Ballers: “Machete Charge” — July 19, 2015

Our Special Contributor Ralph S. catches us up on this week’s Ballers, where Spencer and crew are still dealing with contacts, contracts and consequences. Game on! – David F.

ballers-machete charge episodeSo, during the recap of episode three of Ballers, the yacht party — sorry — corporate event episode, I mentioned instances of nefarious goings-on involving brief nudity, controlled substances and cellphones and how that doesn’t make for a good mix. This episode proves that ain’t nothin’ but the truth.

As things get started we find Spencer Strasmore and Joe Krutel working hard to bring Victor Cruz onboard as a client. All the while Spencer’s office and cellphones are ringing off the hook with calls from Vernon Littlefield. It seems little Vernon has found himself in a bit of a tight spot that, surprise, his boy Reggie can’t extricate his big ass from, so now he’s running to Spencer for help.

Spencer repeatedly ignores the calls. “We have a sit-down with Victor Cruz,” Spencer says enthusiastically, buttering-up Cruz some more. “Vernon can wait.” Spencer tells Joe he won’t take Vernon’s calls until he gets back the $300 grand Vernon owes him. Courtesy of Joe, Vernon finally gets through and the problem he has grabs Spencer’s attention. Later he proclaims, “The bitch wants paper,” to Spencer, Joe and super agent Jason Antolotti. Apparently some woman at the ‘corporate event’ snapped compromising shots of Vernon and is threatening to go public with them. “She says she got pictures of me smokin’ weed with naked hookers,” Vernon then tells the crew. Yeah, aren’t cellphones wonderful! Jason tells Vernon that if Dallas sees the pictures they won’t even dream of renegotiating Vernon’s deal. During this little war council the woman’s attorney, Maximo Gomez (Clifton Collins), rings Vernon who turns the phone over to Spencer. Gomez texts Spencer one of the photos and they agree to meet — immediately. After taking a well-deserved shot at Reggie for not being able to deal with the situation, Spencer tells Vernon that he will handle it.

This week’s episode of Life with Little Ricky finds Ricky Jerret still trying figure out how to make nice with Alonzo Cooley. After he found out that Ricky had slept with his mom, Alonzo had made trouble. Last week Ricky’s Ferrari wound up on blocks. Now we see Rick with his main squeeze Annabella (Annabelle Acosta), who’s unaware of the real truth behind the beef. At the exotic car dealership she advises Ricky to continue to try to talk to Alonzo and work out the problem. Ricky, who’s telling her that the problem concerns the jersey number, can’t figure out what his next move should be. Annabella tells him to try to find common ground with Alonzo. Ricky has an idea but says that if things get too hectic he’s not above calling for reinforcement. She advises against this, but Ricky’s made up his mind.

Next we see Ricky welcoming Alonzo to a local ‘gentlemen’s establishment’ for lunch and refreshments. Alonzo has not shown up alone however, he’s bought an assortment of brothers and cousins with him to enjoy the experience, all on Ricky’s dime. This whole afternoon is gonna cost him quite a bit and all his efforts, including giving one of Alonzo’s brothers a huge stack of bills – which he then just throws up in the air raining money over everything Giving Rick the cold shoulder, Alonzo take a fine looking dancer outside to ‘check out’ his new SUV. When a local law enforcement office catches him in the truck on the down-stroke with said dancer, things get sticky for Alonzo. Ricky shows up just in the nick of time.  Wouldn’t ya know it — the cop’s a big fan of Rick’s so Ricky talks him out of taking Alonzo downtown and a grateful Alonzo agrees to squash the drama between them and lets Ricky have the number 18 jersey. Talk about blind fuckin’ luck! After Alonzo exits stage right back into the strip club, Ricky goes over to talk to the cop who turns out to be Annabella’s uncle Frank (Todd Allen Durkin). Ricky thanks Uncle Frank for the help and all is once again right with the world — for now.

Things in Charles Greane’s world just keep getting messier. He’s still getting sexting pictures from Sammi (Zashia Monique Santiago) who he met at Spencer’s corporate event. She just won’t leave him alone and he can’t stop thinking about her. He even fantasizes about her during a vigorous round of ’stuffin’ the muffin’ with his wife, Julie. Later Charles joins Ricky at the strip club for a few ticks to discuss what to do about this problem. Ricky tells Charles that God is testing him and Charles admits to a crisis of conscience. When Ricky asks if he went to Sammi’s, Charles tells him no. Ricky, who was drunk when he gave the girl Charles’ number, then takes Charles’ phone and texts Sammi telling her to lose that phone number. That problem solved, he tells Charles to get rid of all the pictures. Charles agrees but decides to keep the last picture Sammi sent, it’s the same thing as porn he reasons. “No it’s not,” Ricky tells him. “You can actually fuck the girl in the picture man!” Charles returns home to find his wife working on her computer. He plops down on the couch and turns on the TV on which the huge picture of Sammi’s ass appears almost immediately. Julie caught ya with ya hand in the cookie jar, didn’t she?

After a couple of lame-ass tries to explain the big booty on the TV Charles finally comes clean. and later  explains that nothing happened between them. He wanted to keep the picture, because he now considered it to be no different from porn. “You can fuck the girl in this picture Charles!”, an exasperated Julie replies. Note to Charles, no one believes this. Julie declares that she isn’t going to put up with any messing around after noticing the tell-tale strip club signs – perfume, cigarette smoke and glitter on Charles’ face – and he vacates the premises.

Before heading into the lawyer’s office Spencer gets a call from Jason who says that Dallas has hit the pause button on Vernon’s deal. He suspects that it’s because they got wind of the possible scandal. This problem needs to be put down quick. Spencer and Joe plan to go in and offer the guy $20 grand to keep his client quiet until Jason can get Vernon’s contract nailed down and then they plan to pay the woman no more than $50 grand total. In the office, Gomez shows Spencer and Joe the other pictures his client has and says that she already has a hefty offer from an online publication on the table. She wants to be fair to Vernon, he says, by offering him the right of first refusal. The price is $500 grand. After the laughs subside Joe offers the check for $50 grand, the lawyer laughs and hold firm to his price. Gomez figures he’s got Vernon up against the wall because he’s in the middle of contract negotiations. Spencer, however, refuses to give in and leaves. Outside when Joe ponders what kind of money grubbing, greedy bitch would want to take advantage of a kind soul like Vernon; Spencer simply looks at him and replies, “I know her Joe.”

And the hits just keep on coming.

Ballers airs Sundays at 10 pm on HBO

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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