Childrens Hospital Review: "Kick Me"

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<i>Childrens Hospital</i> Review: "Kick Me"

Every episode of Childrens Hospital is so insular, to have plots continue from another episode or to have any consistency whatsoever feels almost out of place. Sometimes having actual story arcs works, as it does whenever we see the actors discussing their roles on the fictional version of Childrens Hospital, but sometimes, like the entire fifth season military base arc, it doesn’t actually work that well. What’s so strange about “Kick Me,” the finale of the sixth season, is that it seems to be setting up a continuing story, yet we won’t have any idea until the next season begins.

This sixth season has mostly kept Dr. Blake Downs to minor subplots, often giving up on his own adventures or confused by his original motivations before his actual stories were done. Or just stabbing steroids in his butt. Over the course of six seasons, Rob Corddry’s Blake has long been the face of Childrens Hospital, yet this season has utilized him less than most. “Kick Me” attempts to make up for that by possibly setting up for an incredibly Blake-heavy seventh season.

With the exception of a single line uttered by Owen early on, the only person who even speaks in “Kick Me” is Blake, and he’s got a lot of frustrations to monologue about. Blake has always been the series’ punching bag—which is understandable for a clown—but Blake is tired of being seen as little other than a clown. He’s gotten used to his situation, with people gluing his locker closed and he’s even gotten used to people putting cobras in his locker. But every day? That’s a bit excessive. Once a coworker puts a “kick me” sign on his back, that is the last straw.

“Kick Me” is maybe the only time that Blake wins, that is if you don’t count his unclear goal to steal a ton of sperm earlier this season. He tries to get revenge on the three doctors who pick on him the most—Cat, Val and Owen—and it actually works. When a head surgeon position conveniently opens up, Blake makes sure that Cat has a unmissable gynecologist meeting at the time of her head surgeon meeting. He fills Val up with sleeping pills to make her meeting seem like she’s drunk, and he frames Owen for trashing the meeting room. Strangely enough, this all works and gets Blake the head surgeon position. Not only that, but Blake’s crush on Nurse Missy, the beautiful, smiley and perfect nurse who also shares his love of potato chips, seems quite fond of him as well. Things are coming up Blake! So when “Kick Me” ends with Blake firing Cat, Val and Owen, plus any other person who has slightly wronged him at Childrens, it finally feels like Blake not getting dumped on for once and deserving his victory.

But “Kick Me” also seems incredibly basic for an episode of Childrens Hospital, especially considering the crazy detailed episodes we’ve seen in the last month or so. Blake is wronged, he gets revenge, the end. However “Kick Me” does have the possibility of just being a jumping off point for the seventh season, which would make it far more compelling if we knew that there was any continuity between this episode and the next season. The fact that “Kick Me” ends on a cliffhanger immediately makes in intriguing, as this show rarely leaves things open in the way this one does, or it could just as easily be a fun little way for Blake to win one.

Corddry has hinted that “Kick Me” could very well be the beginning of an actual arc, which I think would work far better than when the fifth season tried it out. I would love to see how much Blake could run this hospital in the ground. But does this also mean that we won’t see Cat, Val or Owen as well? This could just be a reaction to the already dwindling cast and an excuse for them not to appear as much in the seventh season.

If season seven is to be the last for Childrens Hospital—which doesn’t seem that far-fetched considering the long gap between the fifth and sixth season and the difficulty in getting the entire cast together—what a fantastically destructive direction to take this show into. A Blake-ruled hospital would be insane and an incredibly fun direction for this show to go in, but unfortunately we won’t know for quite some time if “Kick Me” is just a simple diversion for Childrens Hospital’s most picked on character or if it’s the beginning of the most insane arc this show has ever attempted.

Ross Bonaime is a D.C.-based freelance writer and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow him on Twitter.