The turning point I was hoping for finally arrives with episode six of Kingdom Hospital. The slow, casual, almost light-hearted tone is almost completely done away with, in favour of an insane amount of erratic and brilliant goings-on. Mary takes Peter Rickman’s spirit to some strange, dark place – I’m not sure where this is supposed to be, as it looks like an old hospital but is probably meant to be the afterlife, or somewhere in between. Here, Rickman finds the ant eater, Antibus, trapped under the steel beam, bleeding and barely clinging to life.
Strangely, Rickman has been dragging along his drip behind him in the afterlife, I wouldn’t have thought there’d be any need for one when you’re a ghost, but there you go. He plus the drip into the ant eater, saving his life. Elmer’s affections for Lona are squashed when she slaps him across the face, cuts up a rose he gave her, and tells him to leave her alone. In an attempt to make Lona pay for rejecting him, Elmer tracks down the corpse from the last episode – the one who looked like his twin brother – and cuts off the head, puts it in a bag, and leaves it where Lona will see it. However, the head escapes, and we cut to a brilliantly bizarre scene of the man’s headless ghost running through the corridors of the hospital to the rather obvious but nevertheless fun strains of “Where’s your head at,” by the Chemical Brothers. Stegman is initiated into the “Keepers of the Kingdom” … I’m not sure what this is, if it’s not a cult. Essentially, a number of the doctors at Kingdom Hospital are involved in a sect which looks after its own business, and each other. There is talk of the keepers being able to “take care” of the Mona Klingerman case and ensure Stegman does not lose his job over charges of negligence. Although still unable to speak, Peter Rickman manages to draw a picture of the ghost girl and writer her name, so that Sally Druse finally discovers the girl is called Mary. The convict, Rolf, attempts to set fire to the hospital under the ghost boy’s orders, but just then Antibus strikes, resulting in the flames dousing Rolf himself. Elsewhere, a PHD specialising in earthquakes and seismic activity is called in to Kingdom Hospital to help decipher what, exactly, is causing the constant tremors. It seems the earthquakes are coming from underneath the hospital directly, and don’t affect the surrounding community. Therefore, it needs to be ascertained whether what’s causing them can be scientifically explained, or whether something more supernatural is taking place. However, the PHD is a recovering alcoholic and, thanks to a mix-up with ginger ale and champagne, he ends up pissed out of his head, smashing up his hotel room and seeing Mary’s ghost in his empty bottle of wine. Cue the ambulance, and the professor’s arrival at the hospital. This episode is just great. Everything suddenly kicks off and goes crazy. The slow-burning feel of the previous episodes is cast off, in favour of wonderfully weird scenes, some rather Silent Hill-meets-David-Lynch visuals, and a blistering soundtrack to boot. A definite high point in the series so far, and my favourite episode. Let’s hope things carry on in this way!