Swamp Thing: Worlds Apart Review
On this week’s episode of Swamp Thing, World’s Apart, we delve deeper into the relationship between Abby and the Sunderlands, get our first full look at Derek Mears as the titular character, and get our first glance at some possible villains for the season.
Right away, we get to see Holland resurrect from the swamp as Swamp Thing (Mears) and get to see the incredible practical suit made for the season. Seriously, this thing is amazing and makes his interactions reactions come off as real because he’s actually there. The use of a practical suit really makes all of the difference and it shows with sequences like in the opening with Mears being able to pull pieces of it off in order to show Holland’s (Andy Bean) fears of his new body. Even the scares can come off more effectively as, in a later sequence in the episode, when Holland shows up to stop an attacker from killing Susie Coyle (Elle Graham), he presence can actually be felt and when Abby (Crystal Reed) sees him next to Susie, he actually kind of intimidating. In short, Mears is excellent here and with Abby now beginning to realize that Holland could be this strange creature from the swamp, we’ll surely begin to see more of him in the future.
Who we also should hopefully see more of is Madame Xanadu (Jeryl Prescott) as the scene between her and Maria Sunderland (Virginia Madsen) adds a strong supernatural element to the show. From what we saw from the last episode, there’s clearly some tension between her and Abby over the death of the Sunderland’s daughter, Shawna (Given Sharp). All of their guilt towards her death begins to come to a head with Abby beginning to see a zombified version of her in her dreams and Maria seeing her after her visit with Xanadu. Prescott definitely makes the scene have this creepy atmosphere to it and gives an impact to scene with some great dialogue about a change in the swamp. Madsen also continues to be great and we get to see her obsession with her daughter’s death grow deeper with a final image that’s truly creepy.
The episode also begins to delve deeper into the relationship between Abby and the Sunderlands with some dialogue between her and Avery (Will Patton). We find out that Abby actually joined their family at a young age and, when Shawna died, there was a strong divide between her and the family. While we are still left in the dark about what exactly happened, the more important take-away here is how two-faced Avery is. I’ll say that his intentions aren’t necessarily bad as he really does care for Abby like a daughter and even his intentions towards the accelerant being poured in the swamp isn’t necessarily evil, but his personality change is great between conversations. With Abby he’s sweet, nice, and fatherly, but with Jason Woodrue (Kevin Durand) he’s much more vicious and direct about his issues. I liked how he isn’t exactly shaping up as a clear villain and that comes across well with Patton’s performance.
There’s also some possible antagonists introduced in Worlds Apart that could be interesting foes for Swamp Thing to face off against later in the season. Durand’s Woodrue is actually the alter ego of the villainous Floronic Man and Durand’s performance definitely shows that Woodrue looks to be the big villain of the season. Woodrue clearly has an obsession for plant-life and the fact that his accelerant is likely what’s causing the fever to spread throughout Marais definitely bodes well that he might make his way towards the swamp. We’re also introduced to Marais’ local acting star Daniel Casssidy (Ian Ziering), the alter ego of the villain Blue Devil, for a short time. Both actors are refreshing to see here and hopefully they both make a fun presence throughout the rest of the season.
The only things that didn’t really jive with me with Worlds Apart were some of the relationship set-up with Abby and Matt/Alec and some of the CGI. Again, the CGI isn’t necessarily bad; it’s just distracting compared to the practical effects. I can’t lie though, at the end of the episode when the tree limbs Swamp Thing summons come and decimate Sophie’s attacker, it literally delves into full-blown horror and I loved it. The romantic relationships the series attempts to set up between both Matt (Henderson Wade) and Alec just don’t make me feel anything for them yet. While I prefer her relationship with Alec, especially with it about to become more complicated with her starting to realize that he has become Swamp Thing, neither relationship has much depth to it. While there’s definitely some solid chemistry there with both relationships, there just needs to be more time given to this aspect of the show for me to feel like there’s a point to it.
The deeper we delve into the inner workings of Swamp Thing, the easier it becomes to get hooked. Worlds Apart offers more to get excited about with a heavier look at the titular character and how powerful he can be as well as some antagonists that could bring some gruesome fun later in the season. Frankly, if everything that works about the series stays the course, we’re shaping up for a great season full of comic horror greatness.