The problem with Entourage expecting us to actually care about the characters this season is that the show hasn't really done anything to earn it. We've spent plenty of time hanging out with the guys (as always), but there hasn't really been a conflict or a solid emotional moment–save perhaps Vince's questioning of Ari about whether he thinks he can act–to hang anything on. We're still watching (some of us, anyway), but it's more for empty fun than out of any real attachment to any of the dudes. (You could argue that was always the case, but you'd be wrong.)
So this big conflict has somehow snuck up on us: Ari has been offered the job as "the studio head" (do they ever say which studio?), which means fancy jets, tons of money, lots of power–pretty much the fulfillment of Ari's every Hollywood fantasy. And yet He's conflicted. Ari. When there's money and personal gain on the table, the man who everyone relies on to be completely self-serving has a moment of doubt, because he doesn't want to leave a couple of friends behind. This guy doesn't have friends–that's part of his charm. He's a professional asshole. He's introduced in the this episode talking to the corpse of the old studio head, and then lying to the corporate boss about what the dead man promised him. No one should expect for a second that Ari would turn down this job out of some sort of loyalty to Vince. It's too out of character. And if he does it, I'll be mightily let down.
But on to the rest of the relatively dull episode: Vince's plot was all about him being a knight in shining armor, too. Hired by Dolce & Gabbana to do a one-day, million-dollar photo shoot, Vince runs into an old flame named Natasha, who's supposed to do the shoot with him. (They never had sex, just "connected" on a long plane ride. How sweet.) When Freddy, the D&G; rep, notices the sparks, he fires Natasha. Instead of just getting over it and tracking her down some other way, Vince forces the issue, eventually confronting Freddy–who, it turns out, just wants to suck Vince's dick. (Insert Sad Trombone noise here.)
It was all a set up to get Vince and Ari to the airport at the same time–Natasha invites Vince and the boys to Hawaii for a photo shoot, the suit invites Ari and Mrs. Ari to Switzerland to buy a watch company, and they end up in the same hangar. This is where Ari breaks the big news to Vince, who instead of congratulating him and fully expecting him to take the job without hesitation, says, "I think I'd like us to finish what we started together." And then, no joke, Radiohead's "Fake Plastic Trees" plays as Vince looks wistfully at Ari. Even though he's in a private plane full of models, headed to Hawaii.
This is all because we're supposed to believe that Ari not repping Vince anymore is going to be the end of Vince's career. Haven't we spent this whole season talking about how Vince's career is in the shitter anyway? He's gonna turn down a dream job to maybe revive the flagging career of his favorite client? That seems about as likely as Turtle turning down a hummer from one of those gigantic models. But I guess we'll find out next week. I hope Ari takes the job, if only to kick the show in the pants.
-- Jeffrey Tambor was pretty funny, as was Ari's scene with the two reality show writers.
-- What's Lloyd worried about? I imagine he'd either replace Ari, or at least go along with him to the new job.
-- "Tonight I'm gonna fuck something so tall they'll be scuff marks on my ceiling to prove it."
-- I hope Dana Gordon remains in play. I like her.