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Entourage – Second to Last

After seven-eighths of the final season of Entourage, one thing has become more than clear: the show has forgotten that it’s only twenty minutes long. For a few weeks now just about anyone watching the show will have noticed that very little is happening each and every week, perhaps mistaking it for simple pacing problems as I did, but whilst pacing is certainly an issue, the real problem that the show has been facing is much larger. Not being a sitcom like everything else that runs this short, it seems that the team behind Entourage has forgotten that drama takes time to unfold if it’s going to be anything worth a damn. As a result, the majority of the final season has been spotty pieces of drama mixed with sparse humor that makes for sometimes entertaining but often awkward viewing. 

In the case of “Second to Last” that tradition was sadly continued, with the drama being particularly light save for one final reveal. Continuing on from last week's “The Big Bang,” Vince spent the majority of his time trying to get Vanity Fair journalist Sophia to like him. After straight flattery failed on numerous counts due to Sophia’s supposedly misconceived perception that Vince is a womanizer (which is completely accurate), the superstar took to a fairly unconventional method of courtship by looking up a horde of his ex-girlfriends (as if the fact that there was a horde wasn’t proof enough that he was a womanizer) and interviewing them on camera about their relationship with the A-lister. Backed up by a good word from both Turtle and Drama, in a fairly ridiculous but predictable twist of fate, Sophia suddenly changed her mind and agreed to go out with him.

It’s certainly not the first time that I’ve said it, but while trying to turn Vince into a slightly more respectable human being with actual feelings is laudable, with now only one episode left, it couldn’t be a more useless storyline. If Sophia had been introduced at the top of the season and by now we were more than familiar with her character, the development of a relationship between the two would have been welcomed, but a relatively new character suddenly becoming a focal point for the entire show is just ridiculous. Worse still has been the back-and-forth of Turtle’s entrepreneurship throughout the final two seasons of the show. At the beginning of season seven, Turtle owned his own luxury car service. When that failed he went into the tequila business. While that worked, he got edged out and now here at the end of the eighth season he is trying to bring authentic Italian food to LA. 

I have always liked Turtle, but the mistakes being made with his character at this point are almost as stupid as those being made with Eric. The ridiculous DeLuca couple that Turtle’s entire business strategy hinges on is even more stupid than the writing as a whole, trashing the prospect of an extremely profitable business out of nothing more than shortsightedness. After demanding that Turtle get twice his originally planned capital in next to no time at all, he is forced into calling up his business partners to ask for more. Enter the biggest montage of famous athletes that any non-sports show has ever seen and the result is that the whole thing goes down in flames. To make matters worse, in the course of his pleading for more money, Turtle learns that Avion had just gone public – a move that would have netted him $4 million if he hadn’t sold his stock.

In another ridiculously convenient twist of fate, Vince confesses to Turtle that he hadn’t missed out on the benefits of being a part of Avion quite as much as he had thought, as Vince was the one that bought his friend’s stock. Turtle, now a multi-millionaire, can now afford the entire business venture alone and seems to be on course for a happily ever after finish coming out of left field. No such happiness appears to be coming for E however, as the previously alluded to stupidity of his storyline came into full focus this week. Going from petty and pathetic to really petty and pathetic, Eric continued to demand that Johnny Galecki be dropped by Scott as a client despite the potential millions in income, and upon learning that he and Sloan were eating lunch together, he went through the trouble of crashing it.

Bringing Sloan’s ex-stepmother and his current female friend Melinda Clarke with him just to make sure the ridiculousness was at a peak, things hit an all time low for the former pizza boy. In the only legitimately dramatic moment of the episode, Eric was hit with the news that Sloan was pregnant with his child after he chased her home to win her back. Despite the generally shoddy nature of “Second to Last” as a whole, there is at very least some hope that the fact that Sloan is pregnant will lead to a finale of everyone trying to help Eric win her back and the two finally sorting it out and just getting married. Sloan and Eric’s relationship has been out of the mix for far too long and hopefully the renewal of them as a couple that we’ve been waiting on since they broke up is just around the corner. 

Thankfully Drama barely did anything in this episode but there was finally some traction on the miner movie that Vince wants him to star in. After actually reading the script and realizing that it was good, Ari set his TV department to work on getting a studio to produce the movie whilst he personally went to Drama’s producer over at CBS to get him to okay the project. With Vince in tow, the two had to resort to bribery to get the job done, but at very least, for a show that is supposed to be about movie stars, a movie is actually going to get made this season (or at least begin to). On a more personal note, despite the development of a good relationship between himself and Dana, Ari is still in love with his wife, and if things continue to go the way that they have been going, it will all somehow work out for them too.

“Second to Last” was lackluster television at best and really wasn’t worthy of a penultimate episode to such a long standing show. Unless the finale is ten hours long and is written by Aaron Sorkin, there is little hope that memories of the final season of Entourage will be good ones since there are too many errors being made to possibly be undone in the remaining time.


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