Painkiller Season 1 Episode 2 Recap – Who is Curtis Wright?

By Marc Miller
Published: August 10, 2023 (Last updated: February 17, 2024)
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Painkiller Season 1 Episode 2 Recap - Who is Curtis Wright?


“Jesus Gave Me Water” outlines the dark absurdity of Richard’s thought process and the human cost of opioid addiction.

This recap of the Netflix series Painkiller Season 1 Episode 2, “Jesus Gave Me Water,” contains spoilers.

“Jesus Gave Me Water” outlines the dark absurdity of Richard’s thought process and the human cost of opioid addiction. Painkiller continues to dramatize and reveal the lengths that Purdue Pharma went to approve OxyContin to help their bottom line—choosing to use emotional manipulation instead of sticking to scientific factual evidence.

Painkiller Season 1 Episode 2 Recap

What starts every episode of Painkiller?

Every episode of Painkiller opens with a real-life individual affected by the abuse of OxyContin, sharing the story of a lost loved one. In this episode, an older woman reads a disclaimer: “But what’s not fictionalized is my story. This program is based on real events. However, certain characters, names, incidents, locations, and dialogue have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes.”

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The woman then proceeds to discuss her daughter Cassie, who tragically passed away at the age of forty-two. The mother expresses the anguish of losing her daughter after she became addicted to the opioid.

Why’s the information Shannon presents to doctors inaccurate? 

Purdue Pharma marketing representatives Shannon and Britt falsely promote OxyContin, ignoring its risks and misrepresenting support from reputable medical journals. Despite being warned by a physician about its similarity to heroin, they persist in using gifts, an OxyContin plush toy, physical attractiveness, and personal stories to influence doctors.

Edie confronts them during a stakeout at a doctor’s office, and Britt responds defensively. We are then shown a video montage of illegal drug dealers and Purdue Pharma marketing reps selling drugs. The director, Peter Berg, wants to compare unlawful drug dealers and these “reputable” saleswomen who display territorial, aggressive, and hostile behaviors.

What is Glen asked to do?

After requesting to take his painkiller earlier than prescribed due to his increased tolerance, his physician approaches Glen to share his story in an OxyContin commercial. Despite showing signs of addiction by seeking medication for headaches, he is prescribed a larger dosage.

During the interview at his body shop, Glen talks positively about the painkiller, expressing how it has improved his life. Later, at a Purdue Pharma conference presenting the commercial, he thanks Shannon, who is also in attendance, for the “miracle drug.”

Why does Edie feel that OxyContin is flawed?

OxyContin was flawed because it was designed to last only twelve hours, leading to increased dosage instead of more frequent intake. After returning from a conference, Glen’s addiction becomes apparent when he discovers the missing drug. Tyler has been stealing the pills while he sleeps and distributing them to his friends.

Glen struggles to sleep through the night and resorts to taking a single pill he finds next to dirt and dust. Although Tyler claims to have found the bottle behind the toilet, it is hidden in his room. Edie explains that the FDA approved the drug because neither the mice nor the humans (this was a closed trial) died during trials, and over half of the patients reported pain relief.

Who is Curtis Wright?

Curtis Wright worked at the FDA and stopped what Richard thought would be an easy FDA approval. He recognized the emotion put into the application, a manipulation that Richard has his marketers use to communicate how the drug helps with pain. Curtis says there should be no emotion at all in the application. Curtis Wright is the one FDA employee have cared enough to ask questions.

Richard refuses to modify the application to exclusively target cancer patients because it would not compensate for the losses incurred during drug development. When Richard and his family encounter Curtis, a physician, Richard attempts to construct a narrative emphasizing the significance of his data in scientific research.

Richard informs the FDA doctor that less than 0.3% of their painkiller was abused during the trials. Curtis acknowledges the potency of the dosage and inquiries about their efforts to test for abuse. Richard doesn’t have an answer to that question. He instead asks if they are going to get approved or not. Curtis tells them, not today.

Who does Edie visit in prison?

Edie visits her brother in prison annually. He symbolizes the destructive impact of opioids on families. When Edie asks what to tell Mom, he grows visibly agitated, questioning her motives. Eventually, he expresses love for Edie, thoughts of her, and wishes her a happy birthday.

Edie leaves abruptly, leaving their conversation unclear but likely tied to painkiller issues hinted at previously.

Painkiller Season 1 Episode 2 Ending Explained

Why did Glen faint at the restaurant?

Glen passes out at the diner from an addiction to his painkillers. He begins to bleed from the nose while eating breakfast with his family at a local restaurant. He then falls over and is unconscious. His wife and family are crying and concerned. A man begins to perform CPR, but the episode ends before we know if Glen has died or been taken to the hospital.

What did you think of Painkiller Season 1 Episode 2? Comment below.

You can watch this series with a subscription to Netflix.

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