Entourage 6.12 – Give a Little Bit

After five seasons, “Entourage” finally lived up to its name this fall. While E, Turtle and Drama each enjoyed meatier storylines than normal this season, Vince’s role in the proceedings essentially amounted to an imaginary stalker and a random fuck scene of the week. But Vince’s marginalized contributions led to one of the strongest seasons of “Entourage” in a long time, culminating in one hell of a finale tonight.

Let’s hit the main arcs from least to most interesting, beginning with the saga of Turtle and Jamie-Lynn. I recently wrote in a comment on a different episode that Turtle’s UCLA co-ed was hotter than Jamie-Lynn, and I saw nothing tonight to make me alter that stance. I mean…good, GOD. And while it was nice to see Turtle resist her advances in the name of true love, I’m fairly confident that scene would have played out far differently in real life. Girls like that don’t get turned down that often, not by guys like Turtle, and especially not when they’re wearing outfits like that. I found it hilarious that they didn’t even bother to completely shut the vertical blinds in the room, but the topper was when Turtle offered his condolences for leaving after getting her worked up by asking, “You want me to go down on you or something?” Hey, Turtle is nothing if not generous. He’s also single now, after getting dumped right before his plane to New Zealand took off. May as well hop on over to Rome then, right?

I’ll lump Drama and Vince together here, if only because Vince’s auxiliary storyline couldn’t carry a paragraph by itself. Who would’ve thought that Turtle of all people would inspire Drama to figure out what’s truly important to him? You knew he wasn’t going to give up acting for good, but would he change his mind before the credits rolled tonight? Would it be too late? Turns out he killed at his “Melrose Place” audition but the network wants to go younger with the cast. I’ve got to say that the thought of building a show around Drama makes me chuckle. I just hope we get to see some of it next season. Of course, even better is that now Drama is free to go to Italy with Vince. Ah, but not before Matt Damon and his buddy LeBron James (um…what was with the glasses, LBJ?) railroad Vince into giving a bunch of hungry children $150,000. Actually, there were three great cameos tonight, if you include Bono showing up on Damon’s laptop. There were several classic lines in tonight’s episode, but one of the finest was when Damon bullied Drama into handing the phone to Vince. “Sorry, he Jason Bourne’d me,” Drama explained to Vince. Sounds reasonable to me.

I was tempted to rank Drama ahead of E but that would be underestimating just how shocked I was when E proposed to Sloan. In hindsight, maybe I should have expected it – I mean, what was so special about a lunch date at a restaurant the two of them used to go to? – but right up until E mentioned making a commitment to Sloan, I was oblivious. It was actually a pretty cool scene, capped by Sloan’s very believable reaction to the proposal. I feel almost embarrassed about the fact that I thought it was even remotely possible that they’d leave us hanging on Sloan’s answer until next season. I can’t remember an “Entourage” finale that didn’t have all the loose threads sewn up by the end of the episode, and tonight was certainly no different.

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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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Entourage 6.10 – Berried Alive

Consider this just another case of art imitating life, but I couldn’t help but think about T.R. Knight’s recent decision to leave “Grey’s Anatomy” during tonight’s episode. Drama has been put through the wringer ever since his altercation with Dan Coakley, and now that his character on “Five Towns” looks to be headed for Comaville, his screen time is sure to be reduced. Just like Knight, Drama is more concerned with the work than the paycheck, and when he learns that the producer of the new “Melrose Place” has him in mind for a role, he goes to Lloyd for help getting out of his contract.

What Drama doesn’t realize is that Lloyd has just left Ari for Adam Davies. Ari, meanwhile, has to find out about the betrayal from Vince, and in an attempt to spite Lloyd, he personally goes to Coakley to help out Drama and entice him to stay at the agency as one of his clients. It works at first, but when Lloyd tries to win back his only client with, I must admit, a damn good speech, Drama discovers where his best bet lies. Ari isn’t even mad about it since he wouldn’t have the time to properly invest in Drama’s career anyway, but it will be curious to see how far they take this new rivalry. I can’t imagine Lloyd will be gone for too long, but they’ll definitely drag it out until either the season finale or next season’s premiere. Drama, on the other hand, is taking a big risk by leaving “Five Towns,” and it would seem almost too easy if he did get the gig. Then again, maybe he’ll be able to win over the network by proving that he really can act – at least, when compared to the standards of other likeminded shows on The CW.

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While Drama ponders a career move, Eric decides to confront Ashley about why she’s been giving him the cold shoulder. As expected, it all boils down to her trust issues. When Eric laughs off the most recent incident involving a misunderstanding about Vince’s alias (check out last week’s post if you’re confused), she decides that if they’re going to stay together, he has to promise that he won’t screw Brittany the Assistant and give her the freedom to read his e-mails. Eric agrees at first, but after conferring with a few sources and realizing that Ashley may be crazy, he decides to break it off. As it turns out, Ashley is a little nuts (as evidenced by her mini breakdown in the middle of a restaurant), and it’s probably smart for Eric to get rid of her before things get worse. It’s a shame, because Alexis Dziena is pretty easy on the eyes. Then again, Kate Mara isn’t too bad herself, and we all know Sloan will be back before long.

Turtle’s current predicament might seem just as cut and dry, but he’s certainly making it more complicated than it needs to be. When Jamie Lynn admits to being jealous about his new admirer (which, for the record, I find totally ridiculous), Turtle begins second guessing his ability to stay loyal. While I understand where Turtle’s coming from in that this is the first time he’s ever had one woman interested in him, let alone two, it’s absurd to think that any sorority girl would trump Jamie Lynn Sigler. For starters, she’s obviously only interested in him because he’s famous (Best line of the night: “Is that Vincent Chase? Who are you?”), and second, he’s already dating Meadow freaking Soprano. Granted, her new job offer is certainly going to throw a wrench into their relationship, but if given the choice between Jamie Lynn and the new girl, is there even any doubt as to who he should pick? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  

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Entourage 6.9 – Security Briefs

Talk about wasted opportunities. Just when it looked like the writers were cooking up an interesting storyline for Vince involving a potentially dangerous stalker, it turns out to be a rush week prank by a bunch of sorority girls. Turtle is a little surprised that it’s his underwear they were after, but considering he’s dating Jamie-Lynn Sigler, he was bound to start getting more attention from ladies. Unfortunately, that’s only going to spell trouble for Turtle, who will likely find a way to screw up a good thing as Ms. I Only Wear Thongs continues to flaunt herself in front of him.

Getting back to the whole stalker subplot, it really did feel like a big fat waste of time. It might have been different had the storyline been contained to a single show, but the fact that it was drawn out over three episodes really made it seem like they were trying to turn it into something bigger. Perhaps that was the point, and the punch line is supposed to make light of how serious everyone has been reacting to it (namely Drama, who decides to interrogate Vince’s stalker himself), but it just didn’t have as much of an impact as it would have if the stalker really was a threat.

In fact, the only good thing that came of it was a funny little inside joke involving the caller ID on Eric and Drama’s phones. Instead of coming up “Vincent Chase” when he calls, it reads “Rupert Pupkin,” in reference to the lead character of Martin Scorsese’s 1982 film, “The King of Comedy.” For those of you who’ve never seen it, the movie is about an aspiring stand-up comic played by Robert De Niro (and named Rupert Pupkin) who begins stalking his idol (a late-night talk show host played by Jerry Lee Lewis) in an attempt to get his foot in the door. Admittedly, it’s a bit of a sick joke considering Vince could have really been in serious danger, and it’s ultimately going to prove even more troublesome for Eric. Ever since lying to her about Sloan, Ashley has been obsessing about every little thing Eric does. This isn’t going to help matters, as she now thinks Eric was speaking to someone named Rupert Pupkin when he told her he was talking to Turtle and Drama. Oh well, they weren’t going to last anyway.

While the stalker subplot ate up everybody else’s time, some progress was finally made between Ari and Lloyd involving the latter’s impending promotion. After Ari steals Zac Efron away from Adam Davies right in front of his face (well, technically, it was over the phone), Davies decides to fire back by offering Lloyd a job at his agency. Lloyd remains loyal at first, but after Ari goes all Principal Gleason on his ass by tacking on an additional 60 days to his original 100 Days of Hell, Lloyd decides that he’s had enough mistreatment and crosses over to the dark side. Ari can’t blame anyone but himself – he’s been a jerk in the past, but tonight he was a straight-up douche – and he’s already second-guessing his behavior. Can Ari even operate without Lloyd by his side? That’s what he was worried about when Lloyd first brought up the idea of becoming an agent, and it looks like we’ll finally get to see how he handles it.

  

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Entourage 6.7 – No More Drama

This year of “Entourage” has been pretty great so far, but one of the show’s biggest weaknesses has always been its tendency to hit the cruise control and coast through the middle of the season. Thankfully, that doesn’t seem to be the case this time around, as tonight’s episode managed to include not just one, but two major storylines, as well as a fun side adventure starring Vince and Turtle. The latter was obviously the most lighthearted of the bunch, but even though the break-in at Vince’s house was handled quite humorously (stolen underwear, really?), there’s a good chance it could become a little darker during the final stretch of the season. After all, celebrity stalkers shouldn’t be taken lightly, and though the guys have clearly ruled out firearms as a form of protection (“Turtle, you will end up like Plaxico and shoot yourself.”), they might want to take Ari’s advice and hire some security on the double.

Speaking of which, where was Ari tonight? With the exception of a short scene with Vince and Turtle, Ari’s only other involvement in the episode was sending Eric a bunch of pizzas as a gift for starting his new job. Ari may still think of him as a pizza boy, but Eric really hit the ground running on his first day, and I think that he’s going to prove to be a bigger asset than he gets credit for. With the exception of Harvey and maybe Billy Walsh, just about everybody Eric has worked with in the past likes him (or at least respects his work ethic), and that includes Bob Saget, who Murray is desperately trying to sign. At the moment, Saget is being pursued by a fellow co-worker named Scotty Lavin (Scott Caan), but when he fails to close the deal, Eric tries to close it for him after he name drops the former “Full House” star in a meeting.

As it turns out, the only way Saget will sign with the company is if he can have sex in Murray’s office. When Eric informs Scott of the strange request, however, he thinks that he’s being played, so Eric takes it to Murray himself and, just like that, bags himself a new client. Murray certainly seemed impressed with Eric’s initiative, and even jokingly suggests he sign Christian Bale by letting him “execute a cinematographer if he wants.” I highly doubt Eric is quite at that level just yet, but once Scotty learns that he’s been beaten to the punch, it’s not going to bode well for Eric. Of course, this impending rivalry is exactly what the show needs, and I can’t wait to see what the writers have in store for Kevin Connelly, Scott Caan, or even Kate Mara, who’s been cast in the incredibly thankless role of Eric’s assistant. Surely they plan on giving her more to do in the future.

That’s all we had time for this week, however, as the rest of the episode was dedicated to Drama trying to make up for his violent outage. With his job in limbo (Lloyd calls to inform him that all his scenes have been cancelled for the day), Drama races to the studio lot only to discover that he’s been banned to even enter. He tries to apologize to his boss by phone, but he only eggs Drama on even more, resulting in yet another threat – this one strictly verbal. So, with no other choice, Drama bribes the security guard at the gate with sweets and literally begs for his job back.

As it turns out, Drama’s job was never really in danger to begin with (Ed Burns granted him a “stay of execution”), but Dan the studio exec decides he’s going to torture him anyways, and I can’t even begin to imagine what that means for poor Drama. There’s a pretty wide variety of things that could happen to him, but since this is “Entourage,” I’m placing my money on his character having some kind of sexual (read: gay) reawakening. If the writers really wanted to turn the story on its head, however, they’d have Drama dreading the new subplot, only to receive a surprise Emmy nomination for his performance. Hey, it’s “Entourage,” it could happen.

  

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