Ratched recap: Episode 3, ‘Angel of Mercy Part I’


Dr. Hanover reveals a dark secret to Nurse Ratched in Ratched episode 3, and Nurse Bucket administers a horrific new treatment.

Ratched episode 3 brings some of the minor characters to the forefront and introduces us to two new ones who will likely play a pivotal role in how the remainder of the season shakes out. The opening of the third episode features Sharon Stone’s character Lenore Osgood, an eccentric heiress who is responsible for Charles Wainwright’s presence in town.

Lenore is the mother of a petulant, quadriplegic son named Henry (13 Reasons Why star Brandon Flynn). Lenore has hired Charles to find out all the information he can on Dr. Hanover, who we learn is operating under a fake identity — his real name is Dr. Manuel Bañaga. According to Lenore, he’s a monster.

More from Netflix

When Charles arrives as the Osgood residence, Lenore has a new task for him. She’s willing to pay $250,000 for Charles to kill Hanover. Not only does she want Hanover dead, but she wants Charles to bring her his head so she can gift it to her son for his upcoming birthday.

So, we’re left with the understanding that Hanover had something to do with Henry’s current condition. Of course, there are always two sides to every story, right?

By the end of the hour, Charles has tried and failed to kill Hanover, alerting him to the fact Lenore is still trying to exact revenge. Ratched gently coerces Hanover into trusting her, and he tells her his version of events. According to Hanover, Henry Osgood had piquerism, a sexual interest in pricking the skin, typically with needles. He would stab his mother and the house staff with needles repeatedly, and over time his obsession became increasingly violent.

Lenore recruited Hanover to help her son. He came up with a plan to use LSD as a course of treatment. Henry only agreed to take the LSD if Hanover joined him, so he pantomimes adding it to his drink without really doing so. The problem is that when Hanover’s back was turned, Henry dumped the entire bottle of LSD into his glass.

While Henry ingested the regulated amount of 20 micrograms, Hanover unknowingly consumed 4,000 micrograms. Both of them entered a hallucinogenic state. Henry started telling Hanover a theory he had, believing a deity had once taken his arms and replaced them with someone else’s, resulting in his psychosis. He wanted Hanover to take his arms off and replace them.

Obsessed with his goal, Henry murdered the gardener and sawed off his arms, then cut off his arms and began bleeding out. Not wanting Henry to die, Hanover actually tried sewing the gardener’s limbs onto Henry’s before bolting out of the house. He later discovered that Henry had come close to dying from the horrific gangrenous infection, which also spread to his legs, resulting in their eventual amputation.

Now Hanover knows Lenore wants him dead, and he fears there is no way to stop her. But Ratched has an idea that we’ll have to wait until the next episode to find out.

Ratched episode 3
Ratched episode 3 (L to R) SARAH PAULSON as MILDRED RATCHED in episode 103 of RATCHED Cr. COURTESY OF NETFLIX © 2020 /

Ratched episode 3: Nurse Bucket uses a brutal new treatment.

Aside from learning about the Osgoods and Hanover’s dark backstory, the main plot of this episode revolves around a new treatment instigated by Hanover. The treatment consists of two tubs, one that is meant to be heated to 117 degrees and the other that houses an ice bath.

Lily Cartwright (Annie Starke), the young lesbian who had a lobotomy, is still showcasing “symptoms” (she was caught having sex with the other female patient from the lobotomy session). So Hanover instructs Bucket to break in the tubs with her as the first patient.

It’s a barbaric practice, and both Huck Finnegan (Charlie Carver) and Ratched are horrified to watch Lily be boiled alive for 20 minutes essentially. Immediately after, she’s forced into an ice bath for an additional five minutes.

Huck is so shocked at the practice that he claims he’s going to quit over it. Both Ratched and Bucket tell him that’s not an option for him, as his facial disfigurement (he is a war vet, but how he got the scar isn’t revealed yet) makes him an undesirable hire.

He’ll likely never find another decent job like the one he has at the hospital. The episode ends before we figure out more about Huck, so it remains to be seen what will progress in terms of this treatment and whether he stays on the staff.

As for Lily, Bucket says she is already showing vast improvements since the initial treatment, which means she’ll have to endure it multiple times a week for several more weeks until they’re satisfied she is “cured.”

Ratched episode 3: Odds & Ends

  • Ratched believes Nurse Bucket is in love with Hanover, and if she ever realizes that he does not return his feelings, she’ll “destroy the entire operation” at Saint Lucia.
  • I find Ratched’s characterization and moral compass hard to track. She felt sympathy for Lily during Bucket’s treatment yet was fine lobotomizing Father Andrews and coaxing a patient into suicide in previous episodes. Both were as innocent as Lily, albeit she might relate more to Lily due to her burgeoning questions regarding her sexuality. Still, it would be easier to understand if she had shown some hesitance or guilt when she did those horrible things to the father and the patient from episode 1.
  • Piggybacking off of the above point, as Vulture pointed out in their recap, I’m concerned that Ratched’s turn into a “monster” might be because she realizes she is a lesbian. It would be an overwhelmingly groan-inducing turn if that is the case (and I wouldn’t put it past Murphy, who has not always done the best in terms of writing women or LGBT characters), but I’m trying to remain cautiously optimistic for now.
  • Nurse Dolly (Alice Englert) is attracted to Edmund and masturbates him in his cell. Huck discovers this and tells Ratched, who promises to take care of it.
  • We learn that Gwendolyn is married to a gay man named Trevor (Michael Benjamin Washington). They’ve had a mutually beneficial marriage for three years now, but Gwendolyn’s growing feelings for Ratched have made her want to leave her husband.
  • Governor Wilburn wants Hanover to declare Edmund fit to stand trial so he can get him sentenced to death ASAP. He thinks it will be an excellent way to generate goodwill from the voters. Ratched is not yet aware of this.
  • Ratched and Charles finally have sex, and he tells her she is the “worst lay he’s ever had.” Wow. Although to be fair, she was thinking about Gwendolyn and her time serving as a nurse in the war for the duration.

dark. Next. BoJack Horseman: 5 reasons to binge

What did you think of Ratched episode 3? Are you tuning into the rest of the season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

All eight episodes of Ratched season 1 are now streaming on Netflix.