Ballers season 4, episode 8 recap: ‘The Devil You Know’


Last week on Ballers, Ohio State University used the police to try to bully and threaten Spencer while Joe failed to get a Nike deal for three of his clients.

Spencer wakes up from a phone call from Quincy. The NCAA is at his house and are talking to his mother. Spencer tells him to tell them to leave and he will handle it. Quincy knows this is because of Ohio State and he agrees to stick with Spencer.

Ricky sent out a tweet that talked about the White’s (the White family, not white people). Los Angeles tells him that Ricky is out because of the tweet, but Charles convinces him to give him two days to deal with the tweets because they need him.

Joe is meeting with the Nike representative again and trying to make excuses for the Illegal Civilization skateboarders’ actions from last week’s episode. Nike tells him that it is a soft pass, but not because they are dumb kids. He said that they are “an amusement” and not a “brand.” Joe said that they are authentic, and Nike tells him to prove him wrong.

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Spencer calls Anderson and tells him that they are okay. Anderson tells him that this is the NCAA and they can do anything that they want, and they will come down hard on Spencer. He said that they are on the up-and-up and Spencer promises that Quincy is not involved, but USC is threatening to pull out.

Spencer shows up in Indianapolis to handle the problems.

Ricky is talking to Charles about the deal. Ricky said that his mom used to put trash bags on the windows to hide from the landlord. He remembers the smell and thought that was normal. Ricky looks at what they have and earned, and he doesn’t understand why people are hating on them for making millions.

Ricky doesn’t understand why they can’t speak out on injustice when people think they were just given everything. It isn’t right. Charles tells him that the tweet was about his neighbors – the White’s – but not about white people. Ricky said that he wants to play for a team that doesn’t want to muzzle him. Charles said that he just needs to do it in a way that doesn’t piss off the bosses.

Ricky asks Charles if he looks at himself and asks the question of what they are doing out there.

Spencer is at NCAA headquarters.

They ask what his relationship is to Quincy Carter. Spencer said that he is dating Quincy’s mother and he is a family friend and he will give advice to him and his advice is not to get “exploited and fu**ed over by a bunch of rich white guys who don’t give a sh*t about him.” They ask him if he wants to play the race card and Spencer said that the kids who have to pass by them are kids of color.

They then ask about the Anderson brothers getting the USC television rights. They then accuse him of having Quincy as a client and accuse him of breaking numerous rules. Spencer retaliates by calling the NCAA a corrupt organization that has been rotting from the inside out for decades now. Spencer said he knows where all the dead bodies are buried, and he will bring it out to ESPN cameras if they don’t leave him alone.

Joe and Reggie have called in Vernon and Terrell Suggs for help. They want to invite them into the process of promoting SportsX. They think he wants money. He offers them a chance to be more than silent partners. “What the f**k do you want us to do?”

The Illegal Civilization is all chilling out when Joe, Reggie, Vernon and Suggs show up and blast them with fire extinguishers. They then take them out in chairs and put them in front of them. Joe lied and said that Nike is still interested but then told them the truth that they are “nothing special.” He told Illegal Civilization that they are just messing around with a little talent. He wants them to take cameras and wants them to show what they can do.

Joe tells them to hurt themselves and that Vernon and Suggs will be with them.

Charles said he was going to tell Ricky today, but he couldn’t because Ricky got real with him. Charles said that there are things happening in the league and the country and he wonders what their daughter would think about her daddy in the future.

Joe gets a phone call from Spencer and he tells them that the Andersons called him to tell him that Quincy was deemed ineligible. Joe asks Spencer to tell him he didn’t take on the most corrupt organization in sports. Spencer is going to talk to Quincy to make sure he is not taken down and to make sure that the Anderson’s do not take SportsX.

Joe asks if Spencer thought of anyone other than himself when he was trying to pull off this scam. Spencer said that he will take care of everyone, but Joe said: “your word means everything these days” and hung up on him.

Spencer showed up and she threw a pie at his car. Jada said he was lying about Quincy. She tells him that Spencer only cares about himself and that Spencer only cares about himself. She tells Spencer that he is worse than the NCAA and that he is the snake – not them.

Illegal Civilization is going nuts with Vernon and Suggs narrating the video as they injure themselves before finally succeeding. Nike is impressed with the video and calls it a “come back.”

Charles is meeting with his boss and he said that they are not going to cut Ricky. Charles said that they will also back him and his rights to stand up for his beliefs. He is told it is a business and not a non-profit. The new stadium is in Inglewood – which is where a lot of black people live and would love to see the team represent them in their lives. “This is L.A.” Charles said they do not have to represent what they represent politically.

Charles suggests they set up an organization that helps and make Ricky the face of it. His boss asks what about the pissed off football fans and Charles said: “f**k ‘em.” Charles said that they will win over their city and their fans, so it is good business and what is right. His boss said that he agrees to it, but Charles is the one who will go down if it blows up. His boss is finally impressed with his passion.

This then cuts to Ricky, who is injecting himself with something.

Spencer shows up at the school to see Quincy. He said that he is there to apologize. He said that he trusted him and that his mother trusted him and now he can’t even play at a community college. Spencer tells Quincy that his brother took his own life because he was injured in college and the NCAA would never allow him back. Spencer admitted that he never forgave the NCAA and that it blinded him and he is sorry.

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He also said that he will leave Quincy and his mother alone. Quincy said that they almost had them, and Spencer said “almost.” Quincy could still have a chance at Ohio State. He asked Spencer what will happen with the network and he said “f**k em all” and said that he will take down the NCAA “brick by brick.”

Ballers airs on HBO on Sunday nights at 10 p.m. EST.