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Swamp Thing - Worlds Apart - Review

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By now most of you will be aware that Swamp Thing has been axed after just one season. Fortunately the remaining episodes will still be dropped on DC Universe each week, but it does mean a change in context of how we’re now viewing season 1. Instead of it being the beginning of a long journey, it’s now the beginning of the end, which feels like an extremely weird sentiment when the show is only on its second episode.

A complaint I had last week was the show is too dark. Not in terms of blood, guts and the occasional f bomb or swear word being dropped, but the fact it is extremely difficult to see what is going on in some scenes. I’m now finally beginning to understand the complaints Game of Thrones fans had over the final season, because for the second episode in a row I struggled to make sense of some bits going on. It does spoil my enjoyment of the show ever so slightly, because obviously if you can’t clearly see what’s going on, you’re going to miss out on some important story points.

The episode kicked off more or less where it finished last week. Alec has now transformed into the swamp thing, but Abby isn’t quite aware of that yet. So instead in the aftermath of the explosion, she contacts the police to launch a search and rescue mission in the hopes of finding him or at the very least what caused the explosion that potentially took his life.

The police are led by their Sheriff Jennifer Beals aka Lucilla Cable. I first came across Jennifer Beals many eons ago when she was on The L Word. She’s yet another seasoned actor that this show has managed to grab hold of, which just makes me that bit more sad the show doesn’t have a long lifespan. One criticism levelled at the show before its premiere was the struggle with a Louisiana accent by some of the actors involved. Didn’t really notice it in the pilot but in this episode, several actors were struggling to get round it and Jennifer Beals is one of the guilty parties.

It’s not bad enough that it takes me out of scenes, but it is slightly distracting in places and honestly? Swamp Thing wouldn’t have been the first show set in a very specific region that didn’t actually carry the regions accent. Craig Mazin, the creator of Chernobyl, recently admitted they didn’t give the characters accents because they found the cast would act the accents and as a consequence, they lost everything about them that they liked. I really wish Swamp Thing had applied this same principal because it is distracting, especially when some of the actors are attempting the accents whilst others aren’t.

That critique aside Lucilla really doesn’t like Abby and she’s really not impressed with the touch that her son Matthew still has for her. She makes quite the understandable point that once the case is over, Abby and the CDC will be leaving the town probably to never be seen again. It’s a situation made even more awkward when Matthew does summon the courage to be honest and Abby admits she never had any idea he had feelings for her.

They join together to try and track down Susie, who goes missing from the hospital after forming a connection with the swamp thing. It’s a very strange connection that the show doesn’t delve deep into in this episode. Susie’s just there to be in the wrong place at the wrong time as Avery gets his goons to go out to the swamp to clean up his mess, they of course get interrupted by a police officer whose boat Susie has snuck onto, and Susie soon finds herself being hunted with Alex as the swamp thing coming to her rescue. She isn’t at all afraid of him, in fact talking to him, and it’s through that talking that Susie is able to tell Abby that Alec is the swamp thing. What exactly Abby does with that information and how the season moves forward with it is a mystery saved for the coming weeks.

In regards to Avery, he’s proving to be quite the two dimensional villain. To the public he is a man of the people, in private he’s just trying to save his own backside and bringing in Jason Woodrue and his partner biogeneticist to undo the mess they made when they inadvertently created the issues in the swamp. Jason really doesn’t like Avery and refuses to comprehend the prospect that his experimenting could be the thing that’s making everyone sick. Avery has an equal amount of lack of respect for him, making it crystal clear if he goes down then they all will. What exactly makes Avery tick I guess is a subject that will be left for another week, with the show instead focussing on the fact his wife Maria is still incredibly grief stricken over her daughter’s death. She visits a witch doctor wanting the pain to be taken away from her again & I guess also to see her daughter again. Neither of those goes well as Alec being turned into the swamp beast has disrupted the power balance between light and dark.

This week’s ending focussed on Susie revealing the swamp things name to Abby, and something connected to Avery & Maria. He returned home I’m guessing to check on how his wife was, and I’m guessing she was asleep in bed with the figure of their dead daughter next to her. Emphasis very much on figure as it was all so dark I couldn’t clearly see what was going on.

With all the claims that the show has been cancelled because of creative differences or even fears over the budget, it’s a shame that whilst so much money has undoubtedly been plunged into the show to make it look as impressive as I’m guessing it does special effects wise, the budget apparently didn’t stretch far enough for a decent lighting technician.

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