Monday, April 16, 2007

HBO Sunday Night Review: Entourage

Episode 36: "Dog Day Afternoon"

Following the high drama & inside Hollywood catfighting of last week's premiere, this week's episode qualified as pure, unadulterated filler, although there were some incidents that could lead to further drama down the road. More on that in a bit.

The show opens with Vince & E. hard at work dodging Amanda regarding the Wharton film and planning a romantic getaway with their significant others. One problem: Vince doesn't have an "other", significant or otherwise, right now, so he is desperately trying to find a suitable weekend companion while E. tries to dissuade him from making a hasty choice. That's because Sloan thinks E. is a big baby for not telling Vince straight out that he doesn't want to go away with him, instead looking for any excuse to use as an "out."

"The guy freaks out if I'm more than 100 miles away from him" E. explains.

"I think it's mutual" she responds...."you're a little Vince's boy!" Oh, burn!

Drama and Turtle are at first hurt by the guys going away without them, until they reveal their big plan for the weekend: hitting the local dog park and trying to score some "bitches." Now call me crazy, but I thought last season Drama & Turtle had grown out of these two-dimensional pussy-hunting caricatures and stated to make some headway to becoming actual productive citizens. Seeing them make fools out of themselves over a couple of hot chicks at a pooch park made me wince and long for the days of Drama getting a woody over co-star Brooke Shields and Turtle organizing record playing parties for Saigon.

Anyway that leads into the Ari portion of the show, which kicks off to the classic "Microphone Fiend" by Eric B. & Rakim and Ari informing Lloyd that he will be able to assist in signing the agency's next big client, television writer Jay Lester (MadTV's Will Sasso.) Why will Ari's put-upon gay Asian assistant be involved in the signing of a valuable client? "Because he's a big queen" Ari informs him. When Lloyd expresses his reservations about whoring himself out for the company, Ari reasons with him "Lloyd, this is the big one. So just go and grab your best dress and know that today your love of cock is a huge asset to the company." Fucking priceless Ari!

The show meanders here for a bit, showing Drama & Turtle running into a snag with their dog park conquests when Turtle's Rottie injures the girls' dog in a tiff over a steak. Meanwhile Ari & Lloyd meet Jay, who is a big queen, and with Lloyd's help they convince Jay to sign with Miller-Gold. But there's a catch: Jay wants Lloyd to deliver the contract personally, as Jay always has a little "signing party" with his prospective agent's assistants.

More scenes follow of Sloan basically calling E. a wimp for no being straight up with Vince over the weekend in Napa, the boys blowing off Amanda's phone calls, and Turtle and Drama attempting to get laid. The best part of the episode takes place when Lloyd goes to meet Jay for the signing at a thumping gay disco. As Jay wines & dines his victim, Ari & Mrs. Ari (1st appearance this season) are driving home from dinner with Ari displaying feelings of regret over what he is making Lloyd do.

"I sold my soul today" he tells his wife.

"Tomorrow's another day; you always have a chance to get it back," she responds.

"We're Jews, baby, no we don't."

As the thought of what Lloyd might be doing right then all for the good of his ruthless agency, Ari shows a human side no one knew he had and decides to go rescue his dedicated little gay soldier. When he quickly spins the car around the misses asks him where he's going. "To Boystown baby, buckle up!"

Ari entering the club had to be one of the funniest moments in the show's brief history. As he wades through the sea of half-naked men writhing to the techno beat, he raises his arms high in the air shouting "coming touching...OWWWW!" He reaches Jay and Lloyd just as they are about to retreat to Jay's love palace, but informs the burly writer that he can't allow him to leave with his assistant. When Jay tells Ari that if he isn't allowed to consummate the deal in his favored style, then there will be no deal, Ari gets off the line of the show:

"That's fine with me. Because we may be whores at my agency, but we ain't pimps."
Once again, classic fucking Ari!

The episode ends with yet another terrific outro scene. After Vince's date spills the beans that Sloan is particular about who she goes away with, a miffed Sloan makes E. come clean to Vince the truth about the weekend retreat.

"You're not upset?" E. asks Vince. No he tells him, and then he plans a weekend getatway of his own with Turtle and Drama in Cabo San Lucas.

The ep ends with another great tune, the Stones' "Tumbling Dice", and the three buddies boarding a private jet bound for Mexico, smoking weed, doing shots of Patron, and lamenting the fact that E. won't be able to help them judge the wet T-shirt contests.

Cut to E. and Sloan making the 7-hour drive to Napa in E.'s Aston Martin and Sloan pretending to be mad at E. for blaming her about the trip fiasco with Vince. "What, you're not going to talk to me the whole trip?"

" Oh I'll talk, but I wouldn't expect much else" she icily replies, then turns away and gives a devilish smile to the camera.

Who knew? Sexy, innocent Sloan may end up being Yoko Ono to the boy's band? Like I said, the episode was pure fun, but did lay the foundation for future problems. For now the questions remain: will Vince get back with Amanda, or is Carla Gugino doomed to join the long list of underused cast members? If he does blow off Amanda, how long before he gets back with Ari? And now that Ari showed that he does have a heart somewhere in there, will he turn out to be a softie when it comes to his clients?

I don't know about all that, but I do know one thing: E. was a dam fool/major pussy for not being straight with Vince about wanting to go away alone with Sloan. I mean who could blame him? She's hotter than Clearwater Beach in mid-August, and a romantic getaway with another couple isn't exactly romantic. As she said to E. when he detailed his plan to avoid telling Vince his true feelings,

"All this not to upset Vince? How sad?"

Well put, Sloan, well put.

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