The wheels finally come off the bus for Elizabeth Holmes and Theranos as the federal government finally steps in and shuts them down in the finale of the limited series, “The Dropout.” In this final episode, Erika Cheung finally reports the company’s devious practices to a federal office who finds enough in its tour of the labs to shut the company down. Tyler Shultz comes clean to his grandfather about his role in leaking secrets to “The Wall Street Journal” permanently damaging their relationship. And Elizabeth and Sunny try to ensure the other will take the fall for the company’s misdeeds.
I really hope a lot of the events of this episode actually happened. I know the story behind this company’s rise and fall is wild and some of it is “stranger than fiction,” but there are so many things here that I want to be true because it will truly expose Holmes and Balwani for how little they cared about even each other, much less their customers. Balwani’s conversations with lawyers to make sure Holmes gets the blame, Holmes and Balwani trying to threaten the other with repercussions if they don’t accept each other’s plans, Holmes calling a secret board meeting while Balwani was asleep to say he’s resigning and taking the blame, and Holmes trying to get out of the house they shared while Balwani realizes he was nothing more than tool for her for the past 12 years are the actions of some truly evil people. Maybe they are dramatizations for the show, but if true, it’s incredibly telling for how bad they really are.
Holmes was convicted in October 2021 and, as of the release of this series, is currently awaiting sentencing. Balwani’s trial began in the middle of this limited series being released. Erika Cheung started a group called Ethics in Entrepreneurship which calls out the many problems with the business tactics at Theranos. Tyler Shultz has worked with Cheung and has started his own company called Flux Biosciences. Meanwhile, George Shultz never apologized to his grandson, but admitted before his passing in 2021 that Tyler had done the right thing. That’s just five of the characters in this series and they had some of the wildest lives you will ever know in reality.
This is one of the wildest stories you’ll ever hear, and it’s all based on a true story. Elizabeth Holmes may have had the best of intentions when she started Theranos but her greed and her inability to accept failure as a teaching tool led to her downfall and her company’s downfall. It leads to one of the best limited series I’ve seen in a long time. I would’ve been hooked to every episode if it were completely fictional. Add in the factual elements and it is excellent. The casting was amazing. The suspense, even if you know the eventual outcome, was spectacular. I can’t say enough good things about this series.
Episode: 4.5 stars out of 5
Series: 4 stars out of 5
What did you think of “The Dropout?”