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.
The end of Gordon. He was such a great, fully-formed “side” character. I remember J&J both thought that they saw genius in Sterling K. Brown’s acting ability and of course he’s gone on to do amazing things in shows like “This Is Us”, but I loved him as Gordon. He was flat-out scary! And this episode reminds me of how tragic Supernatural often is. This one is dark. Not only does Dean behead the woman at the start who just wanted to get a high and ended up ingesting vampire blood, but Gordon not only turns into a monster, but into the monster he hates the most; the one that killed his sister and set him on his entire quest for revenge.
It’s also the end of the surviving hunter from “Bad Day at Black Rock” and I thought he was very interesting with his religious zealot approach to hunting.
But this one is dark dark dark. No one is happy. Everyone dies. The vampire they encounter and talk to is also miserable, facing the prospect of eternity alone (I am sure this was a heavy-handed reference to Sam’s pending future without his brother; way to make Sam think even MORE about how horrible that will be!!!).
And one of the most badass “Sam” moves in the entire series. Decapitating Gorden with razor wire and his bare hands. I appreciate that they at least went for a shred of realism and had Sam put some rags around his hands before grabbing the wire. Great, grisly death and a bit of a “huh” where Sam is concerned because he is now seemingly becoming ruthless and Dean notices. Sam was absolute that Gordon wasn’t going to stop until they were dead, so they have to kill him. Dean’s surprised to hear it.
Sam’s awkward speech to Dean about how he misses his brother and just wants Dean to drop the macho act is so great and so sweet. It starts to get through to Dean that Sam needs him now. At least enough for him to NOT go after Gordon alone as he planned to. His “I’m going to die so what the hell” attitude is well-established at the start of this one when he uses himself as bait to draw out the newly-turned female vampire.
I’m not sure WHY Gordon goes to see, then kills Kubric (thanks, PigNaPoke for reminding me what his name was). Gordon could have gone after Sam alone so I’m not sure why he wants to involve Kubric at all; except knowing that now that he, Gordon, is a monster, Kubric will go after him and he wants to get him out of the way first?
I thought it was interesting and more “gray area” that the vampire’s family was killed…he’s really just like Gordon. Each had a family member killed by the “other side” and they hate that other side for it.
The shooting of the warehouse scene where Sam can’t see IS very very good. I loved it. And again, Sam and Dean get separated by the wall coming down…and we find out that Gordon ALSO turned the girl he had just so Dean would have to contend with her! And he wasted a Colt bullet on her (right?). For all that Gordon insisted he only wanted to kill “antichrist” Sam, he apparently didn’t mind trying to do away with Dean too by way of the woman he turned.
Yes, PigNaPoke, I wish they had kept their mythology consistent over the years! And it’s a bit confusing that it’s not the BITE that turns you…it’s the blood contact. I mean, then you can turn people like the vampire did Gordon by pressing wounds together, but my spouse didn’t quite get why Dean wasn’t turned because he was bitten. It’s getting bitten by a werewolf that turns you there, but it’s not the vampire bite which, splitting hairs…diseases or viruses are usually transmitted by body fluid and saliva or semen can usually do it just as well as blood; so PRACTICALLY speaking, I never really got why a bite with saliva wouldn’t turn you.
But this one was DARK and SAD and really effective too.