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Ratched Season 1 Episode 3 Recap/Explained

September 18, 2020
4 min read

‘Ratched’ continues to be a controversial series. Created by Evan Romansky and Ryan Murphy, the Netflix show explores the life of Mildred Ratched before she became the tyrant head nurse from ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’. The show is significantly different from both the book and the film. ‘Ratched’ is a typical Ryan Murphy project. Its characters are larger than life, its plot is complex and wild, and it’s filled to the brim with shock and over-indulgence. In episode 3, Ratched strengthens her control on the facility, and Hanover’s past comes back to haunt him. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Ratched Episode 3 Recap

In the pilot episode, Ratched (Sarah Paulson) meets a mysterious gentleman named Charles Wainwright (Corey Stoll), who also has been lodging in the seaside motel. It is later revealed that he has been hired by the wealthy heiress Lenore Osgood (Sharon Stone) to track down Hanover. After he reports back to Osgood that he has found him, she offers him $250,000 to kill him. However, the first assassination attempt fails, and Hanover somehow manages to escape.

Ratched has earlier figured out that Wainwright’s target is Hanover and decides to use the information to gain even more leverage on the psychiatrist. She takes him to the same restaurant where Briggs took her earlier and they start talking. A terrified Hanover tells her that he once treated Osgood’s son, Henry, who turns out to be a psychopath. He then goes on to describe in vivid detail how Henry dosed him with 4,000 mg of his own lysergic acid and then proceeded to amputate his own arms and then forced Hanover to sew the limbs of the family’s gardener in their places. The gangrene later spread to his legs, which were needed to be amputated as well.

At the hospital, Mrs. Cartwright is caught with Miss Blix in a compromising position, making Hanover realize that the lobotomization did not work. He then orders hot and cold treatment for both the patients. It is revealed that Briggs is part of a mutually beneficial sham marriage with a gay man.

Ratched Episode 3 Explained

From the moment Osgood is introduced in the series, she stands out because of how absurd and over the top she is. An obvious caricature of the 20th-century, old-money heiresses, she even has an exotic monkey as a pet. She is also vindictive, cruel, and a psychopath herself. She knows exactly what her son is but continues to enable his behavior.

Flashback to the Past

Ratched and Wainwright had previously tried to get intimate once, but he found her demands of sexual roleplay to be too bizarre and left. In episode 3, they try to do it again, but the situation becomes embarrassing for both of them. While Wainwright thinks that this has been the worst sexual encounter of his life, she imagines herself with a marine from the Pacific Theater while she is with Wainwright before that marine morphs into Briggs. This incident ushers in drastic changes in Ratched’s view of her own sexuality. She finally begins accepting who she really is.

Mrs. Cartwright’s Treatment

Episode 3 is titled ‘Angel of Mercy’ and focuses on Ratched’s gradual transition to becoming a nurse who genuinely cares about her patients. She has always been efficient and competent, but she has been too focused on Edmund to care about anything else. In this episode, she stands up for Mrs. Cartwright against Bucket, despite knowing that it will serve no purpose in her efforts to prevent her brother’s execution.

Dolly and Edmund

Dolly (Alice Englert) becomes sexually attracted to Edmund and begins a mutually-gratifying relationship with him. When Ratched finds out about this, she confronts Edmund. It is then strongly hinted that they had some form of sexual experience together, though Ratched asserts that she will never do that with him again.

The Governor’s Plan

Governor Milburn still very much wants to execute Edmund and orders Briggs to convince Hanover to declare him fit for trial. Milburn is a pragmatic man. He knows very well that his constituents value a spectacle over any progressive measures, and he fully intends to give it to them.

See Also: Where is Ratched Filmed?

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