My favorite character takes center stage in this episode, and after having gone through the ringer (courtesy of difficult actor and terrible boss), he shows us all that what defines us is how well we rise after falling. Thankfully, there’s only one way from rock bottom, and it’s up. And boy does he rise with a roar. Don’t poke the tiger unless you’re prepared for what’s to come.
EPISODE 11 RECAP
Young-bin and Ho-jin are spooked by the skeevy area they’re in, but express relief once they enter through the doors to a secret lounge filled with clubgoers. They meet with a prospective talent agent who brags about how Young-bin will always have access to booze and even the bedrooms in his lounge should he sign with him, but they end up leaving, both in agreement that this agent isn’t for them.
Young-bin’s still bitter that Eun-gab signed him back onto War Terminator without discussion, but Ho-jin’s quick to point out that Young-bin also decided to drop War Terminator without discussing with Ho-jin—there’s no difference.
Inside the car, Ho-jin details the contents of the War Terminator press release that went out. Thankfully, there was no mention of So-hee being the reason he dropped out. Ho-jin finds that odd since he figured CEO Jo would retaliate, and wonders if Eun-gab pulled some strings to calm the waters.
The next day, CEO Jo meets with Eun-gab and reminds him to be grateful for how civil that press release was. Eun-gab thanks her for her magnanimity and assures her that Young-bin’s replacement will definitely do War Terminator. But when they meet with Agent Im (the sleazy agent who tried to poach Young-bin through Clara!), he says his talent hasn’t confirmed War Terminator yet, but is considering favorably because of Eun-gab’s insistence.
CEO Jo says she needs a trustworthy actor after the Young-bin fallout, and Agent Im reassures her that he and Eun-gab have different work styles—Eun-gab likes to chew out his business partners. She rolls her eyes at Eun-gab’s penchant for harshness to others while Eun-gab fusses with her crab claw that she struggled to eat.
Eun-gab returns to his brand-new office and chats with one of his new employees, MANAGER HA, who’s fresh out of a divorce and doing jigsaw puzzles to ease the pain. Instead of yelling at him for neglecting his work, Eun-gab gives him a pass and briefly reminds him to meet with a prospective talent so they can quickly sign her.
Joey stops by Eun-gab’s office, wondering who the new guy is, and Eun-gab answers that Manager Ha is an old friend of his who also got kicked out by CEO Kang, which is why he hired him. She notes that Eun-gab’s become nicer following his split with Young-bin and points to the Young-bin potted plant still on his desk.
Young-bin is still a sore subject for him, and Eun-gab snaps that he kept the plant because it’s expensive. He moves it away from his view, and we see the name of his new agency on the wall: Tiger’s Den Entertainment.
Joon feels like it’s his birthday because his variety show premieres today, which reminds Ho-jin that Young-bin’s actual birthday is the following week. Young-bin says he wants to keep it small this year—no party, just a dinner with close friends—and Turtle cautiously laments that they usually celebrated his birthday with Eun-gab, and the air turns awkward.
Joon’s program plays on TV as they eat at a restaurant, and Joon informs the boys that the woman working there is the legendary food truck lady who does catering for variety shows—if a show makes her laugh, the show’s a guaranteed hit, but if she doesn’t, it’s a surefire flop. Young-bin and Ho-jin scoff, but Joon and Turtle are dead serious and watch her closely.
She stops giggling as soon as Joon’s bit with Julien comes on, despite the exaggerated laughter from Turtle and Joon. Joon concludes that he’s done for. Back at home, Joon stays up late reading articles and internet comments about him, and the consensus is that he’s boring, which upsets him.
The next morning, Joon staggers out and says it hurts to relieve himself again. Young-bin worries that his prostate problem has become chronic, but Turtle says it’s due to stress, and Joon thinks a sitz bath will do the trick, grossing out the boys.
Later, Ho-jin and Young-bin meet with a bunch of prospective agents. The first one asks if he has any girl problems (Young-bin: “Not…really.”). The next agent likens actors to wine and promises to harvest Young-bin’s grapes well to turn him into the best wine, lol. She even asks to see Young-bin’s phone so there are no secrets between them.
The next agent compliments Young-bin on his handsome appearance, but admits that his ears and jawline are lacking and recommends plastic surgery since they’re well-connected with the best hospitals. Meanwhile, Ho-jin’s bored listening to all this drivel.
The two return home, drained after a slew of unsuccessful meetings. Ho-jin says they should’ve stuck with Eun-gab while Joon finally emerges from the bathroom, bent over in excruciating pain. The boys urge him to go to the hospital ASAP before it gets worse.
Eun-gab makes a surprise appearance at an exclusive meeting which has all the top agents from various agencies. CEO Kang is there, along with the agents Young-bin met with earlier, and they’re all uneasy with Eun-gab’s presence since he wasn’t invited. The man at the head of the table says his agency is too small to be included in this group—his entrance would have to be determined via an evaluation.
But Eun-gab reminds them that he meets the standards and knocks the evaluation as a frivolous formality. CEO Kang says Young-bin met with a bunch of people in this room, but none of them are saying a peep. Eun-gab tells everyone to stop walking on eggshells around him and startles them with a roar (fitting for Tiger’s Den Entertainment), joking that he’ll eat everyone up.
Eun-gab returns to his office and is disappointed to find that Manager Ha left to receive LASIK surgery in the middle of the day. His wife and Yoo-bin wait in Eun-gab’s office to grab dinner and check out his new digs. Yoo-bin’s not in the mood because she fought with her best friend, and Eun-gab recommends she make up with her soon. He suddenly grows emotional and stifles back tears as he touches the leaves of Young-bin’s plant, and his wife notices.
The next day, the pastor arrives at Eun-gab’s house. His wife thought it’d be helpful to receive some sage advice from the pastor since Eun-gab refused to go to the hospital. The pastor already knows Eun-gab’s been depressed after his client left him and advises Eun-gab to ease his mind and accept the fact that his client is gone. But Eun-gab assures the pastor that he’s perfectly fine and that everything’s hunky dory.
Joon feels embarrassed every time he has to get his prostate checked, and flips out in pain when the doctor begins the intrusive examination.
Meanwhile, Young-bin and Ho-jin meet with another agent who says she’ll support all of Young-bin’s decisions. Young-bin likes the sound of that, but Ho-jin’s not sold and instructs him to sign quickly with somebody so they can get back to work.
That night, Ho-jin decides to call Eun-gab and asks if they’ll be okay after paying CEO Jo the fine for breaching the contract. He’s about to ask something else, but decides not to, and both of them seem dissatisfied by how little they actually said.
Over dinner, Young-bin says he’s thinking of signing with the last agency they met with, but Turtle announces that that agency is involved in a stock manipulation scandal, which means Young-bin is back to square one.
Ho-jin goes shopping with Ji-ahn, who picks out an outfit for him for his meeting with her mom, regarding Young-bin. He’s nervous since it’ll be the first time meeting with CEO Kang since they started dating, but Ji-ahn tells him not to worry since her mom thinks highly of him.
Joon arrives on set and apologizes to the PDs for the poor reception to his last appearance. He winces as he takes a seat and is alarmed to learn that he’ll be required to ride a horse for today. Uh-oh.
Cut to Joon on a horse, looking like death with every lurch. The PDs tell him his face looks too aroused, and Joon asks for a quick bathroom break, laughing to conceal the immense pain he’s in.
In the bathroom, Turtle wonders if Joon will become impotent because of this, and Joon shrieks that he can’t ride anymore: “It feels like watermelons are coming out of my you-know-where!”
Turtle recommends Joon tell the PDs the truth, but Joon is too embarrassed and asks Turtle to come up with a creative excuse. Joon emerges from the bathroom and the whole TV crew is waiting (omg what did they hear?!).
Joon solemnly recounts a traumatic experience involving a horse snatching his carrot which contributed to his “horsephobia,” trying to call it a day, but the PDs can’t keep a straight face because they know he’s having prostate issues; Joon’s mic was on the whole time so they heard everything. The whole crew cracks up to Turtle and Joon’s horror.
Young-bin and Ho-jin have dinner with CEO Kang in her backyard. She’s relieved to hear Young-bin hasn’t picked an agency yet because she wants him to sign with her again. Young-bin replies civilly that he’s still considering her offer, and she says they both need to start anew and linger on old attachments, referring to Eun-gab.
Then Young-bin excuses himself momentarily, leaving Ho-jin and CEO alone. Ho-jin nervously clenches his fists, and CEO Kang asks him how far he’s willing to go with her daughter; she has misgivings about his being a manager, calling it a hard job. Given that Ji-ahn grew up lonely because of her mother’s career, so she’s not comfortable with her dating a manager.
He admits he hasn’t thought about marriage yet, but assures her that he’ll work on being a good boyfriend to Ji-ahn. She tells him in a low voice, “I’m going to keep a close eye on you, Manager Lee.” Then she orders him to drink so she can see what he’s like drunk. Oy.
Cut to Ho-jin sitting outside a convenience store, looking wasted and miserable. Young-bin hands him a hangover remedy drink and jokes that CEO Kang looked like his mother-in-law already. He asks for Ho-jin’s thoughts on signing with CEO Kang, and Ho-jin answers that it’s a solid offer, but that he’s still caught up on Eun-gab, which is also how Young-bin feels.
The next day, Eun-gab’s about to reprimand Manager Ha for his tardiness, but he comes in with goggles on his face post-LASIK and gives a sob story about how he’s hurting from the surgery and the divorce. And once again he hasn’t met with the client Eun-gab asked about, this time pointing to his eyes as an excuse.
Eun-gab doesn’t press further and trusts he’ll complete his tasks eventually. Joey observes his leniency and reminds him of the adage that when people change too suddenly, they die. CEO Jo calls Eun-gab to inform him that they signed a contract with Agent Im’s company and that they’ve found a new male lead. Eun-gab reminds her that this means she has no more problems with Young-bin, and she concurs, but says that she won’t cast Young-bin again.
CEO Jo thinks Young-bin is cursed because another conflict has risen regarding her other movie in the works, Im Hwa-su, which Young-bin had also been interested in earlier. She gets in the jab that Young-bin is said to be signing with CEO Kang, and Eun-gab fumes.
Ho-jin finds Young-bin assembling his birthday gift from Turtle. It’s a beer brewing machine so they can have beer for Young-bin’s birthday tomorrow. Young-bin says he’d sign with CEO Kang if Ho-jin weren’t so against it, and Ho-jin clarifies that he’s not opposed to the idea. Turtle quips that he’s already taking his mother-in-law’s side. Because Young-bin’s a scaredy cat, he suggests that Ho-jin fill Eun-gab in before signing with CEO Kang.
At home, Eun-gab vents to his wife about feeling betrayed twice by CEO Kang and now Young-bin. She tells him to get over it and suggests they meet with the pastor again, but Eun-gab flees, heh.
The boys tune in to the next broadcast of Joon’s variety program, but Joon leaves without staying for his part and goes for a drive for some fresh air. He hollers at the waves, and the campers near by tell him to shut up so he quietly resumes drinking his beer while tears trickle down his face.
Later that evening, Eun-gab finds Manager Ha parked outside his home. He’s not thrilled to be woken up at this hour, but Manager Ha says he’s been unable to sleep in his empty home post-divorce and asks if they can talk since they’re both up. Eun-gab begrudgingly lends him an ear.
Manager Ha drowns his sorrow in soju and spills about how lonely he feels even though it’s his fault his wife left him. Eun-gab gets choked up when he says he hasn’t seen his kids for a month and frantically exits the car.
Cut to Eun-gab waiting outside his pastor’s home moments later. The pastor hobbles out, still groggy and in his PJs.
Eun-gab says the pastor was right and admits that he’s depressed and points to his tear mark. The pastor urges him to return home since this isn’t an emergency, but Eun-gab’s desperate.
Eun-gab says it all started after his actor left him and that whenever he hears about a breakup, he breaks down. The pastor wonders if that’s such a bad reaction to have, but Eun-gab explains that insulting others used to be his joy and that his current self isn’t who he is—he wants to return to his old self! The pastor can’t stay awake any longer so he orders Eun-gab to get back what he lost and return to his old self to cure his depression, and Eun-gab says amen to that.
The next day, Eun-gab bursts into Manager Ha’s office and overhears him speaking to his mistress. Eun-gab realizes that Manager Ha’s wife divorced him because he cheated on her, and he no longer feels sorry for either the divorce or Manager Ha being unable to see his child.
When Manager Ha gives the same sob story and lame excuse about his eyes, this time Eun-gab’s not swayed. He destroys the completed puzzle framed on the wall and smashes it against the desk, throwing puzzle pieces at Manager Ha and yelling at him for shirking work and cheating on his wife.
Eun-gab fires him on the spot and a tiny, satisfied smile slips out, and Joey remarks that he’s back to his old self. Young-bin’s birthday alarm goes off on Eun-gab’s phone, and Joey encourages him to give Young-bin a call.
The boys are worried about Joon since his phone is still turned off, and he hasn’t come home yet. CEO Kang calls Young-bin and tells him to come out for his birthday party that she’s holding for him. He just wanted to stay in and drink home-brewed beer, but Turtle says the beer isn’t ready yet.
Meanwhile, Joon’s still at the beach, fast asleep in the backseat of his car, with his long legs hanging out the window. Two students notice him and take pictures with their phone until he wakes up. He takes a stroll by the water and is surprised when Turtle, Ho-jin, and Young-bin find him. People had uploaded pictures of him which is how they located him.
Turtle shows him all the pictures on his phone, which have captions about his prostate. Turns out Joon’s entire prostate conversation was included in the show, and now everyone’s talking about him and his package. Joon sheds tears of joy at his newfound fame and hollers, “I did it!”
The boys arrive at the lavish birthday party CEO Kang has thrown for Young-bin. She says she wanted it to be a big affair, reflective of the agency’s clout, since he’s practically family. Young-bin replies that he hasn’t made a final decision yet, and she understands. Soon after they toast, everyone, including CEO Kang, is dancing and partying, except our boys who merely watch the crowd from upstairs.
They feel awkward to be the only ones not partying when Young-bin’s the guest of honor, and also because Young-bin hasn’t signed with CEO Kang. They decide to leave early, figuring nobody will notice.
Young-bin asks Ho-jin if he should just sign with her, and Ho-jin replies that her agency is better than others, but he still feels uneasy about how Eun-gab will feel should they rejoin with CEO Kang. Young-bin’s offended that Eun-gab didn’t bother to wish him happy birthday, but Ho-jin says it’s only natural since they fought.
Meanwhile, Eun-gab’s still at the office, all by his lonesome. He gathers the nerve to call Young-bin and asks if they can meet briefly. Aw, he looks like he’s fighting back tears.
Young-bin and the boys find Eun-gab setting up a table for them at a cozy restaurant he rented out just for Young-bin’s birthday. He lights a birthday candle atop the beef dish, and the main course is seaweed soup (traditionally eaten on birthdays). Eun-gab is surprised to hear Young-bin hadn’t eaten seaweed soup yet, and Young-bin says they just left the party CEO Kang held for him and that he’ll most likely sign with her.
Young-bin apologizes for hurting his feelings over this, but Eun-gab answers that he’s not hurt since it’s business. In fact, He apologizes for what happened with War Terminator, and sincerely wishes all the best for Young-bin even if they don’t end up working together.
Eun-gab hands Young-bin an envelope, his birthday gift for him, and Young-bin is surprised to find the script for Im Hwa-su inside. Ah! Eun-gab explains that CEO Jo is no longer attached to the project so Young-bin should be able to do the movie now. Everyone is stunned silent, and Young-bin has no words.
How do you like them apples, Young-bin? Bet you didn’t see that one coming since foresight was never your strong suit. I have a feeling he won’t be so set on signing with CEO Kang anymore, but if he goes ahead and does sign with her despite this amazing, unbeatable gift from Eun-gab, then Young-bin’s even dimmer than I thought.
After all, Im Hwa-su was the movie Young-bin was really gung-ho about following the surprise success of his first film, Flowers of Evil (the one with Joon’s blink-and-you’ll-miss-it appearance). It was because of Im Hwa-su that Young-bin wasn’t even remotely interested in War Terminator during early talks with CEO Jo. But casting for Im Hwa-su was already completed at the time which was why Young-bin lost out on that opportunity, although initially, the boys thought CEO Jo’s grabbing of Joon’s butt was what cost Young-bin that movie. I honestly didn’t expect Im Hwa-su to resurface, and was pleasantly surprised by that twist. I thought Entourage wasn’t capable of a satisfying surprise this late in the game!
I think I can safely say that this has been my favorite episode of Entourage thus far. It’s about time, right? We’re already way past the halfway point of the series, but I guess better late than never. Unfortunately, I don’t think this episode was strong because the show finally found its groove; this episode worked because it belonged to Eun-gab. What a difference it makes to not have insufferable Young-bin as the focus for once, who by the way, has yet to change since the pilot.
By contrast, we saw Eun-gab go from the pinnacle of his career to rock bottom when he was blindsided by his humiliating ousting. He lost his corner office, his own company that he co-founded, and nearly all his clients. He began drinking again from the stress of unemployment, but he hustled nonstop, difficult Young-bin notwithstanding, and that hustling paid off. He’s got a brand new small office, new employees (fingers crossed none of them suck as much as Manager Ha), and things are starting to shape up again. The name of Eun-gab’s new agency, Tiger’s Den Entertainment, makes it unmistakably clear that he’s back with a vengeance, and he won’t back down without a fight. This is a fresh start for Eun-gab, one that came about through buckets of sweat and tears, and knowing how sharp Eun-gab is, I’m sure he’s got plenty of tricks up his sleeve, with Im Hwa-su just being an amuse-bouche of what’s to come. Despite all the Young-bintastrophes, Eun-gab remained steadfast in his loyalty to Young-bin even though the brat doesn’t deserve anything.
This is a tiny grievance, but admittedly, I’m kind of sad that Eun-gab returned to his acerbic, old self so soon. I’m glad his fiery nature is still in tact, but it warmed my heart to see his emotional side and how deeply he cares for his family of which Young-bin is also a part of. Catharsis is a good thing, and sometimes it takes several good cries to recalibrate and see clearly again. Everytime he tried to hide or fight back his tears, I just wanted to hand him a tissue and tell him “there, there” and to let it all out.
I’ve always loved Eun-gab’s wife and wished for more screentime for her, and in this episode, she simply rocked as Eun-gab’s rock. She recognized he was going through a rough patch and sought help for him even though he didn’t want any of it. She doesn’t take any of Eun-gab’s excuses and can read him like a book without making him feel embarrassed for feeling the way he does. She’s cool and collected, and I find that she and Eun-gab make one adorable, compatible couple.
This show has had private part jokes in every episode, but I was never really amused until Joon’s terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day which actually turned out to be a boon for his declining career. I found this misfortune of Joon’s to be particularly funny, and I attribute it to Lee Kwang-soo’s expressive face (when he was riding the horse!) and comedic timing. Also, leaving one’s mic on while going to the bathroom is a very real occurrence on set so it only made me laugh even harder. I’m so happy for Joon’s success, but I hope it requires less pain in the future.
I feel like Eun-gab and Young-bin are finally on the brink of reconciliation (thanks to Eun-gab’s efforts), and now it’s Young-bin’s turn to make the right move. Signing with Eun-gab is the right choice, and it’s glaringly obvious, but given Young-bin’s track record of numerous poor decisions, I know it’s best not to assume. I still remember how attached Young-bin was to Im Hwa-su so here’s to hoping he grabs onto this opportunity and joins hands with Eun-gab like old times.