Swamp Thing – S1 Ep10 – Loose Ends Review

Director: Deran Sarafian

Writers: Rob fresco, Erin Maher and Kay Reindl

Starring: Crystal Reed, Derek Mears, Andy Bean, Will Patton, Jennifer Beals, Kevin Durand, Henderson Wade, Jeryl Prescott, Virginia Madsen, Maria Sten, Ian Ziering, Selena Anduze, Given Sharp, Al Mitchell, Michael Beach, Jake Busey and David Kallaway

So that’s it… it’s all over. I’m so happy that this series got made, but sad that it was taken away, far too soon. Not only has this been one of the very finest comic-book adaptations I’ve ever seen, it’s one of the best TV productions, in terms of quality, passion and performance, that I believe has ever been committed to screen.

From the very first episode this show has delivered horror, worthy of being seen in theatres and given the full IMAX and THX surround sound treatment. Swamp Thing’s cast have given performances that deserve globes, masks and statuettes galore. This is the kind of TV that proves comic-books, and fantasy/horror/sci-fi have all well and truly come of age.

The Future’s Not Set

The title “Loose Ends” is very fitting, not just as a tribute to the comics’ source material, but because there’s still so much story left to tell. The show does get a somewhat satisfying ending, but the mysteries, machinations and monsters that started the whole story rolling are still out there, and need to be addressed. Rather brilliantly the show feels more like an opening chapter, or prologue for what is yet to come.

Let’s not forget that the Swamp Thing comic book series was initially cancelled after just 24 issues, only 13 of which were written, and 10 drawn by the character’s creators, Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson. Volume Two, Saga Of The Swamp Thing was close to being shut down too and was only saved by writer Alan Moore, who was brought on with issue 20 – also titled “Loose Ends.” Moore’s 50 issue run (49 regular and one annual) not only changed the character forever, but all of comics too.

Since that time the series has been cancelled and brought back many times, proving that you can’t keep a good monster down. Who’s to say that this show may not come back one day too?

Fan Power

The power of fandom is immense. The show Lucifer was cancelled, but was given two more seasons on Netflix, thanks to fan support. The legendary Firefly was cancelled after one joyous, masterful series, but came back as a full length theatrical feature film, with Serenity.

The Swamp Thing season and series finale contains all the scares, thrills, visual excellence and powerhouse performances that one has come to expect over the last ten weeks. Crystal Reed and Derek Mears have shone throughout. Will Patton, Virginia Madsen, Maria Sten, Jennifer Beals and Henderson Wade have been far more than supporting characters, they’ve been real people throughout. Even the guest stars, DC Comics’ supernatural heroes like Blue Devil, Madame Xanadu and the Phantom Stranger have all been given seriously great screen time.

Andy Bean’s Alec Holland received a fond farewell, and Kevin Durand as Jason Woodrue had a hunger for knowledge that went straight to heart of the matter; proving that sometimes you really are what you eat!

Swamp Things

Yes, some loose ends have been left dangling, but in a way that leaves the audience hopeful. Certain characters receive their just desserts, and others get to see their dreams come true… sort of.

With this episode, just like with summer blockbusters, don’t switch off when the titles start rolling, make sure you stay on right to the end. Trust me, you’ll receive a great big bunch of flowers as a thank you. Well… you’ll get something floronic.


For the last three and a half months the DC Universe service has given us one of the finest examples of horror ever to grace the screen. In this episode we saw a Devil released, flowers bloom, one mother made whole while another was made holey. We’ve seen the Swamp Thing unleash his true power and form a partnership for the ages. The seeds of love have borne strange, but ultimately beautiful, fruit.

While some may paint themselves as heroes and saviours, all the while they are being consumed by the darkness within. Others may look like monsters on the outside, but are beautiful inside… where it really counts.

Alan Moore once wrote, “In the heart of darkness, a flower blossoms, enriching the shadows with its promise of hope… in the fields of light, an adder coils, and the radiant tranquility is lent savor by its sinister presence. Right and wrong, black and white, good and evil… all my existence I have looked to one or the other, fully embracing neither one… never before have I understood how much they depend on each other.”

That, in a nutshell, is what this series has taught us. I’m hopeful that the the lesson isn’t fully over, just yet.

Swamp Thing – S1 Ep9 – The Anatomy Lesson Review

Director: Michael Goi

Writer: Noah Griffith, Daniel Stewart & Mark Verheiden

Starring: Crystal Reed, Will Patton, Derek Mears, Maria Sten, Ian Ziering, Virginia Madsen, Henderson Wade, Kevin Durand, Selena Anduze, Al Mitchell, Macon Blair and Jason Davis

The way episode 8 ended, I had a feeling about where this chapter would take us, and what it might be called. It’s so nice being right. “The Anatomy Lesson” does a fine job of translating one of the greatest comic-book stories of all time to live action.

The plot by Noah Griffith and Daniel Stewart, with a taut, suspense-filled script by Mark Verheiden, manages to combine the vintage re-telling of Swamp Thing’s origin from Saga Of The Swamp Thing #21 (also called “The Anatomy Lesson”), issue #28 (“The Burial”), the first hints at Matt Cable’s fate from issues #26 and #27 (“A Time Of Running” and “By Demons Driven). This instalment also finally gives us the live action Blue Devil that fans have been clamouring for, since the first trailers for the show aired.

Yep. To say that this episode is jam-packed is an understatement.

The Kid’s Got Heart

The horror aspects of the series are extremely prevalent this week, as this episode is even more graphic than the source material. The way Woodrue performs what should’ve been an autopsy on a wide awake Swamp Thing is as chilling as Blue Devil’s handling of the trigger-happy thugs at the Sunderland medical facility. That dude’s on fire!

Derek Mears impressed the heck out of me this week. His anguish and torment, both physical on the operating table, as well as emotional throughout the episode, were palpable. To deliver that much range and emotion through that much make-up, blood red contact lenses and a ton of prosthetics never ceases to amaze.

Ian Ziering’s transformation into the Blue Devil is – quite literally – killer. The enigmatic Stranger’s prophecies bear fruit in this chapter, and a hot-headed supernatural hero for the ages finally receives the live-action treatment… with action being the operative phrase.

Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves

Of course Crystal Reed delivers another great performance this week, but her best friend and partner in crime, the brilliant Maria Sten as Liz Tremayne, shows us true girl power too. This series has some incredibly strong, and real, female characters, both on the side of the angels and as villains. Virginia Madsen’s Maria Sunderland gets a surprise visit from Avery this week, and to say that she’s committed to the relationship can be taken in many different ways.

Selena Anduze has been giving us some heartbreaking and subtle performances for weeks now. Her portrayal of Dr. Caroline Woodrue has been delicately and beautifully handled. Having seen what Alzheimer’s does to a loved one first hand, her character both breaks my heart and makes me respect her as an actress.


I don’t know where the time’s gone. Next week will give us the final episode of this masterful show, and it looks like it’ll be crammed full of even more yummy goodness than this one was. The evil of the swamp, the final fates of Matthew Cable and Jason Woodrue still need to be addressed, and those are stories that may feel rushed if they only have an hour devoted to them.

Having said that, this episode was crammed to the gills, but was an absolute joy to watch. I will continue to have faith in the talented cast and crew that bring us the Swamp Thing’s adventures.

In the words of ol’ blue eyes, “And now, the end is near…” The DC Universe really is doing it their way.

Swamp Thing – S1 Ep8 – The Long Walk Home Review

Director: E.L. Katz

Writer: Doris Egan

Starring: Crystal Reed, Will Patton, Derek Mears, Henderson Wade, Jennifer Beals, Leonardo Lam, Kevin Durand, Adrienne Barbeau, Michael Beach and Steve Wilcox

Avery Sunderland has experienced the family reunion from hell, and survived. How will he recover? Does the swamp have further plans for him? With Abby back at CDC HQ, will Alec/Swampy be able to keep Nathan Ellery and his mysterious Conclave at bay?

“The Long Walk Home” answers many of those questions, but raises far more.

TV Gold

The writers, producers and directors of this show are some of the finest working in television. This episode manages to blend a nightmare sequence set in broad daylight, intrigue, friendship and pure horror without skipping a beat. Director E.L. Katz has delivered one of the best looking episodes in a series replete with great looking episodes. The hallucinogenic feel of Sunderland’s titular “Long Walk Home” and the thrilling climax to the episode are just two of the highlights.

As always Crystal Reed, Will Patton, Henderson Wade, Jennifer Beals and Kevin Durand give stellar performances. The scenes between Reed and Leonardo Lam help rekindle their friendship, while it seems that the one between Lucillia and Matt is disintegrating beyond repair.

Patton gives us arguably his best episode to date, as we take a look at Avery Sunderland’s past and present, and – for long-standing comics fans – a premonition of his future too.

Blast From The Past

It was terrific seeing Adrienne Barbeau this week. This lady played Alice Cable in the 1982 Swamp Thing movie (a version of Abby from the comics, who was married to Matt Cable during the late 70s/early 80s comic-book run). I love it when the modern DC shows bring back notable talents from previous programmes and movies, and Adrienne is a fan-favourite. Personally she’s my number one animated Catwoman, as she played Selina Kyle in the legendary Batman: The Animated Series.

In episode 7 we met Nathan Ellery (Michael Beach), a member of the mysterious Conclave. This week he and Abby come face to face, making to the agency’s intentions towards Alec/Swampy painfully clear.

This episode’s ending will know doubt send shivers of dread and familiar terror to anyone who read Saga Of The Swamp Thing #20, “Loose Ends”, way back in 1984. If the next episode ends up being called “The Anatomy Lesson” and follows the comics as closely, then my little fanboy heart may explode with joy.


The pacing and narrative of the entire series thus far has brilliantly been leading up to this. The show only has two epsiodes left, and I find myself hoping and praying that somehow it can be brought back. There’s still a hell of a lot of story to tell, not least that of Abby and Alec. Woodrue needs to blossom and Dan Cassidy has his own demons to contend with.

Let’s hope that all the seeds sown will bear fruit, or at least lead to further adventures in the months and years to come.

Swamp Thing – S1 Ep7 – Brilliant Disguise Review

Director: Alexis Ostrander

Writer: Andrew Preston and Rob Fresco

Starring: Crystal Reed, Will Patton, Derek Mears, Andy Bean, Henderson Wade, Maria Sten, Jennifer Beals, Selena Anduze, Kevin Durand and Michael Beach

This series is very, very clever. The title “Brilliant Disguise” could actually mean so many things. At first glance, it could allude to the fact that Swamp Thing’s connection to the Green allows Abby to see the soul of the man, as opposed to the face and body of the monster… that’s definitely one interpretation.

The truth is though, as the episode progresses, we get to learn that many of the characters have secrets and mysteries of their own, making everything we’ve known about them – or what we thought we knew – crumble like an ancient facade… as if they’d been in disguise all along.

Like I said… clever.

He’s Andy To Have Around

At the end of the season opener, I felt really sorry for Andy Bean. Here he was, cast as the leading man, only to be shot, blown up and burned alive before the episode even ended. Yet, due to clever writing and direction, the creators of this show have discovered fresh and ever more inventive ways of having him pop up every, single week.

Episode seven’s solution to the Bean/Sprout dilemma is the sneakiest yet, and is so well handled that I now genuinely see both Alec and Swampy as one and the same. The genius part is that everyone watching, and a certain Ms. Arcane, feel the exact same way.

Reed All About It

I know I say this in almost every review, but it’s the truth, dammit… Crystal Reed is awesome! Abby has always been one of the most believable, real and sympathetic characters in comics history, in my humble opinion. Warner Bros. have, in their infinite wisdom, cast an actress who isn’t just playing Abby Arcane, she IS Abby Arcane. A character you can root for (sorry), care about, but really shouldn’t mess with. This lady may be sensitive, but she’s one tough cookie.

This week she and Alec get closer to uncovering the mystery of the darkness, decay and the Rot that is invading Mirais. As a fan of the comics I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. The Green has already chosen it’s champion by changing Alec Holland into Swamp Thing, but the Rot has a champion too. I still believe we got a peek at him in Abby’s nightmare back in episode four.

Will Alec and Abby prevail? Or will she just have to tap out and say, “Uncle?”


They say that the truth shall set you free. If that is indeed the case, then I’m really scared about what has been set free in the swamps of Louisiana. Avery Sunderland has proven to be as dark and corrupt a soul as one could imagine, but I still believe that there’s someone out there who’s darker… and he’s coming.

Maria, Lucillia and Matt have also had their veils lifted, and the revelations about the three of them from episode six are tame in comparison to what we learned about them this week.

Swamp Thing has, yet again, proven to be one of the most intelligent, layered and complex dramas on television. There are only three episodes left, and I’m well and truly addicted to this show.

As the blurb on the covers of the Swamp Thing Comics of the mid 80s quite rightly stated; this is Sophisticated Suspense.

Swamp Thing – S1 Ep6 – The Price You Pay Review

Director: Toa Fraser

Writer: Tania Lotia

Starring: Crystal Reed, Will Patton, Derek Mears, Andy Bean, Henderson Wade, Maria Sten, Jeryl Prescott, Jennifer Beals, Ian Ziering, Macon Blair, Selena Anduze, Scott Deckert and Laurie Fortier

This episode is a non-stop thrill ride. After Sunderland’s goons’ attack on Liz and Daniel last week, Woodrue takes what he’s gleaned from Abby’s research and takes matters into his own hands… with explosive results!

Feeling Blue

I know I frequently go on about how brilliant the stars of this show are, but this series’ excellence also owes a great deal to it’s supporting cast.

Ian Ziering gives an incredible performance in this episode, as he takes a step closer to fulfilling his destiny. His ties to Abby, the magical happenings around Mirais and a surprise connection to a Stranger bring matters to a head, this week. Daniel Cassidy is a true blue hero… or at least he will be.

I’ve always loved Jennifer Beals as an actress, and her portrayal of Lucillia Cable in this show has only made my respect for her grow. Her scenes with Henderson Wade this week are phenomenal. After Matt was implicated in what happened to Alec we learn that both he and his mother are simply pawns in a much larger game. The Cables have done some awful things, albeit for what they saw as the right reasons. I’m sure that all this will come back to haunt them, but I know that they’re both good people at heart.

And Then There Were Three

As a massive fan of Swamp Thing in the comics, seeing Matt, Abby and Swampy together brings back many fond memories… as well as a sense of impending doom. Knowing the future of these characters isn’t helping, in fact it’s raising my anxiety levels to boiling point. I don’t know how the final four episodes of this show are going to unfold, but I’m loving every second.

Henderson Wade really acts his socks off in this episode. I love his strength, his charisma and his sense of honor. Yes, he’s a flawed character and has made mistakes, but the way he shows both vulnerability and regret leave me with no doubt that he’ll be able to find redemption and forgiveness, particularly from himself.

Everything about this series just works. Every epsiode feels like a movie, it’s lovely to look at, entertaining as hell, brilliantly made and beautifully acted. Every line of dialogue is on-point and every casting decision is bang on the money. We know that there won’t be a second season, but I’m praying that the rumors of a movie prove to be true.


The heart and soul of this show, and the source material it was adapted from, has always been the relationship between Abby and Swamp Thing. The brilliant chemistry and connection between Crystal Reed and Andy Bean has been cleverly passed on to Reed and Derek Mears. You can feel Abby’s genuine care and concern for the soul she knows still lurks within the creature that she feels honour-bound to protect, and who would clearly do anything to keep her safe too.

The way the episode ends is brilliant, leaving the audience in suspense and the characters bewildered. Swamp Thing is a series that continues to inspire and delight, so I can’t wait to see what happens next!