Wow; Gordon. What a great guest star. I really liked this one as we start to see Dean unravel or struggle to figure out what to do after John’s death. Maybe the first time Dean’s capacity for violence really shocks Sam. It’s a rare moment – that conversation with Gordon post-vampire kill – where Dean opens up to someone else (misplaced in this case!) about something he “can’t talk to Sam about”. Made me feel so much for how few true trusted people he has in his life.
Also loved the phone call Sam makes to Ellen to check out Gordon. She’s all upbeat at first but when he mentions working with him he tells him to just get away. You knew Gordon was being too nice to Dean!
Anyway, will have more comments soon.
This is a GREAT episode in my book!!! SO MUCH to unpack in this one!
FIRST OFF – AAAAAWESOME Baby driving sequence at the beginning! REALLY showing off her beautiful lines!
Love, again, the mix of lighter notes like the talk with the sheriff and the scene in the morgue against the darker tone of the Gordon story points.
I LOVED to hate Gordon – well, on first watching the show I just hated him, but now I find the inclusion of him excellent and so important!! What an awesome actor and what sadly twisted and disturbed character – more and more so as time goes by. The way it is revealed to us through the course of this episode that his first kill was his own sister is CHILLING (good job Sera Gamble!). And Gordon’s whole character arc is tragic and clearly shines a light on the fact that not all hunters are “well doing” heroes. But that rigid thinking and clinging to simplified world views is as dangerous (if not more so) as the supernatural predators you hunt. (That fact sadly is even more poignant today than when the episode first aired!)
I was always surprised at the fact that Dean trusted Gordon so fast and revealed so much after just meeting him, but at the same time it is very touching that he is desperate enough with pent up emotion to open up to this total stranger. Of course, it saddened me that he feels like he has to hide this from Sam….but he’s “big brother Dean” – I get it. I also understand that it’s a relief to Dean to “simply do” as he was taught, hunt and kill the monster, without having to think too much about it and that fighting together for the same cause makes Gordon seem like an ally and foxhole buddy quickly.
Between finding out about the Road House, the hunter community at large and now Gordon in particular I can see how Sam and Dean would find it intriguing that they aren’t all alone out there fighting evil. And it’s interesting how Dean leans into the “let’s do this together” aspect of the immediate fight when Sam is more drawn to Ellen’s behind the scenes approach.
I LOVE how this episode starts a REAL shift in Dean’s thinking about the world of “monsters” and how “in the box black and white thinking” and assumptions can really lead you down the wrong path but how trying to figure out the grey areas is HARD! He’s faced with the fact that John’s way of thinking and doing wasn’t always correct and that he’s going to have to figure out on his own now what’s right and wrong. That’s powerful stuff!
We see “Sam the Thinker” and “Dean the Doer” even more clearly in this episode and I don’t mind the difference it establishes between them because I always thought from the start that BOTH are vitally necessary qualities and make the best balance when put together!
Always LOVE Buffy/Angel actor sightings, so of course I am thrilled about Amber Benson as Lenore!
And it’s funny to me how Ty Olsson ends up playing two very different vampires over the run of the show!
Yup, a really strong episode for me AND one of THE most GORGEOUS shots of Dean there at the very end!!!!
“I was always surprised at the fact that Dean trusted Gordon so fast and revealed so much after just meeting him, but at the same time it is very touching that he is desperate enough with pent up emotion to open up to this total stranger.”
I think the “pent up emotion” is the key here. Dean was carrying all the weight of losing John, trying to figure out what John’s warning about Sam meant, realizing that the Yellow-Eyed demon might still be after them (and, by the way, they no longer had the Colt, so they were essentially defenseless), etc., and he couldn’t talk to Sam about it. Dean really didn’t have anyone to confide in, so I’m sure it was a welcome relief to meet Gordon. Of course, he couldn’t tell Gordon “everything”, but at least he knew Gordon would understand why he was struggling so much with John’s death.
Sterling K Brown is so good in this. It’s like he’s been playing Gordon for SO MANY years! I remember Jared talking about how he and Jensen, over the years, felt like they had a clue about spotting great talent and Sterling K Brown was one they felt was going to go far. Voila; This Is Us; he DID!
But there was so much in this one! The scenes with Dean talking to Gordon, feeling like Gordon “got” him in a way Sam didn’t were brilliant and heartbreaking! He was seeking validation (Sam later accused him of looking to Gordon as a John replacement; validating his hunting lifestyle) and just watching Jensen’s face as he did that scene…reluctant, hopeful, it was just SO MASTERFUL!!!!!
The way Ellen goes from telling Sam that Gordon’s a good hunter to insisting they stay away from him was PERFECT acting on Sam Ferris’ part! SO good. I totally believed she was scared for their safety around Gordon and that she cares about them already.
Dean was hurting after John’s death. Taking his anger out on things…killing them…ugh; the look Sam gives him when he decapitates the vampire with the saw at the mill at the start is also heartbreaking. Like he’s never seen Dean like this. And Dean WANTS to feel like this out-of-the-usual-bounds behavior is okay. Gordon tells him that it is. I think Dean wanted to be reassured that this was an okay way to deal with his loss. It’s not, but Gordon was telling him that it was.
Yes! THE MOST GORGEOUS sunflare shot of Dean EVER at the end!!!! I could watch (and have watched) that on an endless loop.
I loved the subtle humor; like Dean ramming Gordon’s head into the wall with an “Oops!” when Gordon was half out of it after the fight. Also liked them just humiliating him; making him stay tied up for a few days before calling anyone.
I was glad that Dean quickly did come around to Sam’s way of thinking…that Gordon was pretty sick. You ever tell someone something you wish you hadn’t told them? I bet Dean felt a ton of that!
I also liked the scene with Sam and Lenore; where he doesn’t really believe her, but in the end, has to.
Also some cute intimate brotherly things…down to “Remind me to beat the buzzkill out of you later.”
Just all so good. Gordon felt genuinely dangerous.
It did seem like Dean just never thought there were may other hunters out there; until the Roadhouse. So meeting Gordon, I could see, might make him feel less alone.
And Dean WANTS to feel like this out-of-the-usual-bounds behavior is okay. Gordon tells him that it is. I think Dean wanted to be reassured that this was an okay way to deal with his loss. It’s not, but Gordon was telling him that it was.
That’s a really good point, JBB. I agree. It’s tough to watch, though, because I do think that Dean is aware that the same time that his behavior is NOT ok or normal but he simply doesn’t know how to deal with what he feels – the grief and guilt over John’s death. And it’s all so very believably played by Jensen which makes it so compelling.
…”It’s a rare moment – that conversation with Gordon post-vampire kill – where Dean opens up to someone else (misplaced in this case!) about something he “can’t talk to Sam about”. Made me feel so much for how few true trusted people he has in his life.”
So much this! Even way back then, Dean knew there were things he couldn’t say to Sam. It really drives home the point about how isolated he felt after John died, and how he fought so much to put on a brave face for Sam. On top of all that, Dean had that nagging warning from John about possibly having to kill Sam, so it’s heartbreaking to think about all the weight Dean was carrying alone at that point in his life. I’d probably have had more outbursts of violence than Dean had!
I LOVE almost all of Journey’s songs, and 😊 “Wheel in the Sky” is a classic 😊. Although I didn’t listen to AC/DC before this show, “Back in Black” is pretty much a classic, too. That road scene at the beginning is PERFECT in just about every way. I loved seeing Dean SO happy to drive his rebuilt Baby!
I didn’t really like Gordon as a character, but I really liked what Sterling did with this role. It was also nice to see another hunter in action, even though Gordon wasn’t the best example of how to do the job properly. He gave a good example of how seeing the world in black-and-white is dangerous. It was a valuable contrast to how the brothers came to view monsters.
It was so sad listening to Dean characterize how he felt about John. I’m sure in Dean’s eyes, John Winchester was unstoppable – until he wasn’t. It’s unfortunate that Dean couldn’t share his sorrow with Sam. I think Sam was wrong, by the way. I don’t think Dean was trying to “replace” John. Dean simply needed to talk to someone who would understand his feelings, and that person wasn’t Sam. Although, at the end of the episode Sam admitted that John did the best he could, Sam had always seemed more fixated on John’s flaws than on his attributes at that point in the show. I can understand why Dean was reluctant to expose his feelings. That was made worse, of course, because Dean suspected John had made a deal to save him, and was suffering because of that. Anyway, I think Dean was right to keep his feelings from Sam. I just wish he’d had someone other than Gordon to talk to. Of course, Sam was right about not killing Lenore, so there’s that…
Plot armor question: If vampires can hear your heartbeat from half a block away, how did Gordon sneak up on that vamp in the teaser segment? He also caught Lenore by surprise? Also, it’s interesting that Dean and Sam didn’t know about vampires until they hunted one with John last season, but suddenly Dean can recognize a retractable vampire fang.
I know that halo shot of Jensen at the end of the episode is famous. I agree that it should be! But there’s a shot when the vamps are bringing Sam to the nest – the truck is crossing a bridge, and the lighting is simply gorgeous! It looks like natural light, too – like they were still filming as the sun was getting ready to rise. Stunning!