Monday, October 27, 2008

Entourage S. 5 E. 8 - "First Class Jerk"

On the business side of things, Vince continues his spiral of depression when he gets offered a role on a TV show and Ari deliberates on what to do about his studio head job. Just as Michael at Entourage the Blog sagely predicted last week, Ari bows out of the position but recommends Dana Gordon to take the job, ensuring that Vinnie will get to be on Smokejumpers. In the episode’s best scene, Ari and his wife discuss the prospect of leaving his agency and Mrs. Ari raises the first valid reason I’ve heard for Ari to decline the job: he loves being his own boss. Lloyd voices the second: he wouldn’t be able to hurl as many homosexual slurs. At other points in the episode Ari expresses his concern about not being able to get Vince on Smokejumpers if he doesn’t take the job which still strikes me as a petty reason for that kind of decision.

On the fraternal side of the plot, Turtle meets Jaime Lynn Sigler (The Sopranos) on their flight back from Hawaii and allegedly gets somewhat physical with her over the Pacific. Drama, enraged and refusing to believe Turtle’s good fortune, goes around town blabbing about Turtle’s claim to anyone and everyone to try and embarrass Turtle into admitting it’s not true. In the end, Jaime Lynn finds Turtle at a club and splashes her drink in his face for talking about their mid-air tryst. Realizing that Turtle wasn’t lying, he tries to take the bullet and confess to Jaime Lynn that it was his fault but it’s too late. This sub-plot was fairly grating due to Drama’s callousness but on the other hand, it was entirely realistic. Turtle wouldn’t be able to keep it to himself and jealous friends like Drama and E would go around advertising it until it’s no longer a secret.

Serviceable as a transition episode but little else, next week looks to be a solid change of pace as we fast-forward to Vinnie on the set of Smokejumpers which apparently has been fast-tracked and in the process lost Edward Norton and gained Jason Patrick in the lead role. Which makes me wonder what kind of Hollywood universe Entourage takes place in: Frank Darabont is repeatedly branded a genius this episode(come on Shawshank was 14 years ago!) and then Vinnie Chase is considered a second lead behind Jason Patrick? Jason Patrick couldn’t headline Speed 2: Cruise Control.

Next week’s episode looks to be a great move because for once we’ll get to see Vinnie on the set of a movie mid-season (rather than placing it in the in-between season ellipsis) and apparently see him floundering rather than coasting through. It’s nice that the prelude to Smokejumpers won’t be strung out interminably throughout the rest of the season but it makes me question the need to have Giovanni Ribisi and Lukas Haas play the screenwriters since they haven’t had much significance thus far.

On an unrelated note, I like the way HBO has changed its pre-episode tag-line description to: “Whether you’re winning or losing, the game of fame is always a trip.”

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