HBO’s Ballers was exceptional tonight, a brutal statement on the inability of outrunning one’s past, and somehow eerily mirroring the real-life NFL Antonio Brown/Patriots release news cycle.
This review contains spoilers for Ballers Season 5 Episode 5 (“Crumbs”).
Shot right in the heart. Look above at the photo on this article, see Kisan Teague’s motionless eyes as he realizes the grim reaper is set to descent. The final seconds of his life setting in, the last breath, for the last time. Ever. The look on Kisan’s face says it all. The mind trying to process its own end.
Spencer Strasmore’s overlaying monologue about the past never getting buried… Always reanimating just as you catch your breath, a perfect accompanying piece. Actor Kris D. Lofton’s swan song on HBO’s Ballers was one to remember. Just one episode ago, Kisan was set on keeping his old friends, that they would be there when his NFL career ended. Instead he lost it all, his career, his dreams, his very life for them.
Tonight’s Ballers episode “Crumbs” was in a word, powerful. Maybe it was the fact that Spencer releasing Kisan from the Chiefs surreally mirrored the current Antonio Brown/Patriots news cycle unintentionally. Maybe, it was the haunting moment where a gun was pointed at Kisan. Or the brutal way he looked at the blood seeping from his shirt after being shot… It could have been the way Spencer lied on live television about Kisan looking him in the eye and telling him ‘he wasn’t there that night,’ when he was fully informed of the contrary. No matter what it was it made for an unforgettable piece.
The fact that Ballers was obviously filmed way in advance of the Antonio Brown/New England Patriots/Oakland Raiders news cycle and yet surreally mirrors it is a testament to life imitating art. Prophetic writing if there ever was one, even if Kisan’s particular case does not match the Patriots’ story beat for beat.
Spencer having to accept the realities of league pressure and releasing Kisan despite wanting to give him a second chance, really makes you wonder about what really goes on behind the scenes. Like Spencer said… “Sometimes all you can do is save yourself. Sometimes you can’t even do that.”
If you missed tonight’s episode, it’s a must watch for the Kisan club scene alone. Cold, brutal, and real.
Be sure to check out a recap of last week’s Ballers on HBO!