It looks like fans of Ratched will just have to turn into One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest to find out what becomes of the titular character played by Emmy-winning actress Sarah Paulson because the Netflix series developed by Ryan Murphy and created by Evan Romansky will not be returning for a second season despite receiving an initial two-season order from the streamer.
Considering it has been almost four years since Ratched premiered in September 2020, this news does not come as a significant surprise, though it is a little strange that Netflix didn't say anything. The streaming service has a habit of letting creators and stars announce cancellations, but Ratched as a relatively high-profile series that did receive a multi-season order ahead of its debut, so it's a little surprising Netflix didn't release a statement of any kind, though perhaps they will now.
Nonetheless, Paulson has openly said she didn't know if the show would return for a while now. She spoke with Variety in 2022 and admitted she wasn't sure if the series would come back and then in early February 2024, a fan account posted a video of Paulson chatting with some fans about the show where she told them flat-out that no, Ratched season 2 isn't happening.
Again, considering that we haven't heard anything about the series since 2020, the writing was kind of on the wall for this one. The stars have all moved on to other projects without any word of scripts being written or production be developed, but it's nice to have a concrete answer.
Ratched ends with the titular character escpaing to Mexico with Gwendolyn
Even though Ratched won't return for another season, at least fans can be relatively satisfied with how the first season ended. While it does end with a cliffhanger, it's not a big one and for the most part, we could just choose to believe that Mildred Ratched and Gwendolyn Briggs (Cynthia Nixon) go on living in peace in Mexico after escaping alongside Nurse Betsy Bucket (Judy Davis).
In the final moments of the season 1 finale (now series finale), Mildred's foster brother Edmund (Finn Wittrock) contacts his estranged sibling to tell her he's tracked her and will kill her, but Mildred promises to kill him first.
Paulson is staying plenty busy though, she recently appeared in an episode of the Prime Video series Mr. and Mrs. Smith and she has several projects in development, including the psychological horror film Dust, the movie Clybourne Park, and The Way Down, in which Paulson plays a cult leader.
The first season of Ratched is streaming on Netflix.