Entourage 7.1 – Stunted

For anyone that read my preview of the new season, you probably weren’t too surprised by the events that took place in tonight’s premiere, but I still enjoyed the episode a lot and think that it’s a strong start to what could be another great year for the series. With Eric more or less taking a backseat this week, the bulk of the episode revolved around Vince on the set of his new action film. And if you thought Vernon, the fictional German director of “Smokejumpers,” was intimidating, wait until you get a load of real-life actor/director Nick Cassavetes. Worried that the audience will know he’s cheating by using stunt doubles for Vince, Nick begs him to do an upcoming car chase sequence himself, and he agrees. That is, only because he doesn’t want Nick to think he’s a pussy, but the minute that Nick leaves his side, Vince goes running to Eric and Ari for help in breaking his promise without Nick knowing it was him who spurred them on.

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Ari has more important things going on in his life as the new head of the biggest agency in the world. He’s got big plans for the company, including a possible deal with the NFL regarding the league’s TV rights, and yet instead of sending someone else to get their hands dirty (much to the annoyance of Mrs. Ari), he visits the set to speak with Nick himself. It doesn’t quite go as planned, however, after he threatens Nick to get the studio involved when he learns that they haven’t been insured for the stunt because he hasn’t told them about it. Nick threatens Ari to keep his mouth shut, and then delivers a little payback later on by taking a full-page ad out in Variety with a picture of Ari in drag and the following text below it: “Ari Gold. My Friend, My Agent, My Bitch.” Has Ari Gold finally met his match? Apparently, because I don’t think we’ve ever seen him step down from a challenge before – and that includes the aforementioned “Smokejumpers” director, whom Drama once referred to as a “cocksucking Nazi bastard.”

Nick piles on the pressure, though, and Vince decides to do the stunt, which doesn’t go as planned when the car fails to brake properly after jumping off a ramp through a gauntlet of pyrotechnics. Vince emerges from the wreck unharmed, and though he appears to be a little shaken at first, once he realizes that he’s okay, he wants to go again. The look on his face seems to say otherwise, but I wouldn’t be shocked if Vince’s big storyline this season involved him becoming a thrill-seeking adrenaline junkie. It would definitely be an improvement from previous years, as Vince tends to get the short end of the stick when it comes to character development.

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Entourage 6.11 – Scared Straight

With the season drawing to a close, tonight’s episode put the finishing touches on all four major storylines, delivering one of the most well-rounded half-hours of “Entourage” in the process. Though Turtle’s story has been showing signs of wear lately (I blame Ms. I Only Wear Thongs), it looks like the writers plan to shake things up, because they’ve just placed his relationship with Jamie-Lynn on the backburner. Their last day together certainly started out sweet, with Turtle unveiling the ultimate lunch made up of Jamie’s favorite dishes, but it soon turned into a bout of jealously when she discovered that Turtle’s new admirer had friended him on Facebook. Though it’s a bit silly to think that Jamie-Lynn could even be jealous of Turtle, his decision to delete her from his friends list was the right thing to do. Unfortunately, that was merely the calm before the storm, as Jamie eventually tells Turtle that he can see other people while she’s gone. Of course, she didn’t actually break up with him, which makes me think that she’s really just testing him to see if he can stay loyal. And by the look of next week’s season finale, that may be harder said than done.

Eric, meanwhile, was given his first comedic storyline since the infamous Spooning the Guest Star incident a few years back, and I have to say that I really enjoyed the break from his more dramatic side. Usually, it would be Drama running around town worried about having contracted an STD from some random hook-up, but Kevin Connelly did a great job with the material – especially during the scene in the doctor’s office where he was forced to suffer through the long-winded background history interview. The fact that the girl hooked up with Drama only four months prior didn’t help his feelings on the matter, but what the hell was he thinking by not wearing a condom? Luckily, he escapes the situation disease-free, and as expected, swears off one-night stands and turns his attention back to wooing Sloan.

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Of course, even though Drama wasn’t the subject of the STD scare, he still had his own share of weekly shenanigans to deal with – this time revolving around his “Melrose Place” audition. While chatting with David Faustino in the waiting area, he discovers that the director in charge of the pilot episode (“Entourage” creator Doug Ellin) is the same guy he flipped out in front of during his original audition for “Five Towns.” Though he’s ensured there’s no bad blood between them and that it’s his job to lose, Drama has a panic attack when he learns that Dean “Superman” Cain is also testing for the role. One trip to the hospital later, Lloyd calls to inform him that they’ve offered him another chance to audition, but Drama turns it down. That’s bad news for Lloyd, because Drama was his only real client.

The even worse news, however, is that Lloyd might be seeing Ari back in his life sooner than he would have liked. Already on his sixth replacement assistant (the last two of whom were fired over a cranberry muffin and a “Saved by the Bell” reference), Ari’s patience is wearing thin when he gets a surprise visit by Terrence offering him a deal to buy out his agency for $100 million. Suspicious of why Terrence would be coming to him first, but still not willing to pay the overinflated price, Ari does a little investigative work and discovers that he’s trying to dump the business before his wife files divorce. Using Terrence’s desperation to his advantage, Ari not only talks down the price, but in doing so, also becomes Lloyd’s boss once again. It’s great news for Ari and Babs, because the merger will transform them into the largest agency in town, but what will become of poor Lloyd?

  

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