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Photo: Amanda Searle/HBO


‘Industry’ episode 5 recap: ‘Learned Behaviour’

Harper tries to reconcile with an ex client on Eric’s behalf.

Industry So Far

Harper celebrated her birthday but it didn’t really bring much fun. The young graduate made a careless error during a transaction that resulted in a huge financial loss. Rather than take responsibility, she only manages to make it worse through her various attempts to remedy the situation. When she finally admits to Eric about her blunder, she learns that a different proposal she pitched to a client compensated for the deficit. Meanwhile, Yasmin and Robert get a little bit closer during a college recruitment event.

[Spoilers Ahead!]

One Last Plea

A recent exposé on Pierpoint & Co. from a former employee has upper management on edge and many of them work offsite the day of the article’s release. Before he heads out, Eric tasks Harper to make one last attempt at convincing Felim Bichan, his ex-client, to bring his business back to the company. Rather than work directly with Eric because of their falling out, Harper will serve as the go between.

When calls and emails are ineffective, Harper turns to social media to track down Bichan’s assistant. They meet at a club where she negotiates some face time in exchange for bottle service. The only catch is that her supervisor, Daria, be in the meeting. Things turn awkward when Harper’s ex shows up and forces his way into VIP.

The next day, Harper lies to Daria about the meeting and sees Bichan by herself at a diner. Bichan applauds her efforts but his feelings towards Eric make him reluctant to go back to Pierpoint. As they are wrapping up, Daria shows up and learns that the company lost Bichan’s business over a personal matter rather than a business one. On the car ride back to the office, she scolds Harper about her behavior and if she continues on this path, she will no longer support her when decision day arrives for the interns.

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Photo: Amanda Searle/HBO

When they arrive, Eric is in a terrible mood. He publicly admonishes Gus for carrying out unauthorized transactions at his desk, even though they all made a profit. When he privately meets with Harper to discuss Bichan, he takes the bad news well but erupts when he finds out Daria knows the reason the high-end client left their business. Harper is brought to tears and after composing herself, takes the rest of the day off.

Working Those Connections

Yasmin and Robert continue their flirtations by texting each other provocative photos. It sucks to be her boyfriend because she’s too busy sexting rather than taking care of their plant. Seb even begins to question their relationship since if they can’t successfully raise a plant together, what about kids?

At work, Yasmin takes the initiative by contacting people within her network for possible opportunities at Pierpoint. She’s able to convince her friend, Maxim, to do business with them. Despite the negative press of the exposé, he still believes the company has stature in the industry.

When she’s back in the office, her supervisor, Kenny, is being chewed out by his inability to bring new business to their department. Lucky for him, she has Maxim’s company interested and the pair set up a dinner meeting. Before the clients arrive, Kenny makes a heartfelt apology to his intern for the way he’s treated her, especially at the new grad dinner. Unfortunately, he has too much to drink and rubs everyone the wrong way. If Maxim and Yasmin were not friends, Kenny’s actions could have jeopardized the deal.

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Photo: Amanda Searle/HBO

An Unlikely Father Figure

Yasmin isn’t the only one Robert’s bonding with. After his first overnight business trip, his usually callous manager, Clement, takes a greater interest in the young graduate. They learn they have a lot more in common than they thought. As a nice gesture, Clement takes Robert to be fitted for a custom suit and pays for it. At the tailor, Robert is surprised to discover his boss’ expensive habit.

The Verdict

“Learned Behaviour” is an entrancing episode all the way through. It’s not necessarily anything profound or deep but it’s hard to turn away. All the sex, drama, deceit, and backstabbing make for watchable television.

The one on one between Harper and Eric is intense. Maybe all that mentorship is fake and Eric overlooked all his protégé’s red flags because he wanted someone beholden to him. However, there is a subtle feeling of regret when he notices he locked the door to the meeting room.

We gain another peek at Harper’s backstory through her interactions with her ex, Todd. Her brother’s passing was a traumatic experience and despite not showing it, it is an event she hasn’t been able to move on from. It’s the reason why she dropped out of college and she partially blames Todd.

Ken Leung’s portrayal of Eric has made the character the company bad ass but after this episode, Clement might be in the running as well. We already know of his unorthodox (at least for an adult) urinating method but we see he’s had the same hard upbringing that Robert had. He also has the line of the episode with “It’s only an addiction if you can’t afford it”. Perhaps it’s a glimpse into Robert’s future if he stays at Pierpoint.

The focus on all the bad behavior and drama makes this episode of Industry a captivating watch.

Industry airs Monday nights on HBO.

'Industry' episode 5 recap: 'Learned Behaviour'
Industry E 5: 'Learned Behaviour'
The focus on all the bad behavior and drama makes this episode of Industry a captivating watch.
Reader Rating0 Votes
An intense scene between Harper and Eric after an ex client refuses to come back.
Clement and Robert starting to bond.
For a show focused on the new grads, the management characters are outperforming the leads.

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