Well, the Industry Season 1 finale is undoubtedly one for the books.
But the graduates had much to contend with before they stood in front of Pierpoint executives, including confrontations between friends, old flames, and colleagues. Did these confrontations help them secure permanent positions, or did they hinder opportunities? Let us break everything down.
Industry Season 1 Episode 7 was an appetizer to complement the main dish. The episode, "Pre-Crisis Activity," featured a dinner party hosted by Yasmin and Seb, where many relationships faced harsh realities.
For one, Yasmin and Sebastian finally broke up. She deserves so much better than him, and it has been evident since Seb's introduction on Industry Season 1 Episode 2. So why should Yasmin stay with him? Because she feels bad? Well, Yasmin and her mother might not always get along, but Azar said it best.
Azar: Do you think your father or his money would still be in your life if I had left him twenty years ago? Because I wanted to. Don't waste your life with someone who doesn't fulfill you.
Yasmin: I can't leave him in a worse state than when I found him. The person who does that is the worst.
Azar: You aren't responsible for him. I may not understand some of the choices you've made -- your career. But I'm happy you have the freedom to make them. I envy it. It's a privilege.
Yasmin is a unique character in every way, and she knows she deserves better than Seb. She deserves to feel loved, cherished, and valued by her partner, and if Seb is not fulfilling those objectives, how will Yasmin ever be happy?
Their breakup was a long time coming, and we are definitely not disappointed.
Unfortunately, Yasmin and Seb's breakup does not necessarily mean Yasmin is about to jump into a relationship with Robert. In fact, the breakup put several things into perspective, including that Yasmin simply needs time to be single and focus on her career.
Will she take time to decipher her feelings for Robert? It is unlikely. Yasmin makes it clear she is just not interested in dating Robert. Whether that is true or not remains a big question, but she is certainly not planning to explore her feelings anytime soon.
Robert: So, what would you do if they just let you go next week?
Harper: I'd think of all the wasted opportunities.
Robert, on the other hand, seems just about ready to give up on Yasmin. The Industry Season 1 Finale clearly depicted his growing interest in developing his friendship with Harper into a romance.
Furthermore, things got especially strange when Robert and Harper began kissing since Yasmin walked in on them. Only, she asked to join their hook up rather than be angry at them.
But is Harper willing to give Robert a chance? This escapade was a complete disaster because Harper felt like a third wheel. Although it started between Harper and Robert, it was hard to ignore the sparks flying between Yasmin and Robert once Yasmin joined. So much so that Harper actually stopped what was going on.
Harper seemed skeptical about the threesome, to begin with, but things seemed okay once they really got into it. However, once Yasmin and Robert locked lips, Harper felt out of place. Even if Robert was interested in hooking up with both girls, he clearly had a preference. And no one should settle for being second best, least of all, Harper.
Besides, had the threesome been successful, things may have been awkward the following morning.
Harper genuinely cares about Robert as a friend. Would she be willing to risk their friendship for a romance? Especially since regardless of what Robert says, it is clear to Harper that he still harbors feelings for Yasmin?
There are so many questions we need answers to, especially regarding this strange triangle. Thankfully, HBO renewed Industry for Season 2, so we are hopeful that these three graduates resolve things in the future.
Industry Season 1 Episode 8 was a whole other ballpark. The episode, "Reduction in Force," revolved around what we were waiting for since Industry Season 1 Episode 1 -- the graduates finally had to prove themselves to Pierpoint & Co. executives to turn their jobs into permanent positions.
We expected some of the outcomes -- the only thing Robert really has to offer is his white male privilege, and Gus clearly demonstrates his contempt for Pierpoint. Despite meeting with Sara over lunch -- where she guaranteed a secure job that would help him rise the ranks quickly -- Gus is just about done with the bank.
Okay, what if I said I didn't see your talent? What if I saw you as a walking PR disaster? Shall I be more cynical, or, um, honest as you say because cynicism's just honesty in code and say that you are a hyper-intelligent minority at Pierpoint.Sara
And Theo, too, it seems. Although Alice left him and Theo showed interest in Gus again, Gus also realized that Theo will always find an excuse to hide him away. If that is how it will always be, Gus deserves way better than him.
What is next for Gus? He effectively threw away any job offer from Pierpoint, and he did not get the job he interviewed for. Gus has always envisioned a clear cut future, but with one door closing after another, the future looks pretty hazy.
But if anyone can turn things around and wield them in their favor, it is Gus. Even if his present circumstances change, he has always had a vision for his future -- he just adapts his surroundings to work in his favor.
Sara: So we've had very good reports about you.
Gus: From who? I wasn't given a mentor, every time I was proactive I was shut down, the desk politics meant that I was effectively invisible.
The girls seemingly had more challenging dilemmas with RIF Day fast approaching. Yasmin has been messaging Maxim, still debating what to do about Kenny, and when Hilary discovers what happened, he more or less threatens her to keep quiet.
The threat was subtle -- all Hilary did was painfully remind Yasmin what happens to women who formally file complaints about a male colleague's inappropriate behavior. He even suggested he would not vouch for her during Reduction in Force.
Unfortunately, Yasmin had to decide what to do when an executive asks her to describe Pierpoint's culture. She has a clear opportunity to say something about Kenny if she wanted. However, just as we expected, she does not speak up about the incident and reiterates Hilary's values of being a "team player."
Yasmin is not the first person to ignore their situation in fear of jeopardizing her career, and until someone does something about this culture, it will continue to happen.
Could Harper be the person to change this culture?
She was faced with the ultimate decision on "Reduction in Force" -- accept a job offer from Sara and work to change the misogynist toxic culture at Pierpoint. Or, she could recant her statement regarding Eric, effectively allowing him to return to his job.
To anyone else, the decision may have been easier -- why should Harper take back her accusation, especially since she was telling the truth? Sara presented Harper with an incredible job and an opportunity to change Pierpoint, so why would she agree to anything else? After all, she has the chance to empower women in the industry.
Sara: You know over a thousand banks have failed in the last ten years, about a dozen were created? We have answered too big to fail by making bigger banks.
Harper: Nothing's changed.
Sara: Nothing. But it can. Some people are trying to change it. Daria's one of them, but the only agency we have in a stagnant system is the single choices that we make and the cumulative effect of making the correct ones more often than not. I'm not just offering you a job. Forget my targets. This is more important than that. I am giving you an opportunity to change the culture. I will believe anything you tell me now, okay? It's up to you. But remember, the choice is between the invisible man and the visible woman. Between people like Eric or people like Daria.
But Harper's situation is far more complicated than that. Sure, thinking of the industry as a whole is important, but Harper cannot forget one critical party in the process -- herself.
Eric knows the extent of Harper's lies. He is well aware that she does not have a university degree or decent qualifications to work at Pierpoint. Eric's return would pretty much guarantee Harper's protection, even if the culture at the bank never changes.
We know Sara and Daria mean well, considering how they went above and beyond to vouch for Harper, even when she messes up. But would the two executives still defend Harper if they knew the truth? Would they be okay with her professional inexperience and lack of a bachelor's degree?
It is improbable since they are passionate about who sits behind each desk at the bank. Harper cannot risk this possibility, so she chooses to recant her accusation against Eric. She takes her retraction a step further by saying Daria pushed Harper to lie.
Daria may have encouraged Harper to speak up, but we know that Harper was not lying at all. And Daria probably knows that too.
As a result, Pierpoint fires Daria and rehires Eric. Her firing was an even bigger punch to the gut when she promises to take action against Nicole right before Pierpoint let her go. Daria apologized to Harper and seemed remorseful. Despite her doubts about Harper handling the job's pressure, she still vouched for her during RIF.
Daria is not angry, at least at Harper. Well, maybe she is, but more than anything, Daria is sad. The look she gave Harper before getting into the car was heartbreaking, to say the least. Daria's facial expression was not resentful -- her face screamed pity.
Daria knew there had to have been a reason for Harper to recant her truthful statement, and unfortunately, the former VP is now paying the price. Will this be the end of Daria? We hope not. Just like Daria, we are not angry at Harper for making this decision.
We are angry at this industry's toxic culture -- for the way women are undervalued, men are overvalued, and people are automatically deemed worthless without a university degree. Harper has proved herself time and again at Pierpoint, and Eric should not have to be reinstated to ensure her safety at the bank.
Eric does not actually make Harper safer; he only provides a safety net for her career. Despite Harper having the least experience walking into Pierpoint, she portrayed the best results, so to let her go because she does not have a university degree is a testament to how society demeans those without higher education.
It is impossible to get decently paid jobs these days without spending thousands of dollars on a university degree, so if Harper can prove otherwise that she is fit for Pierpoint -- which she has -- why is she less qualified than any other employee?
Industry did a tremendous job in depicting the various complexities in the culture of investment banking. We imagine these complexities will be further explored during Industry Season 2.
We want to hear from you, Fanatics!
What did you think of the Industry Season 1 Finale? Was it everything you hoped for? Do you agree with Harper's decision? What do you think is in store for Robert and his relationships with Harper and Yasmin? Do you think Daria will return? What are your expectations for Industry Season 2?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
If you need to catch up, you can always watch Industry online right here, at TV Fanatic!
Sarah Novack is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.