I just finished Half Life: Episode 1. First of all, the deathtraps and puzzles are just as absurd as ever, and the gameplay is just as stiflingly linear.
Second of all, Gordon Freeman is a jerk, or at least hopelessly oblivious. As time passes, it becomes more and more obvious that Alyx wants to jump his bones, (even asking if there's "room for two in [his] suit") and he never says a word. She even cracks jokes, in a depressing attempt to lighten the mood, but Gordon just stares at the room vacantly.
I know that Valve made an artistic decision to never let Gordon speak, but shouldn't they avoid situations where anyone would speak? Alyx does everything but straddle Gordon's HEV suit and ask, "how do you get this thing open?" and Gordon looks like an idiot. If they want him to be silent, they should leave him in situations where it makes sense to say nothing. It's just as well, I suppose. I'm a Judith Mossman kinda guy.
It seems that everyone else on the planet has seen this one, but if you haven't, Concerned is the funniest thing about Half-Life 2 ever made.
I beat Episode 2. That was quick.