ENTOURAGE 8.08 ‘The End’
Episode Title: "The End"
Writer: Doug Ellin
Director: David Nutter
"Entourage" has always been a wish fulfillment series for men. If the prospect of happy endings for everyone annoys you, then it's a little late to complain about that now.
Take Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) for example. Out of nowhere, his courtship of Sophia Lear (Alice Eve) develops into an intense (and off-camera) 24 hour date that leads Vince to propose an impromptu marriage to Sophia in Paris. And she accepted!
It should be noted that Sophia barely shows up in this episode and the decision seems out of character based on her previous appearances. Instead of showing us the steps of Vince winning her over, "Entourage" simply skips straight to the end in order to give Vince something significant to do in the last episode. In a way, this paper thin romance is perfect for Vince. Grenier may portray the big movie star in the series but Vince was never the main character of "Entourage."
Instead, the focus was always on Vince's best friend, Eric "E" Murphy (Kevin Connolly) and Vince's agent, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven). This final season has been largely about the disintegration of their respective romantic relationships. And of the two, Ari's story was far more believable.
The bulk of this episode centered on the attempts made by Eric's friends to smooth over his differences with Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui), who is pregnant with E's child and determined to move to New York to start over. Undaunted, Eric prepares to quit his agency and follow her there just to be a part of his child's life. It's an admirable stance that suggests E might make a good father. He also has enough sense to tell his friends to stay out of it and let him handle it.
Not that Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) and Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) would ever listen to Eric. They race over to Sloan's house and actually manage to charm her into consider going to Vince's Paris wedding. On the other hand, Vince only makes the situation worse by accidentally informing Sloan's dad, Terrance McQuewick (Malcolm McDowell) about her pregnancy. McDowell has been consistently funny in his appearances on the show and his angry threats towards Eric were the most amusing moments of the night.
Although the machinations of their friends eventually bring Eric and Sloan back together, it's predicated on the lie that Eric didn't sleep with Sloan's former step-mother, Melinda Clarke. For now, it's like Eric got away with cheating, but it's bound to come up again in the future to bite him. Similarly, it's hard to picture Vince's marriage to Sophia lasting long term.
Which brings us back to Ari, the true heart of the series. By this point, he is so beaten down by the divorce from his wife, Melissa (Perrey Reeves) that he seems like a shadow of himself. He's also devastated to realize that Melissa is right about him being an absentee father when his teenage daughter berates him about a friend's opera demo she gave him months ago which he didn't even listen to. In therapy, Ari reiterates that he doesn't want a divorce and it leads to the news that both he and his wife have broken away from their rebound relationships.
Ari's moment of clarity finally comes in an over-the-top sequence in which he plays the impressive Opera music from his daughter for the entire agency and he quits on the spot to try to save his marriage. That's a little too far for Ari to believably go, but I enjoyed that. Soon enough, Ari's got the Opera group together to serenade Melissa as he finally offers to take her away to Italy for a year just for themselves. They even make it out to Vince's airplane for the trip to Paris where Drama hilariously doesn't realize that Ari is bringing his wife.
Somewhere over the course of the show, Ari became the central figure of "Entourage." His goodbye to Lloyd (Rex Lee) was one of the more genuinely moving parts of the episode and the very last scene in the series belongs to him. John Ellis (Alan Dale) tracks down Ari in his remote vacation resort and makes him the offer of a lifetime. In short, he wants Ari to take over his place as the CEO of a billion dollar media company. The catch is that Ari would have to let his wife down yet again to so.
It's almost sad that Ari's ultimate response is practically pre-ordained. Of course he's going to take the job. It's the perfect setup for an "Entourage" movie. Hell, I'd be up for seven seasons or more of Ari Gold running a media empire. That could be really fun.
The best analogy for this series finale is that it's like buying something incredibly expensive on credit. It feels great now, but eventually the bill is going to come due. And while Vince, Ari and Eric get to fly off into the proverbial sunset and the endings are happy for now. But how long can they stay happy?
CraveOnline Rating: 7.5 out of 10.