Swamp Thing premiere recap: DC Universe streaming brings back the protector of the Green

Swamp Thing premiere recap
Swamp Thing premiered on DC Universe. Pic credit: DC Universe

The DC Universe Swamp Thing premiere starts out in the swamps where three guys in a boat are illegally fishing. Its like Swamp People without permits.

It actually turns out that they are dropping a box into the swamp. Unluckily for them, their boat won’t start after they drop it and then something big attacks the boat from the water. Then, out of nowhere a vine shoots out of the trees and throws the guy into the water.

The guy has blood all over his face when he surfaces and then he tries to swim back to the boat but is pulled under again. The branches of the trees start to move and form something and then they attack.

One kid in the boat lights a stick of dynamite and throws it into the swamp and blows something up. It does no good as the branches converge on the boat, lift it out of the water and then impale the kid.

The third guy swims to land and then he looks up and sees the vines and trees have formed something. That’s when he realizes that he is screwed.

That was a gory and disturbing opening. It looks like this is a straight-up comic book horror TV show.

Swamp Thing on DC Universe

So, Swamp Thing is based on the DC Comics character created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson in 1971 and is both a horror creation and a supernatural character in the world of DC Comics magical realms.

The character already appeared in two movies, the first in a movie directed by Wes Craven in 1982 starring Dick Durock as Swamp Thing and the sequel, The Return of Swamp Thing in 1989 — both live action movies. The character also appeared in some DC animated efforts including Justice League: Dark and Batman and Harley Quinn.

At the end of the day, Swamp Thing is a protector of The Green and it, and at heart, it is an eco-warrior.

So, let’s see how the DC Universe streaming version of Swamp Thing plays out.

The sickness spreads

Len Wiseman is the showrunner and most fans might know him from the Underworld franchise. That explains the great use of horror in that opening.

Which, by the way, gets even more disturbing when it returns from the opening to a scene 48 hours later when a girl in school suddenly starts bleeding from her nose and then collapses onto the floor of her elementary school classroom, convulsing.

Next, we move to the Congo where a team is trying to help some kids during an infestation. One little boy has a machete and is trying to fight because he is scared of the people in the full bodysuits and masks.

That is when one of the people, a woman, takes off her mask and speaks in his language, telling him that they are there to help them.

This is Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed), a CDC doctor and the hero of this story. After this, she is told there is a situation in the states that she might be interested in. Abby is distressed when she sees where it is happening.

The location is Marais, Louisiana, and it is her home that she left many years before. She sees visions from her past as she heads into town where it looks like her friend committed suicide in the past.

They get to the hospital and see that the plague is spreading. She tells everyone that she is there to find the disease and its location and gives out her instructions for safety and containment.

Abby’s first patient is the little girl from the start. She found some swamp-looking vine on her pillow and send it in to check for contamination.

Abby then sees someone looking at the results and the guy is thrown out. That is Alec Holland (Andy Bean), who tells Abby that she needs to talk to him about this soon.

Abby starts her investigation

Abby heads to the little girl’s home and when she arrives there, the police showed up and it is an old friend named Matt (Henderson Wade).

They knock and the door opens on its own. The little girl’s dad has been missing as well.

Abby finds a plant growing in the kitchen. The two hear something inside the walls of the house. Abby and Matt head upstairs and the vines on the walls of the house start to move. The stuff is everywhere.

They find Alec Holland in a bedroom and he tells them he is trying to get samples and then tells them that they are focusing on the wrong thing.

Matt and Abby turn and see a man impaled in the bathroom, the branches and vines forced down his throat.

Matt said that Alec is a scientist-type and she tries to convince them not to arrest him. He tells her that he was hired by Avery Sunderland, which did not impress her (she obviously does not like the man) and Alec said that he found biological life that he had never seen before and it might have something to do with the spreading infection.

Alec offers Abby his help

Alec offers Abby help find a solution and she agrees to head out into the swamp with him to see his research. He has a lab in the swamps and a dog named Guru.

He is a biologist studying a new strand of mutagens. He has been studying it for nine months and the mutagens are speeding up in their growth.

He shows her the mutagen that he found and then he drips it on some spinach moss and then it starts to grow at a massive rate. It is an accelerator that causes the mutagen to grow.

Abby asks him to meet her at the hospital.

Marais Town Hall meeting

There is a big town hall meeting and the people are pissed that people are throwing their trash in the swamp and the swamp is fighting back.

Avery Sunderland (Will Patton) is there and tells the people that he will help with money for anyone that needs medical help. When someone tells him to put his money into the town instead of his laboratory, which has Avery tell a story.

The swamp took his father from him when he was a child. However, he said that the same swamp gives the town a way of life and there is something special about the town and the swamp and his research is about the future and what the swamp can offer the town.

“Marias is my home,” he said. “Where my daddy is born. My little girl. Where I met my wife Maria (Virginia Madsen).”

Holland asks if Avery got the vines he sent him and then we learn that Avery fired him two weeks ago. Holland said that he thinks the epidemic is from the swamp. Avery said that there were epidemics before and he does not want there to be a panic.

Holland said it doesn’t need an epidemic either and Avery tells Holland to go home.

Fighting the infection

Abby is working on the post-mortem of a patient and finds a lot of swamp parts in the body.

Holland shows up and sets up his equipment. Abby is taking the little girl getting worse very hard.

When he drops the test liquid on a sample from the body, he gets a reaction.

Suddenly, vines and branches start to shoot out of the body of the cadaver and then the little girl starts to panic in her hospital room. The dead guy is then sat up and the vines split him apart and start to form something.

The little girl unhooks her medical equipment while Holland and Abby try to get away from the attacking vines and branches. The little girl then shows up and sees what used to be her father controlled by the vines and she screams and faints.

Abby runs with the girl and Holland decides he will fight and grabs some ammonia, cuts it open, slides it across the floor and then lights it up. It burns and then he finally puts the fire out when it stops fighting.

Abby then saves the little girl’s life with CPR and helps her start breathing again.

Holland says, “What now?”

Heading into the past

Abby asks him if he wants to come with her to check something out and when he asks if it involves bourbon, she says yes.

They head to a bar on the swamp where everyone in the town hangs out. Madame Xanadu (Jeryl Prescott) is there (another popular DC Comics character — a blind mystic).

Abby is there to see an old friend named Liz Tremayne, a local newspaper reporter, to find out if she has seen anything strange at the docks. She said that no one is talking.

She tells them that there are people missing and no one is talking.

Then, a woman shows up at the table. This is Maria Sunderland and she blames Abby Arcane for the death of her daughter. Abby said that she thinks about Shawna every day but Maria won’t let her speak because she has something to say about the loss of her daughter.

She said that she turned to alcohol and it wasn’t until Avery threatened her with a divorce that she chose to turn things around. This is because she learned her daughter’s death was not her fault — it was Abby’s.

Maria informs Abby the only reason she is allowed to stay is that she said she can help but then she makes Abby promise that the little girl will not die. Abby promises that the little girl won’t die. Maria said that the minute that the little girl is better, she wants Abby gone.

Heading out into the swamp

Abby was very shaken up and they decide to head out to find the missing men.

They find the men killed in the opening of the premiere. It is late at night, so this won’t be good. Holland is getting something he found — a laptop case that the three men were using when they dropped the case.

He then finds a case but when he is trying to get it, the branches and limbs strike but then uncoil to allow him access to it. The case the men threw into the water is there. Holland opens it and it is an underwater release mechanism for something.

They take it back to Holland’s lab to investigate it.

Both Abby and Alec don’t have a home they want to return to so they share a drink.

Abby Arcane then said that she Googled Alec Holland and found articles that show he fabricated results in an experiment. He said that did it to prove what he believed to be true but never could prove it.

He learned from that experience that he didn’t need to be famous but just wanted to enjoy research.

That is when Abby Arcane tells Holland about Shawna, the daughter of Avery and Maria, that she was best friends with. She said that the Sunderlands were like her parents but then two nights before she graduated, she killed her.

The results from the test printed out, so that is where she stopped.

Alec Holland said that the box is an accelerator that someone is dumping into the swamps on purpose — except on a major level.

Holland said that the markings on the laptop are the location for other accelerator boxes and will head out to fish them out to keep more people from getting sick.

The Swamp Thing is born

He finds flashing red signal lights in the swamp and starts to get the boxes.

Abby calls her partner Harlan to help her get some research done concerning what she found.

Alec Holland is out there still trying to get the boxes and someone shows up, shines a light on him and then shoots him twice with shotgun blasts to the chest. They then blow up his boat but Holland goes overboard into the water before it explodes.

Holland swims to the shore and is dying.

That is when the vines and branches start to surround his body and pull him under into the swamp water.

Abby, who heard the explosion, races out into the swamps to find Alex and finds the exploded boat. She calls out Alec’s name but then she hears the swamp coming to life and sees something moving in the water.

The branches then capsize her boat and Abby falls into the water, the branches giving chase. Abby races to the land and then finds someone covered in branches, dead. She turns and sees the branches withdrawing into the water.

At that point, Swamp Thing climbs out of the swamp and Abby runs.

With that, the Swamp Thing season premiere on DC Universe comes to an end.

Swamp Thing airs new episodes every Friday on DC Universe.

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