Tuesday, May 08, 2007

HBO Sunday Night: Entourage

Episode 39: "Return of the King"

This scene of Ari & Nicky working a deal behind the temple next to the dumpster was flat-out hilarious

Now that's more like it!

After the travesty that was last week's episode, which featured unlikable storylines about Ari's frat buddy and a professional brawler, this week we got back to the meat & bones of this season, namely the (love) triangle between Vince, Ari & Amanda and the return of "Medellin".

Plus it had another killer outro scene, which is usually a hallmark of a good ep.

As they enjoy a relaxing day at the gorgeous Del Mar Racetrack, Vince is catching heat from the boys regarding his blossoming relationship with Amanda. It seems that the sexy superagent has given Vince a gift signifying their union, a "love bracelet" as E. describes it, but Vince still tries to deny that anything serious is going on between the two (yeah, okay).

ATTN: THIS WEEK'S MEANINGLESS SIDE-THREAD IS... Drama, suddenly "flush with network funds", puts $1000 down on a 50-1 longshot who may or may not be the son of a horse he won major money on at Belmont back in the day. Vince ups the ante by $5K, while Turtle & E. are in for about $15 bucks. Although the Son of King doesn't come in-he lost by a nose-Drama can't bear to let the sentimental stallion go, so he "ponies" up another $2,500 to save him from the glue factory. But after numerous costly & smelly incidents, Drama gives the animal to his new boss, Eddie Burns.

Hey, at least Pauly Shore wasn't involved.

Meanwhile it's Yom Kippur, the holiest of Jewish holy days, which means not only can Ari not eat until sundown, he cannot conduct business until then, either. This situation proves to be a problem when Ari runs into Nicky Rubenstein (Zodiac's Adam Goldberg in a friggin' riotous cameo) at temple; he's the son of the producer who happens to be green-lighting Vince's white whale, Medellin, and he informs Ari that Benicio del Toro is officially out and his father wants Vince to jump into the part.

This is great, right? Wrong, because the deal has to happen before sundown, but Ari can't conduct any such deal because A.) it's Yom Kippur and B.) he's not Vince's agent anymore. His solution? Out of his love for his buddy, Ari will call Vince and let him talk to Nick to confirm the offer, and then Vince can call Amanda and work out the numbers.

Is Ari really being that nice as to hand Amanda a huge commission on a deal Ari has fought over for the past two years? Not so fast.

Like a high-stakes version of "telephone", Ari calls Vince who then has E. call Amanda to tell her to call Ari and work out the deal. Incredulous that he wants her to go to their temple on Yom Kippur, E. reassures her that Ari & Nick will be waiting for her out back in the alley behind the dumpster, and that everything is in place to get the deal done. She reluctantly agrees, no surprise to Drama: "she'd go to the Gaza Strip wearing a yarmulke for Vince," he says off-handedly.

But when Amanda arrives at the clandestine confab a rift occurs after she informs them that Vince's asking price is $6 mil, not the $3 million Rubenstein had thought, a fact that is backed up by Ari who says he landed the deal, so he should know. Amanda tells them that until she hears from Nick's father, there is no deal, and she drives off.

The cat & mouse game between the producers, agents and client continues as Nick & Ari sneak off to another temple to try and get the approval of the other executive producer, then play phone tag with Vince & E. in an attempt to get the deal finalized before sundown. But the whole thing goes awry when Ari pretends it's Amanda who is holding up the deal by asking for more money when in truth she has done everything in her power to get an agreement worked out.

Things come to a head when Vince & E. arrive at Ari's house, much to Mrs. Ari's chagrin, and they call Nick to tell him Vince is definitely in no matter what the price. Too late, he informs them, because his father pulled the plug on the film and now it's gone forever. This familiar bit of bad news does not sit well with the guys, and even as Vince praises Ari for not slamming Amanda for what happened, Ari implies that it was she who let his dream role get away.

"He would never have let this happen," Vince says to E., referring to the ruthless Ari Gold. "Now I deal with it. Take me to the restaurant."

And with those words we may have seen the last of the ballsy Mistress Amanda.

When Vince arrives at dinner he let's her know that the film is dead-again. She expresses that she is sorry, but Vince doubts her sincerity and admits that he believes she stalled on the deal, either because she didn't orchestrate it herself or because she didn't want boytoy Vince to leave the country for six months during filming.

Flabbergasted & hurt, Amanda calmly tells Vince that the EP called her after sundown and told her that after Nicky barged into his temple for the second time, he became so enraged that he withdrew the offer and scrapped Medellin because of all the woes that have been associated with it. However, she continues, he admitted he did want to work with Vince in the future, and she had even arranged a power lunch to discuss future project ideas for Vince.

Now it's Vinny's turn to be flabbergasted, and he barely knows what to say to her.

"What do we do now?" he asks her, not wanting to hear what was coming next.

"Now, Vince, we say goodbye," she wistfully replies, and with that she walks out of the restaurant to the melancholy thumping of the Pharcyde's (Can't keep) Runnin' (away), leaving Vince to wallow in his own foolishness and stupidity.

By the looks of next week's previews, everything is back in place with our gang: Vince & Co. walk into Ari's glitzy office and demand he gets Medellin out of purgatory, Drama prepares for the debut of his small-screen pilot, and Amanda looks to be out of the picture for good.

Well, as they say, 2-out-of 3 ain't bad.

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