DC’s Swamp Thing
Episode 9: “The Anatomy Lesson”
Directed by Michael Goi
Written by Mark Verheiden
* For a recap & review of the previous episode, “Long Walk Home” – click here
* For a recap & review of the finale, “Loose Ends” – click here
At home, Dr. Caroline Woodrue (Selena Anduze) is woken up by her husband Jason (Kevin Durand), breathlessly excited over what’s been found in the swamp. She’s had a nightmare in which her husband was missing. In it, she saw a man who looked dead. Just a “bad dream“? A premonition of what was actually happening out there to Alec Holland (Andy Bean) a.k.a Swamp Thing (Derek Mears)?
Dr. Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed) tells Liz Tremayne (Maria Sten) that Alec’s gone. There’s also a ton of other stuff going on with the CDC. Not to mention Avery Sunderland (Will Patton) and Dr. Woodrue fucking around in Marais. Neither of them even know about Avery’s trouble with Maria (Virginia Madsen) trying to have him snuffed out. Things quickly turn sketchy for Mrs. Sunderland. She’s committed to a hospital against her will. Avery’s playing a hard game of retaliation.
At the lab, Avery looks over the frozen Swamp Thing, subdued using green spectrum lighting only to “inhibit plant growth.” Time for Dr. Woodrue to hop through the biological playground on his own. When he starts cutting it only takes a minute and Swampy’s awake. The doctor keeps going in spite of Holland’s awful pain. A sadistic living autopsy on a creature that can feel all of the abuse done to him. What Jason discovers is this had nothing to do with the virus infecting Marais’s citizens. The mutagenic plants in the swamp merged with Holland’s memories, not his living body.
Daniel Cassidy (Ian Ziering) receives a visit from Phantom Stranger (Macon Blair). The former movie star stunt man is shown a vision of Liz and Abby being tracked. He has to stand by, unable to help when the two women are gunned down. A glimpse of “a possible future” that only Mr. Cassidy can change apparently. Phantom’s so cryptic— bastard! He’s nudging Cassidy towards a fate as the Blue Devil.
The transformation is nearly complete, too.
Abby and Liz are really off visiting the Woodrue home, where it’s only Carolyn while hubby’s at work. The two women see a muddy footprint on the dining room floor. Dr. Arcane’s curious if Jason was in the swamp, and Liz sneaks papers off the table.
“You’re a plant
that thinks it’s a man”
Dr. Arcane and Liz find the lab’s latest location, sneaking into an abandoned facility. Inside is a bunch of vegetation growing out of nowhere. Abby knows where it’s leading them. They follow the plants— this is the vision Cassidy saw— and eventually men with guns are looking for them. Liz and Abby shut the electricity off, which inadvertently gives the Blue Devil his chance to slip in and terrorise the men. HOLY SHIT! Cassidy’s new powers are wild. At the same time, Woodrue’s prepping Swampy to be moved. They’re headed for Maryland. However, Jason rushes home to his wife, only to find she’s taken all her pills and falling into convulsions.
Abby and Liz find Alec, his torso splayed open, organs hauled from their cavity. He can talk, just barely, touching her hand. She and Liz get the bonds off him. She shuts off the green spectrum light, and Swampy’s body repairs itself once more. Holland may be a little worse for the wear, but he’s okay now, all because of Abby and Liz.
Alec doesn’t have time to stand around. He’s heading to the swamp for answers.
He reemerges with a skeletal corpse: his own. The physical body is nothing but a sack of bones. Swamp Thing knows now for sure that “Alec Holland is dead.” He’s physically something else altogether, no matter if he has the scientist’s memories in his mind.
I was just a specimen.”
Shame there’s only one final episode.
Gonna get crazy. Prepare yourselves to leave the swamp behind.