Kingdom Hospital
Death's Kingdom

Episode Report Card
Djb: C- | Grade It Now!
St. Don't-You-Wish-You-Were-Elsewhere

Climbing, climbing, climbing, climbing, to the tippy-toppiest of the tall roof he goes. But say! What's this? Just then, a police car comes around a bend and comes to rest in front of his house. The door opens and an officer of the law steps out, a consistently employed Stephen King device by whom ominous plot development is often conveyed with said salty character emerging from an automobile, sticking up a finger, and noting, "A-yuh. Storm's a comin', Ah reckon." But this copper is all about getting to business: "Hey, Dave." Dave? Oh. Shirty over there. That's Dave. "You want to come down off-a there?" Dave stumbles backwards off of a ladder, recovering himself undramatically. See, this is the problem with this show, right here. We already know that so-called Dave's head and the cold ground are about to get acquainted. We know he's going to end up in the hospital. We know he'll be room buddies with The Artist Formerly Known As Non-Plegic. So just get there already and kill the clunky exposition, like in the first episode where the wife was all, "Whatever you do, don't run in the road and set off a twelve-episode miniseries about your convalescing in a haaaaaaaaaaunted hospital, because that would be predictable!" The copper wants to ask about an accident on Route Seven, and Dave says he knows nothing about the accident and that he's just doing some drunk, naked home improvement. Which would vastly improve any number of home-refurbishment reality shows, if not improving whatever it is we're watching happen right now. The police officer notes the patches, which DrunkDave offers are not patches but "tattoos" ("I got it for you, so now do you want me?"). Then he falls again, because it's not foreshadowing unless it's done four times, I guess. Officer Entirely Too Patient again requests that Dave join him on the non-fall-y portion of the planet known as "its entire cumulative surface area outside of that roof," turning conversation back to the shattered windshield of the nearby van. Dave self-defends: "I ain't seen that artist all day!" Eep. "Villains," I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! Tear up the planks! Here, here! It is the beating of his hideous Fountains of Wayne song!" Dave throws himself back against the wall and then, seeing no other way out, throws himself in slo-mo off the roof. A close-up of the dog finds it voicing over, "Way to go, slick. Who's gonna feed me now?" And you know the old expression: every time a dog talks, a formerly great horror writer's lost his mind.

Back at the haaaaaaaaaaaaunted hooooooooooooooospital where little dead girls dwell in elevator shafts and catheter tubes spontaneously turn into the tails of witches, we rejoin the comedy team of Stegman and James, already in progress. Steg angrily insists there by consequences for Hook's insubordination, but Hook won't be hearing any of it because his ear canals are stuffed with ghosts! Because of the haunted, um, thing. But instead of offering linear explanations for his protection of Hook (because that would be so passé and, like, the way people talk, and who wants that?), Dr. James walks around his desk and sits next to Stegman, holding up a button showing a cartoon doctor with a sun rising behind him and emblazoned with the words "Operation Morning Air." I totally want that button. Begley (calling him "Dr. James" with a straight face was starting to give me carpal tunnel, and Begley's always playing some version of himself, so…) asks Steg if he likes said button, and Stegman -- he's so surly! -- deadpans, "No." Begley responds as if kicked a long time ago on the soft part of his head, "Good. Good." Stegman tries in vain (haunted veins!) to return to a more strict line of "and then you talk, and then I talk, and that's how you make a conversation!" conversation with the decreasingly responsive Begley, as he argues that Mrs. Druse has been admitted to the hospital fourteen times in the last two years. Fourteen. Like, as in the age of consent in one or more of the Dakotas. Fourteen! He's very passionate about it. Begley tosses off an airy, "It must be terrible to be so ill." You know what else is a very good song? "Hackensack." Depressing as hell, but the words were written for me and me alone. If you can make it through the lines "Sometimes I wonder where you are, probably in L.A. / That seems to be where everybody else ends up these days" without quietly informing your empty car, "Yeah, don't I know it," you probably don't know anyone who's moved to L.A.

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Kingdom Hospital




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