Saturday, December 19, 2020

What I’m Watching: Ratched (Season Finale)

Ratched: Season 1, Episode 8 “Mildred and Edmund” (B+)

I’m not sure I’ve taken the time to properly praise the style and execution of this show, which elevates an already interesting premise and makes the experience of watching this show exquisite. I can imagine that those who don’t like Ryan Murphy probably don’t find it all that appealing, but I also don’t have too much experience with him given that I avoid his more blatant horror projects. What stood out to me most in this hour was the imagined experiences that Mildred discussed, first with how they would neutralize Edmond so that they could offer him a peaceful death and later with him showing up to locate them in Mexico. Opening with Louise as an overeager employee of the hospital was a disarmingly casual start, and the focus on the governor’s campaign for as much cruelty as possible to those convicted to receive the death penalty was dark and disturbing. I was surprised by Charlotte’s return but even more caught off-guard by her absorption of Dr. Hanover’s personality, which was executed formidably by actress Sophie Okonedo. Latching on to the more fervent and paranoid aspects of his character made for a deadly combination, one that cost a number of lives and got Edmund free when he realized what his sister was going to do to him. Bringing Louise along for the ride sets up an intriguing season two, especially now that Mildred’s attitude has changed and she’s set on putting down the monster that her brother has become after trying so hard to save him. I’m excited for season two and hopeful that many members of this ensemble receive their due recognition come awards time, including Judy Davis as Nurse Bucket and Alice Englert as Dolly.

Season grade: A-
Season MVP: Sarah Paulson

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