Revisiting Kingdom Hospital – episode 3

Matt continues his revisit of Stephen King's dark tale of medical monstrosity. This week things are looking very bleak indeed...

Okay, we’re into the swing of things now. Episode three continues with the plot threads that have already been established, and carries them along at a reasonably speedy pace. Although, this is certainly the quirkiest of the bunch so far – throwing in some singing and dancing doctors, for instance.

At the start of the episode, we are introduced to a prisoner who has made a suicide pact with his girlfriend on the outside. Having ingested an insane amount of drugs and rat poison, the convict, Rolf (Jim Shield), starts having a fit. Cue his arrival at Kingdom Hospital, where his operating experiences proves to be quite unlike any other. Gruesomely, the man’s eyes begin to bleed, before he sits bolt upright on the operating table and breaks out into a rendition of “Nah nah nah nah, hey hey hey, goodbye”.

Now, if I was a patient at this hospital, I’d be both extremely worried for my own health, and probably filing some sort of malpractice lawsuit, as the doctors and nurses break into song themselves and begin dancing around the patient as opposed to, you know, stopping his bleeding eyes. Maybe I’ve relaxed a little over the years, because I’m sure the first time I saw this scene it made me cringe. Now, however, I’m simply able to take it for what it is – a bit of light entertainment to keep things from being too bleak.

And things do become bleak, as we are properly introduced to Mona Klingerman (Emily Tennant). Mona was operated on by neurologist Stegman, however it transpires something went horribly wrong during the surgery and Mona was left brain damaged. Once an A-grade student, she now has to be spoon-fed. Her mother lashes out at Stegman, accusing him of “butchering” her daughter, and states that she is going to sue him. As usual, nothing is really made clear about Mona’s significance, although history has taught us that a disabled or mentally ill character in a TV show or film will most likely have some connection with the supernatural.

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With the help of Dr. Hook, Sally Druse is re-admitted to the hospital so that she may continue her search for the ghost girl she suspects is haunting the place. She goes looking for Mary, but ends up making contact with something far more malevolent – the mysterious boy with fangs. He only whispers her name through the wall, but it is pretty spine-tingling.

Finally, the ghost girl Mary appears before Peter Rickman and asks for his help, before the boy with fangs appears once more and carries her away. This ends another pretty good episode. Nothing amazing has really happened yet, but the comedic and more dramatic and scary moments are blended together quite well, and episode three certainly benefits from having those quirky little scenes.

One more thing of note in this episode is the shot of a handyman at the hospital reading a Stephen King book, which is kind of the equivalent of masturbating over yourself, isn’t it?

Matt’s review of episode 2 is here.