S8E1: Entourage got a little too big for its britches last season; it buckled under the pressure of a storyline that got just a little too real for a show that's nothing more than boyhood fantasy brought to life. (And we love it for that.) Now, with a final eight episodes, the long-lived series looks like it’s aiming to reclaim its original glory: glossy, unrealistic, Hollywood fun.
"Sober is sexy." -Vince
Vince is 90 days sober, getting out of rehab and a newly tiny Turtle along with a characteristically neurotic Johnny Drama are prepping the house for Vince’s return. You’ve got to love Drama’s overzealous devotion to keeping the house drug and alcohol free. E is the only one who wasn’t called about Vince getting out of rehab. Even Scott and Ari are included. This is of course paired with his stress over his relationship with Sloane (and a pointless cameo from Johnny Galecki and his over-excited lust for E's lady) and the result is one very cranky pizza boy.
After we get Vince back, from rehab (after a shameless display of fandom from a slew of scantily-clad women with homemade banners and a proclivity for lifting their shirts) we're straight back to Queens Boulevard days, this time with a dose of extra delusion. Vince has an idea for a “passion” project – except it’s more akin to a Lifetime movie than a misunderstood indie flick as Ari so eloquently puts it. They decide to temporarily coddle him and his stupid idea to keep him from spiraling back out of control, except Vince seems completely fine. Then again, even addict-Vince was a bit of a vegetable last season, so who knows? They throw him a sober party to keep him occupied and because this is Entourageland, Billy Walsh delivers a party bus full of hot sober girls. Oh, boys.
"I'm still trying to get over the fake vodka thing." -Ari
When the party hits, everyone but Vince is on edge, looking for something to calm them down. Drama, being the great -- albeit a little too intense -- brother that he is hides all the non-alcoholic beer and fake vodka that he planted earlier in the episode to further shelter Vince from depravity. This is just a small problem because E's attempting to wash away his lady troubles and best friend struggles and Ari is hoping to forget that his wife is seeing another man, and all the hidden booze they find is little better than seltzer water with lime. Turtle is the only one who finds respite in the form of a joint, but a hapless flick of the wrist when Vince fakes a cocaine overdose to get their attention and tell them all that he's totally fine, guys, leaves the boys' house in flames. Right after the whole gang finally tells Vince his idea is ridiculous and they all laugh about it like some scene out of Family Ties, we end with our group standing by while their house burns and sighing over new beginnings and the future (including apparently making Scott part of the group -- this is the final season and the titular entourage is getting a new guy? Really?).
My only worry is that this season is going to happen exactly like we all expect it to. But I guess that's exactly what we want, right?