We've had an advance look at Sunday's episode of ABC's The Gates, and it's a major turning point for the series. The show goes in a much darker direction, and the characters actually start to grab our interest.

We sort of dismissed The Gates as "Desperate Housewives with vampires" when it started, but Sunday's new episode felt like something a bit more interesting. Without giving any spoilers, we learn a secret about police chief Nick Monahan that makes him a much more interesting character than the tough-but-troubled cop we met in the first episode. It turns out that nothing is quite as clear-cut as we thought it was, and the theme we noticed in the show's first episode — that Nick is just another one of The Gates' monsters, except that he's a "Cop" instead of a "Vampire" or "Werewolf" — gets a bit deeper, as we start to investigate just what it'll take for Nick to live in peace with his inner monster the way the supernatural creatures of the gated community do with theirs. And the answers look like they may not be as pat as you might expect them to be — fingers crossed.

(And yet, I really don't think you'll need to have seen the previous episodes to get this one — just know that Rhona Mitra is a vampire and the hot young naked people are werewolves.)

Add to that a bit more complexity about the world of The Gates, including a couple more dead humans popping up, and there are the first inklings that The Gates may be leading someplace interesting after all. The Gates airs Sunday on ABC at 10 PM, right after True Blood.