Saturday, September 19, 2020

REVIEW: 'Ratched' - Ratched Carefully Manages Hanover While Helping Huck Break Two Patients Out in 'Angel of Mercy: Part Two'

Netflix's Ratched - Episode 1.04 "Angel of Mercy: Part Two"

Ratched helps Edmund find an outlet for his urges and offers her services to Wainwright. Tired of living a lie, Gwendolyn leaves her husband.

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.

"Angel of Mercy: Part Two" was written by Evan Romansky and directed by Michael Uppendahl

This hour exudes such chaotic energy. All of the characters are bouncing around and causing complications for each other. They all hope to emerge successful and victorious in this mess as well. And yet, Nurse Ratched remains the focal point. She doesn't particularly care about what anyone else wants. She doesn't care that Lenore wants Hanover dead for the treatment he provided for her son. She doesn't care that Gwendolyn wants a genuine and loving relationship with her. She doesn't care that Edmund wants to be sexually aroused and stimulated by Polly. And yet, she is constantly taking note of these motivations. She sees them as beneficial tools she can use to ultimately get her way. She is certainly capable of holding personal grudges. But she won't allow some off-putting detail to prevent her from engaging fully with the people who now comprise her world. Wainwright called her the worst lay of his life. He did that to demean and ridicule her. She wasn't going to shrink from that comment. She didn't feel the need to prove him otherwise. She could still use him to her advantage though. So much of her goal is appeasing Hanover. She views him as the one person capable of saving or condemning her brother. She has to win him over. She can't be honest outright though. Nor can she allow Edmund's petty and childish behavior disrupt her plans. She looks down on Polly because of her attraction to Edmund and desire to physically act upon it. However, she will also encourage it as a way to keep tabs on them. The story could absolutely have been used to create a scandal at the hospital. Bucket could have walked in on Edmund and Polly in the tub room. That's not the grand design of the narrative though. Right now, it's simply offering Edmund this moment of desire that he wants so that Ratched herself doesn't have to break a promise to herself. The siblings refer to a traumatic past. They don't want to be defined by it. The narrative sure is setting that up as an explanation for what led to their sociopathic tendencies in life. Ratched is completely indifferent to who dies along the way in her journey. She sees Wainwright as a threat because he risks taking Hanover off the board too quickly. She has to be patient. She has to tease Lenore along as well. This heiress needs retribution and vindication as quickly as possible. She knows exactly where Hanover is and questions anyone who can't swiftly supply her with what she needs. Wainwright is killed. It happens in such tragic and explosive fashion as well. It's more than Ratched and Hanover luring him into their trap and then boiling him alive in the tub room. He escapes. He becomes the monster that so many people in this world are terrified of. He is killed because he is suddenly perceived as a foreboding threat. That kind of evil does exist but it also becomes a figure scarier in one's mind than in reality. Wainwright needs help. No one can see that. Ratched and Hanover achieve their goal of killing him. In doing so, they have to carefully maintain certain relationships. Ratched is never surprised or unsettled though. She must always remain in control. It's startling for Gwendolyn to suddenly arrive at the hospital. She inserts herself into these events. She does so because of a curiosity to better understand the life of the woman she has suddenly fallen for. That is a priority for her. She too can assert her dominance by speaking on behalf of the Governor. And yet, Ratched is the one carefully modulating what this relationship truly is. Gwendolyn perceives it as one of genuine attraction. And yes, Ratched could allow herself to feel that way. She doesn't. She understands what it means to live in a world where everyone tells her that her true identity is wrong. She has helped punished people who identify the same way. She is also a savior here. She helps two patients escape their torment. They can run away together. That is freeing and glorious. It means Huck sees Ratched as an angel. He uplifts her. She beams with pride over the thought of doing something good. And yet, her core ambitions remain deeply troubled. She agrees to a soldier's request to kill him instead of bearing through the pain. She sees that as a valid option because of everything that has occurred. She also sees giving Gwendolyn some of what she wants as a benefit in the long run. The narrative may only grow more chaotic and messy in the future. Ratched continues to exert her influence and dominance. She is never rattled. That's an empowering characteristic for her. She uses people to get what she wants. She is playing with their emotions which can always lead to unexpected consequences. It hasn't so far. She hasn't faced any true adversity. And yet, that's her story of rising to power in this environment. She has a dark and tragic past. It shapes her indifference to the suffering and emotional needs of others. However, she still does have genuine desires in this world. They are often hidden and just out of reach for many to understand. Some believe that they do. That's simply what she projects herself to be in any given situation. She molds herself to the individual person. She is crafty and resourceful. That saves her again and again. It satisfies her too despite the darkness that is ever present in this world of death and destruction.