Entourage Recap (Season 8, Episode 3): One Last Shot
‘One Last Shot’ opens the same way that the season did, with Vince in front of a podium. He’s spouting the usual Narcotics Anonymous platitudes, which while contrite, I’d imagine are an integral feature of the program. Also attending the meeting is Paul Ertz, the sleezy producer (and apparent coke head, to no one’s surprise) who manipulated Vince into a bait-and-switch with the unfortunately named “Danger Beach” in the wake of the ‘Medellin’ fallout a few seasons ago. He’s interested in making Vince’s miner movie, and his proposal is not immediately jettisoned because of the delicate circumstances. There’s a social contract type deal about tip toeing around recovering addicts. Never one for niceties, when the issue’s brought to Ari’s attention, he handles it with the level of sensitivity longtime that won’t surprise regular viewers.
On similar note, I was glad to see Ari and Vince interacting again, since the two have a relatively entertaining dynamic. After they’re done referencing Vince’s inadvisable career moves, Lloyd and Vince start pressuring Ari to “get out more”. The two trading quips about their relative talents for pickup artistry may have been the episode’s high point for me; the writers’ eye for male banter is perhaps the show’s defining quality, and season 8’s first two episodes were unimpressive in that department. After a minute or two of this, it’s agreed that Ari will be going on a date with Lloyd’s hairdresser’s niece, which is quite the situation. It’s not a side of Ari we’ve ever seen before, and I’m always down for narrative progress.
The date itself, by the way, is hilarious. The girl appears to be about half his age, and acts even younger than that. At the restaurant, she claims to have never been on a dinner date before (seriously?), indicating that her “dates” usually skip that particular step, If You Know What She Means. She then suggests they do shots to “loosen [him] up”. There’s a pretty funny sequence at her apartment where her metalhead roommate (or maybe raver, I’m awful at identifying subcultures) haggles with her over condoms. Knowing what you (probably) know about Ari Gold, try to imagine him in that situation. The storyline concludes with Ari having wiggled his way out of that particular entanglement, waking up next to Dana Gordon. When he called her, she agreed to have “just one drink”, and you know what that means. Good for them. If you ask me, the two have tons of chemistry.
There’s also a good bit of focus on the ‘Johnny’s Bananas’ storyline, which is following the formulaic structure usually reserved for Vince’s film projects; it seems like a great opportunity, but complications inevitably arise. In this case, it’s Johnny’s vociferously obstinate co-star, Andrew “Dice” Clay. The man is a walking narrative conflict motivator, refusing to cooperate with anyone about anything, even suggesting that Johnny join in his ill-advised civil disobedience. His bizarre insistence that he get his contract renegotiated before a single episode of the cartoon airs is so outlandish that even the famously melodramatic Johnny wants him to pump the breaks. It goes without saying that Dice’s replacement sucks. To quote Billy “He sucks. The show sucks. I hate everyone.” Welcome back the business, Drama.
The remainder of the episode is focused on Vince and Turtle, who have made plans to open a restaurant. Turtle’s been retired from Avion, the tequila company he and Vince helped get off the ground last season, and is desperate for a new business opportunity. After liquidating their stock in the company, the two endeavor to open said restaurant, but not before visiting Paul Ertz, who claims to have struck a deal for Vince with CBS. The guy greets them in his dressing gown, obviously coked out of his mind, and plays the meeting like a strung-out used car salesman. Vince is extraordinarily empathetic, pulling out his considerable social graces to try to calm the guy down, who promptly starts doing lines of cocaine in his bathroom. Hollywood, I guess. Anyway, Paul Ertz is apparently the kind of guy to keep a handgun in his bathroom (I mean, what?), and picks this particular moment to commit suicide, which is insane and jarring. It literally came out of nowhere, one of those things that’s inherently Not Funny, but kind of makes you laugh because of its abruptness and general strange context. Before anyone can react, credits roll.
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