SWAMP THING EPISODE S1, Ep5 “Drive All Night” Review

As the “Darkness” in the swamp continues to grow, the ghost of Shawna Sunderland has now possessed the body of little Susie Coyle. However it appears as though Maria has no problem with it and is glad to have her daughter back (sort of), and wants her and her mother to be together forever. And while Swamp Thing struggles to come to terms with his transformation, he realizes he is able to form a link with the trees in the swamp through “the Green” and see their memories with the help of a mysterious unnamed stranger. Dr. Jason Woodrue shares his findings with Avery Sunderland and reveals he is close to discovering something, but Abbie is getting in his way. Meanwhile, Daniel Cassidy tries to leave Marais and he is unable to do so, due to some supernatural force which burns his arm.

This episode goes even deeper into the supernatural powers that the swamp continues to manifest in different and sometimes confusing ways. While the swamp and the regenerative formula did give Alec Holland his life back as Swamp Thing, it seems as though everyone involved is cursed in some way. And it looks as if it has been going on for some time now as we see what really happened between Abbie and Shawna those 15 years ago.

I was looking forward to this episode with the tease from DC Universe in its synopsis:

“Swamp Thing struggles to come to terms with his transformation with the help of a Phantom Stranger”

With that, fans of the darker side of the DC Universe like me will be reminded of a very important character known as the Phantom Stranger who has been around since the 1950s. Sadly while it does suggest that the character is like the Phantom Stranger (played by Macon Blair), he appears as an ordinary resident of the bayou. While the Phantom Stranger possesses many magical abilities, I don’t recall shape changing to be one of them? When Swamp Thing asks him who he is, he merely replies that he is “…just a passing stranger, maybe a phantom from a dream, trying to help you understand the things you already know.” Along with many other cryptic answers he does introduce Swamp Thing to “the Green” the elemental force that connects all the plants on Earth.

While I was somewhat disappointed that he didn’t appear like the traditional Phantom Stranger or we might even get a glimpse of him, it never happened. The last time a supernatural character had a cameo like this was in the Constantine TV series where we got to see Jim Corrgian/the Spectre in episode 5. On a side note we may get another Constantine TV show. As far as Swamp Thing goes, the possessed child scenario was especially creepy and brings Abbie’s tragic past to a head.

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