Ballers Recap: “World of Hurt”

Things are still looking ominous for Spencer and Joe as their conflict with Andre starts creating casualties during this week’s episode of Ballers on HBO.


Photo: HBO

Super agent Jason Antolotti headed out into the Florida Everglades to talk to a young Florida State University linebacker named Travis Mack. When Jason arrives at his destination he’s greeted by a wise-assed young man who would fit the iconic definition of a hillbilly if only he lived anywhere near some hills. Travis introduces Jason to his uncles, Billy, Bob and Wade, and then carries on like a spoiled child when he finds out that Jason hasn’t come bearing gifts. The agent cuts right to the point. “Is there some place where we can go meet without your dirty uncles breathing down my neck?” he asks. Travis takes him out into the swamp on an airboat. He fakes engine trouble and coaxes Jason into getting out into the reptile-filled water to give the boat a push. When Jason does so the boy fires up the boat’s engine, leaving Jason to fend for himself among the alligators, snakes and bugs. Jason is having a yee-haw time experiencing mother nature’s gifts. During all this the agent keeps reminding himself that signing this kid could bring him $3 million. When Jason finally makes his way back to the Mack homestead he basically washes his hands of Travis and his childish antics. Before he can leave though, Travis stops him, apologizes, and tells Jason that he really does need his help.

During lunch, Tracy tells Spencer that she’s got an interview for an on-air job with ESPN in Connecticut. Spencer’s excitement for her news is quickly tempered when he sees Ndamukong Suh’s assistant, Victoria, meeting with Andre. Going over to say hello, and to find out what’s up, Spencer is politely chastised by Victoria for not answering her call when she tried to contact him the previous evening. He apologizes and tells her he was dealing with a rather pressing matter (Vernon). He then somewhat jokingly asks what he needed to do to attend such a high-powered meeting like the one he’s witnessing between Victoria, Andre and a couple other money mogul-types. He quickly gets his faced pressed when Victoria replies, somewhat coldly, “Try picking up the phone.” She then starts discussing Suh’s interests in real estate development with Andre. Spencer wishes them a nice afternoon and exits stage right with a look on his face like that of someone who just fumbled the ball on the one yard line.

On their way to a meeting with Old Man Anderson, Spencer fills Joe in about the lunchtime debacle, saying that they’ll lose Suh to Andre.  and Joe doesn’t take this well. He worries about how they’ll tell Anderson. The old man has been keeping up with their issues and he’s not very understanding about the situation. He wants them to bring in new clients to the business — or else. When Spencer mentions the ongoing conflict with Andre, the old man is even less appreciative of their situation. To his credit, Spencer takes responsibility for the ongoing feud and Anderson appreciates that. He then tells Spencer to go and fix things.

Over at Vernon’s things are really on edge. Ever since the Cowboys snubbed Vernon on the issue of what they plan to do about his injury it’s been tense. Vernon and Reggie are on pins and needles as they wait for a statement from the team to be given at a press conference broadcast on ESPN. The tension is broken when the Cowboys’ team rep announces that Vernon injured himself in training and they expect him to return, full strength, next season. The team’s gonna stick by him. It’ll be interesting to see what Vernon learns from this.

Charles walks in to meet with Larry Seifert to discuss the possibility of his switching to right tackle. Charles explains to Seifert that he initially had some trouble with the switch but now he’s embracing the idea and he’ll give the job everything he’s got. Seifert informs Charles that they’ve already got someone to play right tackle and that they’re going to let Charles go. “You should be proud of your contribution here,” he tells Charles. Yeah, these people always know the most comforting thing to say when they’re giving you the ax.

Ricky tries to bond with his father, Dennis, over drinks at a bar, but the two quickly come into conflict when Dennis is asked why he wasn’t really there for Ricky and his mother. Dennis leaves in a huff tossing Ricky the keys to his house and telling him not to wait up. At Dennis’s house, Ricky finds a scrapbook and begins to flip through it. In it he finds news clippings depicting not only the highlights of Dennis’s football career but his own as well. It seems that the old man has been keeping up with his son’s achievements after all.

Spencer tells Joe to find some kind of dirt that they can use against Andre. Joe gets in contact with Maximo Gomez, who delivers incriminating pictures of Andre. Spencer goes forth to meet with Andre armed with these pics and an offer to quash the conflict. If Andre stops going after Spencer’s clients, Spencer won’t make the images public. Andre tells him no matter what Spencer digs up on him he, Andre, can dig up things much worse on Joe and on Spencer. Clearly this isn’t the end of this beef.

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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