“Quiet and Nice” continues to bed in the characters while teasing some potentially dangerous relationships in the future as everyone tries to figure out where they belong.
This recap of Industry season 1, episode 2, “Quiet and Nice”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
If last week’s premiere was all about introducing the graduates at Pierpoint and establishing the breakneck, cutthroat culture of high-stakes finance, “Quiet and Nice” is about letting the characters who survived it bed in a little. Dysfunction continues to be everywhere in Industry, in various forms, but here we begin to get a sense of who’s who going forwards in the wake of Hari’s death.
Of particular note is stuck up Yasmin, who thankfully becomes a bit more sympathetic here. She’s dealing with a largely disinterested boyfriend, a mother you get the sense will probably never be pleased, and a truly awful supervisor in Kenny. Part of Yasmin’s arc in this episode involves her learning to stand up for herself, not in any grandiose way, but as a simple matter of insisting she’s not to be bullied and taken for a fool. She requires a little bit of support from Harper, but she gets there in the end, making for a nice new double-act. These two are the most prominent women in the show, but they’re very different. Yasmin’s newfound agency allows her to stand up to an obvious workplace bully, but also take the reins in her suffering relationship with Seb – something that she quickly put to use in tantalizing Rob.
Any gambling types would get good odds on Robert and Yasmin’s relationship being the one to watch, despite the taken status of the latter. Since Industry seems so deeply rooted in sexuality, it wouldn’t just be unsurprising but actually make a degree of sense. It’d also probably have calamitous results for both of them, which is exactly the kind of thing “Quiet and Nice” seems interested in, albeit in a roundabout way.
Then there’s Yasmin and Harper, who seem to become fast friends after Harper’s dressing down of Kenny, and it looks like they’re going to be moving in together. With Harper positioned as the protagonist, more or less, or at least the graduate most suited to her new environment, that’s basically a narrative promotion for Yasmin. Things are also going much better work-wise for Harper than they are for, say, Gus, who is faced with imminent departmental restructuring following Hari’s death and, thus, a new job he doesn’t want.
Things in his private life aren’t great either. He’s carrying on a secret relationship with Theo, who’s living with his girlfriend, and a couple of moments in “Quiet and Nice” make it very clear that this information is going to be leveraged. Gus seems to relish this power imbalance in a way that’s quite worrying, and Theo seems right to fret about whether the information is going to get back to his girlfriend – I’d be very surprised if it didn’t.
This is all part of an overarching theme, which this week seems to be realizing where everyone fits and figuring out what they need to do in order to keep control of whatever coveted space they occupy. It isn’t just jobs being fought over, but social standing, positions in relationships with family and lovers and friends. In that sense, Harper’s apartment-hunting subplot is kind of a metaphor, her cycling through potential places where she wouldn’t fit until finally finding somewhere accommodating. Everyone else is, in a less literal sense, doing the same thing.
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