Glen Kryger In ‘Painkiller,’ Explained: Is Glen Dead? What Happens To Lily & Tyler?


When a person starts overdosing on a painkiller like Oxycontin and becomes addicted to it, the adverse impact is not only felt by him but by his entire family. They are the ones who see their loved one inching toward doom, and the worst part is that often, they can’t do anything about it. Painkiller’s character Glen Kryger had a beautiful family, and they might not have had the kind of resources or financial stability they wanted, but they were still managing pretty well, and were quite happy. Just like many other characters in Painkiller, Glen Kryger is not a real character, but his life is symbolic of what the patients had to go through, who were prescribed Oxycontin by their doctors. Lily and her son Tyler also came to his auto-workshop and helped Glen in whatever manner they could.

Glen Kryger was a good man, and he made sure that he never let his family down and always looked after their well-being to the best of his capacity. Glen never shied away from taking on responsibilities, and he knew that he had to provide for everyone and not let money ever become an obstacle in their way. Tyler was Lily’s son from her ex-husband, and though he was a tough nut to crack, Glen never gave up on him. Tyler was like any rebellious teenager of his age, but Glen made sure that he never felt that he was not loved as much as Glen’s own daughter. Lily also had faith in her husband that he would never differentiate between the two kids, and she knew that Glen was trying his level best to bridge the gap and understand the teenager as much as he could.

But then one day, an unfortunate accident happened that changed the lives of the Kryger family forever, and their dreams and aspirations were shattered in front of their own eyes. At that time, nobody could have ascertained the devastating impact it was going to have on their lives when Glen Kryger fell from a bulldozer as he was trying to stop Tyler from messing around with it. Glen wasn’t able to get up as a result of the injury, and he was immediately rushed to the hospital, where he underwent surgery. Glen was put on Oxycontin as the recovery process was very slow, and the pain was excruciating. Glen had to go back to work because he couldn’t afford to sit at home, but in the garage, he wasn’t able to function properly, and he knew that he couldn’t go on like this. He couldn’t sleep at night due to pain, and he knew that he had to do something about it. Dr. Hartman prescribed him what Richard Sackler referred to as the magic pill, and Glen was amazed by the kind of effect it had. He didn’t feel pain, and the effect of one dosage lasted for about 12 hours, which was exceptionally long compared to any others in the market.

When Hartman was prescribing him Oxycontin, Lily showed a bit of concern, but the doctor assured the Kryger family that the Purdue Pharma drug was absolutely safe and had no side effects whatsoever. We believe that Dr. Hartman was as responsible for what happened with the Kryger family as were the creators of the drug. Hartman was a doctor, and we cannot believe that he didn’t know that Oxycontin was capable of having such bizarre side effects. We are very sure that Hartman was also offered a lucrative deal by the sales representatives of Purdue Pharma, and that is why he confidently prescribed a drug that was potentially worse than poison. The magic pill didn’t kill a person instantly, but it made his life a living hell, and it was the cruelest form of sentence that anybody could give.

Slowly, we watched Glen Kryger transform into a drug addict. The impact was miraculous indeed at first, and Glen could lift heavy tires and do things that he hadn’t been able to do since his surgery. It did feel like his life had come back on track, but obviously, a painkiller as strong as Oxycontin was going to show its side effects sooner rather than later. One day, Glen ran out of the medicine, and he started searching for it frantically, and Lily got somewhat scared by his behavior. Tyler used to steal his stepfather’s pill because the youth of America at that time was very openly consuming it for recreational purposes, but as soon as he witnessed the miserable state of Glen, it struck him that it was not something that he should meddle with. Tyler often saw Glen going out in the middle of the night and using the stash of pills he kept in his car. One day, Glen Kryger didn’t lock the jack stand, and a car that had been parked for service fell to the ground. Lily got scared, and she realized at that moment that her husband had become a full-blown addict. In her anger, she blamed Tyler, and he left the house and went to live with his father.

Glen Kryger went to meet Tyler, and he pretended as if he had come to apologize for his wrongdoings. He told Tyler that he loved him and that he wanted to make things right. Tyler had started seeing hope, and he thought that finally, things would come back on track, but to his horror, Glen was putting up the entire charade because he had run out of cash and desperately needed some to buy Oxycontin. Tyler was devastated, and he shouted at Glen in extreme angst and frustration and told him never to show his face again.

Glen Kryger went through hell, but in those dark times when hope seemed bleak, and nothing made sense, he remembered his wife, his daughter, and that gave him the strength to fight his vices and stand against Oxycontin. Tyler stood by his side all through his journey, and together they made sure that Glen was off the painkiller for a month. It seemed like things would get back to normal, and Lily also had her fingers crossed as she witnessed that Glen was really fighting hard. Lily hoped that he would win this battle and come back to stay with them, but the ghost of his past hadn’t left his side. They came back again to haunt him, and this time, they ate him alive. Glen was staying in a motel, and his neighbors had been playing music throughout the entire night. He went to tell them to stop the music, but he saw that they had overdosed on oxycontin, and a huge stash was lying just next to them on the side table. Glen stood there, and we could see that he was fighting his inner demons, but in the end, he gave up. He had a pill and once again started taking them.

During Painkiller’s tragic ending, Glen Kryger died while sitting in his car due to overdosing on Oxycontin, the pill that was going to help people get rid of their pain and was considered to be analogous to life rather than death. Glen had not died of overdosing; it was state-sponsored murder, and apart from Richard Sackler, the bureaucrats, the doctors, the attorneys, the ministers, and everybody else who had played a role in the scam was responsible for it.

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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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