'Entourage' final episode review: Everything changed, everything stayed the same

Entourage wrapped up its run on HBO Sunday night with a final episode that saw big changes, and none at all. By which I mean, right to the very post-credits moment, the series remained what it was from the start: a fantasy of wealth, success, love, and arrested development.

The saga of Vincent Chase, young actor on the make as a movie star, was never meant to be anything more than a lighter-than-air sitcom, with HBO freedom to show more of the skin available to a star like Vinnie and allow Ari Gold to scream more explicitly than he could on most other sitcoms. Early on in its life, Entourage did a pretty good job of making you care whether Vince could retain his sense of integrity while being the star of an Aquaman hit and the auteur of the flop Medellin. After a while, however, we came to realize that Vince had slowly, steadily lost any sense of the division between idealism and success. In this, the series mirrored what was going on in the pop culture, the politics, and the economy of America over the years in which Entourage existed.

Entourage remained one of HBO’s most popular shows, with a loyal fan base, not because it remained funny — sometimes whole seasons passed without a real laugh-out-loud moment — but because its audience had really bought into the brotherhood of Vince, Eric, Johnny, and Turtle. The real attraction of Entourage wasn’t its jokes or its guest-star cameos, but its suggestion that a group of buddies could come up from nothing and become little kings of their worlds. It was like Scarface, without the chainsaw and blood: Every week, we said hello to these leetle friends.

If fans identified with and fantasized through Vince and his pals, they vented vicariously through Ari, the venal, foul-mouthed agent who made millions for himself and others, and almost never let an enemy slip away without the mortal wounds of profane insults. The other actors had to remain likable; Jeremy Piven had the toughest job: He had to render Ari over-the-top cruel, realistically cynical, and likable. No wonder he’s the one who won the awards.

I’m guessing that if you remained a regular viewer of Entourage, there were probably very few surprises in the finale. You just knew these guys were going to remain loyal bros to the very end. You could have guessed the series would want to marry off Vince — what could complete the show’s fantasy of the man who had it all more than a beautiful blonde to whom he could give a $1.4 million dollar ring and fly off to marry in Paris? You just knew E was going to win over Sloan. Really, the only person who experienced real change was Turtle, and that was only because Jerry Ferrara lost some weight.

One thing that kept Entourage from being a great show — aside from its highly uneven quality from season to season — was that it never really made up its mind who its central character was, Vince or Ari. Creator Doug Ellin, who wrote the final episode, settled that question once and for all on Sunday night, by giving the final scene to Ari. The whole is-Ari-going-to-divorce plot this season was a waste of time: You just knew he and Melissa would reconcile. But after promising the wife a full year in Italy, the cliffhanger of whether he’ll take over the offer of running his own studio seems like a no-brainer. No matter how fetching that long, lingering shot of Perry Reeves’ bathing-suited backside was meant to be, we just know what Ari’s decision is going to be, don’t we?

What’s next in the Entourage universe? Probably a feature film, as the show follows in the footsteps of its HBO sister-show, Sex and the City. I can’t say I’m looking forward to paying money at the box office to see an actor as flyweight as Adrian Grenier try to actually be what Vince supposedly was — a movie star — or watch Ari scream while running a movie studio. But I’ll bet there’ll be enough Entourage junkies itching for a fix of brotherhood ‘n’ fame to give it a big opening weekend. It may not turn out to be an Aquaman, but it probably won’t be a Medellin, either.

Twitter: @kentucker

Comments (259 total) Add your comment
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  • Menlo Boy

    The finale was horrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible. (So it fit right in with the past 3 seasons…)

    • buddymoore

      Are you being serious right now? You couldn’t be more wrong. It actually fit right in with the past 4 seasons.

      • Bart Smith

        You’re both correct. The finale was horrible, and it fit right in with the past four seasons.

      • Mark

        I agree a little with all, the final season sucked, and the last show was even worse. The comment about the qaulity of shows from season to season was horrible. But guess what, I never missed an episode and then watched the show a few times during the week, no one loved Entourage as much as me, and the final season left me thinking the same, would I pay extra money to see Vince and the gang on the big screen….Yes I would. Despite the bad writing by Doug Ellin….I think everyone one would agree on one thing…….Markie Mark should have been in the last episode.

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      • SM

        Agree, the Finale was awful and predictable. I think everyone forgot how to act

      • KLH

        It was awful but not really predictable. Yech, all the happy endings. But the show had already lost its way.

      • Joe

        I’ll agree that the past couple seasons were a big downfall from the first couple seasons but this finale summed it all up and was a fitting finish. While I would have liked to see another season with vincent being married and then divorced, I felt satisfied that Ari & his wife got back together, turtle finally became successful, eric and sloan back together, and ari and his wife were back together (cliffhanger after the credits was very interesting as well). The only character not summed up is Drama, not sure why he didn’t get something for closure. Not sure what you guys were expecting…………..

      • Tom

        horrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrible with a capital H

      • bobbyBee

        Hey Johnny Drama got the movie that Vince set it up with Phil, so he is not empty handed…Drama and the ladies, well, we will see in the movie…

    • chase

      What, is Ken Tucker reviewing every show now?? He sucks.

      • Your mom

        Ken is solid… carry on.

      • Juneau

        Ken reviews the shows without regular recaps on this site as something noteworthy happend (ie the series end). I don’t always agree with him, but he got it right this time. Ridiculous finale to a show that lost it’s mojo 3 years ago. Any takers on how long it’ll take Sophia to divorce Vince? And the character of Sophia NEVER would agree to get married after 24 hours.

      • Your Dad’s Boyfriend

        Ken is a queer twit.

      • Truth

        Ken is an anal cancer

    • LLOYD!!!!!!!!!

      I’ve gotta agree. The finale kind of sucked, but so have the past three seasons or so. The season finale a couple years ago where Eric got Sloan and Vince got Gatsby was wayyyy better. THAT could have been the series finale. I agree with Tucker tho…I still loved it for what it was.

      It just felt like they crammed far too much stuff into this last half hour. It almost rendered the rest of the season meaningless.

      • Ally

        I agree- it just seemed rushed and like they just threw everything in there to wrap it up- like they were just tired w every storyline and just said f it- just have Ari & melissa get back together, e and sloan back together, and hey- throw in a wife for Vince too. It just didn’t seem believeable or heartwarming or anything. Only exchange I loved was Ari & Lloyd. Rest of the finale, and the season, actually, sucked.

      • Ricardo Alleyne

        The episode you’re talking about was the 6th season finale. I’d decided I would buy the inevitable ‘complete series’ DVD set of Entourage right after watching that episode.

      • MeBeTheGuest

        Ioved the final show except for Vince getting married. Way to rushed. It should have been Eric and Sloan or Ari and Melissa renewing their vows but this chick didn’t like Vince so now he’s buying million dollar rings and they are gonna jump the broom?

    • kate middleton

      Totally agree with you. The finale was awful, which fit in with Entourage of late. The actors are seriously terrible in this show. If they make a movie, it will undoubtedly bomb.

      Seriously though – it was beyond comprehension. Like Sophia would magically want to marry Vince after one date. Good riddance.

      • Mark

        I think everyone is missing the point about Sophia…She is just playing a character….lke when Bob Saget was on the show..he is nothing like that in real life….just playing a character….I predicted to everyone who would listen that Vince was going to marry her….

      • kate middleton

        Yes, clearly she is a character. But it’s lazy writing to have everything magically wrap up. Sophia was a smart professional girl, who refused to date movie stars. Then, she gives in and goes on one date with Vince and suddenly they’re jetting off to Paris to get married. That’s just lazy…and emblematic of Entourage the past several years.

    • Menlo Boy

      The best part of the finale? Having any character who was “suffering” show us just how much they were suffering by having them grow out their facial hair. Genius! Way to spoon-feed us, guys. I wouldn’t have known how bad Eric was feeling were it not for the whiskers slathered all over his chin…

      • Karin

        OMG! You are so right!!

      • Bobby

        Hahahaha

    • JoMarch

      I felt the finale was rushed; as if they were trying to tie up too many loose ends and have a fairy tale ending for everyone. I usually erase the tape at the credits, but something told me to keep watching, and I’m glad I did, or I would have missed the last scene. I bet a # of people did. That last scene cried out for an Ari spinoff. I’m not sure there’s enough fans for a money-making movie.

  • Barack Palin

    I guess Melissa is a fitting first name for Mrs. Ari. She certainly didn’t strike me as an Edna.

    • t.t

      I love how they snuck it in there with the therapist!
      and that scene where vince is convincing sloane! amazing I loved it esp that final scene with E and Ari “hug it out” lol and E running to sloane it was a feel good finale loved every minute of it.

      • Zoe

        It was already said last week: Bobby Flay called her Melissa when they were in the front hallway. Unless I’m wrong, that was the first time the name was revealed.

      • Lawrence

        it was “revealed” in 2nd to last episode. When Bobby Flay called her by her name (the Golds and here were in the entry way of their house), it was the very 1st time we ever heard the name “Melissa.”

      • adam

        I believe her name was revealed even before that. LLoyd started calling her by her first name when they became friends. No one cared to listen cause it didnt matter

      • Matt W

        I could have sworn Lloyd called her Mrs. Ari for almost every season until now. I’m going with Flay saying it this season.

      • karen

        thank you! last night i was thinking, wait, her name is melissa? I didn’t even know!

      • melissa

        yup, melissa. was not a secret, just easily forgotten.

      • Jason

        Mrs Ari’s name being “Melissa” was first revealed last week when Bobby Flay said it in the Gold’s front hallway. FACT!

    • JP

      At first I was a little po’ed that they even gave her a first name (I thought it would be better to leave her at Mrs. Ari forever). Then I realized it was very symbolic of her character’s growth through the series – all she wanted out of life was to be more than just “Mrs. Ari”.

  • Don

    That finale was near perfect for the longtime fans.

    • Bob

      Except the lack of nudity, for the entire season!

  • Tashtego

    The whole friendship fantasy and wish fulfillment of ‘Entourage’ hooked me immediately, and although it was criticized for being frothy and lacking substance, those were the days I longed for once things turned serious starting with Season 5 and going off the tracks in Season 7. Still, the friends became my friends and I’d watch another 10 seasons of them, fanciful or serious, so I very much hope they make a movie. If they wish, I’ll buy my ticket now to help finance it.

    • LBDII

      Well put.

    • henry

      thanks for saying exactly how i feel well said!

    • Albertkitten

      DITTO!!

    • Jason

      Yup what he said!

    • AC 2280

      I am so glad to see that there are actually people on here that liked the finale. I hope they make a feature film. If Sex and the City can get two movies we should at least be able to get an Entourage flick.

    • MirandaJinx

      Amen!

  • m

    I always saw eric as the main character. He’s billed first in the credits and every problem of the other characters always seems to fall on his shoulders.

    As for the shows’ appeal, the inside look at Hollywood was something that intrigued me from the very beginning.

    • t.t

      I agree I always thought it was between vince and E not Ari

    • Peter

      His name was only first in the credits because it was going in alphabetical order, with Connelly as the first. While you’re right in terms of how problems end up on his shoulders, I’d argue that Entourage started as Vince being central and ended with Ari as the central character.

      • Little comment

        That doesn’t explain why Adrian Grenier goes before Kevin Dillon & Jerry Ferrara. – FAIL!

      • Aprilcot26

        But the credits don’t go completely in alphabetical order. Kevin Connelly is first, Adrian Grenier second, Kevin Dillon third, and Jerry Ferrara fourth. Why only alphabetize the first two characters?

      • Steve

        Kevin Dillon’s name is first because at the time of casting, he was the biggest television star. Television is not like the movies where you can alphabetize the starring names and credits. In television there is a very specific hierarchy from the stars to the *producer credits.

        *Producer credits in television are actually the writers.

      • Mimi

        Credits are done by contract…it is probably in Kevin Connelly’s contract that his name appears first…etc…They don’t just list the names willy nilly…it’s all about who was the bigger name when the contacts were signed.

      • Ab

        Connolly and Grenier have been submitting to award shows as leads, while all the others have submitted as supporting. I honestly think Connolly goes before Grenier because it comes first alphabetically, while everyone else is based on their star value (which is why Piven gets the all important “and” before his name).

      • Mike

        You guys are dumb. E is the main character of the entire series. He has more lines and screen time than any of the other characters by a long shot (followed by Vince and Ari). Sure the plot revolves around the rise, fall, rise, rehab, rise of Vince – but it’s actually E that’s the constant protagonist throughout every season. That is why he is billed first. He is the main character. And btw, I thought it was a wonderful finale.

    • ACKZ

      I sort of agree, but E really never dealt with Turtle’s adventures. Didn’t help with the music deal, the limo company & zero to do with the booze investment.

      The main friends & the show’s focus were E & Vince (look who the Best Man was eh…) Ari was an extremely strong character & Drama/Turtle were the lovable F**k-ups providing the comic relief.

    • JP

      E was suppose to be the main character when the show first started. Vince wasn’t even suppose to be a regular character.

      • Joshua

        This is true. Go back and watch the first season, it’s similar early episodes of Spin City or West Wing in its setup. Those shows revolved around characters who rarely appeared, the story focused on “the staff of the Mayor’s office”, or “the executive staff”, or in Entourage’s case, “a movie star’s ENTOURAGE”. It wasn’t until the Mandy Moore storyline in season two that Vince became an emotionally central character.

      • MirandaJinx

        And Ari was only supposed to be around for 2 seasons. He stayed until the end because Jeremy made him likeable and skyrocketed his popularity.

  • Tom

    Pretty much everything that can be said has. Agree the show more went off the rails when Doug Ellin made E (the character who is essentially him) the main character rather than Vince. Ari was always there mainly to fill in the slack. The show did increasingly lack drama and meaning but like you said that reflected a wider societal shift from celebrity being based on actual skill (acting or musical), appeal and tabloid exposure, to pure being famous merely on tabloid exposure.

    • jo

      E was the main character since season 1.

  • Ace

    Been watching since the start…granted these last few seasons were pretty bad, I enjoyed the finale. Thought Vince marrying a chick he’s dated for a week was kind of BS but oh well…I hope they do make the movie, I’ll definitely check it out OnDemand or Netflix.

    • wino

      Yeah, he pursued her for a week, and then proposes to her after ONE date? Please. Ok, I believe Vince would be spontaneous enough to make that decision, however, it didn’t make sense that her character would be that impractical. Especially in the last scene, where is was practically flaunting her ring. Odd. Yeah, they set up the movie pretty well. I wouldnt mind seeing the boys in NY and Ari heading a media empire.

  • briguyx

    An “Entourage” movie would bomb. I love that people think just because a “Sex & The City” movie did well, “Entourage” would too. “Sex & The City” had plenty of female viewers that loved the show (I always thought it was like “Seinfeld” for women) and went to see the movie. “Entourage” is an insider’s story of Hollywood that bombed in syndication. The want to see by a lot of people just isn’t there…

    • Roger

      Agreed. Entourage was never the phenomenon that Sex and the City was…and most casual viewers checked out after season 5.

      I am not holding my breath for the movie….

    • Amanda

      I’m pretty sure it bombed in syndication because everything that makes Entourage interesting or “edgy” is not exactly FCC appropriate. When you cut out basically half the running time of the show, there’s not a whole lot to watch.

      • Kilmer

        And the many sex scenes and racy language in Sex and the City didn’t get cut in syndication?

      • Juneau

        Entourage doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence as SATC and it flopped in syndiction because it’s just not that good.

      • MirandaJinx

        Amanda, I think it bombed in syndication because season 7’s drug-related plots were impossible to clean up, meaning that when season 6 ended the syndicators had to go back to the beginning and run the same episodes fairly soon after they had just run. I’m perfectly fine with watching the same episodes over and over, but most people don’t want to do that. When it started from the beginning the casual viewer moved on to something else. I’m sad that it did bomb because syndication allowed me to get my fixes of humor, friendhip, and that sexy bundle of human dynamite known as Ari 6 days a week. Oh well, I guess there’s always the complete series on Blu-ray eventually!

      • MirandaJinx

        It might be “run the same episodes fairly soon after thy had just rAn.” Sorry if I got it wrong the first time, but my computer keys are kind of sticking so I just put “run” when the A key stuck.

    • kate middleton

      Totally agree. I doubt they’ll end up making a movie because they have to know it will bomb. It is definitely not comparable to the fan base and popularity of SATC.

      • MirandaJinx

        I would like to think they’ll make a movie; first, because SATC did and “the ‘Rage” (my affectionate nickname for it) was kind of like a guy version of SATC and second, because I think seeing an hour and a half of the ‘Rage would be an amazing experience that would let the cast’s star qualities shine. However, I can totally get behind an Ari spinoff. I just hope in his series he finally leaves Melissa for Dana, who I’ve always felt was his real soulmate.

  • Nawat21

    Was a great show, there is a company that is suppose to give the same unite we all need as people, to give us the same success…. Great show

  • Randy Savage

    Entourage finale. The worst thing to happen on the date 9/11.

    • Karen

      That’s just sick.

    • Ben

      I disagree with you Karen and not just cause you’re a whore. From the fake name to the post the whole thing is very Tosh-esque and quite funny.

    • Saline

      I’m with Karen, but who cares about Randy anymore?

  • MCS

    The finale was nice. Not great, but that wasnt expected after the last few years. It’s funny you mentioned the tussle between Vince and Ari as the main character – when the show was pitched, E was the main character.

  • zee

    A separate plane for E – so stupid!

    • ACKZ

      Sloan brought her Dad on the separate plane!!! :) :)

  • ^

    So glad this overrated crap is off the air! Here’s to hoping the movie-version tanks!
    Whooopeeeee!

    • LOL

      Thanks for the taking the time to share !

    • ACKZ

      Yeah Mon… I’m sure you think “How To Make It In America” is Emmy material eh! Entourage was a fun 1/2 hour & the main reason to pay extra $$$ for HBO.

  • Josh

    So they had Turtle make every mistake he could make in business and wind up with millions of dollars because his friend somehow bought his shares in a tequila company despite saying he was selling all of his. Magic! Johnny finally gets a job, works his way back to prominence and then throws it all away for a few thousand more a month for Andrew Dice Clay. He’s told his strike has ended the show, but it was a bluff as they immediately hire him back AND make his movie. MAGIC! E is a vindictive little snot, sleeping with his ex’s Mother-in-Law and publicly humiliating her, yet he winds up with her despite making no amends or humbling himself in any way. Vince is present with drugs in his system at a suicide, beats a drug test with a prosthetic, flirts shamelessly throughout an interview that should hurt his career and winds up happy as can be. So the final lesson of Entourage? There is no justice or consequences for movie stars or their d-bag posse. Eat it America.

    • DK

      well said Josh!

    • Ben

      Yeah I love how E and the guys lie to Sloane to get her back and then Turtle and Drama have an emotional moment when E meets Sloane at the airport. You know that shits gonna come out and she is gonna leave him again. Also Tucker mis-printed. Ari is not going to run a film studio but an entire corporate empire. Dana still gets to run WB

    • pastafarian

      Haha, I enjoy the the who for what it is, but this is a great summation of all its shortcomings.

      • pastafarian

        show**, not “who”, sheesh.

    • Roland

      Sho Nuff!!!

    • Marjanne

      Oh, Josh, when you put it like that… HA! MAGIC indeed. Not that we wanted any of our compadres to be destitute and left in the gutter, necessarily, but your point(s) were perfection and almost poetic. Now maybe if their planes had exploded in the air? or if the screen had gone to black?

    • Phoenix

      Summed it up perfectly!

    • MirandaJinx

      You’re missing the point, Josh. It was always a pure wish-fulfillment fantasy, and who hasn’t wanted to get away with murder and come out of it more successful than before?

      • Josh

        This isn’t Dexter. This is Entourage. I don’t want anyone dead or destitute, but Ari is the only one who had any character development. No one else had any real character development. They remained arrogant or stupid or untalented or wasteful and became more and more successful in spite of their massive character flaws. They learned NOTHING from their mistakes and failures because there were never any consequences from them. It is impossible to care about characters like that. As for wish fulfillment, is that what you wish for? To do the wrong thing consistently but have it magically turn out okay? That’s a pretty dumb fantasy.

  • Jesse

    No one I know watched Entourage. However, practically EVERYONE I know watches True Blood. Where is the post-mortem on that crazy-ass episode, EW? Seriously??

    • pastafarian

      Prolly being written as you type out your complaint. And TB’s season finale was not a Series Finale. So all your anecdotal friends will have to wait a couple hours.

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