Cue Boyz II Men's "End of the Road." Or Led Zeppelin, that'll work, too.
I can't believe Entourage is over. Oh wait, that's right, it's not. They should've called this episode "The End...Until We're Done Shooting the Movie." But, luckily for us, this finale was everything the audience hoped it would be. When the credits first rolled, I had a huge smile on my face - and then I thought about it for a while and turned it over in my mind.
The longer I contemplated, the more a question bobbed to the surface: If something seems too good to be true, is it?
Let me start out by saying, if one more person uses the word "Bromance" to describe this series, I'll gag. I do, however, think that talking about genuine, enduring friendship - the kind that we cultivate as kids and hopefully remains pristine throughout life - is totally appropriate for this finale. And for the series, for that matter. In trying to decide if I thought that this was a great episode of Entourage, I had to first nail down when exactly it was that this show was at its best?
When Ari was on the war path and terrifying employees, that's when. When E was less slick and Hollywood-ized and they were still satirizing the kind of backroom deals the town is famous for, that's when. And when Vince and his loyal brood were busy damage-controlling the debauchery they caused between the parties, the women and the parties, that's when.
So, if that's the case, then can a finale that essentially told us what we wanted to hear really be considered great? Yes. When the dialogue and antics were reminiscent of the glory days of this show, and the moments were genuinely endearing, then I argue that the answer can still be "yes," even if parts of it were imperfect.
What parts, you ask? For starters, let's call a spade a spade here. Entourage was never intended to be the thinking man's show. HBO wasn't going for anything philosophical and profound with this one. We love it because it's entertaining. So to suddenly start talking about character growth and symbolism would be inauthentic, and a disservice, in my opinion. Whereas most of my reviews are the Gospel according to Me, I'm curious to hear what our readers made of this finale. I have a feeling it'll be a mixed bag.
I have no problem with the way Ellin, Wahlberg et al. left off with Drama or Turtle's storylines. In fact, Drama could bet anything on his career right now (balls crossed or not) and he'd still come out on top, he's in that good of a position for once. Likewise with Turtle, we may still see him as a pot smoking "valet," as Drama called him, but he's using his street smarts for good and he may out-earn them all one day. It's Vince and Ari where I ultimately get stuck.
If they spent so much time convincing us what a horrible, snobby, academic elitist Sophia was, how are we supposed to believe that she suddenly joined Team Vince and agreed to get married?
I didn't need them to develop their romance further, I just think the Sophia they built her to be wouldn't have been wooed by him sending her a compilation of adoring ex-girlfriend testimonials; the move would've repelled her. Vince is damn charming, and those eyes are impossible to say no to (just ask Sloan) but even he couldn't win her over that quickly. She would've found him abhorrent and vain. Unless Vince is to sex what Michael Phelps is to swimming, in which case say no more.... and dive right in, girl.
Either way, our Vince doesn't belong with a wedding ring on his finger, so the movie version will likely begin with Vince and Sophia pulling a Britney Spears-esque 55 hour marriage in ol' gay Paree. Or him opening up an all-cardigans store. One or the other.
As for Ari and Mrs. Ari (or Melissa as they now throw her name wildly about) I am similarly unconvinced by their ending (ahem, fake ending, because this is obviously just a place holder until the movie picks up where they paused). Why is it that Ari, who is spectacularly obnoxious and no holds barred in all other areas of his life, is a wuss when it comes to his wife? This woman must have lady parts made of pure gold, as readers have remarked in the past, in order to render Ari so benign all the time. Or it could be her flawless ass. I may not like her character, but I have to hand it to Perrey Reeves for giving all other women a complex after a lengthy tight shot of her posterior. Damn. Maybe Ari will be able to sustain his Blackberry-less life in Italy...
Wait, who are we kidding? No he won't. That's why, swelling opera ballads or no, that romance cannot survive him suppressing who he really is to make her happy. We know Ari loves his family, but Dana was a better fit for him, bottom line. It's great that Ari has been painted as a hopeless (if sometimes clueless) romantic, but people change from their 20s to their 40s, and who he was then isn't who he is now, a fact that Mrs. Ari just doesn't grasp. (PS, his kids suck, please leave them off every episode, series finale or not.)
What Ari did get right, however, was leaving things in Lloyd's capable hands. I want Lloyd to turn into the Great and Powerful Oz of gay television agents. And opera singing trio managers. And president of argyle sweater vest-wearers everywhere. We hadn't seen Lloyd this assertive since he quit and left Ari's car on the freeway. Yay for Lloyd, and for under-appreciated employees everywhere.
Last but not least, we have E and Sloan. Despite her irritating ways this season, I actually like them together, so I'll chalk her bitchiness up to pregnancy hormones and leave it at that. I cannot wait to see Terence pursue E like the pocket-sized, red-headed stepchild that he is (kidding...KIDDING!) and genuinely hope that they all live in a house together, a la Three Men and Two Little Men...and Sloan. Since she is, after all, carrying "their baby." Priceless. And to think, we have Vince to thank for all of this. Would we expect any less from the golden boy they built a series around? Pshhht! Never.
When all is said and done, even though I think that Vince's function was less to be a person of depth and more to be the vehicle that binds them all together, he came through, just like the boys from Queens have done for each other all along. I may not believe in everything that Entourage underscores from within the Hollywood bubble, but I do believe in friendship (cheesy, I know) and this show has always been about brotherhood. And boobs, and tequila, and cocaine benders and race car driving...but brotherhood, too.
So, even though at times it was a little sappy, or Ari's cry face got a little ugly, I can stand behind most of the moments in this series finale, if not every single one. Here's hoping that Entourage 2.0 will be better than the Sex and the City movies, or the second one at least.
Now let's hug it out, bitch.