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Entourage Fodder

Entourage: First Class Jerk

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As I predicted, this weeks episode of Entourage was all about Ari Gold but with some Turtle thrown in. Will the writers go for broke and have Ari take the studio head job or will they wuss out and return to the status quo?

Having asked that, I think this episode is very good in it's story and execution and proves yet again that the show is continually evolving while staying true to it's roots. And did I mention it was pretty damn funny? In my mind this season has been one of the best yet but somehow I knew how the Ari situation would turn out. What I didn't think was that it was so easy for anyone to get a job as a head of a major studio. But more on that later.

If you remember, last week left off with the boys getting on a plane with supermodels on their way to Hawaii as Vince closes the airplane window on Ari. Vinnie was pining after Natasha who he met briefly before. This was their chance to frolic in the Hawaiian paradise with SUPERMODELS and it was a chance for the show to have the boys from Queens living the good life in the tropics. So what the heck happened? I know that they actually went to Hawaii to shoot scenes but what I wasn't prepared for was that those scenes entirely took place at a hotel. Couldn't they have done that in LA less expensively? But I digress.

This episode starts with the boys leaving the hotel on their way to the airport and arguing over the one first-class ticket they purchased and Turtle draws the lucky seat. Once on the plane Turtle sits next to Meadow Soprano herself, Jamie-Lynn Sigler who is distraught over breaking up with her boyfriend and is drinking heavily. Turtle uses his mad collection skills to score her some tiny bottles of Scotch and thinks he might actually have a shot. Back in coach, Drama is suffering because he's sitting inbetween an overweight guy and a woman with a crying baby. He flirts with a way too young girl siiting across the aisle but then gets the death stare from her mother. Kevin Dillon's reactions are classic. "Teflon" Vince on the other hand gets recognizes by a young fan who gives him props for flying coach.

Having seen nothing of his trip to Geneva (and Paris), we see Ari swaggering back into his agency where he his given the cold shoulder by everyone there, especially Lloyd. It seems that the trip went well because he got a faxed offer for 10 million bucks to take over as the studio chief as well as the story plastered on the front page of Variety.

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Jumping ahead five hours, Turtle is sidling up to Jamie-Lynn at the baggage claim and the guys give him tons of grief because she's way out of his league. Having had enough of being abused Turtle blurts out that she gave him a h*ndjob on the plane. This sends Drama over the edge and no one believes him. It also sets up a running joke for the rest of the episode. All I can say is she must have been really, really drunk.

Out of the blue, smarmy Josh Weinstein calls up E and says Frank Darabont (Shawshank Redemption & The Green Mile) wants to meet with Vince about his next project. E says he's loyal to Ari but agrees to take the meeting anyway. Vince compares that to cheating on Ari but little E is indifferent. Too much bashing from Ari has made the little Irishman hardened. Am I right?

Back at Miller-Gold, Ari is talking to the Mrs. when Lloyd comes in and starts yelling at him and as Ari says, "Throws a lot of Jew guilt" his way. What the Mrs. doesn't know is that Ari is conflicted about taking the job since Vince laid a guilt trip on him back on the tarmac. He tells her he'll settle it the same way he decided to propose to her, he'll flip a coin. That was pretty funny. I can imagine him doing that.

Drama and the guys are still giving Turtle grief as they head for their meeting with Frank when he gets there they find out that old Joshie didn't exactly tell the truth about why he wants to meet with him. He doesn't have a movie role in mind but a TV show that Darabont is executive producing. What a body blow! The boys surround Josh threateningly as he tells them that Vince isn't viable anymore as a "movie star" and the truth stings. Looks like something Mark Wahlberg would do. Oh wait . . . nevermind.

Meanwhile, Ari is being threatened by Babs (Beverly D'Angelo) when Dana Gordon calls. She wants to be Ari's number two and keeps calling to drive home that fact. Ari tells her that he's not taking the job and she says that the one and only Amanda is next on the list. Who knew that being an agent is the only qualification to run a Hollywood film studio? He knows Vince and Amanda's history (and his own) and decides to take matters into his own hands and bury the hatchet with her. But not until he hurls some very funny insults at Lloyd.

Ari's mission is to get Amanda to give Vince the part in "Smokejumpers" by telling her that he'll bow out of the running for the job. What he doesn't expect is the bitterness and anger she's got for him and for Vince. She plays it tough and tells him that she doesn't need any favors and that there is no way she'll make a deal. With a renewed vigor he tells her he's taking the job just to spite her. Amanda may not like Ari but doesn't she know she can't mess with him? Especially after all he's done in that town.

Vince is still reeling from hearing straight from Frank Darabont that he's only good for TV when Turtle chimes in with some clear and lucid points. Seems like the possibility of having a girlfriend coupled with getting a "release" works wonders on his mind. Reminds me of the reverse of that old Seinfeld episode where George goes celibate and becomes a savant in the process.

Ari goes to see John and cue the heartfelt music. Will he or won't he? Vince and the entourage are waiting back at his office comiserating with Lloyd when in comes Ari with the news. Drum role please.

Ari Gold is still an agent. Damn, what a missed opportunity. Turns out that Ari convinced John that Dana Gordon should be the studio chief and not Amanda or himself. Agents are just to slimy, right? In return he struck a deal with Dana to give Vince the part in "Smokejumpers" and all turns out happily ever after. The old bait and switch. BOOM! Looks like we'll be seeing lots more of the sexy voiced Constance Zimmer.

The episode ends with the running joke on Turtle about the h*andjob from Meadow Soprano. The boys are all celebrating at a bar when she comes up and throws a drink in Turtle's face because it's all over town that she j*erked him off. Adding insult to injury she calls him a "fat little f*ck." Wow, that was a low blow. But funny! As she storms off Drama runs after her and finds out that Turtle was telling the truth after all AND that she would have actually had sex with him if only he had kept his mouth shut. All the peer pressure and the razzing got to him and he spilled, no pun intended. This also proves that Turtle is not one to lie about his conquests like Drama does on a regular basis and that nice guys indeed finish last or at least become mile-high members with celebrities. Poor sad and lonely Turtle.

Some thoughts . . .

While I don't like that nothing was shown of Ari's meeting in Geneva as well as Vince and the boys trip to Hawaii I do think it would have been just filler if they showed it. In the scheme of things it wouldn't have moved the story along at all as the stuff shown was the important parts. I still feel somewhat cheated though.

Again, why actually film in Hawaii if you don't actually SHOW Hawaii?

Josh Weinstein is really a slimeball, isn't he? Reminds me of Jay Mohr's character in "Jerry Maguire."

Jamie-Lynn Sigler did a great sendup of herself. She played it like she was a "Soprano" and she never looked better. I'd love to see more of her as would Turtle, I suspect.

Doug Ellin and the writers did cop out by not having Ari become a studio chief. As I mentioned last week I think that if he had taken the job we could see a whole other dimension of the show. But this is a show about Vince and his entourage not about Ari Gold which is not only sad but testament that Ari deserves his very own show. Get on that HBO, will ya? I have lots of ideas on how that could work, let me tell you.

Is it me or is Carla Gugino getting sexy every time I see her? She just looked flat out hot in this episode. She lost some weight and looks perfect! Oh yeah, she looks awesome in red.

Speaking of hot, Constance Zimmer is looking pretty good and it was nice for her to actually show Ari a little affection. It won't last though, just watch. BTW, she looked really, really good in those workout clothes, didn't she?

It was very cool to actually see Turtle get his own story. Usually he's just an accessory. Jerry Ferrarra really made it count. Hopefully he gets a girlfriend before the series ends.
Turtle had the quote of the episode when he said to Drama: Reality is what happened over the Pacific you angry old f*ck. She j*rked me off, you happy?

There were so many great quotable one-liners in this episode. Very sharp and funny writing. Take what Ari said to Turtle about Jamie-Lynn Sigler: Oh, yeah I'm sure she's got a fetish for guys who are built like a South Park character. Nice.

Things are looking up for Vince as he will get a chance to redeem himself in "Smokejumpers" let's hope he actually makes a movie that people will like.

So who's the "First Class Jerk" of the episode? Johnny Drama of course. If he kept his mouth shut all around town Turtle might have actually got a girlfriend, instead he just got insulted and ridiculed. Nice work Johnny.

Overall, I give this episode 4 Supermodels out of 5 because the writers (and Doug) wussed out with Ari but I still thought this was a great episode. Vince only has only 4 episodes left to raise his star status so he better get on it!

-- Janaki Cedanna

Next Week: Pie - On the set of "Smokejumpers," Vince contends with first-day jitters and intimidating co-star Jason Patric (He's a bigger star than Vince, WTF? I guess Ed Norton wasn't available). Ari has lunch with Andrew Klein (Gary Cole), an old friend and mentor who needs his help. Stellan SkarsgÄrd plays the psycho director (Where's Billy?)


Posted by Janaki Cedanna on October 27, 2008 1:50 AM
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That was the best entourage eposiode since one day in the valley.. Why would you want Ari to be a studio head, that would wreck the show.. The epoisode had it all laughs, great moments Ari given it to Amanda actually made me cheer.. It was 5 out of 5 not 4..

-- Posted by: Johnny at October 27, 2008 6:48 AM

Hey Janaki, great review as always! To answer your question about the filming in Hawaii, I believe the footage of Hawaii that they did film was the footage of "Mexico" in the first episode of the season. Didn't they just pass that off as being Mexico although it was actually filmed in Hawaii? Anyway, GREAT Ari Gold rants and definitely in the running for the best of the season in my opinion...

-- Posted by: Luke at October 27, 2008 11:37 AM

@Johnny:
I don't think that Ari being a studio head would wreck the show at all, in fact I think it would reinvigorate it tremendously.

I believe the show is set to run another three seasons so how many more crazy clients and Ari freak outs can there be? Don't get me wrong I'm a hug fan of Piven and Ari Gold but a new direction couldn't hurt.

That's the only reason I gave it 4 Supermodels out of 5 and I stand by my original rating. But it was a very funny episode, right up there with the best of the series.

@Luke:

Thanks for the compliment, I appreciate it!
It's always nice to know people actually read my rants.
You're right, I totally forgot about that. They did sub Hawaii for Mexico.
I don't care how much Ari rants, it never gets old and is ALWAYS extremely funny. Great episode and season.

-- Posted by: Janaki at October 27, 2008 2:23 PM

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