Last week, I watched Swamp Thing for the first time. I watched it without referring to any source material and without any preconceived notions. The only thing I knew about the series was that it had been canceled. With only one episode available, the Swamp Thing series on DC Universe would end after episode 10.
After watching the first episode, I had a few opinions but I didn’t see anything that would warrant such a hasty cancellation. I actually enjoyed episode one. So I’ve decided to continue watching it. Episode two turned out really weird, so I’ll start with the easy stuff first.
Last weeks episode left me with a theory of my own regarding Avery Sunderland. The first episode set him up as the wealthiest man in the town and we found out that he was Holland’s employer. This led me to believe that he had to be the person hiring boats to drop the mutagen accelerant in the swamp.
I was proven correct in this episode. Turns out that Avery is the reason that the accelerant is being dumped in the swamp. Apparently, he consulted two scientists (Jason and Caroline Woodrue) to find out ways to make use of the swamp.
The accelerant was their idea. It was supposed to help the swamp thrive, but of course, that backfired and now the townspeople are dying. Jason Woodrue stands firm that an accelerant would not cause disease. He pretty much said blame the swamp for doing swamp things.
Avery is definitely the big bad! All through this episode, he made strides to keep people from investigating the swamp and the dumping. He denied Abby the help she asked for to find Holland (who is presumed dead as far as the characters are concerned). He also threatened the scientist he consulted with blackmail, and he admitted to those same scientists that he is “handling business” to keep his name away from the swamp problem.
So, if we read between the lines, we can deduce that Avery had Holland killed by the mysterious man with the rocket launcher from episode one. Remember, Holland went up to Avery after a town hall meeting and told him that something was happening to the water. This must have prompted him to kill Holland so that he would not figure out the full scope of the conspiracy.
Little does Avery know, he created a swamp monster with a vendetta.
Here is where weird things start. Apparently, patient zero (Susie Coyle) has a psychic connection with the swamp.
I don’t understand how because she was not in the swamp when the initial attack by the vines happened. But okay.
In the last episode, when her father (Eddie Coyle) revived on the autopsy table, Susie had a moment where she called out to the dead corpse that was being controlled by vines. In this episode, she escapes the hospital in order to go meet the Swamp Thing.
The first time she tries to escape the doctor catches her. He asks her why she is trying to leave. Susie says it’s because the man in the dark is scared and needs her.
What could he possibly need from her? Does she hold the cure?
Eventually, Susie does escape and the sheriff’s office and doctors are looking for her in the swamp. Abby is scared because she has seen the Swamp Thing before and no one has believed her up to this point about the dumping, the monster, or the Holland conspiracy.
Susie ends up on a boat with some men who have been hired to dump by Avery. They don’t know she is there and after they have a disagreement, one of them kills the other.
This death prompts the Swamp Thing to rise from the water and save Susie. He rips the boat henchman apart and Susie is saved. However, Abby finds them just in time and takes Susie away.
After they escape the swamp, Susie tells Abby that the Swamp Things name is Holland.
Oh, snap. Here’s more information for the town not to believe.
We also have a bit of story progression for Maria Sunderland. It turns out that she has been dabbling in voodoo and having a witch doctor communicate with her dead daughter (Shawna) for the last 14 years.
As a result, we see that Shawna has not been able to rest in peace and is stuck in a realm between the living and the dead. The witch doctor tells Maria to let her rest because the balance with the living and the dead is shifting. The witch doctor felt that bad things are happening in the swamp.
Here’s the thing. After this weeks episode, I need to understand if Swamp Thing is a sci-fi horror thriller or a supernatural horror thriller. The characteristics of Holland as the Swamp Thing remain horrific. He’s killing people and groaning in pain. Normal stuff.
However, with the addition of Maria’s seance in the swamp, I got confused. How does this play into the swamp? Was the swamp haunted before the accelerant was dumped into it? The first episode never shows Holland and Susie speaking, so how is Susie connected to the Swamp Thing? When did the connection start?
This episode may have muffled the identity of the show a bit. But, it was still interesting. There are so many questions that need to be answered. I’m hoping as I keep watching, the show can clear up some of the confusion.
EPISODE 1 Review: Swamp Thing S01 E01 | Is it worth saving?