Wednesday, January 24, 2018


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 ...

You may recall Carter Sinclair LaRoche (Don Hood) from the earlier Swamp Thing episode "Better Angels," which also introduced the character of Dr.Ann Fisk (Janet Julian, who is not in this episode). Well, he returns! Thanks everyone, that's it for this summary, ciao!

When we last saw Laroche, he was freshly betrayed by Anton Arcane and sent to the local Nut Hut to deal with his psychotic breakdown, caused explicitly by the magic swamp powers of Swamp Thing. Arcane who had formerly been LaRoche's partner in a scheme to turn Houma into a bayside resort which, according to the photos they were showing during the episode, sure resembled the Universal Studios backlot.

You can practically make out the refreshment stand in the background.

But I digress. LaRoche is still in the booby hatch when the episode opens, although we only explicitly learn that a little later on. In fact, we begin with Anton Arcane on vacation in a sunny locale at the Garden of Allah in West Hollywood. Well, I saw he's in California and all that, but the Garden of Allah was torn down in 1959. He is, in fact, actually in -- wait for it, this might blow your mind -- the recreation of the Garden of Allah on the Universal Studios backlot! Well hell, I didn't see that coming!

And neither does Roxanne, a casually passing blonde beauty in an immodest bikini whom the doctor picks up while lounging on the patio. Arcane has really come a long way since he was hypnotizing runaways into non-consensual trailer sex. He's grown.

"Hat-wearing shadow, darling, is that you?"

He's also beaten within an inch of his life. As Roxanne sneaks out of Arcane's hotel room in the middle of the night, another figure slips in -- LaRoche! Or, at least, LaRoche's shadow, and he's here to beat up Anton Arcane!

Meanwhile, back in Houma (about a hundred and fifty feet away elsewhere on the Universal Studios backlot, I mean to say), Will has picked up a job at the local insane asylum! Good gig, if you can get it. Maybe the inmates remind him of his brother, Jim. Anyway, Will is a handyman there, volunteering for Dr.Williams (Allison McKay), the asylum administrator. What Will isn't expecting is that Carter Sinclair LaRoche is still an inmate at the facility, although he's picked up a super new skill -- hypnosis! Old school hypnosis, too, the "wave a gold watch" kind, and it's powerful enough that he can capture minds forever and also show up on the other side of the country and beat dudes up shadow-style.

As for Swamp Thing, he's off doing reverse farts in the middle of the muck-waters. This is his fashion of cleaning up a toxic chemical spill, although I couldn't stop imagining that this was just reverse-footage (I mean, it was, of course) and all that toxic garbage was just going up his butt. Enjoy the mental image.

Jacuzzi Thing

LaRoche manages to hypnotize Will, a task I bet an infant could accomplish. You don't even need to hypnotize him, you just tell Will "When I snap my fingers, you'll be a chicken!" and then you don't even have to snap your fingers before he starts clucking and digging in the dirt. This helps keep Swamp Thing busy as Will takes a chainsaw to the smaller trees and brush in the swamp. Not the greatest menace ever faced on the series, but you certainly do get to see Will try to kill Swamp Thing with a chainsaw. It goes poorly for Will.

(He does have the best line in the whole episode, though. At one point, he's livid with frustration and righteous indignation, and exclaims "I'm tired of my friend going through his days as a plant!" Aw man, Swamp Thing thought you loved him for his soul, Will. That's gonna hurt).

I think he's just bored, but whatever works.

The reason that LaRoche is in the booby hatch, by the bye, is that he's maintained the "illusion" that the swamp hosts a man-monster with magic powers who has it in for the former land developer. Weirdly, he actually thinks he hallucinated Swamp Thing too? So when Swamp Thing finally heals from Will's vicious shrub pruning and the toxic swamp enema, he just sort of walks in front of LaRoche and sends the guy screaming back to useless insanity.

OR HAS HE? Because Anton Arcane STILL HEARS LAROCHE IN HIS HEAD! For the few seconds between the end of the episode and the roll of the credits, anyway. I feel like he'll be back to normal next episode ...

"So long, folks!"

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