TV Recap: “Welcome to Chippendales” Episode 8 – “Switzerland” (Finale)

If Steve Banerjee was planning to end his life vis the gun in his bag of Chips Ahoy at the end of the previous episode of Welcome to Chippendales, he didn’t go through with it. In the final episode of Hulu’s limited series, we find out what ultimately happened to the founder of the most successful male burlesque show in the world. Ladies and gentlemen, the final recap of this hit true-crime drama – “Switzerland.”

(Erin Simkin/Hulu)

(Erin Simkin/Hulu)

Jumping forward five years from the end of the previous episode, we find Ray (Robin de Jesús) in London, England standing outside Adonis, a male strip club. Ray waits in an alley by the stage door and watches as a trio of dancers step outside on a smoke break. Opening his jacket, we see that Ray is packing a gun. But we also see that he looks nervous.

(Lara Solanki/Hulu)

(Lara Solanki/Hulu)

Somen “Steve” Banerjee (Kumail Nanjiani) walks down a crowded street in Lucerne, Switzerland, passing a localized ad for the Chippendales tour. He enters a tavern to meet Ray for lunch, with a waitress offering the two English menus. Steve seems paranoid, set off by the fact that a different server delivers water to the table. Ray tries to get Steve to talk about the next tour stops in Italy, but he is too anxious for chit-chat. “I think someone is following me,” Steve whispers to Ray, explaining that he passed the same stranger three times earlier that day and that the power went out in his hotel room for a few hours. Ray chalks it up to culture shock, but the restaurant manager announces that they have lost power and that any diners who haven’t yet ordered food must leave. Steve begins to panic and Ray calms him down, inviting Steve to his hotel room to talk. “It’d be nice to catch up.”

Steve looks down at the street below as Ray cracks open a can of beer. We learn that Steve sent for Ray, fearing that it wasn’t safe to talk on the phone. “Do you still want me to go through with it?”, Ray asks, prompting Steve to inquire about London. Ray tells his boss that he was about to take out the dancers when a parade came down the street and tossed him around. In the chaos, he lost the gun. “YOU FAILED!”, Steve yells in anger. Ray promises to make this right, promising to pay back the fee he already collected for the hit job. He states the terms out loud – Ray was to be paid $75,000, having received $37,500 upfront to take out three Adonis dancers.  When Ray tries to get Steve to verbally acknowledge those terms, he scowls.

“Who is calling you?”, Steve asks as a phone in Ray’s hotel room rings. “I don’t know,” Ray says, but his feet seem suddenly planted to the food. Ray seems full of fear as he picks up the receiver and then tells Steve it was the front desk, who mixed up the room they were trying to call. But then Steve hears a phone ringing in the next room over and he panics. “They’re onto us!”, he cries, making for the exit. Ray stops him, offering Steve some alcohol on the table. He declines beer and then Ray gets confused when Steve passes on whiskey, saying he doesn’t drink it. Ray recalls that they drank whiskey together at the club on several occasions, getting upset and saying those were special times to him. “We shared a fellowship, Steve!”, Ray says, getting Steve to accept a shot of whiskey. “To the good old days,” Ray says as they toast. Steve’s eyes become misty as he acknowledges the good times they used to have. They laugh about a time when the sprinklers went off by mistake during a performance of “It’s Raining Men,” which the customers thought was just part of the show.

(Jessica Brooks/Hulu)

(Jessica Brooks/Hulu)

It turns out that Steve had every right to be nervous. The room next to Ray’s is full of FBI agents listening in, including Scott (Evan Jonigkeit) and his partner (Joe Tapper), the two who interrogated Steve. Two months prior, the hitman (Joseph Raymond Lucero) who killed Nick De Noia was arrested by an undercover cop (Jonathan Erickson Eisley) and was offered time off his sentence if he offered anything that could help them stop other crimes. He confessed to being hired to kill Nick and coughed up the name of the person who hired him – Ray Colon. Ray was brought in for questioning and had to come clean when he was shown his phone records, which contained thirteen calls to the hitman around the time of Nick’s murder. However, they need a taped confession in order to arrest Steve. And thus, we find the FBI and Ray in Switzerland (and, it turns out, the restaurant staff were keeping the agents notified of Steve’s every move).

Ray and Steve drink whiskey by the fire, reminiscing about the good old days at the club. Steve brags about how his revenue has never been higher and boasts about the club’s expansion, with multiple locations around the world and an international tour. Ray suggests that Steve must be lonely since he used to have a team helping grow the business. “That’s what makes it so impressive, the fact that I’m doing it all by myself,” Steve brags. Ray asks about Irene, and we learn that Steve’s daughter is now seven-years-old. He doesn’t seem to have any contact with her. “You know, you’ve got nothing to apologize for,” Ray says, asking Steve if he’s ever done therapy. Ray tells Steve that when things are weighing on his conscious, telling them to someone makes them magically lessen the burden. He suggests that Steve try it with him now. “What’s the harm?,” Ray asks. “It’s just me, man. It’s not like you’re going to say something I don’t already…” Steve cuts him off, yelling “No,” so Ray gets up and says he’s going to do it. He confesses to lying about what happened in London, saying there wasn’t a parade and he didn’t even go to the theater. He chickened out, unable to go through with murder. “You idiot!,” Steve snaps, “I trusted you, and you betrayed me!” Ray breaks down, saying he was scared that Steve would kill him the way he had Nick killed. Steve’s eyes widen in alarm. “Give me back my money,” Steve says. “What money,” Ray asks for clarification, “for the hit on the three dancers?” “Yes, you idiot,” Steve snaps. Ray fires back that he’s not an idiot, telling his boss that he successfully followed orders to have Nick killed, which Steve says anybody could’ve done for him. “So you just needed someone to get the money from you to him?”, Ray asks. “YES!”, Steve exclaims.

“So the murder couldn’t be traced back to you?”


“So they wouldn’t know that you’re the one who ordered the hit on Nick De Noia?”


Ray exhales and steps toward the wall, knowing that a team of agents are listening in on the other side. “What are you doing?”, Steve asks, his upper lip quivering. Steve comes up behind Ray, patting him down under the assumption that he’s wearing a wire. He then begins to look under desks, under lamps, and under phone cradles. And then, on a table near the wall to the next room, Steve pulls out a black box with a wire. “I’m sorry, boss,” Ray cries, sitting down on the floor as the door bursts open. FBI Agents push Steve to the ground, cuffing his hands behind his back. “I’m sorry,” Ray repeats.

Lawyer Cheryl Levine (Jen Cohn) meets with her client, Steve Banerjee, through a glass partition at an L.A. Jail. She tells Steve that she will help him secure a top criminal defense attorney and he asks about Irene. Cheryl hasn’t spoken to her recently, but asks Steve if he has. “She doesn’t want to know me,” he says, asking Cheryl to make sure she’s taken care of. “I’ll do my best, but you haven’t exactly left her in the best position,” Cheryl says, which confuses Steve. He recalls that in the divorce agreement, should anything happen to him, Irene gets the company. Cheryl chuckles, informing Steve that this case falls under the RICO Act (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations), meaning Chippendales as an organization is accused of crimes and will be seized by the government if found guilty. “She didn’t know about this,” Steve pleads, “she didn’t do anything wrong!”

That night, Steve’s prison cell is haunted by a vision of Nick De Noia (Murray Bartlett), Steve seemingly grossed out by the bullet holes in his former business partner’s face and chest. “Oh stop it,” Nick scoffs at Steve’s expression, “you deserve everything you got.” Nick asks Steve why he wanted to take out three male strippers in London. “They were ripping me off,” he exclaims. “Oh, you mean like The Electric Tomato?”, Nick laughs, telling Steve that he was the top dog in male stripping and simply never got the memo. “When you’re someone like me, you can’t stop fighting,” Steve says, eliciting another laugh from Nick, telling Steve that everyone involved with Chippendales knew he messed up, including Irene. “You know, she’s going to be left with nothing all because you needed everything,” Nick adds, telling Steve that she is now a single mother with nothing, all because he wanted to take out three strippers. Steve’s tears turn to sobs and he begs Nick to leave. “I’m already gone,” the apparition says.

One morning, a group of officers begin to let prisoners out for their morning routines. But this is not like any other morning, as evidenced by an alarm that goes off shortly after they begin checking on the inmates. Steve Banerjee has committed suicide.

“Steve Banerjee took his own life hours before his sentencing,” reads the epilogue. “As a result, the government couldn’t seize his assets. Irene was able to inherit everything – including Chippendales. Today, Chippendales is bigger than ever, with touring shows on six continents and a longtime Las Vegas residency, playing to more than two million people a year.”

In the final scene, Steve enters Chippendales. Well, an afterlife version of it, anyway. “Goodnight, boss,” Larry the emcee (Adam Ray) says as Steve passes him. Steve goes to the bar, asking bartender Bobby (Darren Lipari) for a Diet Coke. Walking around the bar, Steve sees Nick smiling at his dancers as women cheer on the new routine. Steve congratulates Nick on the number and proceeds upstairs. Entering his office, he finds Irene (Annaleigh Ashford), surprising her with a Diet Coke and giving his wife a kiss. “You know I’ll always take care of you,” he says. And then, Steve steps back out on the balcony, overlooking his empire. He smiles as a sextet of male dancers suddenly rip off their tear-away pants.

(Erin Simkin/Hulu)

(Erin Simkin/Hulu)

That’s the end of Welcome to Chippendales, but it’s far from the end of my work recapping shows here on Laughing Place. If you like murder mysteries, ABC will premiere Will Trent tonight, and I’ll be along for every twist and turn in the eccentric detective’s cases. If you’re interested in checking out that show, you’re welcome back here to follow along with similarly detailed episode recaps. Episodes of Will Trent will stream on Hulu a day after air.

And I leave you with one final fun fact about this episode. If you’re a Disney fan, you may recognize the restaurant Steve and Ray dine at. It’s not actually Swiss in its theme but Scottish, a historic Los Angeles location that was a favorite restaurant of Walt Disney and his artists. As legend has it, the highly-themed restaurant helped inspire the level of theming found at Disneyland and other Disney destinations around the world. You can check it out the next time you’re in L.A. and can visit the restaurant’s official website for details on hours and menu options. And just like The Walt Disney Company, the establishment recently celebrated its 100th anniversary.

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Alex Reif
Alex joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and has been a lifelong Disney fan. His main beats for LP are Disney-branded movies, TV shows, books, music and toys. He recently became a member of the Television Critics Association (TCA).