SPOILER WARNING: Mild Spoilers for Swamp Thing
Swamp Thing is a 10-episode series that revolves around the journey of scientist Alec Holland and his evolituon into to the elemental superhero known as Swamp Thing. The series revolves around the experimental material that is dumped into the swamp in order to make it into a lucrative pharmaceutical resource. This attempt fails and results in a unique sickness that the swamp creates, which required the Centre of Disease Control (CDC) involvement. Thus bringing Alec Holland to meet Abby Arcane, a local that moved away and became a doctor working with the CDC.
The show does a fantastic job in allowing the audience to connect to the characters that are pivotal to the plot, the characters are fleshed out and they connect in an effortless way. The casting for the show is nothing short of perfect as Crystal Reed plays Abby Arcane in such a fantastic way, you find yourself connecting to the character in a real and raw way . Her performance throughout all 10 episodes were magnificent.
It’s important to note the brilliant performances in the show, a notable recurring character that had an interesting and important journey is Daniel Cassidy who went from stunt man to becoming the Blue Devil who ties so well into the story.
Abby Arcane’s importance is her connection to Swamp Thing and acts as the human connection that the audience has to him. She is a strong and sensitive character who uses her intelligence and skills along the way to find a cure for the people of Marais, her tenacity, bravery and courage is seen throughout the series and is admiring to see a successful, hardworking and tenacious female as a co-lead in a show.
She’s an inspiring and influential character that has a continuous pursuit for the truth only makes the audience connect with and love her. Even in the crossfires of danger her knowledge and ability and understanding of science helps and aids with the danger at hand. She continues to make the audience relate to her through her experience and her humanity.
In a time where female role models are needed for representation and the empowerment of women, it’s been interesting to see the various ways female characters are finally able to be potrayed as. This allows for more amazing and well-rounded female characters and allow for the audience to connect to the character in more ways than one. Abby Arcane is a perfect example of that. The additional fact that shes also a doctor is important for women who aspire to enter a career in STEM.
Abby uses the help she receives from Alec with regards to how to cure the disease and figures out a way to use immune-suppressants to counteract the body’s immune response. Abby stays resilient against her superiors demands and threat of removal in pursuit of saving the patients and her co worker and partner Leonardo Nam, continuing to put the well-being of others above hers, showing her true caring nature.
She continues her search for the truth about the disease and what’s happening in her hometown all the whilst trying to help Alec understand why and how he has become what he is. Whenever help is needed or whenever someone is in danger, she’s always the first one to attempt to help people whether she’s using her scientific skills and expertise or her human nature and willingness to help.
She deals with her past where she was part of an accident with her childhood friend Shawna and works hard to redeem herself and to right her past mistakes her struggle is another way that she connected to Alec who also fought with past mistakes and thus finding a way to each other through their personal paths of redemption. The way that they both connect on this issue and several other aspects of their personality gives the audience a love story that is fresh and organic.
This show uses some supernatural elements whereby Susie who was the first to contract the disease and was cured by Abby becomes possessed by Shawna’s Ghost (Abby’s childhood friend who passed away) luring Maria, Shawna’s mom into the lake to be drowned, Abby fearlessly follows Maria into the lake putting herself in harms way to save her and help her out, despite Abby’s efforts she fails and Swamp Thing is able to help, but her courage and bravery is admirable. It’s also important to note that this show manages to have the perfect mix of the supernatural, science and superhero themes in a balanced way without one theme throwing off the other.
When Abby realises that Avery, who raised her, was behind the death of Alec and the attack that was sent for her to scare her she confronted him despite knowing what he was capable of. Her nature and character truly is inspiring in every episode, each episode shows a side to her that further makes the audience relate to her and her experiences.
Despite warnings from Alec, who objectively has more strength and power than her, on the rot that is occurring in the swamp, she is determined to find the root cause of this rot to ultimately stop any further possibility of any infections to people. During her venture into the rot she gets infected herself where Alec then takes her to his lab to save her and they use their collective knowledge and his unique powers to utilise the Green that defeats the rot that she was infected with. She returns to the CDC after Alec tells her to leave and not come back, again she only leaves to find a cure and a way to understand the rot that’s happening in Marais.
Once she reaches the CDC headquarters she is denied access to her samples only to find out that Avery had gotten the Conclave who are interested in dissecting Swamp Thing involved and she tries to get back to Marais in time to save Swamp Thing but is a little too late, her complete selflessness truly is amazing and inspiring to see.
Her investigative skills are combined with Liz’s who is Abbeys Reporter friend to find the facility in which Swamp Thing is kept and they go in to rescue him from captivity with the aid of The Blue Devil. It truly was a heroic act to see and further makes the audience root for Abby and Swamp Thing’s love.
Abby’s continues search for the truth and her determination to fight the darkness that lurks in the Swamp, in addition to her love for Swamp Thing ends the show with their decision to stay and solve the darkness that has befallen Marais.
This show is the perfect way to show so many elements working together in a seamless way. It allowed the audience to connect to the characters, and gave them space to flourish. The audience is able to follow the story and plot elements tie together effortlessly. This show brought a wonderful female lead and brilliant Superhero who is very relevant to today’s world where climate change is an issue and the abuse of the environment by humans is important to highlight.
Here’s to hoping that someone somewhere makes the decision to renew this show and gives the characters another chance to be explored further.