“And with that, Entourage exited the television screen in the same way it arrived: With little dramatic stakes or character development.”
This is basically what I assumed I’d be writing about Entourage’s series finale today. I never expected the series to randomly turn into something it is not at the end of the run (i.e., something good) and more or less figured that the finale would bring the story to a close without any real pay-off or resolution – because there was really nothing worthwhile to pay off or resolve. But I never could have predicted that Entourage’s series finale would be so awful, so horribly tone deaf and so unaware of the typical rhythms of what was already a lazy series. I’ve seen it called an exercise in fan fiction come to life and worse than a high school play, among other things and all those evaluations are totally accurate.
If you recall, I actually liked the final season of Entourage when I wrote about it three weeks ago. Unfortunately, as the series moved closer to “The End,”* the small semblance of quality and rhythm that made those first four or five episodes fine faded away. I don’t really need my Entourage to focus on the Hollywood boardrooms, but these last few episodes turned into a ridiculously awful soap opera starring horndogs and more or less faceless women who they love – right now. Vince’s infatuation with Sofia the reporter was pointless, Eric and Sloan make up the worst will-they-or-won’t-they couple of all-time and even Ari’s issues with his wife started to feel repetitive. For a series primarily built on a foundation of its lead characters treating women like garbage, the end run rang so false. Thankfully, Doug Ellin and his team still have no understanding of how women actually think or act, so more focus on ladies doesn’t actually equate to a real, quality focus on them. It’s all a façade.
*I said this last night on Twitter, but I just find it hilarious that Lost and Entourage share similar finale titles. When the former released their title, it seemed to make sense that a series so dense and sprawling ended with such a simple title. When I saw that this episode was also called “The End,” I could do nothing but laugh to myself.
But if the two episodes prior turned Entourage into a bro-tastic version of fan fiction, written and performed by bros for bros, then the finale was like a love note written by a bro. Sure, the last few episodes have given various women more time in the spotlight, but by the end of this episode, they’ve caved on the small amount of personality and credibility they had as two-dimensional characters. Despite the fact that Eric is a horrible, annoying douche and he cheated on her with her ex-stepmom and all his friends lied to her about said cheating, Sloan ultimately decides that she needs to give him his 39th chance. And despite the fact that she’s been making legitimate points about Ari’s inability to parent or participate in his own marriage, Mrs. Ari, er, I mean Melissa* caves and decides to believe that Ari can put his family first for once (a moment the series then undercuts in the post-credit sequence anyway). Oh, and you know that headstrong Sofia who could see right through Vince’s BS? She was so wrong! In just one 24-hour date, she realized that Vincent Chase is a god damn saint that she misjudged. And not only that, he’s worthy of MARRIAGE already, especially since he gave her a Rachel Zoe-approved rock.
*The fact that the biggest question Doug Ellin thought he had to answer in the finale of his eight-season series is the name of a supporting character tells you all you need to know about the lofty ambitions of this series. I also loved how once the episode let the cat out of the bag in regards to Mrs. Ari’s name, characters couldn’t stop saying it – which only further emphasizes the fact that it was stupid (read: horrible, sexist) for the series to not tell us what her name was in the first place.
So basically, Entourage wants us to know that not only are women, their personalities and their opinions not worth our time, but eventually, even the ones that fight back against our uber-masculinity will cave to our sex appeal, money and ability to round up a young Italian opera group together at a moment’s notice. Women have no reason to think for themselves, especially when you can provide them with luxurious on-the-spot weddings and whirl-wind trips that allow you to skirt over the fact that you just screwed their step-mothers. Bitches are dumb, man. Only the most stereotypical fraternity brother on the planet would be willing to degrade women and their ability to “think” and “make decisions” more than Entourage did in its final episode. Not only is this terrible writing, poor execution and all of that stuff, it’s just downright offensive. Critic folk like to crack jokes about the Criminal Minds of the world and how they treat women, but I’m inclined to put Entourage right there as well, especially after this finale. No respect whatsoever.
But of course, this all plays right into what Entourage is and has been – like I said with fake quote from a fake review at the top – only played to maximum voltage. Not only are the women objectified, they’re shown to be stupid and weightless in the most important moments. Not only does everything work out for the best, IT WORKS OUT FOR THE BEST. There are consequences and issues overtly pushed to the side because Vince has convinced people that it’s going to be OK. And not only do the characters get to fly off into the sunset on a private jet, they get to fly off into the sunset IN TWO MOTHERFUCKING JETS, BRO. I always knew that Entourage was terrible, misogynistic and lifestyle porn for the douchebag generation, but I still enjoyed the believable friendship between these guys. The first few episodes of the season convinced me the finale could be more about that than anything else, but ultimately Entourage took the laziest route to the end they could. Vince solved his problems, solved everyone else’s problems, made love connections, convinced two seemingly independent women into loving grade-A tools, helped his brother get a TV movie, made Turtle* into a millionaire and dropped millions of dollars on a ring and two private jets. Being rich is so awesome bro.
*Although Vince bailing Turtle out of his stupid decision-making was horrible, I can’t help but admitting that I still kind of like Turtle. He’s an idiot, but at least he tried to make himself better over the years. Everyone else continued to suck or in the case of Eric, became an even bigger annoyance as time passed. I don’t know that Jerry Ferrara will ever work again, but I kind of hope he does. I think. Maybe not.
- Another byproduct of the terribleness of this episode: It ruined what was a fairly good arc for Ari and a performance from Jeremy Piven. Mrs. Ari’s decision to take him back was the least offensive of the three female choices, but the post-credits sequence that so obviously trying to set up the movie was really dumb. Piven was still pretty good, though.
- After all this time, the final celebrity cameo is Rachel Zoe. I’m not sure if I’m disappointed in that or it’s just fitting for how this all went down. I’m leaning towards the latter.
- I’m also kind of pissed that neither Billy nor Scott got to come on the trip. They had each made their way into the circle over the years and it was sort of insulting that they couldn’t come to Paris. This is the most egregious exclusion of characters in departure situation in a finale since Lost didn’t allow Michael and Miles in the chapel. I’m so serious right now.