Hasitha Fernando reviews the third episode of Swamp Thing…
Abby still remains confident that Alec is still alive and confides her thoughts to Liz (Maria Sten). As the Green flu epidemic spirals out of control the CDC dispatches one of their finest along with Dr. Woodrue to investigate. After one of her colleagues contracts the disease, Abby decides to break into Alec’s lab and find out what he was working on. Liz meanwhile, is investigating a paper trail that leads to Avery Sunderland and his illicit dealings under the table. As the ghostly apparition of her daughter continues to appear more and more frequently, Maria Sunderland starts to question her own sanity, as she slowly loses her grip on reality…
This episode proved to be quite the roller-coaster ride. We get a glimpse as to what goes on inside Alec Holland/Swamp Thing’s head and how he thinks. He’s torn by the fact that he committed a cold-blooded murder, so there is an element of tragic self-doubt in his voice when he asks Abby… ‘Who am I?’ I absolutely loved that exchange that took place between Abby and Swampy at the latter half of the episode, since it pretty much summed up the existential crisis raging inside our character. Swampy also plays an integral role in the quest for finding a cure for the Green-flu. Derek Mears absolutely nails the characterization, bringing in the depth and emotion that will go into define our titular hero. Without Mears’ contribution to the series it’d be hard to imagine this show becoming a success.
As far as revelations go, this episode was chock full of ‘em. It’s revealed that the image of affluence that Avery Sunderland was projecting to the public was an outright lie and in reality, he is bankrupt; relying on a local loan agency run by Gordon Hass (Matt Burke) to stay afloat. Due to Liz’s persistent heckling Gordon becomes agitated and demands that Avery pays up all loans in its entirety within 24 hours. Avery responds in kind, with Gordon meeting an unfortunate and bloody end. A detail worth mentioning here is that, during their brief but fiery exchange Gordon makes a reference to existence of ‘The Conclave.’ Now, in the comics this criminal cartel was the organization directly responsible for the creation of Swamp Thing through the destruction of Holland’s lab. The acknowledgment of their presence within this series’ narrative means they too will factor in, at some point or the other. But in what capacity remains to be seen. We also find out that both Avery and Marais County sheriff Lucilla Cable (Jennifer Beals), were having an affair when Maria was suffering from her daughter’s death.
Maria Sunderland’s rather unhealthy obsession with her dead daughter reaches a new level of crazy in this instalment. With our ghostly apparition even going so far as to advising her mother of Avery’s unfaithfulness. Is Maria imagining all this or is this for real? Or is there something far more insidious as play here? Regardless Virginia Madsen puts out quite the performance, as a tortured mother smothered by inconsolable grief.
We also get some time to spend with former stuntman Daniel Cassidy (Ian Ziering) this episode, as he ponders his change of fortunes with Madame Xanadu. In the comics Daniel goes onto become the Blue Devil, once the full-body suit he constructed for a movie melds permanently to his body, through the dark magic of Nebiros the demon. Over the years the Blue Devil has been a member of many teams in the DC Universe. He has served in the ranks of the Shadow-pact, the Justice League of America, the Justice Society of America, the Sentinels of Magic, and the Spirit Squad.
Featuring surprising revelations and great acting ‘He Speaks’ is yet another solid episode in this amazing new series, that left me asking for more. Keep ‘em coming.