Review: SWAMP THING 1×06 – “THE PRICE YOU PAY”
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: Toa Frasier
Writers: Tania Lotia
Starring: Crystal Reed, Virginia Madsen, Andy Bean, Derek Mears, Henderson Wade, Maria Sten, Jeryl Prescott, Jennifer Beals, Will Patton, Kevin Durand, Ian Ziering, Selena Anduze, Macon Blair, Scott Deckert, Laurie Fortier
Reviewed By: Ari Bard
In Swamp Thing 1×06, the hunt for the mysterious creature living in the swamps of Marais begins! We may know that Swamp Thing is benevolent, but that won’t stop Avery, the Marais police department, or Dr. Woodrue from trying to get their hands on him. Meanwhile, Dr. Woodrue is receiving a lot of pressure from Avery Sutherland about results, and his answer may lie in the recently-injured Daniel Cassidy.
In the aftermath of a lot of high-octane action and horror, Swamp Thing 1×06 presents itself as more of a character drama as people try and make sense of what they’ve been seeing and return to a sense of normalcy.
This episode is filled with people fighting for control over their own lives and trying to fix things that are beyond what they can comprehend. Avery wants to fix Maria, Liz wants to fix the town and keep those close to her safe, Dr. Woodrue wants to study Swamp Thing and fix his wife, Abby wants to fix Alex, Daniel Cassidy wants to fix himself, and Matt and the Sheriff want to fix the weird events that have taken place in this town.
As usual the effects in this episode represent a consistent strong point for the series so far. It’s hard to imagine Swamp Thing looking any better or more real than he already does, even when more advanced effects are involved such as making a flower sprout from the palm of his hand. The amount of motion and change that always seems to be happening in Swamp Thing’s suit is remarkable for a show with this budget.
Unfortunately, this episode comes off as quite choppy due the entire episode being, primarily, a series of conversations with little transition in between. People are trying to fix things in Marais including relationships, and that can’t be done without talking to one another. This is especially true between Matt and Lucilia as neither Cable is innocent of the clutches of Avery Sutherland. Unfortunately, neither one of them can really hold a scene on their own, so the show drags a lot during these moments. When depicting conversational drama for a large part of an episode, at least one of the characters has to be authentic and interesting enough to grab your attention, and Swamp Thing 1×06 just doesn’t seem to have enough of those.
Unfortunately, while the effects are great, we can hardly see them because of the awful color palette in this episode. Almost all of the episode takes place at night or in the swamp, and everything looks so dark and saturated that you can’t appreciate what’s happening on screen. Perhaps this is to hide areas where they couldn’t afford as many effects such as in Macon Blair’s Phantom Stranger. This is a very weird take on this character, providing very little of the mysterious and all-powerful feelings he’s associated with. Instead, most of his scenes just leave you confused as to why this guy that looks like a traveling conman is intervening in the happenings of this town.
Overall, there is just very little momentum in this episode which is disappointing to see. We only get ten episodes of this show, but these middle episodes are dragging quite a bit. Hopefully the final three will find their groove again as we build closer to a finale.
Swamp Thing 1×06 is a solid character-filled episode that contains some important moments, but drags and falters whenever your favorite characters aren’t on screen.