After getting little bits and pieces of the relationship between Spencer Strasmore and Andre Allen all season long on HBO’s “Ballers,” Sunday night’s penultimate episode of season 2 finally blew everything up. We now understand more about what happened to get us to this point, and precisely how much trouble Spencer could be in moving forward.
First and foremost, let’s ask this: Has he become Andre? He is looping his clients in on a business venture, one that brings with it incredibly risk and could potentially doom their future. In a way, though, he’s worse than Andre in that he’s asking for way more money. He’s asking them to go completely on the line for them. At the end of the episode, he asked Vernon for $5 million, realizing that he had no other choice if he wanted to ensure that Anderson Financial was his.
The one difference that he made, following his conversation with Andy Garcia’s character, was in his approach. Spencer was careful to tell him that this investment was a risk, and something that he did not have to make. He didn’t want to screw this all up and have everything fall to pieces, but at the same time, he’s going all-in on this in the way Andre warned him against in the hotel investment. This is a guy desperately trying to cling to something, and is either unaware or uncaring about other options.
For the time being, we’re even seeing a Spencer who is not altogether interested in trying to see other problems in his life. He completely ignored the warnings from his doctor to come in, and he got involved, at least for one night, back in the wild party scene. That can’t be good, can it?
There was some good news elsewhere for Ricky, as it seemed like he was finally narrowing down his search. We have enjoyed aspects of this story and also John David Washington’s performance in the part; yet, at the same exact time there are some frustrations we have, primarily when you think about how much football-talk we’ve had that most viewers already know. For example, does the average viewer of this show have a lacking knowledge of Aaron Rodgers’ passing game. Elsewhere, Charles’ storyline can be summed up with this: Being a GM is hard. We’re not sure yet whether or not this is a gig that he is going to be back to have for the long-term.
There were entertaining moments here and there with “Ballers,” but admittedly this weekend’s installment was one where we struggled anytime Dwayne Johnson was not on the screen. Grade: B.
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