Ratched leans into gore in a gruesome episode.
This recap of Ratched season 1, episode 3, “Angel of Mercy”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.
For a show like Ratched, there will likely be two types of viewers. The former is somewhat familiar with Cuckoo’s Nest, maybe fans of Sarah Paulson, and were expecting a thoughtful hospital drama. The second type consists of those who saw the tagline ‘from the creator of American Horror Story,’ If you’re one of the second type, you’re in luck! Ratched’s third episode, “Angel of Mercy”, feels designed for those who sat through the premiere’s bloodbath, and last episode’s lobotomy demo, and thought, this could be schlockier.
It begins with answering that burning question; what is Corey Stoll up to these days? The answer is being paid a quarter of a million dollars by the extravagant Mrs. Osgood (Sharon Stone) to enact revenge for her son, who seems to be somewhat lacking in the limb department.
The target is a Manuel Bañaga, or as we know him, Dr. Hanover. If you’re wondering why anyone would pay that much to kill a doctor, you are out of luck. “Angel of Mercy” doesn’t really do any of the work to explain why Mrs. Osgood has waited to enact her revenge. It’s not like Hanover has been in hiding, he’s been in the news a lot, and doesn’t really seem to have any security. There are a few guards at the hospital, but they’re there to watch dangerous patients. There’s nothing stopping anyone from finding Hanover’s home and killing him there.
And yet, Corey Stoll (I know he is technically playing a character named Charles Wainwright, but let’s face it, it’s Corey Stoll) is apparently the world’s worst assassin. We saw him tail Hanover to a bar in the first episode, where he apparently… did nothing. Then he shoots at him at a gas station, barely chasing after him. With this much money on the line, he doesn’t seem to be trying very hard (no offense to Corey, who seems to be trying a little, with a limited role).
The reason for Osgood’s vendetta is revealed when Mildred takes Dr. Hanover out to THE SAME OYSTER BAR that Briggs took her to (a slight I will not stand by). Hanover looked after Osgood’s son, and one day they ended up taking LSD, resulting in some business with arms being cut off and attempts to reapply it. It’s not worth going into detail here; either you enjoy the gore or you’re like me and checked out pretty quickly.
Thankfully I’m not the only one who doesn’t enjoy watching others in pain. Back at the hospital, we see the alternative to lobotomy. Mrs. Cartwright is taken in for Hydrotherapy; a process that’s basically a closed hot tub that is way too hot. Of course, rather than soaking “the sodomy right out of” her, she ends up screaming out in pain. Ratched and Huck (Charlie Carver) protest, but Nurse Bucket prevents them from stopping the procedure.
Outside the room, Huck tells Ratched his plans to stop this; “I’m not gonna watch people get tortured.” But Ratched remarks on his facial scars and the difficulty he would have getting hired elsewhere. “Places like this… are where we belong,” she tells him.
Finally, sex is still on the brain, as nurse trainee Dolly brings a meal to a particularly buff-looking Edmund. They flirt for a bit, resulting in a through-the-bars hand job. And who says romance is dead!
That would be Corey, who refers to Mildred as “the worst lay of my whole f*cking life” after she invites him into another role-play exercise, this time flashing back to her time as a military nurse, and being forced to do some amputations (what is it with this episode!). These scenes come off as the writers trying to convey her past while also saying “hey, isn’t she weird” and mainly come off as a scream of the latter. It makes me wish for her chemistry with Cynthia Nixon. Ah well, better luck next time.
- Speaking of Briggs, we finally meet her husband (Michael Benjamin Washington) who seems sweet. Unfortunately for him, their mutual lavender marriage isn’t working for Briggs anymore. “If I don’t get out of this I’m going to die,” she says.
- We check back in with our favorite scumbag Governor, who seems determined to give Tolleson the death sentence.
Thanks for reading our recap of Ratched season 1, episode 3, “Angel of Mercy”. For more recaps, reviews, and original features covering the world of entertainment, why not follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page?
Cole Sansom is a writer, filmmaker, and photographer based out of Philadelphia