Previously on Kingdom Hospital: The Triangle shirtwaist factory incident happened, only several years earlier and several hundred miles to the north. An earthquake happened. Otto the security guy saw dead people, yet managed to elude the usual side effects (conscription in Pay It Forward, puberty). Peter Rickman got hit by a car and communed with Anubis, the most orthodontically augmented anteater ever. He hung with dead little Mary and healed his own egregious brain traumas while stunned doctors watched. We got introduced to Dr. Hook (Andrew McCarthy), and Peter (who we already knew from him getting sideswiped thirty seconds ago), and the psychic Mrs. Druse (Diane Ladd, providing all the answer anyone's ever needed to the question, "Where does Laura Dern get that tendency to play nutball parts?").
As the ghostly message "Beware the walking dead" appears on the wall, the promo guy drones that they're about to "face an unspeakable evil and uncover a secret that has reached beyond life…and death!" We've also seen a lot of other people wearing a lot of corpse gray makeup and looking serious (when dead) or wearing flesh tones and looking panicky (when not dead). Anyway, Mrs. Druse and her stylin' plum-colored beret tell Dr. Hook that "something has awakened here. Something evil" as a pair of gray hands pops out of the ground Carrie-style.
Anyway, the promo guy is still carrying on and promising, "Tonight, one doctor's discovery leads to a psychic's search, and an innocent soul reaches out, and evil awakens. And now, Stephen King's Kingdom Hospital!"
I would just like to note here that it took two minutes to get to the freakin' beginning of the episode, and the promo looks like it gave away all the best stuff up front. Whose genius editing is responsible for this? Ah, the credits -- which looks like someone went through Carnivale and Six Feet Under's openings frame by frame and then blew on a dandelion while saying earnestly, "I wish I was Dave McKean! I wish I was Dave McKean!" before sitting down to get to work -- they roll. Bring on the fun!
Or the commercials. Watching Kingdom Hospital appears to be not unlike going to an actual hospital, with the hurry-up-and-wait.
A-ha! Actual new episode stuff, only five minutes into the hour. The doll on the top of the elevator shaft falls down. Mrs. Druse calls down to Dr. Hook and asks if he's all right. It's hard to tell, since we can only see him from the knees on down, and nobody's sprung for lighting in this scene. Dr. Hook eventually says he's fine, and Mrs. D asks querulously, "Did you find anything?" "Yes. Career rehabilitation via playing vaguely unsettling introverts," he responds. No, actually, he cops to finding the doll. We get a shot of Mrs. D in the hall, still working that beret as she pleads, "I want to see it!" Back in the elevator shaft, Dr. Hook's looking like that's the last request he wants to handle right now. He eventually whispers that he dropped it, and Mrs. D ups the pleading. He's looking pretty panicky, but he tells her to just give him a minute.
We then hear the lumbering whine of an elevator and the camera does some loop-de-loop so we know it's moving, but it's not readily clear whether the elevator is moving down or the camera is pulling back, or what. It appears to be moving down.