Please Keep In Mind That This Article Contains Potential Spoilers For “Price You Pay” and Events That Occurred Prior
Abbey kind of took a backseat in this installment, more so than usual at least. That’s not to say that she had nothing to do though. I mean she started the episode by standing up to Avery Sunderland himself. The man is up to no good, and she’s now placed herself directly in his crosshairs. She very quickly had more to worry about than just Avery: Swamp Thing’s existence threatened to become far more publicly known. After Alec’s attack, she became worried about not only the world finding out, but the progression of whatever has changed him in the first place. The ending of the episode sets up a really interesting scenario. I think it would be really interesting if we end up seeing Abbey somehow exploring The Green with Alec—helping her see how he views the world now. This gimmick however could easily be abused in giving them a reason to use Alec’s human appearance more often. I hope this isn’t the case, as I strongly feel that his former guise should only been seen for specific emotional/character beats.
Matt’s character, and importance to the story, really ballooned this week. We learned the accusations heard last week were no lie—Matt was the one responsible for the attempted murder of Alec Holland. What I like most about this direction, is how it shows the depth of the corruption in this small town. Everyone in a position of power in Marais has given in to the toxic manipulation and weight of Avery Sunderland. I really enjoyed the scene between Matt and Lucilia, as mother and son confronted each other about their questionable past. Not only was the entire sequence well performed, but it did a great job of showing us just how close the two really are. Even ore importantly though, Matt got to come face to face with his failed murder victim. He now knows of the Swamp Thing’s existence—but it doesn’t look like he is going to keep it to himself for long. It’s looking like Marais is severely short on people you can trust.
After last week, Daniel was down for the count. Not for too long though. Not only did we see some of his mysterious past, but he also become the first victim of Doctor Woodrue’s medical curiosity. Daniel’s overall story still doesn’t seem to fit within the bigger tapestry of the show’s story, but its intriguing nonetheless. I do wish it was given some more time to breath however. What little we saw was a tad rushed, and clunky in it’s execution. I mean, did Daniel actually agree to anything with the studio stranger on set? It seemed entirely theoretical conversation to me. I know it was meant to show Daniel not being careful what he wished for—but it seemed to just be a conversation that the probable demon took as a sure fire agreement for some reason.
The aftermath of Daniel’s coma was a similar situation. It was an interesting idea—but just executed awkwardly. Everyone around him just acted…off. Including the likes of Liz, Caroline, and Avery—all seemed oblivious to how clearly supernatural and not normal the occurrence was. I mean the man was literally a burning blue hue. Yet Caroline thought that somehow Jason could help him? Avery acted like he was just a nut job in control of the clearly normal radiating blue heat? It all felt off. Jason Woodrue was honestly the only one that felt authentic. He didn’t understand what was happening, but his clearly amazement and astonishment was on display. Kevin Durand is remarkable in this role, and his performance really brings life to the character. A man obsessed just as much with the mysterious nature of the scientific events occurring as he is with curing his wife of her illness.
“The Price You Pay” wasn’t as strong as the show’s last outing, but despite its bump the show remains strong. The world and mythology of the show is expanding quicker than I would have expected. Given the Phantom Stranger’s appearance last week, and this week’s push into exploring The Green, the show isn’t shying away from the colorful source material—which is great. If only the show had more than four more episodes to continue exploring the swamp, and its many corrupted corners.
- Madame Xanadu remains to only mumble nonsensical exposition to the audience. The only scene that I felt she actually added something of value was during the whole possession situation last week. Other than that, it’s been nothing. Like I know she’s easing his pain and all—but it’s convenient and hollow.
You can catch new episodes of Swamp Thing when they air on DC Universe streaming network every Friday.