'Entourage': Get the freak out
Paranoia has reached a boiling point in this second-to-last episode of the season. There were potential hookups and a long-awaited breakup. And, perhaps most notable, Lloyd struck out on his own and showed he had the goods to swim with the rest of the sharks in this business.
But let’s talk about the other craziness first: Like Turtle, freaking out about that UCLA brunet. Jamie-Lynn was none too pleased about the girls harping on her boyfriend (“Are those the whores that stole your underwear?”), and Turtle himself seems to be conflicted about being attracted to this other woman when his hot girlfriend was in the Porsche right next to him. And for a second there I thought maybe he was going to take the high road, walking away from the brunet and focusing on what he has, which are solid friends and a strong, stable relationship. But no: “I’m in the middle of a freaking love triangle,” he moaned. And while Vince saw only the fun in it, Turtle is racked with longing and guilt. Which no doubt will get worse after Jamie-Lynn ships off to New Zealand for her new series.
And of course, Ashley really let her freak flag fly. Well, to be fair, E freaked out first, obsessing over why she wasn’t calling him back, and showing up at her place in the wee hours and rapping on her window like a maniac. Though had he known that she was just trying to package her paranoia in a way that wasn’t so bonkers, he might have been better off taking a nap instead. So her brilliant idea of reading E’s e-mail (E's-mail) to quell her suspicions didn’t sit very well with him. Or with anyone else, really: Vince even went illegal, gabbing on the cellphone while driving and telling E that Ashley had always been one boiled bunny short of cuckoo (though why Vince chose this moment to tell E is a little odd, given the fact that he’d been blandly accepting of E’s Ashley drama thus far). And assistant Brittany’s flat-out assessment that she’s certifiable gave E the momentum he needed to end this thing once and for all. I just can’t even believe he said, “You say you’re not crazy, but all signs point to the contrary.” Can you really call someone crazy to his or her face and get away with it? But he did, and the relationship finally made its final departure from Crazytown to Splitsville. And though Ashley did have her share of problems, I think both E and Ashley took turns driving the loco-motive on the way to this seemingly interminable end. I’m not sure I completely buy Brittany’s assertion that she’s strictly a career girl, though. Particularly as the boss-assistant line continues to blur while hanging out after hours.
But my favorite part of the episode had to be the all-out competition between Ari and Lloyd (and Adam Davies, by default). And over Drama, no less!
Drama met up with a producer (played by the always entertaining William Fichtner) who said he’d be perfect for a part in the new “Melrose Place”…if only he could get out his “Five Towns” contract. And Drama jumped at the possibility -- it looked like he was going to be put into a coma on “Five Towns,” anyways, which is like a fate worse than death in TV land. Drama shrewdly pitted Lloyd against Ari, both brought out their big guns in a race for Dan Coakley, and what ensued was one of the more entertaining episodes on the show this season. Loved Lloyd’s transformation over the course of the episode, from loll-about couch monkey in Paul Frank pajamas to pushing the Xanax (“I’m okay. I’m in work mode.”), and then claws out and fighting his former boss for his one and only client. Loved how Ari, upon discovering that Lloyd flew the coop for his sworn enemy Adam Davies, saw this opportunity to strike first, strike hard, vanquish his rival and take all the spoils for himself. “I am going to destroy you. I am going to erode every fiber of your spirit. You no longer exist. You’re dead to me,” Ari raved. “So die, Lloyd. Die! Die! Die!”
And Ari did have the upper hand. He had the connections to get Dan Coakley membership to an exclusive club, and therefore releasing Drama out of his contract.
But kudos to you, Lloyd, for standing your ground and winning your client back with the one thing your rival doesn’t have: heart. “I believe in your talent,” Lloyd avowed to Drama. “Does Ari?” Lloyd’s winning speech was about as Jerry Maguire as anything we’ve seen on this show. And it seemed to work on Chase the Elder. Of course, everything Lloyd said was true: Ari could barely be bothered to pry his eyes away from his BlackBerry long enough to give Drama two seconds of undivided attention. So when Drama made his own impassioned plea about his own life and career, it was great to see Jeremy Piven’s face as he went from defensive agent to conscious consideration to begrudging admiration that Lloyd actually proved himself a worthy and formidable (and ultimately, victorious) opponent. “Go,” commanded Ari, as if proffering his blessing. “But it’s because I like you, alright?... Tell your man of yours to keep his eyes pinned wide open, ’cause I’ll be gunning for him.” So Lloyd got his man, and earned the respect of his revered former boss. Bravo all around! (For more on Lloyd and Ari, check out this interview with Rex Lee.)
What did you think? Did you enjoy this Drama battle as much as I did? Do you think Drama is going to get the “Melrose” job? Is this really and truly the end of Ashley?
-- Allyssa Lee
Photo credits: Claudette Barius / HBO