01x05 - Flower of Life

Episode transcripts for the TV show "The Dropout". Aired: March 3, 2022 - present.
Miniseries based on the podcast The Dropout tells the story of the rise and fall of the youngest self-made billionaire, Elizabeth Holmes.
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01x05 - Flower of Life

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ELIZABETH HOLMES: Hello, Walgreens!

Welcome to Theranos.

CYNTHIA: Theranos is gonna be in stores!

ELIZABETH: Retail is in freefall.

So you're going to have to find
a new source of revenue.

For example, a wellness center.

You can't put this in stores!

- You're fired.
- BRENDAN: If you fire Ian,

you'll have to fire me.

You wanna fire me?

SECURITY: This is your new desk.

But, but my lab's downstairs.

Project Beta!

We are looking to make
a strategic connection in government.

Having George Schultz
would be a game-changer.





♪ contemplative music ♪

It's wonderful.

We start construction
at the Arizona store soon,

so trying to get everything ready.

So, um...

I just wanted to get a sense

of how much longer you guys
are going to need

before we can launch
the wellness centers.

Obviously, we had agreed on February.

That passed last month.

What is this?

That's where the device will go.

But we don't have dimensions

or any details yet, so...

I mean, obviously, we would like
to get them as soon as possible.


I hate to be the bad guy here,

but I'm going to need a firm date.

I, I thought you understood that

this process was going to be long.

JAY ROSEN: Absolutely.

But it has been three years.

And we have put in about $ million.

So I think that Wade is getting
a little bit frustrated.


If you're not the one calling the sh*ts,

then maybe I should
just give Wade a call.

WADE: We can skip the call.

Because I'm here.

ROSEN: Okay.

Well, I said I could handle it.

Can you guys give us a moment?

DR. J: Isn't that comfy?

It's fine.

So... Elizabeth.

We're building these wellness centers
in our stores.

Two in Arizona, one in Palo Alto...

Well, I, I explained that,

- that this device is...
- Yeah, you've explained.

Except there's nothing
to explain because

we don't have this.

So here's my question.

When do we get it?

Wade, we care deeply
about our partnership.

And we're anxious to put
our best foot forward.

And what's the timeline for,

"We are anxious to put
our best foot forward"?

Because I've got one.

You want to hear it?




Six months from now.

No more breaks, no more extensions.

We'll be ready in September.

Sunny is spearheading operations.




- [LOUD expl*si*n]
- ALL: Ooh!



Oh, also, Wade asked me
about the lawsuit.

He just found out
that I guess you're suing

your old next-door neighbor
from when you were growing up?

Richard Fu-eez?

Fuisz. Yeah, he, uh,
applied for competing patents

to try to get us to pay him off.
What? Does this door not work?

- And he thought you'd settle.
- Where's the door?

Right, right.
Well, just putting this out there.

But is this the best time to be
in the middle of a lawsuit?

Wade would prefer if it was
all cleared up by the launch.

It will be. We just hired
David Boies to represent us.

David Boies.

- Wow. The big g*ns.
- We're declaring w*r.

Richard, it's that man again.

The car is still there. Richard!

I see you. I see you.

I see you. Yes, you. [CAR ENGINE STARTS]

- Get out of here.
- I'm taking your picture.

Get out of here, you assholes.

- I got it.
- Assholes!

Beth. Judy.

They're going to chew
on this for a month.

I can't do this anymore.

Just end it. End the lawsuit.

That car's been out there all morning.

They're watching us.

Well, of course, they are.

Of course, they are.

They think they can intimidate us

because they're rich, entitled pricks.

- But we're not intimidated.
- We're not? Because I am.

Settle it. Who cares? It's one patent.

You want to give her more money.

I just want it to be over.

If I settle now, I'm the schmuck.

I'm giving them what they want.

And then, what did I spend

hundreds of thousands of dollars
in legal fees for.

I can't even talk about
the amount of money you spent.

I had to defend myself and my family.

She's coming after us.

Why are you doing this?

Look... okay, wait, I...

I want to show you something. Sit down.

I, I had a-a-a breakthrough.

- Look at these.
- What are these?

Theranos patents.
And there, right there.

There's a man whose name is on
every patent with Elizabeth.

Who is Ian Gibbons?

♪ Opera playing over headphones ♪

- Ian Gibbons.
- Yes?

- You've been subpoenaed.
- What?

What am I supposed to say
about the company under oath?

I don't want to play these games.
I'm not a lawyer.

Dr. Gibbons, let's calm down.

I'm a chemist. It's what I am.
It's all I ever wanted to be.

Until she stopped me from doing it.

Stopped me from working in my own lab.

Who stopped you?

Elizabeth Holmes stopped you?

I don't know who you are.

- They told me to come here.
- I'm Linda Tanner.

I'm part of Theranos'
in-house legal team.

Oh, Theranos' in-house legal team.

How exciting.

Which means that you represent
the company, not me.

Okay, that's not how
I would characterize it.

You're going to want me to say
and do whatever benefits the company.

I do represent Theranos and your

interests align with
Theranos' interests.

And I'm left to defend myself
and my reputation and my work.

Would you like a caramel?


I'm just going to look this over, okay?

And anyway, I don't even get
what I can testify about.

She banned me from, from my own lab.

I'm barred from,
from meetings and emails.

I come in,
I sit at my desk all day long,

but I haven't done any real chemistry
for, for three years, Linda.

I would leave,
but I need the health insurance.

Okay, so this lawsuit is about patents,

and your name is on multiple patents
that belong to Theranos.

- Patents?
- Mm-hmm.

I strongly suggest you don't do anything
or tell anyone

until legal has a plan
to get you out of testifying, okay?

But if I did testify?

We'll make sure you don't.


SUNNY [ON PHONE]: September?

Baby, why would you tell them September?

- We're not going to be able...
- How did the demo go?

I'm telling you how the demo went.
It f*cking overheated.

Well, you, you need to do
something different then.

SUNNY: Different?

Different like what?

Different like what?

- When are you coming back?
- ELIZABETH: I'm on my way to LA.

I have that marketing meeting
with ChiatDay.

We don't need to focus
on marketing right now.

I had an idea for a new logo.

- SUNNY: A logo?
- The Flower of Life.

It's an ancient symbol from alchemy.

Intersecting circles

that form a sacred geometry
connecting all of life.

The, the shape is found in blood cells

and the Mona Lisa...

We're in trouble. I need you back.

Oh, I, I have to go.
I'm getting another call.

No. No!

ELIZABETH: [ON PHONE] What's going on?

Whoa. Is that how you answer your phone?

Christian, what?

Uncle Ron's gettin' worse.

Mom says that they caught it too late.

It's like brain cancer?

- I don't know, Mom says that I...
- I can't talk about that now

because I'm about to go
into a meeting, so...

Oh, I thought you were on, like,
a plane right now or something.

No, I'm-I'm-I'm walking into a meeting,
so I'll talk to you later.



Just got the news
we're launching in September.



Sorry. Sorry. Sorry.



Why is he here?

CHRISTIAN: Hi, Brendan.

We've met many times.

I'm Elizabeth's brother, Christian.


Yeah, I may not understand
all the, you know, science or whatever.

Yeah, the science stuff...

But I did graduate from Duke.

Plus I'm the Associate Director

of Strategic Initiatives.


- Hooo! Why the f*ck is he here?

He's the guy who comes
to these f*cking meetings. Okay?

Okay, September.

ELIZABETH: Before we
start, I-I-I want to say

I know that Chiat/Day

was working very closely
with Apple and Steve Jobs.

And I can't believe
that it's been two years since,

since we lost him.

Did you know him?

Not personally,

but I've always felt connected to him.

Anyway, thanks for coming down to LA.

We're excited to keep cooking
on the Walgreens launch.

September now.

And we got your ideas about the logo.

But the reason we brought you down here

is to talk about you.


This really is the way
to sell this company.

Your face, your dream, your story.

People will trust this technology
because they'll trust you...


Theranos is you.

No, no, it's not. It... it's not.

The focus should be on,
on the technology.


No! They've got me. I'm-I'm-I'm trapped.

It's a subpoena.
There are ways around it.

Not around it,

just delay and delay...

Ian, you've had enough.

IAN: And eventually, I'll have to speak.

Well, I don't understand.
What's wrong with that?

Just tell the truth!

[CHUCKLES] The truth.

If I tell the truth,

I-I violate my nondisclosure agreement,

and Theranos sues me.

And if I lie...

I'll be committing perjury.

What do you know
that could be so bad for her?



What about them?

Her name is on them,

but she didn't do
any of the scientific work.

She lied on the patent applications.

And if you say that in a deposition,

it could void all of Theranos' patents.

You could stop her.

No. Because they'll come after us.

They'll sue us and destroy us,

and-and they have the money

and-and the time and...

Whatever you want to do, I'm with you.

♪ Opera aria playing ♪



Sunny, hi, I'm actually about
to go to a meeting.

I know you're on the plane.

I know your schedule.

Uh, no, not yet. I'm still in meetings.

I'll call you back.

SUNNY: Stop running away.

You're acting like a little girl.




George, hi.

I'm actually, I'm about to go
into a meeting right now.

wanted to touch base about the lawsuit.

I know. I, I wish I could.

It's just the meeting's about to start.

We'd like to talk to you first thing.

Richard Fuisz
has subpoenaed Ian Gibbons.

Charlotte, thanks.

You know David Boies, right?

Yes, of course. Hi, David.


George, let these people go home,

enjoy their weekend.

We'll be done soon.


you can trust David.

He's the best lawyer in the country.

Oh, I don't know about that.

He and I have
different politics, of course.

He wanted Al Gore
to be president so badly,

he took it all the way
to the Supreme Court.

But fortunately, he lost that one.


Yeah, I, I lost that one.

Something you should know about David.

He's dyslexic.

He had to get good at reading people.

You don't want to play cards with him.


I'm concerned
that Richard hasn't settled yet.

Just asking.

Why don't you give up the lawsuit?

Just one man, one patent,

you're about to launch into Walgreens...

I don't want him to win.

GEORGE: It's important to remember,

it's just business, right?

Can't take it too personally.

- We're about to depose Richard, so...
- Do you have a strategy?

Because you need a strategy with him.

I think I can handle it.

If you want him
on record sounding crazy,

get him to talk about me.

Why do you think
he, uh, subpoenaed Ian Gibbons?

Why Ian?

Because my understanding is

that Ian's name is
on the patents with yours,

so he can testify
as to your contributions.


Does Ian know something
that we should know?

Am I being deposed right now?

No, of course not.

I need to know

if there's anything about the company
you're not telling me.

No, uh, there's not.

But, David,

you accepted shares of Theranos
instead of payment,

so... you must believe me.


On a different note,

my grandson Tyler.


We don't have to do this now, Grandpa.

He's graduating from Stanford
in a couple months.

Hi, I'm Tyler.

- Hello, Tyler.
- Hi.

And he would love to have
the chance to work with you.

Just like an internship or anything.

I'm, I'm a biology major,

and I, I just think that you're awesome.


Of course. Yeah.

Fine. Go ahead and fire me.

But we can't do September. We can't.

You designed the Edison.

Yeah. So I know what it can't do.

And I know that it's not ready
to replace the Siemens machine.

People have been using
the Siemens machine for years.

They trust it, it's reliable,

and it can run multiple samples
at the same time.


- How? How what?
- How does it work?

Someone tell me how this one works!

What does it do that ours doesn't?

Well, it, it uses larger,
uh, blood samples.

It's a completely different machine.

So barring me breaking it open
and looking at all the parts,

I can't tell you
in any detail how it works.

Why haven't we done that yet?

Why haven't we broken
into the Siemens machine?


Well, because it's...

It's another company's tech.

ELIZABETH: Under no circumstances
are we opening it up.

It's not our IP.

Okay? The branding for Theranos
is a small, portable device.

The Siemens machine is a dinosaur.

We know what the branding is.

But this one works, ours doesn't.

Right now.

Well, then we need it to work right now!

You told a week ago in September!

- So right now is when we need this...
- Hey, hey, hey, hey!

Don't talk to my sister that way.

Hey, don't tell Sunny what to do.

We're going to launch
in September with the Edison.

- How? How are we...
- Because

I put you in charge of operations,

and you're going to figure it out.


What are you doing? Who are you calling?

Who are you calling?

I'm texting Teri to bring me my food.

When is the last time you ate?

Daniel, get her some juice.

♪ Lil Wayne's How to Love playing ♪

♪ Cut the music up ♪

♪ A little louder ♪

♪ Yeah ♪

♪ You had a lot of crooks
try to steal your heart ♪

♪ Never really had luck,
couldn’t never figure out ♪

♪ How to love ♪

♪ How to love ♪

♪ You had a lot of moments
that didn’t last forever ♪

♪ Now you in a corner,
tryna put it together ♪

♪ How to love ♪

♪ How to love ♪

♪ For a second you were here,
now you over there ♪

♪ It's hard not to stare ♪

♪ The way you're moving your body
like you never had a love ♪

♪ Never had a love ♪

♪ When you was just a youngin,
your looks were so precious ♪

♪ But now you're grown up,
so fly it's like a blessing ♪

♪ But you can’t have a man ♪

No, baby. No.

I made you mad.

I'm sorry.

You keep running away.

You're distracted. You're lazy.

What? I, I'm doing my job.

What? I'm doing my job.

I... my job is to, to have a vision

and to bring in investors
and make those investors happy.

We're going to lose
$ million this year.

We lost million last year.

What if we...

What if we just stopped?

What? Like, like you quit?

The company.


I don't understand.


Are you breaking up with me?

I don't know. Do you even love me?

But... we're meant to be together.

I-I... you're my everything.


I... What...

I... what's not working?


What, Sunny? What?

What, what am I doing wrong?

- Sorry about that.

Hope I'm not interrupting.

Daniel Young just gave me
this juice, so, uh...

Oh, you already have one.

So I just want to let you know

that, um, Ian Gibbons
didn't show up for work today,

and I'm having a really hard time
getting in touch with him.

Now we can stall
this deposition for a while,

but I don't think having him testify

would really be in our best interest.

Elizabeth, um... Oh hey.

Um, Uncle Ron died.

Mom just told me.

Who is Uncle Ron?

Our uncle?

Mom says that you could just, like,

call or send flowers or...

No. I'll go.

Where are you going?

- Uh, I'll go to the funeral.
- Yeah.

- Now?
- Yes, I'm going to Uncle Ron's funeral.

DAVID: We are back on the record
in the matter of Elizabeth Holmes

and Theranos Inc.

Versus Fuisz Pharmaceuticals

and Richard Fuisz.

Do you recognize exhibit

as being your Wikipedia entry?


Look at that first paragraph,
the one that starts off,

"Richard Carl Fuisz was born
in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania,

to Slovenian immigrants."

- Is that accurate?
- I would say yes.

You, um, you grew up on a farm.

Yes. After I sold my company,

I went back to Pennsylvania
and built a small office.

If I stepped out my front door,
I was in a cornfield.

I didn't have a staff. I did it myself.

Not like Elizabeth Holmes.

And Christian works there, too.

It's a family affair.

You won't believe the people
on her board.

George Shultz, Sam Nunn.

Henry Kissinger just joined.

You didn't tell us that.

Henry Kissinger!

You're going to be able to go
into Walgreens pretty soon

and use the machine.

It's going to be in stores
in, what, September now?

Hey, do you remember that
one summer we were here in Florida

and we were, like, playing Monopoly

and you freaked out because you lost

and, like, ran through the screen door?

- No.
- You wanted to win so bad.

I got kind of scared.

♪ I traveled each ♪

♪ And every highway ♪

♪ And more ♪

♪ Much more than this ♪

♪ I did it my way ♪

Did you really come on a private plane?

It's a company plane.

Everything I own is through the company.

Well, they're all so intimidated by you.

And jealous.

Mom, did I ever have any hobbies?

What do you mean?

Did I ever... do anything for fun?

You ran track.

You were on the dance team.

Uh, you climbed a mountain
that one summer.

Weren't you having fun?

What's going on?

What would happen if I stopped?

Working at your own company?

But then what would happen
to the company? What would you do?

Oh, it's just a company.

It's not who I am.

Of course, it's who you are.
What do you mean?

You can't stop? Why would you stop?


I am so proud of who you've become.


You are the CEO of Theranos.


That's what I am.

You are going to help so many people.

I just think

if Elizabeth Holmes had stayed
at Stanford,

God bless her,

and so many people had not let her down

and, in my view, used that poor girl.

In my view,
that is not an acceptable thing.

And I think the parents
are responsible for that.

And I think these fancy VCs are...


I'm years old.
I've seen what these VCs can...

They'll chew her up
and throw her out in two minutes.

And Larry Ellison,
something goes the other direction,

he'll give you a good kick in the ass

and you'll be out the door.

And then what will you have?


You have a lot to say about Elizabeth.

Everyone's seeing dollar signs
instead of a human being.

She's a human being.

Okay, we are done for today.

No, wait. I just want to say...

Oh yeah. Anything, please.

If that girl had come to me

and she had said,

"Dr. Fuisz, look, I'm sorry
we haven't spoken for years.

"We need this patent.

"And you know what?
Everyone thinks we have a lot of money

"because of Larry Ellison,

"but we actually don't have that much

and I can't afford to pay you much,"

she would have gotten it for a dollar.

But you don't have a process server
knock on my door.

My god, none of this
would have happened.


thank you for your testimony.

Where is Ian Gibbons?

Why aren't you letting
me speak with him?

I believe Dr. Gibbons hasn't been well.

Bullshit. If he's not well,
have a doctor say he's not well.

She just doesn't want me
to talk to him. Do you know why?

Because he knows she's lying.

I'm going to talk to him.

I'm not giving up.


ROCHELLE: Ian, are you coming to bed?


Don't you have work tomorrow?

♪ Somber music ♪

Ladies and gentlemen, we will be landing

in San Francisco in about minutes.


You weren't in your office.

I was looking for you.

SUNNY: How was the funeral?

- Elizabeth?
- We're not going to stop.

We're going to launch in September,

but we're going to launch in phases.

Phase one, we're going to use
the Siemens machines

to run the tests.

But we're just going
to have to reconfigure them

to run with less blood.

So we'd have to open them up.



I've already done it.

I had them open up the Siemens machine.

I had two engineers film the inside,
so we have a video.

I think I can program new software
for it that says Theranos.

I love you.

Walgreens doesn't need to know
exactly what we're running the tests on.

Yeah. This is just phase one.


Phase one.

IAN: I can't sleep. I can't think.
I need to know what to do.

I'm going to have to testify
at some point.

And then when I do,

if I violate
the nondisclosure agreement,

then Theranos will sue me.

That's not necessarily true.

Oh, you will.

You'll sue me and you'll win.

Okay. This is how we think
we're going to get you out of this.

So we've drafted up a letter that
you're going to get a doctor to sign.

It says that you are unwell
and that you can't be deposed.

- Unwell?
- Mm-hmm.

I'm unwell?

Would you say that's not accurate?

Because looking at my notes...

well, you've missed
multiple days of work this year.

And, um, even more recently, just...

I mean, when you say that,

that you have some problems...

Yeah. I'm talking specifically
about the drinking.

At work.

Have you been drinking today?

Your health is very important to us,

and we'd hate for you
to have to do anything

as stressful as testifying.

So all you got to do,
get the note signed

and then just like that,
you're off the hook.

But if I sign this,
I may never work again.

Because who would hire me?

I think you're taking this
a little too personally.

Yes, I am.

Because if I can't work,

if I ca...

If I, if I'm not a chemist...

Like I said, this is your way out.

We go to the doctor tomorrow
to get this signed.

Feeling better?











Ian. [GASPS]


So now that we're, we're getting closer
to the September launch,

we're going to need to change
some of the language on the website

based on some notes from legal.

Really? Uh, okay.

We, we might be cutting
it a little close.

Uh, what are we talking about?

Well, instead of "A tiny drop
is all, is all you need,"

it would just be,
"A few drops is all you need."

So we think that we might need
more than a drop.

I think the last thing...

- Yeah?
- Elizabeth, I need you.

I'll be back.

[QUIETLY]: I don't know.

Did you see these?

I told them to make a prototype
of some finger puppets

so the kids can wear them
after they get their fingers pricked.


Ian Gibbons was found in his bathroom.

He'd taken an overdose
of Tylenol mixed with alcohol.

He died in the hospital today.

He k*lled himself.

It's not because of the,

my lawsuit?

Right? He, he didn't do that
because of my lawsuit?

We're in very tricky waters
with the new launch coming up.

This is just incredibly tragic.

But, uh, but...

But we do want to get his laptop back

so we can...

we can control it.

Sit down.

I... can't sit down.

I'm in the middle of a meeting.

I have people waiting for me.

Sorry about that. Where were we?

I'm sorry, what is that?

Oh, it's a dragon puppet.

I got these made for kids
who got a Theranos test.

Blood made me,

made me faint as a kid.

What do you think I was

so afraid of?

Okay, we can take a break here and...

Did you know that Ian survived cancer?

We can pick this meeting up later.

He has no wings.

So he has to walk.

It's not your fault.

- Take that thing off your finger.
- No.

Stop it.

I know how important he was to you.

He was there at the beginning and...

You can feel sad...

- Hmm.
- ... if you want to feel sad.

We won.


Ian can't testify now.

Richard has to settle.

We won.

♪ Opera playing ♪







♪ opera continues ♪

♪ Opera ends ♪


Hey, uh, do you know what's going on?

Sorry, it's just my first day,

and I don't really know
what I'm supposed to do.

Get out.




I wanted to start with a personal story.

I grew up spending summers
with my uncle.

I remember

his love of crossword puzzles

and trying to teach us to play football.

I remember how much he loved the beach.

I remember how much I loved him.

He was diagnosed one
day with skin cancer,

which all of a sudden was brain cancer

and in his bones.

And I never got to say goodbye.

Here at Theranos,

we see a world in which
every person has access

to actionable health information
at the time it matters.

A world in which no one ever has to say,

"If only I'd known sooner."

A world in which no one ever has
to say goodbye too soon.


Our new logo is based on
The Flower of Life.

Intersecting circles connecting us all.


Dark becomes light.

Death becomes life.

We can take something terrible

and pointless and make it
into something perfect.


Yeah, that's right.

This isn't just my company.

This isn't just my job.

This is my religion.

This is who I am.

And anyone who doubts my company

doubts me.

Does anyone here doubt me?

Does anybody here doubt me?


If you do, you can get the f*ck out.


We launch in Walgreens in hours!

That's right. We did it.



f*ck yeah!

You heard about
the Halloween party coming up?

It's supposed to be crazy.

There's gonna be a bounce house.

I'm Mark. I'm the new lab director.

Hi, I'm Tyler.

It's all good.


We lost Ian.

And you kept his widow's testimony out.

So here we are.

Nice to see you again.

Can I get you something to drink?

I'm just having some Cheez-Its.


God, you're good.

I read your memoir.

Courting Justice. Great pun.

I thought it was fun.

Published by Miramax Books.

You represent Miramax
and Harvey Weinstein.

Oh, and you started
a film finance company.

They help you with that?

That's a little messy,

but... you're pretty good
at cleaning up messes.

What is it about Cheez-Its? Huh?

I just can't get enough of 'em.

You think it's the aftertaste?

You came from a small town, like me.

You want people to think
you're a sweet old law professor,

with your cheap suits
and your Cheez-Its.

But you just want the money
and you want to win.

And speaking of winning...

here's what we're offering.

You withdraw the patent,
and we'll drop the lawsuit against you.

Oh, sure.

- Okay, fine.
- DAVID: Good.


We're going to get
the paperwork sorted out.

But, um,

I'm not done with this.

I'm going to figure it out.

Everything you're not telling me?

I'm going to figure it out.


goodbye, Dr. Fuisz.



Richard Fuisz.

I haven't seen you
since the investor's conference.

- What can I do for you?
- Phyllis. Hello.

I don't know if you've heard,
but, uh, I was sued recently.


I hadn't heard that. You okay?

RICHARD FUISZ: Oh, I'm great.

Just great.

I heard you maybe knew Elizabeth Holmes.

She was a student when you were...

Elizabeth Holmes. Of course, I do.


Well, what can you tell me about her?


Come on, you guys!

There's only one thing you need
to know about Elizabeth Holmes.

She's a fraud, Richard.


She's always been a fraud.

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