'Entourage': Is that a threat?
Be sure to take your niceties when you can get them, because despite Ari’s attempts for a “softer, quieter, gentler regime,” the gloves came off in this “Entourage” episode, charmingly titled “Sniff Sniff Gang Bang.”
Power struggles were erupting all over the place, and gauntlets were being thrown down left and right. Take Ari and Mrs. Ari, for instance. After suffering the embarrassment and public humiliation of everyone discovering that her husband has the worst potty mouth in the history of the world, Mrs. Ari had found her voice and lashed back with her own list of demands. She asked to banish BlackBerrys and increase therapy (and props to Nora Dunn for her entertaining mediation). Initially to Ari, however, it was like his wife was expelling a lot of hot air. That is, until she threatened to reevaluate their relationship that if Ari broke another promise or lied to her one more time.
Vince didn’t want Sasha to do the adult movie because he didn’t want other guys having their way with his girl. “Relax,” said Sasha. “It’s a five-guy gang bang, so no one gets any one-on-one time with me.” Surprisingly enough, that didn’t allay Vince’s fears. But Sasha doesn’t like to be told what to do, and she saw Vince’s offer to pay her $200K to not do the movie as a controlling ploy. So Vince is now trying to get Sasha to do his bidding in another way: By getting her a role in “Air-Walker” instead.
So Sasha didn’t like to be told what to do. Neither did Vince. Like the drug test that Dana Gordon at Warners was asking him to take, to allay director Randall Wallace’s (legitimate) fears that the actor was not a hopped up cokehead. And it was as pushy and aggressive as we’ve seen Vince as he made his way over to Dana’s and adamantly refused to pee into a cup. “If my word isn’t good for you guys, find someone else whose word is,” he threatened.
And I guess this is where the suspension of disbelief comes in. Most of the time I can convince myself into believing Vincent Chase is a superstar, but when a director like Wallace drops out of a picture, it’s just hard for me to buy that the studio would choose to back an actor like Vince over the director who brought him aboard. Wasn't this the same guy who was fired from the "Aquaman" sequel?
It doesn’t help when Vince acts the part of a puffed-up diva. And now he’s taken that act out on E. E, who had slowly but surely been losing faith in his best friend, watching him show up high as a kite to business meetings and sitting front row center to his and Sasha’s fierce, lengthy game of tonsil hockey. E was convinced that his friend had lost it and gone off the deep end.
Perhaps E was also feeling threatened; he and Vince have been out of sorts for a while. Vince had also taken to confiding with Scotty Lavin on relationship issues. Meeting at a biker hangout in Malibu, Vince admitted to Scotty that he really liked Sasha. And Scotty, surprisingly, answered with a depth and a thoughtfulness that until now had seemed beyond his thrill-seeking frat boy Neanderthal bravado (and made me love his character that much more). “These porn stars, they seem like they’re OK. They’re actually broken,” Lavin told Vince matter-of-factly (and like a guy who’d been there). “I don’t think you can give her money in order to control her.” Plus, extra bravo points for drawing the line when Vince asked for more of the good stuff: “I don’t wanna be the one getting you drugs, Vince,” Scotty said.
But back to E: Basically, Eric was doing what he does best, which was to nag Vince and get him some work. Only, Vince wasn’t in the mood to play doormat to his manager/friend’s requests, and the actor pushed back with accusations of “naïve judgment” and a demand that E get Sasha an “Air-Walker” part. “Are you serious?” E guffawed. “Oh, I’m serious,” Vince answered. And if that wasn’t enough power-lording, he ended it with this cutting demand, which not only reduced E to the size of a Lilliputian, but also served to remind him of his place: “Get it done.”
It was nice to see Vince and E come to blows in this episode. Lord knows it was a long time coming; fun-seeker Vince just wanted everyone to back off, while Eric was trying to save him from being a messed up prig on his way down the "E! True Hollywood Story" drain.
And while Vince's last dig will no doubt leave a mark, E was also doing his share of pushing and shoving in this episode. Which was also nice to see: after all his scenes of domesticity this season, it looked like Eric had lost his backbone to domestic life on a plush Sealy Posturepedic. But he really seemed to get his mojo back with a vengeance in this episode -- barking at Scotty Lavin over his and Vince's “sniffle sniffle” at the party the other night and at Phil Yagoda over Drama’s hesitance on the “Johnny’s Bananas” project -- asserting control and telling naysayers to take a step back like it was going out of style.
As for Turtle… well, he and Alex are still lingering like a bad hangover, soldiering on in the Avion tequila cause, chatting with TMZ and giving out scoops in exchange for tequila publicity. Only, he didn’t check in with a fuming Carlos to make sure that the company could deliver the goods. Turned out Carlos doesn’t have the facilities to produce the 20,000 cases needed, so Turtle made it his mission to drum up funds himself. He threw a hissy fit and accused E of “blowing him off” after E refused to introduce him to boss Murray Berenson, and then just happened to get a chance encounter with Mark Cuban and his business partner Kent Austin (Bob Odenkirk). Of course, the Dallas Mavericks owner (who towers over his acting counterparts, by the way) was into wee Turtle’s pitch, and seemed more than willing to pony up funds to get another tequila factory going. To which I say, really? Even for a show that revolves around wish fulfillment, this seemed way too good to be true.
So, how is everyone feeling? Has this whole Turtle business run its course? Who's going to direct "Air-Walker" now that Randall Wallace has dropped out? Think Lloyd would ever file a suit against Ari? Would Drama be a good candidate for “Dancing With the Stars’? Is Vince pushing his boundaries a little too far? Anyone else curious to find out more about that “little incident” with Jeffrey Tambor on “Arrested Development”? George Bluth forever!
Photo credit: Claudette Barius / HBO (2)
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