Were it not for a whole lot of various conflicts and a whole lot of splintered plot lines, Ballers really would be closer to Entourage with The Rock and football than it is currently. However, there are a lot of plot lines going in every which way, and there sure as hell is a lot of conflict happening. But yes, there is still a lot of The Rock and football to contend with as well. Let's dig into last night's latest episode World of Hurt, shall we?
When we last left off, everyone was in kind of a messy situation, and that continues to be the case as we head toward the middle of the season. Last week, Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) and Joe (Rob Corddry) had their hands full after officially waging war on Andre's (Andy Garcia) client base. As it turns out, Andre was quietly dealing with that situation behind the scenes, in a way that has come back to bite Spencer and Joe in the ass big time. Now, not only is Andre trying to get T-Sizzle back on his client roster, but he managed to steal Ndamukong Suh away from the guys as well. As you may remember, he was one of the only premium clients that the firm had. So, Mr. Anderson (Richard Shiff) is understandably not happy. Which he was nice enough to let Spencer and Joe know, whilst they sipped fancy cocktails on his fancy boat. Again, still heavy shades of Entourage going on here.
Interestingly enough, Jason (Troy Garity) actually had quite a bit to do on this episode, as opposed to just being someone for The Rock to talk to in order to get out information that is vital to the plot of the show. Jason decided to pursue a young talent who skipped the NFL combine, but is still expected to go very high in the upcoming draft. Said talent did not make this easy for Jason, and it made for a fairly fun bit of back and forth, especially when Jason got left in the middle of a swamp that was definitely filled with alligators, and other such creatures that city folk are not accustomed to. But the move paid off, and Jason landed his client. That would appear to be good news for Spencer and Joe moving forward as well. Mr. Anderson isn't happy, remember?
As for some of the shows much looser ends, we were reminded ever so briefly that Spencer does have a girlfriend named Tracy (Arielle Kebbel). The two had lunch together so that she could inform Spencer that she had been offered a job with ESPN, which would mean she would have to move away. Spencer did not seem phased, and it looks like we may not be seeing much more of Tracy in the future. Or maybe we will. Nothing against Tracy, but does anyone really care at this point? Oh, and also, Charles (Omar Benson Miller) was let go by the Dolphins, and he was totally fine with it. So maybe we'll be seeing less of him as well? He still feels very detached, but maybe the writers have something planned for him. Charles is likable, so why not.
Now, the big cliffhanger we were left with was the fate of Vernon (Donovan W. Carter) following his very needless paintball injury, and the fact that the Cowboys were not all pleased about it. Thanks to the fact that Spencer is so damn likable, it turns out that America's favorite team is going to keep Vernon on their roster, and lie to everyone about how the injury happened. One would think that the more compelling storyline might have been Vernon getting let go, but that might have just been throwing gas on an already pretty big fire, I suppose. Also, Spencer shot Reggie (London Brown) with a paintball gun, so that was fun.
There is no question that the show actually had a few genuine moments of emotion this week, which is something of a rarity, as we're learning. Ricky (John David Washington) just signed a new deal with New Orleans, so everything was good on his end. Or so we thought. Things had appeared to be patched up with him and his until very recently estranged father. However, when he and Ricky start hanging out more, the complications of their barely patched up relationship reveal themselves, and that of course leads to a bar fight. Dad storms off, and Ricky looks heartbroken. The real moment of heartstrings being pulled comes when Ricky is flipping through a scrapbook of his dad's accomplishments as a former NFL player, and it may have been the most heartfelt moment in the show to date. Guys getting the feels and stuff.
The last big thing was one last face to face between Spencer and Andre in an attempt to squash their professional beef. As we all know, the personal beef runs to deep to squash at the moment. Joe decided to get some dirt from a friend of his to try and leverage it against Andre so that they can both do their thing and live happily ever after. That isn't going to happen. Andre calls out Spencer for having some compromising photos of him, and he simply doesn't care. Even after Spencer offers to let Andre keep Suh as a client and call it even, Andre isn't having it. He wants T-Sizzle back, and he wants Spencer and Joe gone.
When Andre leaves the bar, he makes it clear that things are far from over, and that they are going to get worse before they get better. Yes, things did indeed get very real this week. We'll have to see if Spencer can charm his way out of it when Ballers comes back next week on HBO at 10 p.m. EST.