Wednesday, September 20, 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 ...

A new element is added to Swamp Thing's backstory, but it doesn't actually make any difference or add any new depth to the character, so why even bother? I dunno. Let's call this one quits right here, shall we?

Anyway. This episode plays its cards very close to its vest, and unveils the premise throughout the medium of flashbacks -- otherwise known as "the most respected storytelling device in fiction." Also, it's loaded up with Chekov's Guns, except never for a gun. Chekov's hay fever, this episode has, literally has Chekov's Hay Fever. That's one for the books. Write it down.

A tuxedo'ed man is shown driving down the highway, blasting classical music with the sun roof open. Ah, youth. Turns out that this is esteemed and reclusive scientist Professor Bukovski (Key Howard), on his way to a phony awards ceremony which Anton Arcane (Mark Lindsay Chapman) set up in order to steal a lot of his peers' collective research. He will do this using people dressed like novelty strippers. Bear with me.

I swear this is Winston Wolf.

Bukovski is pulled over for no apparent reason by a twitchy, over-aggressive cop, which isn't all that surprising. If the 21st Century had a mascot, it would be a twitchy, over-aggressive cop pulling you over for no reason and leaving your corpse in a swamp. SPOILER ALERT! Bukovski's corpse ends up in the swamp.

This is because the cop is not a cop but rather a hardened killer (see above). He is, in fact, the late General Sunderland's go-to mercenary, "The Handyman" (Jordan Williams). He changes clothes with the shot-off-screen Bukovski -- in fact, he trades clothes, taking the time to dress the deceased professor in a cop uniform before burying him. Seems like it was a bit of a waste of time, that, but it's the personal touches. In any case, now decked out in the Professor's kit, the Handyman manages to infiltrate Arcane's little party, which is weird because Bukovski was a recluse and no one knew what he looked like? It was pretty well-established in the episode. He coulda just slashed the dude's tires.

No expense was spared.

As for the party, Arcane has set up a phony $500,000 prize and a giant bowling trophy for the best presentation at the doohickey, which he intends to award himself. Meanwhile, the hotel staff -- all Arcane's hirelings, and all dressed like sexy French Maids and poolboys, as though any second it's gonna turn into a Shriner's convention -- sneak around and rifle through all of the visiting scientists' briefcases.

Oh, and Arcane is being assisted by a new underling, Stella (Robin O'Dell), who has BAD HAY FEVER. Actually, she had been exposed to weaponized pollen, but that off-handed remark goes nowhere. Whatever the case, stay tuned for that sneeze!

"And be sure to pay Video Aces, my favorite video company ..."

Swamp Thing, for his part, has found Bukovski's corpse and is playing it like an accordion, grabbing the last loose memories the dead man can offer. This turns into one of three different flashbacks in the episode which pits pre-Swamped Alec Holland (Patrick Neil Quinn) against The Handyman in three different lousy disguises and on three different occasions. The last of those occasions? BLOWING UP THE HOLLAND'S LAB! Oh my god! Arcane DIDN'T kill Linda Holland, it turns out! This guy we just heard of for the first time did! Well that changes everything (nothing).

This is how every guy on the r/TheRedPill dresses all the time.

This effectively gives Swamp Thing a Joe Chill, a guy against whom he can direct the core of his wrath, a guy responsible for the path that took him through pain and loss to a newfound, individualistic becoming. Like Batman, this is the guy who turned Swamp Thing into a vigilante crimefighter, by which I mean he turned Swamp Thing into a potato.

Meanwhile, back at the party, Handyman has chained everyone together and set up a motion-detecting bomb in the room. If anyone so much as sneezes, it'll go off! Thankfully, no one here has hay feveOH SHIT I FORGOT ABOUT STELLA!

"Ah -- ahh -- ahhh -- KABOOM!"

Luckily, Swamp Thing had been talking to Bukovski's boutonniere ("Tell me, little flower," he says to it in the best scene the show has ever had), and he's put the bomb out by -- I think -- peeing on it. Water comes dripping from some plants which were happily positioned over the bomb, but I have to imagine that's Swampy's piss.

Liberated from the threat of utter destruction, Arcane pursues the fleeing Handyman, Swamp Thing hot on his trail. You know, for as fast as the guy to run. It's not like he's got some kind of Marsh Buggy or Bog Rover, you know (oh, wait ...)

BRB, going to eBay ...

 The finale involves a foot chase and Swamp Thing pretending that he can get knocked down by gunfire. Arcane chases Handyman with the defused bomb and keeps threatening him with it, which is ... maybe I don't know how bombs work. I don't think you just throw five sticks of dynamite into a fleeing boat and they explode. But that's sort of what happens! Just as he pilots the boat into the Universal Studios stunt show! That's gonna hurt ticket sales.

"I can only watch you eat, my face pressed up against the window paa-aa-aane ..."

The end of the episode is possibly the most fatalistic voice over Swamp Thing's ever done as he wanders back into the bogwater: "A score has been settled. The man who killed the woman I love and made me the strange creature that I am has been destroyed. But there is no [something, I couldn't make it out]. No wrong has been righted. It will never bring back all that I loved and that I lost..." Thanks for underlining the dumb problem with this episode, Emo Thing!

Charles Foster Kane is back ... and he's pissed!

1 comment:

Jonathan Hendry said...

"Bog Rover" is funnier if you know "bog" is used in the UK to refer to a bathroom.

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