Industry just aired its best episode yet. The HBO series, now in its sophomore season, quickly established itself as a compelling workplace drama; the first season explored the lives of new recruits into Pierpiont & Company, an investment bank in London’s version of Wall Street. As college graduates jockeyed for long-term positions and placements in the company, Industry turned into a compelling survival of the fittest and an insightful look into the lives of young 20-somethings and how they all manage this high-pressure situation where fortunes can be made, or lost, in seconds.
As Season 2 begins, Harper Stern (Myha’la Herrold) is struggling. After a massive panic attack during the first season’s finale (and a global pandemic that kept her away from the Pierpoint offices), she’s unsure where she stands with her manager Eric (Ken Leung), and with her fellow Pierpoint colleagues. To make matters worse, Pierpoint’s New York office is considering shutting down the London location unless they can produce. With her back against the wall, Harper decides to go big buck hunting, aiming to bag Jesse Bloom (Jay Duplass), an American hedge manager who made so much money off of the pandemic that he’s now known as “Mr. Covid.” And, in the recently aired second episode, Harper bags her buck.
Harper’s sale to Bloom comes in the form of a gripping sequence that is among one of the best directed, best written, and best-edited sequences of the year. Even if you don’t understand every bit of banking jargon, the scene is electric. “We need [it] to feel as exhilarating as a car chase and action sequence,” Industry co-creator Konrad Kay tells Complex. It works; the sequence feels as kinetic as a shootout you’d see in an action movie like Heat but with stock prices.
Complex spoke with Industry’s co-creators, Mickey Down and Konrad Kay, for an expansive conversation around how the sequence came together, how they structured it within the larger arc of the show’s second season, casting Jay Duplass as Jesse Bloom, and much more. Also, the two provided a few of the actual script pages from episode two to illustrate how it came alive from page to screen. Needless to say, spoilers for Industry’s Season 2 are below. This interview has been condensed for length and clarity.