WHAT a great episode! I always enjoyed this one and am looking forward to it each time on my rewatch cycle.
Really the ONLY thing I don’t enjoy is the VERY heavy-handed parallel they try to draw between Gordon and Dean. It’s just so unnecessary.
But everything else is so well done.
There are layers and layers of tragedy in this episode and SO MUCH DEATH. And most of them caused their demise themselves! All those girls being snatched from the club scene – sad, but that’s what you get for taking drugs from a stranger! (Shout out to another Buffy alumni with Mercedes McNab aka Harmony!! She does naive victim well.) Kubirc the sad, Jesus-loving fool…..he shoulda known better…he’s a hunter! Gordon…tragic end to a tough road, but then….well, Karma’s a bitch, man, and she bit you on the….butt. He’s got a really compelling character arc, though! Trying to revenge his sister’s turning by becoming the ultimate killer to be turned himself….brilliant. Bela, grapsing at straws. Of course we don’t know that yet, but there is obviously something going on and I appreciate the glimpses of desperation we get from her actions and expressions – unfortunately she’s also digging her own grave and cutting off sympathy from the only people who MIGHT have been able to and most probably were willing to help her. Dean and Sam’s growing tense apprehension at what’s to come for Dean.
The whole episode feels tight and intense and laden with doom. It’s really well done.
Dixon was probably the only character I wasn’t too concerned with. Yeah, his family was slaughtered, but judging by the photograph he shows Gordon that was in the 1880s…so, sorry, but get over it, dude.
The danger to Sam and Dean from Gordon seems very real and visceral. The guy’s so determined and relentless, being supercharged on top of that amplifies Gordon’s potential for violence to the umpth degree. It is very effective.
The cat and mouse scene in the warehouse when Sam is blind and we see through Gordon’s eyes is really creepy and intense and puts me right in Sam’s shoes. Very cool lighting and camera movement. And Sam SLOOOOWLY cutting Gordon’s head of with razor wire was probably the most gruesome and visually disgusting death of a character on the show.
I wish they would have kept the REALLY intense take-over of monster desires for a freshly minted vampire the same over the years like they did here for Gordon. By the time Dean get’s almost turned in Season 6 most of the rules have changed and he is able to control his urges so much more, it’s not as scary. HERE, Gordon’s inability to hold back from killing humans and completing his transformation considering he was such disciplined human is so much sadder and more interesting than when Dean get’s bit.
I don’t mind that Dean immediately experiences all of the symptons WITHOUT having had a blood-on-blood exchange, but here Gordon and Lucy only get the full side effects after they turn completely, so it’s not consistent.
Bela is such a bitch and so ruthless in this episode, but – again – I clearly had the impression that there was something else and huge going on with her because her words and expressions were just not matching for me. And she had no real reason to call back and do Dean and Sam a favor after betraying them to Gordon, but she did it anyway. Of course, in hindsight, the parallel between Bela and Dean’s situation (being cocky in the face of inevitable doom) is so much more real to me and so much less openly obvious and I respect that!
And then there is THE Sam and Dean scene where Sam begs for Dean to just be his brother again and to me that is one of my favorite scenes in Season 3!! There is so much info in that little scene – a glimpse at their past; a clear understanding of Sam’s hero worship for Dean; a view of how Dean softens at Sam’s distress and always puts him first – it’s wonderful and SO well acted.