We top and tale the final episode of Dopesick with actual footage from protests, as people protest against the Sackler name on things like museums, and fallout from court cases mixed in with shot footage.
Our story starts with former Dr. Samuel Finnix, Michael Keaton (“American Assassin”, “Spider-Man: Homecoming”), as he meets former patient Elizabeth Ann McClung, Alayna Hester (“Drought (Short)”, “TORN (TV)”). He takes her for a burger and tells her about this drug he’s on that’s helping him, he offers her the same deal he offered Betsy, she accepts.
Billy Cutler, Will Poulter (“Midsommar”, “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch”), is called in by his boss Martin Willis, R. Keith Harris (“Inlighten Films (TV)”, “County Line”), who has noticed the three missing video cassettes. He’s told he’ll be fired and offered $75,000 if he signs an NDA, otherwise they’ll ruin him.
Purdue meanwhile meet with Rick Mountcastle, Peter Sarsgaard (“Interrogation (TV)”, “The Survivor”), Randy Ramseyer, John Hoogenakker (“Castle Rock (TV)”, “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan (TV)”), and their boss John Brownlee, Jake McDorman (“What We Do in the Shadows (TV)”, “Lady Bird”). They offer $10 million to make it all goes well, John counters at $1.6 billion.
Rick and Randy go and meet Willis, no longer working for Purdue, he’s very paranoid they’re still following him, watching him. He tells them about Billy and the video tapes. The pair go to meet him but he denies any knowledge, a parting shot by Rick rattles him though and the tapes land, anonymously, on Rick’s desk a while later.
Despite all this, Main Justice won’t budge and are still advising the trio not to pursue individual cases against Purdue staff.
Finnix now has two people he’s taking to see Dr. Art Van Zee, Ray Dooley (“Changeover”, “Stonebrook”), the man who is prescribing Soboxon instead of Methadone. When he notices an old school bus for sale, he buys it and begins taking more and more people.
We see the meeting between Purdue and Dr. Art Van Zee and the Appalachian town, their the ones who gathered 10,000 signatures to ask Purdue to recall the drug and make it safer. The execs say that isn’t going to happen, but how about $100,000 for your cause?
They are tempted, but one of them Sister Beth Davies, Meagen Fay(“Supernatural (TV)”, “Dark Harbor”), says she’ll resign on the spot if they take Purdue’s blood money.
Richard Sackler, Michael Stuhlbarg (“The Shape of Water”, “Doctor Strange”), has the Rick, Randy and John case brought to his attention by father Raymond Sackler, Lawrence Arancio (“Madam Secretary (TV)”, “Puzzle”), and another man who tells him they can’t be bought, they aren’t going to be looking for work, this is serious. He’s advised to reduce his liabilities in the company as quickly as possible.
John is told that Purdue may go for the top three execs being charged with misdemeanours plus a heavy fine. He’s not happy, at all, but Main Justice is still digging their heels in. John doesn’t have a choice but to go for it. They are all charged and Purdue pay $600 million.
As the show ends we see Richard still pushing Oxy, but that starts to change as over 25 states follow suit and begin bringing proceedings against Purdue. The family are forced away from the company and pay billions, not that any of this affects them individually, they’re still very, very wealthy.
As we reach the end of Dopesick I’m left staggered on all fronts. The production is fantastic, the story is jaw-dropping, more so when you know the guts are true and the performances are second to none.
Keaton is exemplary as Finnix, you can’t take your eyes off him whenever he’s on screen. Sarsgaard and Hoogenakker are amazing and Stuhlbarg wows in his slightly creepy, husky voiced way.
I’ve loved Dopesick, creator Danny Strong (“Empire (TV)”, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1”) should be so proud. However, I wish, on so many levels, that it wasn’t a true story, not just because of the many deaths and grief left behind, but because we won’t get anymore.
THE QUICK SELL
Rick and Randy's criminal investigation now threatens Richard Sackler's empire, activists take action against Purdue, and Finnix tries to heal his beloved community that's been ravaged by addiction.
CAST & CREW
Arischa Conner, Benjamin Rubin, Danny Strong, David Alexander, Eoghan O'Donnell, John Hoogenakker, Kaitlyn Dever, Michael Keaton, Patricia Riggen, Peter Sarsgaard, Rosario Dawson, Will Poulter