Wednesday, August 2, 2017


With superhero television programs blowing up in the last few years, recaps of superhero television shows have become all the internet rage. Other sites, however, are hobbled by the need to cover shows which have been "recently broadcast" or which are "any good at all." But who covers the uncoverable? That's why Gone&Forgotten chooses to cover the 1991-1993 USA Network live-action Swamp Thing television series in a feature I used to like to call a dumb pun kind of title, but I've run out of those, so I just call it ...

This is a Will-centric episode, and  I don't know what I did to deserve this.

In the "last episode," as far as that goes around here, Abigail succumbed to the power of some sort of fatal ground fog which was harassing the swamp, and not even Swamp Thing could save her/could be bothered to save her. Weirdly, no matter which running order you use to catalog these episodes -- the broadcast order, the series order, of the DVD order -- Abigail's death immediately precedes this episode. But that's not why it's a Will episode! It's a Will episode because God does not love us, is why.

Will is tormented by claustrophobic dreams and taunting voices, which I suspect is the manifested opinions of the entire viewing audience (and which is limited to just me, I believe). These dreams send him running into the swamp, wherein he promptly falls into Flashback Cave. And it seems that Ol' Man Flashback left his spiders just lying around.

The whole show suddenly detours into a grade school "Safe Halloween" party

Will is covered with damn tarantulas or something and menaced by a completely fake spider with glowing eyes, and which is hanging suspended in a big web of cotton. This doesn't serve much of a purpose except to fade into a shot of a spider-themed pinball machine IN THE PAAAAAST and, woot, we're in Will's memories, stuck in Philadelphia with his unsavory pals.

Will and the crew hang out at a video store/arcade in Philly, playing pinball and saying veiled but unsavory things about girls, because it's the Nineties but they're all apparently from the 1950s. His worst pal, Vinnie (Roger Floyd), arranges to rob the arcade/video store on account of the safe that the manager, Kevin (Robb Edward Morris), keeps behind the counter and which must have, according to Vince's estimate, "a thousand dollars" in it. Dream big, Vin.

"That dull, bland and sleeveless kid sure plays a mean pinball ..."

Actually, I say "behind the counter" when the safe is actually kept outside the counter, near the Tasty Kakes. And it's not a big safe, either. It kind of looks like one of those fireproof safes they sell at Target. You could probably just walk out of the store with it.

Anyway, Will's dumb pals rob the place but are stymied when Kevin throws a handful of money in their faces. Not money! Their one mortal enemy! They hates getting money in the face, so one of 'em shoots Kevin. Maybe he's dead? Maybe he's okay? But it's worth Will fighting his pals in an alley over, even if Will refused to participate in the actual robbery.

"You better watch yourself. You're dealing with the We Know One Black Guy Gang!"

Back in Flashback Cave, Will gets bitten by a spider and promptly hallucinates Kevin's ghost hovering before him, encouraging Will to spill his guts about his complicity in the matter. Please don't ever give Will an opportunity to spill his guts, producers of Swamp Thing. No one is tuning in for that.

Swampy saves Will from a necrotic bite of venom shakes or the old spider-bite one-two or whatever was going to happen to our petulant, sleeveless hero. This just frees Will up to go home and find ... all his criminal Philly pals hanging out in his step-mom's house! They're on the lam and they're all doing dumb tough-guy impressions!

The bad friends take off to rob a dilapidated bait shop on the edge of the swamp, because they're into the big money and also maybe they need some wigglers for night fishing. Although Swamp Thing offers to help Will stop his ex-pals, Will declines and decides to go take care of it himself. This is pretty careless considering that these guys have already presumably murdered one shopkeeper and they've got their guns on another one. probably it would have been more respectful of human life to maybe not roll the fucking dice here.

Watch out, beloved Hee-Haw regular Grandpa Jones!

Anyway. What Swamp Thing DOES do is sic tarantulas on Vinnie, which sends him scurrying up a ladder. That is smart because spiders are not known for climbing. I guess he probably goes to jail after that. Oh, and also Will shot one of the other two guys, so that guy might be dead.

The episode ends with the incredibly wooden Kevin appearing out of nowhere a few days later, reassuring Will that he wasn't complicit in his silence for the murder of another human being. That's nice. That's a nice ending. More shows should end with one of the main characters being reassured that they weren't complicit in the murder of another human being.

"Don't ... don't put your finger in the bullet wound, Will. It's gross, weird and inappropriate."

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