In the swamp, Swamp Thing finds a newspaper in the water. A front-page article says that Mickey Paradise is producing a movie in Houma, and Swamp Thing senses danger.
At the TV movie set, actress Jennifer Bloom is reading the script for The Anton Arcane Story and figures that she should wear more jewelry. Arcane assures her that it's unnecessary, and the director Lazlo Stein tells his crew to speed things up. Mickey and his girlfriend Tawny arrive, and Mickey assures Tawny that they'll wrap up filming in a few more days. Tawny suggests that Mickey find something for her to do on the set and kisses him. Meanwhile, Arcane walks with Jennifer and tells her that she's doing a marvelous job portraying his late wife. He suggests that she's suited to doing s.f. and horror, and Jennifer storms off, offended.
Lazlo is getting food at the craft table when Graham comes over and compliments him... and complains that his character was dropped due to lack of money. Lazlo claims that he fought hard for the part and doesn't remember who Graham is.
Arcane tells Mickey that the actor portraying him, Todd Michaels, won't say the lines even though he wrote them himself. Mickey suggests that Arcane talk with Todd , but he's in Arcane's trailer trying on wigs. Arcane goes over and knocks on the door, and discovers that Todd is dead, asphyxiated by carbon monoxide.
Later, the police question the cast and crew. Arcane says that he didn't know Todd well. The police figure that Todd wasn't doing a good job in Arcane's opinion, and suggests that Arcane hated the actor. Arcane admits that there wasn't much to like about the man.
Earlier, Todd complained to Lazlo about his dialogue. Lazlo suggests that he get rid of the lab coat and show some flesh, and Todd does so and admits the lines work for him now. Arcane and Graham arrive and Arcane complains that Todd is a cheap imitation of him. Todd puts on a German accent, and Arcane complains to Lazlo that he doesn't have an accent. The actor insists that it's a better interpretation of the character, and tells Lazlo to get Arcane off the set. Until then, he'll wait in his trailer. A light falls down, just missing Arcane.
Jennifer tells the police that Todd was wild but she could handle him. She explains that she had a thing with Todd, and the lieutenant wonders if Todd had a thing with other women. Jennifer insists that there was no one else for either of them.
Jennifer invites Arcane to have dinner with her, and he suggests that they dine privately over candlelight. Todd overhears them and warns Arcane off, and tells Jennifer that they have to rehearse their romance scene. Arcane starts to go after Todd, but Mickey stops him and admits that he's protecting his investment. He says that he fired the writers and is doing the rewriting himself.
The lieutenant questions Graham, who confirms that Todd was strangled, poisoned, stabbed, and mutilated before being gassed. Graham insists that he's devoted to Arcane but didn't kill Todd. He insists that Arcane's modesty prevents him from boasting of how great he really is, and says that Arcane doesn't put up with that kind of behavior from anyone.
A hooded figure puts a revised script on the set. Later, Lazlo tells Arcane that the new script is terrific but they'll have to reshoot one scene. Arcane has no idea what he's talking about, and reads the script. He then confronts Mickey and complains that the new script has him blowing up the lab of a rival scientist. Mickey introduces his wife Julie, just in from LA, and Arcane wonders who Tawny is. Julie is equally intrigued, and Mickey says that Tawny is no one. He then tells Arcane that they have no idea where the new pages came from, and they were just there. Arcane tells him that they're not going to shoot the pages, but Mickey warns him that the studio loves them and giving them an extra $80,000. The scientist starts to tell Julie what happened between Mickey and Tawny, and Mickey quickly interrupts. He offers Arcane the job of playing himself in the movie.
That night, Arcane goes out into the swamp and calls for Swamp Thing. When the creature appears, Arcane tells him what happened and Swamp Thing says that he doesn't want the publicity. Arcane agrees and Swamp Thing suggests that Todd wasn't the intended target. The scientist realizes that the killer was after him.
The lieutenant questions Tressa, who says that she didn't know anything about the filming. When her interrogator points out that she's threatened Arcane in the past, Tressa admits that she wishes Arcane was dead and deserves worse. She says that she hated Todd's acting and no one deserves to die like that... except Arcane.
As Lazlo figures that they can turn the movie into a pilot, Jennifer complains that her character is stuck in a tube for a year in a coma. She goes off to call her agent, while Arcane tells Graham that the script is garbage. Graham points out that it shows Arcane's greatness, but he doesn't want it on public display. He talks to Mickey and asks if he could write a scene to put his fingerprints on the finished product. Mickey agrees, and Graham wonders what Arcane is doing. Arcane tells him that he'll expose the murderer.
Later, Swamp Thing and Tressa look around the movie set of Arcane's laboratory. He came there to sense the area, and they split up to search the warehouse. The hooded figure drops off more pages near Tressa, and she sees him and calls to Swamp Thing. The figure shoots at him and the bullet has no effect, and the man runs off. They check the pages and discover that they're more changes in the script.
As the crew prepares to shoot Arcane's new scene, he tells Graham to turn off the lights on queue and he'll expose the killer. Lazlo objects to the violation of the script's integrity, and Mickey warns him to remember his bank account. Mickey then goes over to the generator and finds Graham, and warns that it's dangerous. The producer points out that the ground is wet and they could all get electrocuted.
Laszlo begins filming and Arcane recites his lines. He steps up on a wooden block and says that Todd's killer is there and Arcane knows who he is. Graham cuts the lights and brings them back up. Everyone in the crew is aiming a gun at Arcane. Jennifer admits that they all killed him because they had problems with him, and Arcane admits that he thought they were trying to kill him because of the light. Mickey explains that Arcane made Todd walk off of his mark and the light was meant for the actor. The producer figures that if they kill Arcane then it will bring in the publicity, and they prepare to murder Arcane.
Swamp Thing jams the power cable from the generator into the wet ground. Everyone but Arcane on the block is shocked unconscious. Later, the police take the crew away and Graham points out that Swamp Thing saved Arcane's life. Arcane figures that the creature was doing it for him, and says that he'll kill the mysterious writer if he ever finds him.
Later, Graham burns the script pages and says that he wanted the world to know how a great a man Arcane really is. Swamp Thing watches, and vows that one day the truth about Arcane will be revealed to the world after Swamp Thing's battle is over and he's human again.
Written by Gadfly on May 18, 2017