Please Keep In Mind That This Article Contains Potential Spoilers For “He Speaks” and Events That Occurred Prior
With its third installment, things started to get a little sloppy. We picked up right where we left off: Abby dealing with the knowledge that Alec might be out there as a giant green swamp monster. Abby and her quest for answers in regards to Alec weren’t the problem, and neither was the increasing threat of the virus. Those were in fact the strongest parts of “He Speaks”. The questionable writing started to rear its head when it came to the development of other stories within the swamp.
The Sunderland’s were a main focus, and a lot fell through the cracks as we explored their world. Starting with Maria, there’s no doubt that seeing her dead daughter is effectively creepy, and fits right into the show. The problem here comes down to the lack of weight that it brings to the proceedings. Virginia Madsen’s portrayal of her grief was done well in the previous two installments, but something is lost in this episode. It just felt as if she was going through the motions, and this new struggle she is facing doesn’t quite feel genuine yet—in fact it feels dull. Which is odd considering the fact that her dead daughter is showing up for unknown reasons and trying to influence her thoughts. That all being said, the problem could simply be more so on the writing side than the acting, and will hopefully even itself out going forward. At the very least though, we were given a good moment towards the end of the episode as Maria took a stand against Avery and stood up for herself.
Speaking of Avery, his storyline wasn’t the most fruitful either. I still question his ability to bare the weight of being the main antagonist of the show—at least with the human side of things. He still hasn’t gone too far past the stereotypical angry old man that simply wants money for everything. There’s nothing personal to latch onto, even with having dealt with the death of a daughter like Maria has. Nonetheless, the episode continued to show us his character flaws—showing how greedy and manipulative he can be in all sorts of situations. The biggest moment happened in the closing minutes, as his visit to his black mailer ended with him viciously killing the man with a golf club. Needless to say, I wouldn’t expect any sort of redemption to be coming his way.
Now when it comes to the real villain of the piece, the virus got some attention. It became more and more aggressive this week, as it even took over Harlan. It was good to see the attention go back to figuring out the virus—which at this point is clearly much more than a virus. We seem the seemingly same forces of nature at work in the fantastic scene with Abby as she goes to Alec’s old lab. It’s here we see Swamp Thing speak for the first time, as he confronts this mysterious force. I do hope that we can some answers sooner rather than later. With such a vague powerful threat, nothing having any sort of answers for too long may start to bring the show down instead of aiding the mysterious nature of everything. I do want to take a moment and bring the attention to Swamp Thing himself. This probably won’t be the last time I say this, but hot damn does that suit look fantastic. I mean the range of emotions that can be expressed within it is astounding. It’s honestly such a remarkable feat—one that I think deserves so much more attention than it receives.
With “He Speaks”, Swamp Thing started to show some cracks in its overall design. Even then, what we got is still high quality, and a show very unlike anything else currently out there. There virus got the spotlight again, Avery continued to show his dark side, and Alec’s persona started to show itself over his Swamp Thing appearance. I’m hoping that the show pulls some focus from Avery, and places more of its attention on whatever this mysterious force is at work within the swamp. To me, that is where the heart of this horror, nightmare inducing, tale is.
- While Avery Sutherland as a character got some time above, I didn’t get to mention another potential problem with the character: Will Patton. Hopefully his portrayal will find its footing, but Patton’s current performance has a tendency to over act here and there, and simply come off as corny.
- The Woodrue’s continue to be intriguing, however the reveal that Caroline has a sickness could have been done so much better.
- It was great to see Abby meet Alec in his new form, but we got so little of it before she rushed away to deal with the virus. I’m looking forward to exploring their dynamic more.