That Thing About Gordon Walker
I’ve read a few defenses of Gordon Walker, and I get it. I do. The poor guy saw his sister attacked by a vampire. He was traumatized by that. No one believed him when he told what happened. He went off and became a hunter who eventually encountered what had been his sister, and he had to destroy her. That’s pretty messed up. I can sympathize with that.
But. There’s something about him. Quite a bit of time is spent on the bar scene in Bloodlust establishing Gordon’s character and relationship with Dean. On a surface level, they talk about their lives, how Gordon became a hunter, and the Winchester family — that Dean lost his dad and Sam doesn’t relate to hunting the way Dean and John did. The scene flips back and forth between Gordon and Dean in the bar, and Sam on the phone with Ellen who warns him off Gordon — “he is dangerous to everyone and everything around him,” she tells Sam.
The last bit of the scene is this:
GORDON: Know why I love this life?
GORDON: It’s all black and white. There’s no maybe. You find the bad thing, kill it. See, most people spend their lives in shades of gray. Is this right? Is that wrong? Not us.
DEAN:Not sure Sammy would agree with you, but uh…
GORDON:Doesn’t seem like your brother’s much like us.
(DEAN stares at him, startled)
GORDON: I’m not saying he’s wrong. Just different. But you and me? We were born to do this. It’s in our blood.
Here’s the thing about this scene for me — and it’s completely gut instinct — it has the feel of a college girl at a bar getting preyed upon by a creepy guy. I’ve seen dozens of times. First, Gordon alienates Sam and gets him to leave. (We know that Sam is getting bad vibes from Gordon, just as I did because he goes to the motel to call Ellen.)
Once Gordon has Dean alone there’s something in the way that he watches Dean and talks to him. He listens closely to everything Dean says, and answers with outward sympathy, not too overtly, just enough to make Dean feel that someone understands him and what he’s gone through. Now, some might argue that he does, but there’s a detachment there that is predatory. He’s persuasive without being pushy. He knows that Dean loves Sam, but he’s trying to get Dean away from Sam. He’s gently pushing a wedge between them.
But here’s where Gordon fails. They are in the farmhouse where Gordon has Lenore tied up. This is the tipping point for Dean.
DEAN: That vampire that killed your sister deserved to die, but this one…
GORDON (laughing): Killed my sister? That filthy fang didn’t kill my sister. It turned her. It made her one of them. So I hunted her down, and I killed her myself.
DEAN: You did what?
GORDON: It wasn’t my sister anymore, it wasn’t human. I didn’t blink. And neither would you.
Of course, we know Dean will blink. When it comes down to it, Gordon couldn’t have read Dean more wrong. Dean isn’t like him. Dean can’t be seduced away from Sam.
And Sam was right about Gordon, damn it. Sam’s intuition told him that Gordon was bad news. Sam has an intuition about people in those early eps that I think has been forgotten by a lot of fans and some of TPTB. It wasn’t until Dean went to hell and Sam went off the rails with Ruby that his intuition was wrong. But I digress, that’s another post.
So, Gordon, yeah, he was written as the dude at the bar that you need to get your roommate away from before she gets any drunker.