Please Keep In Mind That This Article Contains Potential Spoilers For “The Anatomy Lesson” and Events That Occurred Prior
Well, I guess I need to read up on my DC Comics. I personally had no idea that Blue Devil was a legit character/entity from the comics, and I also had no idea that it would take Daniel’s story into this direction. On one hand, it’s great that his plot has finally culminated into something meaningful. It was awesome seeing Blue Devil in action, and terrifying to witness—as Abbey and Liz found out. On the other hand though, Daniel’s entire story is still clunky. Not only that, but it still doesn’t fit very smoothly into the overall narrative. He almost seems like an afterthought—in terms of his presence. The demon that granted these supernatural powers just seems so frivolous. Why is he randomly cursing someone? Why is he showing Daniel the future? While I don’t expect every mystery to be solved immediately, it’s hard for it to not feel inorganic. It’s a shame that the series finale is up next, because that means that Daniel’s story will likely never get the time it needs.
Now when it came to our titular character, good ol’ Swamp Thing remained a prisoner to Dr. Woodrue. Really more of a lab experiment than a prisoner. Woodrue finally got exactly what he wanted, and he certainly didn’t waste any time. He immediately cut into Alec to see his inner workings. There were some neat practical effects at play during the dissection, which is always a joy to see. On top of inching Woodrue closer and closer to his prize, this game of operation brought about some other startling revelations. We got to see just how Alec is still alive—and well, he isn’t. It’s a really intriguing element to add the proceedings, and really flips everything on its head.
Alec Holland has been dead since the first episode. He’s been nothing but an imprint of the person we first met. I enjoyed how that became a hyper focus of a “Alec” the moment the theory/knowledge was said out loud by Woodrue. It really adds a lot of weight to the tragedy aspect of the character, and really the story as a whole. It wasn’t just Swamp Thing that was affected though—Abbey has to process everything as well. She spent the whole episode hellbent on saving the man she once knew, only to learn that he’s been dead for weeks. This new development also nixes any notions or hopes that Alec could ever be cured of his condition. Which is great, because the idea of undoing the creation of Swamp Thing In anyways was something I hoped would never come close to fruition (which it likely wouldn’t have).
As for our other characters, the first that I want to bring attention to is Avery. He had some seriously sinister moments this episode. It was his first time interacting with the world after surviving his near fatal swamp encounters, and boy did he make a meal out of it. His first (extremely well executed) task was to take down Maria. Just like that, with little to no effort, Avery was able to get her locked up in a mental institution—and that’s without any mention of her murder plans. I’m almost scared to find out what he may have in store for Lucilia and Matt. While Will Patton’s performance can still be a little too much from time-to-time, Avery as a character has become a much more compelling and sinister force in the show than when we first started seeing him. I’m thankful that the show was able to reach some of the character’s potential in its abbreviated series run.
Then there was Caroline Woodrue. Another very sad element of a deeply tragic episode. We knew she wasn’t doing well in terms of her illness, but it really took a nosedive. As Abbey and Liz went looking for Jason, they got to witness Caroline’s deteriorating condition for themselves. It was heartbreaking for Jason to finally have something, and to come home to an attempted suicide. Someone else that wasn’t doing so hot was Matt. While he didn’t do much but mope around this episode, he certainly has ended up in quite the precarious situation.
“The Anatomy Lesson” is a solid installment of the show, one that presents tragedies on all fronts. The big reveal that Swamp Thing exists as an imprint of Alec was fantastically done, and sets the characters up to explore some really intriguing ideas. While some storylines (like Matt’s pouty day) didn’t go far, others like Avery’s vengeance, both surprised and impressed. It seems that all of our main characters know about Swamp Thing’s existence, which is a very exciting prospect. It’s a shame then that we only have one episode left. One that I’m not holding out much hope on being a good closing piece for the show.
You can catch new episodes of Swamp Thing when they air on DC Universe streaming network every Friday.