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Ballers - Ricky-leaks - Review



This week's episode of "Ballers" began with a dream. Spencer, Ricky, Charles, and Vernon were exercising and discussing annuities along an idyllic Miami backdrop, and all of a sudden, pro baller Eddie George joins them with some investment knowledge. Just as we start to furrow our brow at the oddity of the scene, we relaize that Spencer is actually dreaming - and the road before him has opened up into a broad, lava-filled chasm.

It seems like Spencer's subconscious, and now, his audience, is starting to realize that his latest endeavors are going to end up splitting ties and fracturing futures. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

RECAP

Anderson is moving forward with selling off Anderson Sports Management, the company that Spencer borrowed millions of dollars to invest in, and his original guiding force during the first 2 seasons of the show. He's less than comfortable with the potential acquisition, and insists to Anderson that he can do both jobs: the sports financial management at ASM, and the broader implementation of a professional football team in Las Vegas.

However, Spencer's core clientele and colleagues are noticing his absence. Ricky calls him on it, in the midst of his latest crisis (more on that in a minute). Jason gets forceful with Spencer about not being treated like his clients. And Vernon's second-in-command, Reggie, is working directly with Joe to resolve Vernon's suspension, expressing complete disinterest in the tangled politics that are developing between the NFL and Spencer.

With Spencer now realizing that his new expansion deal could jeopardize his core clientele, he's faced with a choice; back off the NFL deal, or embrace the selling of ASM and risk losing his current job to move into new and exciting expansion territory. At the end of "Ricky-leaks", he reverses course and decides to abandon ASM.

Meanwhile, Joe is swinging the other way. While he originally embraced the idea of investing in the Vegas expansion at any cost, he's also realizing that he thoroughly enjoys being on the "front lines" for his clients, and he wants that to continue. Just as Spencer decides to cash out on ASM, Joe is deciding he wants to go all in.

On the players' side of the house, the episode was mostly focused on Ricky. He's in hot water, because an unknown source has leaked the tape of him wandering into the wrong home & punching a teenage resident there. The teenager in question, Jimmy Burns, is making matters worse by posting online about it and bragging at school; he even plans a FB Live press conference discusses a TMZ exclusive interview. To keep Jimmy from damaging Ricky's reputation, Spencer agrees to have Ricky pick the kid up from school in his Ferrari.

Although it seems like a harmless-enough stunt, Ricky ends up speeding along a highway with the kid and even admits his VERY PRIVATE medical issues to him. He even lets the kid hop into the driver's seat of his expensive Italian car. The kid seems like he'll keep things to himself, but I get an odd sense of foreboding about this whole storyline...

DISCUSSION

...like, OMG, he's one car accident from messing up his entire career! Even if the kid doesn't get injured or killed in an accident, Ricky could get photographed letting an uninsured driver behind the wheel of his vehicle and face a ton of scrutiny. He can't afford that with a tenuous deal still up in the air, and his Post-Concussive Syndrome looming over his head. Not to mention his "dual personality" admission that he made to the NFL shrink. Maybe I'm just being overly-cautious, but I suspect that things are going to get worse for Ricky before they get any better. I really hope I'm wrong, though, because Ricky's a favorite character! What do you think, Baller-family?

I did thoroughly enjoy the "chasm" metaphor that the episode started with, however. I've been wondering about how Spencer is splitting himself so thin this season, and also about Joe, who may want to splinter off and pursue the sports management side of things on his own now. Do you think Spencer and Joe are on course to have some kind of big falling out? What's the best possible outcome of that kind of conflict?

And finally, let's think about Spencer. Like I noted last week, he sorta seems like he's getting what he wants, only to discover that he doesn't want it anymore. This week, during his call with Wayne Hastings, he seemed much more pessimistic and cautious than usual. Do you think he'll get some kind of wake-up call to stick to sports management, or commit himself totally to the Vegas expansion? And what would those different paths mean for the show? Would you still watch it if it became a show about Spencer building a team from scratch in Las Vegas?

Get to commenting, y'all!




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