The second season of Peacock‘s anthology series Dr. Death follows the real-life story of Dr. Paolo Macchiarini (Edgar Ramírez). Based on the Wondery podcast, Dr. Death: Miracle Man, the series focuses on Macchiarini’s tale of deceit in his professional and private life. Next to his professional miscondut, there is also the ‘too good to be true’ romance between the doctor and New York journalist Benita Alexander (Mandy Moore).
An Anthology series, like Dr. Death, has the freedom to explore variations on a theme. Dr. Death is a show about systemic failures, and in season 2, these issues reach a global scale. In the midst of complex narratives, the series focuses on a story that, while unique, remains surprisingly familiar, as it taps into a truly universal part of the human condition: illness. The eight-episode season is a engrossing take on the lies people tell and the lies people are willing to accept when they are desperate for a ‘miracle’.
Here, I’d like to start with some background information on this infamous surgeon, an overall review of the series, and other tidbits you will find of interest.
To provide you a quick summary of the season, these are brief synopsis of each of the episodes to give you an overview of what you can expect.
EPISODE 201: LIKE MAGIC
Investigative journalist Benita Alexander discovers a new subject in world-renowned surgeon Paolo Macchiarini, known as ‘The Miracle Man’. Paolo forms a new team at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
EPISODE 202: WORTH THE RISK
A tragedy forces Benita to shift perspectives on her piece, and her relationship with Paolo grows more complicated. As Paolo and Dr. Ana Lasbrey (Ashley Madekwe) pursue their first patient, Dr. Anders Svensson (Gustaf Hammarsten) faces pressure with his rat trials.
EPISODE 203: THE HORIZON
The truth about Paolo and Benita’s relationship is revealed. Dr. Nathan Gamelli (Luke Kirby) befriends one of Paolo’s patients. Svensson grapples with his growing doubts.
EPISODES 204: TARANTELA TELARAÑA
As Benita uncovers Paolo’s lies, Gamelli and Svensson discover horrifying truths of their own.
EPISODE 205: 191
A young Turkish woman named Yesim Çetir arrives at Karolinska for a medical consultation but ends up having surgery by Dr. Macchiarini. Dr. Gamelli works hard to keep her alive and openly questions Macchiarini’s surgical method.
EPISODE 206: THE FOG
With growing doubts of her own, Ana struggles to pursue her work in Russia. Benita’s search for answers sends her halfway around the world. Svensson and Gamelli form a plan.
EPISODE 207: COMPASSIONATE USES
Ana joins Svensson and Gamelli in their mission. Benita attempts to spread the truth about Paolo’s work.
EPISODE 208: SURGEONS, BACHELORS, AND BUTCHERS
The Whistleblowers are summoned to defend their findings. Benita makes a final discovery that changes the course of their lives forever.
The pursuit of trust and truth is what ties the stories together in this season of Dr. Death. Two stories that, on the surface, may not seem to have much else in common: Doctors in Sweden on the verge of a breakthrough. A journalist in New York falling in love. They are about people standing up to something that matters and can have ripple effects, and how their seemingly small choices can give power and voice to those who have been made to feel powerless and silenced.