After a few missteps in the last episode, Swamp Thing is back on track with the eighth episode. Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed) heads back to Atlanta, while Avery Sunderland’s (Will Patton) connection to the dark forces in the swamp turn out to be more considerable than we had known.
Adrienne Barbeau, who played Cable (a combination of Matt and Abby) in the original Swamp Thing movie, gets a small role in this episode, as Abby’s boss at the Centre for Disease Control. Though she doesn’t get much screen time, she still manages to bulldoze her way over Abby. Not the kind of superior one would want to work for.
Abby is more pleased to be re-united with her partner Harlan (Leonardo Lam), who has recovered from his infection. Through his character we learn that Abby has been keeping her investigations in Marais a secret from the others at the CDC. Abby opens up about her discoveries about Alec Holland and the Green to Harlan, although that proves to be an unwise decision.
Avery Sunderland had been left for dead at the end of the last episode, but he winds up getting rescued by Swamp Thing in this one. He goes through some terrifying hallucinations before that, and a stomach churning sequence once Swamp Thing begins tending to him. He also experiences a sort of flashback vision of himself as a young boy, out in the swamps with his father, a logger. Turns out that Avery has been aware of the supernatural qualities of the swamp for a very long time.
The fact that Swamp Thing has saved his life puts Sunderland in an awkward position. Not only was Sundeland the one who ordered Alec Holland murdered, he has also been prompting Jason Woodrue (Kevin Durand) to exploit the creature’s powers to make a profit. Now he finds himself doubting that this is the right course of action.
This episode also gives Michael Beach a lot more to do as Nathan Ellery, the leader of the Conclave. Up until now, that organization had only been referred to a few times. Now we get to see them in action, and discover the extent of their reach. They are becoming the shadowy power behind the scenes pulling all of the strings, and adding even more menace to the overall situation.
The episode weaves the plot threads together quite neatly, adding a dash of the family drama the Cables are still dealing with, and Maria Sunderland’s power play as well. It builds to a conclusion that cannot help but excite any fan of the character.
The final sequence is clearly derived from the end of Saga of the Swamp Thing 20, “Loose Ends,” the first issue written by Alan Moore. That has to mean that the next episode will adapt the following issue of the comic, “The Anatomy Lesson.” It probably won’t mean that it’s raining in Washington tonight, but my expectations, given how the series has developed so far, are high indeed.
“Will there be blood? I like to imagine so. Yes, I rather think there will be blood.”