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 ...
I want you to understand what a lonely undertaking this can be. For the first time in the many many months during which I've been recapping episodes of USA Network's 1990-1993 late night cable television programming stalwart, my wife actually offered to watch an episode with me! Outta the blue! I barely mentioned I was gonna go headphone-up and watch an episode or two and she said, unprompted, "I think I'd like to watch an episode of Swamp Thing with you." And then I said "All right, this one's called 'The Burning Times'" and then she said "Oh ok no thanks" and went back to Facebook. Does USA Network's 1990-1993 Swamp Thing TV series know that it's weakening my marriage? Maybe? Perhaps that was its intent all along.
|Genuinely have no idea what emotion she's meant to be conveying here.|
Despite having witches and magic in this one, it's yet another one of those episodes where Swamp Thing's role is primarily boosterism and we're here to help set right someone's messed up brain and life and such. You know, the exciting stuff.
Will is observed and obsessively pursued by a mysterious, constantly heavy-breathing and socially awkward modern-day witch named Rowan (Blake Pickett), which is okay because Swamp Thing's watching her. We're all watching somebody, is the lesson of the Swamp Thing universe.
|At one point, she just shows up in this Wonder Woman cape like it's no big thing.|
Rowan has come all thew way from Massachusetts to find Will, with whom she had a torrid relationship and happy marriage in a previous life in Salem. We learn this not only through her insistence as to the veracity of the event, but by wordless flashbacks depicting their happier times. In fact, there are a lot of flashbacks, so many that I am absolutely positive that this whole episode was intended to take place in the past, 100%.
Instead, they set it almost completely in the modern day, because the guys behind USA Network's 1990-1993 Swamp Thing series seem to think that everybody has loads of time to kill.
|This will make sense in a minute, I swear I'm not just being a perv here...|
Rowan becomes the target of ire of Jake (Arnie Cox), the owner of what legitimately appears to be a saloon somewhere on the Universal Studios backlot in which someone has hurriedly chucked a ton of Johnny Rocket's flair. He's got a real mad-on for witches, and the pentagram necklace (which is repeatedly and lovingly depicted descending into and emerging from Rowan's cleavage, I kid you not, this episode spends perhaps three cumulative minutes on her clavicle) sets him off something fierce.
Will's no help in this matter, because he is stupidly vomiting pick-up lines relentlessly at Rowan, becoming the scumbag I always imagined he'd become. He's not even much use when angry farmer Luther (Richard Rossomme) swings by the saloon to clock evil banker Clifford Kingsley (Bob Noble) in front of his large adult son Carl (Wayne Demaline). This is straight-up the largest cast this show has had since they stopped bringing on Un-Men.
|"You're lucky my Will's here!"|
Clifford is murdered and, despite the preponderance of evidence which would suggest that hot-headed Luther killed him, all eyes turn to Rowan! Possibly because of how many times we see her dropping Hot Topic jewelry into her cleavage, is my guess. She seems like a nice lady, I should lay off her breasts. So should the cameramen.
Um, let's see. She goes to jail? That happens, she loses her necklace a lot of times, and a flashback proves that Will's past incarnation was responsible for getting Rowan's earlier incarnation burned at the stake. That doesn't pay off all that much. Clifford's son Clay turned out to be the real murderer, and Rowan gained super witch powers when she dropped her amulet, which I remind you that she'd dropped that thing like fifteen times over the course of this episode, and only just got the magic powers. It's the witch equivalent of switching the power off and back on again.
|One of eighty-five times that the amulet was dropped on the floor in this episode.|
And then she leaves, and no one is better for her visit. True magic!