Night on the swamp outside of Marais, and Jones, Eddie Coyle, and Blaine are out. They stop and toss three boxes of that a man hired them to drop in the water. Something brushes the bottom of the boat and the engine won't start. The boat shakes and something grabs it, spinning it on the water. After a moment the spinning stops, and vines latch onto the boat, spinning it around again and knocking Blaine into the water. The movement stops and Blaine , a half-dozen yards away, rises to the surface struggling. He swims to the boat but something pulls him under.
Around them, plants grow out of control and Jones hears the sound. The plants enter the water and head toward the boat, and Jones sees them and lights a flare. He throws it into the water at the explosives, and they go off. After a moment the plants renew their assault and lift the boat out of the water, and a thick root shoots through Jones's chest. Eddie falls into the water and swims to shore, then stares at the plants as more of them come at him.
48 Hours Later
Eddie's daughter Susie is in class and coughs. She realizes that she's coughing up a green substance and the other students stare as she staggers out of her seat and then collapses.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo, two people in hazmat suits try to convince a boy to drop the machete and let them examine him and his sister. The second person--Abby Cable--removes her mask and tells the boy not to be afraid. Abby addresses the boy in his native tongue, telling him that he's brave to defend his sister and they also want to help her because she's sick. She assures the boy that he's coming with them and the boy steps aside.
The two CDC scientists take the brother and sister to their camp, and the second scientist, Harlan Edwards, tells Abby that she was great and saved the girl's life. He tells Abby that Atlanta CDC called and there's a possible situation in the States in Marais.
Later, Abby and Harlan arrive in Marais and Abby gives Harlan directions. She admits that it's been a while since she was home, and they pass a memorial next to the bridge. Abby remembers a girl standing on the railing of the bridge, preparing to jump.
When they arrive at the hospital, Dr. Chowodury tells them that there have been four cases and Susie was the first. Abby realizes that the outbreak is spreading, and tells the staff that she's with the CDC and her team is there to assist with caring for their patients. She asks for blood samples and a list of patients' contacts. Abby dons protective gear and checks on Susie, and finds green ooze and a small plant on Susie's pillow. She shows it to Chowodury, who says that there's a mycosis in Susie's lungs but it's not fungal. Abby sees a man going through the files and confronts him, He says that he's not taking them and asks for the original tests. The nurse escorts him out and the man yells to Abby that she'll want to talk to him eventually.
Harlan tells Abby that Suzie's father Eddie is MIA and his boat isn't in the slip, so he could be out on the water. Abby suggests that Eddie made it home before Suzie took the bus to school. Abby drives to the Coyle house and Sheriff Matt Cable pulls up. Abby recognizes him and is surprised to see that he's a cop, now, and Matt says that he didn't think they'd see him again. He tells Abby that Eddie is a fisherman and they've called him in a few times but never on child abuse charges. The front door is unlocked, and Matt and Abby go inside. They look around and Abby finds a hanging plant having overgrown its pot. Something moves in the house and they grow upstairs. There's plant growth on the walls, and it spreads once they pass.
Upstairs, Abby and Matt find more plant growth on the walls. The noises appear to be coming from behind a door, and no one responds when they call to Eddie. Matt draws his gun and opens the door, and they find a man kneeling on the door sawing out a board. The sheriff tells him to drop it, and the man explains that he's collecting a sample. It's the man from the hospital, and the man points behind them. Eddie's corpse is in the bathroom doorway covered in vines and immobile. Some of the vines are emerging from his mouth, and Abby finds a bottle of pills on the sink. The mirror cracks as a vine grows.
Matt's men arrive and arrest the man. The sheriff identifies him as Alec Holland, a scientist who has been in the area for the last few months. Abby points out that what happened to Eddie had nothing to do with Alec, and says that she intends to find out what happened to Eddie. Alec comes over and Abby wonders why he's there. He figures that nothing is working to contain the outbreak, and says that Avery Sunderland hired him to collect and analyze biological experiments. He thinks that it might be connected to the outbreak, and offers to show Abby what he's found at the Sunderland lab. Abby and Alec agree that they prefer solutions rather than mysteries, and going to the lab will get her closer to the truth.
Abby agrees and they take a boat through the swamp to the lab. She points out that he's wearing flip-flops and has an attitude so she figured he wasn't a local. They reach the lab building and go inside, and Alec's dog Garou greets them. Alec tells Abby that he's close to identifying a new mutagen buried in the swamp. He's been mapping hotspots in the swamp, and in the last two weeks there's been a steady increase in the speed of the processes.
Alec shows her a sample from one of the most active sites, with something that he doesn't belong. He puts it in a containment chamber and exposes it to Spanish moss, and the moss visibly grows, covering the inside of the chamber. It threatens to overgrow the chamber and Alec quickly kills it with herbicide. They figure the substance is some kind of biological accelerant, and that it could be what is making people sick. Abby gets a text that Eddie's body is ready for postmortem, and Alec assures Abby that he has all of his research backed up on hard drive.
That night at the emergency town hall meeting, Mayor Riley calls everyone to order and says that the doctors are doing everything they can about the outbreak. The townspeople complain about big timber coming in and ruining the swamp. Avery Sutherland and his wife Maria are there, and Avery assures the townspeople that he'll cover any medical expenses. One man complains that he's putting more money into his lab than the town, and Avery tells them that the swamp took his father away when he was young but now it's given the town a way of life. Avery insists that his research is about uncovering what else the swamp can offer, and it could be the answer to the town's problems. He tells them that he could have pulled out of Marais but it's home and he refused to go. Riley says that they'll post updates as they get them.
After the meeting ends, Alec approaches Avery and asks if he got the findings he sent him. Avery notes that he dismissed Alec two weeks ago, and Alec tells him that the evolutionary cycle of the mutagen has continued skyrocketing and now people are getting sick. The older man dismisses the connection, but Alec isn't convinced. Avery reminds him that he hired a man needing a second chance and doesn't want to start a panic. He tells Alec that they've got it and leaves.
At the hospital morgue, Abby autopsies Eddie's body and moves plants from his chest. Alec comes and admits that it's his first autopsy. As he sets up his test gear, Abby admits that the drug treatment isn't helping Susan. Abby gives him a sample of the plants from Eddie and he treats it with the mutagen. The plants in Eddie grow out of his body behind them.
In her hospital bed, Suzie's vitals spike and she wakes up.
The plants "animated" Eddie's body and he sits up. Abby and Alec notice and move back, and they try to get to the door.
Suzie yanks out the monitors on her body.
The plant continues growing, splitting open Eddie's body and spreading across the morgue. A vine grabs Abby's leg and drags her in, and Alec manages to yank her free. Suzie arrives in the doorway and screams, and then collapses. Abby runs to the girl, picks her up, and runs as the plants smash out of the morgue. Alex mixes two chemicals and shoves them toward the plant, and then sets them on fire. The fire consumes the plant, destroying it.
Abby takes Suzie to her room,
Alec grabs an extinguisher and puts out the flames.
Abby administers CPR to Suzie, trying to revive her. The girl finally breathes and has the nurse start an IV. She goes back to the basement and watches as the firefighters deal with the aftermath. Alec joins her and asks Abby if she's all right. He plucks a piece of glass out of her hair and wonders what's next. Abby says that she's going to check something out and invites Alec to come along.
Alec and Abby go to a dockside bar and Abby says that there's a reporter friend of hers inside who might know what's out in the swamp. They see an elderly fortune teller on an upstairs level and Abby says that it's Madame Xanadu and she's been there a long time. Inside the bar, Abby's friend Liz Tremayne greets her and they hug. Abby introduces Alec and Liz, and Alec goes to get drinks. She tells Liz that Alec is all right and they sit down. Liz has heard about what happened at Eddie's, and Abby asks her if she's seen anything unusual at the docks. The reporter says that she's heard rumors of someone hiring boats to go out into the swamp at night but no one knows who or why. The guys Eddie crewed with have disappeared and they were last seen near Skeeter Cove.
Maria comes over and asks to talk to Abby privately. Liz and Alec leave, and Maria wonders why the CDC sent Abby. She talks about her daughter Shawna and how she spent Abby's freshman year in Shawna's dorm room. Maria admits that she drank a lot, and sobered up because Avery threatened to divorce her and she didn't want to lose him. Avery told Maria that the darkness was Abby's fault, not Maria's. Maria says that Suzie can stay because she's good and can help Suzie, and makes her promise that Suzie will pull through. The older woman says that the moment Suzie is better, she wants Abby gone, and then leaves.
Alex comes back over and Abby tells him that they should check out Skeeter Cove. They take a boat there and find the boat still raised out of the water by the plants. Abby and Matt check the boat and find a laptop, and Alex locates one of the boxes. He manages to pull it out and opens it in their boat. Inside is the same mutagen that he found earlier, attached to an underwater release mechanism. They take it back to the lab to analyze it.
At the lab, Abby and Alec wait for the computer to analyze the serum. Alec asks if Maris is the reason that Abby doesn't visit much, and Abby admits that she's the reason she doesn't come back. Abby takes a bottle of liquor from Alec's collection and says that she Googled Alec and learned that he's been accused of fabricating lab results. Alec admits that he manipulated the data to better prove his conclusion, but he couldn't replicate the results. He explains that he wanted to be known by his work, and now it does. He figures that the joy is in the discovery, and Abby explains about Shawna Sutherland. Shawna and Abby were best friends growing up and the Sunderlands were like parents to her.
As Abby starts to say what happened, the computer finishes its analysis. Alec invites Abby to finish her story, and she says that she killed Shawna. Alec checks the results and says that the mutagen in the box is the same biological accelerant he found in the swamp except many times stronger. Abby tells him to pull some samples so she can take back to the hospital and hopefully stop the pathogen. Alec figures the laptop has GPS coordinates where other boxes of accelerant were dumped, and he's going to fish them out before more people get sick. Before he goes, Alec asks Abby if she's okay and she says that she is. He asks why she Googled him, and Abby refuses to answer.
Out in the swamp, Alec finds one of the boxes floating in the water and pulls it out.
Abby calls Harlan and says that she has something that might help them find a cure, and she needs access to the hospital's lab and time to go through some new findings. Harlan says that he'll get on it.
Alec finds another of the boxes. A man pulls up in another boot and shoots Alec twice in the chest. He then fires a stick of dynamite into Alec's boat using a crossbow, and Alec rolls over the side just before his boat explodes.
Abby sees the explosion in the distance.
The killer takes off in his boat, and Alec manages to swim to shore. He's covered in the accelerant and collapses, dying. Vines wrap around his body and pull him under, entering his body.
Abby takes a boat out into the swamp to look for Alec, She finds the burning boat but no sign of Alec. The vines grow over the side of her boat, then pull it down throwing Abby into the swamp. Abby swims to shore as the vines come after her, and when she reaches shore she finds a corpse with vines moving through it. The vines pursuing her move back, and a muck-encrusted mockery of a man emerges from the water and advances on Abby. Abby runs off into the night, and the thing from the swamp watches her go.
Written by Gadfly on Jun 1, 2019