Before we get into all the major plot developments that occurred, I have to give the obligatory SPOILER ALERT. Please don’t keep reading unless you have seen the episode, or if you don’t mind knowing how things worked out for Vince and the crew, because you’ll have never seen this ending coming…
…Wait, that’s not true. In fact, everything in “The End” worked out EXACTLY as we expected, in true Entourage form! Vince went from being repeatedly rejected by Sophia to marrying her in the course of a few days, E got back together with Sloan (thanks to the guys lying and assuring her E never slept with Melinda Clarke, and despite his turning into one of the most unlikeable characters on the show), Ari quit his job and whisked Mrs. Ari (Melissa!) off to Florence, Johnny and Turtle made little quips (jokes may be too generous).
In the end (and “The End”), the ultimate show about wish-fulfillment and no stakes proved it was just that. Over the years, Entourage has made a few attempts at having actual consequences attached to characters’ actions — Medellín bombing and Vince’s drug- and Sasha Grey-fueled downward spiral last season are two that come to mind — but even in those rare instances, everything ended up as good as before, if not better, thanks to a deus ex machina in Martin Scorsese or an offscreen rehab trip that wiped the slate clean. That the series finale, then, would fail to neatly tie up the various “dramatic” threads was never even really a possibility.
And it’s not that happy conclusions in and of themselves are necessarily a problem, but they have to feel warranted and earned. Sloan changing her mind and jetting off to…anywhere in the world! with E makes little sense, but at least we know there’s history and a baby there affecting the decision. Sophia agreeing to marry Vince makes even less sense in the context of what we saw (hearing lots of declarations that “he’s a great guy” do not an earned conclusion make), so luckily Adrien Grenier has all that charisma to be able to sell such an unbelievable twist (oh, wait).
Out of all the storybook endings, Ari’s is perhaps the only one that even feels remotely earned, and that’s because the divorce storyline played out over the whole (granted, short) season with real emotional stakes, and, frankly, because Jeremy Piven played it extremely well. But then they had to undercut the whole resolution — the ONE that actually pretty much worked — in the epilogue, with Ari already tempted to return to Hollywood. (Obviously, everyone will wind up back together if the movie ever gets made, but at least wait until that movie to sell out the storyline!)
What started off as a funny insider take on Hollywood wound up as just another one of the stories the show was supposedly making fun of. And honestly, that’s fine, because while it was ultimately a wasted opportunity, at its very worst, Entourage was nothing more than an eye-roll-inducing, but still brisk and relatively painless, 22 minutes a week.
Bits & Pieces
- I stuck with the show this long, so I know if a movie does ever get released, I’ll go see it. I hope a movie never gets released.
- Rex Lee kept his name in the main titles all season, but he was less important to the story than almost any of the recurring guest stars. Oh, Lloyd…
Not much more to say about Entourage or “The End,” but feel free to offer up your thoughts in the comment section below!