In Welcome to Chippendales Episode 2, Somen has difficulty processing news of Paul’s murder of Dorothy and his subsequent suicide.
While Somen seeks some comfort and normalcy at an Indian restaurant, Nick officially divorces his wife, actress Jennifer O’Neill. He then proceeds to hook up with her divorce lawyer. When Nick suggests they go dancing afterwards, the man brushes him off. It was just a hookup for him.
At home, Nick comforts himself with a glass of wine and a reminder of the taste of fame he once experienced as he watches old clips from his Emmy-winning children’s show.
Things start looking up for him when Somen calls him for a meeting. Chippendales has been struggling to retain interest with its single choreographed show, so Somen decides to hire Nick full-time.
Nick fires the entire team of dancers so he can hire his own. One dancer is a standout in auditions: a struggling Black actor named Otis McCutcheon. Somen likes the fact that Nick hired a Black performer, concluding that customers will love it.
And they do. The women go crazy over Otis’ first performance. They go so far as to assault him on stage, and nobody bats an eye. Except for a woman in the audience named Irene, but that’s more to do with the fact that this isn’t her “kind of place.”
Irene later chats with Somen at the bar. When she impresses him with her calculated ways of saving money, he hires her as their accountant.
Otis informs Nick he’s not comfortable with women kissing and groping him, but Nick tells him that’s the only way he’ll get paid.
It turns out Otis’ dreams are bigger than dancing anyway. He’s able to convince Somen to let him occasionally help out on the business side of the club.
Irene continues to have more good ideas for Chippendales as well. It’s she who suggests the club open up to men after 10 pm. This way, women won’t leave after the performances to find men at other clubs.
And she’s right. With this change implemented, men start lining up to enter at 10 pm, and the women stay at the club later into the night.
Somen and Irene bond further at work, and Somen takes her on a date to his favorite Indian restaurant. They share some of the same history, neither having gone into their respective family businesses.
Business is booming at Chippendales with help from Irene and Otis–but Nick doesn’t like that Somen is utilizing his most popular dancer for non-performance related business.
He’s at least able to implement his own addition to the club by bringing on costume designer Denise Coughlan. He’s only able to convince Somen to hire her after Irene notes it would be a good business decision. The two men seem to want to butt heads only for the sake of their pride.
“This is it. This is the team,” Irene says of the four of them. But Somen and Nick only stare at each other, both understanding that they aren’t on the same side.
The Episode Review
For such a gruesome and dramatic end to the premier episode, the murder-suicide weirdly has little importance to this follow-up installment. Maybe that’s just the pressure of making a dramatic series based on true events. You have to roll with the punches, keep up with implementing all the new events and characters where they showed up in the true story.
While it’s a tragedy the series couldn’t find a way to implement the premiere’s drama in this episode, it doesn’t waste time in developing new intrigue. The contention between Somen and Nick is ripe for developing conflict, although it doesn’t spring about entirely naturally. Is the show really going to base a feud solely around the two men’s pride? I suppose we’ll find out.
These characters and their chemistry are as riveting as ever (especially with the addition of three new characters; I certainly feel as if the “four geniuses” should truly be five, but it’s clear that characters themselves are discounting Otis). I only hope the series keeps up with the tense character dynamics and is able to weave in strong, connecting themes to strengthen the series arc as a whole.