Last season we left off seeing Vince seriously unsure of Ari’s motives and when Ari messed things up with Bob Ryan (Martin Landau) and subsequently the Ramones project got sold to Warner's – things sink further. Turtle wasn’t fairing much better. His Saigon project died when Saigon signed with a different manager, but Vince assuaged his mood by scoring him a pair of very limited edition sneakers – only cost him $20,000. Now, that’s cheap money if Vince was going to do Aquaman 2, Medellin, or the aforementioned Ramones deal. But since all three projects went to shit – well, those are Damn Expensive Kicks that Turtle now owns.
Drama however got a great part in an Ed Burns pilot, having real success in a scene with complicated blocking and a long monologue. The only buzz kill in this scenario is when Drama employed Turtle’s sure-fire relaxation technique (whacking off before shooting the scene); the crew outside his trailer could hear the moans and groans, via Drama’s live mike.
Meanwhile, Vince and E had been taking meetings with other agencies, just to keep options open. They were excited, but are soon put off by the same kind of hard advertising campaigns that every agency proposes. Eventually they connected with Ari, who called them in to his office. Vince and E expected an apology from Ari, regarding the muck-ups with Warner's and Bob Ryan. Instead they were treated to a hard-sell campaign, exactly the same concept that they disliked from the other agencies. The boys rise and exit, but not before firing Ari.
This was huge.
Season Four begins with a finally employed Drama posing in front of a huge billboard advertising his new series Five Towns. Typical Drama, trying to act nonchalant, but anxiously hoping someone will recognize him. The guy is so full of himself, yet he’s likeable in his desperation-fringed maneuvering.
We also see that things have moved along for Vince. He has new representation, the lovely Amanda (Carla Gugino). She takes him and the boys to the Lakers game for Vince’s birthday gift – they see Ari across the floor and it’s a little awkward.
And then the whole thing seems like a study in the fallout after a breakup. Its uncanny how the conversations between Ari and Lloyd on one side and Vince and the guys on the other evoke the atmosphere of a failed romance. Yet these scenes, which could easily be played for laughs, instead resonate with real caring, real disappointments, and tangible jealousy.
After Ari prank calls Vince – or actually just hung up because Vince answered the phone – Lloyd takes over. He calls Vince on a pretext of some other matter, and then puts Ari on the phone. Ari affects a bright and shiny ‘tude, but we can feel his heart beating like crazy. He and Vince agree to meet; he’s got a birthday gift for Vince, “just friends.”
The other huge deal is Vince’s upcoming birthday party. Turtle isn’t happy with the chosen venue, since they only serve liquor till 2:00 AM. He wants the party to go all night. This brings up the question of inviting Ari. Drama is firmly against it:
“That’s why it’s best after a breakup, professional or otherwise, to split the town into even territories.”
But the boys keep planning, working with a guest list of 800 (really supposed to be 200) and he’s over budget by $50,000. (the whole budge was 50K, period). While they are out and about, Drama keeps seeing new ads for Five Towns, but no one recognizes him. Poor dear is going to need some Mylanta soon.
E and Vince discuss the new project Amanda is proposing, a screenplay of an Edith Wharton novel, with Sam Mendes directing the deal. They love the screenplay and Vince is clearly in awe of Amanda, claiming that the two of them have "a sync.” They then meet Ari for lunch and are surprised that he has not even broached any sort of business talk.
Later on, Vince opens his gift from Ari, it’s the script he’d been jonesing for – the Medellin/Paul Haggis project. E’s hackles are up, and he’s haranguing Ari on the phone shortly after. Ari tells him to check with “his girl” as to why she didn’t know anything about Medellin. Of course, his girl, Vince’s agent Amanda, is not happy about this offering. She feels like Ari’s crashing her turf. And we know he is.