Entourage 5.12 – Return to Queens

Apart from the end of last season, I can’t think of a lower point in Vincent Chase’s career than where it stood at the beginning of tonight’s episode. After being fired from “Smoke Jumpers” only to discover that the entire film was being shut down due to the fact that it was “over budget and overcomplicated,” Vince went on “vacation” to New York and is now living at home with his mother. Though Vince isn’t taking the whole “out of work actor” thing as seriously as he probably should be, Ari and Eric are still busy trying to find him another job. When Vince’s mom tells him that Gus Van Sant is looking for a replacement for the new movie he’s shooting in town, Eric suggests he audition for the part. Ari, however, is quick to inform them that he’s already spoken with Gus, and though he likes Vince’s work, he doesn’t feel that he’s right for the role.

Never one to take rejection so easily, Eric heads to Gus’ office to meet with him about reconsidering. He’s even managed to convince Ari to have Dana Gordon send over some dailies from “Smoke Jumpers” for Gus to check out, but though the director seems sincere about the fact that he really does like Vince as an actor, he still doesn’t want him for the role. Clearly embarrassed and feeling like a failure in front of his friends, Vince blows up at Eric for not trusting Ari, and relieves him of his duties as manager. Personally, I don’t think Vince had any right blaming Eric for his problems, and he came off looking like an ass for doing so. Eric may have made some mistakes in his days, but they’ve been trivial when compared to the things he’s done (or at least tried to do) for Vince’s career. Heck, it was Eric who tried to warn Vince about “Medellin,” and look how that turned out.

Entourage 5.12

Eric has better things to do than sit around and take that kind of shit from Vince, so he heads back to LA to take care of his other clients – namely Charlie, who’s still shopping his pilot around town. I actually thought they already found a studio to produce the show, but maybe things fell through after Charlie sucker punched Seth Green in the waiting room. Whatever the case, it’ll be interesting to see where this subplot goes next season, as it certainly has the potential to take Eric’s career to the next level. Unfortunately, he’s not around for the big news that Ari brings with him to New York, and it’s in the form of a very important phone call that he just knows Vince is going to want to take. And no, it’s not Gus Van Sant on the other line, but – wait for it – Martin fucking Scorsese!

Now, there have been some pretty cool cameos on “Entourage” over the years, but no one even comes close to Scorsese’s appearance on tonight’s episode. And if that wasn’t enough, the Oscar-winning director is actually calling to offer Vince the lead role in his upcoming re-imagining of The Great Gatsby. Apparently, Gus Van Sant forwarded Marty those dailies of Vince from “Smoke Jumpers,” and he was so impressed that he decided to offer him the role. Huh, I guess Vince isn’t the terrible actor that Ari made him out to be. Vince is quick to thank the super agent for whatever voodoo magic he used to convince Scorsese to choose Vince over Leonardo DiCaprio, but Ari actually gives credit where it’s due: “Don’t thank me, thank E. For once in his life, the little McNugget came through.” And that’s all Vince needs to hear before he’s on a plane to LA to apologize to Eric and hire him back. It’s a good thing he did, too, because Vince’s entourage just wouldn’t be the same without his best friend at his side.

Vince isn’t the only one with a happy ending, either. Eric’s association with the project will no doubt earn The Murphy Group a little more recognition, while Ari is probably just glad to have his number one client back. Drama, meanwhile, now owns a local bar (appropriately named Johnny Drama’s), and Turtle’s big secret is finally out of the bag. The scene where Drama intercepted the call from Jamie-Lynn (“Hey Drama, it’s Jamie. We’re fucking.”) was classic, but the one where Turtle’s mom picked up while Jamie-Lynn and him were having phone sex was even better. Plus, did anyone notice the banner that was hanging at the family reunion the gang attended? It read: “Welcome Home International Movie Star Vincent Chase,” and then in small letters, “And TV Star Johnny Chase.” Good stuff.

All in all, those hoping for a more uplifting ending to an otherwise bleak season had their wish come true, but I can’t help but feel like Vince’s fall from grace should have been a little more difficult. That isn’t to say that I’m not happy with how things turned out – in fact, it was probably one of the best episodes of the year – but if the writers wanted to put Vince through the ringer before making his big comeback, why not just stick with the idea that he would earn back the respect of his careers with an award-worthy performance in “Smoke Jumpers”? The result is the same, and it wouldn’t feel so damn unrealistic. Nevertheless, it’s nice to know that Vince will be back to work when the show returns next summer, and it’ll be curious to see what kind of spoils (money, fame, awards?) brings him by working with the greatest director in American cinema.

  

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