By the end of Industry Episode 8, Harper makes a shocking decision while the other grads must figure out the next step in their careers.
Easily the most shocking part of Industry Episode 8, the Season 1 finale, is Harper’s final decision. In this episode, we learn whether the grads will get through RIF day, and each one ends the season in a surprising position that could set up a fascinating second season — should the HBO drama get renewed. Let’s start the breakdown with Harper, who is arguably the show’s central character.
She can’t bring herself to give her RIF Day speech and winds up having a panic attack after rushing out of the room. It’s not the best impression to leave behind. Leading up to her RIF Day speech, Harper becomes paranoid and desperately worried that she won’t get a job offer. She sees Yasmin meeting with Daria and suspects that Yasmin could wind up taking her job. In reality, Yasmin just wants to switch desks and even hopes to work alongside Harper.
Later, she asks Daria if she’ll vouch for her, but Daria tells Harper that she doesn’t think this work environment is a good “cultural fit.” Still, come the day of, Daria does wind up vouching for Harper.
She tells the other senior managers that Harper embodies everything about Pierpoint and would make an easy hire. But before we can see all of that pan out, Harper’s path diverges into a forked one. She is approached by the big boss, Alder, for a business meeting with — surprise, Eric! Alder wants her and Eric to work things out so they can put the whole accusation and NDA debacle behind them and move forward.
Basically, Harper can decide to bring Eric back to the company. But then Sara shows up and interrupts the business meeting to give Harper a different angle. If she rejects Alder and Eric’s office, Harper can be part of a cultural change with someone like Daria at the helm. However, Harper points out that Sara doesn’t actually know anything about her. She only sees her as a victim.
Ultimately, Harper does what she always does — which is to look out for her best interests. She chooses Eric and throws Daria under the bus by claiming Daria coerced her into accusing Eric. Honestly, I don’t completely blame Harper for her choice. I don’t think Eric is a good fit for the company (although Ken Leung is fantastic), but Daria and Sara had their own ulterior motives and agenda. They were not afraid to use Harper for those purposes.
At the end of the day, Harper wanted to keep her weird, codependent mentorship with Eric because — let’s be honest, Eric gave her more attention, money, and an edge over the competition. It might not be healthy, it might not be moral, but it makes sense from her perspective.
Industry Episode 8: Yasmin ends the season single, but with a job.
Yasmin was also faced with a difficult decision, not altogether dissimilar from Harper’s. She had to choose whether or not to make a formal accusation against Kenny or being a “team player.” Ultimately, Yasmin chooses to take a safer route. Hilary vouches for her because of it, and she gets to keep her job. However, once she finds out what Harper did to Daria, Yasmin has a few choice words for her. The two have a massive fight on the floor, with Harper calling Yasmin out for being weak and hypocritical. “It looks like we won’t be working together, after all.”
Also, in the finale, Yasmin officially ends things with Seb (all I can say to that is: THANK GOD that dude is the worst, can we briefly talk about how he said liking rough sex is not “feminist?” Ugh, I hope they don’t bring him back next season). By season’s end, she’s left very alone, just like Robert and Harper.
Industry Episode 8: Robert keeps his job, barely.
Robert’s RIF Day speech is lackluster at best, but he does manage to impress Alder, which is enough to secure him a job. Daria is not impressed in the least, especially since his nose started bleeding in the middle of his speech, and she’s fully aware that he’s a cocaine addict. She doesn’t want to babysit anyone and doesn’t think Robert offers anything of value to the company. It’s totally savage, but she does make some points.
By season’s end, it doesn’t look like things will progress any further with him and Yasmin, but it does appear like there might be hope for the Robert/Harper shippers out there. In the final moments of the episode, Robert speeds away from the company on his motorbike and into the night.
Industry Episode 8: Gus is, surprisingly, the most well-adjusted by the end of Season 1.
Gus reaches his threshold with the Pierpoint mess. Sara invites him to a fancy lunch, and he calls her out on the fact that she just wants to keep him happy because he could turn into a walking PR nightmare because of his connection to Hari and his status as an “intelligent minority,” as she says. Since Gus wants to be honest and cynical, Sara lays it on the line for him too. She admits she didn’t even find him talented when he first came to the company, but that if he plays along with the charade, she can take him anywhere he wants to go in the bank.
Testing her promise, Gus delivers a concise, succinct, joke speech that disrespects everyone — especially Alder, but Sara does vouch for him. Nonetheless, it definitely looks like Gus is done with Pierpoint for good, given the way he exits. But surprisingly, that might be the best thing for him. It seems like he’s also ready to move on from Theo, too, who has broken up with Alice, but by now, it’s too late, and Gus shouldn’t have to settle for being second-best.
Now he has a new potential relationship with the guy he met at Yasmin’s party, and maybe things will improve for him from this point onward. Also, I thought it was very sweet that Gus was the only person to comfort Harper while she had a panic attack. I would have liked to see them together more.
So, where do we go from here? The story feels like it has come to a natural end. But based on the GQ interview with the show’s writers linked above, it sounds like they have some plans for following the grads through the city. It could be interesting to do a time jump or just bring in a new cast of characters. But I do hope HBO renews Industry for another season!
What did you think of Industry Episode 8? 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.