The next morning in the swamp, Avery contemplates his gunshot wounds. He hears the plants "talking", cuts a bandage out of his shirt, and then limps off. Avery uses his knowledge of the swamp to head for Marais, and hears something moving among the trees. He sees no one, and promises to walk out of the swamp and save himself. Behind him, the tree that Avery cut to mark his path heals itself.
Abby arrives at the CDC in Atlanta and meets with Harlan, and she gives her sample to an assistant, Caitlin, to take for analysis. She warns that it's toxic and tells Caitlin to watch herself. Harlan tells Abby that she needs to take a break before returning to work, and Abby looks up to see a man, Flores, briefly watching her before going on his way. Abby doesn't recognize him, and Harlan tells her that the new assistant director, Dr. Palomar, started while Abby was away. Palomar comes up and says that she knows about the pathogen that Abby discovered. She points out that Abby hasn't sent in her daily reports, and that the "green flu" patients have already been released. Abby says that she has reason to believe the disease is still active, and Palomar asks for any evidence proving Abby's theory. She tells Abby that she talked to the Marais hospital and they said that Abby has barely been there because she's been out in the swamp most of the time.
Avery limps through the swamp and finally collapses from shock and blood loss. Lucilia appears and tells him that the swamp hates Avery more than she does, because he's destroyed it. Avery asks if she's come to finish the job, and Lucilia notes that he told Matt that he's his father. She aims her shotgun at Avery and says that she never told Matt because she was afraid Avery would turn him into a monster. Avery insists that he'll always love Lucilia, and begs her for a chance.
A gunshot rings out and Lucilia turns away. Avery is unharmed, and he turns her around. "Lucilia" sprouts vines from her mouth and eyes, and Avery falls back as they reach for him. The vision disappears as Avery looks around.
Matt lies in bed, and his phone rings. It's Lucilia, who leaves a message asking where he is. She says that she needs him at the station and tells her son to call her.
In Harlan's office, Abby complains that Harlan didn't back her. He tells her that he doesn't know what she's been doing and she hasn't checked in, and what she has told him didn't make sense. Harlan warns that Abby's regular silence isn't like her or them, and asks what is it with her and Marais. Abby says that she's going to think and leaves.
In the hospital lab, Nathan visits Jason and says that he wants to continue discussing Jason's work. Nathan says that he's ordered a fully equipped mobile biological lab from Chicago and is setting up a facility for Jason to set up in. Jason points out that the Conclave should already have labs in place, and Nathan tells him that the project requires "discretion". Jason agrees to take a look at it, and Nathan asks how his work with the specimen is going. The scientist says that they haven't found the subject yet but it's only a matter of time until they do.
As night falls, Avery continues through the swamp. He sees a figure standing ahead and calls to him, and realizes that it's his younger self. Young Avery turns and stares at him, and Burritt calls to his son as he hacks at the tree. Burritt doesn't hear Avery when he calls to him, and Young Avery joins his father. Young Avery says that the tree Burritt is hacking at has special powers, but Burritt doesn't care and keeps hacking with his axe. When Avery yells at him to be careful, Burritt looks at him and says that "careful" is for cowards. The tree bleeds human blood, and vines grow out of the ground and drag Burritt into his campfire. Sobbing, Avery can only watch as his father burns to death.
Avery looks up and discovers that everything is gone, and it was another vision. Glancing up, Avery sees Swamp Thing standing over him.
Abby returns home, pours herself a drink, and takes out a box with her childhood things. Harlan arrives with veggie pizza and booze, and Abby invites him in. He says that the lab will have a full analysis of the pathogen by morning, and she explains that she used to cut her dolls open to look at their tiny organs. Abby mentions her mother, and says that she's been remembering bits and pieces of her childhood. She wonders if she came back to Marais for a reason, and tells Harlan that there's a man in the swamp who is very sick. Abby figures that it's related to the green flu, and has been trying to find answers for his condition but had no luck. She admits that the patient is more than just a patient, and has been challenging the way she looks at the world. Abby finally says that the patient's name is Alec Holland.
Avery wakes up in a cabin and finds vines growing in his leg wound. He pulls them out and throws them on the floor, and a voice from the shadows says that it's moss that can heal the wound. Swamp Thing steps out of the shadows and Avery realizes that it's what was once Alec. The creature says that he doesn't know what happened to him, and asks who shot Avery. Avery says that people he cared about shot him, and that the swamp want him dead. He tells Swamp Thing that the swamp took his father and his little girl, and Swamp Thing says that the swamp has been abused. He warns that the balance of the swamp has changed and the darkness is now there, as well as the Green that connects Swamp Thing to the plants. Swamp Thing figures the Green wants him to protect the swamp from people like Avery, and angrily advances on Avery.
At the station, Deputy Tyler gives Matt a file and Matt snaps at him when he asks for his signature on a report. Lucilia calls Matt into her office and tells her son that he has to keep it together because people will notice that Avery is missing. She assures Matt that they'll get through it, and Matt talks about his real father: the man who raised him until he left because Lucilia couldn't let Avery go. Lucilia vows that she didn't mean to hurt him or Matt. Unimpressed, Matt goes back to work.
Abby explains that Alec has transformed and has powers. She figures Harlan thinks she's crazy, and Harlan admits that he saw weird things in Marais and believes Abby. Harlan promises to protect Abby from Palomar and they share a toast. He notes that she's passionate about Alec, and Abby says that Alec is worth it. They admit that they missed each other and hug, and Harlan goes out. He walks down the street and two men identify him by name, attack him, and throw him into their SUV before driving off.
Avery insists that he helped Swamp Thing to regain his reputation, and realizes that Abby knows what Alec has become and that the sample came from Swamp Thing. He figures that Abby and Swamp Thing care about each other, and tells Swamp Thing that his father told him that a man takes what he wants. Avery says that he might be able to help Swamp Thing be with Abby by taking him to Jason. Swamp Thing tells Avery to go because the Green blocked the channels to bring a boat there to take Avery back to Marais. Avery looks out the cabin window and sees the boat coming, and promises to come back with Jason. He asks Swamp Thing to meet them at a clearing and possibly be cured, and asks for the chance to save Swamp Thing's life.
The next day at the CDC, Abby discovers that her security badge has been shut down. Palomar comes over and tells her that the pathogen sample has been brought on full lock down. She says that Harlan has been reassigned to Bangladesh and it was out of her hands. Palomar takes Abby to a conference room where Flores is waiting and leaves Abby there. Nathan joins them and says that they're there to discuss Alec. They know Alec is alive and are aware of his condition, and Nathan says that Harlan was concerned about Abby treating a patient off the medical radar. Nathan tells Abby that Alec needs to be brought in for treatment, and it's not for her to decide if he's a threat. If Swamp Thing has to be brought in using force, things could get violent. Nathan wants Abby to convince Swamp Thing to believe it's for his own good. Abby says that she has work to do in Marais and tells Nathan to stay away from Alec.
As Abby goes, she leaves a voice mail for Harlan asking him to call her and that she's heading back to Marais.
Avery goes to Jason's house and tells Jason to stitch up his wounds. Catherine leaves them alone, and Jason complains that they're doing it at his house instead of Avery's. Avery reminds him what he said about asking questions, and shows Jason his leg wound where the moss was. The wound has almost entirely healed, and Jason asks where he's been. Avery tells him that he's been in the swamp and found the source of the cells that Jason has been studying. He explains that Alec has been transformed and is covered in a plant skin, and he healed Avery. Jason knows that it's Alec and that Nathan took the meeting with Maria. He explains that Maris showed the Conclave Jason's work and claimed that Avery left the project in her hands. Avery is impressed, and Jason explains that Nathan has set him up with a new facility. When he says that Nathan has offered hunters to bring in Swamp Thing, Avery asks him if Jason thinks it's possible to restore Swamp Thing to Alec. The scientist says that Alec won't produce regenerative cells but Swamp Thing can, and tells Avery that using the serum he could cheat death and cure any disease. Jason promises Avery that his name will be everywhere and he can save the world.
That night, Jason and Avery go to the swamp and call to Swamp Thing. Swamp Thing emerges from the shadows and says that he's read Jason's work, and Jason says that transformation intrigues him as he studies the transformed Alec. When Swamp Thing asks if Jason can turn him back to an ordinary man, Jason says that he'll try but will have to take him to his facility. Swamp Thing says that he can't leave the swamp, and Avery insists that it's the only way. Sensing that someone else is present, Swamp Thing leaves and the Conclave hunters move in on him.
Swamp Thing tells the hunters to leave while they can, and they spray nitrogen gas on him. Avery and Jason arrive as Swamp Thing fights back, and the two men open fire with shotguns. When Swamp Thing charges at them, the hunters get clear shots and freeze him with the nitrogen.
Later, Abby enters the swamp and calls to Swamp Thing. She finds the frozen patch of ground where he was captured but no other sign of him.
Written by Gadfly on Jul 20, 2019