Ballers: “Head On” — Aug. 16, 2015
This episode of Ballers seems to tie up some loose ends from earlier in the season. But there are still tangles afoot for the crew, according to Special Contributor Ralph S.
This week’s episode started off with a simple yet powerful image of a pair of athletic shoes with the words “BLACK LIVES MATTER” written across the heels. The use of the shoes bearing the slogan is particularly brilliant because it pays homage to the way that African-Americans in this country have managed to gain most of the rights that we currently enjoy — by marching for them. In my opinion this was a very poetic way to bring more attention to the current Black Lives Matter movement and I would like to salute the show and its producers for the ingenious way in which they worked the issue into the show.
The shoes were on a counter in Vernon’s home where Spencer and Jason show up to deliver the good news that the problem with Angela and the pictures has been rectified. Angie got the money and Spencer got the pictures. Vernon is greatly relieved to hear that this issue is now in the past. “Everything is everything,” a smiling Spencer tells him. But the jubilation is short lived when Reggie starts whining about how the whole situation was all Spencer’s fault to begin with because that pictures were taken at the yacht party. Apparently because Reggie didn’t ride in to save the day on this one now he’s gonna just stomp around acting like somebody peed in his Cheerios and kill the buzz for everybody else. Spencer jumps in and cuts Reggie off at the knees by telling Vernon how Reggie treated Angie with extreme disrespect when he offered to give her a ride home a few nights before. Apparently Reggie made Angie take the bus home when she refused his offer, complete with cash, to have sex. When Vernon hears this he tells Reggie to immediately vacate the premises. After Reggie spits out his weak-ass excuses for his behavior a deeply disturbed Vernon tells him, “You disrespected a woman…I ain’t got shit to say to you. Bounce!” After Reggie takes his sorry ass outta the picture Jason tries to turn things around by telling Vernon that Dallas is sending over an offer now that the issue with the pictures has been dealt with. Vernon just walks away. Later Jason calls Spencer to tell him that Dallas came through with an offer of $45 million for Vernon. Spencer is elated about the offer until Jason says that he can’t find Vernon to get his acceptance for the offer. Damn, ya know, when I grow up I wanna have it so good that I can put people who offer me $45 million on my ‘pay no mind’ list.
Joe is feeling very under appreciated by Old Man Anderson now. During a conversation Joe reminds Anderson that the idea for the firm’s sport’s division was his, Joe’s, and he’s the one who brought Spencer into the fold. “Spencer and I are a team, Joe says. “If you like his work you like mine. Anderson acknowledges Joe’s statements but then he quickly turns on Joe. “But he’s Spencer Strassmore,” Anderson replies. “and you’re just Joe Krutel, gold medalist at being a pain in my butt.” And if that ain’t enough, Joe still can’t get a straight answer out of Spencer when he mentions the possibility of them breaking out and starting their own shop. It really sucks to be in Joe’s world right now.
We find Charles back at the Funhouse, at Ricky’s request, just to watch a video that TTD, the Funhouse caretaker, put together for him. In the video several pro ball players comment on Charles’ unique skills and encourage him to come out of retirement. It’s not a very hard sell seeing as how this is something that Charles has been wanting to do since the series started. However during his try-out things just don’t seem to falling into place for Charles. No matter how hard he tries the opposing tackle keeps knocking down and dragging Charles’ big ass all over the field. All the while the GM, Larry Siefert, continues to ridicule him by calling him ‘sugar tits’. Now ain’t that creative. At home Julie tells Charles that the ‘nickname’ might be a good sign after he finishes telling how the try-out went. Charles doesn’t think so and she sits down to commiserate with him. The sympathy doesn’t last long because Julie has some news of her own. Pulling out a positive pregnancy test stick she tells Charles they are going to be parents. A look of amazement on his face Charles asks her if she’s sure. “I’m positive,” she says smiling and pointing at the stick. She then tells him that Daddy sounds like a much better name for him than ‘sugar tits’.
Annabella drops by to give Ricky back the keys to the house that they once shared, all the while he continues to try to persuade her to come back to him but she’s having none of it. She tells him that he needs to evolve and he replies that he is. “Talking about my father on national TV, that was evolving,” Ricky tells her. “You know the sad thing is you’re no better than he is,” she replies.
Spencer visits the neurologist for a follow up and is pleased to hear that she double checked his results and is sure that he has no problems. When she asks him about the dreams Spencer admits that he’s still having them. It seems that he hit this guy and put him out of the game — permanently. Now he’s feeling guilty about it. After leaving football the guy, Dan Balsamo, opened up an auto repair business and it was his commercial Spencer saw, in the last episode, while he was waiting to see the doctor for his MRI results. The doctor tells Spencer to just cowboy the fuck up and go talk to Dan. Spencer promptly goes out and creates some damage to his car having called and requested that Dan come out to help him just a few minutes before. Is that quiet desperation or what? After Dan picks up Spencer and his car they go back to Dan’s shop and share a few awkward moments, during which the hit is mentioned, before Spencer meets Dan’s wife and son. In a continuing effort to sooth his guilt Spencer offers to take Dan and his son to a Florida Marlins game later that evening. Dan is reluctant at first but he agrees after his wife and son gang up to convince him. At the game Spencer pulls out all the stops for Dan and his son. During the middle of it all Spencer admits to Dan that he meant to hurt him with that hit. “I chose to light you the fuck up,” Spencer tells Dan and now he just wants to make things right. Dan then proceeds to let Spencer off the hook. “You did me a favor,” Dan says. “The reality was I was a great college player but I was a below average pro.” Dan says that during his career he never had a single moment of glory, not even a cheer from the crowd. “That hit that you been losing sleep over,” Dan says. “That was a mercy killing.” Now I guess Spencer will have to find something else to keep him awake at night, won’t he? Later Spencer even arranges for Dan to throw out the first pitch of the game which he does and beans a cameraman in the process with the ball. The crowd goes wild and Dan finally gets those cheers he’s been waiting for.
Stay tuned though, the season finale is on next week and it looks like things could go ballistic.
The episode, titled Flamingos airs on Sunday at 10 pm on HBO.