Familiarity breed’s contempt? Not in the case of the seasons finale (s) of Season 5, Episode 11: Play’n with Fire and Episode 12: Return to Queens Blvd.
Amazing how Wahlberg, Ellin, Levinson, and Weinstein, etal deliver in this series beyond what even The Sopranos did at the same point in their series history. Play’n with Fire is as brilliant as anything ever done in this series with Stellan Skarsgård as the maniacal director Verner Vollstedt behind Vince’s lead comeback in the laughingly titled “Smoke Jumpers.” 5.11, which serves as the climactic episode, has opening pyrotechnic scenes that are observed by the four main protagonists and the audience that put to shame any film about a film about Hollywood ever put forth by Robert Altman.
This sets off a tour de force scene between actor, agent, manager, director, studio head and CEO which conveys absolutely kinetic acting (as always) by Jeremy Piven (Ari Gold). Old female characters (Sloan, Emmanuelle Chriqui) and new (Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Jamie-Lynn Sigler) pull our boys in various directions but the producers, actors and everyone else involved deliver the best climactic scenes of this series yet and push us into Season 6.