Painkiller – Episode 3 “Blizzard of the Century” Recap & Review

Blizzard of the Century

Episode 3 of Painkiller starts with Glen waking up in a hospital bed after suffering from a drug overdose. His new doctors believe that the drug is really addictive and add that he needed a detox. Lily believes that Glen was not abusing the drug but flashbacks show Glen overusing in contrast to what his old doctor, Dr Hartman, had prescribed.

In her interview, Edie claims that the Sackler family manipulated the FDA and turned Curtis to approve the drug by following the MICE technique.

MICE stands for Money, Ideology, Coercion and Ego and Richard believes that they needed to target these four aspects to get Curtis to approve the drug. The people at Purdue gang up on Curtis and send him gifts and stroke his ego to get a patent for them to sell the drug in America.

The episode then shows how the people at Purdue pursued an informal relationship with Curtis and somehow convinced him to approve the drug with a fine print warning against overuse. Edie believes that Curtis stopped working for the FDA soon after OxyContin was approved and started working for Purdue soon after.

Edie narrates how Richard celebrated the approval of the drug by throwing a grand party. The pills started being produced in a larger volume and were actively put out in the market with the help of agents like Britt. The drug enjoyed immense popularity in the early days of its release while Richard turned into a celebrated doctor.

Present day, Glen comes back home from the hospital following his overdose incident. Ashamed by what his addiction has made him do, he flushes the OxyContin pills in the toilet all at once as opposed to how the doctor had asked him to taper the pills down gradually.

At the marketing conference for the pill, Shannon learns that she can make a higher commission by convincing doctors to prescribe more dosage (milligrams) of the pill. Shannon takes Britt’s advice and takes Dr Cooper out on a lunch where she flirts with him in order to convince him to prescribe more drugs to patients.

Edie tells the legal team how she had a new boss named John Brownlee who was lethal and dedicated to making things right at the U.S. Attorney’s office. She recalls telling John about her investigation of the overused drug. Brownlee’s comment prompted her to approach the case from a different angle.

She recalls talking to pathologists who were examining bodies of patients dying from drug overdose and recalls seeing a high amount of opioid drugs, especially OxyContin, in their system. Bodies after bodies of people are brought in after they were found dead from an overdose of OxyContin and Edie talks to cops about the effects of the drug.

Meanwhile, Shannon goes to see one of the doctors that prescribe OxyContin. She spots the same girl she saw at Dr Fitzgibbons’ office and notices how the girl was pretending to be injured to get a prescription for the drug. Shannon witnesses the girl buy OxyContin from the drugstore and crush it up to snort it into her friend’s car. She tries to hold the teenager accountable but the person with the girl drives off in their car.

Shannon is left in shock after witnessing the young girls get high on pain medicine. She goes back home and tells Britt all about it, but Britt believes that the girls are drug addicts. Britt retorts that drug addicts will abuse anything and OxyContin is not to blame, but actually the abuser. She gets furious at Shannon for putting the incident in her notes and asks her to hand them over instead of reporting it.

Edie believes that the drug is impossible to recover from just by flushing it down the toilet. Glen starts showing withdrawal symptoms just after flushing the pills down the toilet for a few hours. He goes to see Dr Hartman and asks for a prescription.

The doctor gives Glen a new prescription to help with the pain but asks him to be careful of the adverse effects that coms with overuse. Edie is at home where she recalls how her brother was caught dealing drugs as a teenager and how that had strained her relationship with him for years. She shows Brownlee how the increase in OxyContin sales led to an increase in crimes like theft, and break-ins as well as unemployment.

Edie tells her boss how the incoming opioid crisis is similar to that of crack/cocaine in 1985. Edie says that she has lived through one crisis and doesn’t need to sit out to see one more. Glen drives back home as he takes another dose of the pill, while Brownlee and Edie plan to build a case against Purdue.

The episode ends with the girl that Shannon had seen overdosing taken to Dr Fitzgibbons’ clinic. The woman driving her puts the teenager’s lifeless body outside the doctor’s clinic and drives off.

The Episode Review

The death of this teenager, Jess, is so saddening and you would not wish it on your worst enemy. It is so ironic that Shannon had seen the girl at Dr Fitzgibbons’ clinic after her injury only to find her getting false prescriptions for a drug from a different doctor.

Dr Fitzgibbons’ looks like he is onto something against Purdue and Jess’ death could possibly lead Edie to him, or at least I hope it does. Brownlee seems like an interesting personality and in that, I hope he doesn’t end up turning against the good people like Curtis did.

Glen’s addiction is getting out of hand and I worry that it will soon end his life as well. It looks like the constant ringing of the smoke alarm is a reminder for Richard Sackler to make him see how many lives he has ruined after the introduction of one drug.

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Expect a full-season review later this weekend!


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