Karma hits Eric and Harper as the aftermath of Venetia intruding on a meeting causes a stir at Pierpoint.
|Writer(s)||Mickey Down, Konrad Kay|
This content contains pertinent spoilers.
It’s All About Connections – Gus, Leo, Jesse
Despite past troubles, Leo seems closer to Jesse than ever. Not getting into Oxford might have been the best thing to happen for their relationship, and for his troubles thus far, Jesse pays Gus 30,000. With this in mind, be it his seeming boyfriend and Jesse bonding or seeing Leo’s devastation, Gus decides to play his hand at politics.
He leverages his position working for Aurore with a history and politics department member and pushes the idea of internships for grads in exchange for Leo being pushed up the ladder. The department member likes a deal, so it appears they’ll see what they can do.
A Pattern, A History, A Unending Cycle – Yasmin, Nicole, Robert, Venetia, Kenny, Danny, Bill
Robert and Nicole have a dinner like any other, where Nicole is exhibiting her Oscar the Grouch-like charm, and Robert is rather dry. That is until Venetia decides to join, uninvited, for the sake of RIF, and try to build rapport with Nicole. Miffed a bit by this intrusion and how this is feeding into the worse Nicole can dish out, Robert leaves and originally is fine with leaving Venetia to the wolf.
However, he soon regrets this and, on top of looking for Venetia at the restaurant, calls her and is worried – rightfully so too. You see, Nicole did to Venetia what she did to Harper and Robert, but unlike Harper and Robert, Venetia isn’t willing to let this go. She talks to Yasmin about it, who downplays the whole thing, and makes it sound like it is part of the job and to develop a stiff upper lip.
So, Venetia goes to Kenny, who takes it seriously, gets Danny involved, and Robert, and it leaves Danny in an odd position as all Nicole has done starts to unravel. He tries to get Bill involved since there is no policy regarding this, but Bill is so focused on RIF and the slaughter of London CPS that he’d rather ignore this or have Danny bury it.
As Robert establishes a pattern that includes Harper, Danny can’t do that, and since he doesn’t want to foster a toxic work environment that puts clients before employees, he is torn. Especially since Bill hasn’t given him his long waited promotion, so he’s torn on how to proceed. And as Danny processes his guilt, Robert is forced to process his as Venetia confronts him, and he can barely look up at her, never mind in the eye.
And It All Lead To This – Kenny, Yasmin, Danny, Eric, Rishi, Harper, Daria
Alongside Danny having to worry about Venetia, now he has Harper on the brain since he thinks Nicole assaulting her is part of the root of the troubles they’re having. Though the real issue he may need to think about is Harper, Danny, and Eric trying to use their collateral, or assumed collateral, to join a different firm. The problem is with the whole idea is Harper doesn’t have Jesse like she pretends she does, and when you combine that with Eric being overtly aggressive, it makes each meeting worse than the last.
But things really take a turn for the worse when they interview somewhere where Daria, from season 1, is an MD (Managing Director), and she embarrasses both Harper and Eric. Rishi she goes easy on since they didn’t have too much going on, but this acts as a major wake-up call. One that forces Harper to call in Danny and hope his network can help her, Rishi, and Eric save face. And with the promise of him becoming an MD and them all reporting to him, a deal is made. For this Venetia thing really isn’t sitting right with him.
Though, it should be noted he isn’t alone. Kenny confronts Yasmin, whose name was dragged into all this, and while Yasmin has tried to be cordial, even apologetic because she sees Kenny is trying, him bringing her out of a meeting and bringing this Venetia stuff to her? It’s insulting. Especially considering what he pulled with her, and while it isn’t clear how Kenny may proceed, Yasmin coming at him personally could cause mutually assured destruction if she isn’t careful.
Things To Note
- Dialog: Usual cursing
- Violence: N/A
- Sexual Content: Conversations about sexual assault
- Miscellaneous: Drinking and doing drugs
Question(s) Left Unanswered
- Is Venetia really one of the first to report a client and push people to wonder if there is a policy for that?
- What’s going on with Hillary? Is it the actor wasn’t available, or are they building towards something?
- Could Kenny take down Yasmin for her role in the Venetia situation?
What Could Happen Next
- Pierpoint going into crisis mode, alongside those who are trying to leave
- Potentially Daria delivering another strike
Thank God I didn’t spend my entire life pursuing this, because I feel exactly the same.
— Kenny (Quoting a young Oscar winner’s feelings the day after they won)
Reputations are burned while they are enjoyed.
Daria Strikes Back
Daria returning and getting a bit of comeuppance is rich. Especially seeing Eric’s reaction or Harper’s, who you can see was a bit entertained. It caught her off guard and humbled Eric, but while Eric is on the ropes, trying to relive his glory days, Harper lives for these moments. It is when she gets caught off-guard that she realizes she isn’t at the top of her game, making her want to push harder. Hence calling in Danny and using what she knows about him and what he is going through. It reminds viewers that Harper doesn’t know the struggle Eric has of being pummeled and barely being able to stand. She can take a punch, even admire it, for it just informs her of a new move to play when she gets an opportunity to do so.
Danny At A Cross Road
One of the challenges of getting into any management position or pursuing it is recognizing what role you can play in the culture. Often, there is this desire to change things, make it for the better, but you have to contend with the fact that things have been made comfortable for decision-makers, and they hold all the cards. So, they made the culture they want to keep, and for you to eventually get the power you so desire, you have to become a spoke on the wheel allowing for a potentially toxic culture to continue.
It’s like Harvey Dent said in “The Dark Knight,” you either die a martyr or hero or see yourself live long enough to become a villain. Danny, at a crossroads, sees he could either fall on his sword or become a villain, and by joining Harper, it seems he is trying to craft a third option for himself.
Venetia Perhaps Losing Her Bushy-Tailed Innocence
While Venetia isn’t outright wet behind the ears, there is no denying that she was green, as we’ve seen most graduates on this show. But it seems with the realization of what Robert is capable of and Yasmin, two people only a few years older than her, not someone Danny, Kenny, or even Bill’s age, she gets it. The culture can be publicly shamed, but what goes on behind closed doors will continue to happen. I mean, “Industry” exists in a post #MeToo world, and yet there is no policy for a client touching an employee, never mind a grad student.
This seems to put everything in perspective and almost makes you wonder, regarding the episode’s title, is Venetia the cub who became the lone wolf – since clearly she is without friends?
Gus Playing Politics
Meritocracy is the desire of many institutions, especially those who feel like they had to earn their way to get to where they are. Yet, as Gus showed, those people, in an effort to bolster their position and maintain the idea they worked their way into lofty positions, so anyone can, can be compromised. All that is needed is the ability to feel like an insider, those who were born or had a leg up, and getting to be them or live vicariously.
Gus, while he has shown himself capable of being noble, is nonetheless someone ambitious and can be rather self-serving. His boyfriend is sad, he can make money if Leo gets into Oxford, and his boyfriend and dad are closer than ever, so there are a lot of wins in this for him. You can say some of his motivation does ultimately benefit others. But having someone else pushed off for his boyfriend, even if that person is a legacy, doesn’t discount Gus, similar to Harper, knowing how to play his cards. Even in times when he has to bluff and make what he said factual later.
Harper Showing Rishi and Eric How To Play The Game
Speaking of Harper, if fake it till you make it was a video guide, she would be the star. She overextended her hand with Rishi and Eric, and when exposed, she pulled from her sleeve Danny. It’s just interesting to see someone, a Black woman especially, who may experience setbacks but never truly fails. There is never some action hero comeback, all you can do is catch Harper off guard, but it rarely, if ever, gets to the point of her becoming like many Black female leads (re: Shonda Rhimes shows), who are torn down to the point like they are being humbled for having ambition.
Harper just takes note of what you did, her blind spot, and improves. Leaving you with this truly formidable lead who never loses her humanity despite how often she raises her profile and collects wins.
The Potential of Kenny v. Yasmin
Yasmin and Kenny have beef. He was a terrible senior to her in her first year, and she rightly refuses to accept this guilt trip he has and holds him accountable as he asks. But, the thing about recovery is that some people don’t change, they just shame themselves. So consider this the real opportunity to see if Kenny’s therapy and group sessions have made him a better man or if he just realized where the line was. That may be the whole #MeToo movement made him operate in fear rather than with a desire to truly change his ways.