Spiderhead: How drugs work and what happens to the protagonists in the end

Rachita Salian
Rachita Salian
10 Min Read
Spiderhead Netflix
spiderhead netflix

Spiderhead” arrived on Netflix without much noise and has already become the subject of discussion on social networks due to its premise and specifically because of the emotions that the characters experience once they are manipulated by the different drugs provided by the Abnesti company.

In the following lines we are going to clarify the most confusing situations of the film directed by Joseph Kosinski, yes the same that signs the successful “Top Gun Maverick“. As always, we warn that spoilers are coming.

What is “Spiderhead” about?

The synopsis reads as follows: “Shortly, inmates are offered the opportunity to undergo medical experiments to shorten their sentence. One of the subjects, injected with a drug that generates feelings of love, begins to question his emotions. On two plates: Steve Abnesti (Chris Hemsworth) has set up a lab on an island and uses inmates as guinea pigs to chemically control them, along with his assistant Verlaine (Mark Paulo). One of the detainees, Jeff (Miles Teller) will end up discovering what is behind this experiment.

Spiderhead Chris

What is “Spiderhead”?

Spiderhead is the Spiderhead Penitentiary and Study Center, where Steve does his research and Jeff and Lizzy, among others, live. It does not have closed doors nor do detainees wear uniform clothing, such as orange panties. Inmates are free to move around the facility.

How do drugs work?

Drugs are administered to each prisoner through a device called a MobiPak, which pumps the substances into each body. Each substance modifies emotions. For example, Luvactin moves feelings making it easier to like someone, and fall in love with a person. If the dose is raised, it generates hallucinations. Daffodil makes you laugh even in serious or sad situations; Phobica causes fear of anything, such as a stapler and Darkenfloxx sensations that go beyond sadness and can lead to self-harm.

Why does Jeff get multiple doses?

Jeff (Miles Teller) suffers because he has lost his best friend in a car accident and, as we see later, his wife Emma (BeBe Bettencourt). He understands that he is trying Luvactin because this drug allows him to feel emotions towards another person, something that he has blocked due to such a heinous past. However, as we see in parallel, without the drug, he has already been developing feelings for his partner in the kitchen, Lizzy (Jurnee Smollett).

The fact is that under the effects of Luvactin, Jeff had sex with two people and “fell in love” with both: Sarah (Angle Milliken) and Heather (Tess Haubrich). As a consequence, Steve Abnest decides to test what is left of these experiences once the prisoner is not under any drugs. In this way, he asks her to choose who will receive the dangerous injection of Darkenfloxx between his two ex-lovers.

Jeff makes the decision and everything goes wrong when Heather’s MobiPak breaks. She commits suicide, under the influence of different drugs.

How does Jeff find out about the framework?

Steve tries, with his partner from the experiments, to save Heather. In that movement, he leaves the control room and drops the keys. Jeff takes them and when he opens the drawer he realizes that Abnesti Pharmaceuticals does not exist. The bingo card plus the stars give you an idea of ​​the scam. Also that there is only one uncovered number (B 6). He concludes that the experiment has nothing to do with what he has been sold. Steve is the owner of the company that supplies the substances, he does not work for anyone, and no group of people expects or approves results, as stated at the beginning.

Why do they use Lizzy in the experiment if they didn’t have her at first?

Steve finds out that Jeff and Lizzy are in a relationship. He becomes suspicious when he sees them eating together in the kitchen and then checks it out on the spy camera after seeing Jeff’s drawing of his new love interest. He is thus spared time and no longer has to force the detainee’s feelings into deciding to inflict pain through Darkenfloxx.

How were Jeff and Lizzy able to escape?

Jeff agrees with Verlaine to take control of Steve’s MobiPak (who says he’s using the drugs scientifically so he can have a verifiable experience even though we’ve already seen that he’s addicted). Through this ruse, he injects the leader of the experiments with the mind control drug called B-6. In this way, after evading a knife attack, he saves Lizzy from suicide and they both run to avoid the lynching of the rest of the group. We can see that the police are heading to the island by the lab monitors.

Does Jeff die?

With no choice but to flee, Jeff takes the rest of the injections and boards the plane that is parked at the dock. He is still high on various drugs due to his MobiPak going haywire as the plane climbs. At a certain point, the Luvactin kicks in (shown by uncontrollable bursts of laughter) and mistakes a rock for beautiful light. Indeed the plane crashes, but we do not see the body. The question is: if his destiny was death, does it make sense that the camera took a few moments to show when he removed the rest of the drugs that were left on the island? Could he have jumped before the collision? It seems unlikely, but it’s an option.

What exactly is the B-6?

As we said at the beginning, “Spiderhead” shows different drugs according to the numbers on a bingo card: N-40 is Luvactin, G-46: Daffodil, and I-16: Darkenfloxx. And there’s Verbaluce, which helps express what you see and feel in a broad language. Steve uses it to get Jeff to describe exactly what happens to subjects experiencing emotional swings. When the whole plot is revealed, we see that on cardboard he says B-6 without covering it. Later, in a dialogue between the protagonists, we learn that his real name is OBDX (Obedience). The association is quite obvious: it is used to make the patient obedient, although it has a weak point: whoever receives it cannot harm what he loves.

It is explained in the movie that Steve has been using him as a means to test the lengths the subjects would go against the people they love and that is why Jeff is so important to the plot.

Why does Steve want to use this drug?

Steve’s intentions are based on science. He wishes to make people “good” if they avoid self-destructive tendencies. The tape explains that everything comes from his childhood since he was abandoned at the age of eight. Due to this trauma, he focuses his work on avoiding the suffering of individuals, but as seen in this tape and any other of its kind, it is something impossible to avoid.

Why does Jeff accept the program from the beginning?

As we are told little by little, Jeff has suffered two very big losses and for that, he is serving a sentence. However, as concluded from the final lines of the tape, what he wanted was a drug that would make him forget all his traumas and guilt.

Where are Jeff and Lizzy going and still under the influence of drugs?

When Emma’s phone mailbox fills up, Jeff’s switch begins. This is important because he finally accepts how he feels about Lizzy. From there the exhaust is unleashed. As Steve leaves on the plane, the couple leaves on a speedboat. Where they are going? It is unknown. Just that it’s a new beginning.

As for drugs, it is a debatable subject. When they move away from the island, they seem to have minimal substances in their bodies. That’s why they smile at the moment of the plane’s explosion. However, Lizzy says that she feels “nice” to be outside the compound again. “Pleasant” is a word that Steve didn’t want Jeff to use and so he increased his dose of Verbaluce. It is a wink to say that they are no longer under the influence of their former jailers.

Leave a comment
Share via