Episode Title: "One Last Shot"
Writers: Wesley Nickerson III & Kenny Neibart
Director: Dan Attias
"Entourage" is not a series known for its serious moments. There have been a few times where the show has gone into darker territory, but usually people don't actually die in the process. But by the end of this week's episode, somebody was likely to be dead and Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) may have found his latest scandal.
It's often been said that Vince has all of the personality of a tree, but the few character traits that he does have are mostly good ones: he's forgiving and he's generous with his time. In the middle of a Narcotics Anonymous meeting, Vince has a chance encounter with Carl Ertz (Kim Coates), a producer who screwed him out of a deal several years before. But over the objections of Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), Vince is ready to forgive Carl and the producer tries to make the most of his chance by saying that he wants to do Vince's trapped miners movie with Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon).
There's a reason why everyone from Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), Eric Murphy (Kevin Connolly) and even Turtle are dismissive of Carl. He's poison, even if Vince is too blind to see that. Vince can't even be faulted here. He just wants to make a project for his brother Johnny and Carl was the first person who showed any interest. But when he and Turtle show up at Carl's mansion for a meeting, the supposedly sober Carl is clearly intoxicated and he tries to get Vince to do another movie entirely. Worse, he's already reached out to studios with Vince's name attached to his project.
In a brief moment of clarity, Carl realizes what he's done and he retreats to the bathroom to do multiple lines of coke. For once, Turtle is the absolute voice of reason and he quickly tells Vince to leave. However, Vince is rightfully concerned about Carl's state-of-mind and his willingness to intervene did a lot to redeem his selfish binges from last season. Unfortunately, Carl is too far gone to take Vince's help and he turns a gun upon himself. It's not clear if Carl survived the shot, but judging from Vince and Turtle's reactions, I'd guess not.
In the context of the show, the next question is "how will this affect Vince's comeback?" But the real question is "how will this affect Vince himself?" Although Vince wasn't likely to have been able to prevent this, it's not the sort of thing that anyone can just shrug off. So either Vince is due for a deepening of his character or he'll reveal himself to be more vapid than normal and quickly revert to his old ways. But I prefer to think that Vince can still grow from his experiences.
On the other hand, Ari is far too stuck in his ways to ever truly change. While its clear that he wants Mrs. Ari (Perrey Reeves) to reconcile with him, even Lloyd (Rex Lee) realizes that Ari is destroying himself by remaining so focused on his pain. Lloyd tries to set Ari up with a beautiful young woman, but her roommate kills any passion in that burgeoning relationship. In desperation, Ari calls maybe the only woman he's even cared deeply for besides his wife, Dana Gordon (Constance Zimmer).
And soon enough, the former lovers have a brief fling. What was interesting about this is that Dana mentions that their first relationship failed because she wanted to get married. That suggests that Ari just didn't love her as much as he did the woman who eventually became his wife. With five episodes left in the series, I wouldn't rule out a reunion between Ari and his wife. But if he ended up with Dana at the end, it wouldn't necessarily be an unhappy ending. However, it may be a bittersweet wrap up for the most human character on the show.
Moving from the best developed character to one of the least, Johnny Drama was caught up in the rash actions of his co-star, Andrew Dice Clay, a former comedian headliner who is now reduced to trying to extort a larger salary from his new employers. Worse, he tries to convince Drama to walk out on the show too, even before a single episode airs of "Johnny's Banana's." It was refreshing that E. and Scott Lavin ( Scott Caan) both practically shouted down Drama and Clay's expectations to get anywhere near the salary that Dan Castellaneta makes for voicing Homer Simpson.
The real Andrew Dice Clay seems willing to go along with these jokes at his expense, but even when Clay is in on the joke he is incredibly annoying to watch. He might have been funny once, but now his act is played out even when portraying a fictionalized version of himself.
I was never a fan of Turtle's Avion adventures, so I'm not sad to see it finally go away. However, it was definitely a dick move for his former boss, Carlos (Miguel Sandoval) to remove Turtle from the day-to-day of the company just as it was taking off. Add to that Carlos' off-hand mention that Turtle's girlfriend, Alex is already seeing someone else and you've got Turtle's worst day ever. I don't object to giving Turtle one last story to finally achieve success outside of Vince. I just hope that the writers learned from their mistakes with the Avion storyline and give Turtle a believable success story that isn't contingent upon Vince's wealth or Mark Cuban falling out of the sky.
Crave Online Rating: 7 out of 10.