Ratched recap: Episode 4, ‘Angel of Mercy Part II’

Ratched episode 4 (L to R) CHARLIE CARVER as HUCK FINNIGAN in episode 104 of RATCHED Cr. SAEED ADYANI/NETFLIX © 2020
Ratched episode 4 (L to R) CHARLIE CARVER as HUCK FINNIGAN in episode 104 of RATCHED Cr. SAEED ADYANI/NETFLIX © 2020 /

Ratched helps find Edmund an outlet while Hanover remains fearful for his life in Ratched episode 4. Gwendolyn officially leaves her husband.

Ratched episode 4 kicks things up a notch, introduces an exciting new dynamic, and gives us the first major death of the season (aside from the priests).

The central plot of “Angel of Mercy Part II” deals with Mildred carrying out her promise to fix Hanover’s situation. She seduces Charles at the hotel and coerces him into believing she can hand him Hanover on a silver platter. Tricking Charles into visiting the hospital with her in the middle of the night with the promise he can ambush Hanover in his office.

Unbeknownst to Charles, Mildred tells Hanover what will happen, giving him the opportunity to bludgeon the hitman with an ashtray. Then he and Mildred lock Hanover into that dreaded bathtub treatment in the tub room with the temperature set it 150 degrees. I think it would have been easier for them to finish the job in Hanover’s office, the tub thing causes extra complications — but it is dramatic.

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Charles doesn’t die in the bath, although he is grievously injured as his skin is all but seared off. Still, he manages to escape and crawl to the hallway; stalking down the corridor like Frankenstein’s monster and an eerie Shining-esque visual. Young Peter sees Charles’s hulking figure and drops his glass of milk just as the security guard rushes in behind him. All he sees is a strange man slowly walking toward a young boy, so he pulls his gun and tells Charles to stop or he’ll shoot.

All of these extreme moments are compounded by Gwendolyn Briggs, who follows Mildred to the hospital and confronts Hanover in his office. She’s acting on the governor’s wishes. Voters are warming up to the death penalty since Edmund Tolleson went on his kill spree. The governor thinks sentencing him to death will guarantee his second term, so he needs Hanover to declare Edmund fit to stand trial. Gwendolyn relays all of this to Hanover just as Mildred arrives and the three of them hear the gunshots in the distance.

The trio discover the aftermath, dead Charles, Peter,  and the guard with his gun drawn. Mildred quickly spins a story. She claims Charles was a schizophrenic patient whom she and Hanover left alone in the tub (it’s protocol, she says). Mildred tells Gwendolyn he must have turned the temperature up on his own. Gwendolyn thinks they should contact the authorities. She’s concerned this death could mean the hospital comes under fire for negligence. Bad press at Saint Lucia would affect the governor and his reelection campaign.

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

But Mildred points out that Gwendolyn is an intruder in the hospital that night, an unexpected guest. She subtly blames Gwendolyn’s presence for being a distraction that pulled her and Hanover away from their patient. By doing so, Mildred cleverly implies Gwendolyn was inadvertently at fault for the man’s death and it wouldn’t look good if people found out the governor’s secretary was present at the scene of the incident.

For now, the situation is as controlled as it can be. Hanover and Mildred remove all traces of Charles from the hospital via the cremator. Later that night, Mildred investigates Charles’s motel room and discovers his file on Hanover and a number for Lenore Osgood. Mildred is now in a very precious position. She can infiltrate Lenore’s circle and potentially control Hanover to ensure he does what she needs him to do in regard to Edmund’s case. Phoning Lenore, Mildred tells her that Charles is dead and she’s in charge now. Lenore plans to make a stop by the motel soon. I don’t know about you, but I’m very excited at the prospect of seeing Sharon Stone and Sarah Paulson in scenes together.

Ratched episode 4

Ratched episode 4 recap: Lily & Ingrid escape.

One of the other significant plotlines in Ratched episode 4 revolves around Mildred beginning to accept her sexuality and her working together with Huck to facilitate the escape of their two lesbian patients.

As a follow-up answer to the last episode, either Huck or Mildred cuts the cord to the tub right before Ingrid’s treatment. Nurse Bucket is obviously furious, but she can’t do much without proof. Plus, the tub is fixed relatively quickly, motivating Huck and Mildred to take more drastic action before the barbaric practice is forced upon another patient.

We don’t see Mildred and Huck formulate their plan on-screen, but they carry it out during all the other evening chaos. Huck plays the part of getaway driver as they carefully sneak Lily and Ingrid out of the hospital and get them aboard a train traveling far away from California.

When it’s discovered that the patients are missing, Lily’s irate husband storms into the hospital and demands they contact the police. Meanwhile, Huck has gained new respect for Mildred and dubs her an “angel of mercy.”

She looks genuinely touched by his compliment and thanks him as we see a flashback to a time during the war when she suffocated a suffering soldier after he begged her to. He, too, spoke of angels.

On the Gwendolyn/Mildred front, Gwendolyn officially left her husband and inserted herself into Mildred’s life. She even books a room at the same motel, although she claims she had no idea Mildred was staying there, too. Initially, Mildred is reluctant to give into Gwendolyn’s flirtations, but an impassioned speech from Ingrid, who says forcing her true self to hide drove her mad, seems to have made Mildred begin to reconsider.

She checks in on Gwendolyn after everything that happened at the hospital and invites her to go to the seaside restaurant they previously visited again over the weekend and Gwendolyn accepts. Now I have to wonder if Mildred is being manipulative in this instance, to ensure Gwendolyn keeps quiet about the “patient’s” death — that remains to be seen.

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Odds & ends from Ratched episode 4

  • During a visit with Edmund, we learn that she and Edmund previously had some kind of incestual relationship. Edmund basically tells her not to cut him off from Dolly or he’ll act out.
  • I thought Mildred would do something terrible to Dolly to keep her away from Edmund, but perhaps as a way to keep him docile, she facilitates a meeting between the two so they can spend time face-to-face. They share a passionate kiss and surprisingly, no one gets caught — at least, not yet.
  • Hanover is shown taking drugs twice during this episode, no explanation is given, I’m assuming it will come back later.
  • Potential Chekhov’s gun alert: Hanover stashes Charles’s gun in his desk.

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