The Dropout (2022) s01e06 Episode Script

Iron Sisters

1 Ian Gibbons was found in his bathroom.
Ian? He died in the hospital today.
Ian can't testify now.
And Richard has to settle.
We won.
My grandson Tyler.
He's graduating from Stanford in a couple months, and he would love to have the chance to work with you.
Of course.
We're building these wellness centers in our stores.
No more extensions.
We'll be ready in September.
We're going to launch in phases.
Phase one: we're gonna use the Siemens machines to run the tests.
Walgreens doesn't need to know exactly what we're running the tests on.
We launch in Walgreens in 48 hours.
We did it! I'm Mark.
I'm the new lab director.
There's only one thing you need to know about Elizabeth Holmes.
She's a fraud, Richard.
She's always been a fraud.
Let me just touch up your lips here.
- Sure.
- There you are.
Hi, Elizabeth.
I haven't met you yet.
I'm Errol Morris.
It's, it's such a huge honor to, to be working with you on these ads.
I'm just such a huge fan of your work.
I'm sorry, we're, we're going to have you look in there.
I thought it would be interesting to ask you, what do you dream will be true by 2025? That less people have to say goodbye too soon to the people they love.
And can you tell us a secret? I don't have many secrets.
Um That's it? Is it this easy? Mm-hmm.
And we'll get your results back soon.
Wall Street Journal.
How can I help you? This is John Carreyrou.
How can I help you? This is Dr.
Richard Fuisz.
Uh, I have a story for you.
Um, hold on.
I can't find my glasses.
Where did I put 'em? - Hold on.
- How how did you get this number? Um, from Adam Clapper.
He writes The Pathology Blawg.
Uh, Blawg, B-L-A-W-G.
I don't know why he spells it like that.
At any rate, he wrote a post about a startup, and he said to call you because of your story on Medicare fraud.
What do you know about Theranos? Healthcare startup with products at Walgreens.
Impressive board.
A unicorn, worth billions.
Why? It's all fake.
Alright, what makes you say that? I'm taking this.
My mother gave this to us.
It's the reporter from The Wall Street Journal.
Lorraine? Wait! - Hello? - Hello.
Do you have any solid evidence of what you're saying? Uh That's NDA number one.
And one more nondisclosure, and we are good to go.
I, um I told my dad that I'm starting work here.
He-he's just really excited because it's my first job.
I'll make sure to tell him not to tell anyone.
Yeah, I wouldn't tell anyone that you talked to him about it.
Yeah, sure.
No, of course.
Um, sorry, what are What are these that I have to initial? The words you're not allowed to use when talking about Theranos.
This is our state-of-the-art lobby.
Oh my god.
Is that her? Yes, it is.
Looks like she's doing another interview.
Elizabeth, this is Erika Cheung.
This is her first day.
Welcome to Theranos.
It is such an honor, um, to meet you.
It's just really rare to have the chance to work for a female CEO, so Thank you.
Well, I need that seat.
- Oh, yeah, sure.
- Of course.
- How-how does does that work? - Yeah, it's good.
Do you want me looking up at the, the wall? Sure.
You won't be running tests on live patient samples from Walgreens yet.
We may bump you up but for now, we're actually putting everyone on assay validation so we get more tests approved to be run on the Edison.
I thought all the tests were already being run on the Edison.
Just because the website Yeah, that's No, that's Um By the way, I was very impressed by your application.
I don't know if I, uh Yeah.
Psyched to have you on the team.
Oh, thank you.
I'm really excited to be here.
Um, you know what? It's a high-stress environment, but we also take parties pretty seriously here.
Lots of prizes.
Uh, I actually won a gift certificate to Jamba Juice once.
Okay, so, uh, this is you.
Any questions, come to me.
- Good luck.
- Thank you.
I Here.
What? Put it on the camera on your computer.
Why? So they can't watch you.
You know, a lot of successful women experience something called imposter syndrome.
Where they feel that none of their success is actually earned.
That it's all a fraud and they will eventually be found out.
Have you ever experienced that? Yeah, sure.
There are always moments of doubt.
But as women, we have to start believing in ourselves and we have to start today.
You've got some fans in the crowd.
How does it feel to be back at Stanford after you dropped out? Um pretty great.
You actually got the idea at Stanford and pitched it to a few professors here.
And not everyone thought it was a good idea.
Actually a female professor.
You would think that women would want to help other women - in the sciences.
- Yeah, you would think.
But it's hard for some women to get out of their old thinking.
"It was hard for me, so it should be hard for you.
" But you have to make sure that if you're out there and you have a new idea, you don't listen to a single person who tells you that you can't do it.
Oh, for fuck's sake.
You know how many times I've been told, "You can't do it"? The sexism I've faced has been so naked and ugly, it's just taken my breath away.
But she thinks I didn't support her idea because she's had it easier than me.
Because I'm, what? Because I'm jealous of her? - Are you? - Fuck, no.
I'm mad.
I've supported women my whole career.
And how many chances are women going to get to do what she's doing, to be the CEO of a major startup? She screws this up, and we all look bad.
That's the ugly truth.
And that is unforgivable.
Well, it must be hard to be a woman.
I can't believe you're the person I have to talk to about any of this.
- What? What did I say? - We're not even friends.
We know each other from, what, conferences? - We could be friends.
- Oh, I love it.
Armed security.
It's the new status symbol.
We have to stop her.
What about the, um, the reporter from The Journal? What did he say? He said we just need a, a better source.
Someone who's worked there.
How do we do that? Uh, did you just graduate? - Yeah, from Berkeley.
- Me too.
Well, Stanford, just barely.
I almost failed out because I went on tour with Dispatch two weeks before graduating.
Do you know Dispatch? No.
- You don't know Dispatch? - Mm-hm.
I have seen the others And I have discovered That this fight is not worth fighting - You don't know this song? - No.
What? What? So, uh, did they, did they recruit you at a job fair too? Shit.
Did I, did I say something dumb? I'm, I'm sorry.
No, no, no, no.
Uh, my grandfather is on the board.
George Shultz.
He was the Secretary of State.
And Treasury, actually.
And he, like, ended the Cold War with Russia.
Yeah, I know what the Cold War is.
Yeah, he ended it.
So you're saying that they didn't recruit you at a job fair? Oh no.
- What, what did I just do - It's fine.
It's fine.
It happens all the time.
What is that? Is that, is that a hanger? For fishing out broken glass.
Okay, these these Edisons are, um Yeah, I, I just thought there would be, like, some cutting-edge tech because of all the security and, like There's a secret lab.
They call it Normandy, because the tech that they're using down there is going to storm the beaches and then this lab is Jurassic Park because we've got all the old tech up here.
Wait, can you show me? It's through those doors.
So that's where they run all the actual patient tests? From Walgreens.
You told her we were coming, right? - I didn't want her to say no - Richard! No.
We're leaving.
- Hi, Rochelle.
- Richard.
Uh, this, this is, um I'm Phyllis Gardner.
I'm a professor at Stanford.
Anyway Um, Richard thought that maybe we could speak with you about what you know about Theranos.
Um, I think we're the only people in the world who believe that it's all a fraud.
But, hey, if this is a bad time.
I want to burn that company to the ground.
Come in.
We know you're one of the most successful women in America, but we don't know you as a person.
Talk to me like you're talking to your best friend.
Who are you? Describe yourself.
- You're turning 30 soon.
- Yeah.
Has your life turned out the way you thought it would.
Whoo! Uh - I'm gonna - Let's take five.
Erika, can you redo these, please, for the syphilis validation? - Was there something wrong or - No.
Just delete the outliers there.
I marked them out for you.
- He did it again? - I have to say something.
Wait, now? We're, we're doing this now? Mark, um, there's been a mistake, Uh, Erika.
It's actually not a great moment for me.
I'm giving blood to the lab.
We get ten dollars a tube.
You're asking me to cherry pick data, and I obviously can't do that.
Why? Because we're not going to get a clear picture on whether or not the test works.
But those were outliers.
What's going on here? Yeah, I'm sorry.
But what exactly is an outlier? Because it seems to me like it's just a data point that isn't doing what you want it to do and We consider that an outlier.
Okay, but then there would be outliers in every data run we've generated so far.
And we delete outliers.
Okay, I'm, like, not trying to make a big thing of this.
- I just think that - You sure? It seems like you are.
We delete outliers.
That's what we do.
All good? Good.
- I'm going to get fired.
- You're not going to get fired.
It's wrong, it's bad science.
- I'm going to talk to her.
- Talk to who? Wait.
Elizabeth? - Tyler! - Hi, Tyler.
Help us.
We're throwing a birthday party.
We're doing the seating chart.
It's my 30th.
- Wow.
- It's really good to see you.
You, too.
So who do you want to talk to at the party? Henry Kissinger or one of Elizabeth's friends? Are we inviting any of your friends? Well, you're my friends.
So Um, Charlotte, do you, you don't have any more of that coffee, do you? I'll make some.
Oh, I didn't see Sunny on the list.
Did you want to invite him? If you want, as long as I don't have to talk to him.
You're terrible.
Come help me bring out the coffee.
I know he can be difficult, but, uh, I think, I think I would like him at my birthday.
Of course.
You only turn 30 once.
I wouldn't know.
I'm 29.
I haven't had a birthday party in, I can't even remember the last time.
- Really? - Yeah.
- Can I talk to you for a moment? - Sure.
So, uh, George tells me that you play guitar.
Would you want to play something for me at my party? Of, of course.
Um, yeah.
I just, um So, I think that there might be some mismanagement in the lab you should know about.
What, what's going on? Well, we're being told to cherry pick data on the validation studies.
We're reporting accuracy of 95 percent when the real number is a lot lower.
I mean, right now, if 100 people infected with syphilis were tested on the Edison, we would be telling 35 of them that they didn't have syphilis.
That can't be right.
I know.
That's what, that's what I said.
Well, thank you for telling me, Tyler.
That's very brave of you.
Yeah, yeah, of course.
I think that people just want to please you, and they're not really thinking about the consequences.
You said we, who are you referring to? - Oh, my lab partner, Erika Cheung.
- Oh.
- Wait, what's going on? - They're moving me to Normandy.
- What? When? - Now.
It's a promotion.
You get to see Normandy.
Ready, Erika? - Can, can we have lunch soon? - Yeah.
Unfortunately, you're not on the same team anymore.
You can't disclose what you're working on.
So this is Normandy.
You're the most junior so you'll have to work on Thanksgiving, but at least you finally get a chance to run real patient samples.
Will I be working with the new tech? New tech? What new tech? Who told you there was new tech? Well, who told you there was new tech? Why are they diluting the blood samples? Erika, don't ask questions down here.
John? John, can you hear me? It's, it's Richard Fuisz.
I'm here with, uh Phyllis Gardner and Rochelle Gibbons.
Hi, Rochelle, thanks for talking to me.
We have your story.
It's all fake.
Rochelle can prove it.
So let Rochelle talk.
I am.
I'm just setting the scene.
You don't need to set the scene.
He's a writer.
Rochelle, tell him everything that you told us.
Uh, Ian told me before he died that Elizabeth Holmes didn't invent a single thing.
It was Ian who invented it.
And if Ian had testified, it would have invalidated Theranos' patents.
That's why she wasn't going to let him testify.
That's your story.
Rochelle, did Ian write any of this down? Is there any documentation at all? Well, they took his computer.
She's your source.
I'm sorry.
That's informed speculation.
I can definitely use you, Rochelle, and Phyllis, too, but as secondary sources, for What about me? I can be a source.
No, the lawsuit.
You have an axe to grind with them.
- No, I don't.
- Yes, you do.
See, for a story like this, I really need someone with firsthand knowledge.
She makes everybody who works there sign a nondisclosure.
How are we supposed to find a source? Yeah, say happy Thanksgiving to everyone.
I miss you.
Okay, bye.
Eating extra turkey for you.
Love you.
MAN: Love you, too.
Yeah, it's a, it's a vitamin D test for a patient in Palo Alto.
And the machine failed two quality control checks.
They just left me this number if I had any problems, but I We can't give this patient test results based on this machine.
Yes, we can.
Someone's coming to you.
Who? Wait, who's coming? I thought I was, I was here alone.
Hello? Yes.
Don't you work in research and development? Are you certified to be in here? The machine failed, so we obviously can't run the test.
The patient would get inaccurate results.
Wait No, this is a real patient.
She's a real person.
Happy Thanksgiving.
They're either running tests on Edisons that don't work or taking a drop of blood, diluting it, and running it on Siemens machines.
- I bet Mark - Isn't it possible - Everyone knows - that we don't know what the fuck we're talking about? That we just graduated, and we're freaking out about something we don't understand.
I mean, It's just vitamin D levels.
Yeah, what happens when it's syphilis or hep C? You know they're going to start running the hep C on the Edisons any day now.
Do you really think she'll let that happen? Dude, she is the CEO.
She knows what's going on.
She's purposefully giving people bad results.
That's not her.
Why? Whoa.
Are you, are you mad at me? Yeah.
Why-why do you think she doesn't know what's going on in her own company? Because she's a woman? Because she's friends with your grandfather? Because she's rich like you and she comes over for brunch? Or because you're going to her fucking birthday party tonight? That's so Why the fuck would you say that? It was a real person.
I gave inaccurate test results to a real person.
Yeah, but The numbers and facts exist.
Everything else is irrelevant.
Alright? We gather evidence, and we follow it until we get to the truth.
Because there is truth.
There is truth.
Are you going to help me? Yeah, whatever.
I can do this alone.
Okay, we're going to try it again.
When people talk about glass ceilings Try it again.
You know, when people talk about glass ceilings, uh The first line is, "glass ceiling.
" Just relax.
You're talking to your friends.
When people talk about glass ceilings - Ah.
I'm sorry.
- It's alright.
We just need a few more.
You look tired.
Fix your hair.
My hair's fine.
I don't need your help.
- You don't need my help? - No, I'm They're trying to shoot.
When people talk about glass ceilings Why weren't you focused? The ad's going to be terrible.
Can we just go? They don't even want me to come.
They don't think I'm classy enough.
- They're snobs.
- So be classy.
Sunny, stop.
Stop, you can't.
People can see us.
Fine, George doesn't like you, but I have to keep him happy.
Don't talk to me like you talk to other people.
- I I'm not.
- What if I told everyone tonight? - Tell them what? - That you love me.
That I'm your king.
I'll meet you at the party.
I can't be late.
Oh okay.
Uh, thank you.
Thank you for coming.
Thank you.
Thank you.
Happy birthday.
Thank you very much.
- Birthday girl.
- Hey! Happy birthday! You didn't come with a plus one, I see.
Oh no, I I don't have time to date.
Funny, Elizabeth says the same thing.
Here you are.
Sunny, what are you telling Charlotte? - That translates to - Sunny thinks he can speak Mandarin.
I'm so classy.
You two should hit the dance floor.
Yeah, I don't, I don't dance.
Never? That's too bad.
Tyler! Tyler's here.
Hey, Grandpa, can we, can we talk? Don't tell me this is what you're going to want for your 30th.
Nope, definitely don't want this.
But can we, can we talk somewhere? What is it? You're scaring me.
Is everything okay? I just, um I, uh I just I just want to talk to you about Theranos.
Talk about what? It's a party.
Nobody should talk about work at a party.
And Elizabeth works harder than all of us, so it must be true.
Come and tell Charlotte about the cover of Fortune.
She'll be thrilled.
- I guess we should get back out there.
- No.
You were going to say something.
What were you going to tell your grandfather? Were you gonna What were you gonna say? Are you running the Edison proficiency tests on Siemens machines? I don't know anything about that.
Are, are you running patient samples on Siemens machines? You have no idea what you're talking about.
Okay? Did I answer all of your questions? Tyler? Tyler! Kissinger wants Tyler to play the song he wrote.
He doesn't want to be the sole performer tonight, apparently.
Did you, did you write a song for me? I'd love to hear it.
Galileo mapped a sea of stars Noah told us of the coming flood And, Elizabeth, you will see the future In a drop of blood Tesla harnessed electricity Steve Jobs gave us heights to reach But, Elizabeth, you will see the future You will change the world Elizabeth The vision Elizabeth The brave Oh, Elizabeth Elizabeth The great Elizabeth, the great Oh, I love that so much.
It's so good.
Play it again.
Yeah, play it again.
Galileo - Who is it? - It's me.
You were right about her.
You were right about everything.
She knows.
Now, just you and me can celebrate.
We haven't had any time, just us.
What should I put on? What's that, that song you showed me the other day? I'm really tired.
Oh, stop it.
We're going to keep celebrating.
- It's a good email.
- Yeah.
We're covering ourselves.
I mean, she opens this email, and she won't be able to say that she wasn't aware of the regulatory breaches.
It's, it's electronic paper trail.
Send it.
- You want you want me to - No, I'm freaking out.
Why? Because that's the obvious Because I'm going to get fired, so.
Wh-what's wrong? No, I'm okay.
Hey, you don't have to send the email right now.
- We can wait.
- I just I have problems with panic.
So I get it.
You don't, but it's okay.
No, I-I get it.
I do.
Like, I can't just get another job.
I grew up in a trailer.
With six people.
And my freshman year at Berkeley was, I I felt like I was on the moon.
I was a mess and Then I I got assaulted.
I, I didn't know.
I almost dropped out.
And I don't know.
I stayed.
So it's not just an email.
It's my job and it's my rent, and it's maybe losing the thing that I love to do.
Baby, look.
Your birthday gift.
I put an offer in.
I'm going to buy it for us.
We move there, we live there together.
We do what everyone wants us to do, and we take the company public.
Wine cellar.
How many bedrooms? I'm going to send it now.
Wait, wait.
Tyler, it's fine.
What are you doing? I'm taking your name off it and sending it from my email.
Why? I'm a Shultz.
What is it? I heard you wanted to see me.
Wh-what is she doing here? She has nothing to do with this.
Sit down, please, Erika.
We're interested in the email you sent to Elizabeth.
Tyler, where did you get the information about the proficiency testing? You're not allowed in Normandy.
Erika? Did you give Tyler that information? I figured it out alone.
Oh, you figured it out.
You almost failed out of Stanford your senior year.
You want to explain to me about statistics? You want to tell me all about how labs work? You think you know better than all of us? No.
I I'm just trying to do the right thing.
Oh god.
You think you're the good guy here? The only reason I've taken so much time away from my work to address you personally is because you are George Shultz's grandson.
Do you get that? Yeah, I get that.
So I'm going to go ahead and give my two weeks' notice.
I don't want two weeks.
Leave now.
I know it was you.
I can make it so no one will ever hire you again.
Are you going to be a problem? I can't lose my job.
Then this ends here.
George, he just quit.
He got some bad intel.
I'm sorry to say this, but he might not be capable of understanding the complexity of what goes on in our labs.
The science is over his head.
He's on his way over now.
I'll get the full story.
- Are you sure this is - He's going to take care of it.
- I promise.
- Tyler.
We managed to nab some crab legs for you for dinner.
Oh, yeah.
Uh, Charlotte, this is Erika.
Lovely to meet you.
I'm, uh, Tyler's wicked step-grandma.
- He's told us so much about you.
- Tyler.
I just received a call from Elizabeth.
She told me that you quit today in a very unprofessional manner.
Yeah, that's actually what we came to talk to you about.
You believe Theranos is lying to regulators? Yeah, but there's a lot more we don't know because no one will tell us, so that's why we need you to start asking questions.
I won't.
I Why, why not? You don't have all the information.
You're jumping to conclusions without knowing the context, which is, I'm sorry to say this, petulant and immature.
They both work there.
They know what they saw.
There are very few times in my life when I have been given the chance to do something that is purely good.
And this is one of those times.
This company is going to save lives.
So, is this conversation over? What's for dessert? I know how much you want to believe that everything she's saying is real.
I'm sorry? I, I wanted to believe it, too, but if you look at the numbers and data, it becomes Are you saying that I don't understand the data? No, I just Elizabeth did a demo for me.
And I saw the results.
Are you telling me that isn't true? Yes, I am.
She's lying.
I'm so glad Elizabeth is promoting and supporting other female scientists.
I know it's a very difficult field for young women.
It can be.
And this is the way you repay her? I appreciate you coming here, but I resent you implying that I'm so old that I have lost my ability to judge another person's character.
It's not your fault.
I think she's taking advantage of you.
They're trying to convince me you're stupid.
- George! - Who is? Sunny? Elizabeth? They can't convince me of that.
They can convince me that you simply don't have a good handle on all the sophisticated chemistry and engineering that's taking place inside Theranos.
I would like this conversation to be over.
George told him he didn't believe him.
Of course, it's fine.
George loves you.
Errol Morris liked the commercial.
They want to do a hashtag.
Hashtag Iron Sisters.
According to The New Yorker, she's a saint.
This is from William Perry, former Secretary of Defense.
"She has sometimes been called another Steve Jobs, "but I think that that's an inadequate comparison.
He was a genius.
She's one with a big heart.
" I mean, why? Why does everybody want to believe in this girl so badly? Because she's pretty and blonde.
She's a symbol of feminist progress.
She makes the men in tech and business feel good without challenging them.
And she's pretty and blonde.
Richard, what are you wearing? Didn't Lorraine pack your suitcase? Uh, she's gone.
We're getting a divorce.
I don't want to talk about it.
W-well, um, maybe you want to take a little break for a while.
Break? Why would I take a break? Because you look tired, you sound tired.
- Lorraine's leaving you.
- Just shush, okay? I'm trying to write this LinkedIn profile.
Why? I'm looking for Theranos employees to be sources.
- Smart.
- No! Come on, there's no way that Theranos employees can say where they actually work.
She's goddamn El Chapo.
Don't type in Theranos! Type in biomedical.
Don't tell me what to do.
You're not as smart as you think you are.
Yes, I am.
Um, I, uh, won't be a whistleblower.
I can point you in the right direction.
Confirm a few details.
That's, that's far as I'm willing to go.
Is that understood? Uh can offer you a water? Sure.
I don't have a water.
I don't know why I said that.
I'm nervous.
Out of curiosity, what made you decide to talk to me? Was it something I wrote on my LinkedIn message? It was your signature.
We're both physicians.
We took the Hippocratic Oath.
Do no harm.
I'm ready for your questions now.
Oh yeah, one second.
I I, uh I wrote them down.
Uh, number one: How is Theranos defrauding Walgreens? The Theranos Wellness Center, according to Mark Roessler, packs the Arizona samples into a cooler to be shipped to their laboratories in Palo Alto.
Now sometimes, the coolers are left unattended for hours, and the blood samples literally bake in the sun.
And by the time the samples reach their final destination, the blood is often clotted and completely unusable, right? If, however, the sample is still viable, Theranos dilutes the blood and processes it on a modified Siemens machine.
What do you think? How many sources? - I have one for now - Not enough But I have contacted 20 employees.
They're scared.
They've all signed NDA.
I can't run this story off of one anonymous source.
I know.
Mark Roessler gave me the names of two lab associates who recently left the company.
I've reached out to one of them on LinkedIn.
I'm hoping he's going to respond.
How young? - Early 20s.
- Ugh.
They're going to get hit with a lot.
Do you think they're ready? Have you seen the names on that board? James Mattis, Henry Kissinger.
It's like a it's like an army.
It's so empowering and powerful to be a part of a company created by a woman who's so incredibly intelligent and also nurturing.
The reason I got into engineering was because I looked at it and I said, "That looks hard, that's a challenge, so I'm going to do it.
" That's a role model that we need.
We need more of these role models for young women.
I think it's definitely on the trajectory to be just as much a career for women as it is for men.
To see a woman leading such a strong company and, and leading with these huge ideas and doing so in a very technical manner and how much that does inspire other young women to want to pursue these, not only technical dreams, but to not, to not be afraid to dream really big.
Yeah, hello.
Uh, John Carreyrou? This is Tyler Shultz.
You know, when people talk about glass ceilings, I always say next to every glass ceiling, there's an Iron Lady.

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