Spoilers for Industry Season 2 below.

Industry is on one. The HBO series just finished its superlative sophomore season—for my money, it’s the best thing airing right now—with a true mic-drop moment: After successfully politicking to keep both her job and the London office of investment bank Pierpoint & Company around, Harper Stern (Myha’la Herrold) and her boss Eric Tao (Ken Leung) take an elevator ride that will change Harper’s life forever. As she marches down the hall with Eric, she’s led into a conference room, where she’s presented with her falsified university transcript from the early days of the series’ first season. Essentially Industry’s version of Chekhov’s gun, it’s a long-simmering plot point that creators Mickey Down and Konrad Kay had waiting in the wings for a dramatic reveal. Eric knew about the transcript but was willing to play along with the lie because he saw something of himself in her, but Eric felt the need to stop her Icarus moment before she flew too close to the sun. As such, Harper is fired, effectively immediately, from Pierpoint. 

Considering Harper’s entire life depends upon staying in London (she says going back to New York is a “non-starter”), her firing is one hell of a way to end the season. It evokes the same feelings of how the Breaking Bad creative team would often write themselves into a corner for the challenge of then fighting back out, which is exactly how the two Industry writers feel about this conclusion, with Down telling Complex that “the creative challenge of writing yourself out is kind of thrilling.”

With such a crazy finale, Complex spoke with Down and Kay about how the big reveal came together, how Eric made the decision to take Harper down, the most challenging scene to write, and much more. This interview has been edited for clarity and length.