Episode 2: “Worlds Apart”

Episode 2 – “Worlds Apart”
First aired June 7, 2019.
This is the first of several episodes named after a Bruce Springsteen song. ‘Worlds Apart’ appears on his 2002 album, The Rising.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 1: Swamp Thing emerges from the swamp and flees when he sees police boats.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 2: In the swamp, Abby and Matt talk while other police search for Alec.  Lucilia the sheriff arrives. Abby argues that the explosion wasn’t an accident and also warns them about the creature she saw, but Matt and Lucilia don’t believe her.
NOTES:  Lucilia is a new character who doesn’t appear in the comics.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 3: When Swamp Thing inspects his body in horror, Susie awakens again and mirrors Swamp Thing’s movements from her hospital bed. Swamp Thing breaks off chunks of his body as Susie removes her sensors, but Swampy’s body seems to regenerate.
NOTES: In the comics, Swamp Thing is able to regenerate his body parts, which is first depicted in Swamp Thing #5 (July/Aug. 1973) when he loses and regrows an arm.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 4: Abby is staying at Liz’s house and talks with her.  Abby is saddened about the disappearance of Alec, who she was developing feelings for.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 5: Dr. Harlan Edwards checks on Susie, and she mentions that Swamp Thing is confused and scared, but Harlan believes she is talking about a nightmare she had.  Elsewhere, Swamp Thing lies down in the swamp.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 6: At the Sunderland home, Avery awakens to find that Maria is not in their bed.  He finds her lying in Shawna’s bed and she tells him that she misses her daughter.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 7: The next day, Abby is awoken by a nightmare of Shawna grabbing her.  Abby receives a phone call from Harlan, who gives her an update on Susie’s condition, and says there are two new cases of infection.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 8: In Liz’s kitchen, Abby meets Liz’s girlfriend Margaux.  When Margaux leaves, Abby and Liz talk further about Alec’s death, agreeing that it is suspicious because it correlates with Alec finding evidence of illegal chemical dumping and its relationship to the disease. Abby wants to ask Avery for access to Alec’s lab but Liz tries to talk her out of it as Avery can be manipulative.
NOTES: In the comic, Liz Tremayne has romantic relationships with both men and women (see Swamp Thing #112, Oct 1991), but not with someone named Margaux.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 9: Abby visits Avery at his home and he is pleased to see her.  He says he never blamed her for Shawna’s death. She asks for access to Alec’s lab so that she can cure the disease, but Avery will not allow it, arguing that Alec’s research contains proprietary information.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 10: Maria goes to Delroy’s Roadhouse and asks for help from Madame Xanadu, a blind mystic.  Xanadu says some words in Creole and then touches Maria’s hands, which shows her a vision of Shawna.  Xanadu begins screaming and Maria is flung across the room by an unseen force. Xanadu explains that has been a shift between the light and dark, and something dark is growing in the rot of the water.  Xanadu tells Maria to let Shawna go.
NOTES: Madame Xanadu is a mystical fortune-teller who first appeared in Doorway to Nightmare #1 (Feb. 1978) and was later blinded in the ‘Day of Vengeance’ mini-series of 2005.  She has never traditionally had much involvement with Swamp Thing, but worked with him a little as a part of a team in Justice League Dark #19-#21 (June-Aug. 2013).  A flashback in Justice League Dark #10 (June 2019) suggests that Xanadu was involved in arranging Swamp Thing’s first meeting with John Constantine (The Saga of Swamp Thing #37, June 1985).

EPISODE 2, SCENE 11: Harlan discovers that Susie is missing and her window has been broken by a tree branch.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 12: Abby and Liz visit Daniel Cassidy’s video store, where Alec was staying, and where Garou now lives. Daniel is an actor who “does [his] own stunts” and is known for portraying the ‘Blue Devil’ on film.  He explains that the cops have already cleaned out Alec’s room, but that Alec sometimes used Cassidy’s computer to edit a video journal. Cassidy lets Abby watch some of the journal entries, including one where Alec speaks of her affectionately. Abby gets a text message from Harlan and learns that Susie is missing.
NOTES: Cassidy is the alter-ego of the superhero, Blue Devil, who first appeared in a special insert published in Fury of Firestorm #24 (June 1984).  Cassidy was a stuntman who was trapped within the Blue Devil costume, and later became an actual demon. Swamp Thing does not have much to do with him in the comics but they recently worked together in several issues in 2019, beginning with Justice League Dark #5 (Jan. 2019).

EPISODE 2, SCENE 13: Doctors Jason and Caroline Woodrue arrive at the Sunderland residence.  Caroline warns Jason to keep his negative opinions to himself rather than jeopardise his working relationship with Avery, who funds his research.  Avery calls to them but Jason is distracted by a sick tree. When they meet Avery, he is angry because Jason’s accelerant has caused the sickness in Marais, but Jason argues that he isn’t to blame.  Avery demands that he fix the problem before Sunderland’s name is linked to the accelerant.
NOTES: Jason Woodrue first appeared in The Atom #1 (June/July 1962) as a being from an interdimensional world, and called himself the Plant Master.  He was later transformed into a plant/human hybrid in Flash #245 (Nov.1976) and rechristened himself the Floronic Man. He had a memorable interaction with Swamp Thing in The Saga of Swamp Thing #21-24 (Feb.-May 1984) and has occasionally worked against or alongside Swamp Thing several times since.  In the ‘New 52’ reboot, he was known as The Seeder. His wife, Caroline Woodrue, does not exist in the comics
Jason’s plant accelerant is strongly reminiscent of the “bio-restorative formula” of the comics. In Swamp Thing #1 (Oct./Nov. 1972), Alec and Linda are working on a formula for the government that will accelerate plant growth and be used to create plant life in deserts.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 14: At the hospital, Abby tells Matt of Susie’s disappearance.  He gets a call to go to the docks.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 15: At the docks, a worker has found Susie’s medical bracelet, and explains that the game warden Vern Robitelle has recently left on his boat to go to Skeeter Cove.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 16: Susie is stowed-away on Vern’s boat. Vern investigates another boat and discovers two men are pulling up a metal case out of the water.  One of the men (Munson) stabs Vern in the face with a hook, and decides to sink his boat. Elsewhere, Swamp Thing rises from the swamp.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 17: At the docks, sheriff Lucilia reports that Susie may have hidden aboard Vern’s boat. Lucilia warns Matt (who is now revealed to be her son) not to get emotionally hurt by Abby, who will soon leave Marais.  Matt and Abby leave on a boat.
NOTES: Matt’s family are never mentioned in the comics as far as I can recall.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 18: On the boat,  Matt questions why Abby returned and tells her that he had a crush on her in high school.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 19: While Munson is moving Vern, Susie flees the boat and Munson pursues her with a machete. Swamp Thing hears Munson yelling and moves towards his voice, as Susie hides in a partially submerged building. Matt and Abby find Vern, who is still barely alive.  The other man flees in the boat and Matt leaves to pursue it, while Abby stays with Vern until he dies. Abby hears Susie’s screams and calls Matt and tells him to come back while she investigates. Susie climbs into the loft of the building where Munson finds her, but he is disturbed by something moving in the swamp water.  Swamp Thing grabs him and is stabbed multiple times, but Swampy’s wounds heal quickly. Roots reach out and grab Munson and rip him apart. While Matt is returning, Abby finds Susie and Swamp Thing. Abby fears for Susie’s safety but Susie is unafraid of the creature.  Abby and Susie leave and they are found by Matt, who doesn’t see Swamp Thing.
NOTES: It’s unclear here whether Swamp Thing is manipulating the plants or they are controlling themselves, but Swampy is able to control plants in the comics.  He attacks others using external tree roots in Swamp Thing #49 (June 1986), but exhibits his power to control plants earlier than this, leaving his body and growing an entirely new one for the first time in The Saga of Swamp Thing #37 (June 1985).

EPISODE 2, SCENE 20: At his house, Sunderland is preparing to go to sleep when he again finds Maria in Shawna’s bed.  When he leaves Shawna’s room, it is revealed that Maria is laying next to Shawna’s ghost.

EPISODE 2, SCENE 21: Abby, Matt and Susie return to Marais via boat.  Susie explains that Swamp Thing is just afraid because he doesn’t understand what is happening to him, and mentions that Swampy told her that his name was Alec.