DC Universe’s Swamp Thing, a show that was too good for this world, has returned to the Green after being cancelled before the series ever really got a chance to take root. The series’ finale did what it could to tie up its many loose ends, but because there were originally supposed to be three more episodes included in the season, it could only do but so much.
Rather than trying to properly get everything wrapped up, Swamp Thing’s final episode cut some of its losses and ended up shifting into purposefully cheesy (but still kinda gross and scary in a good way) territory. Curiously, it came to its technical end with a post-credits scene that has something telling to say about the series as a whole.
Did Swamp Thing need a post-credits scene? No. But it’s got one (like Titans did before it), and it’s worth checking out if only to get a glimpse of what the direction the show would have gone in had it continued.
You can always tell when a post-credits scene was intentionally shot to be a post-credits scene, and when a “post-credits scene” is really just some repurposed footage from elsewhere in a production that the creative team simply tacked on at the end in order to say that they did the thing. Swamp Thing falls into the latter camp.
Like many of the show’s supporting characters, Matt Cable (Henderson Wade) ends up getting lost in the narrative sauce, so to speak. He essentially disappears from the picture in episode seven, “Brilliant Disguise,” when his long lost father Avery Sunderland stabs him in order to hide the fact that he once tasked Matt to kill Alec Holland. Lucilla Cable (Jennifer Beals), who is both Matt’s mother and the town sheriff, retaliates against her former lover for attacking their son by shooting him, and leaving him for dead in the swamp.
In a moment like the Cable family reunion, you could really appreciate the bits of Swamp Thing that tried to scratch the same itch HBO’s True Blood used to, but that’s beside the point.
After being stabbed, Matt seemingly sunk into a coma for the rest of the season, making it unclear whether he was ever going to recover while Lucilla waited by his bedside hoping for a miracle. And by the time Swamp Thing’s final credits begin rolling, Matt’s very much still unconscious in his hospital bed. But that all changes in the show’s post-credits scene which finds him very much awake and travelling to the police station.
As Matt enters the station, it’s readily apparent that something’s amiss there, as is evidenced by the dense cluster of plants that seems to be taking over the building and the dead body lying on the floor just past the entrance. He wanders around the building asking if anyone’s there, and draws his firearm for good measure because it’s clear something else is in there with him, and it’s probably going to kill him, as well. Is it Swamp Thing? Is it the Blue Devil? Is it the reanimated corpse of his mother Lucilla who ended up being pushed into a trunk of a car which was then shoved into the swamp? Eh, no.
It’s the Floronic Man, now fully transformed into his plant-form in a snazzy costume.
Given the way Swamp Thing’s proper season ended with Jason Woodrue (Kevin Durant) still in his human guise after ingesting some of Swamp Thing’s flesh, it seems as if the post-credits scene was originally meant to be part of a later episode after Matt was meant to wake up, and Woodrue going full villain.
Initially, after Woodrue first begins chowing down on his Swamp Thing stir-fry, he exhibits a certain degree of enhanced strength and a burgeoning connection to the Green similar to Swamp Thing’s, foreshadowing the full scale of his powers that he’d likely have after a full transformation.
The Floronic Man’s arrival to Marais isn’t exactly surprising, but it would have represented a significant moment of growth for the show considering how the villain would have, in theory, been one of the first characters actually capable of taking Swamp Thing on with a reasonable chance of winning. So much of Swamp Thing focused on Swamp Thing lurking in the swamp and spooking people who had no chance in hell of ever fighting him, that it would have been interesting to see him (and Abby Arcane) working together to outwit a worthy metahuman opponent.
But these are the kinds of things that a show can’t get when it’s had its legs swept out from under it the way Swamp Thing did, and for now, the series’ post-credits scene is probably all we’re getting.