When you hear those trumpets sound off with 'BUHH-BUHH-BUHH-BUHHHHHH', you know that HBO's show Ballers (set in the world of sports agents, athletes, and financiers) is back for its third season. The opening scene in Seeds of Expansion is wonderful because it has most of the core group of characters together playing a pickup basketball game and just ribbing each other like guys do. Considering this show has several storylines and this group is very rarely all in one place, it was a brief, but warm, welcome-mat laid out for fans. But of course, that couldn't last long.
After our lead character Spencer Strasmore (Dwayne Johnson) borrowed five million dollars from his friends Ricky (John David Washington) and Vernon (Donovan W. Carter) last season he now has to figure out how to pay them back. One of his solutions is trying to sign basketball MVP star Stephen Curry to their firm but he's having a hard time even getting a sit down with the guy. Very timely for Ballers to get one of the current biggest athletes in sports to make a cameo appearance for the season premiere episode. We expect nothing less. At the same time Joe (Rob Corddry) is handling another client in Terrell Suggs (making a return appearance to the show as himself) but not having much success on Suggs heeding any of his financial advice.
Pretty much a throw away but, I do like Suggs on the show so I hope they are planning on using him more. This does lead to Spencer and Joe having a conversation in the office on how they are going to deal with their financial debt that they are on the line for. It's great to see them working well together after they had a rocky partnership in Ballers Season 2. Then we bring in Mr. Anderson (Richard Schiff) who is now one of their partners but is also still in control because he owns a bigger percentage in the deal they made last season.
Anderson is trying to invest in the business of a casino owner named Wayne Hastings (Steve Guttenberg) to expand his empire but he's been nothing but pounding sand in his efforts. So with Spencer wanting to sign Stephen Curry and needing Anderson's help they agree to scratch each other's backs by Spencer bringing Curry to a dinner Anderson has with Hastings. Got all that? Let's see what the other guys are up to real quick.
Earlier in the episode Ricky was talking to Spencer about a girl named Amber (Brittany S. Hall) that he thinks he might have gotten pregnant (oops!) but isn't responding to his calls. So in an effort to put his mind at rest he visits her and after a small argument she says she isn't pregnant. So now that Ricky feels he has nothing to worry about they decide to have sex and like each other again. But.....it was all a trap on her part because in their post-coitus afterglow she tells him that she is indeed pregnant. Being the responsible guy Ricky tells her that he will be by her side for the whole thing but, the look on his face when he's hugging Amber to show his commitment tells us that he's isn't feeling nearly as certain about his situation.
Over in the front office of the Miami Dolphins, Charles (Omar Miller) is dealing with the fact that the team is starting to restructure their staff and that has him worried what might happen to him. He asks his boss Larry Siefert (Dule Hill) if he should be concerned but he's told that he's fine for the moment. Although he gives him the task of asking Charles to talk to the press and give them all the details on the plans the organization has for the upcoming season. Unfortunately for Charles the harsh barrage of the press and their aggressive questioning is more than he can handle and he's only lucky that Larry Csonka appears to bail him out. Ah poor big guy.
When Spencer was talking to Ricky earlier in this Ballers Season 3 episode, their conversation about children got him thinking about why he's never gotten a woman pregnant before. With the growth of his character last season in having his hip surgery he takes his curiosity to his doctor and she recommends he see a fertility doctor. But when Stephen Curry drops out of their dinner for that night he uses it as an excuse to skip the doctor's appointment. And we all know this is going to be addressed again.
Not knowing how to solve the problem it ends up being Joe to the rescue when he convinces Spencer that he should be confident in himself that he has enough presence to impress Hastings alone. Going with this attitude later that night Spencer takes Curry's spot as Mr. Anderson's guest to help try and convince Hastings to bring Anderson into his business. Steve Guttenberg comes in like a full on muscle car throwing insults at Anderson and you can tell why he's had no luck breaking into his company.
Always fun seeing one of the nicest actors in the past be a total complete ass in another role. When Spencer gets Hastings alone and tries to continue to wear him down, he quickly realizes that the man's dislike for Anderson is too much and he's not going to be able to change his mind. So when Hastings offers that maybe they could work on "something else" in the future Spencer pulls out his own idea and asks if he would be interested in having a NFL football team in Las Vegas. Hastings face lights up like a slot machine hitting TILT and says "I love that idea!" With life imitating art in this storyline (the Oakland Raiders moving to Las Vegas in the future) it looks like we might have our main plot line for the upcoming season. Looking forward to seeing where Ballers goes as HBO continues to find new confidence in the series!