The rumble in the swamp…
Warning! Full spoilers follow for Swamp Thing Season 1, episode 3, titled “He Speaks.” In recent news, we learned that DC Universe has canceled Swamp Thing, but the streaming provider will still release all of the remaining episodes.
It’s a damn shame that DC Universe canceled Swamp Thing, especially after another great episode this week, titled “He Speaks.” The show continues to do a marvelous job of developing its characters, in particular, the villains. It’s both exhilarating and terrifying to watch Avery Sunderland go psycho on poor Gordon Haas (Matt Burke). Avery is definitely a force to be reckoned with, as he easily gets the better of Gordon by sheer intimidation alone – the dude doesn’t even need a weapon. There’s something in Will Patton’s unique delivery that makes his character even more menacing. He really is a bad guy, but his soft-spoken nature mixed in with that lovely Southern drawl adds to his magnetism.
On the other end of the villain spectrum is Dr. Jason Woodrue (Kevin Durand), who may not be as sinister as we first thought. After his nature-always-wins chat with Abby at the morgue, it’s a welcome surprise to see Jason spending time with his wife, Caroline (Selena Anduze), who appears to be suffering from some form of dementia. Jason isn’t the first/last scientist in film or television history to use the “for the greater good” moral stance to justify his deadly experiments; however, it is nice to see that he does have a heart. Durand and Anduze’s brief scene together adds an effective touch of humanity that was missing in the Season 1 premiere.
While Derek Mears’s portrayal of Swamp Thing is exhilarating to watch, it’s good to see Alec Holland’s human form back in action this week, even for a brief moment. The process of learning more about how Alec and the swamp are connected is a compelling storyline, with the writers wisely limiting Big Green’s screen time to a few minutes per episode. Sure, seeing Swamp Thing kick the resurrected Munson’s (Micah Fitzgerald) ass is fun, but the mystery surrounding the swamp and its apparent supernatural nature is even more enticing. The juicy little tidbits of information the writers are doling out about the swamp and the strange disease plaguing the town sets up each episode nicely. It would be great if we could binge the whole series at once… Oh well.
One of the less interesting plot points in “He Speaks” is the burgeoning love triangle between Alec, Abby, and Henderson Wade’s Matt Cable. Love triangles can add a nice bit of tension, but the more interesting narrative here is Alec and Abby’s already palpable relationship – even if Alec’s all big and green now. You don’t need to throw in another warm body to make that particular plot more engaging than it already is.
On the show’s swampy fringes, Jeryl Prescott’s Madame Xanadu and Ian Ziering’s Dan Cassidy are finally beginning to feel more meaningful, instead of being relegated to the, “Hey! Aren’t you from the comic books?” kind of characters. Speaking of comic books, Gordon Haas threatens to tell everyone about Avery’s dealings with the Conclave, who are part of the DC Comics lore. How their organization fits into this should be another fun mystery to uncover down the road.