This week we step out of the office and spend the weekend with our young graduates as they approach RIF day, Reduction in Force day where their graduate programme comes to an end and a lucky few will be offered permanent positions at PierPoint & Co.
The grads are floundering as they fear their tenure at the bank is coming to an end, they have been given then compensation cheques of £25k each apart from Harper who has been permitted to keep the £50k Eric gave her the previous week as long as she keeps her mouth shut about it to the others, which she manages for about five minutes before blurting it out at Yasmin’s very strange sushi party. The purpose of this party is unclear but everyone seems pretty welcoming of the distraction before RIF day so the gloves are off, hair is down and relationships are tense.
The relationships are what provides this show with some heart against the stoney, muted backdrop of financial banking so it was great to leave all the jargon at the garden gate and enjoy some one on one time at Yasmin’s luxurious London pad. Following the sordid encounter in the bathroom with Robert the previous week, Yasmin is losing control of everything. Her mother has split from her father who is apparently the source of Yasmin and her mother’s lavish lifestyle and after losing the client she managed to secure, her future at Pierpoint is out of her hands as well. Yasmin has proven to be one of the most complex characters in the show, so much of her life is quite ambiguous, from her ability to speak multiple languages to her twisted sexual desires, it’s unclear what she wants from life. She doesn’t seem hugely interested in finance most of the time and more on being liked and flirting with co-workers, but she is clearly intelligent and capable underneath the billowing blouses and high waisted skirts. Unlike Harper, who is very much her opposite who has been taken under Daria’s wing following Eric’s exit. Harper will apparently do anything to avoid being sent home to America and when Daria asks for half the money back following her blabbering to the others about it, she disappears to a casino to do the irresponsible thing. If she can’t have it – no one can.
Yasmin loosens the strings this week, she attends the party in her running gear and berates Sebastian’s ineptitude at being a functioning adult in front of the whole party, when he is actually kind of trying for once in his life. She also finally lets herself go for Robert, who originally paired off with Harper for some alone time but Yasmin directed them both into a threesome with her. Harper is clearly into Robert and isn’t interested in Yasmin’s games at all, after complying for a short while she bows out, she doesn’t want to be with Robert in this way and his willingness to do whatever anyone tells him, despite how depraved it may be, he loses both girls as a result. After losing Usman as his one and only client and being told he is good for a laugh but not a reliable financial consultant, Robert is faced with the fact that he has quite literally snorted his chances at a fixed position away. Especially after Clement, who arrives to work with a bloody stain on his shirt from his latest fix is forcibly retired and sent home from Pierpoint for good, Robert doesn’t have anyone left in his corner.
Relationships and boundaries continue to be tested as our graduates face their last dance and an uncertain future. The strengths in the writing continue to come from the complex characters and their struggles with juggling the drama of young adult-hood. Where you don’t want to stop partying and having fun because of what that might mean for your friendships but where you are also perhaps outgrowing that lifestyle, or recognise the need to move on for the sake of your future. Or you might end up like Robert. Or Yasmin. In a world where no-one will take you seriously.
The season finale will bring some upset and closure for some. A future in the high stakes world of financial banking may not be the right road for them, and how much more is Harper going to have to lie now that Eric isn’t there to fight her battles?