Well, I wanted some real stakes.
Holy crap, that was intense. Is this still Entourage? I haven't seen a single boobie this entire season, and a guy kills himself in the bathroom after a coke bender?
Entourage always pulls a sort of bait-and-switch, though. I've mentioned before that the last few minutes of episodes are usually where all the plot development happens, and thus it's easy to forget the 28 minutes of nothing that came before it. This episode was a weird one, then, because things actually happened in the beginning. Turtle finally has a face-to-face with the owner of Avion, who informs Turtle of his intention to cut Turtle out and grow the business without him. The Diceman finally walked, despite the efforts of Johnny Drama, Eric, and Scott Caan's gravity-defying 'do—and now the show sucks, at least according to Billy Walsh in a dark KKK uniform. Vince makes a deal with an old producer buddy with the intention of making a movie for his brother, and the producer tells Les Moonves that Vince is going to have to appear. Then this, the worst of all!
Though I'm pretty blown away a show basically known as "Namedrop: The Series" would go to such a dark place, it did so in a pretty Entourage fashion. After all, we met (or, were reintroduced, I don't remember) this character earlier in the episode. This wasn't somebody that we've known for a while, like Billy Walsh or whoever, this was some relatively random person who could be exploited for the sake of drama. Don't get me wrong: I'm happy that something unexpected happened. Very unexpected. It's just that I'm getting a very real sense that Entourage is pulling out all the stops for this final season, and it's all pay-off to what was very little set-up.
I will say, though, that the Ari storyline is, for perhaps the first time ever, the most consistently compelling thing happening. For those of you who are just dropping in, first of all hello, and holy shit can you believe that guy shot himself? Secondly, Ari and his wife are separated but not divorced, though Mrs. Ari is sleeping with Bobby Flay. So Ari is trying to get back out there, and Lloyd is happy to help his boss by setting him up with an eager little lady. The date's kinda awkward because Ari takes her to dinner and she's not used to being so formal on dates (SEXTING! Sorry, just thought I'd throw in some kiddie buzzword). But she's nice enough anyways, and insists Ari have a shot to loosen things up. Then later, she invites Ari up to her apartment—which she shares with a roommate like a poor person—and while in the car, the kid from Workaholics shows up looking for his way back to his not-so-great Comedy Central show. Ari decides to leave it at that, and drives away visibly frustrated at himself. Like, there's a real moment of sadness there for a second. Then he calls Dana Gordon and fucks her and answers his Blackberry, so it's same Ari, different day/dating situation.
Still, I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch, but this is shaping up to be a pretty compelling season of Entourage, but not for the reasons it was at the beginning. I mean, the show used to be funny. There were actual jokes and everything. I'm not quite sure what's been so funny about the last few episodes—other than the fact that people think Andrew "Dice" Clay's career is going places; hilarious!—but there's drama. And there's Drama. I'm not quite sure where the show can go from here, though. Is it bad that Vince was witness to a suicide? Is his reputation going to be tarnished because he was in a house with a lot of cocaine, even though he didn't use? It sounds like there's going to be some wheel-spinning to do, and that's just how Entourage would like it.