Wednesday, July 5, 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 ...

This becomes another one of those episodes of Swamp Thing which are increasingly unbelievable, if only because Will is portrayed as having friends. It was easier to believe that one kid was a vampire than it was to allow yourself to be convinced that someone would spend time with Will for any reason except to eventually drug him and steal his kidneys.

In this case, his pal is Randy (David Lansbury) from Chicago, with whom he hangs out on New Year's Eve in central Houma, totally not-erotically throwing peanuts into each other's mouths until one of them chokes. That would be Will, Will chokes, and Randy watches the same rapt attention I'm sure we all would be in that scenario. Totally on tenterhooks. COME ON, LUCKY ELEVEN!

Randy also had an opportunity to see Will die in the swamp, but he flubbed it. Third time's the charm, I guess.

Saving Will's life with an unconvincing Heimlich* is Victoria (Lisa Eichhorn), a frustratingly even-tempered stranger who seems to know Will's name and all of his business. The only thing she doesn't know is what's behind Will's Bugle Boy jeans, but boy does she want to find out. This isn't explicit in the script, but she does keep giving Will hungry cougar looks, intentionally or otherwise. I don't know if the script noted in parentheses "Victoria is subtly on the horn for boy meat" but it looked that way. Do not bring your thirst here.

*Not that I expected them to actually huck Will's diaphragm around willy-nilly, but she barely touches him.

Anyway, she shows up at Will's house later, when he's dragging Randy's unhappy ass through the swamp on a fishing trip. Although Victoria's hitting it off well with Tressa -- meaning that she's befriended literally the two worst people in Houma -- it's brief moments before she just up and bellows "Oh hey your son Jim is alive" and sends the whole house into chaos.

While the Kipps await a letter which will verify Victoria's info, she's trying to get Will to pass on a message to Swamp Thing, from his dead wife Linda. This is good timing because Swamp Thing is all depressed and kicking around the swamp like a jerk. Hopefully it'll be a good message and not, like, "Alec, I will always love you, but for the last six months I've been screwing a fern" and then Swamp Thing turns around and points at a potted plant going "Benny, how could you?"

Meanwhile, the letter arrives, and Victoria is kind of a smug jerk about it. This is after Randall blows up at her and accuses her of messing around with these nice people, the Kipps, which ought to be your first sign that something is up with Randy. No one in their right mind would defend the Kipps.

"It says 'If your son has been abducted and sent to a Brazilian work camp, you might already be a winner...'"
Case in point; Will reassures Tressa that she'll find Jim, and tells her "If Jim really is out there,  you're going to kick over every obstacle until you find him." Well, unless the ghost of her dead boyfriend wants to play Midnight Confessions for her and she hauls ass back to Louisiana when she was only inches away from rescuing her son. Unless that happens.

In retaliation for this, Tressa mentions that Abigail's dead? Missing? Not here right now? Only she does it in a real teasing way and since I'm sure she's dead, that's cold.

Okay, let's wrap this up just like the episode did, with eight hundred things happening in the last six minutes.

Randy turns out to be Anton Arcane's equally British and slimy step-brother. He slugs Jim and drops him unconscious into the swamp, which fires up Swamp Thing who has to use green light power to revive Will. This enervates Swamp Thing, though, and allows Anton to capture him. Oh no!

Swaying around a big cloud of smoke like one of Samantha's quirky aunts on Bewitched.

Back at Arcane's lab, Swamp Thing is locked inside a walk-in rotisserie, probably bought overstock from a defunct Kenny Roger's Roasters. He's doomed, weakened and captured, but OH SHIT A METEOR JUST CRASHED THROUGH THE WALLS OF ARCANE'S LAB! Only it wasn't a meteor, it's Victoria! She lands saying something like "Smell of sulfur" and then twists around all crazy and shoots fire from her hands using those little hand-held flint things that magicians have but actually she's magic! The she threatens to kill everyone! She tells Arcane that she'll boil the water out of his cells and leave him lying at her feet like worms or dirt! Worms have a lot of water in them but okay I'm not arguing with the suddenly super-powerful psychic lady!

Arcane's self-preservation game is on point, so he promptly throws his step-brother under the bus and then accidentally shoots him. This is sad because they actually seemed to like each other at least a little. Anton has few friends.

Anyway. Victoria frees Swamp Thing, explaining that she's actually a guardian angel AND for that matter IS the ghost of Linda Holland, his late wife, and also all the ghosts of everyone who ever loved him and died. That's grim. Then she fucks off in a ball of fairy dust, but not before setting us up for the appearance of that lady scientist, Ann whatever, who's already been showing up in other episodes because of how messed up the running order is on these things. At least we know that Emo Swamp Thing will know love again, although I like him better when he's, you know, doing swamp stuff. Swamp things, you might say...

Using them powers of Matthew Starr, is what this looks like...

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