DC’s Swamp Thing
Episode 5: “Drive All Night”
Directed by Greg Beeman
Written by Franklin Rho
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Darkness on the Edge of Town” – click here
* For a recap & review of the next episode, “The Price You Pay” – click here
Maria Sunderland (Virginia Madsen) is looking after little Susie (Elle Graham) at home while Avery (Will Patton) is off with Sheriff Lucilia Cable (Jennifer Beals) continuing their on-again-off-again affair. At home, Maria deals with a scared girl seeing Shawna (Given Sharp) upstairs. Suddenly, Susie’s gone. Mrs. Sunderland is frantic. She finds a bathroom overflowing with water. The tub is covered in swampy vines. Inside is Shawna.
Well, she’s Inside Susie.
Swamp Thing (Derek Mears) remembers being out there researching in human form as Alec Holland (Andy Bean). “Everything‘s about to change” = understatement of the century. At the water’s edge, bodies float. Swampy’s grabbed by the vines, forced to look. He screams in agony. A stranger (Macon Blair)— Phantom Stranger, that is— comes along in a boat with “In Dreams” by Roy Orbison playing. He talks about the trees “whispering their secrets.” He isn’t frightened by Swampy, either.
Daniel Cassidy (Ian Ziering) is trying to leave Marais. He can’t make himself go, no matter how fast he drives. He gets out of his car, shouting into the shadows trying to cauterise his Faustian deal for fame. He reaches towards the limits of Marais, only to have his arm engulfed in a blue flame.
And why’s he been waiting for Dr. Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed) to turn up?
Soundtrack note: “Shout at the Devil” by Motley Crue plays during Cassidy’s drive
“Transitions in life—
they can be difficult.”
Delroy Tremayne (Al Mitchell) finds Avery in his kitchen making turtle soup. The capitalist is actually there to talk about Liz (Maria Sten) poking her nose into his business. The daughter turns up soon. She won’t stand for any of Sunderland’s bullying tactics. She’s asking uncomfortable questions.
How far will he go to keep his secrets? Liz better watch out.
Dr. Arcane keeps having to deal with Dr. Jason Woodrue (Kevin Durand). His pomposity is only matched by his eagerness to be first past the scientific finish line. He looks around the lab where Holland was working, after sussing out Alec had something to do with what Abby found. He believes he’s “been thinking too small.”
Phantom Stranger shows Swamp Thing how to further connect to “the Green“— the force connecting all plant life on Earth. The trees want to communicate with Swampy, warning of dangers from the past. He touches a tree and sees a vision of young Abby calling out to her friend Shawna. He can sense a darkness.
Abby is at the Sunderland home. She hears Susie upstairs, humming a familiar song. The little girl isn’t quite herself. The doc’s feeling an uncanny sensation, especially once Susie begins talking as Shawna, recounting memories they shared together. Shit gets a bit Exorcist before Abby gets out of there.
At a camp in the woods, Sheriff Cable goes to see Remy Dubois (William Mark McCullough). He was working on the dock when Holland was killed. He says it was her son Matt (Henderson Wade) out there. She ends up at the end of his shotgun. She gets the drop on him first, pumping him full of bullets.
Is Matt in Sunderland’s pocket? Did he shoot Alec?
Abby comes across Madame Xanadu (Jeryl Prescott). The mystic warns Susie’s in danger. She may have “opened a door” to the other side, yet believes Shawna probably returned on her own. Nevertheless, the ghost of the dead girl is back. Also, there’s a deeper history between Xanadu and Abby, whose mother went to the mystic for help long ago when she probably needed other help of some sort.
In the swamp, Shawna calls Maria into the water. The mother walks blindly towards nothing. Abby tries to stop her, seeing nobody out there but Mrs. Sunderland. Of course this leads to Maria trying to kill the doc, shoving her head below the water. Abby manages to get away, only because of Shawna’s ghost dragging her mother down.
Thankfully, Swampy emerges taking Maria ashore, giving Abby time to save her. Abby’s given a look through the Green, back to a memory from the bridge. Shawna climbed the railing and Abby pushed her off as a joke, realising in horror afterwards what she’d done. Young Abby jumped in after her. Moments later Shawna came to the surface. Not long until “something took her” and disappeared into the murky depths.
At the bar, Liz finds her tires knifed. A couple men in masks threaten her, winding up with their asses kicked. Cassidy runs into the middle of it trying to help, getting a tire iron to the back of the skull. Shit. This guy can’t catch a break. Elsewhere, Dr. Woodrue is trying to catch whatever Dr. Arcane took her specimen from. Only a matter of time before he has a run in with Swampy.
Great episode! Lots of interesting stuff.
The mix of sci-fi and horror is fantastic. Love the sort of Bayou Gothic that’s going on.
“The Price You Pay” is next time.