Paul Katz
August 06, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

”Entourage”: E goes corporate

Ah, the best-laid plans. Tonight’s episode, ”Gary’s Desk,” focused on the fact that no matter how well plans are made, other people will always screw them up. But before we explore that truism (a subsection under the chapter ”Hell Is Other People”), let’s have a quick round of applause for the return of a very special guest star.

Gary Busey is back! And he’s badder — and madder — than ever. Three years after his glorious Entourage debut in ”Busey and the Beach,” Gary returned to bring some much-needed color to the show. Literally. Vince attempted to do something nice for Eric — who was out to launch his own management company, but more on that a bit later — by doing what Vince usual does: throw money around. This time Vince whipped out the ol’ credit card at a fancy furniture store to try and buy a $42,000 office desk that once belonged to Mickey Rooney and Robert De Niro. (Later, Vince evidently whipped something else out too, since we saw that the sparks flying between Aquaman and the comely sales clerk resulted in a sleepover by episode’s end.) The problem? Seems Mr. B had already bought the desk and would relinquish ownership only if Drama would agree to pose for a ”painting” under the brush of Busey. I don’t know if the scene of Busey pulling a Jackson Pollock all over Drama’s face with blue paint was as much fun to film as it was to watch, but I get the feeling it was, since Kevin Dillon looked thisclose to cracking up. He deserves an Emmy just for keeping a straight face.

It’s a mixed bag when we get real-life celebs playing themselves on Entourage. Sometimes they rock — thank you, Seth Green — and sometimes…well, sometimes they’re Mandy Moore. I’ll take a Busey cameo every single week — but just a cameo. Something about Gary Busey’s Helter Skelter eyes and giant choppers make the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up, salute, and then run for cover. The small screen isn’t big enough for a big heaping pile of Busey. Don’t believe me? Track down a copy of his 2003 Comedy Central show I’m With Busey. Just follow your nose. Chances are the stink from that hodgepodge mess will lead you right to it.

Busey wasn’t the only returning star. Yep, Debi Mazar’s Shauna returned in all her foul-mouthed goodness. E’s attempt to form his management company, the Murphy Group, had a rocky start. Hard to fault folks in the industry for not returning a call to someone they have never heard of. Peter Jackson had no clue. Variety had no clue. The Screen Actors Guild had no clue. Most of all it seemed Eric had no clue. At least not about how to make a splash in the business. Eric suffered the worst fate imaginable in Hollywood: anonymity. As Ari gleefully pointed out, ”After three years of hibernating in Vince Chase’s ass, Eric Murphy has come out to play.” Ouch. Kinda true, though. Also true was the title of the Variety article that was written about Eric after Shauna set up an interview with the trade magazine to get him some free publicity: ”The New Nepotism in Hollywood.” The wee Irish lad got his head handed to him throughout most of the episode, mainly because his main résumé qualification is still being Vince’s best bud. There was one final saving grace. Peter Jackson returned Eric’s phone call to discuss bringing Vince into the world of videogame voice-over work. (The geek-out moment for tonight was seeing Jackson’s sword-fighting minions transformed into videogame characters. I thought I had a fun gig, but that is simply the Best. Job. Ever.) Guess Jackson would rather work with the devil who may be incompetent than the devil he knows: namely Ari.

Indeed, Mr. Gold had work problems of his own. Ari’s prep for the office visit of the ”Queen of Hip-Hop and Soul,” Mary J. Blige, proved troublesome in the form of two squabbling agents. Oh, and the agents were brothers. And twins. Identical twins. Normally, this kind of far-fetched nonsense would tick me off, but in the hands of those comedy masters the Sklar Brothers, it soared. I was sure the problem between siblings would prove to be some trivial matter that was blown way out of proportion. That would be a no. Even Ari was flabbergasted once it was revealed that one bro’ had not just coveted his bro’s wife but had gotten to know her biblically. After last week’s episode, featuring the secret lives of furries, and now this twisted take on family love, I’m starting to think the writers are tuning into reruns of Jerry Springer every day. In fact, after a Springer moment in the conference room, with the twins engaging in fisticuffs, Ari remarked, ”Remind me to sell this as a reality show.” Of course, Ari didn’t want to get involved in the family squabble until it cut into his bottom line. Those of you who commented last week that showing the softer side of Ari was a waste of airtime must have been pumping your fists when Ari fired the cuckold and kept the adulterer simply because the latter brought in more business. Moral correctness has no place in the world of agents, it seems. But in the end, sleeping with your brother’s gal is bound to reap karmic retribution. And Mary J. became the Queen of Karma by switching agencies after discovering that Ari’s coldhearted choice had resulted in the loss of her favorite agent — the cuckold. Which meant Ari had no reason not to give the cheatin’ twin the ax too. My only question: How will the twins fill out the line in the unemployment form that asks for the ”reason for dismissal”?

So what did you think? Would you want to see Shauna in every episode? Did you want to see some progress on the new movie? And would you trade Billy Walsh for Busey? I know I would.

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