Wednesday, July 19, 2017


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 used to like to call a dumb pun kind of title, but I've run out of those, so I just call it ...

At this point, there is no running order on these things. I can find no established order wherein the continuity of this show makes sense, because in every one of them, this episode -- in which Abigail actually dies -- precedes episodes in which Abigail is not dead. Don't @ me, I don't care. I'm living this nightmare, you're only a tourist, you can go home to your friends and families when this is over. I'm stuck here, recapping Swamp Thing forever.

A terrifying mist is blowing in from the swamp, some kind of evil power mist which kills people straight-up and which Arcane is eager to steal for himself. You can't steal the mist, Anton, just like you can't fight the moonlight.

Drink her in, fellas, they're about to discontinue this model
Quigley and Chapman are becoming better banter partners by this point in the show, and Graham waking Arcane up from a deep sleep in his sultry sex dungeon has a terrific back and forth quality. When informed of important news, Anton asks threateningly "Will I like it?" and Graham chirps raspily "I think you'll love it." And he does! Because Arcane loves pandemics!

Meanwhile, Abigail is alive, and we know this because the camera does a lascivious pan up her body in the opener. "Don't forget why she's here, boys" it seems to say, degrading us all at the same time.

Abigail and Will are the first ones to encounter the mist, and run off to Houma to warn everyone to leave their homes. As it's the middle of the night, this literally earns them nothing but a shoe flung at them from a second-story window. This is a good game, can anyone play?

They also woke up this guy, who looks like if The Dude was also The Saint.
Pretty soon we're at the hospital with dozens of afflicted victims, and Graham and Arcane hanging out in hazmat suits. Arcane barking at Graham "Go! Buzz off! Samples!" is a highlight of the episode matched only by a dying patient asking Arcane if he's a doctor, and Arcane replying "I am THE doctor." The man's got pride.

Anyway, long story short -- because there's actually not much to this episode except the following great thing -- Arcane gets infected and has to run into the swamp, strip down to his underwear, and sass while Swamp Thing force feeds him crazy plant drugs in order to fight the infection caused by the mist. It's good. Should have been the whole episode.

Durock and Chapman remain the highlight of the show, and the few occasions where they get to interact is always a delight. When Arcane accuses his enemy of having him strip down to his chippendales and eat artichoke leaves in order to humiliate him, Swamp Thing replies "Don't flatter yourself or insult me." Arcane's response "What else is there?"

Oh, children, this show.

The Full Swampy

As this eats up a significant amount of the episode, we get some good conversation between the opponents, including Arcane's justification for his sick and often destructive experiments. Sure he wants wealth and fame and he's a creep, but you know what? He's doing it for the earth. He's gonna make the earth tougher, and it's going to survive all the environmental damage. It's insane and it's bullshit, but the guy has a motive now and that's good. I don't know how all the mutants and voodoo and slave camps fit into that, but let's assume they do.

In the background, Abigail has rushed into the mist-filled swamp to save a child actor who'd be best left to his own devices, like all child actors. This exposes her to the mist-disease and, for that matter, to regular exposure because that girl does not dress warmly.

"Will, help me. I don't know what happened, but I've become taller."

Arcane and Swamp Thing have concocted an antidote, and Swamp Thing has enlisted a huge swarm of mosquitoes to fly into Houma and inject everyone with it. Also to give them allergic reactions and malaria, maybe. When Arcane attempts to take advantage of the weakened Swamp Thing, depleted from using his power to rouse the mosquito delivery vector, Swamp Thing retaliates by pointing out that the mosquitoes have been instructed not to deliver the antidote to the also-infected Arcane. Very specific mosquitoes.

The one person Swamp Thing cannot save is Abigail, who safely delivers the child to Will just before the mist recedes and then fucks off the mortal coil. She dies in his arms. When Will brings her to Swamp Thing to be revived, Swamp Thing just shrugs him off with something about Abigail having some special role to play in the future apparently or something? And then we sort of pan back on her being dead. For now. I fully expect her to be alive in the next episode because the order on these things is moronic.

Laugh, freeze frame annnd roll credits.

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