The Dropout (2022) s01e07 Episode Script


Elizabeth, this is Erika Cheung.
It's her first day.
Welcome to Theranos.
Here, put it on the camera on your computer.
Why? So they can't watch you.
If Ian had testified, it would have invalidated Theranos' patents.
For a story like this, I really need someone with firsthand knowledge.
They must be running everything on the Siemens machines to get around the regulators.
Do you really think she'd let that happen? Dude, she is the CEO.
She knows what's going on.
Are you running the Edison proficiency tests on Siemens machines? You have no idea what you're talking about.
You believe Theranos is lying to regulators? Yeah, that's why we need you to start asking questions.
No, I won't.
I'm ready for your questions now.
How is Theranos defrauding Walgreens? Yeah, hello.
Uh, John Carreyrou? This is Tyler Schultz.
You founded this company 12 years ago, right? Tell them how old you were.
I was 19.
So Don't worry about the future, we're in good hands.
I look back on this brilliant young woman's, uh, vision, and I think to myself, how in God's name at 19 was she able to convince some of the leading professors in America, uh, let alone her parents, to give her all her tuition money to go and say, "I got an idea.
I'm going to start a company.
" So the Theranos report for the patient came back showing an abnormally high TSH value.
But the patient was already taking thyroid medication - to lower that value? - Precisely.
And the Theranos results indicated the medication wasn't working.
Was Theranos correct? This patient was pregnant, okay.
Increasing her dosage would have made her thyroid hormone levels so high, it would have put her pregnancy at risk.
Would you go on the record with this? Abso-fucking-lutely.
I tracked down a patient who spent Thanksgiving in the ER because a Theranos test told her incorrectly - she was having a stroke.
- Mm.
Thousands of dollars in medical bills.
I spoke with a cancer survivor, took a Theranos test, thought her cancer had come back.
I have three doctors on the record.
I have the Mark Roessler emails.
He sent you those? No, not yet, but he should shortly.
From what he describes, they're pretty damning.
I've got Gardner and Gibbons on the record and Tyler Schultz on background.
Wait, wait, uh, back up.
Tyler who? This kid worked in the labs with Erika Cheung.
He's George Schultz's grandson.
Does Schultz know his grandson is talking to us? Oh no.
And I have to make sure he doesn't.
Yeah, no shit.
- It smells really good.
- Mm-hmm.
- Can I have the crackers? - Nope.
So we ought to be thankful that Elizabeth Holmes wasn't running the USSR in the '80s.
Okay, so you do know what I'm going to ask She's not going to talk to me, Judith.
I'm the only reporter in America she will not give an interview to.
Doesn't matter.
We have to be able to say we made every effort to allow Theranos to respond.
I sent them a list of questions.
- Okay.
- I am a little bit worried they're going to come after my sources.
They've got David Boies representing them.
Yeah, fuck that.
Whatever they throw at us, we can handle it.
But maybe also call Mark Roessler and have him hurry up with those e-mails.
Wall Street Journal is doing an article about Theranos, and it is, um I don't think it's going to be positive.
Uh, here are some questions they sent over that they would like you to, uh, to an to answer as soon as you possibly can Yo, I've been trying to get ahold of you.
Mark just downloaded, like, hundreds of work e-mails to his personal drive, and now he's headed out of the building.
- Mark? - Yeah.
Where is Mark? Mark! What's he going to do to him? Sunny! Mark! Mark, I will sue your ass! Delete those emails! We have an NDA, Mark.
- These questions are ridiculous.
- And sloppy.
Yeah, he's not a good writer.
I, I tried reading his Medicare thing the other night.
It, like, sucked.
I mean, I mean, he should be more careful.
These questions make it obvious who his sources are.
You know who his sources are? - Yes, of course.
- We believe we do.
We've narrowed it down.
Thank you, Peter.
He's spoken to Rochelle Gibbons.
Who we should sue for defamation.
And some doctors and patients in Arizona, which violates doctor-patient confidentiality.
And those questions regarding the particulars of the Normandy lab, those are, that's coming from Erika.
Erika Cheung, Tyler Schultz, Mark Roessler.
Who all signed NDAs.
That's right.
And who are young and disgruntled.
- Very fucking disgruntled.
- All three left after disagreements.
But they expect us to answer these questions, like, I, I This, this whole thing that we have to respond to liars? That's ridiculous.
And all these legal elements, we have to get, we have to get ahead of all of them now.
Extremely serious legal implications.
Like, Tyler basically violated and shared our trade secrets.
Violating trade secrets is not okay.
We want to sue everyone.
Everyone? - We want to nail this motherfucker.
- Yeah.
Well I respect the integrity of journalism.
I represent the New York Times.
But there are tools and tactics available that we can use to try and suppress negative stories.
And we can remind them of the consequences of breaking their NDAs.
Linda will help me with that.
And then, of course, we can question their credibility.
If these are the kind of people that break their NDAs, how can we trust anything they say? Good.
Hey, Tiger.
Are you home? I'm back.
I got to tell you something.
Come find me.
This house is too big.
I can't.
I met Rupert Murdoch tonight at the thing.
I'm sorry.
You started it.
Rupert Murdoch invited me to his ranch tonight.
God, I am so happy.
I'm going to Arizona tomorrow to talk to the doctors.
I don't care that Boies has a strategy.
I want to talk to them face-to-face.
End this smear campaign, take out his sources.
Cut this off at the legs one by one.
We can turn this around.
I'm not here to scare you.
I'm simply asking you, does your practice rely on online reviews? It would hurt your practice if your patients knew you shared their confidential health information with a reporter.
Right? But if you sign that document, all this goes away.
I've always believed that we are here on this Earth to make a difference in the world.
So when I found what I felt like I was born to do, which is help and try to contribute to, to solving a problem - Hello.
- I'm being followed, John.
Like, everywhere I go, there's someone watching me.
- Who's watching you? - I, I don't know, but I'm not making it up.
It's not safe in my house.
I'm, I'm in the car.
I'm using the Wi-Fi in my car.
I believe that on a human level, there's not much else that matters.
Access to more data will save more lives.
Yeah, when, you know, in saving lives when you're talking about someone you love, you'd do anything, right? - I get these phone calls - Mark.
From, from Sunny and their goddamn lawyers, they're threatening me I told you they were going to come after you.
these massive lawsuits.
Has anybody challenged the science of what you do? I hired a lawyer, a very good lawyer.
But he found out they had David Boies on, on their side, and he told me to delete the emails immediately.
Don't delete the emails, Mark.
What you're doing is too important.
I don't know.
I, I, I don't know if I can do this.
Are there people who raise questions and say, you know, why doesn't she show us all this? Because we'd feel more comfortable with the results.
The major lab companies, yeah.
Help me understand what it is they're asking and what your answer is to them.
- I know it's scary right now - They can bankrupt me.
But they wouldn't make it scary if they weren't scared.
And they're scared because they know that they're wrong and you're right.
What you're doing is going to save lives.
Yeah, yeah.
Mark, you did this because you're going to save people.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
No, you're right.
So you'll send me those emails? Yeah, yeah.
Mark? Mark? Mark.
Sorry, John, I'm sorry.
The Roessler emails are gone.
Most of the Arizona doctors are gone.
If they manage to sway Tyler, I, I do not have a story.
Well, then get Tyler on the phone.
I've tried to get Tyler on the phone.
He doesn't pick up.
- Well, try again.
- I have tried trying again.
Well, have you tried texting, emailing - I have tried everything.
- sending him flowers? Well, then you're just going to have to wait.
I will just wait.
That is really helpful, Judith.
Thank you.
- I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.
- It's okay.
- This is really taking a toll on me.
- I can see that.
You just can't lose Tyler.
Grandpa, what's up? I'm not sure why Elizabeth thinks that I was the one who spoke to some, - some reporter.
- Did you Tyler? Because if you did, you're in danger of being sued.
Just tell me.
We're family.
Did you speak to the reporter? No.
- No.
- Oh, that's good.
So then, all you have to do is sign a new non-disclosure agreement.
What? Linda! - Is someone here? - George.
Is there someone upstairs? A lawyer from Theranos brought the document for you to sign.
You told me to come over and talk.
You didn't tell me I have to sign anything.
Linda! Okay.
This matter is more urgent than you realize.
Hi, Tyler.
I have some documents you're going to need to sign.
Okay, here's the restraining order.
A restraining order? Are you fucking serious? No, that's wrong.
Elizabeth said he was going to sign a nondisclosure agreement.
This is a letter from Theranos stating that they believe that you have violated your confidentiality obligations.
This is not what Elizabeth said was going That they're preparing to file a lawsuit against you.
- Is this coming from Sunny? - I didn't speak to the reporter.
Would you be willing to sign an affidavit to that effect? Would you be willing to name the people who did in fact speak to The Wall Street Journal? My grandson is not a rat.
George, why don't you let me take it from here? Like hell I will.
You, into the study now.
Tyler, you stay here.
We're going to settle this with decorum.
Sit down.
You won't be talking to Tyler directly.
You'll be using me as an intermediary.
Is this really necessary? It was good enough for Gorbachev, and it will be good enough for you.
How are you doing? Are you hungry? Charlotte, can we have some crackers in here? Can you just tell her not to sue me? We're taking the lawsuit off the table.
We can't do that.
Then he won't be signing.
That's a red line? Good news, they're agreeing not to sue you for two years.
So they're going to sue me in two years? Jesus Christ, George, this is your grandson.
Fine, we will agree not to sue.
And you'll put that in writing.
Yes, we'll draft it up right now.
But if we do, he'll sign? No, I, I won't sign it.
- Those were your terms.
- Well, my terms have changed.
Why? Because you did speak to a reporter.
Because if you did and you sign these documents, you'll be perjuring yourself.
- Okay.
- What are you doing here? Tyler, I've modified the documents to meet your demands.
Now sign.
George why don't you fax the documents to your lawyer and see what he thinks Taylor should do? Tyler, your mom's on the phone.
If you'd like, you can take it upstairs.
Why did my mom call here? Is everything okay? Tyler, I know you spoke with the reporter.
No, I I didn't.
- I didn't, I - This is our attorney on the phone.
Tell him your situation.
He can help you.
I'm My lawyer says he shouldn't sign.
Why? I mean, if he's telling the truth, then he has no reason That was his recommendation.
I'm going to have to ask you to leave.
Tyler you're about to be buried in legal fees.
Your parents are about to be buried in legal fees.
That's my son you're talking about.
You cannot afford what is about to come at you.
- Is it worth it? - Get out.
You'll be hearing from me.
Do you Do you wish Elizabeth was related to you instead of me? Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
She lied to you about the documents she wanted me to sign.
She lies.
That's who she is.
Why can't you just admit that you were wrong about her? Because you're this great man and you never make mistakes? You're never wrong? Did you speak to the reporter? No.
Then I'm choosing to believe you.
We have a very big announcement to tell y'all.
- Are you excited? - Walgreens isn't happy.
Normandy is a disaster zone.
We need new lab directors and lab managers.
Because you replaced Mark with a dermatologist.
Because I don't want someone who's going to create problems.
But we can't keep fighting fires by creating fires.
We have to focus on the root cause of the problem.
What is the root cause? And I think she deserves What is the root cause? So without further ado, I present to you our fearless leader, Elizabeth Holmes.
We've got herpes! Theranos! Theranos! Theranos! Theranos! Theranos! Theranos! Theranos! Theranos! Theranos! Theranos! Congratulations on the FDA approval.
Moving in the right direction.
Where are we with the article? Tyler didn't sign.
It doesn't matter because he's a kid.
And they've lost more than half of their sources.
But we need answers to those questions that the journalist sent.
We need to categorically deny the allegations.
I won! Oh, I had an idea last night.
What the fuck? Yeah, I know, Richard.
I'm looking at it.
In your own paper! She, she wrote and published a brag about herpes in your own paper? She's spitting in your face.
How could this happen? Well, it's an op-ed, Richard.
Opinion and news are totally separate.
They don't know what we're working on.
I'll tell you how it happened.
Guess who's the new investor in Theranos? Rupert Murdoch! Rupert fucking Murdoch.
The man who owns your paper.
I just found out this morning.
Um, I'm sorry.
Where where did Where is this information coming from? It's coming from, you figure it out.
That's where it's coming from.
$125 million, the most he's ever invested in a tech company.
Are you sure about this? Your story is dead.
He's going to bury it.
He's going to bury it to protect his investment.
That's not necessarily true.
The op-ed! The op-ed! The opinion page has nothing to do Murdoch just invested $125 million.
In Theranos? No, in railroads.
Guess he should have called you first, huh? Yeah.
Uh, we gotta run the story now.
- We can't run it now.
- Why not? Because it's not ready.
You've lost half your sources, so we need more proof.
- We have to wait.
- Judith, come Come on.
Obama just named her global ambassador of something.
The woman is worth four and a half billion dollars.
They are fucking winning here.
John, in Sicily, every year Why are we talking about Italy? No, no.
We're talking about Sicily.
There's a practice called la mattanza.
The fishermen, they wade into the Mediterranean Sea.
The water is up to their waist.
They've got their clubs and spears in hand.
And they stand there.
Very still.
For hours.
Till the fish start to gather around them.
Because the men are so still and they've waited so long, the fish don't even realize they're there.
They, they think they're part of the scenery.
But then once there are enough fish gathered, someone gives the signal.
And then bam! Bam, bam, bam! Tch tch tch tch tch.
Tch tch tch tch.
Bam! Bam! So you see.
Very vivid imagery.
We wait.
Until Boies responds to my questions? Until we know we've got them.
- Yup.
- Go on.
- Oh! - Oh my god! I I'm sorry, your roommate, she just let me in downstairs, and I Wh-what are you, what are you doing here? I, uh, brought a lamp.
Yeah, you just, you weren't answering my calls, so I thought I would stop by and say hi and bring a lamp.
Remember you told me you didn't have one for your room? How long have you had that knife? I, I don't know, it helps the It helps me sleep.
When you were at Theranos, did you ever hear of Ian Gibbons? Maybe.
Carreyrou told me that he was a chemist there.
They were pressuring him so much that, um, he killed himself.
I keep thinking about him.
Yeah, it's, uh It's bad right now.
They're suing me.
My grandfather stopped talking to me.
They're tracking everything I do.
At least now you have an ugly lamp.
David, what are you doing here? I want to talk.
- Were you in the neighborhood? - No.
The article is not going away.
It's not moving forward but it's not going away, and I can't make it go away until I know what they have.
This is the moment where you tell me everything that you've been hiding from me.
Oh, you need to be prepared.
I'm prepared.
- For, for what? - For Boies killing your story.
- No.
- He's the one that called the meeting.
I'm sure he has evidence that refutes it.
Judith, the story is good.
I still have Dr.
Betz in Arizona.
I've got the nurse, Carmen Washington.
I have that patient.
I have Erika Cheung, Mark Roessler, Richard Fuisz, - Rochelle Gibbons, Phyllis Gardner - On background.
- And Tyler.
- You haven't heard from Tyler? No.
But that also means I haven't heard that he's recanted.
Come on.
Whatever happened to stab the fish? Sometimes the fish can take you to court.
And then you have to let them go.
So say it back to me, you have to let the fish go.
- Sometimes you have to let the fish go.
- Exactly.
So thank you for coming by.
This is John Carreyrou and Jay Conti, the deputy general counsel of our parent company.
Ah, hold on.
Oh, are we recording? Is this a deposition? - Nope.
Just want a record.
- Well, hold on.
Maybe we want to record.
What do you, what do you think? - Yeah, why not? Sure.
- Okay.
So where is the app? Uh, Recorder Plus.
And do I download it? - Yeah, go to the App Store.
- Mm-hmm.
And how much is it? - No, it's free.
- Oh, okay, free.
Ah, there it is.
Okay, got it.
You got it? - Got it.
- Got it.
Can we keep moving forward? Yeah, yeah, yeah, of course, of course.
So you sent us 80 questions for review, and we are here to rebut the false premise embedded in those questions.
Now, it's apparent to us that one of your key sources is a young man named Tyler Schultz.
We aren't disclosing our confidential sources, nor should you presume to know who they are.
Can we move on? You're absolutely right, Judith.
I'm not asking you to disclose your sources.
I respect journalists, and I'm trying to protect you.
There just isn't a story here.
Then answer my questions.
It's John, right? It is, David.
You will make a fool of yourself by printing this.
Mm-hmm, so you're the good cop, David? No.
I'm just trying to figure out how we could have arrived at a place where The Journal is considering publication of an article I know to be false, misleading, and unfair and threatens to disclose information that Theranos rigorously protects as trade secrets.
Do you really believe that all the recognition by the academic, scientific, and healthcare communities of Theranos' achievements is wrong? That every previous published report about Theranos, including in The Journal itself, has been the result of misleading manipulation by the company? Wow.
If it were true, that's a powerful story.
Why would you let a story like that go? Why would you check it thoroughly? That would be a career-defining story.
The only problem is none of it is true.
Then why don't you answer my questions? I just want to know Here's what I want to know, John.
What about your conduct in Arizona? What you were doing down there with those doctors was nothing short of yellow journalism.
- Oh, David, where'd the good cop go? - Yellow journalism? You were asking those doctors loaded questions.
Okay, here's a loaded question.
If Theranos has new technology, what is it? Okay, so you want us to give you the formula for Coke so that we can Nobody's asking for the formula for Coke.
- By the way, I like Pepsi.
- Okay.
Just answer.
Does Theranos use fingerstick samples in their technology or not? - That's a trade secret.
- Yes or no.
That is a trade secret.
How about this? This is another easy one.
Are you using Siemens machines in your labs? Yes, but for comparison purposes only.
So you acknowledge you have them? For comparison purposes.
You're grasping at straws She said, for comparison purposes.
Move on.
Just walk me through some of the language that's been changed recently on the website.
Oh, language on the website? The phrase, "Many of our tests only require a few drops of blood.
" That phrase was recently deleted.
Yes, for marketing accuracy.
Accuracy? So you characterize the language before as inaccurate? Alright.
We will acknowledge that not every blood test is run on proprietary technology, but they're transitioning.
It's a transitional process.
A journey.
A journey.
A journey.
This meeting's over.
W well, it's only been four hours.
I mean Oh my god, holy shit.
They admitted to using third-party analyzers.
They sure did.
After months of saying they don't use third-party analyzers.
- They sure did.
- So, Judith - is this - Bam! Elizabeth, they're running it.
So when will it come out? Uh, I don't know.
I spoke to Rupert and asked him to kill the story, but, uh You asked Rupert Murdoch to kill a story in The Wall Street Journal for you? Of course.
He told me that his hands are tied.
I don't understand why he can't just make a phone call.
How bad will it be? Nothing we can't handle.
George I want to know that I have your support.
I hear you're joining the Harvard Medical School Board of Fellows.
You must be riding high.
I know! A college dropout joining the board of a Harvard Medical School.
Obviously, Harvard's support of our company means more to me than a reporter who doesn't understand.
Elizabeth I've worked for two presidents, Nixon and Reagan, who made bad decisions.
Nixon, more so.
But Reagan got mixed up in the Iran-Contra affair, and it hurt his legacy.
He was a great man.
But he started listening to the wrong people.
It's easy to make the mistake of listening to the wrong people.
If mistakes were made I think it might be time to consider whether you have the right people around you.
If Sunny is the right person.
Baby, how did it go with George? I said, how did it go with George? I have to pack for my Harvard Board dinner tonight and I don't I laid out your clothes.
Yeah, I don't want to wear what you picked out.
Just wear it, why don't you? I don't know what I'm supposed to fucking do.
I don't even know when it's going to come out.
I don't know what it's going to say.
You should have protected me.
I see.
George told you to blame me.
That's what you're going to do? You're going to blame me? No.
Of course not.
I have to meet the jet.
Because I know everything that you know.
What? You were on all of those e-mails.
Well, I'm the CEO.
And I don't always read all of my e-mails.
I love you, Tiger.
I miss you already.
Miss you too.
- Richard.
- They killed it.
It's dead.
You fucked it up.
I knew it.
You got cocky and you fucked it up.
I'm taking it somewhere else.
It's too late for that.
Oh, is that right? Is that what you think? Hah.
No way, buddy.
No way! It's running tonight, buddy.
- Tonight? What? The - Mm-hmm.
Really? Yes! That's, uh, good.
That's good.
You, you got it done.
Yeah, well, you're welcome.
Oh, what, am I supposed to thank you? I gave it to you on a plate.
I hope you can go out tonight, have a drink, celebrate with your family.
With my family.
Uh, good.
Uh, well, uh, goodbye.
If, if you get anything wrong, I'll call you.
I'm expecting you to.
Oh yes.
Yes! Yes! Yes! Oh! Good! Yes! Ahh.
Oh good.
That's done.
Could have a glass of water, please? A whiskey with ice.
Phyllis, I saw you were on the board as well.
I am, yes, and now you are too.
Yes, I'm, I'm so honored to be asked to advise the dean of Medical School on strategies.
It is an honor.
Yeah, it is good to see you I'm looking forward to reading the article in the Journal.
Yes, I know about it.
I think a lot of people will be interested in it.
And when this becomes a scandal, because it will become a scandal, what do you think happens to all of the other women who want to start companies? Who do they go to? Who's going to trust them? Because it's not just you.
It's never just you.
It was good to see you, Phyllis.
Don't call me Phyllis.
I'm not Phyllis to you.
I'm Dr.
You know, I realized something last night.
This is what happens.
This is what happens when you work to change things.
First, they think you're crazy.
And then they fight you.
And then all of a sudden you change the world.
By now, you've probably seen the article published about our company in The Wall Street Journal.
The man who wrote it, John Carreyrou, is a spiteful man.
He is a sad man.
But we are a team.
And we will be fighting every single tiny detail.
Fuck you, Carreyrou! Fuck you, Carreyrou! Fuck you, Carreyrou! Fuck you, Carreyrou! Fuck you, Carreyrou! Fuck you, Carreyrou! Fuck you, Carreyrou! Fuck you, Carreyrou! Fuck you, Carreyrou!
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