Wednesday, January 9, 2019


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 ...


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.
Will recognizes that the many many victims filling up Houma's apparently only hospital emergency ward are suffering from radiation poisoning. This is an opinion left unshared by Tim (Christopher Carter), Will's pal and an orderly at the hospital. Tim is the highlight of the episode, easily, with breezy banter and an utter unconcern for the health and safety of the suffering and ill. Even though he recognizes the symptoms of radiation poisioning, agrees with Will that the symptoms match, AND observes that the radiation detecting badges found in one of the victim's office implies radiation, HE WON'T BELIEVE IT. It's beyond funny. Also, this is why I don't trust doctors.

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...
Here's what happens in the bottom third: Someone gives Will an uzi and a jeep. Arcane descends into some kind of steampunk boudoir panic room. The electric forcefield which is meant to keep Arcane safe is shut down when a panicked guard runs into it rather than facing the incredibly sweet, patient cougar.  And Swamp Thing explains why the Predator killing Arcane is a bad idea. Are you ready? It's good. It's perfect. It will make you a fan. Ready?

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 ...
But at least it's all straightened out, and we still have the original amount of evil kitties!

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