The fellas of HBO's Entourage – Vince, E, Turtle, Johnny Drama, and their Type A talent agent-meets-Dungeon Master Ari – and Vegas are clearly made for one another.
Now that Vince (Adrian Grenier) is a legitimate superstar on the heels of Aquaman's box office-busting success, the writers must find ways to throw a wrench into the good times to keep things interesting. In recent weeks, the wrenches have been manifesting themselves fast and furious, as Vince has managed to get himself fired from the cash cow Aquaman franchise (over a squabble involving Vince's desire to have his Scarface moment and play a coke lord) and most recently publicly bashed the Hollywood establishment for colorizing and re-cutting his hometown indie flick, Queens Boulevard.
So what's left to do besides heading to Vegas to let the good times roll?
The excuse was the call of cash, as Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) – who seems to be coming into his own as a wheeler dealer music manager of sorts – hooked up a $100,000 payday in Sin City. Of course, it involved an obligation to judge a stripping contest, which has the prospect of further damaging Vince's reputation. Turtle, who is the "most Queens" of the foursome and usually the one who gets to drop the best one-liner of the episode, spent his time wooing and manipulating the contestants in the stripping competition.
Surprisingly, Ari (Jeremey Piven) – who was dragged along for the trip to "chaperone" the boys (and who mock-sadly had to tell his wife he was forced to miss seeing Menopause: The Musical with her and her parents) – was less concerned about Vince's public perception than by getting his vacation (or vay-kay) on and hitting the tables. Piven, who is always a joy to watch, is great fun as he throttles Gold's Type A personality from work to play with nary a change in intensity level. Once Vince and Ari had arranged a "betting partnership," we were treated to grimaces of horror aplenty as Vince nonchalantly sinks the pair deeper and deeper into a pile of debt. Fun moments included Vince casually mentioning they probably shouldn't go down more than $500,000, and Ari on the verge of a breakdown after a tourist sitting next to Vince at the blackjack table splits a pair of kings. It was also interesting to watch Ari and E hanging out, friends now, two veterans of the Hollywood scene slinking off to Vegas away from their significant others' prying eyes.
E (Kevin Connolly), for his part, was confronted once again over his relationship with hottie girlfriend Sloane. Actor Seth Green (I'll always remember Green for his couple of seasons of work as Oz on Buffy the Vampire Slayer), playing himself, was in town with his own motley crew of taggers-along. Green and his pals took pleasure in taunting "Chase and the Chasers," continually exhorting E to call Sloane to say, "What up?" We're left wondering if Green had been obsessed with her, as Sloane says, or if something else is going on. As Vince tells E in a moment of Swingers-esque philosophizing, men and women always hide something about their romantic pasts.
The bizarre storyline was assigned to Drama (Kevin Dillon), which of course produced the biggest laughs of the episode. We know Drama as something of a diva, so it's no surprise when he wants to log in as much spa time as possible to prepare for his upcoming television pilot (working with Ed Burns, who, it was revealed, launched his career after landing the role Drama turned down in The Brothers McMullan). We also know Drama is big on getting massages from strong-handed men, something the fellas are compelled to give him grief about. So when Drama "locks in" his long-time Vegas masseuse for the day and praises his strength and masculinity to no end, it's telegraphed that we are in for a serious session of sexual identity humor.
The funniest moments come when the masseuse, obviously confused by his client's seeming advances, tries to decide whether or not he should take off his shirt when Drama leaves the room to change for a nightcap massage. Dillon, for his part, is reason enough to tune into Entourage. If comedy is all about timing and delivery, Matt's (and Vince's) brother has both in spades.
While not very many plot points were pushed forward this week, it was great fun to see the boys take on Vegas. A big melee broke out between the Chase and Green contingents in the closing moments, so it will be interesting to see if any fallout ensues, particularly when news reaches Sloane that her man's been brawling over her honor.