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Entourage Fodder

Entourage: Tree Trippers


I can't ever remember an episode quite like this. Sure there have been plenty of times when the guys sat around and got stoned or drunk, but shrooms?

After last weeks misfire (yes, I still maintain that), Entourage is back with a classic episode. Under the guise of moving the storyline along the guys go on a road trip to help Vince figure out his next career move and just for laughs they bring along an odd choice: Eric Roberts. Whoa. Now, I used to get all upset about the lazy storytelling and way too convenient plot devices but I've come to a realization about this show. Don't take it seriously, it's just entertainment. And with that in mind let's begin.

The episode starts innocuous enough with Ari talking to the Paramount studio chief, Alan Gray trying to get Vince a part in their latest passion project "Smokejumpers." BTW, is Turtle gonna get some residuals for coming up with that name? Anyway, Alan is still harboring a grudge against Vince for not doing "Aquaman 2" and tells Ari, "He's not even going to be the toothless waitress whose one line is 'we're out of blueberries'". Who can accuse studio heads of not being creative with lines like that, huh?

Ari goes back and tells Vince that he's not going to get that flick but instead pitches the Benji in the Antarctic film again for a nice payday of 3 million bucks. While the clever banter is flying around (like Drama's line about "women and gays" holding grudges) the guys fancy cars get repossessed. After piling into Ari's car, Drama suggests they all go to Joshua Tree to take shrooms and that the perfect person to get them from is none other than Eric Roberts.

Roberts who lives kinda like Val Kilmer's sherpa character has a weird guy wandering in his house an RV in the driveway and abs of steel. Once he finds out the boys plan, he invites himself and the adventure begins. Sounds like a perfect Saturday to me.

Mrs. Ari is out of town with the kids which enables Ari to go on the road trip but there is something bothering him. What could it be? Of course, he needs to find a dog sitter! Somehow that wasn't on my list of things that would ever concern Ari. It goes without saying that in the history of the show we have NEVER seen a dog at Ari's house or heard him mention one before but I digress. And the dog is named Lily no less. Conveniently, Ari calls Lloyd to dog sit but he's enjoying a day out with boyfriend Tom at the local Costco preparing for a party. Ari tries every tactic in the book to get Lloyd to do this for him and finally gets him to agree with the tried and true guilt trip. And is it me or is Tom looking like Matthew Fox or what? He just needs some stubble and he's good to go. He's already got the mannerisms down pat.

I'm going to interrupt this review with a tangent. I'm a big Beatles fan and I remember seeing an interview that Paul McCartney gave about the making of their classic film, "Help!" Paul said the reason the film was so disjointed with so many different locations was when the script was being written, all four Beatles made observations like; they had never been skiing or always wanting to go to the Bahamas and BOOM it was in the script. It seems to me Doug Ellin and Co. think the same way. Someone may have asked, "If the guys are all in the desert than how can we show hot chicks?" The answer? Put porn star Katie Morgan in a convertible with other porn stars and have them drive past the magic bus flashing their racks for the boys. Now that was easy, wasn't it? I know it sounds like I'm complaining but I'm not. Really, I'm not. I don't mind lame plot contrivances if they feature Katie Morgan.

Meanwhile back in L.A. Tom guilt trips Lloyd into relocating their party to Ari's house by promising some weird masochistic fantasy that I have never heard of. You would think that after all this time Lloyd wouldn't be so susceptible to this kind of manipulation. But then again, it's just to move the story along. Later Ari's house is filled with tons of gay men that look like male models. It bears mentioning that Lloyd is sorely out of place with this gang.

When they finally get there Ari can't get a cell signal (he must have AT&T) and the boys eat some magic mushrooms. Drama acts like he did in the first season with all his sage, albeit twisted advice for a refreshing change of pace. This is how Johnny Drama should act.

Nearly the rest of the show is spent on seeing the guys hallucinate which gives all the actors a chance to really go crazy with their characters. Let me just say that I think these sequences have gotta be some of the funniest moments in the history of the show. Of course, the magic mushrooms all have vastly different effects on each one of them. Ari gets paranoid, E can't speak, Vince shows his insecurity, Drama becomes a leader and Turtle gets sentimental for Arnold the dog. Just then Mrs. Ari calls and says she's coming home because their son is whining. Just an excuse to show Doug Ellin's kid as he plays Ari's son. Shameless self promotion.

Both Ari and Arnold get lost and Vince and the gang go looking for them. Hilarity ensues. Turtle is freaking out because E isn't speaking and Vince vacillates between taking the Benji movie, or not. One of the funniest gags is Vince asking E to write down a list of things they say. Kevin Connolly plays this perfectly. Who knew he was great at physical comedy? A freaked out Ari calls Lloyd and their conversation is priceless. The Pivster shows why he deserves that Emmy year after year. "Confucious say . . . Ari Gold."

Thinking it was a moment of clarity, Vince realizes that he should do the Benji movie (or was it the 3 million bucks?) and the guys celebrate. On the way home, Vince has one last hallucination when they drive past a car wreck and he sees a firefighter on the side of the road. Cue one last plot contrivance with Vince seeing himself as the firefighter and then realizing that he won't do a Benji flick and that all he really, really wants to do is "Smokejumpers." As the episode ends we're treated to some classic druggie music by Cream. Did I mention I loved this episode??

Some thoughts . . .

Why didn't they get some Doors music since the episode is loosely based on the Oliver Stone movie, "The Doors"? Including the drive by scene at the end. I love "Tale of Brave Ulysses" as much as the next guy but they could have at least played "The End."

What's wrong with doing a reboot of a Benji film? What's a better way to get millions of new fans than to do a movie with a cute dog? Besides, I always liked Benji. It worked for Paul Walker, right? Oh yeah, it didn't. Nevermind.

What was the deal with Eric Roberts? I know his career is nonexistent but c'mon.

Is it me or does Jeremy Piven look like he's gained lots of weight?

Thank God they gave us a break from the redneck writers. But what happened to Amanda?

Is it me or was that moment between Vince and E very weird and uncomfortable?

And lastly we find out that Drama wet the bed until he was nine.

Overall I give this episode 4.5 "pornstars" out of 5.

-- Janaki Cedanna

Next week: ReDOMption - Ari wagers on a role for Vince in a game of golf with Alan Gray. After causing a televised car chase, Dom asks Vince to bail him out, but only Eric can afford it. Desperate for a job, Turtle agrees to be Drama's personal assistant. We get to see the least favorite character in the history of the show because he's personal friends with Doug Ellin. I can't wait till I get Hollywood powerful . . .

Posted by Janaki Cedanna on October 6, 2008 9:45 PM
Permalink |

"Tree Trippers" is officially my favorite episode of Entourage ever! It's a close run with the Val Kilmer episode, but this one wins it. I love that you got to see all of the guys at their raw core.

I guess I can see why you'd think the moment between Vince and E was uncomfortable, but I found it incredibly honest. Without E's constant motivation, Vince probably wouldn't have accomplished as much as he has. I loved hearing Vince acknowledge it.

-- Posted by: Jen Moore at October 9, 2008 2:23 AM

Yes, this was a great episode. It's officially one of my favorites!

I like that the moment between Vince and E was honest but could have been better if not for the lingering looks. The director should have told them to bring it down a little more. They're not lovers!

-- Posted by: Janaki at October 9, 2008 3:35 PM

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