TV REVIEW: DC's "Swamp Thing" S1 E1 "Pilot"

The newest and highly anticipated DC Universe original TV series Swamp Thing dropped its first episode Friday, May 31st, starring Andy Bean as scientist Alec Holland and Crystal Reed as Dr. Abby Arcane. This will be the third DCU original series released on their streaming service. Following the critical and fan-based success of Titans and Doom Patrol, the bar is set pretty high and episode one of Swamp Thing does not disappoint.

Eddie Coyle, Blaine, and Jones are out deep in the swamp late at night with orders to drop mysterious containers into the swamp at certain locations. Little did they know that the swamp is special, even mystical, and it does not like what these men are doing. The limbs and vines move and brutally kill two of the three men. The action and gore that takes place is horrific and fantastic, and the special effects are spot on. Forty-eight hours later, Eddie's young daughter Susie is in class when she coughs up slimy vegetation and quickly faints. She becomes the first known person to be infected with the peculiar "plant plague". Cut to the jungle of the Democratic Republic of Congo where we meet Dr. Abby Arcane and Harlen Edwards of the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service, they receive word from Atlanta about the strange infection in Marais, Louisiana, Abby's hometown. As Abby works at the hospital to find a cure, we get out first introduction to Alec Holland as he's rifling through Susie's blood test and gets removed promptly by security.

In Marais, they hold a town hall meeting to discuss the outbreak. You can see that people are afraid, that they fear the swamp is taking revenge on them for mistreating it. You can also see that this is a town of middle to lower class folks that depend on the swamp as their livelihood. It is here that we meet Avery Sunderland who instantly gives off a rich, up to no good vibe. You learn that Avery gave Alec a "second chance" by hiring him, but has since let him go. After finding Eddie Coyle's body with vines and vegetation grown throughout him, Abby works on doing an autopsy while Alec runs tests. He believes there is a chemical accelerant being brought into the swamp that alters the mutagens and could possibly be the cause of the "plant plague." If you were looking for horror in this series, this is your first major glimpse as the plants inside Eddie's body come to life and grow and spread, ripping his body into several pieces as Abby barely escapes with her life.

Abby and Alec then go to the local watering hole to blow off some steam and hopefully get some answers as to what is happening. Abby meets up with her old friend and reporter Liz Tremayne, when she is abruptly interrupted by Avery Sunderland's wife Maria who wants to speak with Abby in private. There is something about Abby's past in Marais that is tragic and mysterious, and one thing we do know is Maria Sunderland does not like her and wants her out of town. Alec and Abby continue to investigate the unknown substance and its connection to the swamp, and as they travel deeper to find answers, things go awry with a shadowy figure attempting to stop them.

This was such a phenomenal start to this series, suspenseful, thrilling, ripe with horror. Episode two, titled "Worlds Apart" will be released on the DC Universe streaming service next Friday, June 7th, 2019. Don't miss it!

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