Industry Creators on Season 2 Finale

Warn!For the Season 2 finale, spoilers Industry

The creators of HBO’s sleeper hit Industry, Mickey Down and Konrad Kay, have heard your gripes about the show’s confusing financial jargon, but they promise that the payoff at the end of Season 2 is worth it. “The more you lean in, the more you’ll get from it, but you can still enjoy it even if you don’t really understand anything going on,” Down tells TIME. The intricate complexities of capitalism aside, the plot is relatively easy to follow: Harper, the anti-hero of the series, played by Myha’la Herrold, will do literally anything to prove herself worthy of a position at Pierpoint & Co. investment bank—no matter the cost. All of Harper’s deceit and lies catch up with her by the end Season 2.

The season’s drama picks up in episode six when the investment Harper made for Jesse Bloom (Jay Duplass) doesn’t go the way they expected, and now he’s hemorrhaging money. Harper tries to cheat the bank to prove her loyalty to Jesse Bloom. The trade doesn’t work in Bloom’s favor, and it turns out Danny Van Deventer (a.k.a. Alex Alomar Akpobome played DVD and suspended Harper from the desk. Harper teams up with her old manager, Eric Tao (Ken Leung), and Rishi Ramdani (Sagar Radia), to try and jump ship and move to a different bank because they know that their jobs aren’t safe with the impending merger of the New York and London branches of the bank.

Eric tells them they have a meeting with a bank, which is a “sure thing,” but when they take the meeting, their old coworker Daria Greenock (Freya Mavor), makes a surprise appearance and ruins their chances. The season ends with Harper “accidentally” committing insider trading and then using her sexual assault at the hands of a client as leverage to keep her job at Pierpoint. Harper has confided in Eric when it’s convenient to her, but in the end, Eric uses one of her early lies to fire her. After their jobs are secured, Eric brings her to a conference room, and right before they enter, he says, “I’m doing this for you.” The other person in the room reveals that Eric told them about her forging her college transcript to get the job and fires her.

TIME interviewed the creators to talk about season finale. Mad MenAnd Succession references, and what they’re looking forward to if the show is renewed for a third season.

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A cohesive whole

Jay Duplass as Jesse Bloom (Nick Strasburg—Courtesy of HBO)

Jay Duplass as Jesse Bloom

Nick Strasburg—Courtesy of HBO

The creators said they love incorporating throwbacks to Season 1—if you look closely, you’ll find Easter eggs, including a book they use to snort coke off of, which was written by Greg Grayson from the first season. Kay believes that pulling at any of these strands could help the show feel cohesive. Both of them thought about Daria’s delicious return and decided that episode seven was the right time to make it happen. “We always thought, what if Harper was to see her mirror image somewhere else, and then we got to episode seven, and we needed this reveal to happen that Jesse hadn’t stopped out on his FastAide short,” Down explains to TIME. “It naturally felt like the perfect time for Daria to have a revenge… it sort of speaks to the consequences of this corporate machination stuff.”

TV reference references sprinkled

Ken Leung in the Season 2 finale of 'Industry' (Nick Strasburg—Courtesy of HBO)

Ken Leung during the Season 2 finale on ‘Industry.

Nick Strasburg—Courtesy of HBO

Also, they made calls to work dramas. Mad Men And Succession. They invoke the Holy Spirit at the conclusion of episode 6. Mad Men when Eric tells Harper to “shut the door and have a seat” as they plan their exit. That quote is the name of the show’s Season 3 finale, when the principal characters leave their original firm to found a new one. “There’s loads of stuff that we’ve watched and gets digested by Mickey and me since we started watching TV together at 18. Now, we’re doing our version of something that’s kind of original but also shows all of the influences of the stuff we love.”

TIME hears from Down that Down has seen several episodes Mad MenThey realized the essence of their story is simple. “I think some of the Industry episodes in this season feel very complex, but they’re actually very, very simple, and then what me and Konrad are doing is putting all our bells and whistles [on].” He adds, “I feel like actually us learning that it’s OK to have a pretty simple story structure was a huge part of why this season works better.”

Harper’s fate in the finale

Myha'la Herrold faces an uncertain future (Nick Strasburg—Courtesy of HBO)

Myha’la Herrold is facing an uncertain future

Nick Strasburg—Courtesy of HBO

Harper can seem to solve any problems she encounters for a while, although one of her first lies comes back after Eric uses his back pocket as an ace to free Harper from Pierpoint. They were both thick as thieves and didn’t mind getting dirty when they tried to push Adler out of their bank job. Eric fired her on their first day together back at the trading floor. Eric did not fire her for insider trading, but rather because she falsified her college transcript.

“We thought it was the right thing for Eric to do from a character point of view,” Kay says. “We liked how ambivalent his whole decision-making process is around Harper in the last two episodes. I think there are clues as to his end game with her from as early as episode 6.” He adds, “When [Eric] says, ‘I’m doing this for you,’ I think 50% of the audience will think he’s doing this because she’s her own worst enemy, and she’s committed something illegal, and she needs to get out of the bank. The other 50% might think she’s been a thorn in their side for two seasons, and he needs to get rid of her—and both are true.”

Next season: What’s next?

Yasmin and Charles as the season comes to a close (Simon Ridgway—Courtesy of HBO)

As the season draws to an end, Yasmin & Charles

Simon Ridgway—Courtesy of HBO

The creators have already begun work on Season 3. “The joy of doing a third season after you set up characters in the first two is that you can smash characters that you haven’t before together,” Down tells TIME. To save the FX desk from being subsumed into the New York office, the viewers will see that the CPS desk and FX desk merge at the end. They have a number of questions and threads to resolve. Is Yasmin going to return to the bank again? While they don’t know the answers yet, they promise that they’re working on it. Down seems confident they’ll get to answer them when he says: “It’s going to be massive.”

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