For most of “Ballers” season 2, the primary point of discussion surrounding Spencer Strasmore has been fairly simple: Is there a way for redemption to come his way? He did what he could to secure the funds necessary to purchase ASM, but in the process he was completely mortgaging the future of his one-time clients to the point where he was only repeating the same mistakes.
In some ways, you could argue that Sunday night’s season 2 finale was a life raft for the guy, who continued to spiral out of control to the point that it took Joe, hung over and sporting a nipple ring, to get him to realize the right way of doing things. It wasn’t about getting physical with Eddie George, a man he desperately needed to change his mind in order to get the grievance lifted that would get him credentials with the union. Instead, it was about appealing to him on a personal level. Joe convinced Eddie (who was surprisingly great for someone who’s not an actor) that Spencer had changed since screwing him over on a hotel deal, and allowed him to tell his story of failure while at the rookie symposium.
For Spencer, it was a humbling moment to present himself as a failure, given that for the past two seasons he’s tried to gloss up anything and everything about his life. This represents hopefully turning a page, something represented further by him going to get that hip-replacement surgery rather than putting it off any further.
While his story had a nice, emotional ending anchored by an excellent Dwayne Johnson performance, elsewhere we’re left with cliffhangers. Vernon is putting his injury at risk by going to train with the Cowboys early, while Ricky Jerret seems to be taking an offer with the New England Patriots that prioritizes legacy over money. Finally, Charles has a chance to be Seifert’s second-in-command in Miami, but the travel required could completely devastate his family life.
Overall, a very good finale for the show. There were weak points (you can still argue that Spencer turned around quickly given the party at the strip club the night before), but this is the conclusion to season 2 that we wanted. Spencer was vulnerable, and that may mean better things in the future. Grade: B+.
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