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'Swamp Thing' Finale Review: Loose Ends

Canceled too soon, the final episode of 'Swamp Thing' attempts to tie up those loose ends.

Swamp Thing and Abby Arcane look sadly over the skeleton of Alec Holland
(Image: © The CW)

Our Verdict

A solid finale that teases a greater adventure that we might have seen had the show continued.

For

  • 🌱A dense but satisfying end for our characters.
  • 🌱Andy Bean! We love you!
  • 🌱Incredible practical effects including a new monster creation.
  • 🌱A great setup for the season two we'll never get.
  • 🌱Crystal Reed once again showcases why she's leading lady material.

Against

  • 🌱No more episodes!
  • 🌱A great stinger makes the lack of season two harder to swallow.

This post contains spoilers for Swamp Thing.
Check out our last review here

Finishing a series that was originally meant to be 13 episodes long in 10 episodes is no easy feat, but it's one that the team behind Swamp Thing do with admirable aplomb. In fact, if it hadn't been so well publicized when the show was canceled shortly after the release of its first episode, you might not be able to tell that the cheekily titled "Loose Ends" is attempting to tie up everything the crew knows they won't be able to explore in the future.

After the emotional heft of "The Anatomy Lesson," Swamp Thing continues on its dark path as Abby (Crystal Reed) comes to terms with the reality that Alec Holland is dead and Swamp Thing is something else entirely. She's impressively resolute in her support of and connection with the creature, dedicating herself to helping him and refusing to believe that there isn't something of Alec left inside him, even if it's just his memories. There's far more hope in that arc than that of Jason Woodrue (Kevin Durand) and Caroline (Selena Anduze), though, as after her overdose at the end of the last episode she's suffering from locked-in syndrome and is tied up at the couple's dinner table. Her husband prepares a meal of Swamp Thing organs in the hope of regenerating her diseased brain. Caroline's story is a heartbreaking one and Anduze has been this season's secret weapon as she's portrayed the struggle of Alzheimer's. But this week she's also the victim of the man she loves, trapped in both her body and home. 

Abby is on the trail of Maria (Virginia Madsen), who she believes has been put in an asylum to keep her quiet about Avery (Will Patton), Ellery (Michael Beach), and the nefarious Conclave organization which is back to hunting Swamp Thing after he escaped their labs last week. This time, however, the last dregs of his human empathy are gone, at least when it comes to the military men who are planning on killing him in order to harvest his planty flesh. Elsewhere in Marais, Lucilia (Jennifer Beals) is distraught to find Matt (Henderson Wade) at the hospital, where he put himself after a night of drunk driving. Clearly the revelation that Avery is his father has disturbed the boy more than killing Alec Holland (Andy Bean) did. Liz (Maria Sten) tries to convince Daniel (Ian Zeiring) to stay in Marais after realizing that he was the Blue Devil that saved her and Abby while they tried to rescue Alec from the Conclave labs. But after fulfilling his destiny and saving the girls, he's finally free to leave Marais and does just that.  

Maria isn't faring too well at the asylum where she's suffering from hallucinations that are apparently the ramifications of her meddling with the supernatural. Just as things get really scary she's visited by Madame Xanadu (Jeryl Prescott), who offers her a respite but warns her that it's the kind of respite which she may never return from. Just as Xanadu is about to give Maria this gift, Abby appears wanting answers but it seems like it might be too late. Maria has succumbed to her own visions of her daughter and is now stuck in a darkly haunted happiness from which she probably won't ever escape. As the supernatural nature of Marais comes home to roost, Swamp Thing finally embraces his true powers, becoming the monster he never wanted to be. It's a brutal reckoning as he takes out the Conclave's guards one by one. 

Meanwhile, Avery is drinking at Delroy's Roadhouse and feeling sorry for himself, especially for his sudden lack of popularity among the citizens of the small town. It doesn't help matters that Ellery has cut him out of the Conclave group's plans for Swamp Thing and the money that could be made from experimenting on the monster. Avery isn't completely inhumane, though, and is legitimately worried when he finds out that his son, Matt, has been in a car accident. He heads to the hospital to try and reconcile with Lucilia and Matt, but his attempt isn't received well. While Avery grows a conscience, his former partner Woodrue is holding the dinner party from hell, frying up Swamp Thing's organs for his wife. But because he loves Caroline in his own demented way, he insists on trying a slice of the creature's heart first. If you've read the comics then you'll likely know where this moment is headed, and when he falls to the ground in the midst of massive seizures it seems that his transformation into the DC villain Floronic Man has finally begun. 

Soon his twisted treatment of his wife is put on hold not only by his own reaction to the Green but also by the arrival of Abby. She's horrified at what she finds and tries to call for help, only to be assaulted by Jason as he begins to feel the power of what he's done. Luckily, Abby manages to stop Jason from infecting Caroline and he's stopped from reprisal when the police arrive, having traced Abby's failed call she tried to place when she was attacked. With Woodrue taken into custody, it seems that his reign of terror is over. But that would only be if we were to discount his strange snack of Swamp Thing flesh. 

Someone whose reign of terror is definitely not over is Avery Sunderland, who decides to kill Lucilia after she rejects his plea of togetherness in the hospital. This is especially sad as Beals has been brilliant this season and we would have loved to see her get some kind of redemption arc as she comes to terms with the things she's done to protect Matt. Alas, that seems unlikely. Interestingly, though, we do get a hint of Avery's future as he begins coughing up plants and weeds. In the comics, Anton Arcane becomes the villain known as Rot, and it seems like this was the plan for Avery's character in the later--now canceled--seasons too. We'd love to see Patton go full supervillain so count us disappointed that we won't see that come to fruition. If this seems like a dense episode that's because it is, but for what it is it does deliver in spite of its issues. 

In an emotional reunion, Andy Bean returns as Alec Holland and faces down with Swamp Thing. The pair share a charged exchange about Abby and whether Swamp Thing should embrace his wild side and hide away, or if he should reconnect with Abby and find solace in her and his new life. It's a nice nod to just how great Bean was in the role of Alec while offering closure to that part of Swamp Thing. We all know he has become his own creature, but now it's up to him to come to terms with that and decide the kind of creature he needs to be. A visit from Abby cements Swamp Thing's dedication to becoming a force for good. She's desperate to revisit the Green and see the beauty of nature that her time with him has shown her. We end the episode as the pair decide to embark on a new life together, one where they'll face any supernatural threats together. It's a romantic and hopeful ending that sets up a potential partnership for the next season. Even without the promise of that, it's a nice way to leave these lovely characters who I've come to care for so much. 

There's no good without evil, though, and if you do want to know what the pair might have been facing in season two then there's a stinger as we see Jason Woodrue transformed into the terrifying plant monster known as the Floronic Man. And just like every other practical effect in the show, it looks freaking great. With that, after ten episodes we bid Swamp Thing a fond farewell. Goodbye to one of the best horror TV shows the world has ever seen.