After three years of delays, Walgreens is getting antsy, so Elizabeth and Sunny have to find a way to get the Wellness Centers up and running within six months in the latest episode of the Hulu/Star Original Series, “The Dropout.” Meanwhile, her she’s still suing her childhood neighbor over a patent, so Dr. Fuisz has countersued and he’s bringing Ian Gibbons in to testify. Ian finds himself stuck in an enviable position and ends up making a drastic choice that is not the least bit shocking, but the saddest part of the series so far. But, as time moves forward, everything at Theranos is coming close to crashing down.
From a dramatic standpoint, this is the best episode of the series so far. It’s building to the obvious crescendo of multiple whistleblowers taking the company down, and in this episode, we get to meet one of the most prominent. I can’t wait to see how this series continues to portray Tyler Schultz. I’ve followed his story for years since I learned about the illegal doings at Theranos, and I want to see how he is depicted. I’m also intrigued to see if they add in the other lesser-known whistleblowers, or if Schultz is our only window into that avenue of the downfall.
The hardest part of this episode to watch was Ian Gibbons’ struggles and depression that led to his suicide. Stephen Fry captured his vulnerability perfectly. It’s unclear how much of his depression was caused by the position Theranos put him in versus his own life choices. It’s also unclear how much Theranos and the decision to re-employ him but keep him at a desk for three years contributed to his alcoholism. But a chemist knows what a mixture alcohol and Tylenol can do to the liver. I don’t know if Elizabeth Holmes is liable for his death or not, but if the events of the show are exactly what happened, I can’t help but feel for him and his family.
This is one of the best limited series of the year. The subject matter is the right level of mature to keep an adult enthralled while not going overboard along the way. It’s one of the best casted, well acted series I’ve ever seen on Hulu. I’m happy that it’s available on Star around the world and hope shows like this get added to Disney+ in the United States going forward in some format.
Ranking: 4.5 stars out of 5
What did you think of this episode of “The Dropout?”