ENTOURAGE “Out With A Bang” Season 8 Episode 2 Review

ENTOURAGE “Out With A Bang” Season 8 Episode 2 – I may start all my reviews with a disclaimer, since some of the people who’ve followed me from Winter-Is-Coming or Gestalt Mash (Boomtron!) to here have written me more than once regarding this: I review shows, I don’t provide a line-for-line synopsis. If you haven’t seen the episode of the show in question (tonight’s Entourage for example), you may not understand the entire review. I appreciate any following (all 3 of you) (and mom), but you may not get every joke without the source material (for good or ill) already viewed.

Anyway. On with the show!

“Out With A Bang” was a better episode than the last one, which gives me hope that Doug Ellin and Marky Mark and co. will be able to end Entourage with a bang. It still had its flaws, don’t get me wrong—the sitcom-style opening scene, for one, was dated by about 30 years, and I half expected a laugh track and applause to accompany each character as they entered, along with maybe Jack Tripper or Lenny or Squiggy. But overall the pacing was much better. Snappier. The writing (credit to Ally Musika) was quick-witted and had some nice pop; there seemed to be a good synergy between Musika’s stuff and Doug Ellin’s direction tonight. It didn’t linger anywhere overlong.

Any scene with Phil (William Fichtner) usually makes me do a double take, because I feel like I’m looking at Jerry Bruckheimer, like maybe this is a Bruckheimer cameo. Yes, I know, they don’t even really look that much alike, once I go compare pictures. Maybe Phil’s just got a Bruckheimeresque air to him, I dunno. But usually by the time I realize it’s not Bruckheimer, half the Phil scene is over, which is a shame, since Fichtner gives him such a wonderful herky-jerky long-tailed-cat-in-a-room-full-of-rocking-chairs vibe.

It’s not a criticism. Well, maybe it’s a criticism of myself.

I like the fact that they turned Ari’s (Jeremy Piven) pitiful pouting for his estranged wife (Perrey Reeves) into full-on jealous stalker’s rage. They’re giving us Ari’s competitive fire rather than showing us his belly, which is a distinct improvement from last ep. And no one can do a “Nuke ’em all—Let God sort ’em out” scene like Piven. I’m looking forward to him actually confronting Bobby Flay now. Hopefully Flay—I’ll note he’s a chef, not an actor—can hang with the charismatic Piven. That could be one for the ages. (And it can’t help but be better than Piven acting against the one-note Reeves. If I have to hear Ari’s harpy of a wife whine “Ariii-iiii” one more time…)

Eric (Kevin Connolly), I am convinced, is far better off without Sloan; Emmanuelle Chriqui can hardly play convincing attraction, must less love. Watching her try to cry is painful. Connolly is leaps and bounds ahead of her, talent wise, and I’m going to be curious to see what sort of roles Connolly lands post-Entourage. But as a storyteller, I get that Eric-and-Sloan are a thing. And a thing needs closure; Sloan can’t just disintegrate into thin air. (A pity.) Really, Eric should get another wackjob girlfriend, like Crazy Ashley (Alexis Dziena, who could convincingly play a midget version of Teri Hatcher). (Quick, someone cast her as Hatcher’s long lost daughter on Desperate Housewives!) Eric is better off fretting over someone who really is unbalanced rather than someone who could really give two sh*ts.

Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) in a scene with a bunch of models is like… well, let’s just say that it is both visually comical and unintentially comical. The acting is uh, first rate.

We got some Andrew “Dice” Clay, which was kind of cool. He’s not bad! The older Dice is sort of like… “What if Rodney Dangerfield and Howard Stern had an impossible love child?” Basically. I’m loving his rapport with Drama (the always underrated Kevin Dillon—another person whose career I will follow once the show bows).

Best line of the night goes to Lloyd: “You’re perfect together! Like Lady Di and Charles!”

Little boy blew. Follow me on Twitter! That’s @Axechucker, you buncha yahoos!