Entourage Recap (season 8, episode 4): Whiz Kid
Last week’s episode of Entourage ended with a down-and-out producer committing suicide in front of Vince and Turtle, after doing a few lines of blow in the bathroom. Now, Vince wasn’t strictly “involved”, but the whole thing was a public relations nightmare, none the less, with the proceeding litigation throwing everything into jeopardy. Most of “Whiz Kid” (which is one of the laziest puns I’ve ever heard, by the way) revolves around Vince’s attempt to circumvent the requisite drug test, necessitated by some bizarre legality. It’s doubly a source of comedy and drama, as the gang cycles through wacky schemes, full of laughs, in spite of the genuine stakes, and ongoing E/Vince tension. The B-plot centers around the wreckage of Ari’s marriage, which mirrors Vince’s predicament; his actions are silly, but some genuine conflict is squeezed out of it because, regardless of the thematic discourse, the big picture is a troubling one.
Vince was introduced as a vapid ditz, although notably also The Nicest Guy Ever, and since then has gone through tremendous development. “Whiz Kid” showcases his aspect, and the ways that his character’s been complicated over the years, slowly peeling back those layers. He’s been deconstructed and reconstructed, and I like seeing him in the spotlight; heaping anxiety onto Mr. Careless himself is a good conflict motivator. His relationship with E, in particular, is under strain, ranging from Vince’s perpetual preemptive insistence that he deal with his best friend, not his manager (more or less the dichotomy of E’s social persona) during a dramatic scene, to worried deliberation over the potential functionality of a surrogate penis. But, then, that’s Entourage.
Meanwhile, Ari continues sabotaging every aspect of his personal life, almost with a deliberate enthusiasm. Last week, his behavior was abjectly and diametrically opposed to his conduct in Whiz Kid, but you can’t really expect narrative consistency in the modern marriage. Or TV writing. The thing is, I was actually bummed, because his relationship with Dana Gordon actually seems worth preserving. He and Mrs. Ari were never a good couple, and probably never will be, which was initially played up as comedy fodder. Inevitably, it started to hit dramatic beats, in the (mostly) successful attempt to make Ari a sympathetic character with serious storylines. The fact that Mrs. Ari just doesn’t get or understand the demands of his career, and that he’s unwilling to compromise it for her is unstable ground for a marriage. Dana, though. Dana gets it. I really hope it’s not over.
I really did like tonight’s episode. It was enough of a farce to be funny, but grounded in its themes well enough to evoke a hint of verisimilitude. Genuine laughs this week, and the prurience and vulgarity peppering the dialogue possessed its characteristic wit and charm. Everyone’s teetering on the brink, rather than trying to claw their way back to the top, which assists both the dramatic and comedic notes, the latter of which the first two episodes this season were severely deficient of. Episodes 3 and 4 marked an optimistic return to form, though, and I genuinely enjoy my Sunday nights again. So, you know. Bravo.
Follow us on twitter@thefastertimes
- 1 First Openly Straight Figure Skater Comes Forward
- 2 Brooklyn Man Now Living Entirely Off Own Beard Garden
- 3 “Cra Cra” Now Official Diagnosis in New DSM (DSM-5)
- 4 OfficeMax Marketing Director Struggling to Make Staplers ‘Sexy’ and ‘Conversational’
- 5 Homeless Guy Woos Silicon Valley VCs with Low-Tech Crowdfunding Startup
- 6 Area Man Tailors Life To Be More Relevant To His Hulu Advertisements
- 7 Fan Banging Furiously on Glass Could Be the Difference in Hockey Playoffs
- 8 Survey: 88% of Eagles Fans Too Drunk To Spell Nnamdi Asomugha Last Season
- 9 Attorney Actually Starting to Believe Own Bullshit
- 10 Local Mom Won’t Stop Being First Person to Like Every Goddamn Thing Son Posts to Facebook