Friday, September 18, 2020

REVIEW: 'Ratched' - Ratched Is Intrigued by Hanover's New Medical Procedure Despite the Horrors It Evokes in 'Ice Pick'

Netflix's Ratched - Episode 1.02 "Ice Pick"

Dr. Hanover demonstrates a cutting-edge procedure. Ratched visits a survivor of Edmund's massacre and joins Gwendolyn on an outing in Monterey.

In 2019, the television industry aired 532 scripted shows across numerous outlets. The way people consume content now is different than it used to be. It happens according to one's own schedule. As such, it's less necessary to provide ample coverage of each episode in any given season from a show. Moreover, it is simply impossible to watch everything. As such, this site provides shorter episodic reviews in order to cover as many shows as possible. With all of that being said, here are my thoughts on the next episode of Netflix's Ratched.

"Ice Pick" was written by Ian Brennan and directed by Ryan Murphy

Mildred Ratched believes it's better to feel nothing than some of the other extreme emotions life has to offer. It's an opinion she has formed after a lifetime of pain and abuse. She has shared some of those details. However, she operates from a position of authority where she can freely make that a reality for others. She wields this power in order to feel in control of her own life. She does have a core objective in getting her brother released from this hospital. She is determined to make that a reality for Edmund. She also makes the argument that he was made into a monster. He wasn't born that way. And yet, others could convincingly say that it is genetic because of the actions she is willing to take to hurt people in order to protect him. She lures the surviving priest into feeling comfortable around her. She grooms him into accepting that she is offering him the kind of help that he needs. He can confess his tale and ensure that God's retribution falls on those who deserve it. It's not an argument she believes in. She crafts the tale convincingly to bring him into her trap. She needs him to be even more vulnerable. She has all the tools necessary to perform a lobotomy. Hanover has revealed to his staff that it isn't a complicated procedure to perform. However, it has plenty of ethical questions attached to it. The brutality on display is disturbing. One person in the gallery faints. Nurse Bucket throws up. Hanover sees this procedure as revolutionizing modern medicine. It offers a way into the future that allows for the betterment of the entire species. Corrosive behavior can be eliminated in an instant. He talks up just how quick the procedure actually is. He wants to better accommodate it to those who see nothing but horror. And yet, the final results leave people feeling nothing. Again, that is a positive in Ratched's eyes. She also sees it as a benefit for her case. If she can take out the only survivor of Edmund's assault on the monastery, then she is one step closer to freeing him. That's her rationale. It's all that she cares about. However, she is an active part of this environment now. She has to prop Hanover up as a genius even when the rest of the staff has their doubts. She is intrigued by the lobotomy. She is willing to perform it herself. She views it as a blessing. Meanwhile, Gwendolyn sees it as doctors getting to play God. They will determine what's right and wrong. If anyone believes they can be cured of any ailment through this procedure, then it will become commonplace no matter what the consequences are. They are severe too. It's horrifying to see a boy subjected to it simply because he day dreams. His mother tells him his thoughts and behavior are wrong. He has this procedure done that will scar him for the rest of his life. Everyone views that as a success. The other patients aren't cured in their behavior. They engage with it more fully. Ratched is incredibly blunt about that. She wants people to identify their bad habits. That allows them to track the progress made. And yet, all of this can mask her own suffering and refusal to accept part of her identity. She commits violence on those who feel impulses different than what society dictates to be the norm. She does so in order to wield power and to block out any doubts in her own mind about her actions. Gwendolyn sees a kindred soul in Ratched. She opens her mind up to a whole new world. That is invigorating for a moment. Once Ratched sees it in a romantic context though, she freaks out. She refuses to accept that as part of her reality. Gwendolyn knows just how difficult this process can be. She has some freedom. She has power as the Governor's assistant. She can't force this. But the audience is fully aware that Ratched commits violence even though others would subject her to the same pain should she accept this part of herself. Her refusal limits her worldview. She is so commanding in all areas of her life. But she can't control everything. Hanover can see through Edmund trying to come across as a schizophrenic. Gwendolyn sees something in Ratched that terrifies her. People are choosing to believe what is right and wrong. Others simply have the power to leave those permanent scars. Hanover insists that he has empathy. He doesn't believe in the death penalty. Ratched is different because her lifetime of abuse informs her actions to ensure that it never happens again. As such, she robs people of that agency to make herself feel more comfortable. It's what makes the argument over the peach so hilarious. But the drama is just as heightened as well because of how extreme Ratched is willing to take things. None of this can be commonplace. It unfortunately will be though in the name of medical discoveries to help the human mind.