BALLERS Review: “Alley-Oops”


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This week’s , “Alley-Oops,” begins on a romantic note with Spencer and Chloe having some good-natured cohabitation banter. Spencer can’t find his electric toothbrush which Chloe, naturally, has relocated to the shower. Spencer remarks that his bathroom looks more like Sephora these days. It won’t be long before Spencer changes his tune, however.

Shifting gears a little bit this week, Ballers focuses more on Spencer’s on doing health problems than on his ongoing drama with bringing the NFL to Vegas. The former NFL star gets his sperm count results back, and after delaying a visit to the doctor, finally bites the bullet and heads over. The results aren’t a complete showstopper — Spencer isn’t entirely infertile — but his condition is progressing. He’ll need to act fast. One thing I didn’t get about this scene is when the doctor calls Spencer “selfish” for worrying about passing on his legacy and having kids. Seems like a pretty human and normal reaction to me.


While Spencer deals with issues of potency, Joe and team ASM go on a wellness retreat to make sure their aura is on point. Here Ballers tries to make up for the fact that, apart from Spencer, Joe, and Anderson, in nearly two full seasons, we haven’t seen much of the extended team at ASM. Now all of a sudden we’re introduced to the quirky worker bee who refuses to give up her cellphone in order to engage in some uninterrupted team building. It’s fun, but I wish we would have met some of these characters and gotten to know them a bit more before this episode.

While seeing Joe and team struggle to get in touch with their more spiritual sides is funny and entertaining on some level, for the reasons I’ve just mentioned, it just doesn’t land entirely. Later, someone on the team finds out that they where whisked away while ASM is being appraised. Uh oh.

Unsurprisingly, the team is upset and all eyes turn towards Joe. But because the extended members of ASM were so lightly developed up until this point, it doesn’t quite have the emotional impact it should. Sure, I feel bad for Joe for having to deliver the bad news. But that’s about the extent of it.


A similar issue happens later with Spencer, who, now armed with the news that he needs to have kids and fast, ends up going to bed with Chloe that night. It’s unclear if it was intended or not, but Spencer ends up giving himself a solid chance of having kids. Whoa. But on some level, I don’t really get it. Does he really like Chloe that much that he wants to have kids with her? For most of the season, Chloe has functioned more as a — well — fun buddy. It’s not completely out of left field, but I would have liked more of a build up. And I guess there is a possibility that Spencer will get more serious with her now, though.


Away from Spencer and Joe, Charles, tired of being mistreated by Seifert, goes higher on the totem pole to complain. Ricky, meanwhile, debates whether he should take meds for his mental health condition. The side effects may affect his performance both on the field and in the bedroom so he’s reluctant. Ricky’s father, who’s been great this season, insists that Ricky listen to his doctors. What’s more, Ricky’s dad also confesses that their whole family has mental health issues, even him, and that getting help is the reason why he’s finally been able to be a stable presence in Ricky’s life after all these years. This was a pretty solid scene.

Season 3, Episode 8 (S03E08)
Ballers airs Sundays at 10PM on HBO

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Ade writes about the philanthropy of billionaires and millionaires by day, and writes screenplays by night.
Follow Ade on Twitter: @derekadeniji
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