Tuesday, November 15, 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 "Fawk Swamp Thing" 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 : The Prometheus Parabola

In which it gets funky in here.

This is a really great episode of Swamp Thing provided that you have an explosive orgasm every time someone says the word "Parabola."

The hook of this episode is that it features a guest appearance by wrestling great Terry Funk, playing the role of J.J.Dax, a man intent on avenging his brother's death by assassinating Anton Arcane.

Terry Funk, shown here selling bibles door to door in distbowl-era America.

This all hinges on Arcane's apparent attempted theft of J.J.'s brother's invention, the Prometheus Parabola.  If you're wondering what the Prometheus Parabola does, besides making my fingers hurt when I try to type it, is it causes winds to happen. The terrible power of the Prometheus Parabola is released at the beginning of the episode, winding its way through the swamps and knocking over what is clearly a rubber fern.

Still, the Prometheus Parabola is dangerous enough that it threatens to destroy the swamp. I'm not even sure that you can destroy a swamp, not without being a major American industrial waste disposal agency.

Graham and Arcane, line-dancing.

One of the odder elements of the episode is that Funk is clearly being dubbed, only I can't tell if they're dubbing him with someone else's voice or just having Funk dub himself. Whoever's doing it is clearly trying to hide an accent, and also seriously cannot act, so I'm saying it's Funk himself. Still, it was a really weird choice. Why wouldn't you just have the guy play someone with an incredibly absurd Texas accent?

"Dax" is introduced by way of one of those lousy subplots where they bother trying to give Tressa a romantic life. I'm glad that they have some degree of commitment to their actors -- nobody gets fired as long as they were less annoying than Jim Kipp, seems to be the philosophy -- but there is literally no reason for Tressa to be involved with this show at all, she serves no function. All she's done recently is draw in "Doc" as an even worse ancillary character, and sometimes try to get plowed.

"Is the horse joining the cast? Fine, I'll bone the horse."

Waiting for her blind date (a man with the very made-for-TV rich guy name of "Malcolm Eddington"), Tressa is surprised to see Terry Funk in a cheap off-the-rack suit come riding up on his horse. Let's be fair to Tressa, I would also be shocked to see that and, to further support her decisions, I also would not like to get shtupped by Terry Funk. He does not seem like a gentle lover.

He's also not a gentle houseguest. Apparently having waylaid Malcolm Eddington (pfffffffff that name), he kind of invades the house and shoots the old Doc, who has swung by because he's an infernal busybody. J.J.Dax is now my favorite character on the show. Four more bullets and he could get the cast down to fighting trim.


We learn, as he holds the Kipp clan hostage, that he's seeking revenge against Arcane for having stolen the Prometheus Parabola and for having killed its inventor, Dax's brother Dory. That's what they call Kayfabe, or Smarking, or a Hurricanrana, or whatever. I don't know, I only watch Triple-L Lucha Libre.

From there, I can give you your choice of further highlights of this episode:

Option number one: Handcuffed together, Abigail has to drag Doc by his wounded shoulder over to a phone and call for help. This, naturally, exceeds the functions of Abigail's brain, and she basically just cries and freaks out and picks up the phone like no one taught her how to use fingers. This is standard operating procedure for this lady, I can't even.

Option number two: Dax and Arcane (and a million of Arcane's hirelings) enjoy an insane chase scene which ends in a massive shoot 'em up at the Kipp house. The damn thing is practically shredded by bullets, although I'm pretty sure it'll be fine by the next episode. In any case, this whole thing also involves Chapman in a leather jacket straight outta Renegade, and a chase scene involving both a motorcycle and a horse. Also, Funk shouting the line "Run you little weasel!" which is a pretty good line for Terry Funk to deliver. Also "Dusty Sucks Eggs."

This guy hates weasels.

Or, your last option: The big fight ends at the docks, where we learn that Dax has stashed his brother's Prometheus Parabola in his saddlebags, explaining (sort of) why he gets around on a horse. Now, despite having only ever created dangerous wind, much like everything on the menu at Chipotle, it turns out that the Prometheus Parabola is also a MASSIVE BOMB THING. This leads to Funk's best line, right before he gets blown up: "You've always wanted my brother's Parabola, now you're gonna get it!" Yep, congratulations, you got the parabola. That's what we're all here for.

At the end of the episode, Swamp Thing gets a little contradictory. Having saved Arcane's life (not from the bomb, but rather from drowning, as Arcane can't swim), he tells the shocked villain "If I'm going to kill you, it will be by my own hands at my own time. And it will be for a better reason than a vendetta." Dude, that is literally why you want to kill him. All you got is vendetta.

Also, in this episode, Arcane got all Lorenzo Lamas in Renegade at one point.

But then, disappearing beneath the swamp waters in his very stock-footagey way, Swamp Thing does a v/o paraphrasing that Gandhi line about an eye for an eye making the whole world blind. That's weaksauce moralizing, Swamp Thing, this guy has straight-up raped, murdered, mutated and tried a thousand different ways to wreck everyone's lives. And that's not even to mention that he stole ... the Prometheus Parabola!

I thought that would sound dramatic. It does not. It sounds stupid.

J.J.Dax discreetly hauling Tressa Kipp around by the arm while two guys discuss a trunk.

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