S8E8: It's always strange when you finally reach those final moments with a friend who's about to move away, or move on into their next stage of life. Nothing seems final until that last bittersweet cluster of moments that signal the end of an era. Up until then, you may even complain about things that always drive you insane about that person, or pick fights over silly little issues, but when the end finally comes, you forget about all your little issues and realize what it was that drew you in as a friend in the first place. And while our gang on Entourage certainly endured - and in many cases, thoroughly earned - our gripes and criticisms, there's a reason we kept coming back for eight whole seasons. As fans, we've come to love these boys, warts and all, and it just wouldn't be right for us to not see them through to the end.
That being said, we were only given a half hour episode in which to wrap up all their loose ends and say a fond farewell. It was rough, it was a little jarring, but that's true of any last minute scramble before a dear friend takes off. Sure, it was cheesy and schmaltzy and they took every excuse they could to slot in just a few more celebs like Mike Ditka and Rachel Zoe, but it worked for the most part. We'll all miss Entourage and anyone who denies it probably just needs to hug it out, bitch.
"He really is getting married." -Turtle
"To who? He was single last week." -Sloane
Even with all the love I just laid out, there is one tiny piece of this whole finale puzzle that I can't help but criticize. Sure, we knew Vince would end up riding off into the sunset with Sophie, the acclaimed Vanity Fair journalist who only dated highly-intelligent doctors and scientists before Vince. We did not, however, expect that she would agree to marry him because no human would expect someone as rational, educated and stubborn as she is to turn on a dime and elope in Paris with some blue-eyed movie star. There, I spoke my peace and I will now resume being happy for our hero.
He's got just one thing missing from all this: he always imagined he and E having families together in New York and he was inspired by E's feelings for Sloane when he decided to pursue Sophie. If E and Sloane don't make it work, his perfect future fantasy isn't complete. After Turtle and Drama finally convince her to come to Vince's wedding so she'll see E, Vince calls her father to smooth things out so he stops forbidding Sloane to see E and accidentally tells Terrance that Sloane is pregnant. Tiny issue: Daddy Terrance didn't know. Now, Terrance is threatening to kill E and Sloane refuses to come to Paris.
"He's emotional, reactive - a little Jack Russell terrier." -Vince
And here's one of the truest lines we've ever heard on Entourage. It may seem like Vince's whole speech about how much E loves Sloane and how E is her family now was the reason Sloane eventually changes her mind, but I'm going to go with the Jack Russell comparison because it's such an accurate depiction of E's appeal.
Anyway, Vince pays Sloane one last visit before they head for Paris and tells her that E's love for her inspired his relationship with Sophie and sings E's praises, says he's moving to New York for her, and makes the argument that the baby alone is going to bring them together. In the end, we get a repeat of a few seasons ago, where E splits from the boys to go with Sloane, only this time it's permanent and Vince has commissioned the couple a private plane to go wherever they want. It's a Hollywood show, these relationships need Hollywood endings.
Of course, the last thing we see of Turtle and Drama is Turtle shedding a tear and Drama still thinking only about getting laid. I'd have given Turtle a little something extra, but I have to admit, the horndog response from Drama was a pretty pitch perfect farewell.
"You're the love of my life. I wouldn't know what to do with myself without you." -Ari
Finally, Ari gets his resolution - sort of. After trudging through the halls at the agency like a complete and total mess, telling clients about his divorce and generally looking like someone who hasn't showered in days, Melissa stops by to say they need to go to couples counseling to figure out how to tell the kids about the divorce. When they get there, we find that Bobby Flay broke up with Mrs. Ari because she's not ready to date and Ari admits he and Dana broke up because he's still in love with his wife. This obviously affects her, but she says it's not about whether or not she still loves him, it's about the fact that he's never around for his family and that he doesn't listen to his kids. Immediately, Ari calls his daughter who sent him her friends' opera demo. He never listened to it, but desperate to keep his family, he promises he will - right as she pulls a mini-Ari and states she's demanding a commission, which was pretty darn adorable.
He finally listens to the demo in the office and has an epiphany. As melodramatic, Italian opera plays in the background, Ari quits his job and takes only his lucky horseshoe and family photos with him. He heads straight to his house where he promises his wife they'll move to Italy (and he brings his daughter's friends along to serenade her). When she hears he quit his job for her, she of course takes him back and despite everything that's awful about Ari, we can't help but be incredibly happy for him. It didn't hurt that his farewell to Lloyd is so optimistic and sweet. We always knew Ari really loved Lloyd deep down. Once again, it's all a little happy-Hollywood, but that's why we got into this show in the first place. It's a fantasy and it's got to end like one --though we could have done without the oversaturation of operatic accompaniment.
"You vanished, like Salman Rushdie." -John Ellis
Of course, we couldn't let Ari's character change that much. In a sort of mini-epilogue, we find Ari as happy as a clam with his smoking-hot wife at some villa on what looks like the Amalfi Coast, but it's all interrupted when John Ellis, the fictional CEO and president of all of Warner Bros. calls and offers him the dreamiest dream job ever: Ellis' job. Ari would basically own the world of entertainment, and while he doesn't really answer Ellis, we can see his inner struggle and we know Ari. Ellis says he'll call back in a week, and we can just imagine the freakout Ari will have that we'll never get to see. Of course, the beauty in this little moment is that at least we can count on some things to never change.
It's been a long, often far-fetched and frivolous ride, Entourage. But we wouldn't have stuck along for 8 seasons if there wasn't something inherently lovable about these boys and the landscape of Hollywood struggles they traversed. Sure, everything pretty much worked out perfectly (and suddenly) and they all ride off into the sunset to live their all-too-perfect lives, but if we think about it, we'd be disappointed if they didn't.