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The Stephen King Easter Egg You Missed In The Ratched Season 1 Finale

Contains spoilers for Ratched season 1

Netflix's psychological thriller Ratched has been met with mixed reviews. Mostly, fans are comparing this series, which follows Nurse Ratched, a character of the same name from Ken Kesey's 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, to American Horror Story. After all, AHS creator Ryan Murphy developed Ratched and the series also stars beloved AHS alumna Sarah Paulson. Whether or not you agree with the critics, it's hard to argue that Ratched doesn't offer a healthy crop of Easter eggs for the fanperson in us all.

Mildred Ratched is, to say the least, a complicated character. Mildred will stop at nothing to achieve her goals, even if that means deceiving good people or harming those who get in her way. In Mildred's case, her goal is to protect her foster brother Edmund Tolleson (played by Finn Wittrock, yet another AHS star). Edmund, a mentally unstable patient who's being threatened with the death penalty for multiple murders, is locked up in an asylum in Northern California. It's through Edmund's story that Ratched makes its a nod to a famous Stephen King story — an Easter egg that can be enjoyed by any fan of the Master of Horror.

The execution scene is eerily familiar

Although subtle and easy to miss, the final episode places audience members in an eerily familiar scene. George Wilburn (Vincent D'Onofrio), a corrupt governor who's adamant about slapping the death penalty on Edmund, opts to give another prisoner a more violent fate in front of an audience, foreshadowing what the governor plans on doing to Edmund. Instead of executing this prisoner by lethal injection, George introduces the inmate to "Big Sparky," an electric chair that's about to disturbingly earn its name.

This dark scene is when viewers familiar with King's 1996 novel The Green Mile will start to recognize the similarities. In the 1999 film adaptation of the same title, another power-hungry authority figure ensures an inmate suffers a horrendous and painful death when he doesn't wet the sponge that's placed on the prisoner's head before the execution — all guards are supposed to follow this step to ensure a quicker passing. In a gruesome scene, the inmate doesn't go peacefully and bursts into flames. Similar to this execution, the prisoner in Ratched doesn't die instantly and also catches fire. While the chair in The Green Mile is nicknamed "Old Sparky," Ratched's "Big Sparky" is too similar to be a coincidence, as is the public nature of both executions.

As fans of AHS have come to know and love, Murphy inserts subtle Easter eggs and pays homage to horror flicks throughout the anthology series. It's nice to see that Ratched is getting a similar treatment.