This season of Corporate started incredibly strong with an attack on streaming services and our tv obsessed culture and then only went from strength to strength as it explored and examined a number of diverse subjects, with the show at its best as it took a look at Jake’s suicidal tendencies. All too soon it has come to an end though, but given the strength of this year’s batch of episodes and this finale I really wish it hadn’t.
It’s a suitably dramatic affair for a last episode at least, as the world seems to be turning against the mighty and the majestic and the almost undoubtedly evil Christian DeVille (Lance Reddick), starting with investigative journalist Bonan Marrow (as this is a show that enjoys being beautifully unsubtle sometimes) exposing the existence of a “Hurricane machine” on National Tv, and soon Kate, John and pretty much everyone else are planning his downfall too. Even worse is that during an enraged speech about the televised betrayal from Bonan, Christian farts, and mortified accidentally drops a giant ipad on his foot meaning a trip to a hospital is needed. Then things go from bad to horrendous for him when the nurse, Richard, is someone Christian screwed over, and who due to finding God is hellbent on revenge. So is this the end for Christian? Will Kate take control of the corporation? And is the world doomed now thanks to the existence of the Hurricane Machine?
The finale ties in perfectly with the very first episode of the series as that was when Richard was fired for sending an offensive tweet, which also ties in with Christian’s desire for a hurricane machine, along with the launch of the enormous ipad and it being boycotted. As well as being a superb example of beautiful plotting it’s also the show at its very best, a mixture of vicious satire and glorious daftness, and the set up allows them to examine the nature of corporations and those who work for them. And though some of the funniest moments revolve around our anti-heroes desperately trying to stab Christian in the back while at the same time discovering they’re just as bad as he is, the central message is the episode’s most intriguing aspect, as we of course it shouldn’t be corporations that we consider to be evil, but the individuals who run them and work for them.
There’s some truly sublime acting from those portraying these beautifully constructed characters, and though I love leads Matt and Jake, it’s Kate, John and Christian who get to do the craziest stuff in this episode, and thus have the funniest moments. The script is full of stunning dialogue too, I could quote hundreds of lines but John’s “We’re going to do it my way, which is whatever way you think is best” perfectly sums up his subservience to those in power (or who seek it at the very least), while Kate’s attempts to explain corporations led to this gem that I’m tempted to have made in to a t-shirt – “What the fuck is Maroon Five? It’s an imaginary concept made up by a sociopath, just like Hampton DeVille”.
As with every episode of this astonishingly good show it was packed with amazing ideas once again, some of them throw away, like the suggestion that Christian tried to turn “9/11 in to a commercial holiday”, and some of them deeply fascinating, like the examination of what power is, who welds it, and why. Yet despite these lofty concerns it never stops being hilarious, made all the better by a crew of actors who bring their absolute and very best A game to proceedings.
One of the best series Comedy Central has yet produced, and may well produce for a long time given the direction they’re depressingly heading in, the only downside to the finale is it means we’ll never see these characters again. I can only hope that in a few years time creators Pat Bishop, Matt Ingebretson and Jake Weisman will have a change of mind and bring them back as a world without them is a bleak one indeed, but if not that they at least work on something together once more as they’ve proven with Corporate that they’re capable of comedy greatness.
Our mini reviews of Corporate Season 3 Episodes 2, 3, 4.
Our review of Corporate Season 3 Episode 1.
Our mini reviews of Corporate Season 2 Episodes 9 and 10.
Our review of Corporate Season 2 Episode 1.