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‘Corporate’ Recap: ‘The Importance of Talking Shit by Oscar Wilde’

Photo Credit: Comedy Central

Corporate has been on a roll so far in its third and final season and this latest episode was no different. This week’s episode of Corporate was directed by the show’s own Matt Ingebretson and takes on office gossip and talking crap about other people that leads to both building bonds and creating divisions between coworkers. The episode is titled “The Importance of Talking Shit by Oscar Wilde” and boy is there a lot of that in the episode!

The episode starts off with Matt and Jake in their office drinking coffee and comment about how terrible it is. A fly flies around the room, eventually flying out into the rest of the office floor. As it approaches other employees, we see that everyone else is gossiping to each other and trashing others.

We then flash back to 5 years ago and see Grace walk into an elevator with John and Kate already inside. Kate calls Christian a psychopath for wanting to build a hurricane machine. John, using that old saying about having nothing nice to say, tells her not to say anything unless it is to your priest. He gets off the åelevator, leaving Kate and Grace alone awkwardly standing apart. . They test the waters with each other slowly starting to talk trash about John. Eventually they begin escalating to talking full shit about him. Feeling good about getting it off their chest, they say they’ll see each other tomorrow and part ways.

Back in the present day, Christian has everyone in for a meeting. He begins by bashing climate change and paper straws. He talks about their ineffectiveness yet they make people feel good. He wants to come up with an idea that doesn’t actually save the world, but makes people feel good about it so it seems like they care. Matt and Jake sit on the sideline of the meeting, drinking more coffee even though it tastes bad and talk about wanting to confront Tammy, who made the pot of coffee, and try to get her to make better coffee. John makes a bad pitch to Christian. Kate looks to Grace, both of them rolling their eyes at each other in response to John. In the meeting they eventually come up with the idea of making an app which is Lyft but with horses.

We see that Kate and Grace have made a ritual in Grace’s HR office with cookies and tea and talking trash about their fellow employees after their initial encounter in the elevator 5 years ago. Kate tells Grace she saw John drop a comb, but when she tried to give it back, he denied it was his. Grace, confused because John doesn’t have any hair, wants to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Matt and Jake print a poster out, being passive aggressive about the coffee situation, and place it above the coffee maker. Grace reads it aloud and Tammy enters the break room. She sees the poster and slowly turns to Matt and Jake with anger in her eyes. Feeling uncomfortable they excuse themselves from the room, with Tammy’s eyes following them as they exit

Some days later, In the parking garage, Grace sees John in a car all alone, blasting music and stroking imaginative hair on his head with a brush. She runs off to tell Kate, awkwardly passing Christian as she gets off the elevator. Grace gets to her office and writes Kate an email telling her she has a story to tell about what she just saw.

Matt and Jake go into the break room and see Tammy sitting at the table. They go to get coffee and realize a second poster has appeared above the coffee maker, bashing the writers of the original note. They read it aloud, and Tammy mimics them from the day they put up the first poster, and exits the room, staring them down as she exits.

At her desk, Grace gets an email back and realizes she accidentally emailed Christian instead of Kate. He tells her he wants to see her immediately. She bravely enters his office, expecting to be reprimanded. Christian starts off their discussion sternly, then instantly turns gleeful, and asks Grace what the story is with John and the comb. Grace, now shocked, tells Christian the story to which Christian responds, “Why would a bald man have a comb!?” The two bond over making fun of John.

Time continues to pass and we see Matt and Jake try to come up with a comeback poster to get back at Tammy, and Christian and Grace bond over food, talking shit about more people in the office. In the break room the entire cabinet and wall is now filled with posters back and forth with neither Matt and Jake or Tammy showing signs of stopping their new passive aggressive rivalry. Christian and Grace keep having secret trash talking meetings. Christian brings up Kate and Grace hesitantly agrees with a small comment, feeling bad talking trash about her former trash talking partner. Back in Grace’s office, Kate comes in telling Grace they have to talk. Their ritual begins with water boiling, shades closing, shoes coming off and cookies. Still stuffed from her meal with Christain, Grace doesn’t eat her cookie, confusing Kate who then tells her that it’s her turn to talk trash. She says she has nothing to report and has had a good week. The room becomes awkward and Grace says the word “buffoons” which Kate notices and instantly becomes suspicious.

One day Matt and Jake enter the break room to suddenly find no signs up anymore, except one from the building manager telling them to stop putting signs on the walls. Tammy walks in, also reading the note, enraging all three, who now have a shared target.

In a meeting about their app that is “Lyft but with horses”, John attempts to take out his phone to show off the new app, accidentally dropping a comb, stopping him in his tracks. He picks it up slowly and announces to the entire room that it’s not his comb. Christian turns to Grace and gives her a look. Kate then turns to Grace while John is fumbling for words, and goes to give her a look but notices Grace is giving a look to Christian instead. Grace notices Kate looking at her and quickly looks away embarrassed.

Grace walks into Kate’s office trying to explain how everything happened, starting from the wrong email that was meant for her. Kate becomes defensive. Grace tells Kate they didn’t talk shit about her. Kate, feeling hurt, says she doesn’t have time for tea and cookies, the usual ritual, anymore. Grace says she has to go to a gala with Christian anyway and awkwardly leaves the room.

Back in the break room, a new sign is hanging up on the wall, a collaboration between Matt, Jake and Tammy. The building manager walks in, takes down the sign and tells the three that there will be consequences if they don’t stop. They become defeated but talk about how it was fun while it lasted.

At the gala, Christian trash talks about a young kid pitching an idea and Grace feels uncomfortable. Grace takes a cookie and looks at it, thinking about Kate. Kate and Grace awkwardly meet in the elevator the next day. After walking awkwardly apart from each other in silence in the parking garage, Grace is unable to hold it in any longer and tells Kate that she has been pissing herself off, and the two start talking shit about Grace, apologizing for all the wrong she’s done in the past weeks and then Kate trashes herself. Now both accepting their apologies, they both end up trash talking Christian, fully bringing the two together again telling the other that they missed each other.

Matt and Jake enter the break room again with Jake trash talking Matt to his face for using the new lyft/horse app. Tammy says hi to them and suddenly they see a string of black and white photos of the building manager and a woman that isn’t his wife. Along with the pictures is a new sign, threatening the building manager. The building manager walks in, sees the pictures and sign and starts tearing all the pictures down. Matt and Jake are horrified. They tell Tammy they thought they were going to stop, but she has an evil grin on her face and tells them to let her know who they want to take down next. Bringing it all back to the beginning of the episode, they say “You know who can be a bit much? Tammy. She can’t even make coffee.” The fly appears again and starts to buzz around the office. Christian sees Grace in her office with Kate. Grace closes the blinds on him and Christian plays it off like he’s okay, but then becomes enraged, catching the fly in his hand, killing it.

This episode tackled more of a take on inter-office workplace relationships than a play on a bigger issue after taking on streaming and television in the first episode, and mental issues in the second episode. In a way it felt more grounded and allowed all of the characters to play off of others in a more natural way that the viewer would see in a workplace. It had great comedic twists and felt real. I loved how they played up Grace and Kate’s friendship and how they both got jealous easily over gossip. I also loved how John was the butt of the joke the entire episode. I really enjoy seeing Christian going more and more over the top with each episode. Lance Reddick does such an incredible job playing the character and I imagine it must be so much fun for him to play. The character Tammy was such a funny addition for the episode. She took it so much further than I ever could have seen coming! Matt and Jake were so disturbed by her and it made me laugh so much. This season is on such a roll. I don’t want it to end!  I cannot wait for the next episode!

Corporate airs Wednesdays at 10:30PM on Comedy Central. You can stream Corporate on Comedy Central’s website or app.

Lee Arvoy
Lee Arvoy joined the TV Source team in the summer of 2020 as a TV Writer.

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