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Monday, September 5, 2011

The Televangelist: 'Entourage' Season 8, Episode 7

Posted By on Mon, Sep 5, 2011 at 11:03 AM

Yeah dont worry about it ... Im gonna phone this one in
  • HBO.com
  • "Yeah don't worry about it ... I'm gonna phone this one in"

Whereas it seemed in the penultimate season that Vince's friends and family were orbiting away from him (a motion which continued into this season), this penultimate episode proves that Vince is still, and likely always will be, the center of the entourage's universe. We learned last night that Vince — and nearly only Vince — allowed Drama's movie to get made, teaming up with Ari to patch things up with Phil to set the movie for CBS primetime. Elsewhere Vince worked some behind-the-scenes magic for Turtle, keeping both of their stocks with the tequila company so that Turtle, finally a millionaire in his own right, can presumably be bled dry by the horrifyingly obnoxious De Lucas. What presents will Santa Vince bestow next week?

Ari was long ago won to Vince's side, though the two have not shared much screen time this season. He even tells Dana that he has nothing "but Vince and this job." Despite this, and despite their fantastic chemistry, it looks like Ari is forsaking Dana to attempt reconciliation with Melissa. (That's right, Melissa Gold. I think I must have coughed or a train went by or something last week when her name was finally revealed, because I completely missed it!) Will Vince make a video filled with those willing to come forward with positive testimony for Ari to win over Melissa? What about for Eric to win back Sloan?

As for the later, this is well-worn territory. It's irritating and repetitive that the couple - not to mention us! - are being dragged through it all again. We already experienced the grand gesture and the "I love you forever" between Sloan and Eric two seasons ago. Could these two not just have gotten married this season and be happy? E is tired of Scott and is clearly primed to make the jump to New York, especially after the revelation that Sloan is having their baby. And she really believes that won't tie them together forever? Even if E and Sloan do not get back together in the finale, I'm sure groundwork will be laid that suggests their future together. If not … what in hell have I been watching?

As for Vince … I cannot say enough bad things about this folly of a narrative regarding Sophia. We are introduced to a character who is without personality or passion, and told this is Vince's soulmate (hang on … maybe this makes sense!). I am not over my De Luca-induced headache enough to begin counting the ways this whole thing lacks sense. But even if it's all about Vince feeling it's "meant to be" (even Ari says "are you sure it's not just the rejection?) my question is still: so what? Surely the writers could have found something else for Vince to do than go and find a gaggle of women he slept with one time and get them to give a glowing report of what an amazing person he was for a video he plans to give to a girl he's trying to legitimately woo. Ladies, stop and think about this for a minute. My headache just got worse.

But from the very worst to the very best: without Billy and so little of Scott, the best lines of the episode were left to Melinda Clarke, whose banter with E (E: I'm gonna go kill somebody. Melinda: Oooo! Do you want to fuck again before you go?) was surpassed only by the screwball roundtable at the Farmer's Market:

Sloan: Melinda aren't you like 60? Isn't this getting old for you?
Melinda: On the contrary, it keeps me young.
Johnny G: That and the plastic surgery ...
Melinda (coldly): Not even a syringe.

In the best of TV shows, penultimate episodes in the season, and certainly of the series, are when the bulk of the action happens. The finale is left to dissect the aftermath and set up either a conclusion or a continuation from said events. For "Entourage," if I didn't know next week would be its last I would never have guessed. As I have repeated all season, the stakes are low, but on the other hand, the entourage itself is intact and thriving, as is Vince … and from this show, is there really any more we could have asked for?

No further musings this week - but predictions for the finale are welcome!

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