ENTOURAGE 8.04 ‘Whiz Kid’

Vince has  to beat a drug test to stay out of jail as Ari finds a way to alienate both of the women in his life.

Blair Marnellby Blair Marnell

Episode Title: "Whiz Kid"

Writers: Doug Ellin & Jerry Ferrara

Director: Roger Kumble


Last week, "Entourage" ended on one of its most shocking moments as shady producer, Carl Ertz (Kim Coates) apparently himself while Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) and Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) were in the next room. As the opening scene shows us, Carl really did kill himself. And it's not long before TMZ and the cops are all over Vince about "what really happened to Carl?"

For once, Vince's long time agent,  Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) isn't immediately available for damage control because he's in bed with his former love, Dana Gordon (Constance Zimmer). But eventually, the word gets through to Ari and he races to see Vince, Eric Murphy (Kevin Connolly), Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) and Satan's favorite son, Scott Lavin ( Scott Caan). Shauna (Debi Mazar) even makes her yearly cameo to help Vince with the fallout.

But Vince has bigger problems; which he initially confesses only to E.; namely that Vince had a joint a few days before that is bound to show up on the drug test that the cops want him to take. If he fails, Vince is going to jail and he will probably lose his coveted "Air Walker" movie. The frazzled state of Vince's friendship with Eric is interesting both in how its deteriorated and by how much power that Eric has over Vince now. Vince admits that the thing he feared most after Carl's death was what E. would say about it and he seems to almost fear his friend's judgement of him.

For his part, Eric is pissed off that Vince is constantly shutting him out and making decisions without consulting him. When he threatens to leave Vince, it's no longer an idle threat. Eric actually has a career outside of his star client. Regardless of how far apart they've grown, it's clear that Vince still trusts Eric to help him through another difficult situation. It's often been said that "Entourage" is a show about male friendship. If that's the case, then Eric and Vince's relationship is the cornerstone of the series and its importance was reinforced in that scene.

One of the other key relationships in the show was the formerly happy marriage of Ari and Mrs. Ari (Perrey Reeves). Ari postpones another therapy session with her to deal with Vince and she lays into him as he arrives. She definitely has a point when she says that Ari put his career ahead of his marriage, but Mrs. Ari has become increasingly shrewish this season… probably so the audience will sympathize more with Ari. She also seems to conveniently gloss over the fact that she's dating Bobby Flay, a celebrity chef. Ari throws it back in her face that he's seeing someone too and this time, Mrs. Ari is the one to walk out of therapy early.

Ari proceeds to make things worse by inviting Dana to Bobby Flay's restaurant in order to make his wife jealous. Flay himself shows up to yell at Ari and Dana angrily realizes that she's been used. To top it off, Mrs. Ari calls her estranged husband and says it just confirmed her suspicions that he'd been sleeping with Dana for years. And thus, Ari may have ruined both of his potential romantic relationships: the wife he still wants and the ex-love that he reconnected with. Ari's made a lot of mistakes, but he remains the show's most compelling figure.

The bulk of the episode deals with Vince trying to find a way to beat the drug test in a mere three hours. This led to the episode's funniest moment in which the gang attempts to drink vinegar in solidarity with Vince in order to flush out his system. But only Drama can hold the vinegar down and claim that he likes the taste. Billy Walsh (Rhys Coiro) has the only solution that may get Vince off: a prosthetic penis filled with real urine. And in the interest of rebuilding his trust with Eric, Vince actually whips out the fake penis… much to Eric's disgust. As the moral center of the show, Eric urges Vince to get rid of the dick or face even more dire consequences if the cops catch him.

Of course, in the skewed morality of "Entourage," Vince gets out of trouble because he didn't listen to Eric and all is forgiven. The guys even toss the fake penis around as the episode ends, which may have added some unintended subtext to scene. There was way too much time spent on this drug test subplot in this episode and the resolution was a chickens*** way to get out of it. It would have been a bolder choice for Vince to fail and face the consequences as Eric suggested.

But "Entourage" is almost pure wish fulfillment. You either believe in it or you don't.

Crave Online Rating: 7 out of 10.