Painkiller – Episode 6 Recap, Review & Ending Explained

What’s in a Name?

The season finale of Painkiller starts with Shannon meeting Edie. She breaks down in front of him, claiming that she has no knowledge about the addictive nature of the pill. Shannon apologises to Edie and talks about money messing with her head.

How does Shannon help Edie and her team?

After the breakdown, Shannon hands over a list of notes she made during her time working with Purdue. This details the addictive nature of the pill. She agrees to do whatever Brownlee and his people need to go against Purdue. Edie tells the attorneys that Shannon’s contribution had helped them a lot and now they can face Purdue head on.

Shannon’s list help incriminate Mr Udell and Britt for overlooking Jess’ case. She also reveals how Purdue motivated the doctors to increase the dosage to make more money, which in turn would make Purdue richer. Brownlee’s team decides to go after the core management team at Purdue instead of attacking the Sacklers directly.

How does Brownlee attack Purdue?

Brownlee’s team talks to Mr Udell, Mr Goldenheim and Mr Friedman and hold them accountable for lying under oath. The US Attorney’s team threatens to bring a case against these individual employees claiming that Richard Sackler doesn’t really care about these low-level employees. 

The trio has an argument with the Sacklers for fear of going to jail. Meanwhile, Britt shows up at Shannon’s house and attacks her for ousting the company. Richard, on the other hand, continues to defend the drug and defiantly says that they will not cave. He states that Purdue will not admit to any wrongdoing and adds that if they do so, it will only break their family. 

While he is alone in his room, Richard starts coming to terms with the consequences of clashing with the US attorneys and breakdown in fear. He uses Arthur’s philosophy and pledges to protect the Sackler family name and fight for their legacy.

What happens at the hearing against Purdue’s core team?

Present-day Edie tells the lawyers that she’s sure they have Purdue and can easily defeat them. She tells them how she’s sure they will incriminate the Sacklers for their wrongdoings. However, things go downwards in court when the judge reveals that the US Attorney’s office have settled with Purdue. 

Edie is shocked to learn that one night before the hearing, Richard Sackler made a call to the judge who in turn called Congress. Congress called The White House and a whole chain of evenets leading to Purdue’s offered settlement money.

Edie claims that instead of taking full accountability for the ill effects of the drug, Purdue m agreed to plead guilty to one count of fraudulently misbranding OxyContin.

Present-day, Edie is shocked to see how justice has been denied to half a million people who wrongfully died. 

What happens to Purdue after the settlement?

Edie breaks down in front of the lawyers and claims that the case did nothing to hold Purdue accountable and that they go away with everything and continued their life as it were.

She adds that all the evidence in the case had to be sealed and buried because of one call from Richard Sackler. Edie claims that she got out of the case after quitting her job.

What happens to Glen?

A month following the incidents of the last episode, Glen has practised a month of sobriety and is trying to detox from the drug. Tyler helps Glen get back on his feet and clean up the Tyre shop. Despite his efforts to stay the night with the family, Lily says he needs to stay away until he is certainly better.

One night, Glen is at the motel where he cannot sleep because of the noise from his neighbouring room. He checks up on them and learns that the guests in the next room are all high on OxyContin. Glen tries his best to resist the urge to consume the drug but eventually falters.

The next morning, Glen wakes up and goes back home to meet Lily and the kids. He buys the family some breakfast on the way. However, he overdoses and passes out in the car as his heartbeat slows down. Pedestrians try bringing help to Glen but it is too late when he passes away from the overdose. 

What happens to Edie and her brother Shawn?

Edie decides to read letters from her brother and has an emotional breakdown when she realises how she punished her teen brother all his life for doing something wrong without realising the consequences of his actions. She decides to pay Shawn a visit and apologises for neglecting him for the past decade. She tells Shawn that their mother died from overdosing on drugs.

Edie eventually has a positive relationship with her brother. After her interview with the lawyers, Edie goes back home where Shawn lives with her after being released from prison.

What happens to Purdue Pharma at the end of Painkiller?

As recently as 2019, as a result of multiple state lawsuits against the company, Purdue Pharma filed for bankruptcy. After this, the Sackler family agrees to pay a settlement of 6 billion dollars. The Sackler family also forfeits the ownership of Purdue.

The episode ends with details of how painkillers like OxyContin have killed close to 300,000 people in the last two decades. Despite this, 40 people die every single day in the USA from prescription opioid overdose. Moreover, no member of the Sackler Family has been criminally charged in connection to OxyContin while their net worth is still believed to be over 11 billion dollars.

The Episode Review

My heart broke watching Glen ruin his life all over again and I cannot help but wonder what the families of victims who died due to drug overdose must be feeling. The fact that despite all her efforts, Edie was not able to get the drug off the market was heartbreaking to watch. 

I am glad that she could at least build a good relationship with her brother in the end. The fact that Richard could put an end to everything just by making one phone call shows how powerful money is and how much power the rich hold just by making money for the poor.

It is clear that the smoke alarm is Richard’s conscience and his guilt. It is a constant reminder in his head for him to see the adverse effects of his actions and his greed. This limited series is really well-made, making it an absolute must-watch!

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Expect a full-season review later this weekend!

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