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 ...
Hey, it's the first "sentient bird on the run" storyline in a Swamp Thing episode since "Falco" all the way back at the beginning of the first season. Gosh, I was beginning to think we'd never get to see any more longshots of hawks flying around against a clear blue sky that gives you no context for where they are or how fast they're moving. Am I ever satisfied with the change in direction!
Easy Prey isn't a very good episode, by which I mean it's pretty bad. Now, normally, if the episode was also as anemic as this one, I'd say "Fortunately, basically nothing happened." Instead I have to say "Unfortunately, I have to pad this out to at least five hundred words so that this article is as substantial -- judging by word count, anyway -- as all the other entries in the series. How'd I do? Someone count those. Meanwhile, here's the complete lyrics to British Prog Rock legends Genesis' 23-minute long 1972 concept album landmark track Supper's Ready ...
|"I'm ... HUGE!"|
Rich dick dad Tom Crown (Lou Bedford) takes his ungrateful, rat-faced son Jason (Bently Tittle, if you can fucking believe it) out to the swamps of Houma to kill things. Yes, Tom likes corporate acquisitions, crushing his enemies, capitalism and murdering things that cannot fight back. Jason ... does not? I don't know what he's opposed to, he just doesn't do whatever his father does so they can establish conflict in the story, I guess.
Spotting a rare, endangered hawk, Tom takes a potshot at it and wings (haha) the bird (oh no). This causes Swamp LSD Freakout Times for Will, who happens to be sleevelessly paddling through the bog water at this point. Theoretically, Will has been given an opportunity to see the swamp as Swamp Thing does, and apparently seeing the swamp means tripping balls because Will is FUCKED. UP. Swamp Thing literally has him do shit like look at leaves and cup water in his hand, just like the designated driver dude always does when you and a bunch of friends go do peyote in the desert.
|"Like ... Alec? What if ... what if God ... is this leaf?"|
Tom continues his hunt for the bird, even acquiring Arcane's permission to hunt the squab on his land. Okeedoke. He doesn't otherwise really feature in this episode, but he's nice to have around.
One of the weird things about this episode is that Tom and Jason's dialogue is so rife with exposition, but reveals nothing. We learn everything about these two characters, and it doesn't really shine any light onto them, about their motives or interests or pain or glory. Accusations fly wildly and feelings are hurt, but we could have seen that coming from the first scene.
|They open on this shot on one scene, and I laughed for a solid minute.|
In fact, I was expecting them to advance the tension to a twist of some sort. I had my hopes pinned on Jason turning out to actually being a stone-cold killer and murdering his dad in the swamp for the inheritance. But that didn't happen ... the tension stayed consistent, and that was hard to endure.
Even when Will is accidentally shot in the chest -- absolutely one of my favorite things that happens on this show, Will getting nearly murdered, every third episode or so -- there's not much added to the plot or pacing. Also, turns out that the wounded hawk has a mate. Also adds nothing to the episode.
|Plus? That face.|
The whole thing is, for some reason, centered around father and son Crown. Unfortunately, their storyline has no staying power. The hawks, sort of a B plot, I guess, seem fine and the wounded one has clearly just got ketchup on her feathers. The C plot of Will being high as fuck pays off in that he can telepathically tell the male hawk to, like, relax and don't worry about things. This fucking episode.
You know what it did have going for it, though? On two different occasions, this happens: