Wally backs off his threats -- and the artistic high ground -- but E still isn't sold despite the big payday that awaits Vinnie
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”Entourage”: Heads in the ”Clouds”

My, my, what a roller coaster of emotion in tonight’s episode. I was simply flabbergasted as Vince, E , Drama, and Turtle picked up their wands and faced off against VolderAri and his Death Eaters in a showdown that called to mind the greatest scenes from Star Wars. And when Lloyd, Hermoine, and the Ewoks all hugged at the end — waaaait a moment. My apologies. Having slogged through 600+ pages of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this weekend, it’s taking me a little time to shake off the world of magic and Muggles. If you haven’t picked up the book yet — and with more than 8 million copies sold in the first 24 hours, who hasn’t? — do so. It is that good. Now, I’m sure that many of you who did pick up a copy were as torn between Harry and Entourage as I was, but that is exactly why the DVR is the most important piece of electronic equipment I own (coming a close second — a talking Steve Carell doll from 40-Year Old Virgin that cries out, ”Is it true if you don’t use it, you lose it?”).

Last week’s cliffhanger left us wondering if Vinnie’s new mountain-climbing movie Lost in the Clouds was doomed to fail, with the dream-team package of Walsh (Wally Balls)/Vince/E that Ari sold the studios busting apart. It didn’t take long for Walsh to back off his threats to kill E for leaking the Medellin trailer. Why? Seems the editor/ex-girlfriend on Wally’s film was behind the espionage and Wally humbly apologized. A word of caution for those of you planning to check today to see if the porn website Wally mentioned is real: don’t do it from an office computer. The website is real. Um, also, can someone please let Entertainment Weekly’s Human Resources Dept. know that everything in my iBook’s browser history is work-related?

Now, do we think that Wally was really sorry or did he just want to make the movie? And hasn’t Wally become quite the player, saying to Ari, ”You tell me what kind of deal I’m going to get if I let you be my agent.” From unwavering artist to mercenary director in just a few short episodes! Impressive. Is that the faint whisper of ”Sell out! Sell out! Sell out!” I hear? I’m not saying that he doesn’t deserve to get paid for his work — it’s simply that a guy who was so passionate about the art one week seemed damn eager to get to the business side of Show Business.

It was a very different approach from Vinnie’s. He appeared willing to scuttle the movie because E didn’t want to work with Walsh again. After a great meeting with Dana Gordon, who admitted liking Walsh after calling him ”foul and grotesque, conceited and abhorrent,” the film was a go and Vinnie was set with a $6 million payday. That is, until E had second thoughts about working with Walsh again, telling Vince that ”Life’s too short to spend a year being f—–‘ abused, and you should respect that.” I was on the phone with my good buddy Sig, who makes his living as a Line Producer in L.A., during this part and he felt it was the most realistic portion of the ep.

”That is totally believable.” Sig said. ”E’s being totally selfish instead of doing his job. A producer’s job is to suck it up and get the work done no matter how you feel. They aren’t paying you to make friends, but everyone in Hollywood has a huge ego and makes everything all about them.” Then he called E a name that rhymes with ”witch” — Harry Potter shout-out! — rambled into a tangent about traffic on the freeway, Dodger Stadium’s Hollywood Stars Night, and the rising cost of sushi, then hung up on me.

I must agree with Sig — E and Vince are best friends and if this is the movie that Vince wants to make, E needs to make it happen. Do you think E’s instincts about Wally are on the money? Is Medellin going to be a bad movie? And if it makes $$$ at the box office does it matter? See I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry as an example of a crappy film that will be counted as a success in Hollywood because it finished at No. 1.

And our two side plots? Lloyd’s breakup gave Rex Lee some nice moments to flex his comedy chops, and once again Ari proved he’s a romantic at heart. The evidence: Ari’s line ”I love a liar but I hate a cheater.” A fine line for man who tells lies for a living, but yet another example that Ari is a man besotted with his wife. The only redeeming moment in the Drama/Turtle storyline — about their attempt to cash in on a Sandy Koufax jersey under the assumption the baseball great was at death’s door and the value would skyrocket after Koufax passed — was Louis Lombardi as Turtle’s shady cousin Ronnie. Maybe last season’s 24 wouldn’t have tanked if dear sweet Edgar Stiles had still been around. Bring Louis back to TV full time!

And now, I go back to finish off the last few chapters of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before some jerk in the subway shouts out the ending. The one key difference between my love of Harry and love of Entourage: Entourage is still far from over.

What did you think of this week’s Entourage? Will Vinnie make the movie sans E? Is Walsh going to blow the deal or can he whip out a script in six weeks? Am I off the mark by thinking the Turtle storylines are dull and pointless? And were you as annoyed with my Harry Potter mentions as Sig was while we were on the phone? Post your comments on the message board below, and see you all next week.

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