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'Entourage': Couples therapy

July 25, 2010 | 11:01 pm
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Characters were pairing up in this episode, titled “Tequila Sunrise,” faster than hormone-addled teens at a school dance. Drama and John Stamos tested their on-screen brotherhood, while Turtle and Alex went south of the border to continue their will-they won't they connection. Ari was trying to get into bed with an entire conference room full of deep pockets. Vince immediately became attached to that Korean ping-pong player.

And E and Lavin were slowly but surely circling around their own burgeoning partnership. First of all, let me state again how much I’m enjoying Scott Caan as E frenemy Scotty Lavin. And Caan did not disappoint tonight; he injected a refreshing, much-needed jolt of braggadocio into every scene he's in. What’s more, it just looks like he’s having a blast doing it, and his high energy and rat-a-tat line delivery are an enticing and infectious mix. It certainly is a welcome shot in the arm to staid E’s storyline, giving Vince’s right hand man a capable and worthy rival both at work and in his friendship with the movie star.

And bless Scotty for pointing out how boring E is. E’s sore about Scotty introducing Vince to the Air Walker script -- especially because it’s a great story that can potentially lead to a huge franchise. Looks like E and Lavin might be seeing more eye to eye lately, however -- and I’m not just talking about what Turtle deemed their “dueling Napoleonic complexes.” Lavin appeared to have a scheme he’s cooking up that will pit him and Eric against Murray Bernstein himself. How this fits in with E’s fiance Sloan, however, remains to be seen. Already the rift between E and the boys has grown bigger, with the nuptially-minded E begging off a spontaneous trip to Vegas because he has to meet with the wedding planner. It’ll be interesting to see if E will choose his boys or his girl for the long haul.

Drama’s trying to get in some bonding time as well, with potential sitcom brother John Stamos.

Vince’s brother has invited the “Full House” star over to Vince’s house in order to impress him, and, as Turtle said, “show him you can play the ugly brother in real life, too.” (The fact that Kevin Dillon is the brother of someone famous playing a brother of someone famous playing another brother of someone 717633_ENT_704_5_4_CB_ 2629_2 famous is so meta that Christopher Nolan could probably make a movie about it. Maybe he can call it “Conception.”) And the Stamos guest stint was entertaining, with Uncle Jesse playing a narcissistic, weasly, sore loser version of himself, one that allowed for a fun, if somewhat blatant plug for ping pong and for Susan Sarandon’s  new SPiN Hollywood joint that opened up at the Mondrian. “Ping pong is the new billiards,” proclaimed Stamos, who boasts pro player and ping pong pin-up Soo Yeon Lee as a coach.

And it was fun to see the two go at it both in Vince’s backyard and at the ping pong club in Hollywood. “It’s going to be a long day for Uncle Jesse,” pinged Drama when he schooled Stamos in the backyard. Though Stamos won back his pride and bragging rights after hustling Drama at the club, and then assured Drama that he’d still consider doing the sitcom.

Continuing his bid for world domination was Ari Gold, who was trying to squeeze ducats out of some of Los Angeles’ richest and wealthiest patrons (including real-life moguls Casey Wasserman and Mike Meldman, and returning player John Ellis, played by Alan Dale) to raise funds to help build a state of the art stadium and a worthy team to the pro football-less city. And all was going well for the king of Hollywood -- that is, until a mustachioed Andrew Klein called from rehab (hey look, Tom Sizemore and John Heard!) to warn the agent that a spurned and angry Lizzie Grant has some big backer behind her and is making a bid for Ari’s clients.

Still trying to get into Alex’s pants was Turtle, who has embarked on some sort of trip to Mexico to find out about a potential business investment. While Turtle had fears of south-of-the-border kidnapping and ransom running around in his head, Alex and family friend Carlos (played by Miguel Sandoval) were actually hoping to sway Turtle to get his Aquaman boy Vince to sign on as the face of their tequila company, Avion. And as much as I am a fan of a good margarita, this whole plot line is some pretty weak sauce.  As attractive as Dania Ramirez is, and as much as they outfit her in tight dresses and midriff-baring tops to keep the viewers interested, the chemistry between Alex and Turtle is flatter than a freshly pressed tortilla, and her hot and cold play smacks of "Indecent Proposal" and a whole lot of shadiness. I wish whatever happens with their ho-hum will-they won‘t-they relationship tease would stay in Mexico. In the words of Uncle Jesse: Have mercy.

What do you think? Surprised to see that Vince is reading his own scripts? Think Drama and Stamos will make good brothers? Will E choose Sloan or his boys? Who’s better looking: E or Scotty? Who do you think is backing Lizzie? And while Ari’s new assistant is competent and sharply dressed, anyone else missing the snap, crackle and pop of a good Ari and Lloyd scene? Is John Stamos’ bumbling assistant really named Squanto?

- Allyssa Lee

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Photo credit: Claudette Barius / HBO (2)