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In trying to think of ways to articulate exactly what has been happening with Entourage of late, steady decline is a phrase that springs to mind repeatedly. The eighth season of the show hasn’t hit a level at which I am prepared to call it bad. In fact, there are still moments mixed into episodes that make me want to see more, but it has simply lost its way. The season premiere had serious promise, laying out the groundwork for the eight episode run that made me think that it was perhaps not going to be too short to get anything done, but now, with just two episodes left following this week’s “The Big Bang,” that hope is all but gone. The things that I thought were going to be focal points of the season have taken a back burner, the movie that Vince wrote still hasn’t even come close to being made and Ari Gold isn’t even funny anymore.
The serious problems with “The Big Bang” came essentially due to the entire episode being devoted to things that are ultimately trivial as far as the grander scale of the show is concerned. Namely, Vince’s interview for Vanity Fair. Last week I somewhat appreciated the attempt to at least throw a glimmer of reality into the show when Vince had the interview, given that we have seen him give about five interviews in the entire course of the show and anyone with internet access knows that isn’t an accurate portrayal of Hollywood. Sadly however, it continued to dominate this episode for no real reason that I can see. Vince is obviously extremely attracted to Alice Eve’s Sophia, but with just three episodes remaining, starting a “love” story is a ridiculous idea. Given that Eve is set to appear in the remaining two episodes of the show it is obviously where this is headed, but it just doesn’t make sense for the show.
Although it took several minutes to get through, essentially what happened was that the interview was published, it was mostly good, but Vince felt that his relationships with women were not accurately portrayed. In an attempt to correct Sophia’s perception of him, he went to see her and, well, didn’t change her mind at all. Not only did it end up being completely pointless in that regard, but Vince’s relationships with women were completely spot on. Save for his mother and perhaps Mandy Moore back in season two, he doesn’t have actual relationships with women at all, so what he is complaining about I’m not quite sure. Now I like looking at Alice Eve as much as the next guy, but this is all just wasted screen time leading to a relationship that will have less than no time to develop into anything at all.
In a relationship story that does actually matter, the Gold’s divorce hit full swing this week causing big problems for Ari. Ignoring custody issues with his children for the moment, Mrs. Ari, who’s name was finally revealed to be Melissa, put a substantial amount of capital into MGA when Ari began his super agency. Although it is now TMA, she is still entitled to her money back and much like many other people on the planet, Ari doesn’t have $11 million sitting around in his back pocket. His plan to borrow the money from the company is shot down quickly as cash flow isn’t spectacular and whilst his partner is willing to float him the money, he has to give up his majority share to get it. In an attempt to remain the boss of the agency that he built, he goes to see his wife to talk things out, and that is really the point at which I wanted to kill Melissa Gold.
Ari is not the nicest man in the world and she does have some legitimate grievances, but at this point she is destroying him emotionally and potentially financially for almost no reason at all. Completely blowing off a fairly calm Ari - who was just legitimately concerned about his future - in favor of spending time with her boyfriend was the last straw for both me and him, and I can only hope that he finds some way to destroy her before the season is through. The only real positive to come out of the situation is that it marks actual plot progression for the show that has been lacking in the last couple of weeks, something that was also displayed by Turtle.
Since the end of his affiliation with Avion, Turtle has been looking to use the money he made to bring good Italian food to LA. Whilst it has been talked about for a few weeks now, something on that front finally happened when he brought the owners of the restaurant out to meet with him. Now I have never been to New York, but my impression of these two fine upstanding citizens was that they were, well, extremely stereotypical. With over exaggerated Italian-American accents and a complete disregard for a thoroughly thought out business plan laid out by Turtle, they served little purpose other than to remind me why I don’t watch Jersey Shore. Ever since he has actually tried to do something with his life, I’ve been backing Turtle to make it big, and now that he is trying perhaps harder than ever and getting nothing out of it, I am almost offended for him. Again, as with Vince’s “love,” with only two episodes left, I was disappointed with the lack of progress made on this front, but at the very least some existed.
It wouldn’t be Entourage without Drama creating ridiculous drama that has never been funny, and in that spirit, Drama and Dice’s strike was in full swing this week. Feeling nervous with no word from the network, death threats from Billy and career threats from the producer almost made him cave, but standing strong, the strike appears to have paid off. The thing is, I’m not entirely certain that it has. The way that Dice told Drama that everything was okay and that the show wasn’t cancelled was suspicious to say the least, but I’m not sure that Entourage has it in them to actually write a good old fashioned back stabbing. Elsewhere, Eric was left to deal with the fallout--or rather, windfall--of having slept with Melinda Clarke. After landing a new series under his management, she brought him a $300,000 car as a gift, something that didn’t go over well with him. Matters were stirred up more when Johnny Galecki implied that he has been seeing Sloan, leading Eric to threaten breaking up The Murphy Lavin Group if Johnny isn’t fired as a client.
As I’ve already said, with only two episodes left in its run, I’m not entirely sure where Entourage is going. Sloan must come back into the fold before the season is through, but other than that, very little that anybody cares about could possibly take place. Turtle’s business won’t be up and running, Drama may have just about started making his movie and Vince may have just hooked up with a new girl, but none of it will matter at all. After a promising start Entourage has fallen off the bandwagon, rolled down a mountain and landed on a very sharp rusty pole, and if it doesn’t change its outlook immediately upon the start of next week’s episode, it will be a very weak end to a once good show.