The Dropout season 1, episode 5 recap – “Flower of Life”

By Adam Lock
Published: March 17, 2022
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Hulu series The Dropout season 1, episode 5


Elizabeth fights deadlines and lawsuits in her continued attempts for world domination. Another impressive chapter from this addictive series.

This recap of the Hulu series The Dropout season 1, episode 5 contains spoilers.

Read the recap of the previous episode.

After the acquisition of two major retail outlets, The Dropout jumps forward three years into 2013. Even after all that time, the blood-testing device is still not working effectively and Walgreens are losing patience. Elizabeth is given a six-month deadline to get the product to market. This desperation to meet the ultimatum date mixed with a looming lawsuit looks set to jeopardize the company and once again Miss Holmes’ sanity. Welcome to episode five, where The Dropout is heating up.

The Dropout season 1, episode 5 recap

Elizabeth has been concentrating on the aesthetics of the company, designing a wellness center and cute little finger puppets for kids, but has left the technology to her scientists. At the lab, Sunny despairs as another line of prototypes overheat and explode. This machine has rarely worked over the years, yet the pressures are building, time is most definitely running out. Meanwhile, Ian Gibbons (Stephen Fry) is dragged into the intense lawsuit between Richard Fuisz (an amazingly unhinged William H. Macy) and his competing patent against Theranos.

Stephen Fry is just brilliant as the wholesome chemist, who finds himself trapped within corporate greed and lawyer jargon. Richard spots Ian’s name on all Theranos patents and decides to get him involved, hoping he’ll unearth some dark secrets about Elizabeth’s suspicious company if he was to go to court. Ian frets over testifying, he wants justice, yet is also anxious about losing his job for a second time. The new creative team of director Francesca Gregorini (Killing Eve) and writer Liz Hannah (The Post and Mindhunter) find some touching moments from this integral story.

The ending

“Flower of Life” involves many moving parts as the story fragments into many subsections. Elizabeth finds herself constantly in flight, moving from one meeting to another across the country, then off to a funeral. Her expressions are numb and distant-looking, as that creeping instability quickly returns. One scene, in particular, hones in on this mentality, as Holmes appears deranged talking to a finger puppet dragon. The lawyers play dirty with the deposition and fears over fraud are back in question.

Five episodes in and this series continues to impress. Another great chapter in this tragic tale of business scandal, with some great performances and more absorbing writing. The filmmakers manage to mine humor and emotion from this biography, with so much more of the story still to unfold.

What did you think of the Hulu series The Dropout season 1, episode 5? Comment below.

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