Entourage was back in the swing last night, or, more appropriately, E took his first dip into a swinging kind of hook-up when his girlfriend indulged him in a threesome with her lava-hot best friend. But poor E. While he was off getting down, hooking up, and blowing off his manager responsibilities to Vince, the suits were going full-tilt boogie, Hollywood backstabbing and power-crushing Vince and Ari into submission.
This was, without question, Piven's grand, scenery-chewing, "Emmy me NOW" episode for the year, as the chaos mounted and he cracked into manic-hyper mode to try and save Vince's (and his own) ass with the Warner Brothers suits. As always, Lloyd was the perfect foil for Ari, taking the projectiles hurled at his ass while cooly finding Johnny Drama an audition.
The boys were on overdrive with success, and it's fun to watch, because I have taken such a shine to them. But just as the tension was starting to sag with all their gilded happiness, this episode's writer, Lisa Alden, jacked up the heat higher than the sizzling trip the boys took out to the valley earlier this season. Johnny Drama had better damn well hydrate again, because it looks like a punishing road ahead now that Warner has fired Vince from Aquaman 2 and the prize role of Pablo Escobar has been offered to Benicio del Toro.
What I love about this episode is the payoff and how believable it is. At one point, when things were going in the shitter and Ari was begging Vince to be reasonable, Turtle simply said, "He's a man of principle."
And that's the beauty of this situation. Over the past couple years, Vince has proven to us that he's more about the art than the money. He knows the life is grand, but it'd all be iron sulfide without his boys along to enjoy the ride. Vince is a decent guy, and he honors his commitments. He may be a rich, pretty boy movie star, but he's not yet spoiled by it all, which is what makes rooting for the guys easy. When he stuck it to the suits and demanded $20 million to do Aquaman 2, it wasn't for the money. It was because they stuck it up his ass without even bothering to use Vaseline. So he was getting even.
The irony is that although Vince always had his principles, he never really had balls, which is why he hired E to be his watchdog/manager. But now that Vince found cojones, and a wee bit of cockiness, E should've been around to yank the chains and tell him when to back off. But E was too busy getting laid (enter the coozes at the right time). I've talked about menage a trois before and told you how they create nothing but trouble in relationships. I'm sure there'll be reckoning for E on a personal level, but the immediate consequences on others have already been felt. Without Eric to guide him, Vince made a principled, but ultimately costly decision to skip a meeting with the suits on his own.
The suit didn't take kindly to the snub, and not only fired Vince but now they're also mining the depth of their depravity to tarnish Ari's shine, promising him that no client of his will ever get a job with Warner Brothers.
Now suddenly jobless, Vince and the crew look to be in quite a pickle. Won't it be grand if fortunes turn for everyone and Turtle gets Saigon signed for big money and Johnny Drama lands a role in this major TV series?
But the best part of it all, as always, is watching Ari Gold get shaken up, screwed over, and melt down through the whole process. Sure, we've seen a similar situation with Jerry Maguire -- and even just last year when Ari's coup d'etat came crumbling down. But you just can't compare Piven's wired pandemonium to the Suri daddy, crackpot Thetan. Piven, with his electric intensity and comedic snap wins, hands down.
This show started off seemingly as wish-fulfillment, a fun, glossy ride through Hollywood. And in most instances, it still is. I don't for a second believe that the boys from PS 154 are going to be going broke and packing up and moving back to New York. And there's not an alchemist alive who could wield a philosopher's stone powerful enough to turn Ari Gold into sinking lead.
But watching the boys struggle and seeing Ari squirm with such panache makes all the later rewards that much sweeter. TV and performances like this deserve recognition. Piven is Gold, alright. Emmy voters, it's time to show him the statue and make him golden.