Main cast: Cathy Moriarty (Alison Peters), Ben Cross (Benjamin A Polosky), Ellen Crawford (Dorothy Chalmers), John Vernon (Prescott Chalmers), and John Kassir (The Crypt Keeper)
Director: Gary Fleder
Interesting, how it takes this long for a seance to show up in a series called Tales from the Crypt. Don’t expect standard ghost summoning stunts gone awry, though – for a long time, the villains are of a most human kind.
“Alison Peters” and “Benjamin A Polosky” are two con artists that have worked together for a long time. However, Benny has lost his nerves and gained a conscience, and he almost tanked their last few gigs as a result. In exasperation, Alison decides that they’d target one more person, and then they will go separate ways. She’d be wealthy, he’d be… whatever, and they would never have to see one another again. Currently, she poses as a medium, conducting rituals for one Dorothy Chalmers, and he poses as the spirit of the dead man – all for Alison to persuade Dorothy to give her the money Dorothy has inherited.
And then we go to a flashback, which reveals that these two were the last people who saw Prescott Chalmers, Dorothy’s husband, alive. Back then, they conducted a more standard score that saw her playing the seductress and he the lawyer that promised Prescott a lot of money. Prescott wised up, of course, or he wouldn’t be dead when the episode opens. Did they kill him? So, will these two ever get their comeuppance? Will Benny betray Alison, or will Alison kick Benny to the curb first?
Seance is a messy bore. It starts out with Benny narrating the story. Considering that he dies quite some time before the episode ends, who’s telling the story then? Also, revealing that Prescott is dead kills all suspense in this episode, as all I get is Cathy Moriarty and John Vernon chewing scenery as the script plods to a predictable and unexciting “twist” for the climax. By the time the credit rolls, the most impressionable thing about this episode is the Crypt Keeper’s monologues. This is the perfect example of a filler episode, to be completely forgotten five seconds after it’s over.