Tags Entourage Episode 15

Entourage Episode 15

We’ve come to the end of the road with our entourage, with our boys having faced one obstacle after another in the cutthroat entertainment industry. When every move and every word is under scrutiny, one wonders why anyone would choose a life in the limelight. Maintaining an image is no easy task when all it takes is one publicity move to cut somebody down, but if there’s anything that Entourage has taught us, it’s that none of that matters as long as you have the right people by your side.

 
FINAL EPISODE RECAP

Young-bin lies awake in his bed at night, then suddenly packs a bag and leaves the house in silence. Meanwhile, Ho-jin is a ball of nerves during lunch with Ji-ahn and her mother, CEO Kang, who suggests that he come work for her.

Needless to say, the job offer catches him off-guard, but CEO Kang explains that she has a good eye for people. Ho-jin is still young enough to build his work experience, and she remembers that she once gave that cowardly Eun-gab the same speech.

Things get slightly uncomfortable as CEO Kang recalls Ji-ahn’s terrible father, then laughs it off to smooth things over. The job offer still stands, and before Ho-jin can reply that he’ll think it over, he gets a call from Joon, which he ignores.

He slips out to take Joon’s call later, and learns that Young-bin has disappeared in the middle of the night. Joon snaps at the insinuation that Young-bin’s probably with a girl, but Ho-jin says there’s no need to worry.

Back at the office, Eun-gab struggles to get through managerial training since the English terms are too difficult for some, while Joey doesn’t understand them in Korean. He barks that a good manager should also have a keen insight into reading scripts. Aw, look who’s been missing Ho-jin.

He checks in with Joey, who confirms that Young-bin sent a simple text to notify them of his absence. He tells the group how he dealt with worse back in his days as a manager, when his celebs would suddenly go abroad or sleep around, but of course Young-bin would never do those things, he adds.

Unable to believe that no one knows where Young-bin is, he berates them to at least pretend to be looking.

We catch up with Young-bin taking in the sights, softly smiling as a trio of boys pass by him. He ducks into a quiet restaurant where the owner still remembers the days when he’d frequent this place with his friends. She wonders why he came alone today, and when she asks if that “nice friend of his” (Ho-jin) is doing well, Young-bin says he is.

Ho-jin tries convincing Ji-ahn to stay for the night, even pretending to have a conversation about it with her mother. She understands why Ho-jin wouldn’t want to be alone tonight since he was always with his friends, and wonders where Young-bin could’ve run off to because she can tell that Ho-jin is worried.

But he knows exactly where Young-bin has gone off to: Busan. She tells him to go and be with his friend who’s going through a tough time.

Joon and Turtle sit in awkward silence at dinner until Turtle breaks it to ask how he can learn to get a girl to break up with him. Joon reminds him that at least he dated a girl, whereas Turtle was rejected by Min-ah.

Turtle then badmouths the food, which spurs another argument between them that is silenced when his voice echoes throughout the vast house. They both acknowledge that even arguing isn’t fun if neither Young-bin nor Ho-jin isn’t here to stop them.

Young-bin visits his uncle by the harbor, and while they share a drink, he asks that Joon doesn’t find out that he’s here. Several shots of soju later, his uncle shares how he couldn’t get a hold of Young-bin’s mother following the divorce, and how Young-bin’s father has been drinking ever since.

Young-bin says he won’t go see his father, and his uncle advises that he listen to his good friend Ho-jin. His uncle thinks it’s a good thing they’re working together.

Eun-gab invites Ho-jin to an empty bar to enjoy a bit of day drinking. He’s cleared his busy schedule to have a belated drink with Ho-jin, adding that he really could’ve opened Ho-jin’s palate if he’d stuck with him. Unfortunately, Ho-jin reels in disgust upon tasting the strong whiskey, while Eun-gab wonders why he gave up such a delicious luxury for so many years.

Another taste doesn’t help, but they keep drinking anyway. Later, Eun-gab notes that Ho-jin’s upgraded fashion is all thanks to Ji-ahn, and Ho-jin slurs that he really likes her. They chuckle over how strong women are great, as Eun-gab points to his own wife as an example.

Eun-gab adds that in those cases, men like Ho-jin need to step up their game. He points out how Ho-jin has quit his job and is drinking with him right now instead of looking for Young-bin. He then says the same thing Ji-ahn did: “Even if you aren’t working together, he’s your friend. Your best friend.”

Everyone but Ho-jin can tell that Young-bin’s having a tough time, and while Eun-gab understands that Ho-jin was hurt too, he has to be the one to track down his buddy. “You’re his friend, aren’t you?”

Ho-jin says he is, to which Eun-gab emphasizes again, “Then go bring him back… Ho-jin-ah.” Eun-gab says that if he doesn’t, he’ll regret it.

Eun-gab says he has to get going lest he be lectured by his wife, then instructs Ho-jin to polish off their second bottle alone. He stumbles to his feet, then tells Ho-jin to call him “hyung” from now on and gives him a bear hug. Aw.

Ho-jin is completely wrecked by the time he shows up at home. Joon and Turtle help him to the couch, where Ho-jin mumbles how he told Eun-gab about Joon breaking up with Joo-yeon. Joon scolds him for bringing that up, and Ho-jin says, “That was a lie.”

Ho-jin then shares how he agreed to go look for Young-bin, only to snap back moments later that he won’t. In his drunken ramblings, he says he understands why Young-bin would be upset and wonders if he shouldn’t have quit his job.

Turtle agrees, and Ho-jin snaps again that of course he’d be upset. Joon suddenly gets gloomy at the thought of his grim future, which is when his father calls to tell him that Young-bin’s in Busan. Ho-jin has a moment of clarity and says they should all go there tomorrow.

Joon checks over their plane tickets the following morning, cracking up at Turtle’s given name: Yeon Bong-hyun. Ho-jin chuckles that Ji-ahn thought that Turtle was his legal name, and they leave the house, still laughing.

After paying a visit to Joon’s father, the trio wonders where Young-bin has gone off to. There aren’t any social media updates regarding him either, and Ho-jin refuses to call Young-bin, adding that he wouldn’t even pick up.

Still it’s nice to be home, and Ho-jin and Turtle both groan at Joon’s attempts to wax poetic. They visit Ho-jin’s home next, where his mother invites them inside…

… And who should be sprawled out on the floor but Young-bin, snacking and reading manhwa. He explains that this was the one place he felt most comfortable, and Ho-jin’s mother adds that he’s practically part of the family.

The foursome heads out to dinner, where Ho-jin reassures his mother and girlfriend that he won’t drink too much. Ho-jin and Young-bin exchange terse words, and Joon recognizes the owner as a former classmate who was the best fighter in school.

None of them can believe that Joon’s former classmate beat everyone up but Joon, who drowns his sorrows in drink. It doesn’t help that his two friends are fighting and he screams at them to resolve their differences.

They’re joined by the owner, who is honored to have Young-bin visit his restaurant. However he pinches Joon’s cheek and says Joon is far more popular among their friends. That’s when their mutual female friends come running in and sing Joon’s praises. They all toast to Joon’s success, which brings tears to Joon’s eyes.

The boys look out on the same rooftop they hung out on before BIFF, reminiscing about how everything seemed possible back then. Turtle points to Joon’s butt as the beginning of their troubles, asking if they’re ruined now.

Joon says they can just start over, but he and Turtle have to head back to Seoul now. They figure that Ho-jin can stay here with Young-bin. Ho-jin asks what Young-bin plans to do now since he has to make sure Young-bin stays put, to which the latter blurts, “I’ll go to the club and hit on girls.”

Ho-jin tells him to do whatever he wants, then follows him as Young-bin walks through the city. He sighs at how Young-bin’s elaborate plan to run away was to hole up in his house, and when he points out that it’s all Young-bin’s fault, Young-bin says Ho-jin once understood how he felt.

Young-bin says Ho-jin’s the irresponsible one here, for abandoning him and quitting his job. He refuses to return to Seoul when Eun-gab comes for him, but since they have some time to kill, Ho-jin suggests that they see a movie.

Young-bin remembers how Ho-jin was too scared to even walk near the allegedly haunted neighborhood movie theater, while Ho-jin pouts that that was him. Young-bin agrees to see a movie before they start fighting again.

They meet Eun-gab by the docks near Joon’s father’s restaurant. Eun-gab barks at the boys when they start arguing again, and several drinks later, he mumbles at how he used to envy their close friendship.

He says that nothing is better than a friend you can depend on in both the good times and the bad, and yet they’re threatening to ruin that friendship. Eun-gab first turns to Ho-jin, asking him if he can understand Young-bin getting upset after being cut down by CEO Jo. Ho-jin says he can, and acknowledges that his buddy is a good actor.

Eun-gab then turns to Young-bin, asking him if Ho-jin is a good manager. Young-bin murmurs in agreement. As best friends, Eun-gab believes that they should work together again, and it’ll be up to them to take care of him when he gets out of the industry in ten years’ time.

“So. Work. Together. Again!” Eun-gab commands. When neither replies, Eun-gab rushes towards the water, ready to dive in. He gives up his prized watch and wallet, still dead set on following through with this idea. He yells that people cause trouble like this because they’re incredibly frustrated, which is why he’s going to dive in.

He keeps trying to push through until both boys agree to work together again. He gets upset when they both laugh and grows more furious at the mention of Im Hwa-su. Ho-jin says he’s heard the movie is having trouble re-casting, which prompts Young-bin to ask if he should sit through another meeting.

Eun-gab says he can’t meet with CEO Jo now, but Young-bin says he really wants to do that movie. And since the boys have agreed to work together again, Eun-gab relents and suggests that they continue drinking tonight and leave for Seoul tomorrow.

So Eun-gab tries buttering up to CEO Jo during her riding session, though she rolls her eyes when he points out that she was rather harsh on Young-bin. She says horseback riding is her break from working in an otherwise insane entertainment industry.

Eun-gab storms off and hopes that CEO Jo falls from her horse… which is exactly what happens at that very moment. He runs over to her and makes sure that she’s taken to the hospital, where she’ll be hospitalized for two months and in recovery for another six.

It turns out CEO Jo’s injuries mean that she won’t be investing in Im Hwa-su, which means Young-bin has a shot of being part of the film again. And to that, Eun-gab bursts into laughter.

The boys can’t help but laugh at how this entire ordeal that started off with CEO Jo touching Joon’s butt ended with her falling on her own.

One year later. Eun-gab wakes in a practically empty theater, save for Young-bin, who angrily storms off. He follows him to the roof, where Young-bin walks toward the edge. Young-bin is unresponsive to Eun-gab’s pleas, but turns back one more time…

…And then CEO Jo grabs Eun-gab’s butt. He screams in horror and wakes up. That’s a weird dream. He immediately asks his wife if Im Hwa-su has premiered yet, and she says today’s the day. Relieved, he climbs back under the covers.

He then bolts up to call Ho-jin to make sure nothing has happened to Young-bin. His eyes grow wide at the mention of the news article that stated how Young-bin quit War Terminator because of So-hee. They believe that CEO Jo is to blame there, and Eun-gab says he just had a frightening nightmare.

Ho-jin grumpily says he doesn’t have a good feeling since Eun-gab gave him such bad news so early in the morning. He can hear a definitive thud and figures Eun-gab’s wife hit him.

Ho-jin finds everyone awake in the living room, where Joon gripes that the chopstick guru told him that this movie will only sell 180,000 tickets (the number 18, ship-pal, sounds similar to “fuck” in Korean). He believes that the unfavorable factor clouding this movie’s success is that Young-bin’s decision to quit War Terminator went public.

Ho-jin asks if they should go outside since staying home will only make them more anxious. But there’s more bad news to deal with: Director Yang has gone missing because he was furious that his masterpiece was edited.

Young-bin manages to get a hold of Director Yang, who drunkenly tells him to leave him alone because the movie’s ruined now. The director breaks down in tears and then hangs up.

Later that night, Eun-gab yells at the boys over the phone for not arriving at the theater yet. He’s approached by Lee Sung-min, who has come to show his support, and yay, Joey is his manager.

Young-bin still tries calling as he and the boys come running into the theater. Eun-gab and his family end up sitting next to CEO Kang and CEO Jo, and when CEO Kang remarks how beautiful his daughter is despite having an ugly father, Eun-gab says her daughter Ji-ahn grew up fine too.

Eun-gab greets CEO Jo too, wondering why she’s here to see a movie she has low expectations for. She’s looking forward to seeing the movie that’s competing against War Terminator in the box office, then busts a gut before moving to another row.

CEO Kang asks if Eun-gab thinks the movie will be a success, but he honestly can’t say. Meanwhile, the boys meet up with Ji-ahn, who worries about Joon. She doesn’t know that his prostrate is acting up again, and Turtle tells him to just relax.

After they usher Joon and Young-bin inside, we cut to Ho-jin fast asleep on the couch. He’s awoken by Young-bin who shushes him and points to Joon and Turtle cuddling on the other couch.

Young-bin can’t sleep, so the boys all head out to see War Terminator. Ho-jin can’t believe that Young-bin would watch the competition on the day his own movie premiered, and Young-bin notes how it’s a full house. Turtle blatantly declares that he thinks Im Hwa-su is the better film.

Afterward, they all grudgingly agree that War Terminator will be a success, and they run into some fans who recognize Young-bin. Joon gets worked up when they say that they aren’t interested in watching Im Hwa-su, but then backs down and instructs them to follow him.

Even though Young-bin remarks how his movie isn’t that popular after all, Ho-jin says those boys remind him of how they used to go to late-night movie showings. Those were the days when he had no idea he’d be headlining a movie, Young-bin says, adding that it’ll be okay if Im Hwa-su isn’t a success: “Because it’s a movie I wanted to do.”

Young-bin slips away to make a call. So-hee picks up, and he congratulates her on War Terminator, which is topping the box office. Even he thought it was pretty great, which she’s moved by since she didn’t think to watch any other movies. He’s just glad to see good things happening for her, and they both hope to see each other again someday.

Eun-gab joins the boys at a restaurant because his wife was sick of him pacing around the house. It’s a few minutes past midnight now, and Eun-gab has to restrain himself from checking the internet.

Joon carefully mentions how even Ho-jin gets to call Eun-gab “hyung,” so Eun-gab lets him because they look similar in age anyway. Eun-gab keeps the morale up, saying that they should be proud for working so hard whether or not Im Hwa-su does well.

Eun-gab then checks his phone and orders another bottle of soju. The boys are on the edge of their seats, so Eun-gab writes down the number: 480,000. In ticket sales?

All of them rejoice loudly, and Eun-gab apologizes to the other patrons. They quiet down and clink glasses at their success. “Didn’t I say that things would work out?” Eun-gab asks, patting Young-bin on the shoulder. He shares a tearful moment with each of the boys, even Joon.

Afterward, Ho-jin asks after Eun-gab’s dream, but Eun-gab refuses to tell him. He says everything will be a success from here on out, and Young-bin says it was fun.

Turtle comments that life is short, so they should enjoy every moment of it. Ho-jin hopes that nothing strange pops up, and Young-bin hopes that things will work out.

Believing that everything will, the five of them rip down the crosswalk together.

 
COMMENTS

Here we are at the end, and who knows what the future will hold for Young-bin and his boys. Given the ebb and flow of the narrative in Entourage, Ho-jin and Young-bin are right in their hopes that only good things will come and everything will work out… because that’s exactly how virtually every conflict involving Young-bin has been handled in this series.

Young-bin was a difficult hero to stomach from the start, but since so many heroes of dramaland start off that way, I was willing to see if he’d go through any character development as the series continued. But with each passing episode, that curiosity and hope turned into disappointment and irritation toward his petulant ways and flippant attitude toward his career. How could we ever care or sympathize with a hero and his ambitions if he doesn’t add anything to show that he cares? Hardly any of his conflicts struck a chord since they would be swiftly cleaned up for him in the following episode; after a while, the declarations in every episode cliffhanger lost their dramatic oomph, since it was apparent those same issues would be resolved, and everything would be in Young-bin’s favor.

Sadly, his characterization would only be the tip of the iceberg when it came to the majority of the writing. When the main storyline fell into narrative repetition, I turned to Joon and Turtle’s storylines for a laugh. What I found was hardly any movement for Turtle, who dipped into a few gigs and was left heartbroken, and Joon, who had a huge chip on his shoulder for one reason or another. It’s such a pity since actors Lee Dong-hwi and Lee Kwang-soo have been attached to other notable projects, only to be subjected to characters who tagged along with their friends.

Not all was lost of course, since Eun-gab was the one character who legitimately made my eyes well up in tears. He started as a big-time agent, hit rock bottom, and then fought his way back up to success, all while dealing with the most immature of heroes. I often questioned why he did care so much about Young-bin and why he trusted in his acting talent, which we’d either seen little of or only heard about. But I loved how much he genuinely cared about everyone from his own family to Young-bin to Ho-jin and even Joey. I loved how he took Ho-jin under his own wing and taught him the ropes of working in the industry and made him and Young-bin realize that the friendship they have is rare and to be treasured.

But there’s only so much that a fantastic actor like Jo Jin-woong can do in a production that’s floundered since its start. While it was fun spotting the countless famous faces that swung in and out of the story, it was apparent that their cameos meant as much as Young-bin showing up to the costume party. For a story that could’ve delved deep into the workings of the entertainment industry, the writing mainly stayed in shallow waters while occasionally dipping into crude humor or suggestive shots. There were times when I wondered if the show’s equivalent of a PG-13 rating affected the show’s ability to tackle more explicit content, but I’m inclined to think that changing the rating wouldn’t have altered much of the storyline.

So even with every crest and trough of this series, I can rest in knowing that nearly nothing will break this group of friends apart. And that maybe one day Young-bin will find root in rich soil that actually allows him to grow.

 

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