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How Industry's Season 1 Death Foreshadowed Harper's Betrayal

CBR logo CBR 5 days ago Renaldo Matadeen
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The HBO drama Industry saw its protagonist Harper and a team of college graduates vying for positions at Pierpoint & Co, a prestigious investment bank in London. The eight episodes of Season 1 detailed them trying to make their mark with clients and show the firm they were profitable assets. Viewers often compared the show to Succession as the characters struggled in business, though its drama was more consistent than that series.

The problems inevitably tested their loyalties and personal relationships. Pierpoint & Co. fostered a dog-eat-dog work environment, and some of the characters began to deceive each other like a new generation of Pretty Little Liars. While Harper tried to remain true to herself and her friends, she committed a shocking betrayal at the end of Season 1 that left fans floored. However, that moment had been set up by an equally surprising death earlier on.

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The very first episode "Induction" saw Harper's flatmate Hari take his new job way too seriously. Assigned to the Investment Banking Division (IBD) desk, Hari got addicted to drugs as he pushed himself too far. He began to sleep at the office, which disturbed his co-workers and superiors. And after messing up an important presentation, he was found dead in the Pierpoint & Co. restroom. The show wasn't the first premium cable drama to tell an addiction story -- but the subplot created a ripple effect throughout the rest of the season.

Industry kept the reason for Hari's death vague, but the way the company carted him off, held soulless counseling sessions, and then quickly moved on shook the graduates... especially Harper. She contemplated leaving, but decided to do right by Hari. His attitude was unhealthy, but she understood Hari's relentless drive, especially in a business that was so cutthroat and particularly challenging for women and people of color.

Harper excelled on the Cross Product Sales (CPS) desk, only for her and her boss Eric to run into problems after losing a key client. Eric got aggressive, so manager Daria used Harper to expose Eric to Human Resources -- getting him fired and taking over his job. After all this, the Industry Season 1 finale "Reduction in Force" brought out a different side of Harper. After botching her review speech and seemingly getting eliminated, Harper was surprised that Daria didn't fire her... because she would keep Pierpoint & Co. from re-hiring Eric.

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The shareholders didn't want him to take his clients to the competition, so they needed Harper to rescind her complaint. This didn't sit well at all with Daria and company president Sara, who gave Harper a pitch on the patriarchy and effecting change in corporate society. However, Harper pulled her complaint, brought Eric back and got Daria canned -- shocking fans who thought she'd side with the sisterhood. Her betrayal was more severe than the multiple betrayals in The Boys, because Harper didn't do so to save the world; she just wanted to scale Pierpoint's corporate pyramid.

All that mattered to Harper was that Eric had helped advance her in the past by ignoring her fake qualifications in the past. He was the devil that she knew and thus, trusted more. It was exactly the kind of move Hari would have made to get ahead -- and if he hadn't died in the first episode, maybe Harper wouldn't have made it.

Industry airs Mondays at 9:00 p.m. on HBO.

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