Swamp Thing Episode 5 recap: Alec is visited by the Phantom Stranger


Swamp Thing continues to lay the foundation for its mythology in addition to furthering Abby Arcane’s character arc in the fifth episode of the season.

We’ve reached the half-way mark of Swamp Thing. The plot is moving steadfastly in a forward direction although it does seem there is much to address before the season (and series) is complete.

Drive All Night” establishes the much-needed backstory behind Abby’s relationship with the Sunderlands in addition to pushing Alec closer to his destiny as guardian of the Green.

The Increasing Madness of Avery Sunderland

From his gory slaughter of a turtle to make soup to his illicit affair with the town sheriff, Avery is teetering closer to the brink of madness. We know he’s capable of murder seeing as he brutally beat his banker to death a short while ago. An act that hasn’t gone unnoticed by the keen-eyed reporter, Liz.

Her snooping in Avery’s affairs has painted a target on her back. Avery hires a pair of bumbling goons to beat her up, but Liz is ready for them. Using an iron crowbar, Liz defends herself against her would-be attackers, sending them towards Danny, who arrives to aid Liz. Danny takes a sickening crunch to the skull.

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The episode ends with Danny’s fate left hanging in the balance. I doubt he’s dead, or all the Blue Devil foreshadowing would be rather pointless.

The Possession of Susie

Poor Susie, she might be the unluckiest little girl in all of Marais. Her stay at the Sunderland home becomes a little too comforting when Shawna makes a home in Susie’s body. Shawna, pretending to be Susie, calls Abby for help.

She arrives at the Sunderland manor only to find a disturbing sight awaiting her. Susie suddenly knows things about Abby that only Shawna would know, such as their backward nicknames for one another like Y-bee and A-Shawn.

As if channeling Regan from The Exorcist, Susie morphs into a horrible, swamp spawn-speckled version of herself and vomits up black sludge and snake. Weirdly, Abby still believes there is a scientific explanation for this even as she runs screaming out of the bedroom to confront Maria.

It doesn’t end there, Shawna’s real goal is revealed, she wants Maria to join her in the swamp.

Swamp Thing — Ep. 105 — “Drive All Night” — Photo Credit: Fred Norris / 2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

The Phantom Stranger

Abby arrives just in time to keep Maria from drowning, as thanks, Maria tries to attack and drown Abby instead. Real nice woman, that Maria. Abby makes it to shore, and Alec manages to rescue Maria from a swampy death.

Back on shore, Alec tells Abby how he knew there was a danger. The Phantom Stranger, the live-action version of DC comics character, visits Alec early in the episode. In this rendition, his role functions as a wise fisherman who assists Alec in understanding his connection to the Green and his ability to see what the trees have seen. Marais and this swamp have always been a dark and deadly place.

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Alec shows Abby, and the audience, how his ability works by taking her back to the fateful day when Shawna died.

Laughing and acting foolishly on the bridge overlooking the swamp, Shawna attempts to coax Abby into making the jump with her. “We’re the only ones who haven’t done it!” She shouts. Shawna is the daredevil of the two. She chides Abby for always being such a “good girl.” Her teasing motivates Abby to shove Shawna off the bridge (playfully), and for a moment, it appears Shawna drowned by Abby’s hand.

Then her blonde head resurfaces, the two girls frolicked in the water until suddenly, Shawna is yanked down into the watery abyss. Abby is helpless to stop it from happening.

Back in the present, Abby finally understands Shawna’s death was not her fault. Something evil had always resided in the swamps of Marais, even before Avery Sunderland got involved. Now they have to figure out what and how to stop it before it claims any more lives.

Next. Interview with Swamp Thing star Derek Mears. dark

Odds & Ends

  • The presence of Madame Xanadu and Dan Cassidy makes way more sense when you remember Swamp Thing was meant to lay the foundation for a future Justice League Dark. Unfortunately, knowing the series has been canceled premature, it makes their characters feel irrelevant. Hopefully, that changes in the next half of the season.
  • Jason Woodrue could become a menacing villain now that he is aware Alec has a connection to the mysterious animal-like plant cells Abby discovered. He’s cutthroat enough to do whatever it takes to get his hand on the living specimen.
  • Sheriff Cable murders Remy DuBois after he threatens Matt. I wonder how this will affect her, and the town, moving forward.

New episodes of Swamp Thing stream Fridays on DC Universe. You can catch up with the current season there at any time.

Have you been watching Swamp Thing? Let us know in the comments.