As this series goes on, I am noticing how very appropriate the opening credit sequence is. In it, we see not only the murdered Alec Holland sinking into the swamp, we also see his lab, a police car, and a sign welcoming visitors to Marais, all submerging into the water as well. The sign for Marais may as well symbolize the entire town, just as the swamp symbolizes the festering evil that has reached every character on this show.
The Daniel Cassidy/Blue Devil plotline moves to the forefront in this episode. We get a flashback to see just how Daniel wound up making a deal, without really being aware of it, which has forced him to stay in Marais. I was surprised that it was the Phantom Stranger who negotiated the dark pact with Daniel. He certainly wouldn’t do something like that in the comics. But then, this series has always slanted things a bit differently. Ian Ziering gets more to do in this one than in previous episodes, and makes the most of the opportunity. Cassidy is more likeable, now that we have seen what he was like before getting trapped in the town, so it’s easier to sympathize with his ever-worsening situation.
Jason Woodrue (Kevin Durand) is now involved in Daniel’s plot, his drive to understand the strange properties of the living swamp matter pushing him beyond the bounds of ethical research, with Avery Sunderland (Will Patton) urging him on.
Patton is doing such a great job in the role of Sunderland. He plays the town bigwig so well, glad handing and revelling in his role of benevolent lord of the manor, while ruthlessly manipulating people and events to achieve his goals.
Both the Cables, Matt (Henderson Wade) and Lucilla (Jennifer Beals), have wound up becoming his pawns now. Both have betrayed their positions as sheriff and deputy, gone far outside of the law. And yet both have done so in order to protect the other one, thanks to Sunderland’s games. The bond between mother and son has been perverted by Avery, used against them, and now has driven a wedge between them.
Oh, yeah, Abby and Swamp Thing are in this episode as well. Not to slight Crystal Reed in any way, she remains the driving force in the show, and has been perfect in every scene. But the series itself has been casting its net wider than the muck monster and his lady fair.
In my first couple of reviews I lamented the large cast of characters. Now I understand why it was needed. This is not merely the story of an individual and his transformation, this is the story of an entire town succumbing to corruption and darkness.