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Entourage: Old Friends, New Enemies

For a show that’s all about the movie business, you could probably count on one hand the number of Entourage episodes that actually focused on a movie being made.  Some Aquaman bluescreen work here, behind the scenes of Medellin there, pretty few and far between.  Fortunately, this season’s increasingly optimistic plot brought a role in wilderness firefighter drama Smokejumpers into Vince’s life and along with it has come the show’s best and grandest peek into life on the set.

The boys have taken up in a cabin somewhere in the heart of California’s pristine wilderness, but Vince is having trouble enjoying the fresh air.  Being out of the game for over a year is understandably wreaking havoc on his psyche, but his faith in the script and a little encouragement from Drama get him going.  Witnessing a massive orchestrated blaze leaves Vin a bit overwhelmed at the scope of what he’s put himself into, but his new director Verner (illustrious guest star Stellan Skarsgård) is quick to put faith in his talents.  The only bump on Vinny’s road back to the A-list is costar Jason Patric, whose prima donna antics, method actor intensity, and fitness obsession disgust even the perpetually vain Drama.  Vince sets a positive mood in their working relationship, and Jason takes on an almost self-effacing tone including a priceless reference to the much maligned Speed 2: “Yeah, I was offered Aquaman 2, but I figured me and sequels with water don’t go well together.”

But his jovial nature turns out drastically false as he steals one scripted line after another from Vince’s character.  Vince tries to resolve their differences through diplomatic channels, but for Drama & Turtle, such an offense demands satisfaction.  But instead of pistols at dawn, the goofball duo take the low road and prank Jason in classy ways like stealing scripts and defiling his trailer’s bathroom.  Vince’s fear of Jason’s special brand of crazy sends him to the director, but even he’s too spooked to talk his star down.  It all comes to a boil during a cast dinner when Jason finally crosses the line by stealing pie from Turtle.  A man just doesn’t take another man’s dessert.  Vince stands up for his buddy, and uses the situation to call him out for his line-napping.  Jason surprises Vince by revealing that everything he did came with the director’s blessing.  Now that means war.

Over at the Miller/Gold Agency, we get a nostalgic and insightful glimpse into Ari’s rise to power when he does lunch with Andrew Klein (Gary Cole), a sad sack writers’ agent buddy who runs an office in Encino, furthering Entourage‘s thesis that the San Fernando Valley is about as fun a place to live and work as Darfur.  Turns out that way back in the day, Ari & Andrew worked for a partnership that went its separate ways.  Ari’s old boss Terrence helped take him to the top, while Andrew’s boss just took the money and ran.  Now, thanks to the WGA strike, it seems that Andy is having nightmarish cash flow issues and Ari is the only friend successful enough to turn to.  When Lloyd reviews Andrew’s books, Ari is shocked to discover that his old friend is actually doing quite well for himself and eagerly offers to buy his company after a night of Mad Men caliber drinking.  But just when he thinks the deal’s done, partner and uberbitch Babs stonewalls the deal ‘cause she thinks Andrew’s a shmuck.  While some would simply take this as a harsh lesson in the dangers of mixing business and friendship and move on, methinks Mr. Gold will have the last word come next week.

Season 5, Episode 9: Pie (originally aired November 2, 2008)

For another take on this episode, check out Tanya Lane’s review here.

For more on Entourage, click here.

Sundays at 10pm ET/PT on HBO
Photographs courtesy of HBO

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