The Dropout: Stephen Fry puts on an acting clinic

The Dropout continued today with it’s fifth episode, and the walls continued to close in on Theranos and Elizabeth Holmes, with Walgreens demanding a finished blood testing machine with a hard deadline of September set.

This is difficult because no such machine exists yet.

Meanwhile Elizabeth continued her legal war with her neighbor, Richard (played by William H. Macy) and had investigators outside of his house. He would end up serving a subpoena to Ian who started stressing out immediately. This did open the door to meet counsel for Theranos played by the wonderful Michaela Watkins.

And with all of this, Elizabeth kept ducking responsibility and accountability. But even she had to meet with some of the lawyers including David (played by the also wonderful Kurtwood Smith) that wanted her to settle the lawsuit.

Throughout all this Sunny was absolutely losing it, and wanted to crack open a Siemens machine to see how it worked. Elizabeth refused. And Sunny snapped.

Elizabeth would make it up to him with the most bizarre and awkward seduction dance we’ve ever seen. It was weird, but Amanda Seyfried sold the heck out of it. But Sunny revealed the company was losing money and brought up the possibility of quitting the business and the relationship.

We then got news that Uncle Ron died. Who he was is not important. But he provided another excuse for Elizabeth to escape her responsibilities. She approached her mom about quitting but her mom shot the idea down (she doesn’t know about the problems inside Theranos).

Then we got to see Kurtwood Smith vs. William H. Macy in a deposition. Watching these two vets together was a treat. I wish it could have been a longer scene. But we would get more towards the end of the episode.

Elizabeth ultimately decided to open the Siemens machine. But Sunny was already ahead of her and was running software with Theranos branding. And Linda told Ian to pretend to be an alcoholic to get out of testifying. Ian actually went for it with his wife’s guidance but remember that Ian actually likes working. It was a significant emotional loss for him.

And he killed himself. Stephen Fry really crushed this role. This whole cast has been great, but you’ve got to highlight him here.

While Elizabeth seemed disturbed by Ian’s death, her main takeaway is that she would win the lawsuit because he could no longer testify. Amanda Seyfried crushed this part too.

Our episode ends with the Walgreens launch and a bouncy house party.

The Dropout continues to be one of the best shows on TV for this very reason. First class acting yields first class results.

I’ll see you next week.


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