DC’s Swamp Thing Episode 2 premiered this week on the DC Universe online service, and even with the news that the series has been cancelled, there is still much to be thrilled about. The second episode featured more of the Guardian of the Green, as well as worked to fill in more of Abby Arcane’s (Crystal Reed) troubled past in Marais, Louisiana.
As for the horror elements that were so prevalent in the Swamp Thing premiere, they return in Episode 2 as well, including one scene that was so intensely graphic and gory, I backed up and watched it multiple times. I’m weird that way.
Episode 2 also featured three characters from the DC comic books, which points to so cool things in the future, hopefully. For now, let’s get on with the review and recap of Swamp Thing Episode 2, titled “Worlds Apart.”
The episode opens with Swamp Thing (Derek Mears) still trying to figure out what happened. Matt Cable (Henderson Wade) and Abby are searching the swamp for Alec’s (Andy Bean) body. The sheriff shows up (Jennifer Beals) and she too has a history with Abby. This girl is not liked in this town, it seems. Abby tries to tell both cops about the “thing” she saw in the swamp, but neither will believe her — though Matt tries.
Swamp Thing sees his reflection in the water and begins to tear at his mossy flesh. In the hospital, Susie Coyle (Elle Graham) is mimicking his moves, proving these two have some weird connection, possibly due to the accelerant that Avery Sunderland (Will Patton) has been dumping in the swamps.
Abby goes to Liz (Maria Sten) with whom she is staying while she’s in town.The two old friends lament over Alec Holland as a good guy. The next day at the hospital, Dr. Harlan Edwards (Leonardo Lam) checks out Susie and she says she has to go to the man in dark, because he’s scared. He tells her it was just a dream, and continues his rounds so Susie can rest: but she sees an open window and has other plans.
At the Sunderland estate, Avery wakes up to find Maria (Virginia Madsen) laying in dead daughter Shawna’s bed. He’s getting fed up with Maria’s instability, but this is just foreshadowing what’s to come with Maria’s story in Swamp Thing Episode 2.
Abby wakes up to a ringing phone and a visitor. Turns out the visitor is just a dream, but the call was not. Harlan tells her about Susie and that there have been two new cases of the swamp sickness epidemic. Abby confides with Liz about Alec’s possible murder as a coverup for the research he was doing. Abby wants to get to Alec’s notes, but the cops have turned his lab into a crime scene. The only way to get into the lab is with the help of Avery Sunderland.
Abby confronts the man who raised her and we learn more about their complicated relationship. Avery isn’t holding a grudge against her like Maria, and wants to help, but when Abby asks about getting into Alec’s lab, he clams up. This is a dead end, and a hint of more going on with Avery.
Maria goes to the bar to meet up with Madame Xanadu (Jeryl Prescott). Maria begs Xanadu for help in dealing with the loss of Shawna, and Xanadu tells her to let it go. There’s a hint that this relationship has gone on for the last 14 years since Shawna’s still-mysterious-to-us death. Xanadu performs a rite on Maria and conjures something dark and dead in Maria. The spirit flings them both around the room, and Xanadu admits there’s been a shift in the balance between the light and dark, and it lives in the swamp. Xanadu begs Maria to let Shawna rest, and Maria refuses.
At the hospital, Harlan discovers Susie has escaped. She’s patient zero with the mysterious illness and she’s on the loose in the swamps. Not good.
Liz takes Abby to The Blue Devil — the video store ran by actor and stuntman Daniel Cassidy (Ian Ziering). Alec lived above the shop, so Abby asks if Alec had a computer or anything. The cops beat her to the apartment, but Alec had used Daniel’s laptop for some live journaling, so Abby begins going over the files and she sees videos of Alec talking about his findings.
The last video was recorded the night he died as he was gathering the boxes. He mentions meeting Abby and tells his journal that he thinks “she’s quite lovely.” Abby begins to cry. It doesn’t matter that they knew each other for about three hours total, apparently, they had developed feelings for each other before Alec became a Swamp Thing.
Back at the Avery estate, a car pulls in with Dr. Jason Woodrue (Kevin Durand) and his wife, Caroline (Selena Anduze) calling on Avery. Avery offers pleasantries, until he doesn’t. He demands to know why Woodrue’s accelerant is not working and is making people sick. The cat is out of the bag, and Avery is the dedicated bad guy here. Avery threatens Woodrue and his wife if the plant scientist can’t fix the issue with the chemical.
Abby and Matt reconnect to find Susie and learn that she may have been seen on the docks. They go to investigate and find out that she may have hidden in the boat of a game warden going out to patrol Skeeter Cove. The sheriff shows up and talks to Matt about his feelings for Abby clouding his judgement. He swears to the sheriff, who is also his mother, that he is being professional, and then he and Abby take a boat into the swamp to go after Susie.
On the warden’s boat, Susie is hiding as the warden spots a couple of guys in a boat pulling boxes from the water. He goes to investigate and is brutally attacked with a gator hook to the face. He collapses to the deck and sees Susie hiding as the two men decide what to do with a dead game warden. One goes off to collect the other accelerant samples and the other plans to scuttle the warden’s boat. Susie uses that moment to escape and the killer poacher gives chase.
Susie runs to a sunken cabin and hides, though she is being stalked by the poacher. And something else from the swamp.
Abby and Matt come across the warden’s boat and finds Susie’s shoe. Abby goes off to find her on foot while Matt searches the waters in the boat.
At the sunken cabin, the poacher finds Susie and tries to kill her. Swamp Thing appears and they tussle. Swampy takes a knife to the chest, but the plant life heals itself, to the poacher’s dismay. When it’s Swamp Thing’s turn to attack, he calls upon the vines to secure the poacher and drag him outside the sunken cabin. Then he brutally and violently quarters him. Seriously, it’s worth rewinding and watching a few times.
Abby shows up just in time to see Susie and Swamp Thing together on the dock of the sunken cabin. Abby calls the little girl over, and she runs from the swamp monster, just as Matt drives up in the boat. Abby looks back, but Swamp Thing is gone.
Back at the Sunderland estate, Avery calls out to Maria and once again finds her in Shawna’s old bed. Disgusted, he leaves the room and Maria opens her eyes and smiles. The camera pulls back and we see her snuggling the corpse of her dead daughter. Creepy.
Back in the swamp, Matt is taking both Abby and Susie back to civilization. Abby questions Susie about the thing, and Susie explains that he’s scared and doesn’t know what is happening to him. Abby is shocked that he spoke to the little girl. She asks if Susie can remember anything else, and Susie has one last key bit of info.
He said his name was Alec.”
Abby is left dumbstruck — and a little horrified — as Swamp Thing Episode 2 ends.
“World’s Apart” was written by Mark Verheiden and Doris Egan, and was once again directed by Len Wiseman. These two episodes have done a fantastic job setting up the series going forward. There is a lot of darkness going on in the swamps of Marais, Louisiana, and it’s not just the new Swamp Thing. This bodes well for the future of this season — whether it’s one-and-done or not.
Swamp Thing Episode 2 also featured the proper debuts of Madame Xanadu, Jason Woodrue, and Daniel Cassidy. All three are classic DC Comics characters, with Woodrue being the classic villain, The Floronic Man, and Daniel Cassidy becoming a demon-fused hero, Blue Devil. I hope that we get to see both of these things happen before the season/show ends, as they are pretty iconic to fans of DC’s darker stories and it’s bone we need after learning this whole show is over in eight more episodes.
Check back next week as we review and recap Swamp Thing Episode 3. All images courtesy of Warner Bros. TV.