It was alternately a very bad, and then a bad that became okay night for betas on HBO last night.
On Entourage, Turtle's birthday increased his post-adolescence funk as he decided it was time to become his own man. While Ari helped to propel E more towards business savy independence, he also had to play dad to Turtle and show him some tough love. We've seen Turtle try to make his own way before when he discovered Saigon, but that turned out fairly disastrously. But now that Vinny's back on top, life should be easy for Turtle. But does this look like a guy who was just given two cars (including one Ferrari) for his birthday and has bagged Jamie-Lynn Sigler?
Oh poor Turtle. The show was in full-swing douche mode when all four guys got to race Ferraris around a track. But, you know, it's Entourage, and I was glad Drama got to do it. When they were done, he mused about getting himself a Ferrari, but Turtle called him out, saying, "In this economy, you'd look like a douche." Of course, two feet away sat Vince's birthday present to Turtle -- a Ferrari. It was one of those insanely over-the-top Entourage moments that make me simultaneously sigh in disgust while also warming my heart. But poor Turtle got little satisfaction from the gift, and then even less from Ari when Ari reamed him out and told him to man up and prove his worth before coming and asking for his help.
In stark contrast was E. I have to say I'm really glad that I finally warmed up to E last season, because he was -- no pun intended here -- gold this episode. Under Ari's coaching, he suited up and went in to fight for his client against a network exec, and then, when all seemed lost, he owned the line of the night by going Omarosa on the executive and saying, "Well, maybe you're racist." Even better was Ari, giggling about it with him over the phone, telling him he was proud of him even though he blew it.
While E took another step toward independence, poor Lloyd kept sucking it up, proving his worth to Ari by memorizing insane amounts of info and greeting all clients more professionally. "Good afternoon Mr., uh, Turtle." But Turtle too, didn't buckle under Ari's challenge and decided to take the first step to bringing his ideas to fruition by going back to school. What the fuck, man? Is this Entourage or an after-school special all the sudden? All I can say is good for Turtle, but he BETTER be hitting the books while being baked, or this whole plotline just lost all cred.
Though I'm sure it wasn't intentional, Hung's Ray finally manned-up last night and turned his first successful trick. Quite a big leap from last week when his client stole his wallet and maxed out his credit cards. (That really does make me giggle, even a week later.) Not as funny as last week with him getting played like that, but nice development.
Meanwhile, the weird and wonderful True Blood got its mojo back this week. How bad can an episode be when it starts off with Eric drinking hooker blood in a hotel bar and being too bored to endure it?
That's Eric for you, alright. I'm rapidly becoming enchanted with Alexander Skarsgard. He plays Eric with such calm composure, and yet there's a nearly palpable difference between his lazily bored demeanor and the times when he's quietly pensive, and then the dangerous, coiled and controlled monstrous strength he simply projects, and it's enough to intrigue and scare the shit out of you, considering we have seen him rip people limb from limb. And he did, of course, get snippy with the hooker when she called him "baby" because, say it with me people, he is "over 1,000 years old."
I also loved Lafayette's hallucinating Andy as Eric. Skarsgard nailed those Andy facial expressions, and it was made even funnier when later in the episode, Sam mimicked Andy's voice talking about the pig. As an aside, Terry taking care of cowering, PTSDing Lafayette was about the sweetest thing ever. But back to Eric...
As awesomely threatening and yet supernaturally sexy as Eric is -- and he is sex on film, the country of Sweden has crowned him their sexiest man six times now
(Can People magazine and their beautiful people issue be far behind? Now that they've run through the cast of Ocean's Eleven, maybe they'll go slumming in the southern vampire series and discover some new sex next year) -- I was alternately scared by and then scared for Vampire Bill. (and yes, that was one hell of a fucked up sentence, but I do this shit for free, so let it go.)
Bill. BILL! What the fuck! I finally get what Malcolm and the rest of the ratty pack meant last year when they called him out for being buzzkill now that he's mainstreaming. With last night's flashback, we finally got a glimpse of pre-Sookie, "adolescent" Bill. He and his gorgeous-yet-nasty maker Lorena owned the bloodiest, most disturbing scene of the night as flapper-era vamps who terrorized and slaughtered a couple and then fucked in blood-soaked bed while the woman kept oozing blood around them. So gross! (awesome!) But truly disturbing, considering it was Bill, who we've recently been lulled into thinking of as a "good" guy. But, you know, he was still Bill in the scene. Though nastily mocking the man, he was still decidedly dorky about it, repeating the poor fellow's stutter and shouting "Au revoir!" Then, of course, back in the present day, he gets beat up by a girl. Oh, Bill.
But the best little touch last night? A couple eps ago, Bill got cutesy with Eric. Knowing Eric was picking up the tab, Bill ordered a $45 bottle of TruBlood, and when Eric said he hoped that Bill would at least enjoy it, Bill smirked as he said he had no intention of drinking it, he was just wanted Eric to pay for it. Eric called him immature and moved on, but I thought it was pretty funny. Last night, fully frustrated, Bill's progeny Jessica checked out the room service and saw the price of TruBlood being $45, and, assuming Bill was paying, she snottily took two bottles from the mini-fridge and dumped them down the drain. She is SOOO his "daughter!"
Apropos of nothing, but Anna Paquin does about the best screaming of anyone.
She's got a lot of different screams, for all different occasions. Last night, it was high-pitched and mewly, short burts while she struggled to get away. Totally different from her pain-filled, nearly whistle scream, and a whole different category from her shock/surprise/scared scream. Good job, Anna. I also loved Sookie's observation that Mrs. Reverend Newlin looks like "vanilla pudding." Particularly funny considering the infamous "Sarah doesn't whip out her pudding for just anybody" line earlier this year.
The entire last twenty minutes of the show had insane mounting tension, and not least of all because they waited until the 52 minute mark to finally give us shirtless Jason. Back to that pudding being whipped out? We knew it was coming. I don't care how tight the pudding lockdown supposedly is. He is Jason fucking Stackhouse and if he wants pudding, he's gonna get it. And he got it, even though he really doesn't want it.
But it was our perpetual beta dog, Sam, who finally had it all collapse on him last night. I knew it was a bad idea to sleep with another employee. Turns out, this time, it's because she's a minion -- and the pig! She's the infamous, motherfucking Paul Bunyan, lacking a livestock permit pig! And she led him straight to Maryann. That vibrating bitch! I was so concerned about what she wanted with Tara that I forgot that Tara was just a pawn to get to Sam. I still don't get why, but poor old Sam. Unlike Turtle, I don't think a few adult education courses are going to get him out of this pickle. (though I still recommend that sexual harassment seminar, dude.) The poor, scruffy, plaid-wearing son-of-a-bitch. (<--probably literally, hee!) The best part that makes it all so True Blood? Yeah, he was kidnapped and taken to an orgy! WHY exactly aren't you watching this show yet?