Industry episode 2 shows exactly how employee mental health is still being ignored

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How will the ambitious young finance graduates deal with life at Pierpoint & Co following Hari’s death in the first episode of Industry? Here’s what happened in this week’s second episode of the hit new BBC series.

Last week, the first episode of the new Lena Dunham-directed BBC series, Industry, made us weirdly miss London’s 9-5 buzz. 

Following a group of hungry graduates cutting their teeth in the high-drama world of finance at fictional investment bank Pierpoint & Co, it delivered on its promise of scandal, sex, power and lots of money. And with the series being penned by former bankers Mickey Down and Konrad Kay, it’s perhaps not such a farfetched retelling of real life in the City.

But the storyline that shocked viewers the most was the sudden death of Hari, a graduate who survived on pills, energy drinks, no sleep and overnight stays in the office (said to be loosely based on the death of real-life Merrill Lynch intern Moritz Erhardt in 2013). It was a stark message that this world really is all about survival.

So, following the unexpected death of a character pushed to his limit, what happened next in Industry episode two? 

In Quiet and Nice, it’s clear that Pierpoint & Co’s way of dealing with the death of one its graduates is to tick all the boxes and just move on. Although most people are clearly shaken by Hari’s death, it doesn’t seem to affect their behaviour or outlooks.

Gus is handed a leaflet on mental health by his nervous-looking boss who also managed Hari. And the cohort is taken out for dinner by their mentors to help build relations, which of course actually ends up in drunken and drug-fuelled debauchery (not exactly the traditional way of ensuring employee wellbeing). And that’s about it. 

But not everything is brushed under the carpet, as it is revealed that The Guardian is set to write an expose about Hari’s death “and more”. This is only briefly mentioned but we have a feeling it’s going to blow up in a future epsiode.

Industry TV series
Industry episode two: the dramatic world of finance continues as normal following Hari's shock death.

This episode mostly focuses on the story of Yasmin: the seemingly straight-laced and privileged girl who hits the gym hard every morning and delivers everybody’s coffee and lunch orders every day.

Although Yasmin lives with her boyfriend, the fact that he has lost interest in having sex only pushes her into further flirting with fellow financer Robert. Her relationship with her mentor also starts to strain, and he starts to bully her. At the dinner, where everybody is meant to be working on relations, he even shouts at her.

And after an awkward encounter in the ladies’ toilets at the start of the episode, Yasmin befriends Harper and the pair decide to move in together. But can two people in competition with each other really be friends too?

Speaking of Harper…

We already know that Harper is hiding a few secrets, after she submitted a fake university transcript to her new employer in episode one. And in this episode, we learn a little bit more about her life in America. She drunkenly and emotionally reveals to Yasmin that her brother, a bright sports talent who she adored, walked out of her life years ago without saying why. Is that the whole truth?  And what other secrets is she keeping? 

Right now, they don’t seem to be affecting her too much, as she continues to become one of the most promising graduates at Pierpoint & Co. But we really want to find out her full story, and that’s why we can’t wait for episode three.

You can catch up with Industry on BBC iPlayer.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with their mental health, you can find support and resources on the mental health charity Mind’s website and NHS Every Mind Matters, or access the NHS’ list of mental health helplines and organisations.

For confidential support, you can also call the Samaritans in the UK on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.

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Images: BBC

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Hollie Richardson

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…