his girlfriend for dinner, but the only thing of relevance is about something that isn’t there: an engagement ring. As his girlfriend searches through drinks and food for a ring, Jason chugs his champagne out of stress.
Next up, we get Joe on Ricky’s radio show, and the duo discusses a multitude of topics, starting with Joe’s latest business endeavors.
“Low key dominating,” Joe says. “My company Sports X is expanding in every space that is a space.”
Jason listens to the show as he and his girlfriend head back to their apartment, and his girlfriend takes the phone and turns the show off. While Jason says he’s focused on building the future for him to support his girlfriend, his girlfriend has a simple question: What future?
As she brings up the lack of engagement and Jason’s fear of commitment, Jason decides to take the plunge and gets down on a knee.
While he knows it won’t work out well, Jason mentions he doesn’t have the energy to fight it anymore.
“If it’s going to fail, I want it to fail with you,” he says.
On the radio, Joe discusses the latest details on the Mahomes deal, bringing up the progress made so far.
“Almost done, biggest contract in history. People are going to lose their s—,” Joe says. “Only reason it wouldn’t be bigger, Spencer Strasmore is a greedy f—ing pig.”
As Joe begins to speak freely about his former partner, Ricky asks about what he thinks Spencer’s thoughts are on the 18-game season.
“I don’t know how he feels,” Joe says. “I’m players only.”
At the owners meeting, Spencer meets with Candace, and Candace asks if he’s ready to officially become a part of the machine.
“In order to fix something that’s broken, you have to get inside it,” Spencer replies.
Candace brings up the terms Spencer agreed upon for his “yes” vote on the 18-game season, which turns out to be lifetime health care for players, and she calls Spencer’s idea “ambitious.”
“If you’re not being ambitious, you’re not trying,” Spencer says.
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As the meeting starts, Candace brings up the ongoing dialogue about the season’s expansion, and says the league needs clarity and consensus on the idea.
Boss Man brings up a simple idea for a vote: Lose two preseason games and add two more to schedule.
As he takes order on the “yes” votes in the room, Spencer’s hand has yet to be raised. Boss Man looks at the new Chiefs owner, and Spencer finally raises his hand in agreement, obviously looking for more as he waits for the vote on lifetime health care.
The league’s owners approve the 18-game season, and it’s Spencer’s time to say a few words on his idea.
“We are the custodians of an institution,” Spencer says. “We owe it to ourselves to look out for that institution, but that starts by looking out for the people who actually play the game.”
As he brings up the violent nature of the sport and the less-than-equal health care packages that the NFL offers in comparison to the other big sports, he leaves the owners with one final statement that rings through the room.
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“We’re the gold standard, we should act like it,” Spencer says.
As Boss Man calls Spencer’s speech and dedication to the issue “inspiring and infectious,” the Cowboys owner decides to table the vote for the owners “until there’s the right amount of research it deserves.”
“Thank you ladies and gentlemen,” Boss Man says. “Meeting adjourned.”
Spencer then storms to Boss Man’s car before he leaves the building, yelling at him for using Spencer to get the “yes” vote he needed.
“Take care, Spencer,” Boss Man says. “You’ve got a long season to get your team ready for.”
The episode ends with one final piece of the interview, with a possible sign of things to come as the show’s final season winds down.
“People don’t just hand things over,” Spencer says. “When they tell you no, you ask again. When they still don’t give it to you, you’ve just got to f—ing take it.”
The idea of a century-old institution rings true throughout a lot of elements of this episode, whether it’s the idea of marriage, or the NFL’s existence in general.
Each require a lot of effort and the exchanging of ideas, and a lot of compromises need to be made for the greater good. In Spencer’s case, his compromise led to him falling flat on his face, setting the tone for the final piece in the puzzle for him to battle the authority one last time.
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We’ve seen him battle his boss, Mr. Anderson, in one season. He fought his old agent in another. The NCAA? Yep. The Boss Man and the NFL? He’s fought each once before trying to do the stadium deal, and he’s doing it once more to round out the show’s tenure on HBO.
It’s great to see some more action and defiance coming from Spencer, but the other pieces of the show are lacking. Joe’s storyline is starting to fall short, the esports angle just isn’t cutting it, and Jason and Charles’ situations seem to be all over the place.
There’s only a few more episodes to go, and a lot still has to go down to tie up all of the loose ends in this show’s current world. Can it do it properly? Time will tell, but here’s hoping for a happy ending like the Boss Man referenced on his call with Spencer to end the show on a good note.
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