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Tressa Kipp brings her eleven-year-old son, Jim, to her mother's home in the swamps to stay for a while. It is her hope that some time away from their home town of Philadelphia might help to heal a growi

Quote1.png The swamp is my world. It is who I am... it is what I am. I was once a man. I know the evil men do. Do not bring your evil here, I warn you. Do not incur the wrath of the Swamp Thing! Quote2.png
Swamp Thing

The Emerald Heart is an episode of season 1 of Swamp Thing. It premiered on July 27, 1990.

Synopsis for "The Emerald Heart"

Tressa Kipp brings her eleven-year-old son, Jim, to her mother's home in the swamps to stay for a while. It is her hope that some time away from their home town of Philadelphia might help to heal a growing rift that had been developing between them for some time.

Jim takes his row boat out into the swamp so he can videotape some of the local wild life. He comes upon a dwarf named Humphrey tied upside down to a pole. Jim helps him free and Humphrey scrambles to get back on dry land. He asks Jim to help him get some food, pleading with him that he is ravenous. Jim returns to his grandmother's place and begins collecting some food items. His mother enters the kitchen and Jim tells her about the hungry dwarf that he found trapped in the swamps. Tressa Kipp does not believe Jim's tale and is concerned about his compulsive lying.

Meanwhile, Tressa's mother, Savanna Langford picks up supplies in town and runs into the outspoken and charismatic Anton Arcane. Arcane gives her a ride back home. He has a brief encounter with Tressa and tries to woo her with a handful of flowers (picked from Savannah's front step), but Tressa is preoccupied with her troublesome son.

She relates her concerns to her mother, and Savannah reminds her that she was not a particularly truthful child herself when she was Jim's age. She recalls how when Tressa was twelve-years-old, she claimed that a heart-shaped emerald pendant that her mother had given her had been stolen, when in fact she lost it.

In the swamps, Humphrey is waiting for Jim to return, when suddenly, one of Arcane's henchmen, Hurd Fitch, appears behind him and clubs him nearly to death.

The Toad Boy!

Jim runs back through the swamps, but a strange toad-faced man jumps down from the trees and assaults him. The Toad Boy backs Jim against a tree, but when he sees the Swamp Thing standing nearby, he grows scared and runs off. Jim is bemused, but not particularly taken aback by the Swamp Thing's presence. Jim and the Swamp Thing find Humphry's prone body and the Swamp Thing uses his elemental powers to heal him. The Swamp Thing finds Hurd Fitch and fuses him into a tree.

Later, Anton Arcane finds Humphrey in town. Humphrey tries to run away, but Arcane captures him. He brings Humphrey back to his laboratory cave. Arcane once promised to give the dwarf a normal-sized human body, but Humphrey knows that such a procedure will invariably turn him into one of his hideously malformed Un-Men. Disappointed with Humphrey's attitude, Arcane kills him.

Back at the Langford residence, the Swamp Thing keeps a close eye on the family. He finds the Emerald Heart pendant that Tressa lost all those years ago and hangs it onto a tree branch, close enough to the house so that Tressa can find it easily.

Tressa gives a lot of thought to her current problems with Jim. She realizes that she cannot stay in the swamps, and must soon return to Philadelphia. She decides to let Jim stay with his grandmother. Jim is elated at this news and runs out into the swamp, cheering and shouting.

Appearing in "The Emerald Heart"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:



  • The Emerald Heart (Tressa's pendant)



  • No notes.


  • Dick Durock played the Swamp Thing in this series as well as the Swamp Thing and Return of the Swamp Thing movies.
  • Premiere episode; 1st appearance of all characters.
  • Filmed at Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida.
  • The Swamp Thing and Anton Arcane are based upon characters created by Len Wein and Bernie Wrightson. Although their characters bear several similarities to the versions featured in the Swamp Thing feature film and its sequel, Return of the Swamp Thing, there are enough differences between the two to establish the television series as taking place in an alternate continuity.
  • Aside from Swamp Thing and Arcane, all of the other characters featured in this program are unique to the television series.
  • "Toad Boy" is one of Anton Arcane's Un-Men. He appears next in "The Shipment".
  • The quote from the top of the page is the narrative that is heard in the opening credits of every episode.
  • The henchmen, Hurd Fitch, is not named in the episode. He is identified only in the closing credits.

See Also

Recommended Media

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