HBO‘s Ballers: Enter the Temple TV Show Review. Unsurprisingly in a show about athletes and the people who manage them, this week’s episode of Ballers was all about competition. Here we break down the three biggest power struggles of the episode, and weigh in on who we think won:
Spencer vs Dr. Robbins
The episode begins with an ugly shot of Spencer’s (Dwayne Johnson) hip injury, and we know right away that he’s in major pain- and major trouble, because after his last two pills, he’s out of meds. When he goes to the pharmacy for a refill (by the way, he lies to his girlfriend about being there, so that’s a red flag), Spencer discovers that he’s overdrawn and it’s necessary to get his doctor involved.
When Spencer sees Dr. Robbins (Stacy Ann Rose), though, she’s not willing to play his games. According to her, if Spencer were to actually take the prescribed dosage of his medicine, there’s no way he would have run out by now. “I’m not at risk,” Spencer tells her, but she’s not buying it. Dr. Robbins agrees to write Spencer one last prescription as long as he agrees to getting a full physical in the next ten days.
Spencer plays it cool, but we have reason to be suspicious; earlier when Spencer was at his girlfriend Tracy’s (Arielle Kebble) house, he took a sneak peak into her medicine cabinet and looked seriously tempted by what he saw. Might Spencer have an addiction? We’ll find out soon enough.
Winner: Nobody. This isn’t going to end well, we’re sure of it. Either Dr. Robbins will get in trouble on ethical grounds, or Spencer will develop a pain med addiction. Maybe even both. Either way, this problem is far from over.
Tracy vs The Man (and Mitch)
Tracy is far less than satisfied with her new coworker, Mitch (Robert Belushi), who signed on four years after she did and is somehow making $20,000 more than her already. Not only that, but Mitch is also getting better stories. Tracy sits down with her boss to talk things out, but the boss does pretty much the jerkiest things he could do in this situation: calls her by a workplace-inappropriate nickname, “Legs,” asks her to use her personal relationship with Spencer to get the scoop on a story, expresses his love for Mitch, and just generally ignores everything Tracy is trying to say to him.
When Tracy digresses from her salary concerns to address her nickname, the boss gets miffed- can’t Tracy take a joke? Tracy can’t take it anymore, so she simply quits. This was a pretty simple conflict, but in a show that’s mostly about male athletes and their male managers it’s encouraging to know that women’s equality is getting a few minutes in the limelight.
Winner: Tracy, no questions asked. Girl power.
History vs Respect
This conflict shows up in a few different places this episode, like when Reggie (London Brown) wants to start getting paid for his loyalty to Vernon (Donovan W. Carter)- which ends in Reggie shooting Vernon in a fast-paced game of paintball and something definitely not good happening to Vernon’s leg- or in the fight between Spencer and Andre (Andy Garcia) over Terrell Suggs (Terrell Suggs), or T Sizzle.
Andre currently represents Suggs, but the Sizzle isn’t feeling the love. In fact, he’s about ready to switch over to Spencer’s representation, despite the fact that almost nobody thinks it’s a good idea. As Joe (Rob Corddry) reminds Spencer, this wouldn’t even be legal. Plus, Spencer and Andre have some seriously bad blood between them from when Andre represented Spencer in the past.
The feud over Suggs’ love comes to a head at the end of the episode: Andre has 20 years of experience in this world, while Spencer is brand new. Spencer, though, actually cares about the athletes. Spencer’s response? “On behalf of Sizz and all the other players out there, you’re f***ing fired.” Cut to black.
Winner: Looks like Andre’s and Reggie’s history didn’t buy them loyalty. This episode, the respect wins. How long it will stay on top, though, we definitely can’t say.