Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Entourage: The Boys are Back in Town!

Episode 40: "The Resurrection"

The boys rolling back into Ari's office meant everything was right with the (fake) world again

"Fuck reviews"-Vince

"Fuck 'em"-E.

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me right back in.

Sorry to reference the infamous Michael Corleone quote, something that has been done a zillion times ad nauseum, but I couldn't think of a more appropriate intro for what happened on the show this week.

After suffering through weeks of titillation (Amanda), vegetation (Drama & Turtle's lives) and equine infestation ("KING!"), we, the viewers, were treated to a great episode that not only brought the fledgling series back from cultural irrelevance but also managed to not-so-subtly skewer the greed & power-obsessed Hollywood showbiz machine at the same time.

As the show opens, Vince, Turtle, and E. are waiting for Drama to wake up and cook them breakfast. His new series, "Five Towns," premiered the night before, and evidently Drama's fear of negative reviews has caused him to sleep in and avoid Variety magazine at all costs. His buddies tell him to relax, but just as he starts to do so a bird crashes through the kitchen window and lands in his eggs; a sure sign that the universe may indeed be against Johnny.

Next, we get to witness the scene we've been waiting this entire (mini) season for -- the boys walking back into Ari's office, side-by-side, as Ari & Lloyd stand outside his office to greet them, just like the good old days.

"There they are, a movie star and a TV star all in one family," Ari brown-noses, but Vince & E. aren't back to lap up anymore of Ari's bullshit. They make a single demand that must be met in order for Vince to return to Ari as a client- get Medellin out of purgatory and into Vince's hands.

"Medellin has crabs, gonorrhea, syphilis, it's an incurable super germ," Ari attempts to tell them, but their deal is final- no Pablo Escobar, no Vinnie Chase.

Now that the main players have been officially reunited, the two bumbling buffoon sidekicks finally get some meat on their story lines, too. Drama attempts to cope with the stress of the pilot by hitting a "rub & tug" massage parlor, but after an hour with no results, he reads the Variety review, then stomps out of the parlor in a huff. He bursts into the Variety office of the writer who trashed him, who breaks the sad news that he doesn't have a vendetta against Johnny, he just "doesn't think he's very good" as an actor and neither does anyone else in town. Ouch.

Meanwhile, Turtle heads over to pick up Drama's vintage Lincoln, the one from the show intro that the boys referenced in last week's ep, at a friend, Rufus', body shop. Seems as if the three of them decided to restore the old rust bucket in order to cheer their buddy up or perhaps to lessen the blow of the presumed bad reviews.

While there, Turtle meets the girl of his dreams, Kelly (Lauren London), a gorgeous sister with a nice smile who shares his passion for fancy sneakers. After a few awkward moments, like learning Kelly is Rufus' daughter, crashing the Linc because he was staring at her in the side mirror on his way out, and pleading with Rufus to let him ask Kelly on a date, he finally gets the digits of the girl who is "just like him, only with tits."

While Turtle is beaming and Drama is steaming, Vince, E. & Ari meet with mega-producer Joe Roberts (Micheal Lerner) to try and persuade him to resurrect the Medellin project. At first, Roberts is unmoved by their attempts to convince him it will be this generation's Scarface, but after Vince makes one of the most impassioned, intelligent, and well-written speeches of his life, Joe agrees to think it over.

But in the next instant Ari is on the phone with Joe, and the news is apparently not good. "I feel like you're taking a giant steel catheter and shoving it directly up my cock," Ari tells him when he hears that Joe will make Medellin only if Vince will star in his pet project, a CGI action spectacle called "Matterhorn." When Vince balks, Ari pleads with him to take the deal because if not Roberts is going to buy the Medellin script and bury it forever.

As Vince puffs on a jay and he and E. pound a couple of beers, they search for a way to make their dream project come true. "It's this town. I mean these people buy scripts they don't even want to make," Vince laments, and when E. tells him it's all about power & control, Vinny defiantly replies, "well we cannot let them control us; we can buy the script."

And thus one of the greatest plot twists in series history is born.

E. agrees to chip in his life savings-$237,642-and Vince decides to sell the house to bankroll his dream (curious side note: E. saying he thinks he has more cash than Vince), and the wheels are set in motion for what could be one hell of a ride in getting the Enola Gay of Vince's career off the ground. Ari begs Joe to let Vince buy the rights, and he acquiesces because he saw a passion that rivaled Coppola's for Apocalypse Now with Vince & Medellin that Roberts wishes he had. He even agrees to sell it to him on the cheap-$5 mil, half what he paid- just so Vince can attempt to fulfill his dream.

"Congratulations, you're the proud owner of 150 pieces of paper," Ari tells him.

But their enthusiasm is tainted because after they gave Drama the restored Lincoln, he took off on a soul-searching journey to nowhere in order to contemplate his future in the biz. Only while he is screaming through the Arizona desert headed for the Grand Canyon, blaring the Doors "When the Music's Over" and downing Jim Beam, the "Five Towns" pilot was racking up 16 million viewers, ensuring that Drama's series is officially a hit, in spite of the critics.

In another terrific closing scene, Drama wakes up the next morning in the back seat of the Lincoln to the sound of his phone; it's Vince, asking if Johnny still wants to do such menial tasks as cooking breakfast for them since he is now the star of a hit TV show. Upon hearing the news, he looks into the Canyon as the rock classic "White Room" by Cream blares across the vista, raises his arms in the air, and screams his trademark, "Viking Quest" yell:


Yes, it is Drama, for all of us.

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