First time HR does anything sexual with Carol? Check.

First time HR threatens her with physical harm, not merely career-death and/or criminal charges? Check.

First time HR uses the “I’m kidding, can’t you take a joke” defense with Carol? I’m not 100% sure, but on-panel, at least, I think that’s a check.

Not that any of it matters right now except to show the reader—and to prove to HR himself—how thorough his hold over Carol is at this point. The only bad thing he’s not doing here is ignoring Carol’s signals, and that’s only because he doesn’t have to. She’s not resisting at all. She’s so caught up in separation anxiety, she’s at risk of initiating intimacy herself. He is almost her entire world now, her sole source of reassurance, and he’s leaving. It is fortunate for her, in the long run, that his only real lust is for power.

From the script: “He hasn’t kissed her yet, but as soon as he does, Carol will fully return it… This page is HR and Carol’s perverse relationship in miniature. His unbalanced emotions are all over the map, and this smart woman long ago made the foolish choices that shackle her emotional reality to his unpredictable moods.”