‘Entourage’: Pay it forward

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So now we’ve reached the end of the sixth season, and “Entourage” has packed it with a wallop of revelation and eye candy. Not only that, they serve it all up with an extra special helping of Matt Damon too. How many kinds of funny was he? The actor’s agitated version of himself kept me giddily amused from beginning to end.

But more on him later. The end of the season also marked the end of Vince’s long, hot summer holiday. Now that our resident movie star is finally ready to journey to Italy and start work on his next film, Vince is looking for tagalongs.


Turtle has things to work out first. Despite UCLA coed Brooke’s best efforts to get Turtle’s mind off Jamie-Lynn and into the gutter (and with open shades, no less -- it seemed as though they were making out in front of the entire campus), Turtle couldn’t even manage to get his gray-toed Hanes ankle socks off. The tryst was cut short when Turtle made up his mind to take the 14 1/2-hour flight (In the uncomfortable middle seat, no less! That’s love) to surprise his long-distance girl in New Zealand. Only, the surprise was on him: Jamie-Lynn decided she didn’t want to see her ex-beau at all: “It wouldn’t work, and if we’re ever going to have a chance in the future, we shouldn’t try.” The explanation sounds a bit hollow, but it looks as though Jamie-Lynn is out of the picture for good, leaving Turtle to high-tail it to join Vince in Rome and lick his wounds.

Drama also had every intention of following his younger bro to Italy for a Roman holiday. Only, “Melrose Place” kept on knocking: First by asking him to test again, and then by sweetening the pot and adding a couple more Gs to his bid. Drama wouldn’t have any of it and wanted to sever the strings completely. But you can’t have Drama without acting! Luckily he realized that, too, recommitted himself to his craft and delivered a rousing speech to the ‘Melrose’ crew that seemed worthy of an audition itself. And though the network deemed him too old for the “Melrose Place” slot (duh), they set him up with something better: a holding deal in which they develop a starring vehicle. So Drama got bumped up to leading man, and he got to savor la dolce vita. Sweet.

Also driving a starring vehicle: E. And by that, I’m talking about that beautiful car that seemed to inhabit every scene he was in. Oh, and he did his best to woo back his long-lost love, Sloan, too. He took her on a scenic drive up the coast, arranged for a perfectly sunny day, and returned to one of their old waterfront haunts overlooking the Pacific. But once Sloan cottoned on to E’s attempt at reconciliation, she balked and insisted he take her back. And after a couple miles of stony silence, they conveniently pull over on the side of a picturesque cliff. And we were treated to another round of he loves her, she can’t trust him drama. Only, E was prepared for the rebuff and up the ante with a diamond ring. And Sloan, sun-kissed and glowing with her end-of-the-summer tan, melted. And judging by how he turned down a trip with his boys in favor of his new fiancee, it seems like E’s serious about the relationship this time. Will it last?
Someone else with a heart like a diamond is Sloan’s father Terrance, who broke out a trump card in the McQuiewick/Miller Gold buyout dealings with an addendum that insists that his bought-out company retain its original name. Which, of course, made Ari balk (“I like Gold, okay?”). Turned out Ari was mostly acting out of spite and revenge against his former boss, and wanted to see him crash and burn spectacularly (or at least in a hail of paint-ball bullets). Only, Terrance refused to be swayed by this colossal knee-jerk reaction. The superagent (so expertly played by Malcolm McDowell) crossed over enemy lines and made an appearance at Ari’s office, and despite being berated by his former protégé, calmly apologized, and insisted that he wanted Ari to be his successor. “I was just feeling unneeded,” Terrance explained of his move to oust Ari from his agency. “You’re going to grow old someday, Ari. Hopefully, you’ll be able to find one who’ll be able to let you do it gracefully.” And this rare moment of vulnerability in this alpha male was not lost on Ari, and the hot-headed agent conceded in keeping the Terrance McQuiewick name.

Not only that, Ari was actually able to show the same kindness to his own protégé, Lloyd. After tearing into the McQuiewick offices like a banshee, Ari delivered an ultimatum to his former assistant. “Return to the king, or exile yourself from this town forever. You have until the end of the day tomorrow to agree to be rebranded mine.” And good for Lloyd for arriving in a suit with a striped shirt and patterned tie, head held high and firmly telling Ari to go shove his abuse where the sun don’t shine. And good for Ari for using that ruse as a ploy to promote Lloyd. Laughed out loud upon seeing the sign “Congrats, you’re finally a real Asian.” (“It’s supposed to say agent,” Ari explained. Ha!) My heart swelled with pride for both Ari and Lloyd when the crowd gathered to clap for the newly appointed agent. And melted a little when the two came together in a hug. But just when things started to get a little bit treacly and the hug went on a little too long, leave it to Ari to dial it back with a well-placed “get off.”
Finally, Matt Damon: Loved how the Oscar-winning actor brought the funny in this episode. Sure, this half-hour was crawling with boldface names like LeBron James, Bono, Jim Edmonds (all in the name of charity, of course). But methinks Matt Damon stole the show for taking his Jason Bourne intensity dial and cranking it to 11 (“It’s for the kids”). And the clip after the credits, where he goes from a scream fest at Vince for not cutting a check (“I never even thought you were a … good actor”) to full-on break-down sobs, to sober contrition? Priceless.

What did you think of this season finale? Did you enjoy Matt Damon’s guest appearance as much as I did? Which reunion were you pleased with the most: E and Sloan’s, or Ari and Lloyd’s?

-- Allyssa Lee