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Industry Season 1, Episode 6 recap: Nutcracker

Pierpoint’s holiday party gets a little crazy in Industry Episode 6. After confiding the truth about Eric, Harper is blindsided by a meeting with Sara.

At the start of Industry Episode 6 — a fittingly Christmas-themed episode named “Nutcracker” — it looks like it might be the beginning of the end of Eric’s reign of terror. Daria and Sara are questioning Harper about the meeting where Eric locked her in a room to scream at her. Bolting the door and pulling the blinds down on a secluded room with a young grad spells all kinds of trouble. But then we rewind to 72 hours earlier to discover how we get to that scene.

Yet again, Eric wants a private word with Harper. This time it’s to present her with a $50,000 bonus, despite Pierpoint usually waiting until January to present bonuses. Harper is visibly confused. Eric questions how she could see her name on that page and not think she deserves it. Hm, I don’t know, Eric. Maybe because you told her last week that she was delusional for thinking she belonged here? It feels like a gross ploy to buy her loyalty because he knows his job is on the line.

On the floor Eric chooses Greg as his next target, humiliating him over a script he recently wrote (which he takes from Harper). Then he invites Harper to be his plus one to the Pierpoint holiday party. Daria, who is obviously feeling protective of Harper and wary of the inappropriate way Eric is using her, intervenes. Harper can’t go because she’s already agreed to help her with something. “Well, I don’t want her doing that.” “She’s already said yes.”

Things have gone cold on the Silver Kite front. Maxim suddenly doesn’t appear interested in Pierpoint, even when Yasmin reaches out to him about the upcoming holiday party. I wonder if Kenny’s bad attitude spoiled things. Robert interrupts Yasmin’s morning business to bring her a gift, which she hastily shoves into her desk. Harper notices the exchange.

They tease each other about their respective work husbands, Greg and Kenny, and the whole locked-room debacle with Eric. Harper asks Yasmin what she would do if she got locked in a room with him. Yasmin continues denying anything is happening between them. “I don’t know, ask for a key?”

Industry Episode 6

Marisa Abela, Conor Macneill in Industry Episode 6 – Courtesy of Amanda Searle/HBO

The conversation changes to the fine line they walk between wanting the approval of men like Eric and Kenny, and being downright terrified. Harper thinks if the general outcome is better then it shouldn’t matter how they got there. But Yasmin wonders if they’re rationalizing something that just “shouldn’t be rationalized.”

The holiday party is a nest of thorny issues. From Theo asking Gus if he might consider working in a different part of the bank to Yasmin and Kenny’s prolonged awkward silences, you get the feeling of some weird charged energy running through the place. Then there is Greg, who is icing out Harper since the script debacle and in a very reckless phase after getting arrested during a hard night of partying. Harper asks Robert to be the responsible one for once and keep an eye on him. That becomes much more challenging when Greg brings coke to the party and equally hard partier Usam arrives after skipping his flight — also with drugs in tow.

Left alone on the floor to do her work for Daria, Harper takes advantage of Yasmin’s unattended desk to snoop. She opens Robert’s gift. It’s a framed picture of him with Yasmin’s panties draped across his face. Needing a drink after that discovery, Harper slips into the party and is shocked to see Nicole in attendance.

Having both accepted that Maxim wouldn’t come, Yasmin and Kenny agree to relax and have some fun. But then he does show up. Kenny decides to make himself scarce so that Yasmin can take the lead.

In Industry Episode 6, Harper finally meets Eric’s wife, Candace, at the party, and it’s weird. In the span of a few minutes, he calls her both a b—-h and a c—t, and he jokes that he takes Harper home with him. He even told his wife about her big bonus. “Does he talk to you like that?” “She knows it’s playful,” Eric says, giving Harper a significant look.

Yes, Maxim’s hesitance with Pierpoint is because of Kenny and what happened the other night, which he deemed unacceptable. He cares about Yasmin and is surprised she hasn’t spoken up. Yasmin gets upset that he’s telling her how to feel and how to deal with the situation. “Oh f—k off, ally.”

On the floor, Harper and Daria share a bottle of champagne, and Daria asks her if Eric has ever crossed a line with her. She admits yes, and recounts the locked room situation, which obviously disturbs Daria.

Industry Episode 6

Will Tudor, David Jonsson in Industry Episode 6 – Courtesy of Amanda Searle/HBO

”This doesn’t seem like a place truly ambitious people stay long,” Lord Oaki says to Gus, not long after they meet. Oaki is an esteemed Black  businessman and he’s been told to meet with Gus and ensure the “person who sat next to Hari is okay.” Gus says he’s starting to feel like an accessory and it’s easy to see why. Moments later, Sara requests Oaki and Gus join her for a photo. Are they just using him to generate good optics and press in the wake of the recent expose and death?

Yasmin confronts Kenny about his actions driving Maxim away. He’s offended she would accuse him of something when he thinks it’s her inability to separate the personal and professional that made Maxim walk.

Robert’s assurances to Harper don’t last long. He, Usam and Greg get insanely high on narcotics at the party. It does give us some hilarious scenes, like the three men hiding in a bathroom stall from Oaki and trying to figure out which of their legs should stay flat on the floor and which should be raised to give the impression that there’s only one man in the stall and an unforgettable moment in which Usam blows cocaine up Robert’s a—.

Their partying reveals that Clement’s one and only client, Kaspar, the guy we met in the last episode, is retiring. That’s another reason Usam is at the party. Clement and Kaspar are having dinner together and didn’t necessarily want anyone else there. As Greg puts it, things aren’t looking great for Robert’s future job security.

Theo attends the party with his girlfriend Alice. She makes a comment to Gus that she thinks he and Theo must know each other really well based on the way they look at each other. Moments later, Gus and Theo have sex in the elevator. The doors open while they’re still close, and Alice sees them together.

Speaking of elevators, Yasmin takes Robert and escorts him into one, taking him down to the locker room floor. There the two have a sexy hookup of sorts.

Back upstairs at the party, a very high Greg repeatedly runs into the glass window. It’s disturbing and depressing. Greg sustains a serious head wound and collapses, unconscious.

When Yasmin and Robert exit the elevator, Harper has a few choice words for him. “You’re a f—-ing child and a f—-ing addict. I guess we can add Greg to your list of casualties.”

Yasmin finally opens her gift from Robert at the office the next day. The note says “What do you get for the girl who has everything? Proof that she loves to give.”

Industry Episode 6

Myha’la Herrold, Priyanga Burford in Industry Episode 6 – Courtesy of Amanda Searle/HBO

We finally return to the meeting that Industry Episode 6 opened with, between Harper, Daria and Sara. Harper initially minced her words because she obviously feels torn and perhaps ambushed. Does she betray Eric’s loyalty? What he did was undeniably wrong, but he’s also the only person at the company who has stuck his next out for her. Harper feels the weight of her decision to speak against him.

The worst part is, though, is that Daria and Sara are not doing this for Harper’s best interests. They’re doing it to get rid of Eric. That’s evidenced both by making Harper sign an NDA and Daria commenting that “Pierpont would be better off” if they kept this quiet, and the small smile she casts in Sarah’s direction. Also, Daria wasted no time telling Sara what Harper said at the Christmas party. If she truly cared, she would have discussed coming forward with Harper and not done it behind her back. This episode highlights how underhanded the Pierpoint politics truly are, with both Black characters — Harper and Gus — being used as pawns.

What did you think of Industry Episode 6? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!

Industry Season 1 is now streaming on HBO Max and through other HBO-partnered services. Episodes will also continue to air linearly Monday nights at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.