Thursday, March 31, 2022

REVIEW: 'The Dropout' - Elizabeth and Sunny Viciously Target Those Seeking to Reveal the Truth About Theranos in 'Heroes'

Hulu's The Dropout - Episode 1.07 "Heroes"

Under intense scrutiny from the Wall Street Journal, Elizabeth and Sunny double down on defense. Tyler and Erika face a difficult choice.

"Heroes" was written by Elizabeth Heldens and directed by Erica Watson

Elizabeth's acclaim is so impressive for someone at such a young age. So many people with success and fame wish to admire what she has done. They want to be associated with her. They are captivated by the story. They have no reason to doubt she is revolutionizing the world. It fits into the overall desire to improve the health care system in this country. Elizabeth is committing so much harm though. She believes she is above criticism. She has insulated herself so much she believes she can eliminate that from her worldview entirely. Instead, she can build a corporate culture all about celebrating her. Of course, it's all a performance. She has designed herself to be this way. After awhile, it's no longer her acting like she belongs. She truly has become this character. She forged it herself. Part of it was driven by Sunny. That relationship became so personal and toxic. She trusted him completely from such an early age. He was manipulative. They both bring those ugly traits out of each other. The staff receives the vitriol much more frequently from Sunny. However, Elizabeth lies and cruelly cuts down dissent whenever it suits her. People want to believe she has nothing to do with the scandals looming around Theranos. They want the fantasy of her being a success from a young age. If she is proven to be a con artist, then they were ultimately fooled into believing her. It's a personal relationship for the investors. They got to interact with Elizabeth Holmes. They saw her up close and believed in the company she founded. On the ground, people just want the best health results. They are desperate to better understand what's happening inside their bodies. They want to be proactive about anything that could concern their doctor. They can be gifted with information. That's what Theranos provides. That can have dire effects though. Treatments need to be as accurate as possible. Any mistake could turn deadly. Theranos has a responsibility to offer the truth to the patients. Instead, they want to present the best numbers. That's not a true sign of success. The praise is certainly being heaped onto Elizabeth. She is invited to numerous fancy events. She is named a global ambassador and part of the board at Harvard medical school. She has the access to influence how young women are perceived throughout various industries. All of that is threatened by her deceit. Phyllis recognizes those consequences. That's the most depressing thing about this whole endeavor. Elizabeth thought only about selfishly accumulating this influence for herself. Meanwhile, everyone is left to suffer in her wake with true accountability coming much later than it should.

It's a long and grueling process to expose Theranos for what it truly is. One reporter goes up against a mammoth company armed with the best lawyers. Elizabeth and Sunny are privy to the truth. Others can only protect them to a certain extent. They believe they are capable of avoiding scrutiny. And yet, answers have to be delivered. It's the moral thing for John to do as a journalist. He needs to hear from Theranos. It's only ethical if he gives them a chance to respond before publishing. Elizabeth and Sunny becoming aware of this threat inspires them to target those who wish to destroy what they've spent their lives building. They intimidate and demand silence from everyone who has something bad to say. They will do whatever it takes to remain the dominant force in this industry. They want to be perceived as champions. They are fighting the good fight against the industry that doesn't want these monumental changes to work. The structure of the world is too rigid. It takes true disruptors with backbones to change anything. The resistance isn't coming from an industry scared of becoming irrelevant. Instead, it's the personal stories of those who have endured the abuses of this company. Elizabeth may be able to scam her way into receiving FDA approval. That doesn't mean her product is safe and beyond reproach. She can't simply ask Rupert Murdoch to kill a story running in one of his papers. She believes she has the ability to do so. She can lie to people repeatedly and still expect them to be loyal. George Shultz will do whatever she wants. That includes turning against his own grandson. Tyler lives in fear. He is terrified he is being watched all the time. Something bad could happen if he goes on the record. He's not the only person who fears the weight of this pressure. Elizabeth can mount an entire campaign against those she claims are nothing but disgruntled former employees. In the end, human error may ultimately blow the story open. The meeting between the lawyers and the journalists was inevitable. It had to happen in order to navigate through the minefield of these dynamics. John is frustrated by how evasive some answers are. And yet, he gets just enough clarity to prove Theranos isn't being honest with its customers or investors. That's a story worth running. Richard celebrates the victory. Of course, he has nothing else in his life to enjoy. Meanwhile, Phyllis has kept her head down and done the work. She is the inspiration. She has allowed others to succeed. She never matched up with Elizabeth's image of herself. And so, she must be the villain in her story. That's not how any of this plays out. Theranos hasn't been brought down yet. Brave individuals came forward revealing just a few of the hidden truths. So much is yet to be exposed. It truly does showcase how all of this was precariously built to support success even at the cost of countless lives. Elizabeth never cared. She's solely focused on maintain her image. Everything is a lie.