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Ratched Season 2 - What We Know So Far

Ratched is one of Netflix's biggest fall debuts, and many fans are already anxious to know when the next season is coming out. Because the first season only just premiered in September, there aren't many details available about season 2. But between the information that has already been announced and some speculation based on the series' source material, it's easy to connect the dots and start charting a course to the future. Ratched is based on One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the legendary novel by Ken Kesey. As a prequel series, the show will naturally tell its own story while building the world featured in Kesey's book. It's also fair to wonder how much influence the Oscar-winning 1975 film adaptation will have on the small-screen incarnation.

Regardless, it's a matter of if, not when, the second season of Ratched premieres. According to Lesley Goldberg of The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix gave the green light for two seasons when it originally picked up the show. We know there's more on the way, but what else can we find out?

Spoilers for Ratched season 1 to follow.

What's the release date for Ratched season 2?

Sometimes, Netflix shows stay consistent with their releases. Orange Is the New Black regularly arrived in June and July across its seven seasons. Other series have been less predictable — the first and third seasons of Stranger Things each launched in July, but season 2 premiered in October. Early in its run, House of Cards typically came out in February, but the later seasons veered away from that schedule. On one hand, it's fair to predict that Ratched's next season could be here by September 2021. But considering 2020's general state of industry shutdowns and delays, the series' return could be pushed back. Depending on when the Ratched cast and crew are able to get back to work, we might be waiting until next winter, or even early 2022, for more episodes.

In theory, once production schedules return to normal, Ratched and other shows should be able to maintain regular release dates. Until then, fans can only hope for a season 2 debut this time next year.

Who's in the cast for Ratched season 2?

As for the cast, Sarah Paulson leads the group as Nurse Mildred Ratched. Edmund Tolleson (Finn Wittrock), Gwendolyn Briggs (Cynthia Nixon), Dr. Richard Hanover (Jon Jon Briones), Huck Finnigan (Charlie Carver), Nurse Betsy Bucket (Judy Davis), and Lenore Osgood (Sharon Stone) round out the rest of the main characters. It's fair to expect most, if not all, of these actors to reprise their roles, barring departures for narrative or personal reasons.

Wittrock and Paulson will probably be the stars of season 2, as their relationship has turned into a rivalry that could have lethal consequences for the loser. There are plenty of other characters to draw from, including memorable patients at the facility and Ratched's coworkers. Either way, the series will obviously prioritize the characterization of Ratched, so it'll be fascinating to see how she navigates her career as a nurse and, eventually, how she interacts with these other characters.

What's the plot of Ratched season 2?

At the end of the first season, Ratched moves to Mexico to get away from her brother, Edmund — he's on a killing spree and she's his primary target. Edmund and Ratched are on an inevitable collision course that should come to a head in season 2. Ratched is ready to turn the tables on the killer, as she warns him that she's done trying to help him — he's in her crosshairs now. Ratched and Edmund are playing a deadly game of cat and mouse, and it's kill or be killed. We can expect season 2 to continue building to an inevitable final showdown. Of course, this is a prequel and we have a pretty good idea who'll survive, but it'll be fascinating to see just how it all goes down.

Fans of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest might be disappointed to hear that the first season of Ratched avoids many direct connections to the novel. But Paulson has already teased that the show will gradually work its way toward Kesey's story. It's certainly possible that showrunner Ryan Murphy could introduce Chief Bromden, the novel's narrator, to point the way to the events of the novel.