Episode 6: Iron Sisters
The episode kicks into high gear with Elizabeth’s childhood neighbor Richard Fuisz (William H. Macy) continuing his almost obsessive pursuit of Theranos that saw him get into a legal battle in last week’s episode. He calls John Carreyrou (Ebon Moss-Bachrach), a reporter at The Wall Street Journal, to attempt to get the story out there. It’s quickly apparent that more sources are needed to corroborate his information.
We’re then introduced to a new character, Erika Cheung (Camryn Mi-Young Kim), who is beginning her first day working at Theranos as a lab associate. She meets Elizabeth straight away, and while in awe of everything, is also immediately skeptical of some of the company’s practices. One of the first people she meets is Tyler Shultz (Dylan Minnette), the grandson of key Theranos board member, George Shultz (Sam Waterston). They quickly become friends and close confidants.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth is giving a speech at Stanford, the university she dropped out of in order to form Theranos. She is seen as this big success story, but the skeptical Richard Fuisz sits in the audience with Phyllis Gardner (Laurie Metcalf), one of the first people Elizabeth went to with the idea for her machine, who swiftly told her it wouldn’t work. The two team up to try and dig up some more information on Theranos, which leads them to the home of Ian Gibbons' widow, Rochelle (Kate Burton).
Erika and Tyler notice testing discrepancies and immediately go to lower lab management, where they are quickly and rudely told that is the way things are done at Theranos. Following this denial, Tyler decides to go over their head and make Elizabeth aware of the problem, which unbeknownst to him, she is also deeply a part of. Elizabeth takes note and ends up moving Erika to a different area of the lab, the area where the Walgreens tests are actually done. There she notices that many of the tests are diluted and that incorrect results are being sent to real patients, as well as the key discovery that they are really using Siemens machines to test the blood.
A party is being thrown to celebrate Elizabeth’s 30th birthday, and Sunny (Naveen Andrews) has once again become annoyed with her lack of love and openness towards him. At this party, Tyler attempts to tell his grandfather about the problems at Theranos, but is instead cornered by Elizabeth, who in coldly denying everything, affirms Erika’s suspicions that Elizabeth knows exactly what’s going on.
Erika and Tyler decide to draft up an email on the situation to send to Elizabeth, and after Erika, on the verge of a panic attack, comes clean about how much she depends on her job, Tyler decides to send the email from his account. Regardless, they both end up being fired from Theranos. Following this, they both go Tyler’s grandpa to convince him to put some pressure on Elizabeth. Unfortunately, the senior Shultz fell too far under Elizabeth’s spell, and he did not believe them.
The episode comes to a close as one of the senior lab technicians gets into a car with Fuisz to reveal some details on Theranos, John Carreyrou pitches the story to his seniors, and Tyler and Erika get ready to call Carreyrou and fulfill their whistleblowing destiny.
The first six 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.