Shawn: Painkiller character explained

In Painkiller, Shawn is Edie’s brother, who is in prison for selling crack cocaine. Jamaal Grant plays Shawn.

Shawn and Edie grew up in Newark, a neighborhood in Washington, D.C. In the 1980s, the United States faced a surge in crack cocaine use in major cities, which led to a national epidemic.

Shawn was a 19-year-old who was one of those selling crack out on the open streets. He also sold crack to his mother, who then suffered brain damage after smoking it. Shawn claims that his mother was a crackhead before he even sold it to her.

Shawn and Edie’s relationship

Edie had to be there for her mother. She took care of her until she died. Edie blames Shawn for the death of their mother. She has heard from Shawn that higher officials back then knew about crack being sold but didn’t try to stop it.

She agrees that Shawn was a naive teenager trying to make some money, but still, he was just as responsible. Shawn is serving time in prison and attempting to change himself, but Edie doesn’t care much about him.

Shawn: Painkiller character explained 1
Edie meets Shawn in prison

While investigating Purdue Pharma, Edie visits Shawn to ask how he had the courage to sell something that he knew is going to get someone killed and how he made peace with what he did.

Shawn, on his side, does his best to convince her that he is not that 19-year-old teenager anymore. He has changed. He writes letters to her about it, but she never reads them.

Do Shawn and Edie mend their differences?

While investigating Purdue Pharma, Edie draws comparisons to how this opioid epidemic is similar to the crack cocaine epidemic. However, this time, the beautiful girls selling this drug are getting handsomely paid for it, while her brother is rotting in jail for the same.

One of these girls, Shannon Shaeffer, eventually realizes that she is working for the wrong people and decides to aid Edie, who now knows they have Purdue Pharma in their grip.

A day before the hearing of the case against Purdue Pharma, Edie reads all of her brother’s letters and learns how much he has changed. Though Edie’s side loses the case, she visits Shawn and apologizes to him for not seeing past his 19-year-old self.

While he was in prison, Shawn got his GED and learned how to cook. He tried to tell her how he has become a man in his letters. The two shed tears and reconcile.

Years later, when Edie is invited to talk about her experience fighting against Purdue Pharma, it’s Shawn who encourages her to go. Shawn has now been released from prison and lives with Edie. Listening to Shawn pays off, as Edie learns that a new team has managed to depose Richard Sackler.

Also Read: Shannon Schaeffer: Painkiller character explained

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