Why is it that Entourage is now better whenever there are more guest stars around to distract you from the four main characters? This week, David Schwimmer did an excellent job of acting like an a-hole who wanted his ego stroked at Ari’s agency and to bed Lizzie, the junior agent who’s been having an affair with Gary Cole’s Andrew Klein. Between Schwimmer’s ego-free self-parody and Cole’s meticulously stressed-out performance, this week’s episode was actually pretty entertaining.

As for the core characters, well, spoiler alert: Vince having sex with a willing waitress fulfills a fantasy of some of Entourage‘s young male audience, I suppose. Him trying to line up a new conquest while the waitress was still putting her clothes back on seemed creepy to me, but…

Turtle going clothes-shopping for school with Jamie Lynn-Sigler? Z-z-z-z-z, even if it set up the conclusion of another subplot: Johnny Drama’s search for a truly hot chick for a romantic scene in his TV series Five Towns. This storyline didn’t quite track. Johnny claims to be upset because all the models he auditions don’t “give me wood.” (Congrats to another guest star, Tim Busfield, for managing to keep a poker face throughout this.) So he asks Turtle to ask Sigler to take the role. So, wait, wait: Johnny asks a favor of his friend, who’s reluctant but relents, then he gives Sigler a brother-sisterly hug when she agrees?? Do either Turtle or Sigler really want to contribute to helping Johnny get aroused by Turtle’s girlfriend? The plot suddenly turned into a matter of Johnny wanting a big star, rather than a cheap stiffy.

Well, whatever. Even this was better than the Eric subplot: He’s bored, he has Ashley come over to his office, they have sex, he decides to close down his office because he realizes for the umpteenth time that Vince is his only true money-maker. Plus, I really hate the way the character of Ashley is written. This little twerp saunters into E’s office and gratuitously insults E’s middle-aged receptionist as a “fossil” and suggests he get rid of her. Sheesh, what a lousy character.

As I said up top, thank goodness for Cole (who’s making the most of his cheating-husband storyline) and Schwimmer (who has been credited in some quarters as Doug Ellin’s original inspiration in creating Entourage). And nice work in every scene, from office to home, by Jeremy Piven. We should never take his excellence as Ari for granted.

Did you watch? Is Entourage doing it for you this season?