Netflix Painkiller episode 6 recap: What’s in a Name?
The Miami sales conference debacle is enough of a wake-up call for Shannon to finally turn on Purdue. She takes all her documents, emails, training material, and more straight to Edie and agrees to help their case.
Thanks to Shannon, Edie and Brownlee’s team now have more than enough to go after Purdue. But how do you legally prosecute a company that big? They start by making cases against three of the main guys, Sackler’s “firewall” of Michael Friedman, Howard Udell, and Dr. Paul Goldenheim. Brownlee already went to the DOJ and White House to get approval for this, so it’s real.
Of course, Richard is still in denial and doesn’t want to face the reality that someone could go to jail. He and Purdue hire the richest lawyers money can buy, including Mary Jo White, the first woman to be the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York; Howard Shapiro, former general counsel for the FBI; and Rudolph William Louis Giuliani, yes, that “Rudy” Giuliani.
Edie believed everything would finally work out, that they would make a real dent in Purdue and affect change. But that’s not what happened. Richard Sackler called Rudy Giuliani, who contacted the DOJ, then the White House, then Brownlee. A settlement with Purdue is reached. It’s hardly a slap on the wrist. Edie is disappointed and feels supremely betrayed by Brownlee.
Giuliani secured an agreement that would keep Purdue’s top executives out of prison and allow them to continue selling Oxy. The deal also made it harder for prosecutors to bring criminal charges against the company. So despite Brownlee bringing criminal charges against Purdue’s execs, it ended up amounting to, well, nothing behind a payment on Purdue’s part. Striking that deal also meant they had to bury all of their evidence and seal it away.
On the personal side of things, Edie finally reads all of her brother’s letters. This ordeal with Purdue made her realize that her brother isn’t evil, and a lot of her anger toward him was misplaced. She visits him at the jail again, and they make amends.
Shannon gets a visit from a seriously pissed-off Britt, who is obviously facing some fallout from everything Shannon turned over to Edie. Britt slaps Shannon in the face a few times, claiming she’s “not a bad person.” I guess that’s the end of that friendship. Shannon is probably way better off.
Elsewhere, Glen is doing much better after his horrible night of withdrawal. He’s more than 30 days sober and is slowly earning his way back into Lily’s life. He apologizes to Tyler and makes it clear to him that none of this was his fault. But even though he’s come a long way, Lily isn’t quite ready to let Glen move back in yet.
One night, Glen is staying at a hotel when he hears his neighbors blasting music. They don’t hear him pounding on the wall to quiet down, so he walks over there himself. He finds several people knocked out, either dead or unconscious, after overdosing on…you guessed it, Oxy.
Glen sees they left behind several pills. It’s a serious test for his sobriety, and, tragically, Glen can’t resist. He steals all of their pills and falls hard back into his addiction. Not long after, Glen overdoses in his car and dies, leaving a bunch of strangers to find his body.
On a slightly more positive note, Edie finishes her story in the present. She’s told attorneys Brianna Ortiz and Bill Havens everything she knows about Purdue and wishes them luck. Then she leaves to see her brother, who has since gotten out of jail and appears to be doing well for himself!
The episode ends on a somewhat strange note, with Richard Sackler getting beaten to a bloody pulp by his vision of Arthur Sackler. His version of Arthur is livid at Richard for settling and cozying up to “swamp creature” Rudy Giuliani, as he feels doing that will ruin his beloved legacy. Then we get a few black cards explaining the aftermath and an update on Purdue.
- It is estimated that over 300,000 people have died over the past two decades from overdoses involving prescription painkillers like OxyContin.
- Over 40 people die in the US from prescription opioid overdoses every day.
- As of March 2023, final approval for Purdue Pharma’s bankruptcy is still pending.
- No member of the Sackler family has been criminally charged in connection with the marketing of OxyContin or any overdose deaths involving the drug.
- The Sackler family “is believed” to be worth over 11 billion dollars.
Written by Maddy Lennon
This piece was written during the 2023 WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes. Without the labor of the writers and actors currently on strike, the series being covered here wouldn’t exist.