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Entourage: Tequila and Coke - Review

This is getting good.

With this season of Entourage almost over, it's natural that things are building towards a heavy climax. We've seen Vince and the boys go through lots of up and downs throughout the years but the one thing we haven't seen is big time drug abuse. Sure the guys have always smoked pot, hell they even smoked peyote with Gary Busey but they have never done the hard stuff. Till now.

Vince is in all sorts of trouble as his new girlfriend Sasha Grey and Scotty Lavin are enabling him in a way the boys never have. Vince is doing coke and lying to E about it. What's next, heroin?

"Tequila and Coke"
seemed like a departure from the usual norm of one-liners and crazy scenarios. The first big thing I noticed is that not only was there minimal cell phone conversations and when there were they felt important. The whole episode seemed to flow in a real natural way as characters actually had lots of face time with each other. Maybe it was the dialogue but I think it had more to do with the Ari storyline. For the first time in a long while Jeremy Piven didn't scream every line and I actually bought into his sincerity. Give credit to Piven for a subtle performance. More on that in a minute.

Turtle is quite the entrepreneur even though he's never been successful at anything, somehow he always has lots of ideas. Riding on Vince's coattails is the only thing he truly excels at and I cringed a little bit when I watched him wheeling and dealing. Seems like Mr. Smoothie overstepped his boundaries when he shipped off cases of Avion tequila to Mark Wahlberg, James Cameron, Diddy and Pauley Shore. Pauley Shore, seriously? When Carlos calls from Mexico and tells him get can't deliver the big shipment Turtle stupidly promised to a celebrity liquor store, Turtle has to beg for the cases back in typical tail-between-the-legs fashion. It did set up funny cameos by Mark Wahlberg and Sean Combs so it wasn't a total waste of time.

Problem is Turtle is also enabling Vince by having a huge tequila party, turning the other way when he does coke and generally not taking care of his number one. Turtle has lost track of his priorities that's for sure. All he's concerned with is making easy money and getting into Alex's pants. Where's the loyalty?

After clawing his way to the top Vince is about to crash. Sasha continues her Yoko Ono-like influence on him by enabling his every teenage boy fantasy. Lot's of sex, alcohol and drugs. She already got him in trouble with the studio and Randall Wallace because of her tagging along to the Stan Lee meeting and now she literally keeps him up late at night AND in the morning. When Wallace wants to meet with Vince to see if he's up to making "Air-Walker" he gets treated to a coked up Vinnie. Of course Vince says he had to much coffee but we know better!

With E wrapped up in his own little life with Sloan, Turtle chasing Alex and a fast buck and Drama and Ari engrossed in their careers Vince has no one to watch out for him except a hard living pornstar. The ironic part is that the only one who knows what Vince is doing is the reformed Billy Walsh but he's too wrapped up into relaunching his own career to make waves. I foresee an intervention and a stint at the Promises Clinic in the near future. And since there is only three episodes left in the season, me thinks it'll have to be sooner than later. I mean, didn't Ari and E get the giant red flag after they found him naked and unconscious by the pool last week? In the words of Ari Gold "What the fuck is going on!?!" Sasha Grey's time is mostly spent hanging on to Vince but I am liking what she's doing with next to nothing. I think she has done a great job as a new and very subtle villain. I've said it before and I'll say it again, she's the Yoko Ono to the entourage.

But what about that former crazy director Billy Walsh? Seems like the clean life and heavy meditation has done him good. So good in fact, that his creative juices are flowing but this time it's for Drama. I laughed my ass off about his pitch that turns Johnny into an angry gorilla cartoon. It was a brilliant piece of conception replete with hilarious character sketches. I loved it and E loved it but the problem is Drama hated it to the point of him being crazy offended. Even better was Billy's idea to give it to the studio despite it being rejected by Drama just to convince him he should do it. Even E was surprised by Billy's savvy business sense. After all this time and E still doesn't have a clue how to manage. Very sad indeed. I don't know about anyone else but I'm digging the new Billy Walsh. He has a calm focus that only Rhys Cairo can bring and right now he's just about the only character that is seeing things clearly and making any sense. I hope he doesn't fall off the wagon! Major bonus points if they actually make the "Johnny's Bananas" cartoon AND we get to see some of it. I'm dying to see that show.

When we last saw Ari he was in full on battle mode trying to play damage control with Lizzie and Amanda but now we get to see him humbled. The realization that tapes exist in the world that prove he's an out-of-control whack job has him reeling and losing tons of sleep. The only move is to appeal to Lizzie's humanity and surprisingly that works. But first he has to open a can of worms by contacting Deadline Hollywood to see if the tapes had been released yet. Enter a foul-mouthed and very funny cameo by the bloated former Princess Leia herself, Carrie Fisher playing celebrity reporter Anna. During the conversation he finds out that DH doesn't have the tapes yet and realizes he's got another shot at convincing Lizzie to do the right thing and not release them.

As mentioned before, Jeremy Piven does an excellent acting job with all his scenes with Lizzie. For the first time in recent memory he makes Ari a sympathetic character instead of the usual blowhard. It doesn't hurt that the Pivster and Autumn Reeser have unbelievable chemistry. And if that's not enough he's got a great scene with Dana Gordon (a sorely missed and uber sexy Constance Zimmer) where he begs her to give Lizzie a job sight unseen. In a classic "get back" at Ari moment, Dana asks him to be a sperm donor with a straight face before busting out laughing and saying she wants sperm with hair. The look on his face was utterly priceless. It doesn't hurt that these two scenes were not only perfectly written but that the actors knocked it out of the park with subtle nuances. In fact, all of the Ari scenes were so poignant and believable that I almost thought I was watching a different show for a moment.

Bottom line is that I think this is the best episode of the season hands down but possibly one of the best written and naturalistic episodes the series has ever delivered. But before you throw hate comments at me understand this; the show has always been about loyalty and this is a classic example of what can happen to friends when the loyalty gets redirected and close friends are hung out to dry. The same sentiment is true for Ari only he managed to convince Lizzie that his loyalty to his wife and children is the most important thing. She finally realized it but it may have been too late as the evil and very sexy Amanda released the tapes (possibly copies?) into the world. The next few episodes should be very interesting to say the least. Like E, I'm intrigued. Are you?

-- Janaki Cedanna

Next Week: "Sniff Sniff Gang Bang"
Sasha gets an offer she can't refuse to star in another porn film. Ari goes all out to repair his damaged image. Turtle has problems with the tequila line, and Drama isn't enthusiastic about a show the network wants for him.

Here's a sneak preview of next week's episode!

Ep. 86: Sniff Sniff Gang Bang: Preview

Posted by Janaki Cedanna on August 16, 2010 4:23 PM
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