'Industry' on HBO: Show Creators Break Down That First Episode Twist

Warning: Spoilers for Industry Episode 1 ahead...

Industry on HBO had been billed as an ensemble drama focusing on the lives of five new recruits into a London investment bank. By the end of the show's first episode, however, one of those five is dead, suffering what seems to be an aneurysm after pulling one all-nighter too many.

After a number of nights of pill-induced long hours, Hari (Nabhaan Rizwan) passes out in a toilet, and the next thing we know he is being taken away in a body bag, a casualty of the extreme hard work the newbies are expected to put it to get ahead.

Per Industry creators Mickey Down and Konrad Kay, speaking to Newsweek, this early shock death was central to their idea from early on in the process.

"It was pretty early on," Down said, "It was not as cynical as like, 'let us shock the audience.' It was more like...the question that moment asked is what is the cost of doing this job?"

Though Hari's death was always central to the season, the role it played changed as Industry was developed. "There were different versions of it," Down said. "There are versions where the whole first season was sort of about who is the blame for this, with internal investigations in the bank and it formed way more of a part [of the show.]

industry hari death
'Industry' Episode 1 ends with the death of Hari (left). HBO

"But then we asked ourselves what is the actual true to life reaction to something like that happening? In reality, there will be sort of quite superficial changes made, lip service paid, and then it will sort of be swept underneath the rug—after that happened, Harper (Myha'la Herrold) still comes into work, does a trade, and feels great about it."

Kay went into more detail about why they did not follow this internal investigation storyline: "We never really break the POV of the four other characters throughout the show. So to have a storyline where you see how the bank responds to his death through its senior structure would just not feel true to the grammar of the show."

Asked what this death means for the rest of the season, Kay added: "We never really forget about his death as long as it is seen through the perspective of the four remaining graduates.

"The specter of him returns in a graduate prospectus or a piece of art that the bank funds at the Christmas party. His death hangs over the whole season, but in a way that felt to us very true to life.

"When one of your colleagues dies, obviously it is a huge shock to your system, but you still end up having to go to work, and then he is memorialized and people would deal with the grief of something like that in a very personal but often very different way.

"So we tried to just keep it as realistic as we possibly could and make sure that we never forgot about it as writers, but also honored it in a small way rather than some sort of big macro way."

Industry airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on HBO in the U.S. and 9:15 p.m. GMT on BBC Two in the U.K.