Dr. Hanover demonstrates a cutting-edge procedure. Ratched visits a survivor of Edmund's massacre and joins Gwendolyn on an outing in Monterey.
Dr. Hanover secretly suffers from substance abuse. He goes into the supply room and gets high off the medication.
Following the mass media coverage of Governor Wilburn’s support of Lucia State Hospital, people inflicted with various illness check themselves in, including Len Bronley, a former theater actor who can’t seem to remember his lines, Lily Cartwright, an closeted lesbian, and Ingrid Blix, a well known European opera singer, who suffers from melancholia. Lily approaches Peter, who sits alone at a table reading a book. She asks what brought him to see Dr. Hanover. He replies that his mom says he daydreams. They are joined by Mildred and Dr. Hanover. He reminds them that the procedure will require mild sedation and that there will be observers in the operating theater. Mildred warns them that following the procedure, they will be woozy and that there will be dried blood at the sight of incision
Gwendolyn is joined outside of the hospital by a reporter. Before long, Secretary Randall Berglund and administrative assistant Annie Hardcastle arrive to sit in on the lobotomy procedure. They join Mildred, Dolly, and the other nurses in the audience. Dr. Hanover prepares to perform a lobotomy on all four patients, each with their own illness, Len suffers from memory loss, Lily, from lesbianism, Ingrid, from mania, and Peter suffers from juvenile distractions. Dr. Hanover believes that all of these can be reversed. Nurse Bucket assists him, though the procedure is too graphic for some to bear as Annie Hardcastle faints as he drills into the patients' skulls.
Mildred visits Father Andrews at a nunnery. She informs him that they are housing Edmund Tolleson and that she’s trying to ensure he receives the proper punishment. Father Andrews is reluctant to speak on the matter as he had a nervous breakdown following the attack. She asks for his help in assuring that Edmund is punished for his crimes by having an interview with Dr. Hanover. However, Father Andrews is not well enough and is already scheduled to speak with the state prosecutors in two weeks.
Dolly asks Nurse Bucket why Hanover is building a barn but not even she is sure why. Mildred enters the kitchen and realizes that her peach is missing. Nurse Bucket has it in hand. Mildred demands that Bucket give her peach back, but Bucket takes a bite from it. Mildred tells Bucket that she will be sorry for that. They are joined by Dr. Hanover, who admits that the lobotomies weren’t a success as he hoped. Therefore, he will be demonstrating an alternative operating procedure.
Mildred, Dolly, and Nurse Bucket sit in the stands as Dr. Hanover performs his alternative procedure on two cadavers. He realized that the trepanning of the skull was too graphic and has resorted to the transorbital lobotomy, which refers to the drilling through the eye socket. Before the procedure can commence, Dolly is disgusted, but it is Nurse Bucket who pukes on the floor. Dr. Hanover kicks both Nurse Bucket and Dolly out of the operating room. Mildred on the other hand is fascinated by the procedure. Dr. Hanover remarks that Mildred is different from other women, which she admires. Mildred reveals to Hanover that the sophistication of this procedure is not reflected in some of the other practices at the hospital; Edmund for instance remains shackled while showering and is scrubbed by hard brissled brushes.
Mildred brings Edmund down a bar of soap and tells him that moving forward, he’ll be able to bathe himself. She promises him that she’ll get him out but he must control himself.
Gwendolyn goes into the fridge and notices that her lunch is missing. Mildred claims that Nurse Bucket ate it. Mildred offers the other half of her sandwich, but Gwendolyn isn’t interested. Instead, she offers to show Mildred around town. She reluctantly agrees, and Gwendolyn takes her to an oyster bar. While dining, they discuss the lobotomy practices. Unlike Gwendolyn, Mildred is in agreement with Dr. Hanover’s methods. Gwendolyn then takes Mildred to a ladies bar. Mildred panics and leaves. Gwendolyn is a lesbian and mistook Mildred for one as well. Gwendolyn offers to give Mildred a ride home, but Mildred doesn’t want to be near her.
Harold brings Edmund to Dr. Hanover for a psychiatric evaluation. Edmund displays multiple symptoms of schizophrenia. However, his prototypical features are somewhat too prototypical. Dr. Hanover suspects that Edmund is putting on a show. However, he doesn’t believe in the death penalty and knows just how fragile the human mind is. He offers to help Edmund but can only do so if he’s honest. He asks what caused Edmund to snap. Realizing that Edmund has no intention of being truthful, Hanover calls Harold back in to take Edmund away.
Mildred asks Peter if he’s experienced any pain, which he hasn’t. He also no longer experiences scattered thoughts or distractions. In fact, he doesn’t have any thoughts at all. After checking on Peter, Mildred investigates a strange noise coming from one of the patient’s rooms. She finds Lily and Ingrid having sex.
Mildred gets a call from Father Andrews. Her faith in him is very inspiring. So he’s willing to tell her what he saw the night of the massacre. Mildred picks up Father Andrews and takes him to a hotel, where she records their session. While he’s distracted, she slips an anesthetic into his tea. Father Andrews watched as Edmund mutilated Monsignor. After Edmund left, Father Andrews came out from under the bed and looked for help. That’s when he saw Edmund standing outside the house, staring at him. As Father Andrews finishes his tea, he begins to lose his balance, so Mildred guides him to the bed. When he awakens, he is tied to the bed by his hands and feet. Mildred takes an ice pick and a hammer and performs a lobotomy.
Two state prosecutors have come to question Father Andrews. However, he is completely unresponsive, and they realize that he has nothing to offer.
- Sarah Paulson as Nurse Mildred Ratched
- Finn Wittrock as Edmund Tolleson
- Cynthia Nixon as Gwendolyn Briggs
- Jon Jon Briones as Dr. Richard Hanover
- Charlie Carver as Huck Finnigan
- Judy Davis as Nurse Betsy Bucket
- Sharon Stone as Lenore Osgood
- Alice Englert as Dolly
- Annie Starke as Lily Cartwright
- Harriet Sansom Harris as Ingrid Blix
- Joseph Marcell as Len Bronley
- Hunter Parrish as Father Andrews
- Robert Curtis Brown as Monsignor Sullivan
- Ben Crowley as Reggie Hampson
- Amanda Plummer as Louise
- Jermaine Williams as Harold
- Teo Briones as Peter
- Lita Lopez as Annie Hardcastle
- Greg Winter as Father Dennis McMurtry
- Siaka Massaquoi as Father Adeyemi
- Dan Thiel as Mr. Richard Cartwright
- Rick Scarry as Randall Berglund
- Albert Malafronte as Prosecutor
- David Beeler as Asst. Prosecutor
- Blair Williamson as Joe
- Elinor Gunn as Helen
- Carolyn Crotty as Nun
- Alfred Rubin Thompson as Albert Alton
- Dee Rogers as Oyster Bar Waiter
- Jon K. Farless as Male Cadaver
- Samantha Sergeant as Female Cadaver
- The episode title refers to the tool used by Dr. Hanover to perform a transorbital lobotomy.
- For full episode high quality screencaps, see: S01E02: Ice Pick/Gallery