Episode Title: "Out With a Bang"
Writer: Ally Musika
Director: Doug Ellin
If there's one thing anyone can take away from "Entourage," it's that the bad times never last in this world. Say for example, if you burned down a good deal of your luxurious mansion in the last episode, don't worry! There's an awesome suite waiting for you at the Roosevelt hotel. Or say you get caught with cocaine like Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) did last season. One offscreen stint in rehab and you're back in the game!
The only thing that has the characters on "Entourage" reeling is their failed romantic relationships. (And no, I'm not counting Turtle's deteriorating relationship with Alex that was highly implausible in the first place.) For all of his arrogant bluster, Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven) is the heart of this show. With Mrs. Ari (Perrey Reeves) admitting to stepping out on him during their separation, the Hollywood super agent will do anything to find and destroy his rival. Thanks to Lloyd (Rex Lee), Ari thinks that the culprit is an up and coming actor working at Bobby Flay's restaurant as a waiter. So naturally Ari destroys his career before it can happen.
This leads to Mrs. Ari confronting Ari in his office and telling him that her real paramour is Bobby Flay himself (an actual Iron Chef, so look him up). Mrs. Ari's rationale for dating Flay is pretty suspect if she is still stringing along Ari with hope for a reconciliation. He clearly wants his wife back more than anything, but Ari doesn't know how to get what he wants without being a ruthless bastard. It's a character flaw to be sure, but it's also why the audience loves him. Case in point, Ari immediately declares to his employees that Flay is now his (and by extension their) mortal enemy once his estranged wife has left the building.
Eric Murphy (Kevin Connolly) is the other emotional core of this show and the series has tracked his on again/off again relationship with Sloan (Emmanuelle Chriqui) for years. Their current breakup has felt like a way for the writers to inject more drama into the final season, but it hasn't been as convincingly raw as the breakup of the Golds. Even Eric and Sloan dropping F-bombs over the phone at each other doesn't really add any tension to the situation. We all knew they were going to talk it out and end up naked in bed together. And they didn't disappoint us.
The key point of interest out of that is that Sloan is moving away to New York; which means that Eric will either find some grand way to make her stay or he'll follow her back east and leave his friends behind. Because this is the final season, we can't rule out Eric's departure. But does anyone think that "Entourage" will wrap up without getting him back together with Sloan?
As for Turtle (Jerry Ferrara), my God… do I not care about his phone tag with Alex or his Avion Tequila job. Turtle has had some good stories as he's reinvented himself from the complete failure he was at the beginning of the series. But success has sucked out any redeeming qualities he had. He's kind of like every Hollywood douchebag now and where is the fun in that?
Meanwhile, Johnny Drama (Kevin Dillon) is finding inexplicable success with the inane "Johnny's Bananas" animated show alongside his co-star, Andrew Dice Clay. Seriously, who the hell would like this? I suppose Clay deserves some props for being willing to make himself look desperate and greedy by immediately trying to get Drama to hold out with him and demand more money once the show is apparently guaranteed to be a hit. Drama at least seems to have the sense that any screw ups at this stage will derail his comeback, but it's not clear how much damage Clay will cause while looking for a bigger payday.
Unfortunately, Vince is still saddled with his obsession over the Romanian miner movie that he wants to make for Drama to star in. Vince may not be the lead character in "Entourage," but he deserves a juicy plotline for the final run of episodes. This isn't it and it's getting tedious pretty fast.
There's enough going on in the show that I'm still invested in seeing how the characters end up. I just hope that "Entourage" doesn't let us down again.
Crave Online Rating: 7 out of 10.