By Wesley Case
7:59 PM PDT, August 14, 2011
A funny thing happened during the previous season of "Entourage" -- it actually got good. And not "good" in the typically dumb but satisfying "Entourage" way (pool parties with Bob Saget followed by renting a Maserati, for example), but rather the stakes were raised and consequences actually meant something. That can happen when an addiction to blow and a relationship with pornstar Sasha Grey enter the picture. (For a more extensive, smarter look at last season, read GQ's Sean Fennessey's piece from last August here.) It was the show's darkest season by a mile, and it set the table for an opportunity to finish the series on a compelling note.
Sunday night's episode, the oh-so brilliantly titled "Whiz Kid," ended with Scott Caan's character talking into a dildo and then gleefully chasing the rest of the boys with it. Cut to black. Yes, folks, this is "Entourage" with four remaining episodes and it has reverted back to its old ways.
Before that douchey (even for "Entourage") final moment came the aftermath of last episode's suicide-ending. (Long story short: At AA, Vince reconnects with a producer who did him wrong, gets duped by the then-high-again producer and ends up finding said producer dead in his bathroom from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.) The cops wants Vince's story and his urine, just to make sure his recent problems weren't creeping again ... except, whoops, Vince smoked a joint ("two puffs"!) a week ago to see how much of an addict he was or wasn't. Or something.
Meanwhile, Ari is dealing with his failing marriage the only way he knows how -- like a jerk. And although that's why we love Jeremy Piven's performance, the writing puts him in a corner like a brat, shoving his fling with Dana Gordon (surprisingly believable thanks to Constance Zimmer's charming performance) in his wife's face. Ari's wife is now dating Bobby Flay (whom I had just watched crown the "Next Food Network Star" only an hour earlier -- the magic of television, people), so Ari naturally brings Dana to Flay's restaurant to confront him in the most passive-aggressive way possible. Hearing Flay call Ari an "assh----" might have been the highlight of the episode.
Back to Vince. In the second biggest WTF moment of the season (the first goes to Turtle for selling his stock of Avion tequila before Mark Cuban could take it public), Vince recruits Billy Walsh to hook him up with a fake penis loaded with clean pee. Vince confesses the plan to BFF E, and as usual, Eric tells him how stupid he's being. In a turn that only the Mayans could have seen coming, Vince gets the call later that night that his sample, along with his reputation, came back clean. "Airwalker" is still on, the boys can hug and laugh about the close call and "Entourage" ends like it usually does -- free of weight, concern and burden.
With only four episodes left, there's very little time for the show to turn this boring streak around. ("Whiz Kid" is merely a new low-point in a season barely breathing.) I mean, really, a whole episode dedicated to beating a drug test? Because of two hits from a joint? Yep, it's come to watching the boys drink vinegar and Vince pulling out a very fake looking member. It's just another day in the life of Vincent Chase and his pals, where a problem can and will be solved in under 25 minutes.
"Things always work out for us, Vince," says E, trying to reason with his star before the drug test. He's right, and that's the problem.
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