If there was ever any doubt that Vince would be able to kick his drug habit without relapsing even once, then tonight’s episode surely put an end to that debate, as it’s hard to imagine him even thinking about cocaine after what he witnessed. Though everyone warned him not to trust producer Carl Ertz (who, in addition to screwing him out of a movie a few years ago, didn’t appear nearly as drug-free as he claimed), Vince was all too willing to give him a second chance.
And though it looked like his faith in Ertz was actually going to pay off after CBS agreed to produce Vince’s TV movie with Drama attached, it all came tumbling down when he realized that Ertz was only doing him a favor so that he could pitch him some crappy action thriller called “Tax Man.” Turtle knew right away that something wasn’t right, but Vince was determined to stay and help Ertz get through his latest drug bender without anyone getting harmed. I kept telling myself that it wasn’t going to end well, and sure enough, Ertz ended up locking himself in his bathroom and shooting himself in the head. Talk about scaring someone straight. I’ve never seen Vince that shaken up before, and that includes his recent brush with death on that Nick Cassavetes movie.
While Vince tried to play sponsor to Ertz, Eric and Scotty were busy making sure that Drama didn’t shoot himself in the foot by siding with Dice over his contract demands. Though Drama wasn’t exactly opposed to the idea of making more money, after Phil reminded him of a past gig he had (a ‘90s cop show called “Concrete Heat”) that tested through the roof only to last a single week on the air, Drama agreed that it probably wasn’t worth the risk. Unfortunately, Dice refused to budge, and though Eric told him that the network would just fire him if he threatened to walk off the show, Dice decided to take his chances. As it turns out, it was a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. Dice got the boot, and in trying to replace him with an impersonator (played by Jamie Kennedy), Phil may have just ruined the only good thing that “Johnny’s Bananas” had going for it. Drama definitely didn’t look too happy about his new castmate, while Billy Walsh threw a king-sized hissy fit and stormed out of the building in classic fashion.
As for poor Turtle, he got the short end of the stick again this week with yet another terrible subplot. The writers just haven’t been handling his character particularly well this season, and tonight’s episode was yet another example of that. During a meeting with Carlos while in town on Avion business, Turtle learns that a) he’s being forced into early “retirement,” and b) Alex is breaking up with him because she’s met someone else. Seriously? You want us to believe that this supposedly strong and independent female relied on her uncle to deliver the news to Turtle? That’s pretty lame. Thankfully, Turtle’s not wasting any time in moving on to the next big thing, and after cashing out on his stock options with the company, he’s planning to open a branch of famed New York restaurant Don Peppe in Los Angeles. Now that’s a story I can get behind.
At least someone had a little luck tonight, with Ari finally agreeing to go on a date after Vince suggests that it might help him get his mind off Mrs. Ari. But while the girl was certainly cute (although perhaps a tad young for Ari), he just didn’t seem that interested, even when she invited him up to her apartment for a little post-dinner sex. Instead, he called up Dana Gordon to chat, and before they knew it, the two were in bed together reminiscing about the good old days before he was married. I don’t think anyone saw that coming, but I’ve always been a fan of Dana, so if the writers did decide to make Ari’s separation permanent, she’d make a great replacement. Then again, I can’t imagine the kind of trouble this is going to cause when they try to do business together.