Following last week’s episode, Swamp Thing returns for a solid slice of horror, one that allows us to see more about Shauna and Abby’s strained past. With deeper characterisation and some genuinely unnerving scenes, Swamp Thing continues to deliver on its horror premise whilst injecting enough mystery and drama to keep you coming back for more.
We begin with Susie having nightmares, prompting Maria to bring her blankets in the middle of the night. Only, when she returns to the room, Susie is gone and the bath is overflowing with dirty water. Shauna’s cold corpse sits up, eyes white as a ghost, and stares at her mum which prompts Maria to sob and hug her. However, the figure changes to Susie who smiles evilly.
Meanwhile, Alec laments the dead bodies that seem to be cropping up in the swamp and hides when a strange figure shows up. He seems un-phased by his menacing stature though and talks philosophically about evolution.
Avery continues to show his true colours this episode where we see him having an affair behind his wife’s back before Jason Woodrue shows up at the lab with Abby, quizzing her over Alec Holland. Before she can answer however, Susie phones and asks her to come over. Apologizing to Maria, Abby heads inside but Susie appears to be possessed. To make matters worse, she’s being possessed by Shauna. After some frightening visions, including an eel coming out of her mouth, she heads outside where Madame Xanadu warns Abby that Susie is in danger. Just as Maria drives off with Susie toward the swamp.
Woodrue takes it upon himself to search Alec’s laboratory whilst Avery visits Liz and threatens her father. She stands her ground though and tells him she won’t bend that easily.
Abby and Madame Xanadu race to the swamp where they find Maria in a trance, walking into the murky waters to be with the shadowy figure of Shauna standing before her. Susie snaps out of her possession and pleads with Abby to help. She begs Maria to stop and apologises for killing Shauna. This prompts her to turn round and try killing Abby, dunking her under the water. Unfortunately, Maria passes out soon after, which cues Alec to show up and save her. As they head onto shore together, he shows Abby what happened the fateful day Shauna disappeared courtesy of the tree vines. It turns out Abby wasn’t responsible for her death after all, Shauna was pulled under the water by something sinister.
As the police show up and take Maria to hospital, Avery arrives soon after having seemingly hired goons to hurt Liz. Woodrue informs him of what he’s found in the swamp which forces Avery’s hand and gives him the number to someone who can help track down and hunt the swamp creature.
Swamp Thing delivers another solid episode, one that has the right level of horror injected throughout. There’s always something inherently creepy about a little girl being possessed which is probably the reason it’s used so often in horror films. Here though, Swamp Thing feels fresh with its approach, with the Shauna possession feeling realistically depicted and creepy in its own right.
Abby is a surprisingly refreshing lead too, portraying that strong female archetype without it ever feeling over the top or showcased through contrived writing. It’s a testament to the script-writing here and Swamp Thing is consistently well written. There’s enough little subplots and character details cropping up throughout the episodes to keep you coming back for more whilst the horror elements return with a vengeance this week. With another solid episode under its belt, Swamp Thing looks set to deliver a promising second half to DC Universe’s latest drama, one that disappointingly won’t be seeing a revival anytime soon after its first season run.