This week's episode of DCU's Swamp Thing picks up right where episode 8 left off with Swamp Thing now captured by Avery Sunderland and Dr. Jason Woodrue, after he had trusted them to find him a cure. Abby returns to Marais to warn Alec of the dangerous people that are coming for him. She makes it to the swamp only to find the remains of shotgun shells and tire tracks, as she now fears the worst and suspects Dr. Woodrue has betrayed her with Avery. She knows that this is much bigger than just Avery Sunderland and Marais, Louisiana, and the only person she can really trust is her longtime childhood friend, Liz Tremayne. Abby loves Alec, and she will not give up on him, so the two of them set off to find him.
"The Anatomy Lesson" does not have as much action as previous episodes, and it is a bit slower moving, but that does not mean that it isn't very entertaining and suspenseful. Don't worry horror fans, there is still plenty of blood and gore, so you won't be disappointed. This episode draws heavily from Alan Moore and Steve Bissette's 1984 series The Saga of Swamp Thing #20-22, with a few added twists of its own. That is one thing fans of the Swamp Thing comic books will really enjoy about this series, and this episode in particular, is how well they draw from and respect the source material. Kevin Durand's portrayal of Dr. Woodrue is another extremely high point of "The Anatomy Lesson", with him heartlessly dissecting Swamp Thing, you can see the excitement and curiosity he has about this creature, and what it holds for the future of science and medicine. It seems as though he started out doing this for love, to find a cure for his wife Caroline, but as more time passes and he gets more involved, his motives turn from love to personal gain.
Love, greed, and power seem to be the three major themes for this series. Love is very powerful, it can make you do tremendous things if your heart is in the right place. It can also cause you to do bad things, even though you might think it's for a good reason. An example of the former is the love Abby has for Alec, she will stop at nothing to save him, even putting herself in harm's way. Examples of the latter are Dr. Woodrue and Lucillia Cable, they have done some bad things, hurtful things, even going as far as killing people. All for what they believed to be love, love for their wife, or to love and protect their son. The greed and power aspects of the show are undoubtedly coming from Avery and Maria Sunderland, as well as the very powerful and mysterious Conclave group with whom they are working. The couple has been at the top of Marais for a seemingly long time, but the power they have is not enough. They crave more, and they are willing to do horrible things to get it, even to each other... but, has the power struggle between the two finally come to an end?
This is absolutely a great show to watch, not just for major fans of The Swamp Thing comics, but for fans of horror thrillers in general. Although, fans of the comic books will love how the writers and directors treat this character with the love and respect he deserves. With only one episode left in this season and series, it is hard to imagine all of the incredibly interesting storylines and characters getting wrapped up in a satisfying way.
Be sure to check out the series finale titled "Loose Ends" on Friday August 2nd to see how it ends. Swamp Thing airs on the DC Universe streaming service.
The Saga of Swamp Thing #20-22 (1984)