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The Pest House

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"The Pest House" is the fourteenth episode of the second season of Millennium.


Investigating a series of murders, Peter Watts and Frank Black look for suspects in a psychiatric hospital.


A young couple sit in a car, sharing a story of a serial killer from the area. They hear sounds outside, and the boyfriend steps out to see what they are. His girlfriend is terrified when she hears sounds of a struggle, and investigates to find him dangling above the car, dead.

Millennium Group members Frank Black (Lance Henriksen) and Peter Watts (Terry O'Quinn) examine the crime scene. Black is skeptical when Watts notes that similar killings have occurred in the past, believing it is simply an urban legend. However, an inmate at the psychiatric hospital nearby was committed for similar murders. Unconvinced that he could have escaped, the pair nevertheless visit the facility. They meet Dr. Ellen Stoller (Melinda McGraw), who reluctantly assists them in interviewing their suspect, E. Jacob Woodcock. Woodcock admits the killing fits his methods, but denies involvement. The interview is terminated when two inmates begin fighting.

That night, another couple is brutally killed on the highway. Black and Watts investigate, but they deem the deaths unconnected. However, Black notices that the newest murders are identical to the prior crimes of "Bear", one of the inmates involved in the previous day's fight. Stoller is adamant Bear cannot be responsible—until she finds the victim's hand in the cafeteria's stew. Bear insists someone took something "from inside" him, but has a seizure before he can explain. Between this incident and Woodcock insisting that Edward (Justin Louis) has stolen his dreams, Black realizes someone in the hospital is causing the deaths.

After seeing a vision of Stoller being stabbed in her car, Black warns her that she may be in danger, which she rebukes. However, she is approached by another patient, Purdue (Michael Massee), who insists that Edward is stealing dreams, but will not steal his. Watts researches the facility's inmates to find who has committed stabbings in the victims' cars, concluding that Purdue is the one this profile fits. Black attempts to warn Stoller, but she has already driven away from the hospital. Black gives chase, scaring her, and she out-paces him before pulling into a filling station. However, the attendant alerts Stoller that someone is hiding in the back seat of her car, and manages to bring her to the safety of his office. Black arrives and finds the car empty. He drives Stoller back to the hospital while the attendant attempts to call the police. However, he is killed before making the call.

Black searches for Purdue in the hospital, but encounters Edward, who tells him a nurse was murdered years before by Woodcock. Edward believes the patients can be cured by having the evil drained from their bodies. The electricity is cut and the lights go off. Black and Stoller roam in the dark, finding the body of the night nurse. Purdue's voice is heard over the intercom, and the pair move to the office with the tannoy equipment to find him. Edward attacks with a knife—Stoller sees him shape-shift into Purdue, then Bear, and then Woodcock. However, Purdue fights and kills him, proclaiming it "the sanest thing I ever did." Black theorizes that Edward somehow absorbed the killers' violent impulses into himself, but was unable to refrain from acting upon them.

Background InformationEdit

  • Elements of this episode draw heavily on urban legends. The opening story, in fact, is one of many variations of the classic story of the killer with a hook for a hand.

Cast and CharactersEdit


Main Cast

Also Staring

Guest Starring





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