Ballers season 4, episode 1 premiere recap: ‘Rough Ride’


Dwayne Johnson is back for Ballers season 4, and after the entire NFL controversy in season 3, it is time to get extreme.

Previously on Ballers, Spencer (Dwayne Johnson) joined up with the Oakland Raiders and tried to help them move to Las Vegas. However, as the season went on, he realized there were things more important than that and when the team got the stadium deal and a move to Las Vegas, Spencer chose to do the right thing and went back to ASM – leaving the Raiders once and for all.

Also, Charles (Omar Benson Miller) stood up to his bosses with the Miami Dolphins and Ricky (John David Washington) came clean about his injury concerns to the New England Patriots and chose his family.

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With that said, Ballers season 4 seems to be a reboot of the television show, with Spencer and Joe (Rob Corddry) back at ASM and a possible new direction for the storylines.

The Ballers season 4 premiere starts off with Spencer showing up at a restaurant with a small suitcase, coming in through the backdoor and meeting his friends at a table to celebrate. He mentions that Charles and Ricky are both heading to California and they will miss them.

However, when he walks Ricky out to his car, he gives him a check owed to him for $5 million. Ricky mentions that he heard that Spencer is looking for capital to expand and when Spencer says he is, Ricky gives back the check, says “count me in” and said there is another $5 million coming.

Spencer offhandedly said that he and Southern California do not mix but wouldn’t elaborate to Ricky the problems from last season.

One month later in Los Angeles, Spencer is back on the West Coast.

Candace Brewer (Emayatzy Corinealdi) gives Spencer a call early in the morning. Ballers even pokes some at The Rock when Candance said she figured he was someone who would be up at 4 a.m. doing curls (which is what Johnson does in real life). She also said that Spencer is “on the ballet” and he said the “contrary to public opinion,” he isn’t ready to run for office yet – another dig at the real life of Dwayne Johnson.

There was even a dig at the current state of affairs when Candace said “with the current state of pil8itics” he should fit right in, to which Spencer said that might not be a compliment.

That was three inside jokes in 30 seconds – a bit much.

This is all there to reveal that Spencer is on the new Hall of Fame ballot. These two are very much on better terms than when they clashed heads at the start of last season.

That is when Joe shows up (“10 hours early”) and Spencer tells him the good news. Joe is happy and lets Spencer know that they are looking to meet with Lance Kilans (Russell Brand) – the “King of Action Sports.”

We now flip over to Charles new job as the new GM of the Los Angeles Rams. He meets his new executive assistant Andrew, who is there to help reorganize his office. When Charles gives his thoughts, Andrew admits that is how the last GM had it, so he reconsiders. That is when his boss comes in and asks if he is overwhelmed and that Charles is the boss of 300 people. He tells him to cut the dead weight fast.

Back to Spencer and Joe. Spencer gets a call from Jason, who asks him to meet with the top high school quarterback in the country while he is in California. While Spencer is leery about meeting with a high school kid, he agrees to do it anyway – if just to give advice.

Moving back to Ricky, he and Amber are house hunting and Ricky said that he is officially retired and is looking forward to spending more time with his daughter and her beautiful mother. Through it all, Carl is talking like Ricky might return and the realtor is flirting with him. When Carl gets the realtor out of the room, Ricky and Amber start to “give it their blessing.”

Back to Spencer, he and Joe are headed to meet Lance, who meets them at the car itself. Lance is as raunchy as expected from Russell Brand. Lance shows them around – and the place looks much better on the inside than the outside.

His business is taking anyone who can ride something and makes them a star. When he asks if Spencer likes surfing, he admits that his ancestors invented it. Lance is about as bad when it comes to human resources as anyone (he is a lawsuit waiting to happen). He also said he needs $50 million.

Sports X has a surf network but no events – although Lance wants to. He convinces Spencer to at least look into it.

Ricky is having lunch with Amber, her mother and TTD (and baby). TTD is still talking about Ricky just finding a place to rent in case he wants to play again. That is when Ricky said that he sat out a season and didn’t miss it, to which Amber said “good.” She said that where daddy goes, baby and momma go, and they don’t want to be alone while he is off playing somewhere like Texas.

Jason is continuously trying to get Ricky to answer his calls, but he won’t and lies to Amber about who it is.

Lance tries to sell extreme sports to Spencer at the beach, calling it more than football – it is a lifestyle. He talks about everyone on his roster (including Tony Hawk) but the jewel on his roster – Parker Jones.

When Spencer says that he is black, Lance said that he is green – pure money – and could be the more than the Jackie Robinson of surfing – he could be Michael Jackson.

Spencer said that this isn’t their business. Joe said that they can be anything they want to be. Spencer asks if Joe is willing to bet $50 million on Lance (who has stripped naked and is walking into the ocean) and he said that he is. Spencer said he wants to show Joe something first.

Back to Charles in the cafeteria, and people seem not to be happy to see him there as their new boss. Andrew lets Charles know that people are all worried about their jobs with a new boss in the building.

People demand to know if their jobs are safe and he finally breaks and tells them that their jobs are safe (and is bringing back the chocolate chip cookies that were previously canceled).  Everyone cheers him and is ridiculed by his boss for it.

Spencer and Joe head out to a bridge. When Joe said that he had thought of killing himself in the past but never went through with it, Spencer said he wouldn’t want to lose him “too.” He then points to the bridge and tells Joe that his brother jumped off it. Spencer was a junior and his brother was a star quarterback for the Trojans – but nothing went right for him.

This was Spencer’s first time out there since they buried his brother – and he said that Los Angeles is a dark place but is worse for him than others.

Jason calls Ricky again while they are looking at another house and he lies about it being Spencer again. It turns out that Ricky is trying to get back into the NFL after all and has been lying this entire time about it.

Bad thing is – the option here is the Cleveland Browns (“that’s worse than staying at home”). Ricky said that he needs saved and back into the league.

Ricky hangs up, comes in, and says that he loves this house and said: “let’s put down some roots” – lying to everyone again.

Spencer and Joe are watching TV and a story about a high school prospect named Quincy Crawford – the person that Jason asked them to look into. They then meet with another athlete to sign to invest his money and he signs on immediately because Jason trusts them.

Joe said that he is ready to get Spencer back to Miami in one peace, but Spencer said that he isn’t going back to Los Angeles. Joe said that he is willing to give up the dreams of partnering with Lance.

Spencer tells him that he needs to take care of his personal business. Joe asks if Spencer would really do that for him and he said he would only do that for Joe.

Next. Ballers season 4, episode 2 recap. dark

Spencer and Joe will go into business with Lance and the extreme sports venture and that is where Ballers season 4 will head.

Ballers airs every Sunday night on HBO at 10 p.m. EST.