The driving focus of the season thus far has been Spencer's (Dwayne Johnson) ambitious plan to move a professional football team to Las Vegas. But for a change of pace, they shine the spotlight on Ricky Jerret (John David Washington) this week. I have already written on here many times about how I have been very unhappy with the boring and mundane storylines they have given Jerret this season. But thankfully, the writers were playing possum and just waiting for the right time to introduce us to a new and very timely chapter for Ballers.
But first, before we get to that, the Ricky-Leaks episode opens with Spencer having a nightmare that involves hanging out with Ricky, Vernon (Donovan W. Carter), and Charles (Omar Benson Miller) while they are out jogging and doing the BRO thing. Spencer takes a minute to try and explain them some financial terms when his (sort of) nemesis Eddie George shows up and interrupts him. This throws Spencer off, and it ends up with him seeing the ground in front of him, open up into a giant chasm, with some, nice molten lava for a good touch.
When he gets into work at ASM he sits down with Joe (Rob Corddry) and Mr. Anderson (Richard Schiff) for a meeting with two women from another agency named IMG. They are there to go over the possibility of buying ASM since last week Anderson decided he wanted to sell so he could put the money towards the Las Vegas deal. Spencer pulls Joe, and Mr. Anderson aside and tries to convince Brett that he still thinks this is a bad idea. Especially to a company like IMG that he argues will not care about their clients they take on. Anderson stands his ground and tells Spencer he needs to get on board with him and Joe on this.
Over at Ricky Jerret's place Jason (Troy Garity) and Spencer are there to talk to him about the leaked tape out there, that shows him punching the young kid in the face from when he accidentally went into the wrong house. Ricky is worried about his deal with the Patriots going south over it, but Jason tells him he's still good as long as he goes to a required session with a psychiatrist. The Patriots believe he is okay they just want to be sure before they commit. Ricky is hesitant, but Jason being the good agent he is, convinces him that it's not a big deal. All the while Ricky still wants to kick the kid's ass for leaking the tape but Spencer feels that the kid isn't responsible. He tells him the only thing that is important is the deal and Ricky brings up if it's so important then why hasn't Spencer been around more instead of spending his time trying to make the Vegas deal happen? It's very apparent that Ricky is getting at the end of his patience with Spencer not only over the money he owes him but as his representative as well.
As they are walking out of Jerret's place, Jason scolds Spencer over the fact that he believes the leaked tape and the league suspending Vernon are all results of him trying to get this Vegas deal done. While Spencer defends himself that he doesn't agree, and he's going to find out who really leaked the tape. Jason reminds him he's in the business of dealing with players and not real estate so he needs to start acting like it. Every week Spencer just keeps getting more fallout from this choice he has made to make his dream happen. It's evident where the nightmare from earlier came from.
Speaking of Jason, earlier in this episode he called Charles and told him how he got him an interview with the Chargers for a front office job. Naturally, our big marshmallow is overjoyed at the possibility to leave Mr. Siefert behind. Charles goes to visit his wife Julie (Jazmyn Simon) at the hospital to tell her the good news. The fact that the job will put them apart he wants to run it by her first. Like the loving couple they are, she encourages him to take the job but while they are talking Charles notices that Ricky calls her phone. When he asks her what he wanted, she tells him that she can't talk about it. You can tell by the look on Charles' face that his curiosity has been picked for sure.
Back at ASM Joe has brought Spencer a visit in the persona of Maximo Gomez (Westworld's amazing Clifton Collins Jr.) who he contacted to dig up on dirt on the kid that Ricky punched Jimmy Burns (Radek Lord). Unfortunately, nothing they can blackmail him with but the kid is going to do a Facebook Live press conference later that day so Spencer decides to go down to his school to talk to him. Considering Spencer is about three times Jimmy's size this should be fun!
Before that, we have to check back in with Ricky who is sitting down for his required therapy session. The psychiatrist asks him about his parents and he tells him how even though they don't get along with each other, he's close to both of them. He continues, by explaining how he got a girl pregnant recently but, she left rather than let him be a part of the child's life. That really hurt and messed him up inside. The doctor interjects with telling him how he saw him in the Super Bowl and thinks he just as good as Hines Ward when he takes all those big hits. Now I don't know if this was supposed to be a medical trick or just the writers trying to ease us into Ricky's psyche, but this praise the doctor gives appears to lower his defenses. He begins by saying how sometimes he's really happy and then other times it's like there is a dark cloud over him. And when these dark days happen he wants to "kill somebody or even myself." He finishes by revealing that he literally feels like he's two different people inside. One named Ricky, the other Jerret. Wow. Talk about dropping some heavy matter on this generally joyous show. Washington rocked this scene with a solemn performance that immediately just made me look at Ricky a whole different way.
Switching our attention over to Spencer, who is arriving at the school to talk to Jimmy Burns about stopping his press conference. He tries reasoning with the kid, but he's so hung up on all the attention it's giving him with girls and popularity that he is not hearing any of it. He only canceled his FB Live press conference because TMZ offered him 10K. Even when Spencer tries threatening him physically, he brags that he's already shown he can take a punch. This kid is a level of stupid that is almost impossible to imagine is possible. Finally, Spencer presents the cliché sentence of "what's it going to take?"
Before we find out how that resolves we go over to the Greane household where Charles isn't letting the Ricky phone call go away (like he should). This causes Julie to get very upset with him and tells him not to be sticking his nose into her work business. When he brings up that he shares his business problems with her, she states it's because he NEEDS the help and she doesn't. Aw, our poor marshmallow got his heart hurt a little by his badass wife!
At Ricky's house, he's now smiling as he's playing some volleyball with a couple of ladies when Spencer shows up to deliver his report. He tells him the kid wants to be picked up by Ricky from school in his Ferrari and then he'll let it go. Ricky is annoyed with the idea but Spencer tells him he should just do it. And the other thing is he doesn't believe the kid leaked the tape, that the league did it to punish Spencer for not backing down on the Vegas deal. This just causes Ricky to lose his temper and go off on Spencer on how he's too busy borrowing money off of him, and chasing this Vegas deal instead of being there for him to help solve his problems. He rubber stamps it by telling Spencer to stay out of his business from now on. Spencer is NOT having a good day.
So where has his partner Joe been in all of this? Well, because Spencer is slacking on the client list it's up to Joe to play damage control. Reggie (London Brown) is upset that they are doing nothing about getting Vernon's suspension reduced and he wants Joe to let him intervene. So when they sit down with Candace (Emayatzy Corinealdi) and Reggie gives this calm, well thought out speech on how Vernon knows he made a mistake, but how she should find it in herself to give some leniency and at least reduce his suspension. For some reason, this works and Vernon's suspension gets reduced to four games! I'm baffled at how this happened. It's not necessarily what Reggie said-okay part of it is-but I saw a guy who came off like such a condescending douchebag. He told her how one day she's going to be the boss running the league, so why not show people now how it's done? How is she buying all this ass kissing? I don't understand what happened here, so maybe next week she bangs Reggie and this will make more sense.
As this farce of a scene is happening, Ricky is making good on picking young Jimmy up from school so he can get the kid to not talk to TMZ. He zips his Ferrari around the freeway to Jimmy's delight and makes sure to punch the speedometer to triple digits to really win him over. They pull over and get out of the car and Jimmy happily thanks Ricky for the ride and allowing him to hang out. Touched by his gratitude Ricky finds an honest soul in Jimmy and tells him about his head problems as of late. He tells him that the reason he ended up in his house is that all the hits from football have him all messed up. Jimmy replies with saying that he's not going to talk to TMZ, that he's not a rat. Ricky smiles in either relief or just satisfaction that he spoke to someone about his condition. Then he gives Jimmy the keys and tells him to drive them back?! His head is messed up for sure.
To close out the HBO episode, we find Spencer, Joe, and Mr. Anderson at ASM to again talk about why they should/shouldn't sell the company. But to keep it interesting, now Joe has had a moment of inspiration from seeing Reggie help out one of their clients and doesn't want to sell. While on the other end, Spencer is now reeling from letting down Reggie and thinks that the clients will be fine without them, so he wants to get out. I guess two votes out of three is a green light. Do you think the sale will actually go through or Spencer will change his mind at the last moment?