Ballers Recap: Alpaca Hijinks

Dwayne Johnson as Spencer Strasmore. Photo: Jeff Daly/courtesy of HBO


Most Guys Season 2 Episode 5
Editor's Rating 3 stars

We’re so close to an actual over-the-top, hijinks-filled episode of Ballers. Two to three hijinks-related plotlines, one emotional speech by Denzel Jr., and no less than four colorful suits modeled by Dwayne “Der Fels” Johnson would be a perfect episode. We’re so close. I mean, Joe and Reggie chase an alpaca named “Rihanna” this week. That has to count for something!

Der Fels finally goes to the doctor for some pills — er, I mean to check on his hip. Unfortunately, his doctor is a no-nonsense badass with amazing hair and skin who tells him that he’s got osteoarthritis. He has the hips of an 80-year-old. Der Fels doesn’t understand why she won’t just give him a bucket of Vicodin because he sat there politely for nine minutes. Isn’t that what you doctor people do? He hobbles out of her office to go on his drug-seeking way.

Later, he’s wearing a pink-ass plaid sport coat and navy slacks when Jason storms into his office. Der Fels demands to meet the Star of the Swamp, Travis Mack. Travis is still an annoying little pest and Jason doesn’t want Der Fels sniffing around him until his registration is all cleared up. The NFLPABYOBNWA doesn’t like financial managers pestering football players before they’re drafted. Blah blah blah. Joe comes in with something fun, attempting to start hijinks when Der Fels smashes him down and goes all Scorpion King to get the damn registration cleared up. Joe sets clear boundaries and tells Der Fels that he can’t talk to him like that and he should use a more respectful tone and also “go fuck yourself.” This is modeling healthy relationship behavior.

Charles is spending his free time engaging in what is clearly a hijink. He’s still bothered that someone is speeding around his neighborhood, so he’s set up signs all over the street when the lil’ punk drives by. Charles risks his life and steps into the street to stop the car. It’s a privileged teen who drives a car from Tokyo Drift. The teen calls him fat and Charles threatens to beat him up. Unhealthy relationship behavior.

Joe sits down with Reggie for some more hijinks. Vernon is down in the dumps because he’s discovered that Twitter is full of trolls, so Reggie wants to get him a pet. Joe has a cat named Socks and that’s my favorite character detail on any television show ever. Joe and Reggie head to a tropical animal pet store run by Denzel Jr.’s friend. All the panthers and tortoises have been taken by the likes of Marshawn Lynch, and the only thing left is an alpaca.

Meanwhile, Jason and Der Fels try to convince Denzel Jr. to go to Buffalo. They’re making him a very handsome offer and Buffalo isn’t that far from New York City. It’s only a six-hour bus ride. But hey! It’s only a half-hour from the majesty of Niagara Falls. The Buffalo offer might be the best Denzel Jr. will get in his career and he should take it. He’s not ready to Say Yes to the Jersey, so he needs another 24 hours.

Somewhere in a shady urgent-care center, Der Fels tells the receptionist his name is “Mr. Chavez.” Nope. None of this is drug-seeking behavior. When it’s time to meet with the doctor or should that be “doctor,” he’s fed a list of symptoms and essentially given a gallon jug of Vicodin and a blank prescription pad. Meanwhile, Denzel Jr. and Charles go to a fashion show because Charles has a penchant for skinny jeans — and that’s when Denzel Jr.’s ex, Annabella, suddenly shows up. Denzel Jr. starts talking to her about his options for the future. She doesn’t think that Buffalo is the right fit for him. And lets him know that he was the key to her fantasy team.

Joe and Reggie try to drop off the alpaca at Vernon’s house, but it projectile vomits in Reggie’s face and escapes into the Miami night. This is definitely hijinks. Reggie and Joe have a sweet moment where Reggie doubts his ability to do anything right and Joe reminds him that Vernon’s success is a testament to Reggie’s hard work and dedication as a friend. Without Garfunkel, there’s no Simon. Reggie has no idea what Joe is talking about and I feel the same way whenever a white person tries to talk to me about Cheers. The sounds you’re making are familiar, but I just can’t understand them. They find the alpaca and bring it back to Vernon’s only to discover that Nate, Vernon’s other sidekick, gave him a puppy. HIJINKS!!!

Der Fels finds out the person who will conduct his final review for the NFLPABBQASAP is an old friend. Guess he’ll be cleared, no sweat. He heads to the gym to celebrate with Denzel Jr. and Jason. They all wear their muscle tees and show off their Tweety Bird in a Rodman Jersey tattoos. Denzel Jr. doesn’t think that Buffalo is right for him, and it’s not really about the money. It’s about the fit. Travis strolls in and Der Fels wants a shot at that business. Travis starts running his mouth the only way a boy from the swamp who suddenly has the world at his fingertips can. Der Fels tells Travis he’s got holes in his game and his college stats aren’t going to mean anything soon. Travis challenges him to a bench-press contest because that’s how problems are solved in the Ballers universe. Travis is, predictably, all talk and gets hosed by Der Fels. And because this is Ballers, they come to a mutual respect and shake hands.

Unfortunately, the agent from the NFAPATSA isn’t an old friend of Der Fels, it’s some other dude hoping to maintain objectivity. He wants to question Der Fels about how much money he’s made over his career (30 MILLION DOLLARS) and how he spent it (POORLY). Chief concern? A shady real-estate deal with Andre. He walks out saying that this whole matter could use some more looking into. Ruh Roh.

Finally, Charles give Dule Hill a piece of his mind and lets him know that he’s been wasting the potential of the players and he should move this player to this position and that player to that position SO THERE. At the end of his rant, Dule Hill gives him a slow clap. Welcome to the staff, Charles!

Ballers Recap: Alpaca Hijinks