S8E4: Leave it to Entourage to include someone’s suicide and turn the following episode into an ordeal over two puffs of marijuana and a drug test. Granted, Ertz was never a main character, but when he killed himself, we should have seen a little more affect on Vince other than just his worry that Ertz’s stash of coke would bring heat on him. The show has always allowed Vince to be a little too selfish, but this was pretty ridiculous. By the end of the episode, everything is fine and dandy again and the guys, with the new, obnoxious addition of Scott, are back to their giggling, flippant ways.
“I saw brains.” –Turtle
“That’s great, I’m guessing they weren’t Drama’s.” –Ari
I will give Entourage a few points this week for simplifying the range of the plot. Sure, we need to know what’s happening with Drama and Turtle, but trying to cram everyone’s storylines into 22 minutes is just a bit much. This week, the startling incident at Ertz’s house brings heat on Vince for his previous drug use because there was cocaine present, so of course the boys are worried about the affect it will have on Vince. TMZ is already at the scene, Vince and Turtle have to go to the police station to give statements, and sure enough Vince gets called in for a drug test.
After taking care of business, Vince and Eric drive away from the station together and Vince acknowledges that their relationship was never really fixed and that his immediate thought after he saw Ertz shoot himself was that E was going to yell at him. Sounds pretty typical, but suddenly this starts to bother Vince. And in a conversation that doesn’t really solve anything, Vince and E decide they’ll share everything with each other. Then the bombshell drops: Vince took two hits of a joint and he’s worried he’ll fail his drug test.
After a series of “remedies” dreamed up by Drama, Vince seeks help from Billy Walsh, who gives him a fake penis filled with someone else’s THC-less urine. Lovely. This starts an argument between Vince and E which should have weight to it, but when Vince literally flashes his fake penis to Eric and they begin arguing over what is literally a silicone penis, I lost it. It was only a matter of time before these ever-present arguments descended to that place – a place so low they are literally arguing about penises. E says using it will ruin Vince’s career, but Vince has some Hollywood guardian angel so he passes and doesn’t get caught and the boys all laugh and play as they toss the drug-test saving fake penis around like a gaggle of little girls in a pillow fight at a slumber party.
“Why don’t you worry about what you’re going to wear tonight and I’ll worry about Vince.” -Ari
Of course, as Vince and crew are dealing with the suicide and the drug test, Ari is busy hooking up with Dana. They’re almost sickeningly cute together comparing numbers of missed emails and voicemails, until Ari mentions that he’s got couples therapy while Dana is straddling him. It’s like he wants to be miserable for the rest of his life. Vince releases Ari from agent duty so he manages to make it to the therapy appointment — which he actually requested — 30 minutes late, where his semi-wife is sitting there fuming. Now that she’s dating Bobby Flay, which continues to be more and more annoying each episode, she says she’s happy because she found someone new so Ari says he found someone too – of course he means his old flame and current friend with benefits, Dana. This isn’t going to be good.
Ari asks Dana out to dinner, real dinner, but she’s concerned Vince is going to fail his drug test and once again screw up another movie. (Seriously, how does this guy get hired anymore?) Of course, when they get to dinner we find Ari hasn’t changed at all. He takes Dana to dinner at Flay’s, and she senses there’s something going on between Bobby and Ari when they get in a verbal sparring match at the table. Once all is revealed, Dana storms off – which won’t be good for Vince, considering she runs the studio backing his big movie – and Mrs. Ari calls to ream the schemer for using Dana to make her jealous. Of course, Dana is the one that got away and the only person in the entire city of Los Angeles who could make her jealous. And just when we thought we were seeing the softer side of Ari, we realize that he may never actually grow up. He’s still only willing to take care of himself. I would be upset at the lack of character development over 8 seasons, but at this point, it’s too late, so we’ll have to go with it.
This season is bound to be a little erratic and uncontained, but I just wish we couldn’t see the trajectory for the season building before our eyes. Granted, it’s been that way for a few seasons now; you can almost always guess what’s coming next at this point. With only 8 episodes, I suppose they don’t have too much room to blow our minds, but let’s hope there are few more unexpected angles in the second half of the show’s final run.