How did Entourage creator Doug Ellin set out to write the final season? What are some of the stars' favorite episodes? Will we ever learn Mrs. Ari's real name? TVGuide.com chatted with Ellin and the stars of the HBO series about the eighth and final season.
Preparing for the last season
After receiving word that Entourage would end after Season 8, Ellin, who's also an executive producer, was tasked with coming up with a satisfying conclusion for Vince and his three friends. Ellin never had a specific plot in mind, just a vibe. "I went with a feeling that I wanted, that when it ended we loved these guys and we'd miss them," he says. He was also was never worried about bringing Vince close to rock-bottom before the show's end. "I knew someday I'd like to get a little darker with him — they can't just sit around and party. But we'll see him back on top."
Ari and Mrs. Ari's separation
"He stepped over the boundary and went too far. He unraveled," Perrey Reeves says of her character's husband, Ari. Adds Jeremy Piven: "After playing this very abrasive blowhard who takes up all the oxygen in the room, to show his humanity was a total gift. He's such a reactive character and now he's brought to his knees and doesn't know what to do — I love it."
Mrs. Ari's new boyfriend
Early in the season, Ari finds out his wife is dating Bobby Flay. Viewers may be confused since Flay is married to actress Stephanie March, but Reeves explains, "It's a fictional Bobby Flay, we have him not married on the show. I'm close with Stephanie!" And speaking of Mrs. Ari, Reeves also says viewers will finally learn her first name in one of the last episodes.
Does Ari really love Lloyd?
Ari may not treat his former assistant with respect, but Rex Lee says his character Lloyd knows how Ari really feels about him. "At the root of their relationship is love so I think it's irrelevant how Ari treats Lloyd [because] at the end of the day he loves him," he says. Lee also hinted at how Lloyd's arc ends: "If you think about what Lloyd has stated that he wants in the past few years, and you think about what he's achieved in the past few years, when you get to the end of the season it's a logical progression, and it's a nice Hollywood ending."
For Kevin Dillon, his favorite featured a pivotal moment for his character Johnny Drama. "My favorite episode would be ["Resurrection," Season 3] when he thought his career was over. He goes to the Grand Canyon, you think he's going to jump off the cliff, and then he finds out Five Towns got picked up. He drops to his knees and yells, 'Victory!'"
Jerry Ferrara (Turtle) has fond memories from Season 2's "The Sundance Kids," where the group attends the premiere of Queen Boulevard. "To be at the Sundance Film Festival while shooting a TV show was cool all around," he says, "And it was the first time we traveled together and shot outside of L.A."
What's next for Vince?
Adrian Grenier jokes that he's not ready to let go of Vincent Chase. "I'm going to do Season 9 by myself. I don't care what anyone says, it's not over."
Entourage premieres Sunday at 10:30/9:30c on HBO.Watch a clip from the premiere: