Swamp Thing: Darkness on the edge of town
June 21, 2019 7:42 PM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Abby's return to the town drags up her dark past with the Sunderlands. While the Swamp Thing senses a growing darkness within the swamp, we learn more about Daniel Cassidy. (from IMDB)
posted by sardonyx (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Okay, I'm making the post for whir, mordax, and kittens for breakfast, who seem to be reading and following the show (but of course I'm happy to see anybody chime in.)

Ugh. As I said, in an earlier post I'm not a horror fan. Until this episode, the show hasn't given me anything that bothered me, but the body horror scene with the dishwasher certainly pushed me pretty hard in the "don't want much more of that" direction.

I had promised myself that I was going to refrain from pointing out Abby's stupidity when it comes to following protocols to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. I mean we all know why his happens in TV shows--the directors and producers don't want to cover up the actresses' pretty faces. Sadly, I can't keep my promise. Abby's failure to treat and examine Sheriff Cable after she was scratched was bloody stupid. Abby knows that something weird was happening. She knows there's a possibility of whatever caused two people to suddenly act crazy was potentially something that could be transmitted, but she didn't bother to examine the wound on the sheriff's neck. Heck, as a doctor, she didn't even bother to clean it out or bandage it up. There's no excuse for that except for the requirement of the plot down the road so that there could be the dramatic rescue/take down and transmission scene. The entire set-up was so stupid. What (again beyond plot demands) prevented Abby from calling the sheriff or phoning Matt and saying, "your mother has been infected with something, get her to the hospital"?

I guess we can take Alec's statement that the plants and the trees are trying to talk to him as the first signs that Alec is hearing from the Parliament of Trees. That's a nice comic book touch, even though I don't think they'll be able to do much with this plot point given the short life of this show.

If Dan made a bargain to bind himself to Marais, he should have a better idea of what he got himself in for, how he's going to benefit and how he'll know that his part in the transaction has been completed. I guess we're meant to be intrigued by his situation, but I'm finding it a bit more frustrating than interesting. That's not to say I'm put off by the character or don't think he has potential, I just think both he and Madame X aren't benefiting from great writing. Xanadu in particular feels shortchanged, and in a lot of ways she's coming across more like Marvel's Madame Webb (especially from that Spider-man stretch when she was having trouble with her powers).

I can understand why Abby would want Woodrue to verify her results, but we all know that this is going to end badly.

I couldn't figure out why Sunderland was doing the push-pull thing thing with his wife about taking in Suzie, so I'm glad that they spelled it out: he's doing it to make sure he's got a reason to access his wife's money. I feel like an idiot for not seeing that before they spelled it out. Maybe I shouldn't be commenting on the mental acuity of the characters in the show if I missed that obvious step.

I also don't get how the darkness could have affected the rooming house residents in the 1930s if the current problem was caused by Sunderland's contamination of the swamp. Unless, the darkness is supposed to be the Rot/the Black.

POTENTIAL SPOILERS: For non-comic readers, the elemental world is sort of broken up into three (unless there have been more added I'm unaware of) forces that are in constant war and balance with each other. There's the Green, which was introduced first. It's the essence and life force of all of the plants in the world and beyond. It connects them and is something that Swampy, as as plant elemental (i.e. plant god) could tap into and control. Then we were presented with the Red, which was the equivalent for animal life. Comics characters who had a connection with the Red include Tefé Holland (daughter of Alec and Abby via surrogate John Constantine) and Hollywood stuntman and actor Buddy (Animal Man) Baker (which is why I thought he'd be a more suitable character than Dan). Finally, the Rot/the Black was named as the force of death and decay and was often represented by maggots and rotting flesh. Abby's father Anton Arcane was associated with the Rot.
posted by sardonyx at 8:19 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Finally saw this. (Super busy right now, barely keeping up on anything.)

Until this episode, the show hasn't given me anything that bothered me, but the body horror scene with the dishwasher certainly pushed me pretty hard in the "don't want much more of that" direction.

Yeah, I went ahead and looked away when he started stabbing himself in the arm. I feel like that was the right call. (I'm less bothered by overtly supernatural stuff since it can't happen, but that was pretty squicky.)

Maybe I shouldn't be commenting on the mental acuity of the characters in the show if I missed that obvious step.

I disagree: there's a difference between missing *one* trick and missing a dozen, you know?

I also don't get how the darkness could have affected the rooming house residents in the 1930s if the current problem was caused by Sunderland's contamination of the swamp. Unless, the darkness is supposed to be the Rot/the Black.

That was my take. I don't know too much about the comics side, per earlier threads, but it sounds to me like poisoning the swamp is releasing ancient evil rather than creating new stuff.

I too am very curious what they even planned to do this season - it feels very weird and loose compared to Doom Patrol.
posted by mordax at 7:18 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


I'm enjoying Swamp Thing more and more as it goes on and I become acquainted with its goal, which seems like it's to keep so many plates spinning that you don't ask what the show's about. I'm not really sure! It reminds me a lot of a daytime soap with like 200 subplots and no main story. This isn't bad, exactly -- it's a little like a very pulpy Twin Peaks -- but it is a curious choice for a show that seems like it has a clear main character: Swamp Thing. Except that he's barely on screen, and the real protagonist is Abby, which is...fine, she's awfully pretty, I don't mind at all, but she can't just stay in the swamp getting attacked by zombies and taking tissue samples forever...can she? I mean, the CDC is paying for this, right?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:37 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]


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