Elizabeth pitches to investors, desperate to keep the business afloat at any cost.
This recap of the Hulu series The Dropout season 1, episode 2, “Satori,” does not contain spoilers.
The road to untold riches is certainly an unpleasant experience and possibly even an immoral one. No billionaire has an easy ride to the top and Elizabeth Holmes is no exception. Episode two focuses on her struggles transitioning into a leader and the hardship of turning her vision into a reality.
The Dropout season 1, episode 2 recap
From the off “Satori” introduces the three main players in Elizabeth’s team, those hard at work on developing a working prototype. There is the level-headed Edmond Ku, the youthful Rakesh (our comic relief) and the experienced elder Ian Gibbons played by Stephen Fry. It is demo day and the gang is preparing to test their latest invention. This is a funnier affair, with banter between the Theranos employees. Elizabeth delivers a big speech with a little too much build-up and of course the machine malfunctions.
Elizabeth is desperate for a cash injection and asks Robertson for advice. The Professor tells her to find new investors and she gladly pitches to half of Silicon Valley. Through an entertaining montage, Elizabeth presents to an array of venture capital firms with no joy. Between each presentation, she psyches herself up in the car, dancing to motivational music. It’s great to see this different side to the entrepreneur, as this humanizes her further. Again we rely on Seyfried’s captivating performance to steady the ship. The last investor, Don Lucas, cancels on her last minute and she goes to the car to scream. This is a frustrating period for Elizabeth, who feels out of her depth.
The cowboy millionaire turns up unannounced at their offices and Elizabeth makes the pitch of her life. There’s a tense sequence in which the employees struggle to fix the prototype in time and Elizabeth tries to stall Don by giving him a tour of the scrappy building. The machine doesn’t work (big surprise), but she convinces Don to stay involved regardless. He puts her in touch with another investor, which opens up Elizabeth’s world for the better and the worse.
Elizabeth’s final pitch is on a luxurious boat to the ruthless billionaire Larry Ellison. His parting gift is the recommendation to get tougher and she instantly puts this into practice. She fires a secretary and ruins Edmond’s birthday celebration. Elizabeth starts to take things more seriously now, pushing forwards in an uncompromising fashion. The prototype finally works and they head to Switzerland to pitch to investors. It is here where the moral decline begins, as Elizabeth commits her first act of fraud.
Episode two explores the darker side of business. Morals are becoming tangled and twisted, but the series continues to be just as gripping as ever. Seyfried is once again enthralling as our flawed lead, consumed by her pursuit of success at any cost. Our lovable rogue has a long way to go, but there might still be time for redemption.
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