Pain Hustlers Ending Explained – Who goes to jail?

By Amanda Guarragi
Published: October 28, 2023 (Last updated: October 29, 2023)
Pain Hustlers Ending Explained
Chris Evans [left], Andy Garcia [center], and Emily Blunt in Pain Hustlers | Image via Brian Douglas/Netflix

Pain Hustlers has an all-star cast that belies an all-too-familiar story at its core, one of predictable Big Pharma corruption and an endless opioid crisis that lines the pockets of immoral executives while leaving the bodies to pile up in the street. Focusing on the rags-to-riches story of Liza Drake (Emily Blunt), the film is a cautionary tale, and the ending proves that success is short-lived when one sacrifices their morality to achieve it.

Towards the middle of Pain Hustlers, Liza becomes full of herself because of the hoards of money she’s making. She can provide for her daughter while swindling doctors and not caring for the patients she’s hurting in the long run. She enrolls her daughter in a top school and keeps her epilepsy monitored. It isn’t until she has another seizure that the doctor finds that she has a growth in her brain that could cause even worse seizures. This begins a downward spiral that leads to the destruction of a company and Lisa’s incarceration.

Pain Hustlers Ending Explained

Why does Liza need money?

In America healthcare isn’t free so Liza has to scramble to find the money for her daughter. She keeps pushing her clients and gets promoted in the process. She still has to make up the bulk of the money for her daughter’s surgery so she goes to see Dr. Neel (Andy Garcia) to tell him that she needs help with her shares in the company and that she’ll pull out to help her daughter. He tells her that it wouldn’t be wise to do that and she shouldn’t leave the company.

Amid all this one of the doctors that they have been working with (Liza’s first client) finds out that one of his patients overdosed on the drug Liza sold. This causes them to spiral and the FBI arrests the doctor, leaving Liza and the company in some hot water. She feels the tension build in her life because she needs to make enough money to help her daughter.

Why does Liza go to the FBI?

Liza is incredibly stressed with everything that is happening because now she sees the consequences of her actions. Yes, money is great, but at what cost? A human life? She begins to question if this business is for her and she ends up going to the FBI. She doesn’t give too much away, but the fact that someone who is Marketing VP for one of the biggest pharma corps is going to the Feds says a lot.

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Brenner keeps pushing her to go to her clients and have them up the dose so they can make more money to balance everything out. Liza ends up betraying Brenner and the whole team by finding dirt on Dr. Neel. Luckily, her mother (Catherine O’Hara) had emailed him during their affair and Liza found some compromising evidence to put him away. Liza singlehandedly destroyed the business she helped build because of her guilt and the fact that she needed to help her daughter.

Who goes to jail?

Liza went to jail for a year and three months. Brenner went to jail for roughly 3 years and Dr. Neel was sentenced to a total of 5 years.

After Liza got out she was able to work in skincare with the rest of the team that she hired. She felt like she still wanted to help people but not in the way she had done it before. It’s not like she didn’t think about it, but she knew it was morally wrong.

While the character of Liza is entirely fictional, the story behind Pain Hustlers is loosely based on the real-life rise and fall of Insys Therapeutic and its founder John Kapoor, upon whom Neel is based.

What did you think of the ending of Pain Hustlers? Comment below.


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