What is an episode of Entourage with a decent story, some real stakes, and a notable lack of boobs? I’m not quite sure—maybe this is all a dream Scott Caan’s chin is having—but I do know it’s not “bad.” Sure, this is the show that started out as a legitimately entertaining skewer of the Hollywood lifestyle, morphed that skewer into a palm-shaped one for which to apply sufficient handjobs, then dropped the tool altogether and awaited death’s sweet embrace, with boobs. All the while, though, it was clear Entourage was just shy of decentness; a few tweaks here, a few compelling storylines there, could have turned the show around. It didn’t want to, though, and last season was like a “Movie Of The Week,” broken up into half hour segments, and boobs.
Maybe Entourage finally has a sense of humor about itself, though, because a large part of “Home Sweet Home” involves Vince—fresh out of rehab where that one hot girl was like, “You’re hot”—getting all hopped-up on a movie idea that involves the Chilean miners and their dog. “He’s pitching a ‘Movie Of The Week,’ ” Billy Walsh snarls at one point (or maybe it only sounds like he’s always angry). The rest smartly focuses less on Vince’s star power/career, and more on rebuilding the friendship his own MOV destroyed last season. In fact, Eric is pissed at Vince for not calling him about exiting rehab, and Vince is angry at E because he can’t differentiate work and friendship. What is this, season two? It should have been—this is important shit that hasn’t yet come out as succinctly for some reason.
Meanwhile, Drama frets over the house; Vince is coming home, and he doesn’t want a single substance around, be it alcohol, pot, or something more intense (like BATH SALTS!!!). Turtle, other than slimming down slightly, is still just Turtle. He’s still dating eye-bleed girl—oh, and you all thought I forgot about Heroes; think again! Mwa hahahahahahaha—and still slinging Avión…and still getting propositioned for threesomes. And by “still,” I mean, “fuckin’ Turtle.” E is stressed about everything; Lloyd is stressed that everything will make Ari stressed. All told, things are pretty much the same.
There’s one notable difference, though, and it has to do with Ari’s marriage. In that, there isn’t one. He spends the episode hanging out with his kid—who won’t go to school until Ari comes home—then heads to the house to discuss some things with his ex-wife. But it turns out she’s been seeing someone. (And why shouldn’t she? She’s gorgeous and wealthy.) And much like Jeremy Piven’s real-life rejection(s), Ari Gold is left to face the fact that he no longer has a wife. But rather than act/yell up a storm/yell, Ari just slinks away—over to Vince’s party and onto younger poon, much like Jeremy Piven himself. Heroes reference count: two.
There’s a very somber air surrounding “Home Sweet Home”, as evidenced by the fact that Vince can’t even be happy with a busload of beautiful women, waiting to be transported to a movie star party like migrant laborers to a fence building…place. But you know, “somber” is at least different than previous Entourage’s. Even when things have gotten bad, there’s usually some sort of jolly news to bring things around; or, another option, the bad news came right at the end of an episode, and as soon as it sinks in, we cut right to credits. This time around, the episode had a decent build on its own, and set the tone for what’ll hopefully be the most real-stakes-y season in Entourage history. Because geez, a show can not subsist on boobs alone. But what do I know? This is the eighth fuckin’ season.