Welcome to Chippendales season 1, episode 5 recap – will Chippendales thrive in two cities?

By Ricky Valero
Published: December 13, 2022 (Last updated: February 3, 2024)
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You have to fight fire with fire was the theme of this week’s episode, and it was just that. Murray Bartlett continues his push for another Emmy with his great work on the show.

We recap the Hulu series Welcome to Chippendales season 1, episode 5, “Leeches,” which contains spoilers.

Last week on Welcome to Chippendales, things started to fall off the rails for Somen (Kumail Nanjiani). Between Otis (Quentin Plair) having enough and quitting, Somen and Irene (Annaleigh Ashford) having words, and Nick (Murray Bartlet) taking Chippendales off to New York, it was a hectic week. But can Chippendales thrive in two cities? Let’s dive in.

Welcome to Chippendales season 1, episode 5 recap

There are quite a few shows with great openings this year, but I would argue that Welcome to Chippendales is easily the top 3. Between the song and the montage, it’s genuinely brilliant. The episode begins with Somen getting fitted for a suit. He argued with the tailoring of the suit but wanted to show off his expensive watch.

Next, we move to Somen in New York City to check out the Chippendales show. He notices that the place is JAM PACKED with people and a long line outside. Backstage, Murray is freaking out because he isn’t sure people are going to love the show. However, Denise calms him down and tells him to go out and enjoy the show as everyone else will. Unfortunately, while the crowd roars and loves the show, Somen has a “not having fun” look

However, the opening of the show impresses Somen. He heads backstage to tell Nick how much he loves it. Nick tells him that was the show he nixed in LA, but Somen said, “he didn’t have that many attractive men,” but Nick says he did. It’s quite an interesting exchange between the two. The duo heads outside, where Somen sees snow for the first time. Nick throws a snowball at Somen, who is shocked, but Somen wants to try. Somen struggles to make a snowball which Nick shows him how. It leads to a snowball fight between the two. However, as Nick pelts him repeatedly, Somen gets pissed. Somen calls him a bully and leaves.

Somen heads home to a very pregnant Irene to tell her how amazing New York is. One thing I don’t love about this show is the timeline cause it could be clearer where we are at in the story. Back at the club, a man approaches Somen and hands him some papers where he is being sued. They are being sued as he states the club is racially discriminated against because he didn’t have a VIP card.

Somen approaches his doorman to tell him that the VIP card doesn’t exist anymore. Back in New York, Nick and Denise are wandering the streets together. The duo head into an office building where Nick and Bradford show off a brand new office for the two of them. While in the office, Denise got a call and a producer of the Phil Donahue show was in attendance, and now Chippendales will be on the show.

Everyone back in LA turns on the TV and sits together to watch Chippendales on Phil Donahue. Donahue introduces the men of Chippendales to the live crowd, and they go NUTS. The men hop on the stage and perform while ZZ Tops’ “Sharp Dressed Man” plays in the backdrop. We go backstage, discovering that 14 million are watching, and Nick is freaking out. Donahue announces “Mr. Chippendales” himself, Nick De Noia. Of course, Somen is watching in LA, freaking out because he doesn’t even mention him.

Shortly after the show is over, Somen freaks out at Irene, who attempts to calm him down by making him realize how things are thriving. She makes him promise that he isn’t going to blow this entire operation on a silly little slight. Moments later, after he leaves, Irene looks for aspire and finds the VIP badges in his drawers. She THROWS the cards at Somen and breaks down because he lied to her. Irene is upset because they don’t do things like this and makes him say, “we shouldn’t have kept Black people out of the club.”

Ending Explained

Next, Ray, the handyman, decides to come to tell him that Nick was on another show and says he was the creator of Chippendales. Somen calls Nick to confront the idea of everyone calling him Mr. Chippendales. Nick fires back at him, saying he can’t just stop in the middle of the show. The duo exchanges some barbs back and forth, leading to Nick saying he will show him taking credit. Then, we see Nick go onto EVERY SINGLE talk show and be announced as “The Founder and Creator of Chippendales.”

After seeing the montage of videos, Ray tells Somen that HE needs to go on all the shows. We see him go on the show, and everyone realizes why Nick is the perfect guy to be at the forefront of Chippendales PR. It was a MASSIVE disaster. In the car, Ray hypes him about how great he was, but Somen knows deep down that it went horrendously. Somen tells him to stop talking. On the drive home, they pass by a new place offering male stripping. When he confronts him, the guy says that Nick is the creator of Chippendales, but the guy laughs at him. After all this, Ray continues to blow smoke up his ass.

As the episode ends, Somen sits in the car and says he wants to burn the place to the ground. However, Ray says he can’t do that and says he is right, that he (Ray) must do it. Somen tells him that he swore an oath of loyalty and needs to show him he meant it. At his office, Somen gets a call to turn on the news, and we hear that the Electric Tomato (the new male-strip club) is up in flames. While Chippendales is thriving in two cities now, it’s starting to fall apart in LA because Somen can’t handle the heat.

What did you think of Welcome to Chippendales season 1, episode 5? Comment below.

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