Swamp Thing returns this week with another action packed episode, one that moves all the pieces closer to the inevitable finale that’s only two weeks away now. The series itself has been consistently high quality, bringing the comic book characters to life in the best possible way. The horror and drama have meshed well and throughout the show, the tight cinematography and methodical plotting have really helped this one do the original story justice.
Avery starts the episode by wandering through the swamp after his ordeal last week. He begins to see frightening visions including Lucilia holding a shotgun, ready to shoot him, and his own Father slamming an axe into a tree, making it ooze blood. The visions continue through to a particularly nasty execution of his Father as the vines throw him into the camp-fire. Before the visions can get worse, he’s saved by Alec who takes him back to his lab in the heart of the swamp. Once there, he explains to him that his constant abuse of the swamp has led to it lashing out against Avery and the others.
While Matt nurses his wounds and does his best not to appear unhinged, Abby tries to explain herself back at the CDC headquarters. She catches up with Harlan and she tries her best to explain what she’s been through in the swamp. She explains about Alec’s powers and after sharing a heartfelt moment together at her apartment, Harlan is stopped by guards outside and taken away.
Avery tries to strike up a deal with Alec, offering his help with Woodrue and convincing him that Abby speaks highly of them, given she gave him a sample to study. Alec disappears soon after telling him a boat is approaching and Avery makes it back to the mainland. Once there, he visits Woodrue where he learns the Chief Investor has plans however Woodrue decides to team up with Avery, convincing him that the regenerative powers of Alec are too good to pass up. Together, they head back to the swamp and take Swamp Thing down with a group of special op soldiers.
Meanwhile, Abby has issues of her own at the CDC and as she realizes her authority has been stifled at HQ, she hurries back to the swamp where she realizes its too late, seeing the scarred earth where Alec was captured.
Swamp Thing delivers another good episode here, one that sets all the pieces up nicely for the conflict to come. For the most part, the blend of characterization and plotting works well and seeing Abby back at HQ and how much she’s changed over the past 2 months we’ve been following her character is testament to the great work this show has done. Avery’s constant mind games and manipulation ultimately bag him the best prize here – Alec Holland – and quite how this will develop next week poses a very tantalizing prospect indeed.
With another good dose of pacing, well written characterization and an engrossing storyline, the foundation is set for the next two episodes to really knock this one out the park. It’s such a pity this won’t be renewed for a second season either as Swamp Thing (and Doom Patrol before it) have really shown that this serialized format is how these comic book characters should be handled.