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'Entourage' recap: The Dana Gordon and Ari situation

Why isn't "Entourage" pulling out all of the stops in its final season? The stakes have felt small each episode (with the exception being the quickly brushed aside suicide). Last season's arc of Vince and his drug use gave the show an emotional weight it had always missed. We're now halfway through the last season and the climax it's building to feels insignificant. Episode 5, titled "Motherf-----," was long scenes of one-on-one dialogue without much action. "Entourage" has rarely asked its characters to make their characters seem relatably real or empathetic, but this episode called for actual acting. Let's break down the episode by ranking how compelling each characters' storylines felt:

1.) Ari and Dana. Their final exchange ("Let's take it one day at a time") between these two felt honest in a way "Entourage" relationships rarely achieve. Perhaps it's because Dana feels like an equal when confronting Ari. Ari's wife dropped the divorce bomb on him this episode and it only felt right that he'd drunkenly call Dana. I want them to work out.

2.) Johnny and Andrew Dice Clay. You can hear the desperation in Drama's voice when he tells Dice he knows they have a hit show if only Dice would come back. Drama's pursuit of Hollywood success has always been a storyline I've enjoyed, whether he's begging for small parts in his brother's movies or trying to launch a cartoon. I imagine there are a lot of real actors who relate to Johnny's tunnel vision. Dice still has the ability to make you care about what he has to say; it's a trademark of a commanding storyteller. At the end of the seaosn, I'm hoping for Drama's success more than anyone else's. He's earned it.

3.) Eric and Melinda. This contrived plotline was visible from a mile away, and the fact that they hooked up shows just how much "Entourage" is truly a soap opera. Of course Sloan calls Eric as he's in bed with Melinda. It seems like Eric, who is the normal voice of reason, will never end up with Sloan, and it wouldn't be surprising to see him end up alone.

4. Vince and Sophia. Another woman enters Vince's life; he wants her. It's an "Entourage" staple. The Vanity Fair journalist (the beautiful Brit Alice Eve from "She's Out of My League") gets the player side of Vince Chase in Round I. He gives a heartfelt apology for the lame interview and asks for a mulligan. Maybe I'm wrong for thinking Vince would find the love of his life by the end of the series (and who knows, maybe Sophia will be that person), but this seems late in the game to introduce a new love interest. It seems like Vince will charm Sophia, and maybe then their chemistry will make me care more.

5. Turtle. You should have held on to your tequila shares a little longer, bro.

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