Swamp Thing season 1, episode 2 recap: Worlds Apart


Swamp Thing streamed its second episode, “Worlds Apart.” Was the story still drowning in exposition? Was there more Swamp Thing? We’ve got the recap!

“World’s Apart” was a big improvement over the “Pilot” episode of Swamp Thing. Written by Mark Verheiden (Ash vs Evil Dead) and Doris Egan (Krypton), the episode did a better job of simply telling a story. Plot points were not overly explained. They just happened as twists or reveals. There were a few exposition moments, but there were also a couple of jump scares. And, yes, we spend slightly more time with the title character of the show.

When Did He Tape That?

Although we didn’t see or it, or think there was much time to do it, Alec Holland (Andy Bean) video recorded the beginning of possible feelings for Dr. Abby Arcane (Crystal Reed) right before he died in the pilot episode. We know this because Abby watches his video journals on a laptop that his friend and local celebrity, Daniel Cassidy (Ian Ziering), allowed him to use. I guess they automatically uploaded when he made them.

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Abby and Liz (Maria Sten) visit Daniel because they’re trying to find some of Alec’s research on the mutagen that’s being dropped in the swamp at the orders of Avery Sunderland (Will Patton). Abby already paid Avery a visit at home. Alec’s swamp apartment is sealed off by the police. Abby was looking for some help from one Marais’ most powerful men.

Given the revelation that Abby accidentally killed Avery’s daughter 14 years earlier makes this a tricky visit. Maria Sunderland (Virginia Madsen) made it clear to Abby in the pilot that she hadn’t forgiven her. But, Avery greets Abby warmly. He assures her that Maria is out. He even offers her chef-prepared food. Avery explains that when he lost his daughter, he really lost two daughters. That’s how close Abby was to the Sunderland family.

Swamp Thing-Worlds Apart-Courtesy of DC Universe

Of course, this is all said because Avery already knows that Abby is there to ask for access to Alec’s research. This isn’t teenaged Abby. This is Dr. Arcane from the CDC. He denies access but tells Abby that his door is always open. Without missing a beat, Abby calls him on it by saying, “You have a way of making a no sound like a favor.”

Mourning Someone into Resurrection

Avery wasn’t lying. Maria was out to see Madame Xanadu (Jeryl Prescott). This scene includes some truly spooky stuff. Madame Xanadu warns Maria that the balance between good and evil is off balance. She needs to let go of her anger and anguish over her daughter’s death. But, that’s not something Maria can do.

Maria is urged to go back to the way she was coping with the loss. She is told that is the real her. She’s not this vacant being who is controlled by her own sorrow. But, Maria replies that she was pretending to cope. This is the real her.

Earlier in the episode, we saw Maria’s daughter, Shawna Sunderland (Given Sharp) begin to manifest herself. Maria has taken to sleeping in Shawna’s apparently unchanged room. It’s more than morbid clinginess. We find that Shawna is actually asleep in the bed and Maria is watching over her like a protectant mother. It’s important to note that this is not a clean Shawna as Maria would have known her. It’s the post mortem Shawna that Maria likely identified at the morgue.

It’s a Swamp Thing, Bro

The Swamp Thing version of Alec (Derek Mears) is in turmoil. He doesn’t know what’s happening. When he starts to pull himself apart, it’s not simple pruning like Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy. Swamp Thing grabs at both sides of his head a couple of times and removes chunks of his skull. Of course, he regenerates. The mutagens are still protecting their man.

Swamp Thing-Worlds Apart-Courtesy of DC Universe

Swamp Thing’s thoughts are shared with Susie Coyle (Elle Graham), likely because of her swamp infection. Little Susie is empathic towards Swamp Thing. She is physically connected telepathically when the thing is pulling at his skull. It’s like a more heartwarming version of little Jamie (Danielle Harris) miming out the murder of a hermit at the beginning of Halloween V: The Revenge of Michael Myers.

Susie breaks through the hospital window (because mutagen) and jumps on a boat that is headed for Swamp Thing’s area of the swamp. Unfortunately, the boat crosses paths with a couple of dudes who are collecting the mutagen boxes out of the swamp. One of the dudes is Munson (Micah Fitzgerald). When Susie makes a run for it, Munson chases after her ready to kill. But Swamp Thing shows up. Munson cuts him pretty good, but Swamp Thing regenerates and uses the vines to impale and then pull Munson’s body apart.

Abby, who has been in hot pursuit with Matt (Henderson Wade), finds Susie who is standing next to Swamp Thing. Abby is afraid for Susie, but Susie looks contented and protected at Swamp Thing’s side. Swamp Thing stares at Abby as Susie goes with her. Susie reveals that Swamp Thing said his name was Alec. Abby’s eyes couldn’t have gotten any wider. You could feel the chills on her spine.

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Overall, “Worlds Apart” was much better than the pilot episode. We’ll get to more of Matt’s storyline next week, along with covering Jason Woodrue (Kevin Verand) and Caroline Woodrue (Selena Anduze). They just happened to create the mutagen that’s infecting Marias. Let’s hope Swamp Thing can keep some steam going despite its cancelation.

Are you watching Swamp Thing? What do you think of the story? Let’s discuss in the comments!