Episode 4 – “Darkness on the Edge of Town”
First aired June 21, 2019.
This episode is named after the Bruce Springsteen song from the album of the same name, which was released in 1978.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 1: As Avery disposes of Gordon’s body in a firepit at a Sunderland worksite, he reminiscences about a time when he was young and his father was angry that Avery refused to kill an alligator.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 2: Two men (Todd and Butler) prepare to cut down some cypress in the swamp and Todd is concerned about snakes. As Butler begins chainsawing the tree, Todd notices strange objects dropping from the canopy including a motel key, coins and human teeth. Soon a whole corpse falls from the tree and causes a cut on Todd’s arm. The men flee and Swamp Thing approaches to inspect the corpse further, but his tendrils are repelled by it.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 3: At the Roadhouse, Todd shows up late for work and apologises to Liz and Delroy.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 4: In the kitchen, Todd’s arm is bothering him. When Liz enters the room, he sees a snake enter the dishwater. Liz convinces him that is imagining it, but when he begins to do the dishes, a rattlesnake wraps around his arm, though Liz and Delroy still cannot see the snake. In a panic, he begins to stab his arm and then puts it in the waste disposal unit, mangling his hand. Before Todd loses consciousness, he scratches Delroy.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 5: Abby enters the swamp looking for Swamp Thing. Her boat is grabbed by roots and pulled towards the bank where Swamp Thing is waiting. She asks him for a tissue sample of his body and her gives her a tendril and warns her of danger in the swamp.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 6: Abby is inspecting the sample when Jason arrives. He glimpses the data that she is recording and tells her it must be wrong. He looks through the microscope at the cells and sees that it is plant tissue organised like animal tissue. He wants to take over studying the specimen because he is a specialist in botany, but Abby is reluctant because he works for Avery. Abby agrees to give him the sample as long as he brings any findings to her.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 7: Cassidy bumps into Abby in the hospital and asks her if they’ve met anytime prior to when they were introduced recently. When she leaves, he wonders to himself whether he is supposed to be helping her.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 8: Abby visits Susie, who is drawing a picture of Swamp Thing. Avery and Maria enter the room and invite the hospital staff to the town hall for a party. Maria tells Abby to leave while she sits with Susie. Avery is surprised that Abby and the CDC haven’t left town yet. Susie is supposed to be picked up by a relative, Lee Coyle, but Avery says he is a drunk.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 9: Lucilia speaks with Liz and Delroy at the Roadhouse, while Todd’s body is removed by paramedics. Abby enters and talks with Liz, who believes that Todd may have been infected by something in the swamp. Nearby, Delroy starts hallucinating, imagining himself to be in the Roadhouse when it is being robbed and his mother is killed. He picks up a shotgun and begins firing into the imaginary thieves, while Abby and Liz watch on. Lucilia enters the room again with her gun drawn. When Delroy’s gun is jammed, Lucilia physically struggles with him, and he scratches her neck. Abby manages to inject Delroy with a sedative.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 10: At home, Avery and Maria talk about Susie while they prepare for the party. Avery mentions that his father died when he was young too.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 11: Delroy awakens in the hospital, where Liz and Abby are waiting. He describes his hallucination, which was based on an actual event that happened when he was 12. He tells Abby that Todd was in the swamp near Ochee Forks the night before he came into work. Abby says she is going to find the source of the latest infection.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 12: Abby enters the swamp and the trees part to reveal the chainsaw and the site where the men were working. She finds the motel key and the corpse and she takes photos of it. Swamp Thing appears and tells her that the corpse once held the darkness but it has since been released. Swamp Thing insists it is not a disease, but that the darkness seeks hosts. Abby realises that Lucilia may be infected.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 13: At the party at the town hall, Avery and Maria meet Susie, who will be staying with them for a couple of days.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 14: Cassidy and Xanadu meet in a quiet area of the party. He asks her for further insight about his destiny but she says the future of the town is unclear right now, and that something terrible is coming. Xanadu reminds Cassidy that when he came to the town 8 years ago, he told her he’d made a bargain that binds him to the town until he is called upon.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 15: Abby picks up Liz and they talk in the car. Liz has researched the origin of the key, which is from the Hotel Esperos where many guests hallucinated and died in the 1930s. The conclude that the infection causes people to hallucinate their own personal nightmare. The last person to be infected went out Ochee Forks to die, which is where Todd was infected years later.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 16: At the party, Lucilia hallucinates that Matt is stabbed and she pulls her gun on the imagined attacker. Abby tries to calm her down and Cassidy runs in and knocks Lucilia over, diasarming her. Lucilia struggles and Abby is scratched. The real Matt enters and Abby tells him to take Lucilia to the hospital. Liz also enters and Abby tells her that she is taking the infection to the swamp.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 17: Abby goes into the swamp and searches for Swamp Thing. The swamp goes dark and Abby sees a man. She briefly regresses into being a young girl and the man says that her mother tried to take Abby from him. He drags her through the swamp. In reality, Swamp Thing holds her and takes the infection out of her. He stumbles through the swamp and returns the infection to the corpse. Roots then drag the corpse into the ground. Swamp Thing says that he has gained knowledge of what to do because the plants are communicating with him.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 18: Avery and Maria observe Susie in their home. Avery suggests that Susie stay with them for a while. He says he hopes she is really cured, but that only Jason’s research would ensure her continued health.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 19: Outside of the Sunderland house, Avery gives Lee Coyle (Susie’s uncle) a cheque for leaving Susie in the Sunderlands’ care. Avery admits that he is letting Susie stay so that he can get more funds from Maria for Jason’s research.
EPISODE 4, SCENE 20: Swamp Thing asks Abby what she saw. She says that when she was a child she was afraid that a faceless monster was going to take her away. Swamp Thing says that the swamp has been polluted and so the balance has shifted away from life, and towards darkness and death. Swamp Thing again questions his identity.
NOTES: It’s unclear who the man of Abby’s nightmare is but it could be a father figure, or even her uncle Anton. It is never explained, and the credits only refer to the character as the Man With No Face.