Ignoring the inflammatory title, last night’s BALLERS, “I Hate New York,” was one of the best episodes of the season. Yes, I say these even as a New York native. The episode even featured Tha Dogg Pound’s 1995 classic “New York, New York,” widely considered an East Coast diss track. I have to say the music this season on Ballers has been awesome, with the show not only mining old school classics but also new tracks that I always have my Shazam primed to nail down.
As for “I Hate New York,” Spencer, Joe, and Mr. Anderson make their way north on a private jet to secure funds for a new Vegas stadium. They end up getting rerouted to the Hamptons to meet with none other than Mr. Anderson’s brother. Anderson’s brother is the more successful of the duo, flipping his portion of their father’s money into a more robust enterprise. Now Spencer, Joe, and a rather salty Mr. Anderson have to give him their pitch.
By the way, if you’re going to judge New York, don’t base it off just the Hamptons. But anyway, that’s where Spencer, Joe, and Mr. Anderson spend all their time when they arrive at Anderson’s brother’s waterside mansion. It’s not long before the two brothers are at each other’s throats. Spencer tries to remain professional and give the pitch himself, but even he can’t keep his cool for long. The three storm out of the mansion, seemingly at a dead end.
Meanwhile, the drama between Charles and Seifert continues to smolder. Seifert is still heated over the fight he had with Coach Berg. In part because he blames Charles and in part because he just seems to like making Charles’ life miserable, Seifert tells Charles to fire Coach Berg. In a not completely credible scene, Charles confronts Coach Berg in the middle of practice (instead of, uhh, in his office say) and Berg unsurprisingly throws a tantrum. But he also tells Charles to start standing up for himself, which of course has been the main tension for Charles since the show began. This scene in particular is solid, it’s just a shame that it’s cheapened by not being completely credible. That firing probably would have taking place behind the scenes, not in the middle of the field in front of all of the Dolphins players.
Ricky’s mystery medical problems finally are unveiled a little bit as Ricky goes to see the doctor. After weird things like thinking he’s in his house when he really isn’t, and memory problems abound, we finally get a bit more clarity. After a few tests, a neurologist diagnoses Ricky with post concussion syndrome and tells him his brain needs to rest. That’s right, it’s time for avocados, blueberries, and laying off the grid for a bit.
Mostly though, this storyline feels incomplete. For instance, there was still never any payoff for Ricky punching that poor kid.
Back in the Hamptons, after Mr. Anderson’s plane is apparently sabotaged, the trio is forced to return to Anderson’s brother’s waterside mansion. This time, Anderson’s brother wants to make an offer. Only problem is, he wants all the credit for the deal. Our boys aren’t down for that so they storm out again, this time for real.
Speaking of taking credit, Seifert pulls the same thing on Charles. He says he’s going to allow Kisan to suit up, but puts all the responsibility on Charles if things don’t work out. And if they do, Seifert says he’ll be the one to wear the crown. I’m about ready for Charles to really blow up on Seifert, who’s been a thorn on Charles’ side for weeks.
Ade Adeniji | Contributor