Nurse Mildred Ratched seeks employment at Lucia State Hospital as it prepares to admit a new psychiatric patient: notorious killer Edmund Tolleson.
Dr. Hanover demonstrates a cutting-edge procedure. Ratched visits a survivor of Edmund's massacre and joins Gwendolyn on an outing in Monterey.
When a woman from his past puts a price on his head, Hanover reveals a dark secret to Ratched. Nurse Bucket administers a brutal treatment.
Ratched helps Edmund find an outlet for his urges and offers her services to Wainwright. Tired of living a lie, Gwendolyn leaves her husband.
Promoted to head nurse, Ratched plans a dance at the hospital and invites Gwendolyn to be her companion. Lenore makes Ratched an offer.
Lovers on the lam seek refuge at an abandoned farmhouse. When Ratched attends a marionette show, traumatic childhood memories come rushing back.
Rivals put a plan into action as secrets from the past surface, and Hanover takes a risk that pays off for Ratched.
One month later, Ratched fights to save Edmund from the electric chair while dreaming of a new life with Gwendolyn.