DC’s Swamp Thing
Episode 4: “Darkness on the Edge of Town”
Directed by Carol Banker
Written by Erin Maher & Kay Reindl
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “He Speaks” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “Drive All Night” – click here
Avery Sunderland (Will Patton) is getting rid of the corpse he recently made. He’s in the forest, remembering being out there with his own father hunting gators. He was taught not to show a “second of mercy.” But he ain’t hunting gators in the swamp no more.
And how many more will have to die for Sunderland to keep his secrets?
A couple men are in the swamp cutting down a tree, when one of them sees stuff falling from the brush. Like an old key for Room 211 at the Hotel Hesperos and a bunch of teeth. A big branch lets loose sending a corpse toppling onto one of the men— its gaping jaw sinks teeth into his arm, surely infecting him with nasty swamp-itis. After the men leave, Swamp Thing (Derek Mears) comes out to try laying hands on the body, yet his vines curl away from it, like the corpse has been tainted.
The bite guy, Todd (Andrew Yackel), works at Delroy’s Roadhouse. He turns up late for work. His arm is getting worse. He’s starting to see things that aren’t there. Like a snake in the sink when he’s trying to wash dishes. He sees it latch onto his arm. Neither Liz (Maria Sten) or her father Delroy (Al Mitchell) can see anything. Todd grabs a knife, stabbing away at nothing except his own forearm. He turns on the garbage disposal and sticks his arm inside. He scratches Delroy as the old man tries to help.
On the swamp, Dr. Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed) goes to find Alec. She wants a “tissue sample” to try and help him. She goes back to the hospital to examine it, unsure of what’s plaguing Holand. She gets unsolicited help from Dr. Jason Woodrue (Kevin Durand). He thinks “the last 10 million years of biology” disagree with her findings. So, she lets him see. He recognises plant tissue that acts as if it were animal tissue.
Daniel Cassidy (Ian Ziering) is at the hospital giving out balloons to sick kids. He feels “deja vu” from Abby, believing they’ve met. In the meantime, Avery and Maria (Virginia Madsen) announce a party at their place to help get Marais back to normal. The wife has other ideas. She seems obsessed with little Susie Coyle (Elle Graham). Is it just a longing for a dead daughter? Or, something more troublesome?
Poor Delroy’s starting to see visions. Shadowy figures. His mother on the floor, a pool of blood spreading around her. Men with weapons, wearing masks— possibly a reference to Courir de Mardi Gras— creep inside. Whispers everywhere. Liz and Abby watch on terrified. Luckily, Sheriff Cable (Jennifer Beals) is still around, after carting the dead dishwasher out. She pulls her gun to get Delroy to cool it. She’s able to get the shotgun from him, getting scratched on the neck for her trouble. The Green Flu’s spreading.
Dr. Arcane goes out to where the tree was cut down. She sees the hotel key and the rotting corpse. She gets a few photos of the body. Then Swamp Thing shows up, telling her more of “the darkness” there. He says the man there “died afraid,” similar to Todd. Abby’s beginning to see things come together.
At the big shindig, Cassidy talks to Madame Xanadu (Jeryl Prescott). She warns a “storm is coming.” She feels the fate of Marais will be determined. Cassidy made a bargain that’s kept him connected to the town. Xanadu tells him the “hero‘s path” is not an easy one. It’s a lonely road. And Cassidy’s cards, after all this time, have finally changed.
Liz digs up info on the Hotel Hesperos. Many strange things happened within its walls. In 1923, five people were found dead there. The first incident involved a WWI vet who started screaming about dirt caving in on him, as if back in the trenches. The “personal nightmare” is a symptom of the Green Flu.
Speaking of, Sheriff Cable is having a horrific vision of her son Matt (Henderson Wade) being stabbed to death. She rushes to him, screaming for help and trying to stop the bleeding. It’s only a vision, of course. Everybody at the party is shocked. Dr. Arcane gets there right as the sheriff pulls her gun on the crowd.
In the chaos, she’s scratched.
Abby goes directly to the swamp as the viney infection surges beneath her skin. She hears a voice in the woods. A “faceless monster” from her childhood grabs hold and hauls Abby into the forest. It’s actually Swamp Thing. He pulls her close and takes the sickness out of her. His vines writhe in pain while he stumbles through the trees. He goes back to the corpse, laying his hands on it. The infected vines run into its skin. “The darkness was never meant to leave him,” Holland says. He knows because the plants and the trees speak to him. They’re telling him things are going to get much worse.
Avery’s buying Susie from her uncle Lee (Benjamin Keepers). There’s something creepy about the whole thing. It isn’t an adoption. The hideous capitalist is only doing this to further his experiments and research. There’s also the fact Maria’s been seeing her dead daughter Shawna (Given Sharp). Having another child around may not be healthy.
“… when the balance shifts,
and darkness finds release.”
This series is great and it’s a shame stupid financial nonsense has prevented us from another season. We can hold onto hopes of another network, though it may not be destined to happen. We’ll see. Regardless, these episodes are KILLER!
“Drive All Night” is next time.