Ballers Recap: The Morning After

Andy García as Andre. Photo: Courtesy of HBO


Million Bucks in a Bag Season 2 Episode 9
Editor's Rating 4 stars

Did everyone on the Ballers writing staff suddenly take their vitamins? This is yet another episode where choices have real consequences for the people involved. Also, we get important insight into who Dwayne “Carraig” Johnson’s character really is. How did it take a full season and nine episodes to get here?

“Millions Bucks in a Bag” picks up the morning after Carraig’s draft-day party. There’s a random honey in his shower who insists his name is Stuart and there are two honeys asleep on the couch while a random giant is fixing eggs in the kitchen. These are some blasé titties on display, but I’ll take any titties over no titties. RIGHT FELLAS?

Carraig is picking up beer bottles and plastic cups like this is the third act of American Pie 2 or something when Jason calls. Jason had a pretty big night, too: Five of his clients were drafted in the first round and he went out to Lou Malnati’s to celebrate. Jason wants to know where to send the bonus check for helping Travis get drafted. Carraig currently has no real plans except asking everyone he knows for money and doing some light working (and day drinking). Meanwhile, Joe and Anderson meet with Andre to discuss this sale we’ve all been hearing so much about. Andre comes in with a low offer because without Carraig, ASM isn’t all that attractive. Carraig isn’t just movie-franchise Viagra; he’s also small-financial-management Viagra. Anderson is insulted by Andre’s offer and tells him to kick rocks.

Jason heads over to Vernon’s place during water-aerobics hour and tries to spin Dallas’s draft picks as a positive for Vernon. It all comes down to more pressure on that O-line, which means more sacks, which means more sacks … of cash. Like every other player on this show, Vernon is unable to form an opinion without Carraig’s input. Jason lets Vernon know that Carraig is trying to open up his own shop, but the $300,000 he gave to Vernon were his last miserable dollars. Joe and Carraig meet up over Bloody Marys and Joe spills the beans about their meeting with Andre and how he just can’t get over Carraig. Andre offered $9.5 million and Anderson is looking for $12 million. Joe and Carraig are still $5 million short.

Charles’s wife is reduced to an unhappy nag who just wants him to buy plane tickets and pack his own shirts. Charles is on the move. He’s been tasked with recruiting a player from Georgia who was arrested for selling weed (among other things). Charles says that his wife should get some help and she basically fires back, “You’re supposed to be the help. Get yo’ triflin’ ass outta here.” By the end of the episode, Charles has an unproductive conversation about work-life balance with Dulé Hill and his wife hires a sexy manny named Manny. Ballers, you’re better than this. Charles is really good at his job and it’s tearing his family apart! That’s pretty much it for his story line this week. Moving on.

Carraig and Joe stops by Denzel Jr.’s place to load up a duffel bag with cash like this is the third act of Ocean’s Eleven. Ricky has $1 million in cash lying around and a few gold bars stashed away for the day when Skynet becomes self-aware. Joe thinks now might be a good time for Denzel Jr. to accept the Rams’ offer and his dad thinks otherwise. He thinks that now is the time to think about his legacy and he’s only going to be able to do that with a great quarterback leading the team. Oh great, more of Denzel Jr.’s indecision and flip-flopping. Just pick a goddamn team already or go on that Birthright trip you were looking up. Something! Vernon summons Carraig to his house to offer him some money to make up for all the bullshit they’ve put him through. They offer him $1 million but Carraig is suddenly bound by honor and turns it down.

Carraig doesn’t need that money because he’s walking into ASM in the best suit he’s worn all season and uses his dick to lift that $1 million onto Anderson’s desk. Carraig tells him that they built this division and they deserve to see it through. Joe asks if he wants to sell to the guy trying to play him or the guy trying to play for him. Anderson wants to sell to the guy who is going to pay him full price. The first million is a down payment. On his way out, Carraig’s doctor calls to tell him that he’s at risk for blood clots and joint deterioration. Hmm, what’s written on the side of this gun? “Chekhov’s”? That’s weird. Oh well. Carraig gets a call to meet with Andre in their special spot.

This is the scene I’ve been waiting for all season: Andre and Carraig finally facing off and airing all the dirty laundry. All those years ago, Andre was the one who advised Carraig not to lay down $6 million when it was all he had. Carraig was a reckless young player who couldn’t be trusted and Andre ultimately didn’t stop him. Andre knew that sometimes things need to have the bottom out so you can rebuild. Unfortunately, Carraig went to his friends and had them put in their money too. Carraig is the kind of person who can’t admit when he’s wrong and will drag down others with him. He’s charismatic and well-liked, but let’s face it: He would take someone else’s oxygen mask off during a sudden loss of cabin pressure to inflate his travel pillow. Andre and Carraig square off with each other and Andre offers Carraig everything he’s wanted: control of ASM, all of Andre’s football clients, and even a blessing from the NFLPAROTC. Except Carraig’s pride gets in the way and he turns it all down. Andre hopes Carraig doesn’t get the rest of the money from his clients.

What does Carraig do when he storms away? He drives right to Vernon’s and asks him for five. Million. Dollars. OH SHIT.

Ballers Recap: The Morning After