Ballers Season 4, Episode 4 recap: Forgiving is Living, without potential clients

BALLERS -- photo: Jeff Daly/courtesy of HBO -- Acquired via HBO Media Relations site
BALLERS -- photo: Jeff Daly/courtesy of HBO -- Acquired via HBO Media Relations site /

Ballers considers whether Forgiving is Living is the right strategy for Anderson Sports Management’s acquisition of Sports X.

There are three major plots going on with Ballers. Will Anderson Sports Management, specifically Spencer (Johnson) and Joe (Corddry) regret their acquisition of Sports X? Can Ricky (Washington) make a comeback? And what exactly is going on with the love triangle/shenanigans of Jason Antolotti (Garity)?

With an episode titled “Forgiving is Living,” one has to wonder if that means bad decisions have been recognized. And, if so, will apologies be accepted?

Extreme sports involve extreme personalities

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Firing Lance (Brand) may have been a mistake. All of the major clients for Sports X don’t take kindly to Lance’s departure. They formed bonds with him, brokered deals together. Everyone from Kelly Slater to Tony Hawk elects to side with Lance.

That leaves Spencer and Joe high and dry, with minimal staff at the office, and only the potential of Parker Jones (Mason Gooding) as a client. Unfortunately, even Parker wants a quick break from representation.

There is a hilarious scene, however, where Joe tries to win Parker over and says “I feel you.” Parker challenges Joe to prove it. Joe chooses incorrectly, Parker says he’s feeling horny, and Joe regrets not choosing horny. The funny thing is, it wouldn’t be surprising if Joe actually were thinking that.

What’s your motivation?

Still debating on un-retiring, Ricky goes to train MMA with Jay Glazer and Randy Couture. Given Couture’s flip-flopping retirements, he’s particularly knowledgeable about Ricky’s dilemma. Ultimately the pair gets Ricky to slug into some pads and think about his motivations. If it’s all materialistic, they advise, it’s not going to work.

For Ricky, it’s much more. He wants to play. Suddenly his mind is made up, and Randy paraphrases the classic “everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face”-line. Ricky returns home, asks TTD (McDowell) to hit him (to make the feeling real), and makes plans to tell Amber (Brittany Hall) about his decision.

BALLERS — photo: Jeff Daly/courtesy of HBO — Acquired via HBO Media Relations site
BALLERS — photo: Jeff Daly/courtesy of HBO — Acquired via HBO Media Relations site /

Women troubles

Jason and Kisan (Lofton) have a problem. Jason’s girlfriend Donna (Amanda Rea), who is already becoming very tiresome, posted a photo of Kisan kissing a girl who is not his girlfriend. Kisan’s girlfriend is a complete caricature, throwing vases, glasses, etc. Unless Jason can fix things, Kisan does not want him as an agent. So Jason turns to Donna not to smooth things over, but to lie about how the entire situation happened.

The apology tour is unsuccessful

There’s a moment where Spencer and Joe decide they can’t go on with Sports X if Lance is not involved. Willing to eat crow, they go to Lance’s new location to apologize. This is after Joe and Spencer realize they have what the other wants. Joe wants Spencer’s stories, his fame, his football, his horse c**k. Spencer wants Joe’s self-awareness and fearlessness.

The situation at Sports X 2.0, however, is far from dire. Lance started up a second venture and has acquired new financing. That doesn’t mean he doesn’t soak in the vitamin-D rays of Spencer’s apology for a while. He shocks the ASM duo with a counteroffer: a buy-back of Sports X for 50%.

The response from Spencer and Joe is almost opposite of expectations. Spencer wants to take the offer and wash his hands of Lance and Sports X. Joe decides to handle negotiations and basically tells Lance to fornicate himself.

Is Spencer getting soft? Or tired? It’s quite a decision for Joe to basically end a friendship with Lance. Then again, maybe it’s easier for Spencer to relax since he gets back to his hotel room and (SURPRISE!) Jada (Joy Bryant), the football prodigy’s mother, is waiting for him.

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So will Anderson Sports Management build Sports X into a winning business with a growing clientele? Or will Lance bury them with the support he has from all the top alt-sports athletes? Is Spencer the only guy who will ever get a woman? Poor Joe needs love too.

Ballers airs at 9:00 CT on HBO.