Ratched: A Disguised Halloween Favorite


Perseus Godwin, Staff Writer

Feature Photo Credit: Netflix

With Halloween right around the corner and everyone preparing for the chilling thrills that come with the season, many have pondered as to what’s next on their frights watchlist. Horror shows are always on people’s minds, but thanks to Netflix’s new series, Ratched, it’s no longer ghosts or ghouls that creep in our hallways and under our beds–it’s what might be creeping and crawling inside our own heads.

Photo Credit: Netflix

Ratched is a Netflix original series that has been hard to miss since it came out on September 18th, having surpassed anything else new on the platform. The eight-episode series, which was written to be the prequel to Ken Kasey’s thrilling novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, has successfully made its way to the number one spot on Netflix’s new trending feature since it’s debut, and it doesn’t look like it’ll be budging from the top ten anytime soon. Kasey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest has been a cult classic since its release in 1962, turning heads in a way that the show has successfully managed to replicate. With vivid imagery of worst-case scenarios taking place on the set of Lucia State Hospital, enthusiasts of old mental treatments and newcomers alike have found interest in this show. To clarify, this show contains graphic content, so discretion is advised. This article will remain as nondescript as possible and will include no major spoilers.

Photo Credit: Netflix

The premise of the show follows a woman with questionable morals, Mildred Ratched, navigating obstacles of work and home and sacrificing everything to get to her end goal. That end goal does end up changing, especially during the climax of the show (though, debatably, there’s a plot-twisting climax in every episode), but the main overall idea of her goal remains the same: protect Edmund Tolleson. Edmund Tolleson is a complicated man being held in a psych ward hospital for evaluation after the murders of several priests at his hands, though why exactly she has such strong regard for the murderer isn’t revealed until a bold confession to her love interest of the show, Gwendolyn Briggs. One thing noticeably significant about Ratched is how every layered plot and story is impacted by Mildred, her manipulative red-lipped smile and trademark pinned hats weaving their way into everyone’s business.

Photo Credit: Netflix

Whether it be getting a job, speaking to certain patients, or meddling in the lives of a certain nosy motel owner or doctor with a dark past, she starts off with a headstrong personality that almost becomes unrecognizable midway through the show. As events progress, secrets are revealed, and Mildred confides in two very specific women. She starts revealing her weaknesses in the confidence of another nurse. This gives the viewer the appeal of getting to know her at the same rate that the characters do, learning about a horrendous background from her life as a foster child and her experiences as a nurse in a warzone.

Photo Credit: Netflix

The show begins to slip into more of a lovelorn story between two of the characters, both of whom experience giant life changes: Mildred, in having to shift what was the focal point in her life, and Gwendolyn, in having lost just about everything and finding out big news from the doctor. Episode eight ends in a beautiful scene of Mexico, with light witty conversation and ghosts coming back from the past to haunt.

If you haven’t given it a watch, it’s sure to get you in the spirit of whatever the social distanced version of trick-or-treating will be. Netflix has promised that season two will be following the plot of the novel itself rather than being a prequel. If the book has any real indication of just how scary it will be, it’s best to tune in now instead of bingeing the frights next year.