Swamp Thing—The Complete Series

swamp thing the complete series poster review
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Solid comic book series

Got the shaft due to production problems

swamp thing the complete series title card episode guide list

Come to the swamp for a hair-raising time!

In the swamps of Marias, Louisiana, something amazing is about to occur.  A scientist named Alec Holland (Andy Bean) is about to be transformed into a creature of immense power and abilities.  As a CDC scientist named Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed) tries to make sense of the transformation, “Swamp Thing” discovers that there are even darker things in the swamp than him.  Marias, Louisiana is hiding secrets and the Swamp Thing is going to expose it.

Swamp Thing—The Complete Series was released from May 31, 2019 to August 2, 2019 on the DC Universe network.  The series sparked anger from fans when it was cancelled after the first episode’s release due to budget problems due to tax rebates cuts from the filming location in North Carolina.

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Madame Xanadu sees bad thing for the Swamp Thing Series’ future!

Swamp Thing hurts.  Not because it is bad, but because it has so much potential.  I love the character of Swamp Thing, and I’ve read a lot of Swamp Thing.  I really looked forward to the series and was excited by initial reports after the premiere…and then cancellation.  Watching Swamp Thing, the series gets the tone pretty much correct though the show could have some improvements (but it is largely due to the rushed ending).

The beginning of the series takes its time.  It doesn’t even introduce Swamp Thing until the end of the first episode.  The characters of Marias start being flushed out and the mystery deepens.  Due to the announcement, there are a few almost stand-alone episodes near the start of the series before it gets completely plot driven.  The series starts to get into the Alan Moore content heavily in “Anatomy Lesson” which changed the direction of the character in the comic book, but ironically “Loose Ends” is the title of the last episode (which was the title of Moore’s first issue which slapped an ending on the run before him so he could do his storyline).

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The Phantom Stranger…even more enigmatic because of an incomplete series

A result of the rushed ending is some lack of character development at points.  I think Abby and Swamp Thing are pretty fleshed out (though we don’t get Abby’s backstory answered or who the man who she had a nightmare about is).  We never get a solution to the Rot, and while Matt’s accident introduced his death in the series (and possession by the Rot), it appears he survived.  Abby’s friend’s death in the swamp likewise never has any answers in the force that took her, and many characters are left in limbo and what (if anything will happen to Avery because of his actions).  The Phantom Stranger’s involvement in everything is real question mark since the character wasn’t explained in the context of the story.  Overall, it is a real shame.

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Not the Blue Devil I hoped for

The cast is decent.  I like both Swamp Thing (played by Derek Mears in costume) and Crystal Reed as the core leads, but I also like some of the supporting cast surrounding them (like Liz Tremayne and others).  Kevin Durand’s Woodrue grew on me and it would have been nice to see him go full Floronic Man (other than the series post-credit scene).  I never felt Jeryl Prescott’s Madame Xanadu or Virginia Madsen developed which was too bad, and I think Ian Ziering was a little over-the-top as Daniel Cassidy who barely got to be Blue Devil (though I didn’t particularly like the design).  It was nice to see Adrienne Barbeau swing by since she starred in the Wes Craven version of Swamp Thing (1982).  The character I thought could have been better was Will Patton’s Avery who was all over the place in his acting.  I never could get a read on the character.

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I can’t wait to see the Floronic Man next season!!! Oh…never mind

The visuals ranged from good (I like the Swamp Thing costume design) to so-so.  I kept wondering why everyone chose to meet in the swamp at night instead of during the day until I saw more of the “swamp” in the final episode and realized it was a pretty poor set-up.  Some of the digital vines and weeds looked digital, and I wish the series had played more with the trippy-psychedelic nature of Swamp Thing’s abilities in the hallucination episode.

Swamp Thing should have been treated better.  It was a decent series with an endgame that could have been a lot of fun once it got up and running.  The horror tone of the series was right and the darkness of the series reminds you that it wasn’t necessarily meant for the CW’s Arrowverse style series.  Swamp Thing did cameo in the Crisis on Infinite Earth’s series on the CW (through archive footage), but it would be nice to see him return even if they had to tone him down for a bit more conclusion to the show.

Swamp Thing—The Complete Series Episode Guide:

swamp thing episode 1 pilot alec holland dies andy bean


Episode 1        Pilot Release Date:  05/31/19

CDC doctor Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed) finds herself returning to her hometown Marais, Louisiana to deal with a potential unknown plague.  When she meets disgraced scientist Alec Holland (Andy Bean), Abby and Alec uncover a potential environmental disaster breeding in the swamp.  Someone is releasing a chemical into the swamp that accelerates growth and could be the root of the virus.  Whoever is poisoning the town of Marais doesn’t want the truth revealed…and Alec faces deadly consequences that could change everything.

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“Worlds Apart”

Episode 2        Worlds Apart Release Date:  06/07/19

Alec Holland is dead, but Swamp Thing is born in his place.  As the police investigate Alec’s death, Abby teams with her friend Liz Tremayne (Maria Sten) to seek out Alec’s research which puts her in contact with Matt Cable (Henderson Wade).  Maria Sunderland (Virginia Madsen ) seeks aid from Madame Xanadu (Jeryl Prescott), but the memories of her daughter Shawna (Given Sharp) could come at a price.  Avery Sutherland calls in Jason Woodrue (Kevin Durand) and his wife Caroline (Selena Anduze) to insure that his plant growth accelerant can’t be traced back to him.  Susie Coyle (Elle Graham) sneaks away from the hospital when she senses a connection to Swamp Thing, but her actions could put her in danger.

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“He Speaks”

Episode 3        He Speaks Release Date:  06/14/19

Swamp Thing’s killing of Munson (Micah Fitzgerald) has unleashed something in the swamp.  Driven by bugs and a lust for revenge, Munson is hunting Swamp Thing and anything that gets in its way.  Matt Cable’s mother Lucilia (Jennifer Beals) warns Matt about getting close to Abby but has her own secrets with Avery.  Gordon Haas (Matt Burke) threatens to expose Avery’s financial struggles forcing Avery to take matters into his own hands.  Daniel Cassidy (Ian Ziering) gets a visit from Madame Xanadu and learns his fortune might finally be changing.  Abby’s search of Alec’s lab makes her the target of Munson and leads her to a meeting with Swamp Thing.  Liz’s girlfriend Margaux (Kelly Walker) discovers evidence in the swamp that Alec Holland was murdered.

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“Darkness on the Edge of Town”

Episode 4        Darkness on the Edge of Town Release Date:  06/21/19

Avery works to cover his murder of Gordon and tries to find a way to keep Maria from cutting him off.  Abby’s investigation of Swamp Thing gets Woodrue interested in her discovery.  Daniel questions how he and Abby are tied together and learns form Madame Xanadu that his fortune might not be good.  Maria finds a connection to Susie, and Avery realizes it could be the key to getting money.  A corpse found in the swamp brings a new infection to Marais that spreads fear…and unleashes a powerful memory in Abby.

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“Drive All Night”

Episode 5        Drive All Night Release Date:  06/28/19

Daniel finds despite saving Abby his duty in Marais might not be finished.  Liz’s investigation into Alec Holland’s murder starts to get to close to Avery, and things start to get dangerous for her.  Forced to search for evidence in Holland’s murder, Lucilia finds information that she didn’t want to hear.  Swamp Thing meets a “Stranger” (Macon Blair) in the swamp and learns how the trees can speak to him from the Green.  Woodrue discovers the source of Abby’s sample might be alive and realizes he must study it.  Maria’s desire to have Shawna back puts Susie in danger and could force Abby to recall Shawna’s death.

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“The Price You Pay”

Episode 6        The Price You Pay Release Date:  07/05/19

Swamp Thing is targeted by Avery’s men and finds he could be hunted forever.  Daniel remembers the “Stranger” who came to him as he fights for his life at the hospital, and Woodrue decides to test a hypothesis about the genetic material from Swamp Thing.  Lucilia confronts Matt about the evidence that he killed Alec Holland and learns the truth.

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“Brilliant Disguise”

Episode 7        Brilliant Disguise Release Date:  07/12/19

With exposure to Swamp Thing’s spores, Abby is able to see Alec in his original form, but a question to find the source of the Rot could prove deadly.  Maria takes an interesting Woodrue’s work as her husband prepares to welcome Nathan Ellery (Michael Beach) of the Enclave.  With fears of Avery’s overreaching power, Lucilia has a plan with unlikely allies, but things don’t always work out as intended.

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“The Long Walk Home”

Episode 8        Long Walk Home Release Date:  07/19/19

Avery has survived the attack in the swamp but finds himself dying…until he is discovered by Swamp Thing.  Maria continues her move to take over her husband’s operations while Matt deals with the fact that Avery is his father.  Abby returns to the CDC to research Alec’s problem, but discovers from her boss Dr. Palomar (Adrienne Barbeau) that the case has taken a turn and a shadowy agent named Nathan Ellery is involved.  With knowledge of where and when to find Alec Holland, the Enclave hatched a plan, and Swamp Thing is the target!

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“The Anatomy Lesson”

Episode 9        The Anatomy Lesson Release Date:  07/26/19

Swamp Thing finds himself on the operating table of Jason Woodrue who intends to see what makes Swamp Thing tick.  Abby and Liz search for where Alec is being held, and Daniel might have to live up to his destiny to save them from a dark fate.  Avery has a plan for his wife and          discovers she might have underestimated him.  Matt’s problems continue as he gets more and more reckless.  Woodrue is about to uncover something about Alec Holland, and it could change Alec Holland’s life forever!

swamp thing episode 10 loose ends costume fight

“Loose Ends”

Episode 10      Loose Ends Release Date:  08/02/19

Alec Holland is dead…again.  Discovering he is only a copy of Alec Holland has made Swamp Thing reconsider everything he thought he knew about himself.  Abby seeks answers about the Enclave and learns the fate of Maria.  Liz checks on Daniel and discovers that the curse tying him to Marias might have been lifted.  Woodrue attempts to save his wife, but suffers a setback when fate intervenes.  Matt fights for his life in the hospital as Avery and Lucilia head for a showdown.  Meanwhile, the Enclave hopes to even the odds with Swamp Thing and is sending a military group into the swamp to end his threat forever.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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