Avery takes Gordon's body out into the swamp, starts a fire, and drags the body out of his car. As he does so, Avery remembers the past.
Avery's father Burritt made him cut open an alligator when they were night-hunting. Young Avery says that he can't, and Burritt tells him that the alligator has "swamp eyes" not worth a second of mercy. When the young boy still refuses, Burritt kills the alligator himself.
Avery kicks the body into the fire and dispassionately watches it burn.
Todd and his friend Butler are out looking for cypress near Ochee Forks, and Butler starts cutting with a chainsaw to make a path. A room key and human teeth drop out of the tree. A humanoid creature drops down and bites Todd in the arm, and then he manages to "kill" it. They realize that the creature is a human corpse and run back to their boat. Swamp Thing arrives and touches the corpse, and the plants in his arms retract from it.
The next morning, Todd arrives at Delroy's and apologizes for being late. He says that he's never going to Ochee Forks again and goes back to the kitchen. Todd's arm itches. As Delroy's daughter Liz comes in, Todd sees something move in the dirty dishwater and tells Liz, but she doesn't see anything. He reaches into the arm and hallucinates a snake biting him and then wrapping itself around his arm. Delroy and Liz see nothing, and Todd grabs a knife stabs at the "snake"--and his arm--repeatedly. When he's unable to kill the "snake", Todd turns on the garbage disposal and rams his arm into it. Delroy quickly wraps the bloody limb with a towel, and Todd scratches Delroy's arm with his fingernails before passing out from shock.
Abby takes a boat into the swamp and calls to Alec. Vines overgrow the boat and pull it to shore, and Swamp Thing watches from the shadows as Abby sees him. She says that they have to figure out what happened to him together, and asks for a tissue sample. He extends part of his body to her, and Abby breaks off a sample, Swamp Thing asks her what he's become when she finds out, and warns her to be careful coming back because there's danger in the swamp.
At the hospital, Abby examines the sample. Jason comes in and tells Abby that she made a mistake in the data she's examining. He says that she's analyzing a plant's cell structure rather than an animal. Jason points out that biology would disagree with her if she said that the cells were both, and asks if Abby would like him to take a look. Abby agrees, and Jason stares at the cells under the microscope in astonishment. He figures that she found it in the swamp, and asks what she plans to do it. She says that she's going to try to confirm the chromosomal makeup, and Jason says that she should let him analyze the cell sample so he can identify it. Abby demands full transparency and confidentiality before she shares the results with the world, and Jason wonders why he would care about the rest of the world.
Abby goes out and finds Daniel bringing some balloons for the kids. He asks if they've met before Marais, and says that he has a feeling of déjà vu. Abby doesn't remember meeting him before and walks off, and Daniel half-seriously asks the balloons if he's supposed to be helping Abby. Meanwhile, Abby meets with Susie and finds her drawing a picture of Swamp Thing. The girl admits that she's scared for him and for Abby, and Abby tells her not to be.
Avery and Maria arrive and say that they're inviting everyone who is able to come to the town hall for a crawfish boil at sunset that night. Maria enters Susie's room and tells Abby to go on while she sits with the girl. Susie tells Abby that it's okay, and Abby hesitantly goes. The girl tells Maria that she drew Swamp Thing more, and Maria asks to see the pictures.
Avery greets Abby and wonders why she's still there now that the disease is cured. She says that her research isn't complete, and Avery warns that Susie's uncle Lee isn't a model citizen. He notices Maria smiling at Susie and says that she hasn't smiled like that in months, and asks Abby if she'll be at the boil. Abby tells him that she might and leaves.
At Delroy's, Delroy and Liz tell Lucilia what happened as her men secure Todd's body. Abby comes in as Lucilia leaves with her people, and Liz figures that Todd brought something back from the swamp and it's connected to the "green flu". Meanwhile, Delroy scratches at his arm where Todd marked him. He hallucinates the lights flickering and finally going out, and hallucinates a figure outside. Liz notices and asks what's going on, but Delroy can't hear her. He sees the body of his dead mother, shot down by two robbers, and sees the masked robbers enter the bar.
Delroy grabs a shotgun from behind the bar and opens fire at the "robbers". Lucilia comes back, gun drawn, and tells Delroy to put the shotgun down. When Delroy's gun jams, Lucilia jumps him and he scratches her. Liz holds him and Abby grabs a sedative from her bag and injects Delroy with it. He passes out and Lucilia calls for another ambulance.
At the manor, Avery tells Maria that she doesn't have to come to the party. He talks about how his father died when Avery was Susie's age, and the swamp took him. Avery says that he always came up short compared to his dead father, and apologizes for Abby stirring up bad memories. Maria says that's sweet of him and leaves.
At the hospital, Delroy wakes up and has the waiting Abby and Liz confirm that he didn't hurt anyone. Liz assures him that everyone is fine, and he describes what he hallucinated. Liz recognizes it, and Delroy says that he had nightmares but nothing like what happened earlier. Abby asks if Todd said where he was in the swamp the night before, and Delroy tells her that something must have happened at Ochee Forks. She tells Liz privately that Swamp Thing warned her that something dangerous was happening in the swamp, and says that she's going to go to Ochee Forks and try to find the source of the contagion.
That night, Abby goes to Ochee Forks. The plants move aside for her and Abby wonders if Swamp Thing is doing it. She calls to him but gets no response, and finds the spot where the corpse attacked Butler and Todd. As she finds the room key, Abby hears something move in the darkness and goes to investigate, and finds the corpse. She takes a photo of it, and Swamp Thing steps out and says that she shouldn't have come. Swamp Thing warns that there's a darkness there and it escaped from the corpse where it was contained. It says that the swamp changes things and what happened isn't a disease, and the "darkness" always seeks another host. Abby remembers that Delroy scratched Lucilia and could be infected. As she heads back to Marais, Swamp Thing tells her that the thing belongs in the swamp.
At the town hall, Avery tells everyone to party. They see Susie with Nadine, and Avery tells Maria that he agreed to take her in for a few days. Maria agrees that it's a good idea and they go to a private room to get acquainted.
At an outside window, Daniel finds Xanadu. He asks her if she's seen anything more about his mission, and Xanadu tells him that she's been busy and the cards aren't clear about the future of Marais. Xanadu tells him that something big is coming that will affect the destiny of Marais. She reminds Daniel that when he came to Marais eight years ago, he made a bargain that bound him to Marais until called upon. Daniel asks if she'll be there to help, and Xanadu tells him that she will if she can and he's destined to walk the hero's path alone.
Abby picks up Liv and says that the disease is transmitted through blood, and Lucilia is the next victim. Liv has done research on the key, and discovers that it belongs to the Hotel Esperos, a local boarding house in the 30s. A World War I veteran went berserk first, claiming that he was buried in a cave-in. The darkness spread from person to person, and the last victim disappeared near Ochee Forks. Abby figures the victim went to the swamp and killed himself to keep from passing the darkness on.
Lucilia arrives at the party and Matt asks if she can just relax. The sheriff sees a man hitting on a girl and Matt goes over to take care of it. She hallucinates the man stabbing Matt in the chest and runs over to see her son bleeding out. The party-goers stare as Lucilia wraps her jacket around nothing and calls Matt's name. Lucilia draws her gun and tells everyone to stay back, and Abby arrives and tries to get through to her. Daniel sees Abby in danger and tackles Lucilia, grabbing her gun. Lucilia pulls away from Abby when Abby tries to take her to the hospital, scratching her arm. Matt comes over and manages to calm Lucilia down, and Abby realizes that she's infected. She tells Matt to take Lucilia to the hospital and staggers out. When Liz comes over, Abby tells her that she's infected and she has to take the darkness back to the swamp.
During all of this, Liv does some newspaper research and discovers that there was a similar outbreak in the 1930s. Abby talks to Swamp Thing, who says that the disease is a "darkness" that belongs in the swamp.
Abby goes to Ochee Falls and calls to Swamp Thing, and hallucinates a faceless figure saying that he's still in her dreams. The "figure" is Swamp Thing, and he holds Abby as she fights back. Swamp Thing draws the darkness into his body and as Abby reverts to normal, Swamp Thing staggers off into the swamp. He gets to the corpse and transfers the darkness back into it as Abby follows him and watches. The corpse sinks into the ground, and Swamp Thing explains that the man died to save his loved ones but was never meant to lose the darkness, and now the swamp has taken him. Abby wonders how he knows it, and Swamp Thing tells him that the plants are talking to him before walking away.
At the manor, Maria watches Susie as she eats. Avery comes in and tells Maria that Lucilia was attending to the food poisoning, and suggests that Susie should stay there. He tells his wife that he's keeping Jason in Marais to analyze the green flu, but assures Maria that Susie will be fine.
Later, Avery approaches Lee in town and pays him cash so that he can take care of Susie. Lee wonders why Avery is "buying" a kid when he doesn't love Maria, and Avery explains that he needs Susie to influence Jason to make sure she's all right.
Abby tells Swamp Thing that she's going to find a cure for him, and Swamp Thing asks her what she saw. She says that she saw the figure in her dreams when she was young. Swamp Thing says that the swamp is polluted and the darkness came from that, bringing death. He wonders what he's become, and Abby assures him that he's her friend, Alec. Swamp Thing warns that it's only the beginning.
Written by Gadfly on Jun 22, 2019