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“Out With a Bang” was an odd episode for Entourage. After exploding onto screen last week with massive plot progression, quickly setting up the entire season and dealing with the aftermath of last year, things were slowed down perhaps just a little too much this week. Now that everything is in place, the show has set about adding some depth to the frame that it has laid out. Whilst ordinarily I’d be a firm proponent of such a move, the balance wasn’t quite what I expected. Dealing with the characters' relationships is paramount – evident by their weight in this episode – and Vince’s career is the show, but when Turtle’s “relationship” with Alex is played up just as much as Eric’s is with Sloan, you’re doing something wrong.
The Eric and Sloan melodrama provided the titular plot to this week’s episode as the two had a little trouble staying split up. I predicted last week that the way their break-up had been set up, the season would consist largely of Eric winning his love back. The bang in the title certainly helped my case as the two are clearly still in love with each other – something that wasn’t necessarily obvious in the premiere – but the episode's ending bombshell to Eric’s heart by Sloan announcing that she is moving to New York complicates my thinking a little. Either Eric is going to try and stop her from leaving or he is going to chase her back to his hometown and do something romantic, but her willingness to move onward and outward has made me a little nervous for everybody’s favorite manager. I remain confident of a renewal of their relationship and to be honest, having them actually get married would serve as a fitting finale to the show. Nevertheless the approach to the situation in this episode has complicated it, making everything more interesting and in turn more watchable.
Following in the break-up footsteps of Eric and Sloan, the aforementioned Turtle-Alex relationship came to the forefront this week too, but I’m not sure why. Alex came into the seventh season of the show basically as something for teenage boys like me (at the time) to look at. There is no denying that the show has run for eight years because of the desires of such people, but that doesn’t mean that they should be exclusively catered to. Turtle’s business in the seventh season shouldn’t have failed; it gave his character something serious to do and finally made him fit in amongst the fairly elite company that he keeps. When it did fail, that was okay as it seemed that his tequila venture was going to be just as interesting, but Alex’s relationship to Turtle’s partners has guaranteed that she stays around and completely overshadows Turtle. Without even having her appear in the episode we got several minutes of whining about her that felt unnecessary at best. She hasn’t appeared in the show enough for me to care about her character at all and she just feels like a weak replacement for Jamie-Lynn Sigler. Get this relationship over and done with and move on with the plot please.
Back to a relationship that everyone actually cares about and does actually matter, Ari and his wife continued to bring their best to the screen. When Lloyd saw Mrs. Ari at a restaurant that she hates, the hunt was on to find out exactly why she was there and who she was there with. Providing without a doubt the best comic relief of the episode as per usual, Ari berated the entire waiting profession while setting out to professionally sabotage an aspiring actor that he believed to be sleeping with his wife. The incorrect assumption brings Mrs. Ari to the TMA office when the man she is actually dating – Bobby Flay – informs her of what her husband had done, increasing the rage of the super-agent even more. With only six episodes remaining in the show’s run, I live in hope that this story is going to get built upon quickly as any reconciliation is going to take a little bit of time, but based on the preview of next week, Ari is going dating. Obviously a ploy to win his wife back, the move may work well if it is written as such, but much like Eric and Sloan’s relationship, I’m cautiously optimistic.
Obviously Entourage wouldn’t really function as a show without a touch of Hollywood to it and that was provided plentifully this week. Committing to the notion of turning his rehab movie idea into a project for Drama, Vince stayed up all night following the house burning down and wrote the basis of a script for his idea. Whilst his spelling and grammar were terrible, the idea had some promise, and upon taking it to Billy for his input, things are firmly a go for the MOW. Elsewhere in Drama’s career, his new show "Johnny’s Bananas" tests exceptionally well and things appear to be all on the up until his co-star Andrew Dice Clay plots to use the popularity of the two in the test screenings to demand a higher salary. Drama’s career has often been a point of frustration for me throughout the show’s run; whenever something appears to be going even moderately well, they all fall apart again. It has worked well as a device for the show and has given a broader scope to the entourage as a whole, but with such a short time left, his life just needs to sort itself out. If the drama for Drama becomes nothing more than a multi-episode worry until it’s resolved, then that will be fine. But if he loses the show as a result of it, I will feel about as happy as Ari does about his wife right now.
“Out With a Bang,” whilst taking an odd direction, did definitely work. The show has left behind the troubles that it had in the seventh season and is creating something that I will be proud to have been a fan of by the time that it ends. My only concern for the show right now is that there is the potential for a film on its horizon. The plans to go the Sex and the City route were announced quite some time ago, so the writers may have been tempted to create a season arc with the intention of carrying on the plot in subsequent films. If they then fail to materialize, there could be some Lost-esque unanswered questions with the show that will drag it down.