After making a big mistake at work in episode four of Industry, one of Harper’s secrets from her past is exposed.
Warning: this article contains spoilers for Industry episode four
The opening scenes to the fourth episode of BBC finance drama Industry will make you so glad you don’t have a killer hangover at your office desk right now. Granted, it’s not just alcohol that Harper and Rob get carried away with – the cocktail of drugs they take on a weeknight is almost painful to watch. And yet, they both jump into a taxi to the City to get on with a day of making money.
Or, in Harper’s case, losing money…
I’m going to come clean here: I have no idea what Harper does wrong or what it is she tries to do to rectify it. I’m not up to date with finance jargon. But what I do know is that she loses the company and her client £150,000. Instead of telling her mentor, Eric, straight away, Harper – who is on a huge comedown from the night before – decides to try to fix things on her own and fails.
By the end of the episode, she comes clean to Eric, expecting to be fired. But he reacts in a way she doesn’t expect.
Eric tells Harper that he contacted her old university to get her accreditations for a visa, only to be told that she didn’t actually graduate. This explains why Harper has been so secretive about her past since episode one.
But Eric says Harper’s qualifications “don’t need to be a problem” for him because he knows what it’s like to be an outsider in such a privileged industry. Explaining why they need to take advantage being in the small percentage of non-white, middle- and upper-classed people working in finance, he says: “We intimidate people here”.
He tells Harper that he was aware of the mistake and fixed it for her, then reveals that the only compliment he was ever paid by his own mentor when he was an intern actually doubled as a racist remark. It’s clear he wants there to be mutual trust and respect between him and Harper.
But although this is a big moment in the start of Harper’s finance career, and it answers some questions about what she’s been hiding, we think there’s something bigger she’s keeping a secret.
That’s because throughout the fourth episode, we also see her ignoring calls from her mum, who is wondering why Harper won’t return home to America for Thanksgiving. “You always put so much pressure on yourself, you know how you get…” she adds in a voicemail to her daughter.
Could this have something to do with the missing brother Harper previously told Yasmin about? And is that where her real big secret lies?
You can catch up with Industry on BBC iPlayer.
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…