In the swamp, Ann is checking bird traps when Swamp Thing calls to her. She finds him lying on the ground, and he explains that Arcane sprayed the swamp with a chemical. His outer skin is dissolving, and Ann takes him to the boat house that she rented as a lab. She explains that someone has been trapping blue doves.
Graham returns to the lab with a cage and reports to Arcane that they haven't found Swamp Thing's body yet. Arcane says that there won't be any traces left, and talks about his new virus that will seek Swamp Thing out only and kill him without harming anything. Graham removes the cover on the cage, revealing blood doves, and Arcane says that their species is next.
At the lab, Ann identifies the virus and confirms that it's targeted to Swamp Thing's genetic code. Swamp Thing examines an old navy decompression chamber, and Ann says that she may have found a way to cure him. She suggests that if they can get his DNA back to its old code using a chemical formula administered via pressure forcing it into all of the cells at the same time. Swamp Thing agrees, figuring that it's last chance, and asks for a few more days to run tests and be sure. He points out that the last time he worked in a lab, his wife Linda died in an explosion. Ann assures him that it won't happen and sacks out in the next room.
The night passes and Swamp Thing remembers the explosion that created him. He looks at the blue dove that Ann rescued, communes with it, and realizes what Arcane is doing. Swamp Thing enters the pressure chamber, seals the door, and activates the process. He soon transform back to his original form as Alec Holland, screaming in pain. Ann wakes up and goes to investigate, and realizes what Alec has done. Alec starts pounding on the walls, and Ann warns him that the chamber will explode. She turns down the pressure and opens the door, and finds Alec crouched on the floor. Alec looks up at her and they kiss.
Ann leads Alec outside and he enjoys the feel of the outside world. She points out that he could have been killed and says that he needs to learn to trust her. Alec tells her that he will, and that he had to do it because of Arcade. As they walk out into the swamp, Alec explains that he could hear the birds "talking" about Arcane targeting them next. They check the water in trunks for traces of Arcade's chemical.
That night, they check the samples in Ann's lab and Alec comes up with a neutralizing agent. As they work, Alec scratches at a rash on his arm. He says that he can destroy it if he can get it to Arcade's central supply. Ann tells him that she ran some tests and the "rash" is plant cells coming back. She warns that she can't tell how long he has, and Alec assures her that it's a setback but eventually she'll figure it out.
Later, Ann calls Arcane and tells him that Swamp Thing is dying and didn't recognize her. She appeals to Arcane as a man to help her, and he says that he'll be at her apartment with a bottle of wine. Once Ann hangs up, Alec congratulates her. As she goes to get purse, Alec realizes that he's reverting faster. Meanwhile, Graham wonders if Arcane believes Ann. He doesn't but figures that it doesn't make a difference as long as Swamp Thing is dead.
That night, Arcane arrives at Ann's apartment. She goes to get his "surprise", and Alec comes back with Ann. Alec claims that Arcade's virus killed off his plant side and reverted him. He wonders why Arcane has wasted talents on cruelty and destruction, and Arcane says that he faced the realities of the world. Alec tells him to leave, and Arcane says that he will if Alec explains how the virus caused the transformation. Ann objects but Alec tosses him out. When Ann objects, Alec says that he knows Arcane. A few seconds later, Arcane comes back and says that he knows what created the cure. He suggests that they exchange information.
Later at the complex, Graham shows Ann around the lab while Arcane and Alec exchange ideas. They look at an electronic microscope and Ann figures that it's what Arcane used to create the virus. Meanwhile, Arcane notices that Alec is sweating a lot but Alec dismisses it as part of the transformation. The two scientists go to work, while Ann talks about her experience with bacteriological cultures and asks to see Graham's setup.
While he mixes the bio-restorative formula, Arcane talks about the wealth and power he can acquire. He finally notices the spreading cellulose and figures that Alec isn't well. Alec snaps at him, saying that they should continue doing the work.
Graham shows Ann the only specimen of the virus culture and starts to kiss her. She asks him to check on the heat, and when he goes Ann takes the culture. Alec continues to change and Arcane notices, while Ann puts the neutralizing agent on the culture. She notices that Alec is transforming, and Alec yells at her not to destroy the culture. Ann warns that the transformation is affecting his mind, and Arcane tries to stop her. She knocks him away and pours the agent on the culture. Alec attacks the guards as they arrive, and then leaves with Ann. Furious, Arcane realizes that the culture is destroyed.
Alec stumbles into the swamp and reverts back to Swamp Thing. He screams at the sky, wondering why he was allowed to taste humanity for a brief moment. When Ann finds him a few minutes later, Swamp Thing greets her and says that he is as he was before. He asks her to leave him, and wonders what the point of it was. Ann tells him that it's a start and they'll make it happen, but she can't do it alone. She asks if he'll keep believing.
Written by Gadfly on Oct 1, 2017