From the Ballers fan mail inbox: “Am I crazy, or is there no article for episode 5 of Ballers? How the hell am I supposed to know how HARD they BALLED?” Readers, did you really believe we’d leave you—our most loyal and dedicated ballers—stranded without a ball? What kind of operation do you think we’re running here? Time to ball out!

We left our scooby-dooby-doodling ballers on the last episode in the middle of a few fun predicaments. Ricky Jerret, new Miami Dolphins football guy, had the wheels taken off his nice car in an elaborate punk by a player who hates him because he was sleeping with his mother. Wait, hold up—what? Jerret was boning Alonzo’s mama so Alonzo took the wheels off his car. This is the first rule of balling: do not “ball” my mother or I will “ball” your car with a sick prank. Ya burned, buddy boy. That’s how we ballers do it!

The main ballers—Spencer Strasmore and Rob Corddry—were in the middle of signing Victor Cruz and dealing with Vernon Littlefield and trying to sort out of what is going on with Strasmore’s damn damaged head. Why so much pain? Too much balling, maybe? But really, what were the results of your MRI, we’re worried about you. Is there something going on in there? How can we help? We’re here for all the ballers in need.

A lot happened. Things were touch-and-go. Will the ballers make it out the other side of these numerous uncomfortable complications? It’s hard to say, but as John Hiatt once sang:

When the road gets dark
And you can no longer see
Just let my love throw a spark
And have a little faith in ballers

And when the tears you cry
Are all you can believe
Just give these loving arms a try
And have a little faith in ballers

Have a little faith in ballers
Have a little faith in ballers
Have a little faith in ballers
Have a little faith in ballers

“The whole suit and tie thing kind of works for you, though.”

“Well, because I make it look fly, right?”

Would it be an episode of the HBO television program Ballers without commentary on how fucking fresh Spencer Strasmore looks in his custom-made suits? As we mentioned in a prior recap, the more callouts to Strasmore’s suits, the less potent these balls are for spending in the baller economy. While normally watching Victor Cruz telling The Rock that he looks good in his suit would be worth at least eight out of ten balls, we’re going to have to give them only six out of ten for now. Maybe next episode he should wear a dress—mix it up a little. Get some new compliments. The element of surprise is a strong tool in a show like this.

Some trouble seems to arise in the Ballers “Anderson Financial Management” office, but the mystery is not in how our ballers will handle this trouble, but why this office is full of people and the only characters we ever see interacting are Rob “Double D” Corddry and Spencer Strasmore. What is everyone else doing? Too busy balling or what? If you look, I have handily annotated this screencap of the two ballers with a sign behind them of their faces. What a funny company.

“I’M TRYING TO DO BIDNESS HERE!” (not a real quote from this episode but soon enough I will be hired to write for this show, in which case this is a real quote from the show in the future when I do DVD commentary on this exact episode). Congratulations to me on my new job: eight out of ten balls.

Meanwhile....

...sex!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ten out of ten balls for this scene of sex. Sex. It’s a baller thing to do.

UH OH. BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE BALLERS:

As Vernon Littlefield’s financial manager, Strasmore is tasked with putting out many fires. The fire of Littlefield demanding a lot of money, the fire of Littlefield’s best friend Reggie making unrealistic demands, the fire of his own dedication to the spirit of the ballers. He is a walking flame emoji! But this time, Littlefield has really done it:

“She says she’s got pictures of me smoking weed with naked hookers.”

Blackmail comes to the ballers television program. Things are getting dark. Why is smoking weed with naked hookers that big of a deal for a baller? This is what ballers do, no?

“Man, these girls was banging. And the weed was smelling so fucking good, it was a party.”

That is nothing to be ashamed of, Vernon. Five out of ten balls. The weed, well, sometimes it smells so fucking good!

But wait, uh oh. Here’s the rub:

“It was your fucking party, Spencer.”

“Eh, eh, no. That was a corporate event.”

Ah right, the hookers and the weed-smoking and the general baller merriment occurred at Anderson Financial Management’s “corporate event,” an event that was intended to bring in “new clients” for “big investments,” etc. And so and and so forth. That’s probably not a good look for anyone. Five out of ten balls.

The funniest part of this episode comes, however, when Vernon Littlefield feels compelled to defend his weed use. Weed—a baller drug for everyone. Nine out of ten balls for this jokester:

“I just use the weed for pain management.”

“You’re not even injured.”

“I got emotional pain.”

Cut to babes:

“Hello, babes.”

“Hello, ballers.”

Ten out of ten balls.

Strasmore and “JOE” are now meeting at Joe’s house to talk about how they’ll handle these photos of Littlefield smoking weed with hookers.

“A wine glass that is unclean?” Strasmore appears to be asking. “Clean your damn wine glasses,” Strasmore appears to be demanding. Six out of ten balls. Cleanliness is next to ballerliness. We all know that.

Neither baller is impressed with this house, which belongs to a lawyer who is trying to blackmail them. This ignites a conversation about crack. Remember the innocent times not so long ago? The times when weed was the only cool drug that ballers knew about? Turns out, our village idiot friend “Joe” has smoked some crack in his day. What is with this guy. He has a problem.

“You smoke enough crack, anything feels legit.”

Que????????????????????????? Cero out of diez balls! This show is going off the rails. How you going to smoke crack? We have a business to run! Your addictions are going to run our financial planning business into the ground! Our deals!

A strip club. One bonus ball for the shoebox full of money and the stacks of cash as they cascade down onto all the beautiful women. Now that’s what I call baller.

After a night out at the strip club, Alonzo is discovered having sex with a woman in a matte black Mercedes. Weed smoke pours out of the windows. I’m loving this image and frankly think it is baller. I thought it was mid-day but it’s morning. Why not go home and have sex in a real bed? Why bother even getting into it in the car?

You really wanna know why?

Because Alonzo is a baller.

And a baller does as he chooses.

Ten out of ten balls.

Jerret set him up though. He didn’t really get arrested by a cop lmao sucks.

Turns out this was just a trick. Of course it was! Jerret just wants to make nice and he knows the cop so it’s all good, brother. You’re home free. No trouble here. Now they’re buddies. Things are looking up. A positive spin is always waiting for you on Ballers, where balling is only fun if everyone is balling together. Cute little joke. Seven out of ten balls.

“Not everyone gets caught smoking industrial-sized blunts, surrounded by naked cokeheads, at a party being hosted by Anderson Financial, Joe.”

“You better start sharping your machetes because I never fucking retreat. That’s how I like to operate.”

Yeah, man. I have literally no idea what this show is about anymore. Eleven out of ten balls. Until next time.

Ballers episode five balling average: 7.46 plus 1 bonus ball.


Contact the author at dayna.evans@gawker.com.