Monday, April 23, 2007

HBO Sunday Night Review: Entourage

Episode 37: "Manic Monday"

This week the boys find out it's hard to tell a hot agent "no"

After last weeks' frolicking, fluff-filled episode, this week we returned to the central theme of the season: the "love" triangle between Vince, his former manager Ari and his current agent Amanda.

Amanda (Carla Gugino, getting hotter by the week) is still trying to track down Vince; she's looking for an answer as to whether or not he wants to do the Edith Wharton period romance. She calls E. at 6:00 am (in her underwear-nice touch, guys) and furiously scolds him for blowing her off. "You're avoiding me and I don't like it" she barks at him, then demands a meeting with the two of them, where she expects an answer before they leave her office. Bossy little thing, isn't she?

When the boys find out they rib Vince & E. mercilessly, and Drama reminds him "doesn't she work for you, Vince?"

Ari, meanwhile, is still having problems coping with the loss of Vince. We are treated to the return of big, bad barreling Babs, who instructs Ari to fire a slacking employee, normally a task Ari Gold would attack with relish. But the new, meeker Ari is having trouble being his old, nasty, heartless self, and it's not a pretty sight, either.

In the meeting with Amanda she grills the guys about their stance on the Wharton project. Does Vince still want to do it, or is he holding out for that "ghost" project, "Medellin"? As Turtle and Drama listen outside the office to her ripping into Vince like never before, they agree to read the script one more time and get back to her by the end of the day with an answer.

"I never heard Ari talk to Vince like was kinda hot," Drama confesses.

"Hot?" E. replies. "She bullied Vince into making a decision he didn't want to make."

Ari attends a therapy session with Mrs. Ari, where the doctor (SNL alum Nora Dunn) tells him that after suffering the loss of a dear client he may just be evolving into a caring, thoughtful human being. But Ari doesn't want to be that kind of person, and when his wife says that he is afraid to go around town because he might see Vince, Ari goes off on one of his classic Gold-plated rants, berating the doctor and his wife and then stomping out of the office in a huff.

As the boys sit poolside to reread the Wharton script, Ari heads back to his office all amped up to fire the employee. But a funny thing happens when he has the guy in his office, all set up for the firing squad: Ari takes one look at his Lasic-bandaged eyes and listens to his sob story about his wife leaving him and instead of canning him he gives him...a...second...chance.

What? This is not the Ari Gold we have all come to know and love. Give this guy a lobotomy or send him to the old agents home, stat.

When Babs learns of his momentary lapse of reason, she furiously rips into him, telling him "you're not you- you're soft & weak & nice. It's disgusting. Do you want the word to get around town that you're a pussy?" Well put, Babs. And is it just me or are sexy, emasculating women becoming kind of a theme around here?

The boys reread the script and decide that it's definitely not for Vince. Now the problem is, how are they going to tell Amanda? She has a way about her that you just can't tell her no, they agree. "I'd buy diseased fish from her," Drama confesses. "I'd eat it" Turtle counters.

Ari, on the verge of a nervous breakdown, bribes the doctor's secretary to tell him where he can find her, then bum rushes her on the golf course to get some emergency treatment. He confesses that yes, he has been affected by Vince's firing of him, and it has made him lose his edge. What can he do to get it back, he asks her. She has a hard time seeing the problem, though, as it appears that the breakup has caused Ari to become a better human being. He doesn't want to change, he tells her, and she says the choice is his to make. When he rips into her and her "civil servant" husband, she tells him it looks like he's got his angry edge back, he just has to know how to turn it on & turn it off.

That was just the thing Ari needed to hear, and he immediately heads back to Miller-Gold, where the slacking employee is being given an eye test in the conference room by other agents.

"Let me see if you can read this" Ari tells him as he writes the words "GET THE FUCK OUT" on the white board. He then threatens to can anyone else not doing their job- "a 1-strike policy now applies"- and exclaims "damn that felt good" after doing so. While he struts to his office Babs inquires "what happened to you?" and he smugly replies "shock therapy" as he grabs a candy bar from a chunky staffer's hand and tells her "skip it, Ginny."

Now that's the Ari we all know and love!

The climax of the episode sees Vince & E. dining with Amanda and breaking the news to her about the Wharton pic- he doesn't want to do it. Amanda flies into a rage, inquiring why he would tell her two weeks ago that he loved it , only to turn around now and claim it's not right for him.

"It's not so easy to say no to you," Vince confesses. "It's because you're so cute."

That awkward moment leads to more ribbing from the boys as an incredulous E., while admitting that yes, Amanda is hot, tells them "yeah, but once you put it out there, everything changes."

Vince then receives a phone call that will change everything for good. It's Amanda, driving home, and she straight-up asks Vince "do you think I'm hot?" When he sheepishly admits he does, she gets even more straight with him: "I hate sexual tension, Vince, it always leads to confusion, Tell me, do you want to fuck me?"

A stunned Vince stammers that yes, that would be nice, so she tells him they need to fuck each others brains out and get it over with so they can go on to have a long, productive business relationship together. Vince readily agrees, and as he lies to the boys and says he's going out with Jewelery Store Girl, Drama tells the others "$50 bucks says he bangs her."

Now we will have some real drama, because you know how badly this thing is going to turn out- Mandy Moore, anyone? But unfortunately this probably means the end of Gugino's run on the show and the beginning of the patching up with Ari. Of course the relationship with Amanda is going to end poorly, and Ari will probably salvage the Medellin picture just in time to win Vinny back.

It was fun while it lasted, Amanda. Thanks for the memories.

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