As the great Katy Perry once asked, “do you ever feel like a plastic bag, drifting through the wind, wanting to start again?” That line from her song “Firework” serves as the modus operandi for Jay Rosan (Alan Ruck), the VP of Health Operations for Walgreens, who are being courted by Elizabeth Holmes (Amanda Seyfried) in the fourth episode of Hulu’s The Dropout.
Episode 4: Old White Men
Holmes visits the headquarters of Walgreens along with new COO Sunny Balwani (Naveen Andrews) to broker a deal to get Theranos into their stores. Rosan is immediately taken with the concept, but he has to win over Walgreens’ CFO Wade Miquelon (Josh Pais). This leads into a lot of back and forth throughout the episode between Walgreens and Theranos.
One of Wade’s main stipulations is that they are able to get into Theranos’ lab and see what’s actually happening. Naturally, as the machines still do not work, Elizabeth and Sunny do everything in their power to prevent this from happening. Walgreens even hires a man determined to get into the lab, but in the end they are unsuccessful and are drawn to Theranos a way to stay relevant in a post-recession world.
The chemistry between the four executives from Walgreens was actually pretty fun to watch, and turned what could have easily been four very dull roles into something a lot more interesting.
Meanwhile, one of the original Theranos employees, Ian Gibbons (Stephen Fry), is getting frustrated by the constant firing of employees, a lack of information and the work environment. He tries to find out just what Elizabeth and Sunny are up to, and discovers “Project Beta,” a.k.a. the Walgreens pitch. He is immediately concerned about using the technology, that is years away from being ready, on humans. When he voices his concerns, he is fired. However, the rest of the lab team threaten to quit, so Ian is brought back by Sunny, but in a far reduced role.
The episode ends as Elizabeth sits with former Secretary of State under Ronald Reagan, George Schultz (Sam Waterston), as she tries to court him to invest in Theranos.
The first four episodes of The Dropout are now available to stream on Hulu, with new episodes releasing weekly. Be sure to stay tuned to Laughing Place for our recaps of the remaining episodes.