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'Entourage': 'Is this an ambush?'

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We've reached the second to last "Entourage" episode of the season, folks. And while last week saw a lot of posturing and threats, in this episode -- titled "Porn Scenes from an Italian Restaurant" (and directed by Kevin Connolly, aka E) -- push really came to shove. Let's put it this way: Sasha wasn't the only one being ganged up on during this half-hour.

Vince was still as unstrung and high as ever. Shaking off his shackles, the actor relayed to Ari that he doesn't need a babysitter and told E that things weren't OK between them until Sasha got a part in the "Air-Walker" movie. Luckily, potential "Air-Walker" director Peter Berg (whose straight-shooting no-nonsense was much appreciated) was amenable. The guy behind "Friday Night Lights" smoothly played off his Sasha awareness ("I'm familiar with her work"), was able to see a part for her as a secretary, and found a way to fit in the Under Armour brand ever so subtly on his shirt to boot. Well played.

Sasha Grey, however, refused to bow down to Vince's controlling ways. We learned a lot about Sasha in this episode: First, she was "a very shy conservative" and the last of her friends to lose their virginity. Second, she's kind of a snob ("Why did you invite him?" she pooh-poohed about dinner companion Scotty. "The conversation's lacking a little depth."). Third, she was once engaged to a fellow porn star –- some dude who just so happened to be one of the guys involved in her upcoming onscreen gang-bang. Finally, she doesn't like to be told what to do. Oh, but we knew that already. Vince offered Sasha an "Air-Walker" part with the hopes that she would quit her adult film. When that didn't work, he went for plan B and told her that he loved her. "Sounds more like you’re trying to control me," she responded. Angry, passionate bathroom sex ensued.

Newly chastened Ari, despite his attempt to be a bowling family man, had gone from orange to red alert thanks to Amanda Daniels (Carla Gugino). Dana Owens, aka Queen Latifah, let it slip that Daniels was taking the reins in trying to get an NFL team to L.A., which, of course, left Ari apoplectic. Though anyone else find her bid to go halfsies with Ari on this L.A. football team deal a little hard to swallow? Wasn't this the same woman who said Ari was like Iran and needed arms control, and threatened to sue and take him down just a couple episodes earlier? And while it's always a treat to get a key Jeremy Piven scene, it was also hard to believe that Ari would call Amanda "a whore with more cleavage than talent" in front of potential NFL clients, Wolfgang Zwiener, and his disapproving and now freshly humiliated wife.

717638_Ent_709_6_22_CB_6000 And how telling was it that Ari said he wanted to take Daniels to task for "everything you did to me, my career, and my family?" Tacking on the family at the end was all too clear to Mrs. Ari where his priorities resided. Will this, and the fact that he stowed his BlackBerry in the men's room, count as a betrayal and result in a reexamination of their relationship?

Avion tequila is also causing its share of trouble. Turtle can't stop yammering on about the stuff despite Carlos' explicit request that he cease and desist all talk of the liquor. But whether out of sheer business savvy or sheer stupidity (perhaps a bit of both), Turtle just couldn't keep his goateed mouth shut. He arranged a meeting between the fuming Carlos ("Why are people in Texas inquiring about my tequila?") and a rich and loving it Mark Cuban, who had designs both on a new bottle and on making tequila the official drink of the Dallas Mavericks. The results were woozy and boozy. Carlos was afraid the business would be sold from the family and immediately went into my way or the highway mode, barking to the Texas tall man and his business partners that "the terms are my terms of no terms." To which smug Cuban slyly countered, "What if I just bought your ... company?" "It's not for sale." "Yes it is," Cuban neener-neenered. Then the Mavs owner put his thumb on his nose, blew a raspberry and sailed on his merry mogul way on his boatful of cash.

717638_Ent_709_6_18_CB_5757 Drama was navigating his own storm of inner conflict as to whether or not to lend his voice to an ape. The studio was itching to start production on "Johnny's Bananas." And all the hemming and hawing started to drag on like a gorilla's extra-long limbs. So thank goodness Drama finally agreed to take on the role, like we all knew he would so many episodes ago. Though that brief scene with Phil Yagoda transforming the offices into a jungle with palm trees, with Lloyd behind a cutout the whole nine yards was hilarious. And it gave E's assistant Jennie (Janet Montgomery) some good screen time (maybe she'll get more when she moves to Fox's "Human Target" next season).

The half-hour ended with Lloyd stumbling upon Vince's freezer bag-sized stash of cocaine in the drawer, and a rearview shot of Billy Walsh dripping wet in bright pink swim trunks, and a painful reminder of the nightmare that was Medellin tattooed on his back.

How do you think this season is going to end? With Vince triumphant and Air-Walking, or down in the gutter with a bloody nose? Will Ari repair the relationship with his clients and his wife? What'd you think of Kevin Connolly's directing? Think we'll get to meet Sasha's ex-fiance? What's Marilyn Manson's manson?

-- Allyssa Lee

Photo credits: Claudette Barius / HBO

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Comments () | Archives (10)

Very bad episode. Every single move was cliche hollywood script. I was predicting everything, and low and behold, the exact thing ensued. Coming off of one of the better shows of the entire series last week, you can really see the inconsistency with this season. Typically there is about an 11-13 month break between seasons, this years is only 8.5 months apart. This means the writing would be rushed, which ensues a quick production, and rushed "bad" acting.

If the season finale was anything like tonights episode, expect to see Vince have an all out intervention (everyone now knows about the coke due to the last scene), or a bad OD possibly. Things will probably not end will this season, setting up the major, comeback story for the finale season of HBO's longest running series to date.

Billy The Jewish Kid has summed up the episode perfectly: 'Things will probably not end will this season, setting up the major, comeback story for the finale season'.

Episode was disappointing.

Does anyone else think the Ari Gold public meltdown/humiliation thing is getting way overplayed? Volatile or not, I don't believe even his impulsive character would go that far, especially given his recent "outing" which would have put him on his best behavior. It just made the whole, "Oh, I was trying to help you get back in with the NFL" comic misconception device a bit forced. Did some angry female take over the writing department, determined that he get what he deserves? We like to see him squirm sometimes, but not beyond any reasonable standard of belief.

Sasha Grey asks to have her former fiancé replaced in a movie for which she has been offered $200,000.00 and the producers refused? In adult films women are the stars and a star of Sasha Grey's caliber decides who she will and won't work with. Not in a million years would a male performer be considered more important to the production than Sasha Grey. It's just not possible.

Terrible episode.

It's a really bad idea to base so much of the dramatic arc of the season on people playing themselves who can't act (Sasha Grey, Mark Cuban). They sink so many of the scenes they are in. And eventually you just don't care what they do. Sasha doesn't seem any more plausible for Vince to wreck his career on than Mandy Moore.

The Turtle tequila subplot is getting ridiculous. It served a dramatic purpose early in the season (getting Vince drunk) but that has passed since he's now into cocaine. It is such an obvious product plug that it's become yet another rickety support column for the series. And who cares what happens to Turtle? If he got whacked, would that be a loss to anyone?

Ari's meltdown was overplayed. If Amanda was trying to communicate with Ari, she could have sent an email. Or communicated through an intermediary.

Johnny's subplot was obvious. Of course he was going to take the deal. And it wasn't interesting to watch him cry and yammer for multiple episodes.

Oh, and the Richard Branson cameo...I wasn't that surprised. This season was so rich in cameos that it was only a matter of time until he showed up.

Worst episode of the season. I've seen (and done) some lazy writing in my day but Amanda goes from sworn enemy to kumbaya just like that and she couldn't reach Ari to tell him? Wow. I had a lot of respect for Ally Musika's writing but now a little less.

Amanda made the tapes, which ruined his life. She attempted to fix it to fix her guilt. Not that far fetched to me.

Bad episode, bad season. In a series that depends on viewers to be sympathetic to the rich and pampered, the whole crew is quickly becoming obnoxious guests who stay too late in my home on Sunday nights. Kevin C. did a nice job in his directorial debut, though, and I liked the homage to "Godfather" when Ari hid his BlackBerry behind the commode.

You are getting your snitches confused. Amanda didn't make the tapes, she hired the girl who made the tapes. She may have felt bad that her "assistant" leaked them, but deciding to do Ari a solid with the NFL out of guilt is a serious stretch. Of course she might have made all that up on the spot to put Ari in his place, which is brilliant, but I doubt it.

More important, I like Ari and think they've made him eat more feces this season than is reasonable or even logical. Guys at his level have losses and get embarrassed, but not this over the top. Someone's trying to make a point, and it's long past silly.

Entourage has jumped the shark. Weakest episode in a weak season.


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