From Columbus, Ohio to Guerrero, Mexico and countless cities in between, the opioid epidemic has ravaged communities on both sides of the border. This timely, provocative five-part series from Showtime and Cartel Land filmmaker Matthew Heineman spotlights the crisis through the eyes of those most affected. Rather than embed with just one individual or group, The Trade follows a number of different throughlines: the boss of an opium poppy production field, addicts in various stages of treatment, police officials in Mexico City and Dayton, Ohio. Their stories are told with a vérité immediacy, but time is also given to the families, the victims, and their desperate grasps at hope. In this way, “The Trade” is a reminder that people who are caught up in this world are only human; it encourages empathy.