Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There's a "Motherfu*ker" on Entourage

     This week's episode of HBO's Entourage is censored in many places, including TV guides and HBO's official website. The fact that it appears differently in each, seems to indicate the real, intended name. Let's go with "Motherf***er," for the purposes of this review, and it's likely you will understand what it really is.

     In "Motherf***er," Sloan's (Emmanuelle Chiriqui) ex-step mother Melinda (Melinda Clarke, Nikita) approaches  Eric (Kevin Connolly) for representation. Eric is a bit torn; he is not over Sloan, and isn't sure he should represent Melinda because of that. Melinda assures him it will be a good idea, gets a drink with him, and Eric and Melinda end up sleeping together. Which is exactly what Melinda plans, and Sloan calls to warn Eric, too late.

     Longtime fans of Entourage may still be rooting for an Eric-Sloan reunion before the series comes to a close. With only three episodes to go, this now appears more than a little unlikely. Sloan is still angry with Eric, and she doesn't even know yet about his hookup. Of all the mistakes Eric could make, sleeping with Melinda is surely one of the least easily overcome ones. Why would the writers throw such a huge, horrible curve ball with so little time left in the series? It's disappointing, to say the least.

     Luckily, not all of "Motherf***er" is such a let down. Jeremy Piven, who already has multiple Emmys for the role of Ari, is having his best season yet, by far. Usually an arrogant, loudmouthed, SOB, Ari takes a softer side as his marriage to Mrs. Ari (Perrey Reeves) falls apart. Despite talking a big game, Ari is in love with Mrs. Ari, and never cheats on her. But she is tired of him choosing his job over family. This season, Ari doesn't put work first, almost ever, but the few times he does, such as in this episode, Mrs. Ari is right there to catch him at it and berate him for it. It's not fair, and he deserves a second chance.

     But does Ari even need her? Sure, he would still go back to Mrs. Ari in a heartbeat, and that's probably how the series will end. Yet, at nearly the last minute, Ari's long-ago love Dana Gordon (Constance Zimmer) returns and they strike up a renewed relationship. Dana understands the situation, and likely won't fight for Ari should he be allowed to return to his family. But she also offers Ari unconditional love for who he is, and provides an alternative should the marriage not be saved. Piven kills with the subtleties involved in the whole mess. He keeps Ari on the edge, letting his professional life slip in the name of happiness. It's a tour de force that deserves one more gold statue. And perhaps a happy ending with Dana.

      Elsewhere, Drama (Kevin Dillon) is on the verge of a successful career. Despite his worry that his new animated show will fail without Andrew Dice Clay (himself) involved, Andrew Klein (Gary Cole) assures Drama that he is the one the studio intends to build the series around. Could it be possible, or is Klein just stroking Drama's ego? One hopes the former, as Drama has suffered enough ups and downs, mostly downs, in his career. While it's hard not to believe Drama's insistence that the series sucks with Dice's replacement (Jamie Kennedy, Ghost Whisperer), perhaps Klein is right. Certainly Entourage won't end with Drama on a such a sour note?

     It's hard to see how the show can wrap things up neatly with only three weeks left, but they haven't let fans down yet. The final season of Entourage, which also stars Adrian Grenier and Jerry Ferrara, continues Sundays at 10:30 p.m. ET on HBO.

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Article first published as TV Review: Entourage - "Motherf***er" on Blogcritics.

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