Welcome to Chippendales – Episode 4 “Just Business” Recap & Review

Just Business

In Welcome to Chippendales Episode 4, Nick has been gone from LA for five days, leaving Denise to handle the choreography by herself. He meets some investors for dinner in New York, to whom he pitches an erotic cabaret for women called U.S. Male. They deny him, however, calling the idea “sleazy.”

Later, Nick meets a man named Bradford Barton at a bar and takes him back to his hotel. He shares his idea to develop U.S. Male, but Bradford claims that would be crazy. He should do Chippendales; people have already heard of it. Not to mention that, as a rich investor himself, Bradford would back the venture.

Meanwhile, Chippendales distributes their new calendars, which exclude Otis. When Otis confronts Steve, he’s told his image in the calendar would have been bad for sales.

And sales are certainly good. When they sell out all their copies, Steve can’t print more due to the printing press’ other orders. His solution? To buy out the press.

When Steve shares the news with Irene, she’s angry he didn’t run the decision past her. He tries to assuage her feelings with dinner at a fancy restaurant–but they are denied seating due to color of Steve’s skin

Nick returns to Chippendales to be greeted by both a slap and a hug from Denise. He then tells Steve he’s going to run a Chippendales in New York. If he doesn’t like it, he’ll open up his own competing place. Steve, able to see the financial possibilities, decides to transfer him to New York.

Steve’s excitement is cut short when he finds Otis making his own calendar with Ray. Steve is upset he would try to compete with him, but Otis says he’s only following in his footsteps. He confronts Steve about not hiring any other Black dancers. But Steve only tells him not to take it personally. After all, it’s “just business.”

Otis quits. On his way out, he denies the invitation from Nick and Denise to go to New York with them. It’s time for him to do his own thing.

Tonight, Chippendales is insanely popular, with men lining up at the door to get in at 10 and join the ladies. At the front of the line are two men of color who keep getting denied–told that they need a nonexistent membership card to get in.

Inside, Ray tells Steve he messed up by helping Otis. He assures him he’s here to have his back, going so far as to kneel before him to offer his loyalty.

The Episode Review

Welcome to Chippendales grabs the opportunity to use the night club’s history of racism against it. Otis’ experiences are revealing. From the beginning of the show, Otis has been more objectified than any other stripper by the gaze of Chippendales’ White female patrons. And his presence at a club only permitted as it turned out to be a good business decision.

Steve is inherently aware of the racism Otis must experience day to day, but as time progresses, it’s more and more obvious that he’s only looking out for himself. It’s all a compelling exploration, if one bogged down by lazy parallels. 

There was at first an interesting set-up to explore the systemic racism in the business industry: The comparison of Steve’s personal offense at the restaurant versus the exclusionary way he runs his own business. But we simply didn’t need to see the exact same situation play out at the two businesses to understand what was going on.

Over all, “Just Business” delivers big ideas with trite execution–still made enjoyable by Quentin Plair and Murray Bartletts’ on-screen presence.

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You can read our full season review for Welcome to Chippendales here!

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