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Entourage Fodder

Entourage: Return to Queens Blvd

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So we've reached the end of the great 5th season of Entourage. Bad news is that the 6th season is premiering the summer of 2009. Boy, this season went by awfully quick. Oh wait, that was because there were only 12 episodes. Let's hope there are more than that next season. But I digress.

Let's take a few minutes and bask in the awesomeness that was the 5th season. All right, let's go!

In a season that was all about the fallout of "Medellin" we saw the fall of Vincent Chase and the rise of the rest of the entourage. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse for Vince, it does. Awhile back I mentioned that Vince skipped over B-List status and went right to C-List and now he can't even get auditions since he has taken the blame for the collapse of "Smokejumpers." This is according to US Weekly (fictionally speaking of course.)

But before I get into my recap and review I want to point out that Entourage has ALWAYS been about friendship and loyalty. No matter what, the guys are always there to support Vince, especially in the tough times. We've seen Vince lash out at E many times but tonight after he hit rock bottom Vince really showed his true colors as an emotionally immature and disloyal friend.

On to the recap and review in the show's order (this week.)

For the first time we actually get to see the boys in their home town of Queens, New York. We catch up with guys in their old stomping ground at a local bar where they have spent four consecutive nights partying until dawn. On their way home we are treated to some nice neighborhood shots of New York all set to the classic Steppenwolf song, "The Pusher." Nice foreshadowing of what's to come.

When they get home Vince and Johnny's mom (Mercedes Ruehl) is up and already cooking breakfast and promptly starts nagging. Speaking of nagging, Turtle's mom comes barging in and takes him home. Ma Chase starts telling Vince how director Gus Van Sant is in town to shoot a film and that Joaquin Phoenix just broke his arm and had to drop out of the lead and that Vince should go for that film. She got all of this from Page Six. She should be Vince's manager, right? E thinks it's a great role and decides to call Ari to get Vince the job.

E calls Ari and he is informed that Ari already spoke to Gus and that he doesn't want Vince because he's not a fan. E suggests that Vince audition for the role and Ari tries to set it up. E is finally back to his old pushy ways after being virtually nonexistent during the "Smokejumpers" fiasco. It's about time.

The guys go to visit Vince's aunt and walk into a surprise welcome home party for Vince and to a lesser degree, Drama. It's sad that Johnny Drama still gets zero respect. During the party Turtle's cousin Ronnie (Louis Lombardi) tries to get Drama to make another investment in his cockamamie plans and E gets a call from Ari saying that Gus won't even let Vince read for the role because he doesn't like his acting. E asks Ari to call Gus back to convince him to let Vince read and when Ari refuses E decides to take matters into his own hands and calls Gus himself.

Drama is giving Turtle a hard time because he's always secretly texting and talking to someone on the phone and one of Vince's old flames named Cara (Mercedes Masöhn) shows up out of the blue to rekindle their romance. E breaks the news that Gus won't even let Vince read and Cara tries to distract them by going out drinking in the middle of the afternoon. What? E says he's going down personally to talk to Gus and Vince is not too happy about it but gives in when E makes a compelling argument.

When he gets to the office he is told he can't see Gus but our little spark plug Eric tells an assistant that he just wants five minutes to give Gus Vince's movies. He has to wait around for six hours to get his chance but he has nothing else to do and he finally wears them down.

Vince confides in Cara as they walk under a bridge which looks a lot like the same location used for "Saturday Night Fever." He tells her that he got fired from "Smokejumpers" and you can really see the depression on his face. She asks what E has been doing and Vince's frustration comes through as he says he's not sure who he should listen to anymore. Wow, what a jerk. Especially as E is at that very moment fighting for his career.

The elusive Gus Van Sant finally meets with E and they go back and forth about all of Vince's roles. Gus clearly doesn't want Vince for his film but after E's great persistence (as well as offering to show him Vince's scenes in "Smokejumpers") Gus relents and agrees to consider him. Cut to: E talking on the phone with Ari and asking him to ask Dana to send over the scenes so Gus can see them. As usual Ari rips into him and refuses to ask Dana for the scenes. E, who has seemingly finally learned how to play Ari tells him that he told Gus that Ari would take care of this personally. Ari gets mad but makes the arrangements.

Back at their favorite bar, Ronnie is trying to get Drama to invest 30k in the bar and after some back and forth Ronnie finally appeals to Drama's ego and says that if he invests he could have his name on the bar. Uh, oh.

E tells Vince that Gus still said no but that he had arranged to have the scenes sent out to him and then he'll make a decision. After hearing this Vince clearly looks uncomfortable. So let me get this straight. A director has to see scenes from a 120 million dollar film that was shut down in order to MAYBE let Vince audition for the role. Don't they realize that Gus Van Sant makes low budget indie films? It really sucks to be an actor, right? Just then Turtle's phone rings and Drama snatches it out of his hand. Drama answers it and Jamie-Lynn Sigler point blank tells Drama it's her and that they are "f*cking." Gotta love Jamie-Lynn, she is so awesome and perfect for Turtle in every way. Hope she sticks around for a long while.

Drama and the rest of the crew are in shock but Drama feeling energized or a little jealous agrees to invest in the bar if the name is changed to "Johnny Drama's" Good luck to him if he ever thinks that will make him any money as we will soon see, I'm sure.

As the guys wait around the next morning waiting for Gus to call Ma Chase kicks Johnny out of the kitchen and Vince comes down with Cara (it didn't take him long.) Cara tells Ma Chase that Turtle is dating Jamie-Lynn and her reaction is total disbelief, exactly like Drama's. That was pretty funny. Just then Gus callls and tells Vince that he really liked his performance but that he's still not right for his film. He says E was pushy but compliments him and suggests they work together in the future. Vince is absolutely crushed and he screams and throws E's phone against the wall and storms out of the house. I have never seen Vince that mad before, ever. E goes after him (a big mistake) and right out there in the street Vince blames his fledgling career on him. They have a huge fight and Vince says some terrible things to Eric. He does everything but call him a "pizza boy." So right there on the streets of Queens, New York Vincent Chase fires Eric Murphy. E's response is a simple "f*ck you" and he goes right to the airport and back to LA. Vince shows right here what a disloyal friend he really is. I understand he's frustrated but there is no way he could possibly think even for a minute that Eric is the cause of his career going down the dumps. E has been right about nearly everything as I'll discuss later on.

What follows is a Scorsese style montage of E walking through LAX, the unveiling of "Johnny Drama's" bar replete with neon lights, Vince trying to call him, Turtle having his phone sex interrupted by his mom (extremely sexy and funny) and E and his other client Charlie (Bow Wow) going to a network pitch meeting. All that was missing was a Rolling Stones song and some slo-mo camera work. It was a very well done homage though.

Ari comes to New York with some surprise news but strangely doesn't know anything about E being fired. Hmmm. As he enters Johnny Drama's (can't get enough of that) he acts like he owns the joint and good-naturedly insults everyone. What follows is so cool I jumped out of my seat. What a twist!!

Ari hands Vince the phone and on the other end is none other than legendary director Martin Scorsese himself offering Vince the lead in his next film. Yeah, baby! Marty tells Vince that Gus sent over the "Smokejumper" scenes and that he was impressed (did he see something we didn't?) and that he's doing a reimagining of "The Great Gatsby" set in modern day New York. Vince is totally blown away especially when Ari gives all the credit to E. Let's hope we get to see Marty in action but most likely when the new season starts it will be when he's wrapped the film. I'll be so sad if that happens. Wait, a reimagining of "The Great Gatsby", WTF??

Back in LA, E is saying goodbye to Charlie after their successful meeting when Vince calls. He ignores the call and goes up to his office of "The Murphy Group." When he walks in Vince is waiting for him in his office and apologizes to him. It's a pretty uncomfortable scene but Vince is back to his old ways since he's viable again. He asks E to be his manager again but E is reluctant. When Vince says he booked the new Scorsese film E gets all giddy and accepts Vince's offer. The rest of the gang, including Ari are hiding out in the closet (weird, I know) and they all come out to congratulate E. The episode ends with all of them walking triumphantly down the streets of LA going to get wasted and let me tell you, if the series ended with this scene it would be perfection. Vince is back!!

BOOM, there ya go!!

Some final thoughts on the season finale.

It was very cool to see the boys back in their element in New York. Drama seemed to relish his role as the cocky de facto leader of the group, didn't he?

It was also pretty funny to see how the mothers rule the roost. I'm always amazed when guys who have strong mothers seem to treat women only as sex objects.

It was great to see the return of the bulldog Eric, especially since he was a total non-factor the last few episodes. It especially pissed me off that Vince doesn't recognize how instrumental E has been to his career. Every positive thing that has happened to Vince has been under the direct influence of E. Among many other things E got him "Queens Blvd", talked him into doing "Aquaman", sold "Medellin" when it looked like it would flop and now got him a Scorsese film. I also loved to see him pop out from behind that flower vase. I don't like how he apologized to Vince though. He didn't do anything wrong.

It was hilarious that the banner at the party read: Welcome Home International Movie Star Vincent Chase and in smaller letters And TV Star Johnny Chase.

How is it that Seattle filmmaker Gus Van Sant has such a great New York office? While he's a great director and has done classics like "To Die For" and "Good Will Hunting", he can't act!

Anyone notice that when E is walking down the street talking to Ari, Olympian Michael Phelps bumps into him? Is that his entire cameo??

Jamie-Lynn swearing up a storm was so awesome. I love how she just flat out tells Drama what's going on with Turtle. They even have great chemistry over the phone. She was smokin' hot during the phone sex! I really, really hope she sticks around for awhile. I also give lots of credit to Jerry Ferarra by underplaying his acting this entire episode. He actually seemed sad. Poor, Sal. His mom even called him Sal when she caught him having phone sex. Cool.

What was up with that creepy look Vince gives Drama when he announces his new bar?

While Vince's anger was warranted, his freak-out definitely wasn't. Again, the things he said to E were unforgivable. The fact that E did forgive him later on proves that he's a much better person than Vince will ever be. Enough said.

The bar scene at the end was subtle and foreboding for Drama. The bar was always packed every other time we saw it but as soon as it's "Johnny Drama's" there is only three people inside. Is it another one of Ronnie's scams? Probably. Why is Drama bartending? His De Niro impersonation WAS pretty damn funny though.

Awesome twist to have Martin Scorsese appear and and offer Vince the lead in his film. Marty is a much better actor than Gus but why is he on a roof? And why is he doing a reimagining of "The Great Gatsby"? Still it WAS pretty damn awesome.

Finally, we get to see "The Murphy Group." Nice touch to see an "Aquaman" poster with the weekend gross of $116,844,114 on the wall as well as a cool "Medellin" poster. How is it that he still has a business since he's NEVER there? BTW, they showed Ari's phone number. It's 310-770-6688, I haven't called it yet but it's nice to see it not be a 555-5555 fake number.

Will we EVER see Charlie be funny? E got him booked on Jimmy Kimmel to do his stand-up but has he ever been remotely funny???

The Entourage opening credit curse was in full force as Rex Lee saw his airtime go down dramatically in the last few episodes and Perrey Reeves has been nonexistent.

The last line is the best quote of the episode when Ari says: Reach for the stars baby.

This ends an amazingly great season of Entourage and I give this episode a score of 5 Jamie-Lynn Sigler's out of 5 because it was flat out great. It seemed like the show got a great infusion of energy by being in New York and anytime Marty shows up you know it's gotta be a classic.

Overall, I give the entire season a full on 4.8 hot chicks out of 5 because in my mind there was only one subpar episode the entire year. This season has got to rank as one of the series best. My hat goes off to you Doug Ellin for not being afraid to take the show into new and dynamic directions and to the entire cast who really showed growth and dimensionality to their characters. The writing, pacing and stories were for the most part excellent and I look forward to an awesome 6th season next summer!

To all my readers: Stay tuned as I will give news and updates during the off season and thanks to all of you for your support and kind comments! Feel free to drop me a line at janaki@tvfodder.com if you start going into withdrawals or have any info for me!

Here's to a great year and I'm already anxiously awaiting the next season! BOOM!!!

-- Janaki Cedanna


Posted by Janaki Cedanna on November 23, 2008 11:22 PM
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Great post! Didn't realize that was Michael Phelps. SNL, now Entourage cameo. Will he do movies next or just be a McEnroe?

And yes, Marty's surprise appearance changed the season completely. Kudos!

-- Posted by: gnosys at November 24, 2008 5:44 AM

How cool would it have been for Scorcese to start the conversation with Vince by saying,"I have a timeshare in Boca (!) and they say, no really, I'd like you to star in my next film...)

-- Posted by: dkr at November 24, 2008 1:19 PM

@gnosys: Thanks for the compliment!
It was definitely a great and unexpected ending to what many called a "down" season. I think the season totally kicked ass because all of the characters went through changes and became more interesting for it.

My only hope is that we will get to see Marty shoot at least some of this film. And wouldn't it be cool if Joe Pesci made an appearance? I would love to hear him talk smack to Drama.

@dkr: Nice AMEX reference. He could have had Vince really going with that one!

Thanks for reading!!

-- Posted by: Janaki at November 24, 2008 1:27 PM

damn that time again huh?
seems like i just got done waiting for Entourage to come back on

-- Posted by: john at November 24, 2008 1:36 PM

You and I are so on the same page about how Vince treated E. After they spent a season making him vulnerable and sympathetic, I dislike him once again. Eric is the true star and hero in this Entourage, because he is the most loyal of the pack. I would have really loved to see them carry over their fight until next season- that would have been the ultimate hangover. We would have been left wondering if they made up and if E went back to being Vince's manager. I would love to see what would happen to Vince without him!

-- Posted by: lainiek at November 24, 2008 4:58 PM

"hangover" and "cliffhanger". I must have been hungover when I typed that... or wishing I had something to drink...

-- Posted by: lainiek at November 24, 2008 5:00 PM

@lainiek:
Yes, we totally agree about E being the most important part of the Entourage. That's why it was so unfair to see him treated this way by Vince.

But let's face facts, Eric's loyalty and dedication to Vince has always been the most important thing to him. It even cost him his relationship with Sloane. He has always fought for and defended him and to not get that in return speaks volumes about Vince's core beliefs.

Vince demands loyalty from his crew but when times get tough or a hot girl comes his way, he bails on them. This has been shown time and time again. It would be best if E had maintained a clean break from him but sadly that's not what the show's about.

I'm not sure about he cliffhanger though as that's been done on the show way too many times. How many times can Vince fire E or for that matter Ari?

As I mentioned it did piss me off that not only did E go back to managing Vince so quickly but that he apologized to him as well. He had absolutely nothing to apologize for. What happened to Vince was ALL Vince's own doing and the fact that he took it out on E was so wrong on many different levels.

I'm very sad to see this season end and I can't believe we'll have to 8 frakkin months to see what happens on the Scorsese pic. UGH!!!!

I'll count on you to keep me "honest" about any offseason news . . .

Thanks for reading!

-- Posted by: Janaki at November 24, 2008 5:50 PM

Vince disloyal, make up your mind man first you want him to start caring about his career and when he does you call him disloyal, never mind the fact he does everything for his friends and his brother.

As soon he starts to think about himself you jump on him straight away, everything good that has happened to the group is because of Vince, never says a bad word to any of them, why does Turtle love Vince so much because Vince is the only one on the show who doesn't give him shit and does anything he wants him to do his the most loyal of friends. Pays 20 thousand for a pair of shoes for
Turtle why? because as Turtle said I'm just really sad.. What about him saying he would appear in Charlie's pilot you think he wanted to he did it for E.. Let's not forget his brother he never forgot his brother and never gives his brother shit when they all do..

I think you tend to forget so easily Janaki..

-- Posted by: Johnny at November 25, 2008 1:39 AM

Great blog. Wonder if they will be filming in NY since that is where scorsese is making new movie. The gang moving to NY?

-- Posted by: Lee at November 29, 2008 9:03 AM

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