Malpractice Season 1 Episode 5 Recap and Ending Explained

April 25, 2023
Jonathon Wilson 0
Ending Explained, ITV, ITVX, Premium Channels, Streaming Service, TV, TV Recaps
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This article contains spoilers for the ending of Malpractice Season 1, particularly the events of Malpractice Season 1 Episode 5.

Malpractice is airing weekly on ITV, but all five episodes of the drama set against the backdrop of a floundering NHS are currently available to stream on ITVX, so we’ve seen them all and can happily unpack the entire conspiracy for you.

While this article contains huge spoilers for the entire season, it predominantly concerns itself with the events depicted in the fifth and final episode, which reveals the mystery behind the opioid overdoses, who was involved, and why (money!).

Malpractice Season 1 Ending Explained

So, in the penultimate episode of the series, after being suspended from the hospital, Lucinda had gone straight to Jubair to replace Rob in his role writing prescriptions for rich addicts.

However, she was secretly recording him, and she takes this information to George and Norma. It isn’t much good on its own, but it’s a start.

Jacinda also goes to Eva, who tells her that she suspects there is an entire operation above Jubair. She was indeed funnelling clients to him through her rehab clinic, justifying it on the basis that the entire system is a revolving door anyway and she can count on one hand how many people she has truly “cured” of their addiction.

Why were the opioid prescriptions killing people?

But Rob was careful with his prescriptions. He wasn’t trying to kill anyone, and the spate of recent overdoses from the opioids he was prescribing were a red flag even to him. When he raised it with Jubair, though, he was threatened and forced to continue.

This leads Lucinda to believe that there is something wrong with the fentanyl batch. She acquires some leftovers from Milo, the patient she saved earlier in the season, and runs the batch number. This leads her back to the hospital, where she cross-checks the batch with Oscar’s audit. They had been written off as waste for being too strong.

As we learned earlier, the hospital’s waste drugs are given to a charity which distributes them among third-world countries, which leads to the obvious conclusion that there’s a leak in the pipeline. Waste drugs from the hospital are being funnelled back out onto the streets by Jubair’s Wellspring pharmacy chain, made available to wealthy addicts who can afford to pay for the prescriptions signed off by GPs like Rob.

Dr Willett, though, isn’t willing to hear this when Lucinda takes her suspicions to him. Instead, he calls her a junkie and has her removed from the premises.

Does Lucinda die at the end of Malpractice?

For ratting on his operation, Jubair has Lucinda set up. Camilla calls her in a panic, telling her that her friend has overdosed on the fentanyl she prescribed. When Lucinda gets there, though, she’s ambushed by Jubair and two other men, held down, and forcibly injected with a large dose of oxycodone.

When Lucinda is taken to A&E – we’re not sure how she got there but the implication is that Camilla called an ambulance – she’s on death’s door, but is saved by the quick thinking of Ramya, who gives her diazepam despite her addiction.

Lucinda survives, and when she wakes up, George and Norma deliver some good-ish news. Eva has confessed everything to them, including planting the incriminating prescription on Lucinda. Now, the MIU doesn’t just believe Lucinda, but they’re actively looking into the operation.

Who is behind Developing Aid?

Now we know that the drugs are being diverted from the hospital’s waste supply, it becomes obvious that the charity they are being donated to, Developing Aid, is responsible for putting them back on the streets.

In the final big twist of the season, it is revealed that Leo is one of Developing Aid’s four founders. He had hidden his status as a trustee because he was ordering more prescription drugs than the hospital needed, funnelling them to Developing Aid, and covering it up in his audits. (This adds a bit more context to the conversation about auditing that Leo had with Oscar earlier. Now we know why he was so interested.)

But Leo’s busted. He has been receiving regular payments into an offshore account, and there’s enough evidence with Eva’s testimony – though she’s also arrested – to nail him to the wall. He’s led out of the hospital in handcuffs.

Who kills Jubair?

In the aftermath of all this exposure, Jubair tries to pack up and leave in a hurry. However, he’s stabbed and killed by Yussuf, who you’ll recall is the gunshot victim from the premiere who has cropped up a couple of times since, mostly developing a friendly relationship with Lucinda. His getaway driver is the gunman who brought him into the hospital and held up Lucinda in A&E.

This is all the confirmation we need that there is a level above Jubair. It was also obvious in the scene where Lucinda is forcibly given an overdose; the two thugs present were ordering Jubair around. We don’t learn anything more about the real string-pullers though.

What happens in Lucinda’s tribunal?

We don’t get to see Lucinda’s tribunal, but in a flurry of conversations just prior to it, Lucinda decides to confess to her diazepam addiction and accept whatever consequences are coming her way.

Now that Lucinda has admitted she needs help, one assumes that she’s able to patch up her relationship with Tom, and with Norma’s defence, she may even be able to keep her job (at least if she can get clean.) However, this is left up in the air.

The big takeaway, though, is that Lucinda developed her addiction to help her cope with the stresses of a job that has cost her almost everything.

You can stream Malpractice Season 1 Episode 5 exclusively on ITVX. It’s also airing weekly on ITV. Do you have thoughts on the ending of Malpractice Season 1? Let us know in the comments.

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