Swamp Thing ponders his life, and how he hasn't used the powers of the swamp for his own use. He discovers that his human side is returning.
At a cafe in Houma, Burl and Matt Caleb are eating and Burl angrily says that he wants to get out. Matt tells him to stop and asks who will help him avenge their brother Zack's death if he doesn't. Burl insists that Zack isn't dead, and storms off. Ann is at the next table and reading articles about Alec's disappearance. She remembers confronting the mysterious stranger in the swamp, and his say that all he can ever be to her is a voice in the shadows.
Ann drives out into the swamp and calls out to Alec. Swamp Thing responds, and she says that what he said to her the last time they met reminded her of his quoting Abraham. A tabloid mentioned the lab accident, and Ann says that she's a fan and a friend, and wants to help. As she starts to go, Swamp Thing tells her that he is Alec, and there was a fire that along with the formula transformed him. Linda was killed in the fire and he's become one with the swamp. Ann insists that he's just a man who suffered at the hands of Arcane, and Swamp Thing says that punishing him wouldn't restore his humanity. He contemplates the patch of human skin on his body, and explains that the less he uses the swamp's energies, the more human he becomes. Ann figures that they need Arcane's lab to accelerate the process, and she can play on his vanity and ego.
The next day, Ann meets with Arcane. Burl and Matt are watching, and they figure Ann is Arcane's girlfriend. Meanwhile, Ann suggests that they work together to mutate cells to take on different forms. She says that she read about his work before it was sabotaged by jealous competitors, and Arcane takes her hand and says that it has taken him years to feel like a man again. Ann figures that they could be the toast of the scientific community if they work together. She thanks Arcane for exposing Carter during their last encounter.
Swamp Thing continues to transform back to human, and that night Ann comes out into the swamp playing the Moonlight Sonata on a player. She invites Swamp Thing to dance with her, him in the shadows and her in the clearing. Swamp Thing watches, smiling, as Ann dances as if he was with her. He finally steps out and takes Ann's hand. Crying, Ann says that it's good to see him again. Arcane watches from the shadows and realizes that Ann lied to him. He goes back to his car where Graham is waiting, and tells his assistant that he's going to do what Ann wants until he has the new formula. As they get in, Matt and Burl take them captive.
The brothers take Arcane and Graham to their cabin and tie them up. Burl explains that they escaped from death row, and Graham reminds his employer that he made a deal with the warden to experiment on death-row prisoners. Arcane's experiments turned their brother Zack into a vegetable. Arcane says that Ann spoiled the experiment and they should go after her.
Ann takes samples of Swamp Thing's moss-encrusted skin, while his transformation back to human continues. Afterward, she drives to her hotel and Burl captures her. Swamp Thing realizes that she's in danger and leaves.
The brothers take Ann to their cabin and explain why they took her. She says that Arcane is the only one responsible for Zack, but the Calebs aren't convinced. Matt suggests that they be friends, but Burl says that they need to get on with it. Ann plays up that the swamp is Arcane's hell on earth, and the Calebs prepare to sink them into the swamp.
Swamp Thing goes to the hotel and wonders where Ann is, sure that she's in danger.
The Calebs prepare to drop Ann and Arcane into the swamp where the alligators are waiting.
Swamp Thing realizes that his human side is preventing him from knowing what to do. Taking a knife, he cuts off his human skin to reveal the plant structure beneath, and screams in pain. The Calebs hear his screams, while Swamp Thing summons the powers of the storm. The waters around the Calebs' boat bubble, and the two men fall into the swamp where the alligators soon finish them off.
Arcane and Graham hop away through the swamp. Meanwhile, Swamp Thing finds Ann and she realizes that he has reverted. He tells her that the swamp has reclaimed him for now, but he would rather live as a monster than lose her. Ann promises that they'll find a cure.
Written by Gadfly on Sep 10, 2017