Having said that, the true gem of the extras is the feature on special and visual effects. Seeing what goes into the process is fascinating, and it certainly points out all the little things we take for granted when watching the episodes. What they give us is detailed and long too, and it's a delight to see how everyone works so well behind the scenes. For example, when Kim Manners says he wants lots of blood, the visual effects guys go all out, working tirelessly to get the right consistency, the most effective trajectory, and the perfect amount to splat on the wall. Great stuff. Also, generating black smoke on a computer is some really intense work, and it's really fun to watch how excited these guys get over beheadings.
One disappointment though is this documentary only went up to "Mystery Spot" (which was filmed after "Jus In Bello"). I would have loved to at least gotten a short segment about the finale, because there are some great green screen pictures on the 'net of Jensen all chained up with hooks attached to him. That final scene of Dean in Hell is a great mixture of both visual and special effects, and something they should have touted as their crowning achievement (not "Red Sky At Morning").
The feature on the Impala is perfect. It's great to hear from the behind the scenes guys responsible for the upkeep. Man, do I want their jobs. The one thing I did notice in these behind the scenes segments is all these guys talked like Canadians, "eh"? The "Ghostfacers" segment is a little long, but has its moments.
The gag reel as always is fun, but again, nothing can top season one's. None of the clips go past "Jus in Bello". I read that Jared was a giggly mess during "Ghostfacers". Bits like that would have been more fun to watch than all the strange faces from Jensen and Jared. What about the botched takes of the brothers trying to talk in unison in "Mystery Spot"? Most hilarious moment shown belongs to Jared and Jensen's impromptu dance in the rain during the graveyard scene for "Red Sky At Morning." Second place, the hug in "Jus In Bello" after Dean suggests they should fight like men in tights.
Now for the episodes themselves. Watching these episodes for the first time on DVD is an enlightening experience. I experienced season one and two on DVD, so I didn't realize from watching season three on The CW how distracting those promos are, as well as the logo in the corner. Without all those interruptions, I'm catching far more detail than I did before. To see "Mystery Spot" without the Pussycat Dolls or Gossip Girl taking away from Sam's pained reactions to his personal hell is like I'm watching it for the first time. The emotional impact is far greater, surprising me since I was completely blown away the first 50 times I watched that episode. Ditto with Dean in "Dream A Little Dream of Me", "The Kids Are Alright", and the finale.
The video quality is outstanding, so much so, I'm not sure why I need the Blu-ray version in November. I'm sure I'll end up comparing anyway. Overall this is a well done effort, and worth every penny. Considering my scan of Best Buy and Target this last week revealed tons of unsold copies of House while the Supernatural slot was empty, I'm thinking many others are in agreement.
Season three has one big unfair disadvantage, and that alone means that it cannot be compared with the other two seasons. Even if you picked the 16 best episodes of season one and the 16 best episodes of season two, season three still can't be compared. That's because this season, like the others, started with a master plan, the entire season mapped out with sketchy detail on a writers' room board. Anytime a master plan is forced to be cut short, the overall flow of a season suffers, especially when the season got off to a slow start. I think the writers did a very commendable job of recovering after the writers' strike and came up with a great way to address Dean's arc, but yes, plot threads were left hanging, and gaping holes do exist. In the end there wasn't enough time to fix the issues, so now the expectation for season four is higher.