Episode three of the Netflix miniseries Painkiller answers one of the biggest questions viewers like you and I may have when observing the Oxycontin arm of the opioid epidemic unfold.
How was this allowed to happen? We’ll be getting to that.
We begin however with Glen the mechanic, who at the conclusion of our last episode had just chewed through his finger during brunch at the Cracker Barrel. We learn that he overdosed and he’s advised in the ER to undergo detox. When he returns home, he gathers the family, including Ty, the Oxy sharing stepson that was responsible for his injury and his paranoia, as he flushes down his remaining pills. Sadly his pledge doesn’t stick and he’s using before the episode is over.
Our story then takes us back to Curtis Wright, the FDA scientist who was holding up the approval of Oxy because the science didn’t check out. We observe the corruption of this scientist by Richard Sackler and Purdue as they play to his ego and wallet, finally getting him to fold in a hotel room after three days. After Oxy is approved we see Wright diving into his swimming pool with Purdue Oxy cheerleaders rooting him on.
Back on the sales rep circuit we watch Shannon’s journey continue as she puts the hard press on her doctors to sell higher doses of the drug after she learns that her bonus is determined by milligrams and not pills. Outside of an office, she watches the sweet volleyball player she met earlier in the series, fake an injury, crush up the Oxy and snort it, before speeding off. After explaining what happened to Britt, her mentor takes her notes before she can turn in her observations. Sadly, that volleyball player dies and she’s summoned to Purdue Pharma headquarters under unknown circumstances.
Closing out the episode, we get the ghost of Arthur warning Richard of what’s occurring, a montage of oxy deaths in relation to the crack epidemic, and Edi making her case to prosecute Purdue.
What did you see? Let me know in the comments below.
ALSO catch up on what happened in episode 2 HERE
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