Thursday, March 3, 2022

REVIEW: 'The Dropout' - The Transformation of Theranos and Elizabeth Takes Many Risky Lies to Pull Off in 'Green Juice'

Hulu's The Dropout - Episode 1.03 "Green Juice"

As Theranos rapidly expands, Elizabeth's technology struggles to keep pace and members of the board become increasingly wary of her secretive behavior. Sunny considers joining the company.

"Green Juice" was written by Hilary Bettis and directed by Michael Showalter

Elizabeth has to be perfect. She can't give anyone any reason to doubt her. That was the advice she was given. She has to be on top of everything so no one can deny acknowledging her success. And yet, the results of her company don't back up her claims. She can't answer simple questions from members of the board. They each have a stake in this company. They want it to succeed. They value and respect Elizabeth's leadership. She views it as a war broken down by gender lines. It is that to a certain extent. She admires the men who have brought the world into the 21st century. She is thrilled by the release of the iPhone. She shows more joy and emotion at that than anything else. She demands excellence and is enraged by the employees who can't deliver it. She found success once by lying. She falsified the prototype's ability to work. That lured in the pharmaceutical industry. Their interests have been piqued by her product. She has to deliver. That's the only way she can change the world. That has been her ambition from a young age. She admires her peers who don't know what they will do with their lives. They are accepting their own smallness. They don't want to operate on a grand scale with a magnitude of repercussions as a result of their actions. Instead, they are finding out what they like. Elizabeth has never had that freedom. She has put this pressure on herself for a long time. It's even gotten to the point where she believes she has to be someone else in order to achieve that. Again, that's partly due to the discrimination she faces as a woman. She has to always consider how she looks. She can't be timid and quiet. She must be assertive and take risks. That's what makes her a fighter. She is willing to do anything for this company. That includes lying to her board. People are so enamored by her and what she has already achieved that they aren't willing to look too closely at the actual details. She isn't close to landing any contracts. The machine doesn't work. It's not ready for human trials. She is forcing that to happen though. She takes the machine out into the field. She gives it to terminal cancer patients. She justifies it as all being necessary. No one can be concerned about the immoral issues at play. This is how a revolution starts. That's what she has always believed. She has to convince herself as well. In the moment, she leads with conviction. She also dissects her behavior and how to do the same things more effectively. That's chilling. It centers around her voice. She fixates on that. That's the crucial detail. It's not where her focus should be.

Elizabeth maintains her spot as CEO of Theranos. The board is ready to vote her out. She is too young and inexperienced. She didn't believe she could go to them with the truth about the product's failures. They've invested a lot of money. They believe in her idea. She has blown through too many deadlines. It's better to bring someone new in who can oversee the development. That way this company can be run by someone reputable. Elizabeth is told her employees don't respect her. They admire her as an idea. In person, they question what she is actually contributing. That too motivates the transformation she undergoes. It's what she believes to be necessary. Until then, she wants to cut down on any dissent that forms. That includes keeping the various departments separate from one another. A new team of engineers and developers are brought in. They can start all over without any of the baggage from Elizabeth's former choices. It's an environment Edmond and Rakesh can no longer tolerate. Meanwhile, the office space and overall vibe is different than what Ian was originally excited about. That's part of a growing company. The scale is quickly becoming impressive. It offers a lot of appearances of greatness. It's all built on the lies Elizabeth tells. She is helped too. Sunny sees how draining this job is. He wants her to take better care of herself. He needs that so they can have a functional relationship. He is intrigued by her company. And yet, he and Richard are mostly annoyed their expertise in the field isn't respected. They feel entitled to having an opinion on what Elizabeth is doing. She at least respects that from Sunny. He presents as the solution to all her problems. They scheme together to keep her in charge and continue fooling the board. That's what reignites their spark. It's a toxic relationship. One fueled by their desire to make up for past mistakes by digging themselves in even deeper. Sunny knows the team is ten years behind schedule. Elizabeth can't fulfill the promises she's made. She can still keep up good appearances. Sunny's backstory is irrelevant but good looking on paper. He offers the understanding of stability while ensuring Elizabeth has more time to control this endeavor. She is empowered to the point where she is comfortable suing Richard for stealing the patent. It's all complicated. She forges that bold path. Again, it's necessary to achieve the scale and ambition of her childhood dreams. It's all built on faulty lies that can't withstand much scrutiny. She knows how to manipulate the board even though she's mostly oblivious as to how the Apple Store employee is annoyed with her.