Before I even had the chance to watch Swamp Thing on DC Universe, the show was trending on Twitter confirming the cancellation of the show.
I don’t know the history of shows that have been canceled, but the decision to cancel Swamp Thing after only one episode had been aired felt rushed. So instead of automatically assuming that the first episode was complete garbage, I watched it for myself.
The pilot episode of Swamp Thing gave me serious sci-fi horror vibes. There is a lot of suspense in the first episode and the creators did a great job making the contaminated swamp graphics gross and unnerving. It’s a great presentation.
What about the story?
It’s a good story. However, I think the pilot episode may have given away the biggest part of the series too early in the season.
We’re introduced to the swamp as a dark and mysterious place in Marais, Louisiana right away. A group of fishermen and a tech genius were hired to drop some sort of device in the swamp. They end up being attacked by the swamp and killed.
One fisherman, Eddie Coyle, makes it home somehow and infects his daughter. His daughter goes to school, passes out with a bloody nose and becomes patient zero.
Dr. Abby Arcane is ordered by the CDC to leave the Congo, where she is fighting an epidemic, to come back to Louisiana and cure the mysterious illness in Marais.
She ends up entrusting a somewhat awkward biologist named Alec Holland who has been commissioned by Will Sunderland, a wealthy member of the community, to run tests on the swamp. Initially, Holland is meant to help discover positive means to help the community flourish, but he discovers a fertilizer accelerate that is “jacking up” the mutagens in the swamp and causing the town to become sick.
There is also a side story line about Abby’s past where a childhood friend of hers died before they graduated high school. It turns out that friend was the daughter of Will and Avery Sunderland. Avery is not happy that Abby is back in town. At first, she attempts to intimidate her to leave the town, but then she asks her to save the town in the same breath.
Earlier, I stated that the pilot episode gave away too much information. What I am referring to is the end of the episode. Abby and Holland figure out some new information and plan to go study it more at the hospital. They are hoping that it will lead to a cure. However, Holland wants to go fish out the devices in the swamp first because they are causing the sickness.
A mysterious “I know what you did last summer” man somehow knows that Holland is going to do this and shoots him in the chest two times with a shotgun then blows him up.
While watching, I thought to myself, “Oh he’s definitely the Swamp Thing”. I didn’t realize that with 4 minutes left in the episode, this theory was going to be confirmed. That took a lot of the steam out of it. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t find out, but maybe not in the first episode.
Technically, there could have already been a Swamp Thing and Holland’s character could have been a bait to throw off the viewer. I guess he still could be, but I don’t think so.
At the end of the episode, Abby boats out to the area where Holland should be and finds fire, dead swamp bodies, and moving swamp branches. Then the branches subside and the Swamp Thing reveals himself.
Here’s a question. Why did the swamp bond with Holland and not with Coyle earlier in the episode?
I hope that we find out this season.
There are 9 episodes left before the season ends. My ultimate theory involves Will Sunderland. I think that he is the anonymous financial backer to the fishermen boats that are poisoning that swamp in Marais. He’s already been cast as the rich member of the community. And maybe he has a “V for Vendetta” because his daughter died all those years ago.
Is this series worth saving? We’ll have to see. This coming from someone who has not read the comics and is going off of the show alone. I definitely think the episode was attention grabbing.