Review: SWAMP THING 1×08 – “LONG WALK HOME”
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: E.L. Katz
Writers: Doris Egan
Starring: Crystal Reed, Virginia Madsen, Andy Bean, Derek Mears, Henderson Wade, Maria Sten, Jeryl Prescott, Jennifer Beals, Will Patton, Kevin Durand, Ian Ziering, Leonardo Nam, Michael Beach, Steve Wilcox, Adrienne Barbeau
Reviewed By: Ari Bard
In Swamp Thing 1×08, Dr. Abby Arcane returns to Atlanta to further research the mystery that is Alec Holland but runs into some unexpected hostility and skepticism. Meanwhile Avery Sutherland fights for his life while enduring the trials of the Marais Swamp, and Dr. Jason Woodrue continues his work under his new investors: the mysterious Conclave Group.
Swamp Thing is putting a lot more effort into its episode titles than its counterparts, and it’s better for it. In this instance, three of our main characters are looking to get back to the normalcy and comfort we all associate with home. Abby Arcane is the CDC in Atlanta. It’s the first new location since the first episode and, despite Atlanta being her primary home and base of operations, she does not seem to feel very comfortable in that environment. In fact, the whole time you get the sense that she’s itching to get back into the field as soon as possible.
Avery Sutherland is fighting to get himself physically back home. This is a game of physical and mental survival, and for some odd reason, Alec helps him cheat. At the same time, Alec is looking to return to who he is and is becoming increasingly desperate, leading to a heartbreaking final scene.
The show sure is able to find actors to play despicable human beings, and Michael Beach does this very well. Nathan Ellery and this mysterious Conclave Group pull off some impressively shady and underhanded moves to force everything into a final showdown scenario. For all the joy and heart you feel for characters like Abby Arcane and Alec Holland, you feel the same hatred and coldness for Nathan Ellery and Avery Sutherland.
Crystal Reed continues to be the show’s best and most powerful actress by far, putting a ton of raw emotion into every one of her lines. Even when she’s physically in Atlanta, she convinces us that her heart is in Marais, and that’s a hard thing to do. Leonardo Nam does a great job supporting her playing one of Abby’s close colleagues and good friends, and the two of them have great chemistry.
Swamp Thing 1×08 is problematic because of what it chooses to do with Avery Sutherland. The show keeps posing the question, “well what if he’s not all bad?” He is. I know it, you know it, Avery Sutherland is a rotten dude. The show is worse for pretending otherwise. We don’t need to see Avery go through these trials and relive the trauma of his past. Kill him or don’t but don’t give us 25 minutes of him struggling to survive like a character who’s worth a damn.
Despite some misplaced priorities and the occasional special effects mishap, you can’t help but get the feeling that Swamp Thing is building to a special finale. There’s some real bad dudes in Marais and the odds are stacked against Abby. Does she have what it takes to save Alec? Let’s hope so.