'Entourage' recap: E and Sloan -- it's really complicated

They said it couldn't be done, but Doug Ellin and his crew finally did it. They put together an episode of "Entourage" with actual purpose and direction. Is it sad it took them until the penultimate episode of the entire series to do it? Probably, but at this point, we should take what we can get.

Let's get the least interesting storyline out of the way first: Vince is still smitten with the beautiful and intelligent journalist Sophia, and he had the vain idea of making a home video comprised of his ex-girlfriends talking about how great he is. In the end, it's the urging of Vince's best friends (which plays off the overall central theme to the show -- bonds between boys) that ultimately convince Sophia to give Vince a chance. It's pretty obvious Vince is going to land the girl (you don't say!) by the finale, so I guess we can be happy for him. I find it hard to care about Vince at this point.

Johnny and Turtle have suffered plenty of humiliations over the past eight seasons, but they've finally hit paydirt. Vince and Ari convince TV exec Phil to forgive Johnny for striking against "Johnny's Bananas," and after Vince promises a hefty donation to Phil's favorite charity, Phil agrees to greenlight the miners movie with Johnny in the starring role.

Turtle, who so desperately wants to make it on his own, ultimately needed Vince's business skills to make his dream come true. The insufferable Don Pepe's couple want a bigger space for their Los Angeles restaurant, so Turtle must call his investors (Hi, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Texieria and other loathsome New York athletes) and beg for more money. They, somewhat hilariously, turn him down, so Turtle looks screwed ... until his best bud Vin comes to the rescue by telling Turtle he bought back their Avion tequila shares before the company went public. So yes, Turtle is a multi-millionaire now, as if dating Jamie Lynn-Sigler (on the show and in real life) wasn't enough.

In sad news, R.I.P. the one couple on this show that made sense -- Dana Gordon and Ari Gold. Ultimately, family and first-love win out, as Ari decides to break things off with Dana. Just as we'd expect, Dana plays it charmingly cool, and makes you think she will find someone better than Ari eventually. Will Mrs. Ari ditch the celebrity chef (or "fire-crotch" as Ari calls him) Bobby Flay? My Spidey senses say yes.

All of this drama felt like child's play compared to E's complicated lovelife. For some inexplicable reason, he's still sleeping with Melinda, Sloan's ex-stepmother. And yet, he's as obsessed with Sloan as ever, confronting her and guy-friend actor Johnny Galecki with Melinda in the most awkward farmer's market scene ever. E's default mode all season has been desperate, especially when he was revenge-sexing Melinda, but this episode took it to new levels. He follows Sloan to her house and the real bomb is dropped: Sloan is pregnant with Eric's baby. What's worse is they can never be together because her family hates him after the pre-nup debacle. (Sleeping with Melinda is probably another strike, too.) It's a decent setup for the finale, as we have to expect the BFFs from Queens will convince Sloan to give E another chance. It's what "Entourage" is all about -- having your friends express your feelings when you're too weak to.