"The Dance" is the fifth episode of Season One of Ratched, as well as the fifth episode of the series overall. It premiered on September 18, 2020.[1]


Promoted to head nurse, Ratched plans a dance at the hospital and invites Gwendolyn to be her companion. Lenore makes Ratched an offer.


Dr. Hanover arrives outside of Guido’s, a sheek, upper-class establishment where he meets with Nurse Ratched. The encounter is tense, and Ratched brings up the situation surrounding Edmund Tolleson, remarking that she will not allow Tolleson to be deemed fit for execution. When Dr. Hanover tells Nurse Ratched that he will not be persuaded — or bullied — to meet her demands, she begins to blackmail him with the idea of revealing the information surrounding the deaths Hanover has been involved with. With this, Nurse Ratched informs Hanover that it is in his best interest to promote her to Head Nurse, despite the tensions this would cause with Nurse Bucket.

The following day, Nurse Bucket is brought to hysterics whangen Hanover orders that she submit her resignation as Head Nurse. When she refuses, Hanover threatens to impede on her impeccable reputation; Bucket is further shocked when she finds out that Nurse Ratched will replace her as Head Nurse of Lucia State Hospital.

Instilled in her new position as Head Nurse, Nurse Ratched formulates a plan to save her brother. She organises a ball, in which she simultaneously plans for Edmund to convince the rest of the hospital that he is severely mentally unstable. She further’s her position of control over Hanover when she convinces Nurse Bucket that Hanover has feelings for her, simultaneously ordering that Hanover accept Bucket’s invitation to attend the dance as dates.

Meanwhile, Ondine Duquette approaches a young teenager playing the violin on school grounds. She complains on numerous occasions about his technique and skill, remarking that several famous musicians would shiver at the mere sound of his music. Shortly after, she arrives at Lucia State Hospital, explaining to Hanover that she is beginning to forget things, which Hanover remarks could be related to amnesia. Hanover questions Ondine over her name, and it is revealed that Ondine is a fake name, the woman is actually called Charlotte. Charlotte further reveals that she has been hearing the voice of “Ondine”, and begins acting strangely. Hanover is extremely confused by the situation unfolding before him, but tries to engage with Charlotte’s new persona. Hanover is forced to subdue Charlotte when she becomes aggressive, and further diagnoses her with split personality disorder.

Nurse Ratched invites Gwendolyn Briggs to dinner, and the latter explains that she is quite confused, given their prior conversation about their current standings. Nurse Ratched explains that she is still confused by her feelings, but does feel something for Briggs, much to her surprise. Briggs explains that Governor Wilburn is eager for Edmund Tolleson’s case to be closed by the month’s end, and Ratched explains that she is happy to oblige.

Lenore Osgood arrives at the motel in which Nurse Ratched is staying, but leaves moments later, horrified by the condition of the lower-class motel. She tells Ratched that she will be in touch. The following day, the two talk, and Nurse Ratched explains that she is willing to aid her in the death of Richard Hanover for the large sum of one-million dollars. Osgood is horrified by the request, and becomes increasingly angry, citing that Nurse Ratched is taking advantage of her.

At Lucia Hospital, Nurse Bucket asks Hanover to the dance, to which he accepts. The two talk for a while, but the encounter is tense between the two, but tension is alleviated when Hanover asks if he can attempt hypnosis for the first time on her. Hanover tries to convince Bucket that she should attend the dance alone, however his attempts are futile, and she is still ecstatic to attend the dance with Hanover.

Meanwhile in the midst of Edmund’s shower, Nurse Ratched interrupts and explains that they must act tonight to ensure his execution does not go ahead. Edmund explains that he has formulated a plan in which he will convince the entire hospital he is unstable.

Hanover is successful in his efforts to hypnotise Charlotte, and is able to delve deeper into her trauma. Charlotte explains that she was kidnapped by numerous men and held hostage in a closet for nine days whilst being beaten simultaneously. Hanover is deeply affected by the encounter, but is able to bring Charlotte back from the trauma without her other personalities. Later on whilst recounting his notes, Hanover begins to cry, finally feeling as though he has helped someone.

Nurse Bucket makes dinner for Louise Bucket explains that she and Hanover are attending the dance together and — despite romanticising their encounter together heavily — Louise agrees to help her practice her dancing skills in advance. Shortly after, the two talk about their mutual hate for Nurse Mildred Ratched, with Bucket explaining that whilst at the dance, Louise will sneak into her room and search for clues.

Hanover rushes to Ratched’s motel room when he notices Osgood following him to the diner where he is eating. Ratched tells him to sleep in his office in the meantime and she will figure out their next steps. Following on from the conversation, she visits Osgood and questions her over following Hanover. Osgood simply replies that she took a gun, believing she could kill Hanover herself, but would not like to leave her son unaccompanied. Ratched agrees to murder Hanover for her in excange for the cash payout they discussed.

Meanwhile, the dance begins but Hanover finds it difficult to enjoy himself with Bucket. He leaves for a moment to sneak into the medicine cupboard and administer medication to get high. Upon his return, his character is different, and he dances with Bucket. The room is shocked when Edmund is brought up and sat at one of the tables, but Nurse Ratched spares no time in explaining to him the whereabouts of the razor blades.

The dance becomes too difficult for Hanover, and he quickly becomes bored of Bucket, citing that he never liked her and never will. This destroys Bucket, who rushes to her room with Ratched and Briggs ensue. Bucket is convinced that she imagined the relationship between the two of them, much to Ratched’s surprise, who aided in furthering the ideology. Ratched becomes furious with Hanover and his behaviour and goes to confront him, only to be rebuked. Ratched gives Edmund the go-ahead and he murders the guard moments later. Unbeknownst to Nurse Ratched, Dolly and Edmund have formulated an escape plan of their own, and when confronted by Briggs, Dolly shoots her and she begins to bleed out. The two are able to escape, but Edmund becomes furious with Dolly’s reckless behaviour, citing that they will pay for spilling the blood of an innocent in the future.



Guest Starring


  • Jermaine Williams as Harold
  • Alfred Rubin Thompson as Albert Alton
  • Teo Briones as Peter
  • Devon Conrad as Male Student
  • Amber Laird as Female Onlooker
  • Michael Andrew Baker as Cop
  • Pete Handelman as Maître d'
  • Alan Brooks as Chauffeur


  • This episode title refers to the patient/staff dance organized by Nurse Ratched.

Promotional stills


Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.