Dopesick — Episode 5, The Whistleblower Review

We’ll Pay Cash

It’s 2002 and we see a bunch of young children get off a school bus, waving to their parents, except one, no-one is there to meet him, but he’s expecting there to be. Then we see Marianne Skolek, Erin Dangler (“Seduction & Snacks”, “Take a Stan”), selecting flowers for her daughters funeral.

As the child is playing in the background, he says mummy was never the same since she started taking those pills, that Oxy. Her mum is shocked and starts looking into the whole thing.

For two years, Skolek does everything she can to raise awareness on the effects of Oxy, she creates a website, calls the FDA, DEA and every Attorney General she can find, but no-one wants to know.

That is until, in 2004, she receives a phone call from Rick Mountcastle, Peter Sarsgaard (“Interrogation (TV)”, “The Survivor”), and Randy Ramseyer, John Hoogenakker (“Castle Rock (TV)”, “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (TV)”).

Dropping back to 1999 and we see Dr. Samuel Finnix, Michael Keaton (“American Assassin”, “ Spider-Man: Homecoming “), going across the country, lying to doctors to get more Oxy, he’s now up to 400mg per day.

Betsy Mallum, Kaitlyn Dever (“Last Man Standing (TV)”, “Monsterland (TV)”), meanwhile, is stealing her mothers jewellery to buy Oxy, still from the woman at her AA meetings. When her parents find out, all hell breaks loose, Betsy ends up in rehab, her parents can’t get the jewellery back without pressing charges.

Richard Sackler, Michael Stuhlbarg (“ The Shape of Water”, “ Doctor Strange “), is trying to be named President of Purdue, this will allow him to cut through the red tape, go round the family politics and make decisions quicker. He has to promise all sorts of people all sorts of things, but he gets there.

Rick and Randy are desperately trying to find their whistleblower and think they’ve found her when they meet Maureen Sara, Audrey Moore (“Better Call Saul (TV)”, “Godless (TV)”), a former secretary of Head of Legal Howard Udell, Brendan Patrick Connor (“Joker”, “Office Uprising”).

She wrote a report on people abusing Oxy, snorting it, getting round the time-release system etc. She sent it to all the higher-ups, including Richard Sackler. She was told to destroy all copies, which she did, and later got hooked on Oxy after a car accident and was fired from Purdue for being a drug addict.

Billy Cutler, Will Poulter (“Midsommar”, “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch”), meanwhile, now driving a Porsche, is seeing more and more people abusing Oxy. He’s putting it in his reports but there’s no response from anyone.

When Samuel is eventually caught with his copious amounts of Oxy and sent to rehab, he calls Billy and asks to see him. Billy feels bad, Samuel has lost his medical licence, he cries and comes clean about everything. But that’s not why Samuel called him

However, things go wrong and by the end, Rick and Randy are still looking for a whistleblower after Maureen relapses because of the stress, whilst Purdue offer some $84 million in cash for some new premises.

The blatant disregard for human life is appalling here. It’s obvious Purdue knew the drug was addictive, that they knew what was going on with it, yet just ignored it, chasing the money, more, more, more, the green eyed monster.

Originally published at



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