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Industry - 2.05 - Kitchen Season - Review

1 Sept 2022

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It's that time of the year again... not, not Christmas in Industry world (although technically, it is), but time for our protagonists to unravel, yet again. For once, this isn't about the insanely high stakes at Pierpoint, but rather very personal matters and estranged (or even unknown) family members.

But let's start at Pierpoint first, where Eric finds himself the proud owner of a brand new office, which is being decorated right in front of him, by a very disgruntled looking assistant. Eric already barely seems like himself, and it's only been approximately 5mn since he was "promoted". Harper, who doesn't seem to feel as guilty as one would expect, almost immediately finds herself in the awkward position of having to ask Eric for something. Yasmin and Kathie are going on a trip to Berlin to transition Anna from one to the other, since Yasmin is leaving FX for PWM. Harper, who made friends with Anna during the last trip, is desperate to get a spot since she believes her brother is in Berlin and wants to seize the work trip opportunity to find him.
So far, we've had Harper's version of what happened with John Daniel (it's going to be really hard for me not to call him JD as in John Dorian): he was a tennis star, who imploded and simply disappeared, leaving Harper alone with their abusive mother. She's been looking for signs of him ever since, and his absence makes itself felt through the shrood of darkness that almost constantly surrounds Harper whenever she lets herself think about it. After dragging Yasmin and Kathie to a specific restaurant she believes JD might be working at, she finally finds him doing the dishes. Their reunion is a far cry from what Harper was likely hoping for: JD doesn't seem particularly happy to see her, and tries to ditch her several times before caving and making her breakfast after a wild night out during which his hard earned sobriety slips.
When they finally start talking in earnest, JD reveals hiw own side of the story: his mother put an insane amount of pressure on him (if he didn't win, he didn't need to bother coming back home), but as it turns out, so did Harper. In her wish to "see him succeed", he felt smothered, and bounced.
"Maybe you just don't like what you're looking at."
Elsewhere in Berlin, Yasmin isn't faring much better. She's using her father's appartment as a pied à terre for their work trip, and to reminisce about her childhood. This includes rooting around for information about her nanny, who turns out to be one of the women her father mentioned, and who signed an NDA... and, more importantly, has a child that Yasmin knew nothing about. Be careful what you wish for, and I don't think finding a new half-sibling under the Christmas tree was what Yasmin had in mind when she tried to reconnect with her father.
When Harper, Yasmin, and Kathie show up to the meeting with Anna, both Harper and Yasmin are quasi catatonic following the revelations they've had with their respective families. Kathie's the only one trying, and succeeding, to charm Anna. Speaking of Rican and FastAid, Aurore, Gus's new boss, is moving on to a position of higher importance, and he doesn't seem that enthusiastic about following her.

Finally, at the end of our little trypic, Rob is... spiralling. After learning that his former mentor died and he won't be able to attend the funeral because of a recruitment dinner during which Rob plays the perfect elitist Pierpoint asshole in order to convince people to join, he drops by his estranged father's bar. We learn that his mother is dead, and his father has another family, and Rob's hard earned sobriety gets shot. Rob hurts my heart at the best of times but seeing him wake up on the side of a street, covered in blood, just about did me in.
When everyone heads back to the office, things have shifted (and I'm not just saying this because the season is halfway done). Rob is broken, Yasmin's lost, and Harper has forfeited any softness she'd recuperated through her roommates or Danny. In fact, Danny's hit with the brunt of Harper's rejection from her brother, as he asks her how the trip went. To be fair, asking her if the reason she's being cold is because she slept with someone else was... not great, Danny.

All in all, despite everything that happened, this episode felt a little weaker than the rest of the season, but it set up a lot of storylines, so I'm excited to see what's next (not if it involves Rob being in pain though, enough of that, please and thank you). As usual, sound off in the comments!