Can you believe that “Entourage” is already halfway through the new season? It sure doesn’t seem like it, but that’s probably because despite hinting at where the story could be headed, the show hasn’t made very much progress in actually getting there. Following on the heels of what many considered one of the worst episodes to date, tonight’s show wasn’t that much better. I’m not exactly sure why anyone thought it was a good idea to bring back Dom – a character that a lot of fans complained about during his mini-arc in season three – but his return served no purpose other than to tie up Vince and Eric for an entire episode while they waited to hear back from Ari about the fate of “Smoke Jumpers.”

The subplot was supposed to show that Dom had finally matured as an adult, but honestly, does anyone even give a damn? His character was on the show for only a few episodes, and during that entire time, he was nothing but a nuisance to the whole gang. Why does the writing staff feel the need to redeem the guy, and better yet, why should the audience care? It’s bad enough that the show’s main characters are struggling for decent story arcs, but then they go and waste time developing a minor character that we’ll probably (hopefully) never see again? It doesn’t make sense, and it’s the latest in a line of bonehead decisions that the “Entourage” team has made so far this year.

Entourage 5.6

The episode may have been named for the redemption that Dom supposedly earned, but it was the other two subplots that were the real saviors. I’ve always given Drama and Turtle a lot of heat for being forced to play the comic relief week in and week out, but this time around, their storyline actually had some meat to it. It’s nice to see Turtle actually taking this whole job hunt seriously, and though his one-day trial as Drama’s assistant didn’t quite work out, you can’t blame the guy for not trying. Were Drama not such a diva (seriously, where does he get off demanding such an overcomplicated breakfast?), I really think Turtle would have done a good job. After all, it’s what he’s been doing for years as part of Vince’s entourage, so it’s not like it’s something he isn’t already accustomed to. If I were him, I probably would have quit as well, but not before I got the number of that female assistant he chatted with earlier in the episode.

The real story of the night, however, was Ari’s golf outing with Alan Gray. I have to be completely honest, I didn’t think Ari would actually lose the bet (even with Phil Mickelson by Alan’s side), but when he was given a second chance to win Vince a spot in “Smoke Jumpers,” I thought to myself, “Oh, okay, he’s going to sink this putt.” Nope, Ari misses both times, and when Alan gets worked up over Ari’s ballsy decision to bring up Vince’s name even when he specifically asked that he didn’t, Alan has a heart attack and dies. Only Drama is willing to point out that Alan’s death may be a good thing for Vince (since it means he can make movies for WB again), but that doesn’t mean everyone else wasn’t thinking it. If Alan Gray truly was the only thing standing in Vince’s way, then he shouldn’t have any problem getting “Smoke Jumpers,” and he might even have a shot at working on that “Ramones” biopic as well. Check it out, I just wrote season six.