Entourage 8.2 – Out with a Bang

After focusing pretty heavily on Vince’s return from rehab this week, the actor was stuck in the background for most of tonight’s episode, leading me to wonder whether he’ll even get the chance to mount another comeback before the end of the season. Sure, there was a tiny subplot involving him writing the script to that Romanian miner movie he wants Drama to star in, but apart from getting Billy to read the outline and agree to help flesh it out, Vince was surprisingly MIA this week.

He mostly just followed the rest of the gang around like he was part of Drama’s entourage – a scary thought, I know, but things are once again looking up for Vince’s older brother. Despite my personal feelings about “Johnny’s Bananas,” the guys seem to think it has the potential to become a runaway hit, even if Andrew Dice Clay has reservations about it performing well with the public. So when Phil drops by the recording studio to inform Drama and Dice that the show is being screened for a test audience, Dice practically begs him to tag along.

Unfortunately, that may not have been the best decision, because as soon as the Dice Man hears that “Johnny’s Bananas” tested through the roof, he immediately starts planning a mutiny to walk from the show. That’s pretty amateur behavior on his part, no matter how much he thinks they’re being underpaid. After all, the cartoon isn’t even on the air yet, and as Jerry Seinfeld (whose own show famously scored terribly with test audiences) can probably attest to, those scores mean very little in the grand scheme of things. Drama would be wise to keep his cool and not let Dice get into his head, because if he screws this opportunity up, it could very well be his last.

Meanwhile, Ari’s mounting jealousy over the news that his wife is seeing someone else takes him to his breaking point when Lloyd spots Mrs. Ari at celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s new restaurant while meeting with a potential client. But when he learns that her new beau might actually be a young waiter/actor with an upcoming audition for “Mad Men,” Ari makes it his mission to destroy the kid’s budding career. After Mrs. Ari catches wind of what he’s been up to, however, she marches straight into the TMA offices to confront him, only to discover that he may have pulled the trigger a little early.

It turns out that she wasn’t dating the waiter at all, but rather Flay himself, causing Ari to launch into a classic rant in front of his employees declaring war on the “red-headed fire crotch” and anyone who eats or recommends one of his “boy meets grill” restaurants. He’s definitely not helping his cause in trying to win Mrs. Ari back, but surely she has to recognize the extreme lengths he’s been going to just to get her attention. Their inevitable reunion can’t come soon enough.

Other thoughts from the episode:

* It may have been an almost blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo, but Christian Slater’s run-in with Drama ranks up there as one of the series’ funniest. I’d really like to know what his beef with him was all about, but it’s probably best left a mystery.

* I love the idea of Lloyd becoming the new head of the TV division at TMA (as he said, the department is defunct, and he wants to take over and “refunct it”), but he’s been talking about Steven Levitan now for two weeks and nothing’s come of it. What gives?

* We’ve already had an entire season where Turtle mopes over the loss of a girlfriend, so why in the world are we being forced to sit through the same storyline with a different girl? It’s hard to believe that Alex is becoming so famous that she can’t even pick up the phone and call him, so let’s hope that their relationship is resolved sooner rather than later so that Turtle can get back to doing something that actually matters.

* Is it just me or does this whole break-up between Eric and Sloan feel like a cheap plot device to delay their inevitable wedding for the season finale? They obviously still care about each other, and if there’s been one constant on “Entourage” throughout the years other than the friendship between the five guys, it’s been the on again, off again relationship between Eric and Sloan. She may be moving to New York, but that’s a hardly a deal breaker on this show.


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