Pierpoint throws a morale-boosting dinner for the grads, while Harper struggles to find a new place to live in Industry Episode 2.
HBO’s new diet Succession series, Industry Episode 2, “Quiet and Nice,” kicks off by showing us the main characters settling into the, mostly sexual, happenings in the world of Pierpoint. Yasmin awakens to her husband/boyfriend masturbating in bed to some raunchy porn beside her and exerts some of her sexual frustration at the gym, where she makes eyes at Robert.
Meanwhile, Gus and Theo (Will Tudor) hook up before work. Gus even offers to “wear” Theo to work, if you know what I mean. Not to kink-shame, but ugh, I can’t imagine walking around with that on my chest all day.
Yasmin’s day in the office gets off to a rough start. Kenny (Conor MacNeill) suggests they debrief over dinner on Friday. The way he presents it sounds like it could be a proposition, so Yasmin suggests they meet during the day because she has plans with her boyfriend Friday night. Kenny picks up on her maneuvering and takes offense. “I know you didn’t mean it like that, did you?” Just a little bit of gaslighting over her morning coffee.
Over in Harper’s corner, Eric Tao has returned from a trip to Disneyland and is busy changing clothes in the middle of his morning pitch (it’s a power thing). He’s concerned about one of their main accounts, Fenmarsh Solutions, headed by Britsih fund manager Felim Bichan (Andrew Buchan).
He’s been dodging calls, and it doesn’t bode well for Eric’s exclusivity clause, which Daria says is an agreement that their major accounts aren’t supposed to communicate streetwise with anyone else.
Eric tells Harper to continue trying to contact Felim every hour on the hour. In between researching Felim, Harper checks RoomShare for a new place to live since her former roommate, Hari, died at the end of the first episode. Everyone turns her down.
Also, if you’re finding some of these financial terms hard to follow, you’re not alone. Industry is very much about throwing us all into the deep end regarding the culture, which feels a little similar to the graduates but can be frustrating if you don’t know anything about the finance world. As Wall Street Journal points out, “The characters talk fast, throwing in acronyms and banking slang that is never explained, leaving viewers to either guess the meanings, or have some sort of online financial dictionary open on their computer as they watch.”
Later, Daria advises Harper to be a better conversationalist while chatting with the contacts standing between her and Felim. She gives her a little hourglass and tells her not to talk business until it runs out. Setting herself apart from the myriad of people who call every day will be the key to getting through.
Industry Episode 2 recap: Tension brews between Yasmin and her mother.
Beyond dealing with her sexist boss Kenny, Yasmin has her hands full at home. She works from morning until evening to put together a birthday dinner for her boyfriend Seb (Jonathan Barnwell), but everyone appears determined to ruin it. Fellow dinner guests, who I assume are either friends or siblings of Yasmin’s, snort ketamine or choose their phone over the conversation. Then Yasmin’s mother, Azar (Helene Maksoud), interrupts the dinner with a massive painting that appears to be a naked version of Yasmin.
There is an obvious tension between Yasmin and her mom, who owns the house Yasmin is living with her boyfriend. Seb mentions he’s appreciative that she uses one of her “non-dom” days to join them.
Harper joins Robert, Gus, and Theo for drinks at a local pub ahead of her next apartment tour. There she gets a tip from a co-worker that they’re planning to run a huge expose on Pierpoint, revolving around Hari’s death and more. It’s the first real mention we get of poor Hari, whose death has been brushed over in favor of ignoring the gaping flaws in Pierpoint’s community culture. We don’t see much else about the article in this episode, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it blows up later this season.
The next apartment on Harper’s search for a new place to live is a bust. It’s super tiny, and her prospective roommate thinks bankers are elitist jerks, for all intents and purposes.
Gus and Theo return to Gus’s shared apartment with Robert, continuing their argument from the pub where Gus revealed he was considering transitioning to sales. Theo is startled to see Robert there and excuses himself to the restroom. Robert asks Gus when “that” started up again. In return, Gus asks what Robert is doing cyber-stalking Yasmin across her social media. “Yeah, it doesn’t look like she slums it, mate. You know, why are women so much more interesting to men than men are to women?”
After regaling the dinner party with tales of how “perfect” Yasmin was as a child, Azar is quick to dismiss her daughter’s current job, calling her the “lunch girl” despite that being a small part of her job. She advises her daughter to work twice as hard to get half as far, and Yasmin argues that’s not how the world works anymore. “I know how the world works.”
Retiring to Gus’s bedroom, Gus and Theo discuss Theo’s girlfriend, Alice. Gus apparently met her, which briefly makes Theo panic until it’s apparent Gus is intentionally winding him up. They hook up again.
Yasmin tries to initiate some kinky sex with Seb later, but he rejects her, claiming nausea. She’s disappointed, especially after his porn escapades that morning. Robert, however, has excellent timing as he slides into her Instagram DMs and asks for dinner. “Who said I wanted to eat? ;)” She leaves early for the gym the next morning to continue her flirtation with Robert.
Industry Episode 2 recap: Eric encourages Harper to find out more about Bichan.
Harper is called in to chat with HR about Hari’s death. There is an implication that the company will relieve pressure from themselves and their work culture by focusing on Hari’s prescription pill addiction, which could have exacerbated his heart condition. Harper denies having seen Hari take any pills, although we know she did see it happen. The HR agent, Justin, also says they’re double-checking to be sure graduates didn’t leave anything vital off of their transcripts. “You didn’t leave anything off, did you?” Just that her transcript is fake!
At the office, Gus gets pressure from his boss to come in later, leave earlier, and see the counselor. “It’s good optics.” His manager doesn’t want anyone thinking Hari’s death is on her. She hands him a generic leaflet on grief. If that doesn’t cure him, I don’t know what will.
Harper’s next task regarding the Bichan deal is to find out where he’s meeting next. She uses her newfound friendship with Yasmin in Foreign Exchange to get a stealthy look at her client database. As for Yasmin, she’s forced to contend with her horrific power-mad boss Kenny who decides to humiliate her in front of everyone because she argued with him about whether he asked for croutons on his salad.
Eric is dismayed to learn Felim is meeting with another salesman, Hilary Wyndham (Mark Dexter), when he could trade FX through their desk in CPS (What’s with the bat thing?). He invites Harper to join him for some facetime with the “guy who gets them all paid” when he confronts him later. Yasmin watches them during the convo, perhaps realizing what Harper’s real motive was in looking at her database.
The meeting with Felim is awkward at best. His reasoning for meeting with another client falls back on Eric’s character. Apparently, something ugly went down between Eric and his wife, Felim’s wife didn’t find it appropriate. Still, Eric is good at his job for a reason and seems to succeed at planting some seeds of doubt in Felim’s head before he and Harper depart. He’s disappointed that Harper didn’t speak up at all during the meeting and told her that what happened should stay between them.
Industry Episode 2 recap: The morale-boosting grad dinner leads to some revelations.
That night, Pierpoint hosts a mandatory grad dinner as a way to let the grads blow off steam after the difficulties of the past few weeks, i.e., Hari’s death. There, Gus is disheartened to learn his team will be subsumed and dispersed. He’s heading to CPS, the trading room floor, and he’s not happy about it. Kenny uses the dinner to attack Yasmin yet again, belittling her in the middle of the dinner until Harper speaks up, telling him to back off and stop talking to her like that.
Eric takes Harper’s side, dismissing Kenny for the night. After, Harper gives Yasmin some advice. If she wants agency, she’ll have to take it and not think about all the ways she could be wrong — the men don’t.
Once the plates are cleared, the group settles in for some dancing. Yasmin and Harper continue to bond. Harper tells her new friend about her twin brother, who abandoned her four years ago. She hasn’t seen him since. Yasmin also offers her a room at her apartment, although it’s clear she only meant it as a casual thing — Harper jumps at the opportunity to sublet since her apartment search has still come up empty.
Industry Episode 2 recap: Yasmin escalates things between her and Robert.
Yasmin and Robert pile into an Uber-like van after the dinner is over, along with their co-workers. Robert only hopped on board because of Yasmin, but she tricks him into getting off early somewhere far from home and closing the door in his face. Is Yasmin actually into Robert, or is she more into just seeing how far he’ll chase her? If he and Harper end up hooking up, which seems to be hinted a few times in this episode, will she be pissed?
When Robert does get home, he cuddles up to Gus on the couch. Gus is lamenting the fact his team is getting broken up. “Do you want me to suck you off?” They both burst out laughing, and wow, these two are one of the show’s best duos.
Seb finally initiates sex with Yasmin when he sees her in the kitchen at home. She asks him to go down on her and then takes a picture to send to Robert. Yikes, is that really the smartest decision?! As Robert puts it, “I think she slums.” He looks excited by the message, so it seems like the two are about to embark on some major risky behavior.
What did you think about Industry Episode 2? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!
New episodes of Industry air Monday nights at 10/9c on HBO.