‘Painkiller’ Episode 4 Recap & Ending, Explained: What Happened To Shannon?

In the third episode of Painkiller, Edie found indisputable similarities between Oxy and crack cocaine, as both had severe negative impacts on people’s health and lifestyles. Despite these findings, the marketing demand for Oxy skyrocketed. Amidst this, Shannon began to see some red flags when she spotted junkies getting high on Oxy. However, Britt dismissed her concerns, shifting the blame entirely onto the junkies rather than the marketing of the drugs. In the fourth episode of Painkiller, we witnessed how the negative influence of the drug escalated, leading the Sacklers to testify in front of Congress. Let’s see whether they’ll be blamed or whether the entire blame will fall upon the addicts and lowlife abusers of the drug.


Spoilers Ahead

What Happened To Shannon?

Painkiller Episode 4 began with Shannon arriving at the headquarters of Purdue, where she found many more representatives like herself waiting to join a conference with Howard Udell. Udell arrived shortly and rewarded the representatives for their outstanding sales of OxyContin. Shannon felt a sense of relief, realizing she wasn’t in trouble. However, as she was about to exit the hall, Udell requested a conversation with her. He told Shannon that, moving forward, she should report to Purdue whatever she witnesses. Shannon realized that she had been rewarded as a means to induce her silence about the drug abuse she had witnessed. As a salesperson for the drug, Shannon aimed to earn a lot of money and buy a luxurious life for herself. In order to attain this, she chose to ignore Purdue’s promotion of a drug that was as dangerous and addictive as crack or heroin. As a result, she just lets Britt brainwash her with the illusion of money and success. Shannon soon bought a car and an apartment for herself, as well as climbing the ranks to become a highly-paid salesperson for Purdue Pharma.


However, it didn’t take long for her to realize the darkness of the situation and the consequences of her choice. Dr. Cooper, who had previously prescribed OxyContin to Jess several times, fell into great jeopardy after Jess lost her life due to an Oxy overdose. A raging crowd gathered in front of Cooper’s chamber, protesting against his endorsement of the drug. Cooper was terrified and sought the help of Shannon, who assured him that she would take care of it. She managed to bring Cooper to the headquarters, where he spoke in favor of the drugs and Purdue, claiming that there was no harm in using OxyContin, but it was the junkies, the abusers of the drug, who were to blame. As Cooper received appreciation from Purdue, he couldn’t thank Shannon enough. He even made inappropriate advances toward her, making her uncomfortable. Shannon came to understand that she desired success and wealth, but she lacked control over her own decisions. She felt constantly overshadowed by men and realized that her job mainly involved impressing them to earn a living.

Why Did Tyler leave Glen’s House?

Glen became fixated on sneaking out at night and taking pills in his car. His wife remained unaware, but Tyler could see that Glen was spiraling into addiction. Despite noticing, Tyler chose not to intervene or stop Glen when he caught him in the act. Being the stepson, Tyler struggled to fully accept Glen as his guardian. This was complicated by Tyler feeling partially responsible for Glen’s initial injury, which created a sense of guilt in his mind and a distance between them. So Tyler kept quiet until a day when Glen felt confused and dizzy while changing a car tire due to the drug’s effects. At last, Tyler spoke up.


Glen’s wife, Lily, was deeply upset by the revelation of her husband’s drug addiction. Yet she was even more hurt to learn that Tyler hadn’t informed her as soon as he saw Glen abusing the pills. She asked Tyler to leave, and he moved in with his father. Glen tried to bring Tyler back home and confronted Lily’s ex-husband, Jack. However, seeing Glen’s unstable state, Jack advised him to return home. Running out of Oxy, Glen went to the store to refill his container with the death pills once again.

How Did Edie Find The Evidence Of A Crime To Sue Purdue Pharma ?

Meanwhile, drug dealing and crime rates surged significantly. Drug dealers exploited homeless junkies by sending them to pain management clinics to obtain OxyContin prescriptions. Doctors were prescribing the drugs without proper scrutiny. Local police grew frustrated with chasing addicts and dealers, highlighting their need for assistance. Edie Flowers took Brownlee to the police department to address their concerns. However, Brownlee suggested finding evidence of a crime to sue the pharma company because the drug had FDA approval, so blaming Purdue without any evidence of a crime would be challenging.


Edie Flowers held deep resentment towards medical representatives like Britt and Shannon, who were as guilty as the drug dealers. She had witnessed the devastating effects of drug addiction within her own family—her crack-addicted mother died from brain damage, and her brother was imprisoned for being a drug dealer. But the salesgirls at Purdue, who were just as guilty as her brother or any other drug dealer, were promoting the drug despite knowing its harmful effects and becoming richer. This anger fueled Edie to conduct extensive research to find a crime to base her lawsuit on. In this regard, Edie had gathered several strong pieces of evidence that supported her claim that Purdue was engaging in fraud. She had been in contact with Dr. Gregory Fitzgibbons, the one who discovered Jess’ lifeless body. He revealed that there was no substantial study proving OxyContin’s addiction rate to be less than 1%, as claimed by Purdue. Instead, Purdue misrepresented an editorial letter by Dr. Jick in their training materials.

Following Jess’ death, her family blamed OxyContin as the main cause, while Purdue insisted it wasn’t their fault but that it was Jess who abused the drug. Even these findings revealed multiple drugs in Jess’ system, making it difficult to solely blame OxyContin for her death. Meanwhile, Attorney Jay McCloskey also reported on the widespread use and negative impact of OxyContin, but Purdue refused to accept blame for the drug’s consequences. They shifted their focus to drug abusers rather than acknowledging their responsibility for launching the drug.

It was a tough time for Richard, as he began to experience inner conflicts while having visions of Arthur Sackler. His uncle seemed to be warning him about the drug’s inflated situation. However, Richard had a solution. Finally, when a meeting was scheduled, and Congress called Purdue Pharma to testify, Richard didn’t step forward. Instead, he sent his chief counsel, Howard Udell, along with two other members of his company, Michael Friedman and Paul Goldenheim. They claimed that no reports or complaints of abuse had ever been received before McCloskey’s report. However, Edie had strong evidence to refute this claim. She showed Brownlee a report from a doctor in Virginia who had sent multiple complaints of OxyContin abuse to Purdue long before McCloskey’s report. Brownlee confirmed that this was compelling evidence of Purdue’s wrongdoing, allowing Edie to proceed with prosecuting the pharmaceutical company.

Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda
Poulami Nanda hails from a medical background, yet her journey is to cross the boundaries of medicine and survive in the cinematic world. The surrealistic beauty of cinema and art has attracted her from a very young age. She loves to write poems, songs, and stories, but her dream is to write films someday. She has also worked as a painter, but nothing attracts her more than cinema. Through her writings, she wants to explore the world of cinema more and more and take her readers on the same ride.

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