by Robin Vogel
by Robin Vogel
To the tune of "Back in Black," the newly-restored Impala returns! Dean is doing so much cooing, Sam suggests they get a room. It's obvious both brothers are thrilled to be riding in the beautiful car again, on the road and on a case involving cattle mutilation and a dumb sheriff named Manners who denies it all when they show up claiming to be from Weekly World News (or World Weekly News as Dean calls it. (LOL!)
Gordon Walker! This is his episode introduction, where he becomes, briefly, a father figure for Dean and a subject of suspicion and hatred for Sam.
The episode starts, starkly, with a girl being chased through the woods by an unseen someone. She ends up beheaded. Sam and Dean con their way into the morgue, examine her head and find she has a fang, indicating there is a vampire nest around.
They meet Gordon, nearly decapitating him before he convinces them he's a vampire hunter, not a vamp. He knew John Winchester and thinks he was a fine hunter. He shows them the weapons cache he keeps in his car, brags about having killed the vampire they examined, and insists he's going to take down that nest himself. They should go chase the chupacabra two states over.
Luckily for Gordon, the brothers tail him to the mill where the vampire works, because by the time they get there, Gordon is losing the fight. Thoroughly enjoying himself, Dean pushes the vampire's neck under the circular saw. Blood splashes his face when his head separates from his body. A grateful Gordon buys the Winchesters drinks at the bar, but Sam leaves early because Gordon rubs him the wrong way by calling him Sammy. Dean apologizes for his brother being a buzzkill. Dean describes how he embraced the hunter's life at the age of 16 after killing a supernatural creature; Gordon relates how a fang got into their home and took his sister. He killed that vampire, and has been doing the same thing since. Dean talks about how he always thought John indestructible, but that turned out to be untrue. With Sam, he has to keep his game face on, not let him know about the dark hole inside him. Gordon urges him to use that darkness, it keeps you hungry.
Sam calls Ellen and learns that Gordon is dangerous, a hunter who only sees black and white when it comes to huntingâ€”no shades of gray whatsoever (the kind of hunter John was, and brought Dean up to be, unfortunately).
Sam goes outside the hotel room to grab a soda from the machine. He feels a presence, but sees no one, and is relieved to be back in the room, door locked. He's jumped from behind, knocked out with the hotel telephone, and taken for a ride, a bag over his head. Tossed into a chair, tied up, the bag is removed. He's face to face with a male vamp, cruelly baring his fangs at him. Sam is terrified. Lenore, another vampire, tells Eli to cut it out, but he reminds her Sam's people killed their friend, the vamp who worked at the mill. She tells Sam that her nest drinks only cow blood for survival, explaining the cattle mutilations, but they don't harm humans, so there is no reason to hunt or kill them. To prove how safe they are, they're letting him goâ€”and to Sam's immense relief, they place the bag over his head and return him to the hotel.
When Sam returns, Gordon and Dean are there, poring over a map of the local farms, trying to figure out where the vampire nest is. Sam asks to speak with Dean alone, and they go outside, leaving Gordon alone in the room. Sam describes how the vamps let him go without a scratch, but Dean wants to go there and wipe out the nest, anyway. Dean reminds him their job is to wipe out supernatural creatures. "Our job is to hunt EVIL," insists Sam, and goes on to tell him that Gordon is bad news, not a father-substitute, and in fact, an insult to John's memory. Dean hauls off and punches Sam, who says hitting him isn't going to change the facts. They return to the room to find Gordon gone, alone with their car keys. They hot-wire the Impala.
Back at the farm, Eli is trying to talk Lenore into staying, fighting, killing all the hunters. She refuses to give up hopeâ€”if we can change, so can they. Unfortunately, she is wrong; Gordon captures her at the farmhouse, ties her to a chair and starts torturing her by using a knife blade to scratch dead man's blood into her fleshâ€”arms, face, stomach--putting her in severe agony. Sam and Dean arrive. The latter can clearly see there is something seriously psychopathic about Gordon; he is all set to behead Lenore, even though she's only drinking cattle blood. Nice vamp or not, she's still a vampire, says Gordon--when that vampire turned his sister, I killed her, too! The brothers are aghast. Abruptly, Gordon grabs Sam's arm and cuts it, holding it over Lenore's head. Her fangs come down, and she's snarling, but she refuses to drink any of Sam's blood that falls into her mouth. "No," insists Lenore, proving her point. All the same, she's evil, bloodthirsty, insists Gordon. Dean tells Sam to take Lenore out.
Gordon and Dean duke it out, and both of them take a great many punches. Dean's face is red, purple, bloody by the time it's over, but he is the victor. As he ties Gordon to the same chair Lenore was in, he calls Gordon a "sadistic bastard." Gordon retorts that Dean is a killer just like he is. "I might be like you, but you're tied up right now," points out Dean. Sam returns to triumphantly report that Lenore and the rest of the nest got away OK. Dean asks Gordon if he has to tinkle yet (LOL), and promises to call someone for him in 2-3 days. He punches Gordon one more time, hard, and sends the chair toppling over. Outside, Dean asks Sam to hit him, payback from before. Sam asks for a rain check, noting how bashed up Dean's face already is. Dean muses over other creatures they've killed over the years that perhaps didn't deserve it, like that guy at the mill. There's great background music playing as Dean calls Sam a pain in the ass and Sam assures him he's going to stick around. We get that great scene of Dean standing over the gleaming Impala, a halo of the sun over him. In the next shot, the noisy Impala takes off swiftly to its next adventure, carrying the most precious passengers in the world, the Winchester brothers.
Amazing episode, the brothers learn that even supernatural creatures can't be pigeonholed, and some hunters are tunnel-visioned and psychotic. Gordon, see ya later!
Incredible episode (Return of the Impala, action, blood, vampires, Amber Benson), 'tis a shame that thanks to contractual crap we didn't get more Gordon Walker. What a fantastic foil for Sam and Dean.
The car coming over the hill all sleek and shining with Dean crooning love to it and Back in Black playing. Gave me the goosebumps!
Dean sawing off the vamp's head and all splattered with blood, oooooh! What a shot!
Scarey Gordon, dangerous and cruel!
Dean with his halo at the end. Beautiful shot! I think I read it was accidental. But very appropriate.
This one is in my top five (as well as 30 or 40 others. Ha!)
Loved it! 8-)
And - I was happy to see Amber Benson again. Loved her in Buffy. She's quite unusual. I wish we'd see more of her. Here or on another show.
Take care, Jas
And I loved that Sheriff!! The sarcastic quest characters are the best