Glen Kryger: Painkiller character explained

In Painkiller, Glen Kryger is a hardworking family man who is prescribed OxyContin after a severe injury. The drug ends up ruining his and his family’s lives. Taylor Kitsch plays Glen.

Glen lives in Mount Airy, North Carolina. He is married to Lily, and together they have a daughter named Kaylee. Glen’s stepson, Tyler, lives with them. The family runs Kryger Tires, a garage shop, together.

Glen is severely injured while trying to stop Tyler, who is fooling around on an excavator. The injury stops Glen from getting up, and he is required to go through surgery.

After the surgery, Glen’s family doctor assures him that he is going to be fine. Glen is prescribed some medicines for pain and has to go through physiotherapy. However, recovering becomes a very difficult process. Glen struggles with the fact that this is something he has to live with.

The beginning of addiction

The medicines Glen has been prescribed don’t help much with his pain. Though Lily supports him through tough times, somewhere he starts feeling like a burden to everyone.

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This is when his family doctor, Dr. Hartman, prescribes him OxyContin. He calls this new drug similar to Vicodin and as safe as any opioid ever. Glen is told that the medicine lasts 12 hours, and he is instructed to take one in the morning and one before going to bed.

Although OxyContin helps, Glen slowly begins to feel the urge to take it earlier. Glen consults Dr. Hartman and asks if he can take it earlier. Dr. Hartman advises against it, but since the medicine is working, he increases Glen’s dose.

Glen Kryger: Painkiller character explained 1
Glen and Lily consult Dr. Hartman

OxyContin continues to do wonders for Glen, who even allows Purdue Pharma to make a video on his experience with the drug. Glen admits that the drug has improved his overall well-being. Purdue Pharma makes him a celebrity.

Tyler sees what the pills can do and shares some of them with his friends. When Glen finds his pills missing, he starts growing paranoid and looks for them madly. Tyler eventually hands Glen his medicines and lies to him about where he found them.

OxyContin destroys Glen’s family

Glen overdoses himself, which lands him in a hospital. Glen realizes that this medicine is hurting not only him but his family too. The first thing he does after returning home is flush the OxyContin pills down the toilet.

When the pain doesn’t go away, Glen talks to his doctor again. Dismissing the previous incident as an accident, Glen is allowed to take OxyContin again. However, he is warned not to be an addict. There are already people crushing the pill and snorting it.

Glen continues to take the pill more often. Tyler sees him. When another accident almost kills Glen at the garage, Tyler finally tells Lily that Glen has become an addict. A mad Lily also yells at Tyler. She says he is the reason Glen is an addict now.

Tyler leaves. Glen promises to bring him back, and when he fails to do so, he once again turns to OxyContin. Lily is then forced to tell him not to come back.

Glen’s addiction goes bad to the point where he shouts at his doctor, asking him to give him another prescription, which Dr. Hartman doesn’t give. Glen eventually goes back to Tyler, only to ask him for money to buy more OxyContin.

Does Glen die?

Tyler kicks Glen out too. Glen then forces himself to fight this. He spends the night alone and makes it. Glen spends the next thirty days clean, getting over his addiction.

During these thirty days, he managed to win the love of some of his family members back. Tyler drives him to take methadone. Glen is even allowed to have dinner with his family.

Glen Kryger: Painkiller character explained 2
Glen tries to fight back his addiction

Lily is still recovering and is slow to accept Glen back into the family. She doesn’t allow him to stay for the night, forcing Glen to sleep at a motel. At night, sounds from another room disturb his sleep.

Glen finds the people in that room passed out, and some OxyContin is around. Glen starts taking OxyContin again and passes out in his car, remembering everything he put into getting clean. Some people discover Glen passed out. The show never reveals if Glen survives or not.

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