By Matt Henry and Mack Johnson
The latest episode of DCU's fan favorite Swamp Thing picks up with a badly wounded Avery Sunderland trying to find his way out of the swamp, after Sheriff Cable and Deputy son Matt turned on him and tried to kill him. Avery barely escaped them after being shot in the leg, and he is bound and determined not to die in the swamp, but things aren't looking good. We know the swamp is alive, and it definitely seems like it does not want Avery to escape and live. The special and practical effects for this show are top notch, while watching Avery make “The Long Walk Home” and try to navigate his way through this spooky place. The horrifying visions the swamp inflicts on him are prime examples of how well they are done. Along the way, Avery finally meets Alec/Swamp Thing and the two have a heart-to-heart. Throughout Avery's ordeal, actor Will Patton is both amazingly subtle and over-the-top as needed.
Meanwhile, Abby Arcane, who was infected by "The Rot" and cured by Swamp Thing in last week's episode, has brought a sample back to the CDC headquarters to run tests. We get to see a cute reunion between Abby and her best friend and co-worker Dr. Harlan Edwards. Their reunion is interrupted when Abby is introduced to the new Assistant Director in charge, Dr. Palomar. Fans of old Swamp Thing movies might recognize Dr. Palomar, played by Adrienne Barbeau, who starred in Wes Craven's 1982 adaptation as Alice Cable, love interest of Alec Holland/Swamp Thing. Her Dr. Palomar is a bit of a prig, who is condescending to Abby. It’s disappointing that Barbeau wasn’t given a more sympathetic role.
One of my favorite parts of this series is that its main character Swamp Thing/Alec Holland is played brilliantly by both Andy Bean (Alec), and Derek Mears (Swamp Thing). Both the practical and special effects departments absolutely kill it with the look of Swamp Thing, his glowing red eyes, the way he can transform his body parts into weapons when needed. The size and overall look of him is just amazing; he looks so realistic, it's incredible. The writers really help bring the character to life giving him heart, and a wide range of emotions. You really feel for Alec, who since the "accident" has been desperately wanting to be "cured." He wants to return to the man he was before, and live a normal life with his love, Abby. The big question is, will he be desperate enough to work with master manipulator Avery Sunderland in order to achieve this goal?
This season has really been a love story, mystical and strange, and at times horrifying, between Abby Arcane and Alec Holland. To me, it has aspects of Beauty and the Beast, where a man is transformed into a monster, then falls in love and wants to return to the man he was in order to be with her.
Also in this episode, we see Deputy Matt Cable struggling after the end of last week's episode, where Avery claimed to be his real father. Is it the truth, though? Or were they just the words of a desperate man that would say anything to save his hide? The characters in this show really create a sense of suspense, as many of them harbor dark secrets, hidden agendas, and can barely be trusted.
Speaking of trust, the curtain gets pulled back a little more to show the mysterious, yet seemingly very powerful group called The Conclave. Maria Sunderland takes over for Avery after he went "missing" and has a very important meeting with one of its top members. Has the balance of power shifted in the Sunderland household, or will Avery make a return to the seat of power in Marais?
Tune in to Swamp Thing on The CW every Wednesday night, or stream it the next day at cwtv.com, along with past episodes.