The one where: Vince and Mandy Moore's relationship implodes; Ari gets fired; "Tsetse fly"

"My goal with the movie was to go for a season two type of vibe, so hopefully I did. 'Exodus' is my favorite, the second-to-last episode of season two. That's when Ari gets fired. There are lot of things about this one that I like, the first one being that this was the first script I handed into our executive at HBO...and she told me she hated it. Actually, [Jeremy] Piven called me and said it was one of the best scripts he'd ever read. I was wowed, because it was actually the easiest script I'd ever written. I wrote that the quickest of any episode in the history of the show, it just kind of flowed out. Piven was so happy with it, then the executive we were dealing with basically said she hated it. And I ended up—we were shooting the Comic-Con episode ('I Love You Too')—and I was sitting on a couch with Julian Farino who was set to direct the next episode and he's like 'what's the matter?' I'm like 'The HBO executive hates this script, I don't know what to do.' He said 'It's fabulous, don't worry about it.'

"And then he spoke to that HBO executive about the first cut of an episode that we were working on. And whatever she said to him, the next thing you know, the two of us are sitting on the couch, depressed before we're supposed to go shoot this big episode. Wahlberg, who wasn't on set all that much, he happened to come in and ask what's going on. We told him and he's like 'Are you crazy? We're killing it, everything's great!' We got a big pep talk. And then that script got nominated for an Emmy. I honestly remember it like it was yesterday—'I have a lot of problems with this' was the comment. I don't remember changing it all that much, but I remember second-guessing a lot of stuff. After the second season, I didn't get many notes."