Revisiting Kingdom Hospital – episode 4

Matt's back at Stephen King's hospital, where the laughs have disappeared, and things are getting serious...

Kingdom Hospital

If episode three of Kingdom Hospital wanted to make us laugh, then episode four most certainly wants to make us cry. Nearly all traces of humour or light-heartedness are erased here, replaced with more touching moments, a little character exploration, and plenty of piano music. Things open with a crooked care nurse stealing money from a man in her care whom she believes has just died, before suffering a heart attack thanks to that same man springing back to life. She is, of course, wheeled through the doors of Kingdom Hospital, but the doctors fail to save her life. It is then revealed that the woman was an ex junkie, and Dr. Elmer’s mother. Speaking of Elmer, the only interesting thing to happen to him in this episode is that, while taking part in Dr. Lona’s sleep lab, he experiences a nightmare wherein the ant eater smashes through a door, baring its razor-like teeth. There is another earthquake or, as the staff refer to it, an “aftershock” which violently shakes the hospital, before subsiding. The convict who was taken in having attempted suicide is visited by the mysterious fanged boy, who takes on the guise of Rolf’s dead girlfriend. He orders Rolf to kill Sally Druse should she attempt to contact Peter Rickman. Elsewhere, elderly patient and good friend to Sally Druse, Lenny, dies in his hospital bed. When he has passed over, he communicates with Sally by blinking the lights on and off. By asking Lenny’s spirit a series of questions with yes or no answers, Sally is able to ascertain that somebody in the hospital knows the name of the ghost girl. Her prying eventually leads her to Rickman’s room … It looks for a moment as if Rolf will succeed in killing off Druse, when Dr. Hook enters the room and escorts her out for bothering the patients. Overall, this is a much slower-paced episode with less crammed into it. Things have taken on a darker tone, with little in the way of humour to brighten things up. I’m not sure how I feel about proceedings. Some of the characters are very memorable and the whole thing has a very drama-orientated ER atmosphere. Right now, I’m hoping for something shocking or genuinely scary to happen, because at the moment, nothing has.