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Sigh. It's all over. Did the final episode overcome the mediocrity of the final season? Scroll down and see.
"You ain't seen nothing yet"
Let's just get this out of the way: The ending of the ending was perfect. These insanely rich and fortunate people, parting ways in an airport hangar of all places, felt right. The symbolic final shot of Vince (Adrian Grenier) and co.'s plane and E (Kevin Connolly) and Sloan's (Emmanuelle Chriqui) plane taking off together, even though we know they're about to split apart is as good an image to end this bromantic series on as imaginable.
Vince, ever the co-dependent, has finally let E go, mainly because he's got someone else to co-depend on now. Typically, Drama (Kevin Dillon) and Turtle (Jerry Ferrara) are still hanging on but with bright futures ahead of themselves (that's assuming Drama's crossing of his balls counts). Bittersweet stuff. Now, the way we got there...not quite so perfect.
Maybe she won't.... Actually, she definitely will.
Don't get us wrong. We know exactly what kind of series this is and it's definitely not the type to have anything that doesn't resemble a happy ending. But the road to Entourage's ending was like a street in the boys' revered Queens hometown, with contrivances in lieu of plotholes.
As we've predicted all season long, there was no question that E and Sloan would ride off into the sunset. (OK, technically they flew but still.) It was also right for the series to end with E's drama at the center of it, as E's love life has long been the center of things. The need for tension between Eric and Sloan should've been born out of something new and fresh; splitting them up again was one of the most contrived moves the writers have ever made and it wasn't validated here in the finale.
By the time we got to that shot of Sloan looking beautiful as ever by the jet, it felt more like an exhausted sigh of relief than an earned conclusion. Turtle's, Drama's, and Vince's visits to her were sweet but felt way too sudden that she would suddenly forgive E, however silly the beef was to begin with. It was nice to see Turtle and Johnny engage in one final caper though, like they always did in the early days.
Ari's living so Italian, but for how long?
Mostly this finale was just all right, with some genuinely sweet moments that came after conflict was resolved too effortlessly. However, the one actually horrendous moment surprisingly came in the Ari conclusion. As if the scene with the opera playing in the office wasn't corny enough—albeit undercut with great moments like Ari's last "Lloyd!" scream and his last profanity-filled snipes at Barbara—did we really need the random opera kids singing outside Castle Gold? That was almost enough to distract us that we were mad as hell that the Golds were actually getting back together. Ari quit his job? His dream job at the office that he more or less built? What the hell?
Ari is most viewers' favorite not just because he's hilarious but also for the fact that his being a self-made man is slightly more relatable than the charmed life the Chase gang lives. We're supposed to cheer for the fact that he needlessly gave all of that up for his overreactive, cold-ass wife? Ari lives and breathes the boardroom and he should've ended up with someone who understood that, i.e. Dana Gordon. What's more, throughout all eight years, he's never even seemed like an absentee dad. "Melissa" Gold getting tight was pretty contrived too but the show had a chance to go left and not give us the predictable reunion E and Sloan were destined for. It should've been Dana at that villa.
What was up with that Mission: Impossible post-credits scene too and why is John Ellis so infatuated with Ari anyway? The fact that Ari was the one to get the extra scene speaks volumes about the self-awareness of his popularity but we would've preferred checking in on a newly married Vince or an expecting Eric.
You have to respect Vince's game
Just yesterday, it seems, Sophia needed a homemade DVD confessional and convincing from all sides to even give the homie Vince the time of day. Fast forward 24 hours and not only has he already bagged it up, but he's proposed, she's said yes, and the wedding's tonight. Sorry, what? We would've bet that the finale ended with him proposing, not started that way.
In part sorry plotting is to blame. This finale had a lot to do with only five extra minutes than usual. It doesn't excuse Sophia being off-screen for 90% of the episode, though. She said yes, suddenly she's not that important anymore we guess. Also not showing any of Vince's courtship was kind of a cheat. We're just left to assume that she was suddenly receptive to the same game that she was laughing at two days ago. We stand by the fact that ending the series in a committed relationship is a great sendoff for Vince, but boy did they mail it in.
Give a little bit
Another Entourage finale took place on airport tarmac and it was perfect to the point of being among one of the series' finest half hours. Last night had some good moments, like the boys pulling up in the Continental in the final scene. Truthfully, if there was no movie it wouldn't be so disappointing just being left with the final moments. There was even a nice conclusion for Lloyd; we can assume Johnny's Banana's will go on to be a huge hit for Drama and Billy, and the fate of Scott Lavin won't keep us up at night (But wasn't it kind of mean of the guys to response to his "This looks like a family thing," with, "Yeah, you're right"?).
A big-screen adventure could be the redemption this B-minus finale could use, though. The curious plotting of this season was a big reason why things fell a little flat in the end; couldn't we have been moving these plots along instead of the extended stays with the likes of Dice and Carl Ertz? Overall, Entourage, classic series that it is, sadly does not join the prestigous list of satisfying finales but it doesn't join the list of utterly disappointing ones either. The final moments saw to that. We just know they could've done better.
Lines of the night
"You're the gay son I never wanted to have." —Ari to Lloyd
"The back-and-forth is too much for any real man to handle." —Turtle re: E and Sloan
"We better find something to f*ck in Paris." —Johnny Drama
"He was single last Wednesday." —Sloan re: Vince's engagement