Tuesday, August 9, 2016


With superhero television programs blowing up in the last few years, recaps of superhero television shows have become all the internet rage. Other sites, however, are hobbled by the need to cover shows which have been "recently broadcast" or which are "any good at all." But who covers the uncoverable? That's why Gone&Forgotten chooses to cover the 1991-1993 USA Network live-action Swamp Thing television series in a feature I like to call "Swamp Thing For Nothing" or...

If You See Swamp Thing, Say Swamp Thing
A man-shaped heap of pencil shavings and coffee grounds does the hard work you're too delicate to handle. 
Season One / Episode Two : Dark Side of the Mirror

In which it's like The Parent Trap but for ninja squashes.

It took a surprising amount of time to finally have Swamp Thing fight another Swamp Thing. I guess they needed second season money to make that happen.

Long before we get to the goods, however, we have to endure an A-Plot which involves a crusading DA hounding Anton Arcane’s business, Arcane Industries, which I guess is a separate concern from his working for Sunderland. I dunno. Not a lot really gets explained on the show, not beforehand anyway. That being said, it’s never really explained why the DA is targeting Arcane in the first place. I suppose he violated the state’s strict no-mutant policy.

The DA’s path crosses with that of Tressa’s boat-rental business leading to some flirtatious back-and-forth between the two, plus Tressa slaps the town’s doctor with a bouquet of fish. Abigail drops a shitload of yogurt and horse apples onto the hood of Will’s truck, which is some sort of mating signal for Will’s people because he gets his shirt off right away. Things are getting sexy in the swamp. Houma After Dark.

Oh yeah, you know just how to swing those fish. Uh huh, slap that doctor, mama. 

Swamp Thing extricates Will from Abigail’s whimsical bullshit and their astonishing lack of chemistry by sucking and blowing real hard. Will answers that call like there’s gonna be candy at the end of that trip, but I can promise you it won’t probably be candy. I don’t know how Swamp Thing causes those enormous winds, but I have to assume that it’s digestive.

Tressa and the DA have a saucy dinner which the town’s doctor attends as well and is clearly trying to wrangle his way into a threesome. Ruining his chances is his goofy sitcom-neighbor persona and that Swamp Thing leaps out from under a boardwalk and murders the DA! Savagely cock-blocked!

"Hey, I got props on the phone, they want to know what rich people eat ... Okay, they say 'whole fish and fire.'"

Naturally, that’s not really Swamp Thing, it’s a mutated Swamp Thing man who ends up battling the real Swamp Thing in the swamp! Ninja Swamp Bitches! This is someone’s dream come true.

It’s a pretty good fight but, before it’s resolved, an entire subplot is built around the fact that Abigail doesn’t like to look at herself in mirrors. She reveals this while bringing a crazy fruit salad to Will for his lunch. These free-spirited asides are gonna drive me to bath salts, I swear to god. Where’s a burning bicycle accident and a small mutant when you need them?

The Swamp Thing versus Swamp Thing battle is a good ‘un, but the phony plant monster can’t go the distance. As Arcane’s genetic dabbling begins to destroy his manufactured biology, he is gently nursed by the original Swamp Thing in a touching example of the mother-child bond.

In this scene, he is literally suckling Swamp Thing's muck juice from his proferred finger.

The episode ends with fake Swamp Thing revealing himself to an angry mob and on the precipice of revealing Arcane’s role in all the town’s evil … but kind of milking it, because Arcane shoots him right through the head. Brevity, man. You’re not a Republic serial villain, you gotta do that shit thirty-five minutes earlier…

Then they resolve the subplot where Abigail doesn’t like mirrors, good night!

Here's a bonus shot of Will and Abigail rubbing fruit salad onto the TARDIS.

1 comment:

James W. Fry 3.0 said...

You Probably Already Knew This Dep't: This recap/review reminded me of how I first became aware of Dick Durock. Ironically it was in an earlier "monster-hero battles his sinister lookalike" slugfest (ick!). A two-part episode of THE INCREDIBLE HULK told the story of Dr. Banner's unfortunate encounter with a gentleman who developed a transformative affliction similar to Banner's own, twenty years earlier. Durock played the Evil Hulk, and it was one hell of a performance.


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