This. This is what those of us who are sticking with Ballers have been waiting for. It is no secret that the past couple shows have felt a little uneven at best. And that Season 1 was starting to look really, really good in hindsight. However, things got insanely real this week, and the episode titled Everybody Knows turned it around in a big, crazy way. Let's dig in, shall we?
There was a brief moment this week when Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) and Joe (Rob Corddry) entered the steam room at the spa that it looked like this week was going to be schtick mixed with drama. Nope. This episode got things going crazy fast. During the course of a conversation that couldn't have lasted more than a few minutes, the guys had to hash out everything that happened last week, which mostly involved Andre (Andy Garcia) trying to pit Joe and Spencer against one another. That dude is an evil genius because it totally worked, and he isn't done yet. More on that in a minute. Not only that, but we learned that Joe has a dead wife?! And it was dropped in ever so casually. Plus, there was the subtlety of Spencer rubbing his elbow and hip, looking like he was about to grind his teeth to a powder he was in so much pain. Also, there as totally some boobs. This is still Ballers, after all.
So, Joe decided to go get some dirt on Spencer out of spite, which resulted in him paying a visit to that shady doctor Spencer visited a couple of weeks ago. "Peace of mind" as Joe called it. Meanwhile, Spencer was dealing with a growing mountain of issues that *spoiler alert* are about to get crazy worse. So, Jay Glazer decided to have Travis (Adam Alderks) on his new show to help move him up the draft order. All the while, Spencer has to toe the line, because he is not supposed to be Travis' agent right now. And then we totally find out that Travis is dyslexic and that is why he skipped the combine! Instead of just being a casual, young jackass, the folks behind the show pulled a fast one on us and have been setting that up for weeks. It was nice to see Travis get his hero moment as well when he went back in and ditched the white board and just told Jay his plan. Good for Travis, but Spencer is in a bad spot. More on that in a minute.
You know who isn't in a bad spot? Charles (Omar Benson Miller). He is killing it at his new job, and he is still lovable. You know who had a rough week last week? Ricky (John David Washington). So, Ricky and Charles got together and talked a bit. Charles, being the nice guy that he is, realized that Ricky didn't want to leave Miami. So, like the great guy that he is found a way to have Ricky stay with the Dolphins. Good for Charles! Good for Ricky! Right? Maybe not. We last left our heroes with Charles giving Ricky the good news, when not seconds later Ricky gets a call from Jason (Troy Garity), who drops the bomb that the Rams are offering Ricky what mathematicians call a ridiculous amount of money. Cliffhanger! Also, Ricky bought his dad a fast car and they are both ok now, we think.
Now, the other major thing happening simultaneously is Andre continuing to either be the best businessman on the show, or the biggest dick on the planet. Or both. Basically, he went to Mr. Anderson (Richard Schiff), and revealed that he stole Ndamukong Suh as a client, and wanted to make an "offer" for the company, mostly to screw over Spencer, we assume. The worst part is, it totally worked.
Joe and Spencer meet-up with Mr. Anderson post said meeting with Andre and also post a pretty brutal phone call between the two, in order to discuss the business. At the restaurant, Joe reveals that he knows about Spencer's pill addiction and chronic pain, and Spencer reveals that he lost $6 million in that bad real estate deal with Andre. It is all bad, but the two seem to be patched up, sort of. When they finally sit down with Mr. Anderson, it goes about as far South as possible. It turns out the NFL denied Spener his credentials, and they don't want him handling players finances. So he got fired. And that is where we left everything. Joe and Mr. Anderson sitting down together still, and Spencer walking off with a surprising amount of class and composure, but that insane look of defeat on his face that was truly crushing. Well done, The Rock. "And the Emmy goes to!"
So no doubt, after a couple of weeks of the tone being all wrong, and things getting borderline silly, all is well. The storylines are connecting, the drama is real and we are all desperate to know how this all plays out over the next few weeks. We will have to wait and see when Ballers returns, next week at 10 p.m. EST on HBO.