The only six episodes of Entourage you need to watch
As one of the few hits that's currently keeping HBO afloat, Entourage is still only a modest success - it's recent fifth season premiere hit a three-year low. Despite the lackluster ratings, HBO still gave the greenlight to a sixth season much earlier than expected... because, well, they don't have much else going on right now.
That being said, I'm a huge fan of the show and have been since it began. Yes, I'm one of the few that actually tuned in for the mostly ignored eight episode freshman season. I honestly don't see HBO pulling the plug without a true series finale at this stage in the series, but weirder things have happened and I want season six to roar back. So if you watch the show, great - glad to know you weren't part of that "three-year low" I mentioned. But if you used to watch Entourage, or never have, then this will be good for ya - the only six episodes you need to watch to know just what the heck is going on in the world of Vincent Chase.
1. [S01E08] "New York": The first season finale fills you in on pretty much everything that happened with Vince and the crew after we met them. It establishes him a rising Hollywood talent, lays out his dilemma of getting good parts, and makes it clear that going home to New York to shoot Queens Boulevard is a huge risk this early on in his career. It also explains the issues that Drama, Eric, and Turtle are all having - being friends with Vince but also working for him.
2. [S02E03] "Aquamansion": This is the first of many episodes with the exact same plot. The guys are broke and there's no money rolling in until Vince signs on for a new feature. All of this is compounded with Vince's easy-going/buy-whatever-you-want attitude. With the debt piling up, two great things result from it: we see Vince catapult to household name by signing on to a lucrative super-hero franchise (Aquaman) and we see Ari Gold at his finest - fighting for (and with) Vince to make sure his career moves forward and not backward.
3. [S03E12] "Sorry, Ari" : The third season's mid-season finale was the first time the show ended with a true cliff-hanger. Over the past two seasons we had seen Vince heading off to make his next film, and now everything went up in smoke as he fired Ari. Of course, it really boiled down to one issue that had been plaguing the gang since day one - is Ari a bad agent or is Vince just a stubborn client?
4. [S04E02] "The First Cut Is the Deepest": This episode ultimately serves as a turning point in the series. The second-half of season three, while enjoyable, is not worth watching when you can just cut to the chase with this episode. Vince finally got to make his dream project and if Billy Walsh's odd behavior while cutting the film is any indication, it's made crystal clear that Medellin is going to tank and Eric seems to be the only one to realize it. All along we've known Eric is the brains, but now it's confirmed.
5. [S05E04] "Fire Sale": With Medellin's tank job at Cannes behind Vince, the job of re-establishing his career and his name is now paramount to his future. Eric's managerial skills are now proven even further when he finds Smokejumpers - the film that will revive Vince's career. However, as viewers, we can't help but wonder if it can really be this easy for Vince? Smokejumpers ultimately gets shut down later in the season, but it's Vince's early enthusiasm seen here that makes this worth one watching.
6. [S05E12] "Return to Queens Blvd.": The season five ender is a true culmination of Vince's career to this point. We've seen him bust his ass, fall victim to two straight big-budget failures, and blow through all the money he's earned from his early successes. His big break finally comes though, in the form of an impromptu phone call from Martin Scorsese. As the series begins what will presumably be the beginning of the end for Vincent Chase, it looks like his hard work has finally paid off.