This episode opens with Swamp Thing pleading desperately with the swamp -- and I'm still not quite sure whether the semi-sentience of the swamp is a general mystical thing, a Parliament of Trees reference, or just how Swamp Thing works in this universe, it's a mystery. Whatever the scenario, the situation is clearly that Swamp Thing only holds so much sway over the source of his powers, and that the swamp has access to cats.
|Give us this day our daily swamp bread...|
The swamp has released THE PREDATOR (i.e. a very even-tempered cougar) into Houma to finally do what Swamp Thing won't -- kill Arcane! Which I think he did once. But now THE PREDATOR.
I'm sort of at loose ends with this episode on account of it's slim -- even for a Swamp Thing episode. The plot which motivates the Predator involves a radioactive waste dump in the middle of the swamp which sickens nature AND the residents of Houma. One by one, the Predator stalks everyone involved in any fashion with the radioactive waste, saving Arcane for last -- either for extra dramatic tension or because he lives in a compound with deadly electric force fields. The swamp has limits!
|Scully to Will's Mulder.|
Meanwhile, Graham has figured out the Predator's pattern, despite Arcane's disdain. "You're afraid of this pernicious puss" he sneers, delivering a line which makes the episode worthwhile.
|Oh, and the sheriff is back, despite there being no running order in the series which explains his return to Arcane's payroll...|
The panther, according to Swamp Thing, will -- in the process of killing Arcane -- "ingest Arcane's evil." Furthermore, as the cougar goes out into the world and procreates, "each panther," Swamp Thing warns us, "will be more evil than the one before."
|Oh, look honey, it's that nice kitty from the TV...|
It doesn't come to that, the world being overrun by increasingly evil cougars. What happens instead is that Arcane is forced to give an apology to the swamp. And "Sorry swamp" won't cut it!
"There have been a few unfortunate mistakes," he confesses, "But they were honest mistakes."
"There've been a few dead bodies here and there," he adds, "and the rest have been nobbled for life, but they deserved it!" It gets cornier from here, despite being a real testament to Chapman being a fantastic melodramatician. It tests his skills, though, with the confession literally ending with him screaming "FORGIVE ME, FOR I HAVE SINNED" at an unidentified fern.
|That steampunk boudoir panic room makes it all worthwhile tho ...|