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Entourage Fodder

Entourage: Play'n with Fire


Wow. I mean wow, what an amazing episode. Simply put, I believe this is the best episode in the history of the show, hand's down.

The 2nd to the last episode (and by far the longest) of the incredible 5th season of Entourage had many twists and turns and so many fireworks I almost couldn't believe what was happening before my eyes. My brain nearly exploded with all that happened.

But the huge NEWSFLASH is that it took a famous girlfriend like Jamie-Lynn Sigler to finally get Turtle to open up and I almost can't believe his real name is . . . get ready for it . . . Turtle's name is Sal. That's so awesome!

This has got to be one of the best eps in the history of the show as everyone was on their game, the dialogue was great and Vince's experience was spot on. I almost expected Verner to go all David O. Russell and attack Vince as that would have been pitch perfect. I definitely see an Emmy nod for Stellan Skarsgård as he has been extraordinary in this role.

But before we get to the sad saga of Vincent Chase, let's talk about the main storyline of Sal, aka, Turtle. It seems like years since Turtle has been the main story, oh yeah it has.

The episode opens with Jamie-Lynn Sigler calling Turtle at 4 AM for what seems like a booty call. He can't believe it and frankly, neither could I. When she asks him to come over he pops out of bed like he never has before. Boing!

As he's sneaking out the door he runs into Vince who hasn't slept all night because the psycho German director Verner has got him all wound up and seriously doubting his ability. Vince re-watched all his films and actually started to buy the crap Verner heaped on him about his so-called "tics." At the urging of Jamie-Lynn and having learned his lesson from before, Turtle won't tell Vince where he's going and pleads with him not to ask.

Flash forward to the post-coital afterglow and Turtle is trying to sneak out and do the "walk of shame." Can't blame the guy because all he's ever got were hookers and this is the first girl in a VERY long time that actually wanted to sleep with him with no strings attached or money exchanged. As he's gathering up his clothes (Jerry has lost tons of weight) Jamie-Lynn very happily suggests they go out and get something to eat together. Turtle can't believe that A: She doesn't want him to leave, B: She wants to spend time with him and C: She's satisfied but wants more sex. BOOYAH!

As they arrive at her favorite New Orlean's style restaurant, Turtle's insecurity is glaringly apparent. He thinks she's trying to hide him because of the remoteness of the place and he apologizes to her again for shooting his mouth off about her mile-high h*ndjob. Turns out she eats there all the time, has a crazy ex-boyfriend who's a San Diego Charger and sees a therapist that tells her she's attracted to losers. He immediately thinks she's talking about him (more on that later.) Having found himself on a real date they both start talking openly to each other. She tells him he's cute and he tells her that since he was a child he's always lifted the spirits of people around him (I can see that.) She orders jambalaya and even though he's never had it before, he agrees to try it and shows he open to new things.

In a weird cut, Turtle is driving Jamie-Lynn around in a limo. Turns out that he's helping out the incarcerated Dom with his business. What?? As they are driving we actually see the chemistry between these two. He starts talking about Vince as usual but she immediately turns the conversation back to him. Clearly he's not used to that. He begins to squirm when she asks what his future plans are before he finally admits that things haven't panned out for him. When he says she must really be attracted to losers she says she sees potential in him. Again, I have to say that the chemistry between them is palpable and extremely surprising. How refreshing.

They head out to the beach and this is where the revelations come. In this scene alone we find out more about Turtle than has ever been revealed in the show's run, combined. First we find out that it was Turtle's money that paid for Vince to come to LA in the first place and that he made $15k being a bookie back in Queens. Then he tells her that his dream was to open up a restaurant called "Turtle's" but she says that the name doesn't imply speedy service (true but still very funny) but then he quickly says it should be called "Kenny's." This was a rouse by the writers to make us think his name might actually be Kenny but he dispels this immediately after. When Jamie-Lynn goes on about how he'll never tell his real name (he's been known as Turtle since he was five-years old and even his mom calls him that) but when she doesn't pressure him that's when he matter-of-factly reveals his real name to be Sal. And just like that, it's done. After all this time Turtle's name is Sal. And since he's Italian that's most likely short for Salvatore. I wouldn't be surprised if Drama and E don't even know this nugget of info but I'm pretty sure Vince does. They kiss and she invites him to spend the weekend with her in La Jolla. Did I mention they had this conversation smoking a joint? This is the absolute perfect girl for him. Absolutely perfect!

Near the end of the day they are driving around and she playfully makes fun of him because he'd rather go to Sea World then spend the weekend in bed having sex. We also find out that Turtle's been in LA for twelve years, Yikes! Their lovey dovey day is interrupted when Vince calls and it's telling that Jamie-Lynn says not to say she's there. Hmmm. His loyalty to Vince is still foremost and you can see the look of disappointment on his face when he tells Vince he'll meet up with him. Hopefully, she'll understand his loyalty to his friend but it may have turned ugly as evidenced by when he gets on the plane later.

Now on to Vincent Chase.

On set Vince tells Drama and E he's got to focus on the days scene and he meets up to talk with Verner and shooting begins after a pseudo pep talk. Cut to: Over 50 takes later Vince cannot please Verner with any of his performances. Visibly upset, Verner starts berating Vince while he's hanging in a tree in front of the entire cast and crew. The exchanges get more and more heated until finally Vince has had enough and Vinny goes off on him. They argue ferociously in front of everyone (with the first AD trying to call lunch) this goes on until Verner drops a bomb and tells Vince that he never wanted him for this role and that a high school actor could do better. Finally he fires Vince. Unfrickinbelievable!!

Like the shot heard round the world, news reaches Ari that Verner went nuts, fired Vince and is trying to replace him with Josh Hartnett. Ari is celebrating the arrival of Andrew Klein (Gary Cole) at the agency when one of his agents runs up and tells him what happened (interestingly it's not Lloyd.) Ari wigs out, calls Vince and after hearing what's going on drops everything, hops on Jerry Bruckheimer's helicopter and heads out to Big Bear to try and save the day and Vince's career.

Ari swoops in like a commando (literally) and tries to comfort Vince. He tells Vince and (the worthless) E that "The Jew has arrived and he doesn't like Germans." He tries talking to Verner nicely but it quickly escalates. While it was great to see Ari go toe-to-toe with another monster Type-A personality he doesn't have any luck. There was such great dialogue here that this will most definitely be the Emmy submission for both the Pivster and for Skarsgård. After not getting his way, Ari calls Dana Gordon and tells her that Verner needs to be replaced as the director and E wants Shauna to release a statement saying Vince walked off the movie. The tension builds!!

Dana calls Verner and gets yelled at for 45 minutes but sadly we don't get to hear any of it. In the meantime Ari has Lloyd contact a who's who of directors. James Cameron is busy doing "Avatar", Ridley Scott and Ron Howard are also busy. But Kevin Smith is available, which was very funny! Dana calls Ari back and says Verner reamed her out and she's afraid to cause waves in front of John Ellis, the owner of the studio. Verner is going to see Dana personally and Ari grabs Vince to try and head him off. The race is on!!!

At the studio, Verner, Ari, Vince and E bring their case to Dana and all parties really let loose. Verner insults Vince by saying he'd rather have Ashton Kutcher over Vince and that he's a worthless actor. He wants Leo, Joaquin Phoenix or Christian Bale but not Vince, NOT ever. Ari says he can get Peter Berg, gets him on the phone and tries to pull a fast one when Berg says no. E gets into the act and goes all ghetto on him. Unfazed, Verner easily deflects any and all attacks. Dana finally gets really pissed off and threatens him to take back Vince or else. Finally, he wigs out and runs to tell John Ellis and interrupts a board meeting. John agrees to watch dailies to make the decision if Vince is right for the role and when he's done he blows right past Ari as Dana drops yet another bomb that since "Smokejumpers" is two million over budget he's shutting down the film and that her job is in jeopardy as well. To quote Vince, "I can't believe this." Let me tell you, these scenes was incredible.

After the catastrophic failure, Vince calls Turtle and they all hop on a plane to go back to Queens. Even then they all give Turtle a hard time for not being there but Turtle is gracious to Vince and doesn't say anything about his tryst with Jamie-Lynn. Visibly upset Turtle puts on headphones and tells Drama he's been better. The episode ends with Drama looking more concerned at Turtle then he was with Vince.

Some thoughts . . .

Again, this episode had tons of revelations in it. What a great, great episode.

Even with all the Vince excitement, clearly this episode belonged to the forgotten Jerry Ferarra. He's mostly used as a punchline in this show but if anything it proved once and for all that Jerry CAN act. Of course, their chemistry helped immensely. I want to go on the record to say that his story was extremely satisfying. It's like I've been starving all these years and finally get to eat. Only I never knew I was hungry. Does that make sense?

Did anyone else think Turtle's name was actually Kenny? Maybe it was a South Park nod? And did Turtle once have a gambling problem as alluded to by Vince?

Did I mention that Jamie-Lynn Sigler is a a very sexy girl? But what's with Turtle trading lots of sex with her to go to Sea World. I've been to Sea World and I'd rather stay in bed with Jamie-Lynn than go there any day of the week. He even had "morning after" sex!

Let's hope that Sal's, AKA, Turtle's relationship will grow (love that name) and not fall apart with no explanation like with Lauren London or worse like E and Sloane when the boys jumped on a plane after "Medellin." Regardless, it was long overdue that Turtle actually had even the possibility of a relationship. I'll take what I can get. And Jerry and Jamie-Lynn are actually going out in real life so the door is open for more appearances by her. Maybe she will stake him in his dream of owning a restaurant??

It was great to Vince fighting back and show some serious passion for once and if anything this whole experience will make his rise back to the top even more sweet. Mark my words.

Did we know that Dom had a limo business that Turtle helped run in his absence? Love that Turtle wanted hot girls to drive the limos and call it "Lim-ho's" Nice.

While it's no wonder that "Smokejumpers" is two million bucks over budget a week in given the scope of the forest fires, I have to think that some money was saved since Verner doesn't believe in rehearsals and likes to do one take. Is the overrun due to Vince 50+ takes? Would it be under budget if Vince nailed them on the first or second try? Will the movie ever get finished? The consolation is that John Ellis thought Vince was great in his scenes. That's something isn't it?

So it was confirmed that Edward Norton is on this film but isn't he a producer as well? Couldn't he and/or any of the other producers get involved?

Stellan Skarsgård is an amazing actor that forces all others to rise to the occasion. Enough said.

How telling is that Ari introduced Andrew Klein as the new "Ari." Sets up complication for next season right? Will Andrew be like Ari was to Terrance?

Great subtleties in this show. When Drama is packing up Vince's trailer he takes a painting off the wall. Was it there already or is he still outfitting his condo?

Best exchange:
Ari: My client has performed just fine in every movie he's ever done, including a blockbuster for an Oscar winning AMERICAN director!
Verner: Well, this is a film about human beings with layers. It's not about some swimming superhero.
Ari: I don't care if it's a movie about a dancing cucumber. He will deliver and I need for you to get back out there and help him to do that.
Verner: I think that's impossible, unless the ghost of Sir Laurence Olivier will miraculously inhabit his body. Your client is soulless.

Best Line, hand's down:
Turtle: "It's Sal.

It was great when Dana Gordon (Constance Zimmer) goes nuts on Verner. She's never been sexier! Ari's line "Is anybody else turned on right now?" after her freakout simply said it all.

BOOM, there you have it!

I give this episode an impossibly high score of 5.5 Jamie-Lynn Sigler's out of 5 for an instant classic. This episode had it all and in my mind it was perfect! I mean how can you complain at all when Vince gets fired and strikes back, Turtle gets some much deserved love AND we finally found out his real name? I'm excited and very sad that next week is the season finale as this show has so much momentum that I don't know how it can get any better. Can you tell I really liked this one?

-- Janaki Cedanna

Next Weeks Season Finale: Return to Queens Blvd - Despite a not-so-triumphant return, the guys party it up in NYC. After getting a tip from Vince's mom, E stalks Gus Van Sant to convince him to cast Vince in a role. Meanwhile, Vince reconnects with his high school sweetheart and Drama considers an investment opportunity.

Posted by Janaki Cedanna on November 17, 2008 12:50 AM
Permalink |


Congrats on getting the shout-out from USA's Pop Candy.

Now if only I could be so lucky...

-- Posted by: Randy at November 17, 2008 1:04 PM

Hey Randy,

Thanks for the info, I hadn't seen it.
I appreciate the congrats!!

It's pretty cool. I guess there is something to be said about publishing the blog quickly after the show airs. I'm never sure if anyone actually reads my reviews.

Here's the link for Whitney Matheson's Pop Candy Blog:


-- Posted by: Janaki at November 17, 2008 1:24 PM

OMG yes, Jerry Ferarra was incredible in this episode! I've always been vaguely repulsed his the way they've portrayed him, can you blame me?? But after this episode, I find him - dare I say - pretty attractive! His chemistry with Jamie-Lynn Sigler was fantastic. He really knocked this one out of the park. Go Turtle! (I mean, Sal)

-- Posted by: Sarah at November 17, 2008 1:24 PM

Great blog! Adding you to my RSS feeds. Turtle's name being Sal isn't that surprising, considering he's Italian. And yes, Stellan Skarsgård, one of the most under-appreciated stars in Tinseltown gave a great performance! The part where he was raging and "Du Hast" playing in the background seemed pretty apt.

-- Posted by: gnosys at November 17, 2008 1:55 PM

Thanks to everyone for reading!

@Sarah: Every woman I've ever talked to has been repulsed by Turtle. Maybe now that will change. Turtle has always been the misogynistic, comedy relief but in this episode we saw him open up and drop his "white rapper" act. Credit Jerry Ferarra with some great subtle acting. It does help that they actually have fantastic chemistry together! Hope to see more of Jamie-Lynn.

@gnosys: Thanks for the compliment! I've seen it endlessly discussed what Sal is short for but I believe it stands for Salvatore. I'm also interested to know what his last name is. But now I'm picky. I couldn't agree more about Skarsgård's performance as it was electric. It would be criminal if he didn't win an Emmy for this.

Looking forward to a great final episode as it looks like Vince might fire E and stay in New York for awhile. I hope not as E is responsible for every good thing that ever happened to him career wise.

-- Posted by: Janaki at November 19, 2008 1:29 PM

The limo is leased and Turtle was returning it to the leasing office for Dom. But yea this was an awesome episode.

-- Posted by: Anonymous at December 11, 2008 9:44 AM

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