A commentary about sports, media, and interpersonal relationships encountered throughout everyday life.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Entourage 5.1

We come into the opening of Entourage's 5th season in the wake of Medellin, the huge flop project co-produced by E, directed by Billy Walsh, and starring Vince.  Richard Roeper has a few funny lines as he talks about this "straight to DVD" flop, noting that Vince's  "fat suit that makes him look like the love child of Jimmy Glick and a case of Twinkies."

While Roeper, and virtually anyone else who saw Medellin, tear into the film and Vince's career (or lack thereof), the fallen star seems to be doing everything he can to be getting over the Medellin disaster in his own way... as Vinnie Chase reenters out televisions in an orgy with two Mexican hostesses on a remote beach.

We later discover that Vince has not received a job offer in six months!  It really shows too, Vince dons an untamed beard and tattered clothing from living a simplistic existence on the beach with Turtle (who's also enjoying himself...) and (what seems like) dozens of beautiful Mexican women.

Back in the "real" world, Ari and E deal with the Medellin disaster differently.  Ari's even too uptight for Ari.  He seems stiff, irritable, and sour within minutes of being on camera (Jeremy Piffen, again, does a great job characterizing these characteristics).  On the other hand, E has buried himself in building up "The Murphy Group."  We later discover E's motivation for putting his energy into his infant firm is because he blames himself for ruining his best friend's career.

Things start to turn around for Vince's team when fictional director Carl Ertz confesses his interest in Vince to Ari.  From there, all hell breaks loose...

Ari, after pressuring E (who pressures Johnny Drama for Vince's location), displays his loyalty and friendship to Vince by chartering a flight to his hide-away on a beach in Mexico.

During this whole ordeal, we're treated to classic Johnny Drama, who's in the midst of a Five Towns photo shoot (he's made it clear that he wont shoot from the right because it's his "bad side").  Locking himself in his trailer to protest the shoot,  the photographer calls on Ben Silverman, the co-chairman of NBC, to force Drama into the cast photo shoot.  Silverman's efforts are thwarted by Drama, however, as he becomes preoccupied with his 'next' dramatic role: rescuing his marooned brother's movie career.

Within the last five minutes of the episode (yes, it was pretty bang-bang after E and Ari flew to Mexico), Vince is convinced by E to come back to L.A., take lunch with Ertz, and begin the Resurrection of Vinnie Case...

Unfortunately, Ertz is essentially using Vince to knock down the asking price of Emile Hirsch... the actor he originally wanted for the role.  In the end, Vince's crew has somewhat of a "last laugh" as Johnny Drama and Turtle drive-by Ertz's home, smash his windshield, and lay a dead fish on the hood of his car... signifying Aqua Man's return.

Overall, I thought it was a great episode to bring us back into the season.  It didn't drag out the depressed Vin angle and got the group together as a single-unit once again.  I also liked how the separate stories of E and Drama are getting a bit more involved.  Drama's moving himself beyond the roll of comic relief already and I look forward to seeing what the writers have in store for him this season.

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