Swamp Thing Season 1 Episode 1 Review: Pilot

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It's impossible not to like Swamp Thing. 

As Abby Arcane, Crystal Reed is alluring. She's caring, strong, and most importantly, a badass. 

Abby Arkane Faces the Swamp

In true TV show fashion, Abby's return home to Marais, Louisiana comes with some significant caveats. There would be no series without them!

There's trauma from the past, and Swamp Thing Season 1 Episode 1 barely scratches the surface. 

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Abby desperately wants to rid the town of the mysterious virus that's plaguing the residents. The virus is all thanks to a swamp that's as scary as you could imagine. 

It's easy to understand why Abby wants to save lives. She couldn't save her best friend in her formative years, so that's what gave her that thirst to do more. 

The Truth is Out There

She's willing to put her own life on the line to save others, as evidenced when she took her mask off to save the young girl at the top of the premiere. 

It's obvious something big happened several years before to pave the way for her friend's death, but the notion that Abby went out and purposefully killed anyone is a difficult pill to swallow. 

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It can't be a coincidence that the young girl who draws Abby back to town is fighting an illness that is linked to the swamp. 

The premiere did not shed light on how Maria's daughter died, but it's likely going to be as a result of the swamp. 

Virginia Madsen as Maria - Swamp Thing

In Maria, Virginia Madsen turned in a cold as ice performance that highlighted that this DC Universe drama was going to be relying on the finer details to tell the story as opposed to the constant action that Titans and Doom Patrol each use to advance the narrative. 

Maria wants Abby well and truly out of the town, but she also recognizes that Abby is the best-equipped person to find a cure to save Suzie's life. 

Everyone deals with grief differently, and it's clear based on the initial scenes of Maria that her daughter's death hit her hard ... so hard that she almost lost her husband shortly after. 

It's not uncommon for couples to part ways following the death of a child. It's more common than you would think. 

Searching for the Truth

But Madsen perfectly embodies the grieving mother who is willing to turn to less than conventional ways to find peace, or at least, find her way to the child she lost. 

Maria's association with Xanadu confirms that she believes in the world of supernatural, so it wouldn't be all that surprising to find her fighting alongside Abby down the line. 

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It would be a fulfilling character arc to find these two women who are currently against each other changing focus, but it's probably going to come at the cost of many lives. 

Suzie's condition was worsening for the better part of the premiere. From the moment she passed out in class, she was earmarked for death. 

Whether Abby will find a way to get rid of the virus before it consumes the youngster's body, I don't know. 

Alec was a worthy companion for Abby on the quest. There's something appealing about shacking up with someone who knows nothing about you, right? 

Abby Ventures into the Swamp

Abby and Alec both had things they wanted to keep from the other, so they likely saw each other as a beacon of hope during an impossible mission. 

Alec going out to the swamp alone was not one of the best moves. Having Alec become the Swamp Thing came as a big surprise to this viewer who did not read the comics. 

Alec was a love interest for Abby, but where do they stand now that Alec went all green and turned into the titular creature? 

Having him become the hero of this story alongside Abby is a good thing, but it will be fun to watch how Abby comes to terms with the fact that the swamp created a creature that exhibits some of the traits of the man she became fast friends with. 

Beware the Swamp

On top of that, I can't shake the feeling that Alec knew he was going to turn into the creature. He was conducting off the books experiments, popping up in places he shouldn't be, lives right above the swamp, and he wears sandals. 

I'm totally kidding about that last part, but the attention to detail on this show is pretty out there. 

As things stand, the pilot successfully delivered a striking plot, exceptional acting, stunning visuals, and many more reasons to tune into the rest of Swamp Thing Season 1

What did you think of the action?

Swamp Thing Season 1 Episode 2 airs on DC Universe on Friday, June 7. 

Pilot Review

Editor Rating: 4.75 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.5 / 5.0 (4 Votes)

Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.

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Swamp Thing Season 1 Episode 1 Quotes

Tim: How long has it been since you were home?
Abby: A while.

  • Permalink: A while.
  • Added:

My name is Dr. Abby Arcane. My team is here to find the source of this disease.