The Dropout Episode 6 Recap and Ending, Explained

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The sixth episode of ‘The Dropout’ marks the beginning of the end of Theranos as Elizabeth Holmes’ biotech startup begins to face major issues. So far, the threats faced by Holmes and Sunny Balwani were primarily external in nature. However, in episode 6, two employees of Theranos begin asking the right questions that lead them on the path to discovering the truth about the company’s fraudulent methods. Meanwhile, a head-strong reporter gets wind of the malpractices at Theranos and begins his own research. If you wish to catch up on the episode’s events and seek insights about its ending, here’s everything you need to know about ‘The Dropout’ episode 6! SPOILERS AHEAD!

The Dropout Episode 6 Recap

The sixth episode, titled ‘Iron Sister,’ opens with Elizabeth Holmes working with acclaimed director Errol Morris for filming a commercial for Theranos. Meanwhile, Richard Fuisz contacts The Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou. Fuisz discusses the public image of Theranos with Carreyrou before informing the journalist that the entire company is a fraud. However, Fuisz does not have any solid evidence to back his claims.

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At Theranos, lab director Mark Roessler guides new recruit Erika Cheung through the onboarding process. Roessler makes Cheung sign several non-disclosure agreements. While discussing her duties with Roessler, Cheung meets Holmes for the first time. Later, Cheung is assigned to her lab counter and is partnered with Tyler Shultz. However, she quickly notices the high-pressure environment at Theranos.

Elsewhere, Holmes’ popularity in Silicon Valley and beyond continues to rise. Fuisz and Holmes’ former professor, Phyllis Gardner, discuss how to bring out the truth about Holmes and Theranos. While working on testing the blood samples from the Walgreens machines, Shultz and Cheung bond. However, Cheung soon realizes the discrepancies in the methods of Theranos.

Cheung and Shultz grow concerned over the impact of Theranos manipulating the data and cherry-picking it. The duo also realizes that Theranos is using a modified Siemens machine for testing at Walgreens. However, they keep their discoveries secret for the time being. Shultz speaks with Holmes about the malpractices in the labs believing that she is unaware of what is actually going on.

Meanwhile, Gardner and Fuisz speak with Ian Gibbons’ widow, Rochelle Gibbons, as a potential source for exposing Theranos. At Holmes’ birthday party, Shultz realizes that Holmes is aware of the discrepancies in the lab results. Shultz and Cheung’s meddling eventually gets both of them fired from the company. Shultz and Cheung discuss the situation with Shultz’s grandfather, George Shultz, a Theranos board member. However, they do not receive any support from him as he firmly supports Holmes. Carreyrou continues his search for a solid source to back the claims against Theranos and expose the company.

The Dropout Episode 6 Ending: Does John Carreyrou Find a Whistleblower?

In the episode, Fuisz draws the attention of journalist John Carreyrou to the fraud at Theranos. However, despite his best efforts, Fuisz fails to get enough evidence against Theranos and Holmes. Carreyrou insists that he can only use Gardner and Rochelle as secondary sources, but he will need the testimony of someone with first-hand experience of working at Theranos. In other words, to make a solid statement against Theranos’ claims, Carreyrou requires a whistleblower to act as a source for his potential exposé article.

Image Credit: Michael Desmond/Hulu

In the episode’s final moments, it seems like Fuisz and Carreyrou finally make a breakthrough after Roessler surprisingly decides to speak up against the malpractices at Theranos. Throughout the episode, it seems like Roessler is more than happy to keep the secrets of Theranos and do its dirty bidding. However, in the end, he decides to raise his voice due to the impact Theranos could have on innocent patients. Thus, he speaks with Fuisz and shares the truth about the test results and use of the Siemens machines. Fuisz relays the information to Carreyrou. However, Roessler has requested to remain an anonymous source which makes it difficult for Carreyrou’s editor to greenlight the exposé.

Nonetheless, Carreyrou receives another ray of hope in the episode’s closing moments as Shultz and Cheung contact the journalist. It is evident that no one at Theranos is taking the former employees seriously, but they have crucial information and first-hand experiences to share. Therefore, the duo is of value to Carreyrou’s efforts. The episode ends by highlighting that Holmes is at the peak of her popularity as she is featured on the covers of magazines such as Forbes and Fortune. However, Shultz and Cheung contacting Carreyrou confirm that Holmes and Theranos’ downfall is about to start.

Read More: Where Is Erika Cheung Now?