To the victor go the spoils, and when you’re Spencer Strasmore, it looks like you get those spoils all across the board at a rapid pace when it’s the final season of “Ballers” and you need to wrap everything up in a quick and tidy fashion.
Sunday, October 6 provided for one of the more entertaining upsets in recent NFL memory, as the Indianapolis Colts took down the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium with Jacoby Brissett as a starting quarterback. Meanwhile, “Ballers” fans were treated to the seventh episode of the last hurrah: the show’s fifth and final season.
This was one of the weirder episodes of the season, despite some of the weeks where nothing really happened and no advancements were made in the show’s storylines. A lot went down at times, things progressed quickly, and there somehow doesn’t seem to be a very clear path as to where the show’s heading in its final week on the air.
But, if you were and are still confused about what’s gone on in the last few weeks, you’re in luck. As usual, here’s your weekly recap and review of the latest episode of “Ballers.”
The episode opens with Spencer observing on the field at Kansas City Chiefs practice, with something notably missing from the equation: star quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Noticing the omission, Spencer calls his friend Jason, who happens to be Mahomes’ agent, and eases into the conversation as he searches for his franchise’s cornerstone.
“Where the f— is Patrick?” Spencer asks, probably pleasing Spongebob fans across the show’s audience.
“He’s playing hide and seek: I hide him, you seek him,” Jason replies. “If Pat doesn’t suit up, then he can’t get hurt.”
The holdout comes after no progress was made last week when it comes to Mahomes’ deal, leading to lots of displeasure for SportsX and the company/agency’s employees.
“It’s your move,” Jason says.
Spencer responds by saying he’ll head to Los Angeles immediately to hammer out a new deal for the 2018 NFL MVP, much to the chagrin of Joe Krutel.
“You want to make a f—ing deal, b—-?” Joe asks. “I’m waiting for you.”
We then get our first piece of narration from Spencer’s season-long interview, which actually fits nicely into where the rest of the episode is heading.
“Some people are in a constant state of conflict,” Spencer says. “They need it to survive. Others despise it, but no matter how hard they try, they can’t avoid it. Where do I stand? Do you need to ask? To the victor go the spoils.”
Looking to avoid any conflict, Charles is sitting at the beach with a much similar view to Spencer’s vacation spot to start the season, and the Rams general manager is quickly joined by his boss, Werner Thompson.
Charles explains how he’s looking to avoid any health issues as he wades through the next steps in his life, and Werner wonders if it has to do with a lack of a contract extension for the former offensive lineman.
As a response, Werner offers Charles the new deal he’s been looking for, worth $10 million over four years, much to the confusion of Charles, who believed his boss hated him.
“Love and hate are closely aligned, but you’ve done an excellent job,” Werner says. “Lets keep this train chugging along.”
As Charles ponders his offer, Ricky gets a phone call with an offer of his own: a potential meeting with a Hollywood big-shot, played by Justin Long.
The Hollywood executive mentions his love for Ricky’s radio show, and discusses setting up a time to talk about future opportunities to grow Ricky’s brand. TTD handles the details, and Ricky may have himself a new gig to work with.
Speaking of a new gig, we see Lance heading to a nice house to meet with Vernon, Reggie and the three gaming brothers, with one of them nursing a nasty hand injury.
As Reggie and Vernon tell the gamer to play through the pain, they’re met with some pushback from the injured esports star. So, Reggie, Vernon and Lance decide to turn to some unorthodox means to solve the issue.
Back at SportsX, Spencer makes his long-awaited return to meet up with Joe and Jason about Mahomes’ new deal, bringing four cups of coffee in tow.
“The mighty hero returns with the spoils of war,” Joe says, meeting the theme of the episode as he matches Spencer’s earlier narration.
Spencer mentions how all of the cups of coffee are for him as he looks to nail down a deal for Mahomes, he also hands Joe and Jason some of their own to make in the office.
“Don’t forget to add vanilla, because it cuts out all the bitterness,” Spencer says.
In some forgettable scenes afterwards, we get Charles calling his wife, informing her about his new contract extension offer, and his two heart attacks. As his wife flips out over the lack of notification about the health issue, Charles starts to deal with more stress while he’s on the construction site of the Rams’ new stadium.
Meanwhile, Ricky and TTD head to the meeting with their new executive friend, who’s looking to turn Ricky into the next Michael Strahan.
“Saying what’s on your mind is dope,” the executive says of Ricky’s radio show. “It’s good for a first timer, but with our support, we can make something great.”
Ricky proceeds to get defensive, and storms out of the meeting after he feels he’s wasted his time with the offer.
Next up, we head back to the gaming house, as Reggie and Vernon bring in a “horse doctor” to help heal their player’s hand in time for their upcoming esports event.
The doctor injects the gamer with some sort of horse medicine, leading to the player being able to regain feeling in his hand almost instantly (because of course he can).
“Who wants a lollipop?” the doctor asks, which turns into the title of the episode.
Back to the meeting at the SportsX offices, the animosity continues between Spencer and Joe as the two sides air their grievances.
“You just come here today to pay your bulls— forward?” Joe asks.
“Isn’t that more your thing?” Spencer replies. “I come in peace.”
Spencer says the Chiefs are prepared to meet the Russell Wilson deal that SportsX was looking to go up against in last week’s negotiations, and Jason admits they were aggressive with their initial counter offer.
Just as the two sides appear to be close to something for Mahomes, Joe steps in with another jab at Spencer.
“A cricket is still closer to licking its balls than you are to getting a deal done,” Joe says.
“The Russell deal doesn’t get it done?” Spencer asks, to which Joe replies, “Not for you.”
“Not one division leader had one of the highest paid quarterbacks,” Spencer explains as Jason tries to keep the negotiations professional between both sides. “You can’t leave your guy out there on that island alone.”
Joe senses the irony of the latter part of Spencer’s message, and causes Spencer to leave his seat as he brings it up in his reply.
“You’re in this business because of me,” Spencer angrily responds.
“You’re only in this business at all because of me,” Joe replies, mentioning how Spencer was his partner and he bailed.
Spencer brings up Joe not having a wife or any friends due to his issues, and Joe replies by mentioning how his wife passed away, and how he lost a friend when Spencer decided to leave at the end of the show’s fourth season.
“You’re right,” Spencer says, obviously hit hard by the comment. “You happy now?”
“A little bit,” Joe replies.
“You want me to go all in?” Spencer then asks. “Joe, I’m sorry. I should’ve stuck it out with you, and I didn’t, and I apologize.”
The two then make up after all of their conflict this season, and begin to shoot the breeze about their wardrobe and the new SportsX offices before all sides come to an agreement on an extension for Mahomes.
On the topic of a new deal, Charles heads to Werner’s office to discuss his new offer.
“About my worrying, your offer was very generous, but I have my reservations,” Charles explains. “Part of me wants to stay and ride it ’till the wheels fall off, but the other part of me doesn’t want to die.”
Charles’ boss responds by saying he respects him, and mentions how Charles’ bluntness has been refreshing. He says he agrees he’s been hard on Charles, and said it was preparing him for the harshness of the job.
He escalates his offer, however, saying Charles has now been groomed and is now ready to take the helm. Werner’s willing to give him a promotion with free rein, sweetening up the offer to make him team president.
“Take the weekend to think about it and we’ll talk on Monday,” Werner says.
In another forgettable moment, Ricky admits to his girlfriend and TTD that he got frustrated at the meeting with the Hollywood executive, and mentioned how he “tried to frustrate him back” in the process.
TTD explains that it’s not too late to call back the executive to let him know he was right, his girlfriend hands him the phone and convinces Ricky to not try to pay the man off to avoid admitting his mistake.
At the esports event, Vernon and his team find out they’ve been seeded last out of all 32 teams involved, and see Team Splyce, the team that rejected Vernon after his tryout, show up.
“What’s up, clowns?” Vernon asks, before a slight back-and-forth begins between the two sides.
In more important matters, we head to a press conference with Spencer to end the episode, with the Chiefs owner ready to drop some bombs as he speaks to the media about Mahomes’ new deal, last week’s Owners Meeting, and the proposed 18-game season that Spencer voted for.
“My vote was based on an agreement I had with the other owners, and that agreement was broken,” Spencer explains. “The old guard is in charge, they’re taking us down a path that will end with the demise of our great game. The future of football is with the players and the fans.”
“We need to take care of our guys, starting with lifetime medical coverage for everyone who’s played three years or more,” Spencer continues, as his press conference begins to feel like a campaign speech to be elected as the President of the United States in 2020. “I’m working everyday to make that dream, that necessity, a reality. One day, I sincerely hope that I’ll be able to stand up here with you guys and say we have succeeded.”
In the first step to do right by his players, Spencer announces the signing “of a historic deal for one of the league’s most talented athletes,” and thanks his old friends Jason and Joe in the process for helping to get the deal done.
“I am honored to announce that we’ve signed Patrick Mahomes to the largest, fully guaranteed deal in NFL history,” Spencer says, which leads to a shot of Boss Man throwing a glass through the television down in Dallas, and an upset Candace back at the NFL’s offices.
We then get some more narration from Spencer to end the episode before Charles heads home to surprise his family, potentially setting up what’s to come with the rest of the last season of “Ballers.”
“If you’re lucky, sometimes conflict comes with the sweetest of rewards: resolution,” Spencer says. “But the next challenge, the next fight, it’s always just around the corner. We spend our lives trying to live without pain, but that’s what feeds us. Sometimes it just breeds more conflict, but other times, it breeds success.”
A lot actually happened on this episode of “Ballers,” and I was actually satisfied with everything they showed between Spencer, Joe and Jason.
It all felt real, with the expected animosity shown throughout the start of the trio’s meeting. However, it did feel like they rushed towards a resolution to build towards the rest of the season, all without actually setting much up for the rest of the show’s tenure.
The esports angle will progress as we find out more about the tournament Vernon’s team attended, and we’ll learn more about Ricky’s new role as his radio show takes off. But, where do we go from here with Spencer and the league?
I’m unsure why the Cowboys would be so upset with a new deal for Mahomes, and why it would force the owner of the Cowboys to throw a glass through the television (unless it has to do with not wanting to over-pay Dak Prescott?) I’m also unsure why the league would be so up in arms about the news, considering Spencer’s using money that the Chiefs already had delegated to salaries.
There’s not much more that can come from this situation, outside of the league somehow rejecting the deal or forcing Spencer’s hand more when it comes to the 18-game season. It almost feels like this episode on its own could’ve been a season finale, and now they have to fill one more episode to complete the season in a big fashion.
Overall, we at least got a few answers to clear up some issues with this fifth season of the show, and we now wait to see how the crew wraps it all up to put a bow on the show’s tenure. I still have excitement for how it will all go down, and I’m intrigued to learn more about this season-long interview.