The Dropout 1×02 gave us more of what we saw in the first episode, and even more. Amanda Seyfried continues to lead this incredible cast, in a train wreck of a story that it’s impossible to look away from. As the series continues, it gets clearer and clearer that this entire situation was doomed from the start.
Stephen Fry made his series debut in this episode as Ian Gibbons, the man who became Theranos’ Chief Science Officer. This was arguably the most tragic outcome of the entire Theranos mess and proof that very real people suffered very real consequences that have had repercussions to this day.
Seyfried continues to portray Elizabeth Holmes in a truly fascinating way. She’s a ball of energy that has nowhere to go. She’s genuinely baffled by birthday parties and even admits, “I don’t know what people like.” Little things, like not understanding why her colleague’s daughter would want to play with a toy oven, paint a picture of a woman struggling to fit in. This show has done a good job so far of giving us enough information to explain Holmes’ actions but never offering justification for the destruction she later caused.
Seyfried plays Holmes as almost endearing. Especially when making her pitch for her ill-fated business to the tech bros of Silicon Valley, she comes off as incredibly genuine and passionate about her idea. Who among us hasn’t been in the position of being scoffed at by men of less intelligence, greater fortune, and limited vision. Seeing her get progressively more frenzied in pursuit of her vision, although it leads to very unethical behavior (more on that later), will be familiar to any woman trying to implement their ultimate goal.
The cultural appropriation was strong in The Dropout 1×02. The episode’s name, “Satori,” is a Buddhist term casually thrown around by a white guy on a boat. It’s always cringe listening to a man wax poetic about another culture with, frankly, blatant disrespect and fetishization. It left a gross aftertaste that never quite dissipated by the end of the episode.
This episode also exposed several flaws in this incredibly weak capitalistic system we live in. The first was the overarching attitude of “get the fucking money” being the ethos by which all business should be conducted. Having this view parroted by an incredibly detestable dude-bro made it even less palatable.
The second problem The Dropout 1×02 addressed was one of ethics. The faking of a critical test for the company was not necessarily surprising. It was still shocking to see how boldly and blatantly the decision was made to lie about what was billed as a critical piece of medical technology meant for millions of actual patients. Though the real-world implications maybe weren’t entirely clear yet in this episode, it was clear enough that the business itself was headed for disaster.
The second episode of The Dropout set up more chaos to be explored for the rest of the series. Seyfried makes a compelling lead. However, the moral story for this character is perhaps coming to a close. It’s hard to justify the real harm that was caused by Holmes’ choices. Hopefully, we will get a chance to explore the motivations for those who were around Holmes. There’s clearly a lot there to unpack.
-That iPod…wow, what a throwback. Those things were massive. I loved mine, and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
-Getting service on a boat? Impressive…I wonder what service provider they were using in the early 2000s.
-Edmond putting work above taking his kid to a birthday party…wrong priorities, man.
What did you think of The Dropout 1×02, “Satori”? Let us know in the comments below!
The Dropout airs Thursdays on Hulu.
Read All Of THE DROPOUT Reviews –
- ‘The Dropout’ 1×01 Review: “I’m in a Hurry”
- ‘The Dropout’ 1×02 Review: “Satori”
- ‘The Dropout’ 1×03 Review: “Green Juice”
- ‘The Dropout’ 1×04 Review: “Old White Men”
- ‘The Dropout’ 1×05 Review: “Flower of Life”
- ‘The Dropout’ 1×06 Review: “Iron Sisters”
- ‘The Dropout’ 1×07 Review: “Heroes”
- ‘The Dropout’ 1×08 Review: “Lizzy”