Industry season 1, episode 8 recap – “Reduction in Force” Who's hired? Who's fired?

December 14, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
HBO, TV Recaps
4

Summary

The much talked-about “Reduction in Force” finally comes around, and some fare better than others. But who kept their jobs at Pierpoint? And at what cost?

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4

Summary

The much talked-about “Reduction in Force” finally comes around, and some fare better than others. But who kept their jobs at Pierpoint? And at what cost?

This recap of Industry season 1, episode 8, “Reduction in Force”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.


Well, here we are, folks. Reduction in Force Day is upon us, and after a year of rash decisions, sexual assault, sexual (mis)adventure, drugs, booze, binges, severe head injury and death, the graduates are all going to find out where they stand at Pierpoint. Why anyone would want to work there is a mystery to me, but the bigger question is perhaps how far each of them is willing to go in order to work there since everything they’ve put up with already is proof enough that they’re hardly well-adjusted.

It really does seem like Gus is the only person who actually recognizes how deeply toxic the Pierpoint culture is, which he’s quick to tell Sara about when she sits him down to butter him up about his potential, clearly covering some bases in regards to Hari’s death and thinking about the optics going forward. A lot of the drama in “Reduction in Force” comes from not knowing quite what any of the graduates are going to say in their interviews, and it starts here with Gus – will he shelve his principles so that, as Sara insists, his “talents” and his minority status can take him far?

Another theme of the episode is Harper becoming increasingly desperate. First, she asks Daria to vouch for her, slagging off all the other grads as justification, and then when Daria implies she might not Harper counter-implies that it was Daria who put her in front of a client (Nicole) who sexually assaulted her. This is true, you’ll recall, but the timing is a wee bit suspect, and Daria sees right through it. She also sees through Robert. He’s the first to face the interviews, and while he doesn’t have any clients to show off, it’s undeniable that there’s a certain type of client who will love a guy like him, which all the executives know. But Daria’s having none of it, telling him in the lift later – after his nose starts bleeding in the interview! – that he’s a worthless cokehead with no future. Yikes!

Yasmin is next up, and just like Harper, she threatens Kenny with exposing his behaviour around her – a bluff he calls. Now, we know Kenny is despicable, but he’s right that Yasmin will put her own career above any grand notions of doing the right thing, which is why, as predicted, she sings the praises of Pierpoint’s uplifting culture during the interview. It’s sad and a bit pathetic to see, really, and my favourite character thoroughly debases herself to the board.

At least Yasmin can be genuine in her friendships – though can she, really? Despite the fact that she allays Harper’s paranoid accusation of her trying to move in on her territory by cosying up to Daria, you can just tell that Harper doesn’t feel the same way about Yas as she claims to feel about Harper. When Harper subsequently bottles her interview completely, unable to get any words out at all, it’s obvious that someone is going to get stabbed in the back.

It won’t be Gus, though, since he just settles for the Full House in the game of “workplace platitude bingo” that is happening on the trading floor and basically tells Pierpoint to get f*cked. Even after that, Sara sings his praises during the discussions, and Daria fights Harper’s corner despite her woeful interview, having seemingly forgotten about, you know, all the habitual lying.

Well, it comes back to bite Daria, don’t you worry. Ultimately, for Harper, it comes down to a choice. Does she side with Bill, one of Pierpoint’s American all-stars who wants her to retract her accusations against Eric, or does she side with the girl-power tag team of Sara and Daria, who want to use Harper to prove that Pierpoint’s culture can change from a hive of lily-white masculine entitlement? Needless to say, Harper isn’t keen on being seen as a “victim”, so she sides with Eric and Bill. Not only that, but she cooks up a line that Daria pressured her into lying about Eric’s behaviour, leading to Daria getting fired. As she’s escorted out of the building, Harper calls an aghast Yasmin “weak” and “a f*cking hypocrite.” Looks like she’ll need somewhere else to live.


Thanks for reading our recap of Industry season 1, episode 8, “Reduction in Force”. For more recaps, reviews, and original features covering the world of entertainment, why not follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page?

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