Ballers: “Gaslighting” — Aug. 9, 2015

This week on Ballers, things are looking up a bit for the crew, but Special Contributor Ralph S. wonders whether Spencer Strasmore and co. are just cooking up disappointment. Read on and check out Ralph’s previous recaps for more Ballers. – David F. 

ballers gaslighting2Well, we start this week with Spencer in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, finally ready to get the results from that MRI. He’s raptly watching a commercial for an automobile collision repair firm on the flat screen on the wall. Collision, hmmm, could this be a bit of foreshadowing?

The nurse calls him and he goes into see the doctor. Before the doctor can tell him what’s going on Spencer, anticipating the worst, launches into a rant about the dangers of football and gets himself so worked up that he doesn’t hear the doctor tell him he’s fine.

He stops and stares at her blankly and she explains that the test showed no damage of any kind and is in the midst of explaining that the problem may be more psychological when Spencer gets up and hugs her, his relief evident. He just wants to enjoy the moment. In the car he gets a call from a very paranoid Vernon who now thinks somebody’s watching his house. Vernon wants to know what’s up with the pictures. Spencer tells him to calm down, it will all be over soon.

Ricky is still scheming on how to get Annabella back and apparently the situation is getting desperate cause he’s now taking advice from TTD, one of the caretakers at the funhouse. “You wanna win Bella back?” He asks Ricky. “You gonna have to change up your whole act. Do something bold!” Ricky admits that he’s tired of the way he’s been acting and that he needs to be a man. TTD advises Ricky to go to Bulgari. Yeah, now that’s some sage-ass advice now, isn’t it? At the jewelers the saleslady takes Ricky into the VIP room and shows him a selection of diamond rings. She then expertly ‘guides’ him in his selection of the most expensive of the lot, one costing $400 grand. What’s that old saying about a fool and his money? Finally Ricky meets Annabella in public by a fountain. He gives her roses and what appears to be a heart-felt apology. Then he pulls out the ring. Annabella takes that ring and asks Ricky if he’s really ready for marriage. The expression on his face registers alarm for just a few seconds before he can change it but that’s long enough for Annabella to know what’s up. “This is an engagement ring right?” she asks him. “Because I know you don’t think I’m so stupid as to accept a bullshit apology ring.” Ricky stands there stuttering for less than a second before she throws the flower back in his face, tosses the ring in the fountain and walks way saying that nothing can buy her forgiveness. Ricky jumps in the fountain, taking care to slip out of his Jordans first, to retrieve the ring. He screams at the departing Annabella that the ring cost $400 grand. She replies that Kobe Bryant paid $4 million for a ring. “But he makes more than I do,” Ricky shouts back still struggling to find the ring. Ah, to be young and feel love’s unrequited sting.

Old Man Anderson has called Joe and Spencer into his office to show them the pictures that he’s received from Angela Lee. Apparently Vernon isn’t the only one caught on digital behaving badly, there’s video of Joe also and it shows him not exactly acting his age, shall we say. After Anderson shuts off the monitor Joe’s attempt at humor in order to lighten up the situation gets him thrown out of the room. Anderson then turns on Spencer and tells him that if these pictures get out it will ruin the firm’s reputation and lose the firm its institutional clients because all this occurred on Anderson’s yacht. He also mentions that the email that accompanied the pictures gave details about the $150 grand payment and the fact that Spencer refused Angie’s request to give her the check in person. “Trash like this is why I didn’t want you here in the first place,” Anderson tells Spencer. Spencer explains to Anderson that the firm gained four new highly lucrative accounts from the event and that’s why Joe hired him. “This is the price you pay if you wanna do business in my world,” Spencer says. Anderson replies that he’s not willing to pay that price regardless of the benefits. He also says that unless Spencer meets with Angie and settles the problem Anderson will dissolve Joe and Spencer’s operation. “Remember,” he says as Spencer leaves the room. “I didn’t want you here in the first place.”

Later, in the parking garage, Joe sees the proverbial writing on the wall. “We should bounce,” he tells Spencer. “Start our own company.” Spencer pulls out the phone and dials Angie. Meanwhile Joe meets with Victor Cruz in a tattoo parlor. He tells Victor that he’s thinking about leaving Anderson and asks Victor to come with him. After considering the offer Victor agrees but he has one condition. Later he sends Spencer a text with a picture of his new tattoo and a message saying, ‘Victor is with me, are you?’

At the Chevy dealership Charles pushes a new pickup truck off the showroom floor to the delight of the customers and staff. He repeats this feat again outside pushing an SUV up a ramp. Apparently all this he-man shit adds to his desire to get back out onto the gridiron. Fortunately, for Charles, the major story in the sports world concerns a season ending injury suffered by one of the Dolphins’ linemen. Don’t you just love how life just works out so conveniently on TV.

Seizing an opportunity Charles finds Larry Siefert, the team’s GM, and asks to replace the injured lineman. “I wanna help y’all win ballgames,” Charles says. And he adds, “Most importantly I wanna hit somebody in the muthafuckin’ mouth.”

Last week I made a comment about how Spencer may want to consider a spot on the food network after he was shown cooking up a four star breakfast for Vernon and Reggie. This week, Tracy echoes my sentiment after finishing a dinner that Spencer prepared for the two of them. Afterward they discuss the Vernon and Angie situation and Spencer explains all about his prior relationship with Angie. Tracy tells Spencer that he’s changed a lot since his time with Angela and that he needs to go see her and straighten this mess out. He agrees. He later meets Angie (Angelina Assereto) at a bar and they talk. Spencer genuinely apologizes for that way he ended their relationship. Angie gets a shot or two in at him before she accepts and takes the check and gives him a flash drive with the pictures on it. They have a drink and end things in a friendly manner.

There are still two episodes left in this season so this definitely ain’t no happily ever after for Spencer.

Ralph Spencer - Special Contributor
Ralph Spencer has spent the last 20 years as an online security investigation and Internet child safety professional. His adventures chasing down the scum of cyberspace has fueled his fondness for unique cops & robbers dramas such as Justified and The Wire. Currently seeking gainful employment, he’s taking a shot at blogging in his spare time.

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