Swamp Thing debuts new episodes every Friday on the DC Universe streaming service.
Swamp Thing stars Crystal Reed, Andy Bean, Derek Mears, Jennifer Beals, Henderson Wade, Will Patton, Virginia Madsen, Jeryl Prescott, Henderson Wade and Kevin Durand.
Abby and Matt follow one of her patients into the swamp, where Abby encounters Swamp Thing; Alec struggles to understand his metamorphosis into the monstrous, plant-based creature, Swamp Thing.
The pilot episode of Swamp Thing (reviewed here) left me with questions about how the series would pace its storyline. The pilot was very much a slow burning episode, albeit an intense one.
“Worlds Apart” is very similar. The first two acts are dedicated to fleshing out the cast of the series with their introductions framed by the search for Alec Holland.
The episode, written by Gary Dauberman (IT: Chapter 2) and Mark Verheiden (Falling Skies), finds time to spend with each of the series main characters. Particular standouts are Maria Sutherland (Virginia Madsen), Madame Xanadu (Jeryl Prescott) and Jason Woodrue (Kevin Durand).
Virginia Madsen is able to let rip with her storyline in this episode. What we saw of her in the pilot was fairly reserved by comparison. Seeing Maria still suffering from the loss of her daughter made for some very powerful scenes.
One of the highlight scenes of the episode features Maria going to visit Madame Xanadu for help in dealing with her grief. This leads to a fairly impactful scene where Xanadu realises that all is not what it seems in the swamp.
Jason Woodrue is going to be a very interesting addition to the cast. His introductory scenes play him as more narcissistic than I had expected. He certainly is proud of his work and not necessarily happy with what Avery Sutherland has done with it.
His introduction is opening the door to unveiling much more of what has been going on behind-the-scenes. My theory at this stage is that Woodrue created the formula which has been mutating the swamp. After Sutherland tested it on the swamp he called in Holland to help investigate the effects.
It’s always a pleasure to see Durand as part of an ensemble cast and takes me all the way back to his role as Joshua in Dark Angel‘s second season.
There’s still plenty for Abby (Crystal Reed) to do in this episode. She spends much of its 50min+ runtime mourning the potential loss of Alec or searching for him.
Reed is still very much able to shoulder the show even without Andy Bean to play off. Her scenes with Maria Sten as Liz Tremayne felt a little disingenuous, I’m not sensing the old friend chemistry the story seems to suggest that they have.
Equally the confession from Matt (Henderson Wade) that he has always had feelings for Abby, made during the middle of a tense late night search for the missing Susie Coyle, seems a little forced. It was at least tied to an earlier conversation with his mother, Sheriff Lucilia Cable (Jennifer Beals) during her introduction.
The third act re-emergence of Swamp Thing and his short fight with the thug chasing Susie is absolutely the highlight of the episode. It leads to this week’s most gruesome moment of the episode. But it also pushes the story forward by a fairly large leap as now Swamp Thing has been truly glimpsed by our characters and Abby is aware he believes himself to be Alec Holland.
I would prefer the show to pepper this action through the episode a little more. The two episodes we’ve seen thus far are very much character, character, character, action, end. But this is hardly a complaint given just how compelling the show is overall.
Once again the CGI is very much up-to-scratch for a TV series with such cinematic visuals. Brian Tyler’s score is once again excellent and rounds out the show with a stylish, atmospheric soundscape.
“Worlds Apart” is an excellent follow-up to last week’s pilot episode. It fleshes out many of the series main characters, temporarily shifting the focus from the missing Alec Holland.
The third act features some intense, horror-tinged, action which is sure to please fans.