‘Dopesick’ canvases the opioid crisis in America to a great effect with the help of a wide array of characters that help establish the urgency of the situation. In the fifth episode, DEA Agent Bridget Meyer’s investigation of Purdue Pharma gets some much-needed spotlight as the viewers get a sharp sense of the complications in pressing criminal charges against the company.
Meanwhile, Mountcastle and Ramseyer get within touching distance of slam dunking the case of criminal misbranding they have carefully constructed against Purdue. However, things take a turn for the worse, and the duo is forced to reconsider their options. We are sure viewers must be looking for some clarification about the situation and other major developments in the episode. Here’s everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Dopesick’ episode 5. SPOILERS AHEAD!
Dopesick Episode 5 Recap
Episode 5 of ‘Dopesick’ is titled ‘The Whistleblower.’ The episode opens with a woman named Marianne Skolick grieving the loss of her daughter due to OxyContin addiction. The story then moves forward and backward between the various established timelines.
Betsy Mallum continues to struggle with her addiction. She pawns off her mother’s heirlooms for some cash to purchase OxyContin. Simultaneously, Dr. Samuel Finnix continues to spiral down the rabbit hole of addiction. At work, Finnix’s addiction causes him to tremble and he ends up hurting the patient he is operating on.
The patient is taken to a nearby hospital, where Finnix tries to get an OxyContin prescription from the doctor. However, the local sheriff and the doctor deduce that Finnix is an addict and have him arrested. Billy struggles with the dilemma of continuing to sell the drug or reporting its hazardous effects.
DEA Agent Bridget Meyer continues her investigation and resorts to using the press to create pressure on Purdue Pharma. However, her aggressive and borderline threatening approach is not appreciated by her superiors. When Bridget’s junior handles a press conference more tactfully, Richard Sackler and his team agree to meet with the DEA. However, at the meeting, Bridget proves that her aggressive approach is the need of the hour and earns her superior’s approval.
Richard proposes a vote for naming himself the new President of Purdue Pharma. With Kathe’s help, he is able to secure a majority of the votes and becomes the President. However, Richard’s ambitions are dealt a major blow when his team is unable to get approval for OxyContin in Germany.
Lastly, Rick Mountcastle and Randy Ramseyer continue to find a way of linking the evidence of OxyContin’s misbranding to the higher-ups at Purdue Pharma. The duo checks the call logs of the sales reps. They learn that various complaints were raised about the dangers of OxyContin, but no action was taken. Therefore, they decide to speak with the sales reps in hopes of finding a whistleblower.
Dopesick Episode 5 Ending: Who Is the Whistleblower? Is Her Testimony Recorded?
Throughout the episode, a number of potential whistleblower candidates crop up. Firstly, Ramseyer speaks with Paula Greene, a former Purdue Pharma sales rep who was fired for raising concerns over the drug’s safety. However, Paula reveals that she signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement that prevents her from testifying in court. Rick Mountcastle then learns of Marianne Skolick, who runs a website about deaths caused by OxyContin. She leads Mountcastle to Maureen Sera, the former assistant to Purdue’s Legal Head Howard Udell.
Sera reveals that Udell asked her to look into the abuse of OxyContin in online forums. Sera discovered that the drug was being rampantly abused and reported her findings to the higher-ups at the company. However, she was asked to delete her report. Sometime later, Sera got in an accident and was put on OxyContin. She turned into an addict and was fired by Purdue. After some hesitation, Sera agrees to testify against Purdue in court. Before she can testify, Sera relapses and craves OxyContin.
As a result, Sera’s testimony will be easily discredited because of her addiction. Mountcastle and Ramseyer are unable to record Sera’s testimony and are left helpless. Ultimately, the entire situation proves how difficult it is to implicate the pharmaceutical giant in a criminal case. Purdue has been extremely cautious in its approach and ties the loose ends, as is evidenced by Paula’s NDA. Therefore, if the prosecutors are to bring Purdue Pharma to justice, they will need concrete evidence or strong testimony from someone with first-hand knowledge of the misdoings of the company.