We’re already at the halfway mark for the new season, and though I know a lot of people haven’t been digging these first six episodes, I have to say that they’re a lot better (and more consistent) than last year. So far, we’ve seen Vince’s return to superstardom, Turtle’s new life as a pseudo-celebrity, and even Eric’s maturation as a manager, and with tonight’s episode, it looks like even Johnny Drama might be getting his very own story arc. Could his days as the court jester finally be over?

Not bloody likely, but he certainly showed his true colors this week as a loyal friend. Sure, he might have been having a little too much fun teasing Turtle about his kissing scene with Jamie-Lynn, but when Drama’s sleazy boss invited his new screen girlfriend out to lunch to talk business, Drama did some reconnaissance to make sure Jamie-Lynn wasn’t following him into bed. As it turns out, Jamie-Lynn is just as loyal as Turtle’s closest friends, but that didn’t stop Drama from putting his career on the line after the network exec made a lewd comment about how he would eventually bang the former “Sopranos” star. Drama clearly wasn’t thinking about the consequences of putting his boss in a chokehold, but will he really be written off the show? I find that hard to believe, especially when Drama could easily explain the situation to any number of people more important and with more power than this overconfident douchebag.

While Drama was in the midst of a nervous breakdown, Eric was busy picking up the pieces after accidentally calling Ashley by Sloan’s name the night before. He apologizes to her and she deals with it remarkably well, but before you can say “Welcome Back Sloan,” Ashley discovers a message from her on Eric’s voicemail that sends her into a jealous rage. There was really no need for it, since Eric has been avoiding Sloan like the plague, but when push came to shove, he admitted to still having feelings for her. And while it certainly seems like the whole Eric/Ashley debacle has come to a close, I wouldn’t be surprised to see her pop up in the near future. Eric and Sloan probably won’t be reunited until the end of the season, if at all, and there are still plenty of episodes left. Of course, now that Eric’s accepted the position at Murray’s company, it’s looking more and more likely that Emmanuelle Chriqui will be a series regular come next season.

The rest of the episode was pretty uneventful. Turtle started his first day at college, Ari tried to mend Andrew and Marlo’s marriage, and Vince didn’t do much of anything except hang out with a freaky co-ed with a camera. Surprisingly, it’s the latter subplot that is the most interesting of the bunch. I may be looking too far into this, but now that Vince’s career is booming, what better way to create a little chaos in his life than for him to have to deal with a tabloid story? Could a sex tape be in his future, and if so, would it damage his image? They always say any publicity is good publicity, but if you don’t exactly need it, then it’s probably not worth the risk.