'Ballers' Season 2, Episode 4 Recap: "World of Hurt"

Note: Yours truly watched every episode of Ballers last weekend, so we do Ballers recaps now. Enjoy.

Jason’s Pride

The recipe for any great TV or movie scene has been and will always be “two people who don’t trust each other speeding around on an airboat in a swamp.” Now that’s tension!

Cajun Travis, a potential first-round pick but probably not because he skipped the Combine (you don’t skip the Combine, guys), thinks it’s a good idea to desert his would-be agent Jason in the middle of the Everglades as some sort of character litmus test. If Jason didn’t make it back to the house, that means he probably died, which is kind of a weird way to choose your sports agent.

Line of the episode: “Is there some place we can go meet without your dirty uncles breathing moonshine down my neck?"

Ricky’s Dad

This conflict was a long time coming. It was always kind of odd that Ricky dedicated his life and career to being a better man than his father, then a few days after Dennis shows up they’re best friends.

Dennis had to know the topic of “hey man how come we just met for the first time a few months ago and I’m 30?” was going to come up eventually. Getting upset at the son you abandoned then immediately starting a bar fight was not the most mature way to handle the situation. These two are hurtling toward an appearance on Dr. Phil.

Charles’ Career

... appears to be over.

After warming up to the idea of moving to right tackle, Charles delivers and ill-timed speech to Mr. Seifert, who reveals that a recent signing eliminates the Dolphins’ need for the aging former car salesman. Pretty cold Bachelorette-style move from Seifert to let Chuck pour his heart out like that and then end the relationship.

Naturally, when Julie hears this news her first instinct is to call her husband’s former employers “soulless mother fuckers” like the blue chip wife that she is. Sup Julie.

Vernon’s Achilles

Still nursing a paintball injury previously suffered only by middle-aged mothers on team-building retreats, Vernon is stuck on the couch, forced to watch renowned chili cook Mark Schlereth — the only ESPN anchor that exists in the Ballers universe — speculate about the rest of Vernon’s life. Vernon is left to wonder if being honest with the Cowboys would end up destroying his career.

Shooter McGavin, apparently an executive with the team, holds a press conference simply to say Vernon injured himself training, which seems very unnecessary but it results in Spencer shooting Reggie in the foot with a paintball gun so I’m pleased with the outcome.

My question is, what did Vernon learn here? Yes, he was honest, but his employer was dishonest on his behalf, and Vernon benefitted from that. Semi-lying pays, I guess?

Joe, Spencer and Andre

Boss Man Anderson is a “what have you done for me lately?” kind of guy, so it’s no wonder he’s annoyed with Spencer and Joe poaching players from Andre Allen, Miami’s Great White Financial Manager. “Having Ndamukong Suh on the roster just doesn’t cut it anymore,” Anderson yells, moments after Spencer and Joe discover Ndamukong Suh is not at all on the roster anymore.

The episode ends with Spencer hoping to negotiate a sort of cease fire with Andre, who is accompanied by someone who appears to be Miss Universe. Couldn’t really tell, the sequins were too gleaming. 

We don’t find out what’s in the envelope, but Andre is unimpressed with the blackmail attempt. “I’m too big to fail, Spence.” So you can bet this season’s finale will include Andre failing in spectacular fashion.  

Hey also, can we please refer to Terrell Suggs by his actual name once in a while? Having big important discussions about the finances of a man named “Sizzle” is kind of bizarre. |ES|


Ballers airs Sundays at 10 ET on HBO. Denzel Washington's son is in it and he's really good. All images via HBO.