This episode of Ballers really gets into the nitty-gritty of hotel development and Achilles-tendon injuries. Where is the glitz? The glam? The endless parties on yachts? There's only one set of titties! We get a little bit of pizzazz for Denzel Jr., but Dwyane "La Roccia" Johnson is stuck putting out fires left and right — and not with the champagne AK-47 my brother used in a club in Ibiza. Just with regular water.
La Roccia gets a phone call at the ungodly hour of 5:04 in the morning. It's Reggie, who finally decided to come clean after Vernon's leg swelled up like a balloon. La Roccia offers up his doctor who treated him and Peyton Manning. Sports reference!
Meanwhile, Denzel Jr. is flying out to New Orleans to meet with the Saints, soak in some of that New Orleans spirit (booze and étouffée), and hopefully walk away with a new contract.
La Roccia is waiting for Reggie and Vernon to arrive, and they pull up in the tackiest lime-green sports car eating chalupas. The nouveau riche, am I correct? Vernon is scared about getting cut from Dallas because — whoops! — he was playing paintball, not running agility drills in his backyard like the team would definitely prefer. Jason is freaking out and wants him to lie to the owners. Unfortunately, his Achilles is jacked up and he needs surgery right now. As the nurses take him away, Jason, Reggie, and La Roccia all argue the merits of protecting their investment — I mean friend.
Charles has nothing to do in this episode. I feel for the guy in a way. He's debating whether or not to play right tackle. That's pretty much all he does. He chases after a loud car on the street for a bit, he plays with his adorable daughter (who is the chilliest baby actor in the game), and his wife tricks out their minivan. End of plotline. Oh, and they bang in the backseat of the minivan.
La Roccia gets a call from Joe because Andre has been trying to steal their clients. Everyone got a call and Andre is promising to help them develop all of their harebrained schemes: a dance studio, a fashion line, a line of small-batch drinking vinegar, even a hotel. La Roccia yells at Joe to stop approving things while he's gone to keep their clients happy. Jason tells Vernon that he has to lie to Dallas to keep his job. Vernon doesn't like to lie. Repeat ad nauseam until the episode is over.
Joe and La Roccia have dinner with Spice, a retired football player who wants to build a hotel. He's got grand plans and a spot picked out in Key Largo. Joe is willing to blow smoke up Sporty Spice's behind just to keep him as a client — but ever the realist, La Roccia wants to be honest. Repeat ad nauseam until Andre picks up the tab and the Financial Manager boys agree to check out the Key Largo property. Oh, and it's hot beach-access garbage. La Roccia points out there's red mangroves everywhere and they can't be cut down. I admire the commitment to conservation on Ballers. La Roccia finally tells Spice that it won't be a good idea. Because everything works out for La Roccia, Sporty Spice agrees.
Various members of the Dallas staff are poking around Vernon's house and see giant flower arrangements from Andre and La Roccia and Joe sitting outside. Reggie and Vernon are camped out inside with all the lights off.
Denzel Jr. is still in New Orleans. He's pissed that the Saints haven't shown him "the love" yet. Ah yes, that undefinable quality and/or action that will apparently seal the deal. He's looking for the coach to stop by or maybe Drew Brees to take him for a pedicure. Even when the Saints offer him $30 million over three years, he's not interested. You can call Denzel Jr. will.i.am because he's asking, "Where is the love?"
La Roccia goes to visit Vernon and finds him still chilling on a futon pad on the ground. He tells Vernon that if he doesn't want to lie, he shouldn't have to, but he always has to answer when his bosses call. Vernon does "the right thing" and tells the owner that he was playing paintball when he got injured, and the boss hangs up on him.
Denzel Jr. is ready to pack it in, so he heads back to the airport to hop on that private jet back to Miami sans contract. When suddenly …
A FULL-SCALE NEW ORLEANS PARADE ERUPTS ON THE TARMAC JUST FOR DENZEL JR.! A marching band! Cheerleaders! A parade float with bitches in bikinis! A giant Denzel Jr. inflatable that can later be used in front of a New Orleans car dealership! A visit from Coach Payton! A gospel choir!
The only thing missing was the Lil' Saintsations, which is too bad because then my cousin's daughter would have had a cameo.
Denzel Jr. is finally moved by something in this life. His existential malaise fades away as he screams, "We're gonna win a championship!" Everyone gets beignets!!