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Entourage is a half hour long comedy-drama about young movie star Vincent Chase and his best friend and manager Eric Murphy. Filling out the entourage are high school friend Turtle and Vince's brother Johnny "Drama" Chase. High powered, ambitious and foul mouthed agent Ari Gold also helps to manage Vince's career. HBO 2004-11


Episode 8 - The Sorkin Notes

22 March 2012

Synopsis: Ari’s security expert Aaron Cohen begins to set things up at Vince’s house and potentially finds the stalker. Eric goes for a drink with Sloan but ditches her when Ashley calls. It’s judgement day for Andrew Kline as Aaron Sorkin comes in to hear his ideas. Marla won’t let Andrew back into his house and he loses it and drives his car into the house. Sorkin doesn’t like the rest of the Miller-Gold team but signs with them even as Andrew is in jail.

The Good: The Andrew Kline and Ashley stories continue on here which does reward viewers who have stuck with the season so far.

The endless back and forth phone tag between Eric and Sloan borders on the tedious. But it is an understandable situation for two people who never stopped liking each other. Eric finally seems to be growing by making a definite choice between the two women on this occasion. How long that lasts, remains to be seen. It’s certainly a good sign for Ashley’s maturity that she can look beyond Eric’s feelings for Sloan.

The Andrew Kline story certainly has some good stuff in it. It still feels a little like he was brought in so that he could do crazy things which the happily married Ari could no longer do. So here he sleeps in the office, screams at his ex-wife, drives his car into his house and signs a top Hollywood writer from jail. Certainly Ari’s panic and the looming threat of Barbara keep the story ticking nicely and should have hooked viewers into seeing how it all turned out. Sorkin’s affection for Andrew was given more plausibility when he shared his own pain of divorce.

Finally the ever reliable Peter Stormare (Prison Break, Seinfeld, Joey, The Big Lebowski amongst many others) plays the hardened Israeli security man just fine. I still don’t know where the stalker story can go, but I am intrigued so far, if only by the lack of detail.

The Bad: Entourage has had a lazy season and this is another example of it. Andrew Kline driving into his house and signing Sorkin from jail is disguising how little genuine character development is going on here.

Early on this season (602) the story was clearly drawn. Ari was thrilled to finally have a playmate to enjoy his work life with. His success had alienated him from real friends. Now Andrew Kline was succeeding and he had the chance to have fun both at work and socially. But Andrew, suddenly thrust into a world of new temptations, faltered and fell in love with a young agent. Sympathy abounded for both men as they struggled with this new development.

But here we are at the climax of a chapter in the story and we don’t know anymore about how each man feels. Marla’s ferocious anger at Andrew is understandable but the more vitriolic it becomes the less real it feels. We have no sense of how Andrew feels about her anymore or whether her anger hurts him more than it irritates. Worse, we don’t know why Andrew is able to attract Sorkin. What are his special skills? What is it about him which makes Sorkin trust him? These revelations would help the viewer to bond with Andrew.

And what of Ari? How does he feel about it all? We know in general what he would wish for but is he more concerned personally or professionally? Andrew says he has no money but Ari doesn’t offer him any. Surely handing him a few hundred dollar bills would have solved that problem with a simple gesture of friendship.

Similarly Sloan remains a mystery. We can imagine her conflicting feelings about Eric. But we shouldn’t have to guess to this extent. She says she isn’t ready to be with him as she dates someone else. What are we supposed to conclude from that? The underdevelopment of her character is a major flaw.

Comic Highlight: Optimistic as ever Johnny introduces himself to Aaron by saying “As I’m sure you’re aware, I’m Johnny Chase.”

Victory?: The action covers for the underlying lack of character development. But at least this episode continues the threads from previous episodes and sets up the next one well.



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