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The Hurting Recap

In the swamp, Will talks to Swamp Thing about how he hasn't talked to Tressa since she left for a foreign country. He points out that the swamp tours haven't been booming since he took over, and Swamp Thing assures him that people are comforted by him. The creature then senses something wrong and leads Will to a woman, Irma Swanson, lying dead on the ground. He sees Irma having a heart attack and dying on the banks of the river, and Will remembers that she's an eccentric old woman. Swamp Thing tells him that Irma was the only person who knew about him for years, and he has to give her something back. He hears Irma mutter the name of her daughter Cathy with her dying breath.

Later, Cathy arrives by bus in Houma and Will greets her. He offers his condolences on Irma's death and says that he and Irma shared a close friend. Will offer to give her a lift and Cathy hesitantly accepts. She says that she won't be staying long and is glad to let the reverend set up whatever services he wants. As they get into Will's jeep, Will asks how long it's been since she's been back home, and Cathy says that it was never her home.

At the funeral, Reverend Miller gives the service, saying that she was a loving mother. Swamp Thing watches from the brush and remembers Irma telling him about how she regrets driving Cathy off. Irma says that she treated Cathy the way that her parents treated her, and she'd do anything to take it all back because her daughter hates her. Meanwhile, Miller tells Cathy that Irma is with the Lord and that it won't be the same without Irma there. When he comments on her resemblance to a young Irma, Cathy says that's where the resemblance ends.

Later, Will goes to Irma's home to offer her house. She's cleaning the place out and says that she doesn't have the time to be social. Will tells her that it's for his benefit, and Cathy reluctantly tells him to start helping. As she works, Cathy says that she left as soon as she could and refuses to make small talk. She explains that she and Irma weren't close, and left when she was 16. Cathy tosses a plant into the garbage and says that Irma was an eccentric fool who chose to live alone and drive her out. She describes how Irma always embarrassed her in front of her friends, talking to the cats. Disgusted, Will leaves.

That night, Will meets Swamp Thing and says that Cathy is an ice princess. Swamp Thing tells his friend that Cathy is the victim of her own hate, and believes that Irma wronged her. He explains that Irma had an emotional breakdown years ago and had trouble displaying her emotions. Will wonders why Swamp Thing never mentioned Irma, and Swamp Thing finally explains that he crawled from the swamp and wanted to die. Irma found him and gave him the strength to go on living, and says that Irma will turn Cathy around rather than him.

Swamp Thing goes to Irma's home and stands outside. He concentrates and inside, the lights flicker. Cathy finds a photo of a young Irma with a boy, and goes outside to find herself in the 50s. The boy calls to a young Irma, who gets into the car. The boy, Brad Griffin, says that he enlisted that day and they drive to a drive-in diner.

Cathy finds herself at the drive-in, but no one can see or hear her. She goes inside and sees Xxx and Irma at a table with two of their friends, Tony and Joey. Brad is talking about going to fight the Commies, and Irma goes to the jukebox. He goes after her and Irma says that Brad entering the Air Force ruined all of their plans. Brad explains that he had to get a decent job and Tony comes over and asks if they're supposed to sit around while Brad plays soldier. He demands a rematch and walks off.

Cathy sees Irma outside on the bench and goes out. She calls to her and goes after her, and Swamp Thing steps out and says that it wasn't Irma and he only wants to talk. Swamp Thing tells Cathy that she's been given a gift to see all that her eyes have been closed to. He says that there are reasons that Irma changed, and some reasons are tragic. Cathy runs off... and finds herself on the road where Brad and Tony are drag-racing for pink slips. Irma begs Brad not to race, but he says that there's nothing else he can do. She reminds him that he promised not to race again, but Brad insists that it's just a race. They kiss and Brad gives her his wallet to hold, assuring her that he'll be right back.

The two drivers start up their cars, and Cathy begs them to stop but no one can hear her. Brad crashes and dies, and Irma and the others run to the spot where Brad went off the road. Cathy looks on as Irma tells Tony that she's pregnant with Brad's child and was going to tell him.

Back in Houma, Cathy remembers what Swamp Thing told to her. She enters Irma's home and takes out the plants she threw away earlier. Later, Cathy goes to her mother's grave and apologizes for letting things get in the way of being with her. She says that she talked to Miller and he confirmed that Irma's parents threw her out when they learned that she was pregnant. Crying, Cathy says that she loved her and always will.

The next day, Cathy goes to the bank where Irma died and tosses in flowers in memory of her. Swamp Thing watches from the brush and smiles.

Written by Gadfly on Dec 3, 2017

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