Swamp Thing: Loose Ends
August 3, 2019 9:38 PM - Season 1, Episode 10 - Subscribe

The series wraps up with its final episode.
posted by sardonyx (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We've reached the end of line the line, and I'm sad to see this go. This turned out to be a pretty decent show. I feel a bit guilty for the way the first thread went. Maybe I was too negative and too picky, but I suspect that discussion turned away potential viewers who would have actually enjoyed the series. Part of me thinks I should go back to the episode one FanFare post and leave a note for anybody who is potentially interested in watching and has checked out the discussion to see if the show is worth their time. Maybe it would be beneficial to say "despite all of the nitpicking, the recommendation is that you watch the show and stick around until the end."

Since it's a Swamp Thing post and since I mentioned nitpicking, I may as well go out the same way I started.

First, the logistics of the scene where the Sheriff's car went into the swamp really annoyed and puzzled me: there were two cars (the police cruiser and Avery's personal vehicle) but there was only one personal capable of driving (Avery). How did he get the Sheriff's car out to the swamp? I don't think he called a henchman. Did he tow it with his SUV? How did nobody in the hospital parking lot notice that? The whole scenario just didn't make sense to me.

Second, if it's cold and wet and miserable enough that you've got a coat wrapped around you like a mummy's shroud, why are you rolling up one sleeve, Abby? Seriously, who wears a coat like that?

Third, it's not cool to suddenly, in the last episode of the series stick in a post-credit scene. After nine episodes you've trained the viewers not to expect anything, so why would they suddenly know to stick around and watch the very end of the credits hoping to be rewarded with extra bits? (I'll watch movie credits until the end, and I'll usually watch TV credits for the first episode or two, but after that, I don't bother. I usually last about as long as the cast list and then shut it down.) I didn't even know there was a post-credit scene until I saw mention of it in an online article.

The truncated nature of the series' quick cancellation really shows with how they wrapped up some of the story lines. Maria really got shortchanged. She didn't deserve to be driven mad, and sorry Xanadu, there is no way that you gave her any kind of relief. You've just tortured her and condemned her to a life locked into a delusion. What's with the writers of this show taking mainly positive magical and mystical figures and turning them into manipulative, morally dubious asses?

The scene with Alec and Swampy was a nice touch, and I'm glad we got to see Alec in the finale.

I know it's not going to happen but if Black Lightning can join the annual DCCW team up for the upcoming Crisis, it would be fitting for Swampy to show up as well. I mean it's not like there isn't any precedent for non-CW Swamp Thing-related characters from cancelled shows to make their way over to that universe. Plus it's a Crisis on Infinite Earths after all, so it's not like he'd have to become a regular. Ditto for Dan (and maybe Madame X and the Phantom Stranger, although since I'm not really sold on their characters, I can do without them).

Anyway, it has been fun chatting with you guys about this one, even if it has been the smallest group of regulars I've been involved with on any regular FanFare TV discussions.
posted by sardonyx at 10:13 PM on August 3, 2019 [2 favorites]

It's been nice talking to you about this too, Sardonyx! It's mostly been you and me for the last couple episodes, but I have a feeling these threads may reopen as time goes on; DC Universe seems to be sticking around at least for a while, and people are bound to check the show out.

I don't think the pilot, frankly, was especially good -- there were a lot of things about it that were awkward, but if I may grind an axe I'm fond of grinding for a moment, the big problem initially was Netflix-series pacing. Making us wait two whole episodes to see Swamp Thing might have been fine if (a) the whole season were available to watch at once, or (b) those first two episodes were a whole lot better. Neither was the case. The show hadn't earned the good will it needed to come out of the gate slow like that -- not in an age where there are so many other shows competing for the viewer's attention.

But the show did find an identity after a few installments, even if that identity wasn't what anyone might have expected. The original Wein/Wrightson Swamp Thing comic book series provides a solid template for an episodic TV show: Swamp Thing wanders from place to place (often leaving the swamp!), stumbling onto supernatural situations and getting into trouble as he vaguely seeks a cure for his condition. The Swamp Thing show doesn't do that. Instead supernatural situations come to Swamp Thing, who mostly mopes around the swamp and chats up Abby Arcane, who is being paid to hang around the swamp for reasons even her bosses don't understand. Meanwhile a whole huge soap opera unfolds around the two of them. All the players have their own little storylines and plot arcs that are very meaningful to them personally, but never quite cohere into a tapestry of...um...coherence?

This sounds bad, but it's increasingly good. It's hard not to get a little caught up in all the plot machinations. The actors all bring a lot of life and joy to their roles -- you can tell everyone's enjoying themselves, and is just into this show. It conjures a mood. And if the swamp never quite convinces me it's not a set, so be it. There's a cozy vibe to it all that I'm gonna miss more than I would have guessed.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:49 AM on August 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

I went back and posted a comment on the first episode thread. Overall, I encouraged people to watch.

Hope the OKC process is treating you well, kittens for breakfast, and know that you've got somebody in your corner hoping that you'll find who and what you're looking for.
posted by sardonyx at 3:52 PM on August 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Awwww, thank you, Sardonyx!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:08 PM on August 4, 2019

I was tickled when one of the evil mercenaries shouted “Die, plant!”.
posted by fizban at 2:18 PM on October 18, 2019

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