TV Series

Industry: Season 1/ Episode 5 “Learned Behaviour” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

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Harper finds herself in the company of her ex Todd, and a desperate Eric, as Yasmin continues to risk her current relationship by entertaining Robert.


Director(s)Ed Lilly
Writer(s)Mickey Down, Konrad Kay
Aired (HBO Max)11/27/2020
Introduced This Episode
ToddBranden Cook
MaximNicholas Bishop
FelimAndrew Buchan

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Recap

The Fall of Men – Eric, Felim, Harper, Daria, Gus

Gus is continuing to flail but, similar to Yasmin, takes note that, of all the superiors, only Eric seems to really invest in a grad. So, he tries to snatch some attention and praise from Harper, which only backfires on him. Yet, it does open up Eric to be seen as much more vulnerable than he often lets on.

Felim (Andrew Buchan) having a lunch meeting with Harper
Felim (Andrew Buchan)

You see, the loss of Felim is still hurting his ego terribly, so he tries to push Harper to win them back by acting as a permanent proxy. However, not only does Felim not go for it but since he only meets VPs and above, Harper had to arrange for Daria to be there. Which, she lied to Daria about, the meeting, and hoped she wouldn’t go, but she shows up anyway.

This sets up Daria questioning Harper’s loyalty and even pushing the idea that, at one time, maybe Daria was Eric’s favorite. As for what happened? Well, that is hard to say. All that is clear is that when Eric finds out the meeting failed, and Daria is now more aware of why they lost Felim, he flips out on her and brings her to tears.

Excuses Don’t Amount To Apologies – Yasmin, Kenny, Maxim, Seb

But, Eric isn’t alone in showing his desperation and vulnerability. Kenny, someone who rarely brings in clients, is paired with Yasmin as Maxim is pitched as a possible client. With this, Kenny is a bit at Yasmin’s mercy in a way, so he tries to apologize to her. He even tries to connect with her about being Irish, feeling out of place, and notes he was hard on her because they were hard on him.

However, for all that talk of him feeling bad the next morning and wanting to do better, he still slights her during the meeting with Maxim, implies something is going on, and pays for a woman to dance upon Yasmin. Which leaves her immensely uncomfortable.

Maxim (Nicholas Bishop) having a lunch meeting with Yasmin
Maxim (Nicholas Bishop)

Yet, while Kenny shows his ass again, Yazmin has the problem of her and Seb’s relationship being a ticking timebomb. The reason? He overheard her listening to Robert masturbating on Bluetooth with Harper. So, in turn, while she was out with Maxim and Kenny, he got off with a cam girl, and Yasmin discovered him.

Now, whether or not this was on purpose? That’s hard to say. However, the two were already in a rocky place, which included Seb going off about a plant. So this could be the final nail to structure their dying relationship.

The Reason Harper Dropped Out Of College – Harper, Todd

Todd, Harper’s ex, who we met earlier in the season and forged her diploma and transcript, he has come to London. This, for Harper, produces mixed feelings. On the one hand, there is this certain level of isolation in living the life Harper does. As Eric notes, she walks around with a chip on her shoulder, and while she has made acquaintances of many, she has made friends with few.

So with Todd around and in her space before and after Eric blew up on her, he has her at her most vulnerable. This is perhaps why she reveals she didn’t get her degree because, during her final, she just lost it. Not in terms of blanking out on someone, but she had to leave the situation just like she left work after Eric went off on her.

But, what may have hurt her more than Eric chastising her is thinking things could be different with Todd. He wasn’t reliable in the past, may have cheated on her, and still presently is comfortable being someone’s side piece. Yet, after they have sex, he is affectionate, and that’s different for them. However, he ruins the moment, and before you know it, Harper is outside in her underwear, throwing Todd’s stuff on the street, and he is being as ignorant as can be.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

It’s not an apology if you put yourself at the center of it.
— Harper


Gets to the point where they stop asking, but they never stop caring.
— Clement


It’s only addiction if you can’t afford it.
— Clement


If you sit there like window dressing, it’s hard to come back. The quicker you open your mouth, the quicker they know you’re an actual human being on top of everything else.
— Daria

Review

Highlights

Kenny and Eric’s Development

From what it appears, both Kenny and Eric are outsiders who have made it despite discrimination due to their origins. Yet, as shown, Kenny, while being Irish created some issues for him, he still made it to a position of authority. All the while, seemingly not being someone who had or has brought in a major account. Meanwhile, Eric had one major account, which bankrolled many salaries, and had to fight tooth and nail to get to where he is.

This showing of white privilege was quite interesting, but not just in their rise but also how you can see them falling. With Kenny, his fall clearly is going to come from his drinking habits, since he needs to drink in order to feel comfortable in social situations, it appears. Yet, like Eric, it seems that Kenny may not have liked the way he came up, yet repeats some of the cruelty that was imposed on him.

Take note, outside of Harper, until this episode, Eric is an utter ass to his subordinates. The way he yelled at Daria, how he did at Gus, even having Harper break down, you can see why Sara might be making a move to push him out. Add in whatever he said to or about a client’s wife as well? As Daria noted, there is a shift, and when it comes to men like Kenny and Eric, they won’t exist in the next chapter of finance.

But don’t be mistaken, men like Kenny and Eric won’t be gone in a snap, and even if fired in one company, it doesn’t mean they won’t be hired in another. More so, the shift Daria talks about, hopes for even, is one which would perhaps bring the financial world in line with other industries where you can’t flip out on someone like Eric does, nor treat them like trash, as Kenny repeatedly has Yasmin.

Growing Interest in Eric & Daria’s Relationship

With that all said, I must admit Eric’s distrust of Daria and Daria’s warning about Harper investing too much in Eric raises an eyebrow. What went down between Daria and Eric, and was it something unbecoming? Did she get herself up off Eric’s back and tutelage or something else? There seems to be something to that story being kept close to the chest.

Deepening Our Love For Harper

Harper is the star of Industry – point blank – period. From the collapse of her relationship with Eric, the warning shot from Daria, and Todd showing up and illuminating us on what happened while Harper was in college, she is the hook. Harper is the one who produces the best storyline, performance and truly brings you into the world of Pierpoint.

Now, is this to say she does it alone? No. Eric being so mad his lip was trembling, and you getting a vibe he feels like he took it too far, and maybe cut his nose to spite his face, it helps you understand his relationship with Harper is complicated. That, in seeing her trying to not cry in front of him, begging to be let out, he may not have only brought her down but maybe triggered something.

Then with Daria, you can see the conflict between Harper’s womanhood to being a person of color, for both Daria and Eric wish to mentor Harper, despite this proverbial chip on her shoulder – which to me just seems to be confidence, but whatever. And you can tell that Harper doesn’t dislike Daria, but Eric has been proactive in her development. So with Daria threatening RIF assistance, warning Harper about Eric, and Eric flipping out on her, it furthers your attachment since this isn’t the usual drama we see everyone else go through.

Todd (Brenden Cook) being sweet to Harper
Todd (Brenden Cook)

Heck, add in her relationship with Todd, him possibly cheating on her, yet her still having this complicated love for him, the kind where you can see she would get back together if he would just grow up, it hurts. Since Harper has truly become a character you want so much and more for, yet for every few steps forward, something sends her one step back. Similar to when a huge gust hits you, and you put one foot back for stability and try to gain the strength you need to push forward.

Low Point

Gus

What is going to be done with Gus? He is starting to seem expendable for, like the character, we don’t know why he is there. Is it just to have diversity? A Black male with a speaking role? Because the Theo thing is stale, especially since Theo has no real storyline beyond his affair with Gus. Robert has become Clement’s mentee and has only really pursued Yasmin, to mixed results, and Gus tries at work but gets nowhere.

And what makes things worse is that Gus’ stagnancy isn’t really looked into. At best, you can say he is stagnant because he is in a department that doesn’t fit his intellect. But, at worse, you can see so many missed opportunities to bring him into the conversation about work ethic, race, privilege, and so much more. Hell, just a comparison to what it means to be Black in the UK vs. Black in America could have been interesting. Yet, instead, the chip on the shoulder that supposedly isolates Harper, it seems that description more so fits Gus.

On The Fence

Yasmin & Seb

Like with Gus, you can see so much could be done with Yasmin, and to a certain degree, they do try to explore her entering a male-dominated field with the brains and looks she has. However, this Seb thing, and entertaining Robert’s pursuit, as much as it allows you to see Yasmin with flaws and desires, it also seems cheap. Like the idea here is that she needs to be sensationalized in order for you to have an interest in her story.

One of the reasons I say that is, Harper, we’ve seen nude and in sexual situations, but with her, it comes off like sex is part of the human experience. With Yasmin, as much as you can tell she wants to adapt to the financial industry’s culture, even the debauchery – just on her terms, it just comes off weird. Even Seb is weird since there is this push to make him unlikable to justify Yasmin’s actions and maybe have you think she is better off. Yet, the only real issue with Seb is Yasmin doesn’t respect him or what he does. Leaving you to wonder why are they together, never mind still live with one another?

Todd

Why did he have to be such trash? Granted, when he was cybering with Harper and logged out once he came, there were signs he was trash, but it isn’t cheap to fly over the Atlantic, so why show up and be this way? Mind you, I doubt he came over just to see Harper, but still. It isn’t like he doesn’t know her story and the stress she is under.

Which is why I thought, with that marshmallow concoction, he was trying to be a good dude. But, you know, Harper had the foresight that Todd being there wasn’t a good idea. Yet, she ignored her intuition since he was familiar, apparently has a “pretty dick,” and she needed some.

Industry Directory

Character Guide

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Collected Quotes

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Summary

Kenny and Eric's Development - 86%
Growing Interest in Eric & Daria's Relationship - 83%
Deepening Our Love For Harper - 87%
Gus - 68%
Yasmin & Seb - 74%
Todd - 72%

78%

"Learned Behaviour" certainly illuminates some of the male bosses at Pierpoint, as well as Harper's background. However, there remains the vibe that, if the character isn't in Harper's orbit, they aren't living up to their potential.

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Amari Allah

I started Wherever I Look back in 2011 and have aimed to be that friend who loves watching various forms of media and talking about it. So, from bias, strong opinions, and a perspective you may not have thought about, you'll find that in our reviews.

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