Creepshow Season 2, Episode 2 recap: Dead and Breakfast/Pesticide

Ali Larter as Pam, Iman Benson as Morgue - Creepshow _ Season 2 - Photo Credit: Curtis Baker/Shudder
Ali Larter as Pam, Iman Benson as Morgue - Creepshow _ Season 2 - Photo Credit: Curtis Baker/Shudder /

Episode 202 of Shudder’s Creepshow invites you to the Spinster family murder house, a would-be successful, horror-themed bed and breakfast managed by Pam (Ali Larter) and Sam Spinster (C. Thomas Howell). Pam tells the story of her grandmother, “old lady spinster,” to guests, but isn’t able to convince them her grandmother was a serial killer on par with Lizzie Borden, Jeffrey Dahmer, or John Wayne Gacy. (As a point of absolute fact, if Spinster was active in the late 1930s, she wouldn’t have been the first female serial killer, either).

To try to boost their business, Pam and Sam reach out to a goth-y social media influencer named Morgan, or Morgue (Imam Benson). When Morgue arrives, things immediately don’t go as the couple had planned. Morgue calls their shrine to Grandma Spinster “trashy”
and seems skeptical of their talk of Grandma Spinster using trapdoors and body chutes. Still, one might wonder if blood had really stained the Spinster house walls.

Creepshow investigates

Pretty soon, Morgue has a metal detector, radar scanner, and infrared camera. However, all she finds is some gin and brandy hidden under the stairs, suggestive of a secretive alcoholic. When they open a wall and find a vault, Pam thinks they’ll find bodies. However, gruesome expectations are deflated when they merely find a sewing machine lonesomely stashed in the otherwise mysterious vault.

Disappointed, Morgue gives it a 1-star review. However, a bit later, Morgue finds a secret passage between the Spinster house walls, then spies at Pam and Sam through removed eyeholes in a portrait (like the classic mystery/horror “trope”). What can be said of the following scenes? Pam and Sam quickly go nutty as she threatens their business, and Pam promptly loses enough marbles to eventually go after Morgue with an ax!

Why the “Dead and Breakfast” showdown works

Rather than feeling absurdly rushes, the showdown between Pam, Sam, and Morgue feels surprisingly natural, thanks to the subtle-yet-noticeable nudges in the direction of rage between the characters. By the time Morgue sprays mace into Pam’s eyes, the average viewer will probably get why it’s all happening. That and, you know, the whole “history of madness in the family thing,” and because Pam, in particular, seems hellbent on proving that her family’s creepy history is authentic. If someone comes along snobbishly dismisses every aspect of the story while trying to improve her own image, it seems like something that could set someone off.

Anyway, Morgue tries to get away, then starts calling for help on her device. However, she ends up falling down the stairs and getting hacked up with an ax. Because of this startling display, reservations for the Spinster place shoot up. By the end of the story, Pam gets killed by a noose, and the place becomes known as the “Spinster Murder-Suicide House.” Oh, and Sam Spinster ends up falling through a trapdoor while investigating, where he finds tons of real skeletons, suggesting both that Grandma Spinster truly was a madwoman. The question is: Will he be rich or trapped down there forever, merely adding himself to that dazzling collection of lost skeletons?


This segment clearly pays homage to George A. Romero/Stephen King’s original Creepshow film; particularly the segment “They’re Creeping Up on You!,” where wealthy misanthrope and germophobe Upson Pratt (E.G. Marshall) had a little bug problem. However, this time the main character is named Harlan King (Josh McDermitt) and is an exterminator extraordinaire. The episode basically kicks off with Brenda (Ashley Laurence), a family therapist, being rude to Harlan, who is merely trying to do his job. Harlan cruelly (yet humorously_ retaliates by unleashing roaches in her business to make sure she’ll call him back. Shortly after this, he meets Mr. Murdoch (Keith David).

Murdoch wishes to use Harlan King’s “special drugs for special bugs” to get rid of unique pests: Homeless human beings on his property that he’s trying to turn into a business venture. Basically, in Murdoch’s mind, the human infestation adds complications to his renovations. Shockingly, Murdoch wants Harlan to poison them. Initially, Harlan says “I don’t do murder for hire,” but a suitcase filled with money is hard to turn down.

Poisoned soup

With the promise of considerable money, Harlan sneaks into the building to poison a cauldron full of soup. On the bright side, he does seem to change his mind. However, there’s a slight crimp in his plans when he gets attacked by someone in the squatter encampment, causing him to accidentally drop his poison in the bubbling broth below. Soup’s on!

If that’s not enough, Harlan smashes a poison bottle in the attacker’s mouth and flees the scene as the man surely dies. This is where the episode gets a little more absurd, as is a specialty for Creepshow. Murdoch shows up at various points to scare Harlan regarding the money, but we’re left wondering if it’s real or just a dream. Just as wild, a huge rat shows up at one point and bites Harlan’s left hand off before going for his throat. It’s also just a dream, right?

Pest control out of control

We soon see lots of dead, homeless bodies, as they all ate Harlan’s special, accidental soup. While he may be grappling with that reality, the apparent delusions continue. Harlan is variously savaged by a giant mosquito, and haunted by roaches, giant flies, and giant spiders. Then, in a scene admittedly reminiscent of The Leper (Javier Botet) from Andy Muschietti’s It, a
homeless man shows up to drool all over Harlan!

Things get even more convoluted: Harlan imagines spraying Debra with insecticide, too, but wakes up and learns he has a guilt complex and suffers from sleep deprivation. Then, apparently, he wakes up miniaturized to the size of a bug, and Debra swats him to death with a magazine. By the time Murdoch shows up as exterminator, it’s not clear what exactly happened to Harlan. One thing seems true: He left behind a mess for somebody to clean up.

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