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Recap: Supernatural S 01 E 06 Skin
Season 1, Episode 6
Me? I know I'm a freak. And sooner or later, everybody's gonna leave me.
Dean: I really wish things could be different, you know, I wish you could just be Joe College.
Sam: Nah, that's okay. You know, truth is, even at Stanford, deep down, I never really fit in.
Dean: Well, that's 'cause you're a freak.
Sam: Yeah, thanks.
Dean: Well I'm a freak, too. I'm right there with you, all the way.
Sam and Dean go to St. Louis to investigate a murder at the behest of Becky Warren, one of Sam's college friends. Her brother Zach is accused of killing his girlfriend and there is forensic evidence to prove it, but Becky insists that he was with her when the murder took place.
- A-Team Firing: The SWAT team.
- Absurdly Spacious Sewer: Sam and Dean pursue their quarry into a sewer large enough for them to stand upright, occasionally walk abreast, and a spacious lair for the shapeshifter. Large rusty pipes and large amounts of moisture complete the expected look of an ancient underground despite the episode being set in St. Louis, MO.
- Acting for Two
- Anyone Can Die:
- Body count this episode = 2 humans and 1 shapeshifter.
- Body count for the series so far = At least 109 humans; 4 ghosts; 1 shapeshifter; and 1 wendigo.
- The Bechdel Test: Failed. Although 1 of the 3 female victims survive.
- Bluff The Impostor: Sam and Dean are hunting a shapeshifter. They split up, and when they go back to the car Sam asks Dean something about a mission done by their father. Dean gives the right answer, proving that he is himself. Except that the shapeshifter can access the thoughts of the person it is mimicking and actually had copied Dean. Sam still sees through it when "Dean" uses the arm the real Dean had injured.
- Body Horror: A shapeshifter is killing people, and Dean theorizes that shifting involves shedding his previous skin. Late in the episode, we see him shift. Dean was right.
- Busman's Holiday: While it's not really "holiday", Sam and especially Dean didn't expect that helping one of Sam's friends would end up with hunting a monster.
- Captain Obvious: Sam, pointing to bloodstain. "Blood."
- Clear My Name: What Sam and Dean are trying to do for Zach. They succeed when all the shapeshifter's crimes are pinned on Dean. Police figure that Dean tampered with the video recording of Zach at the crime scene.
- Cold-Blooded Torture: The shapeshifter ties its victim up, tortures her with a knife, and leaves her either to die of her injuries or be rescued by a third party.
- Criminal Doppelgänger: A shapeshifter impersonates people close to the victims while committing his crimes so that they'll take the fall instead of him.
- Deggans Rule: Failed. Although one of the minor roles, Alex, is played by an Asian actor.
- Evil Detecting Dog: One of the first clue that something supernatural might be involved is that the dog next door of one victim has become vicious since the attack.
- Faking the Dead: The dead shapeshifter is indistinguishable from the real Dean, so that's one way like another to avoid more police attention towards the brothers.
- Fan Disservice: Dean seducing Becky? Fine. A shapeshifter pretending to be Dean seducing Becky as a prelude to brutalizing and murdering her, not so much. Followed up by the shapeshifter removing its skin, complete with werewolf-esque writhing and screaming.
- Foreshadowing: Dean's line about how many chances he will have to see his own funeral foreshadows his repeated deaths and resurrections.
Dean: You know, I gotta say—I’m sorry I’m gonna miss it.
Sam: Miss what?
Dean: How many chances am I gonna have to see my own funeral?
- For the Evulz: The shapeshifter's motivation.
- Freudian Excuse: According to the shapeshifter, he has one. Though it still doesn't excuse his acts.
Shapeshifter!Dean: Maybe this thing was born human but was different, hideous and hated... until he learned to become someone else.
- Fridge Logic:
- How did the SWAT get there, again?
- If the shapeshifter can duplicate Dean's clothes, why did it break in to Zach's house to steal clothes before the murder?
- Gender Bender: The shapeshifter posing as Becky to trick Sam into telling it its weakness before it knocks him out and tries to kill him.
- A Friend in Need: Sam is willing to travel 400 miles to see if there is anything he can do for his college friend when he hears he has been accused of murder.
- Glamour Failure: Seeing "Zach"'s eyes flaring when caught on camera is what convince the brothers they are dealing with a shapeshifter.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom
- Grievous Bottley Harm: How shapeshifter-Backy knocks Sam out.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Illustrates how the fact that that the Winchester brothers show up at the same time horrific events occur makes them targets for law enforcement.
- How We Got Here: Opens with "Dean" about to murder Becky.
- Iconic Item: Dean retrieves his amulet from the dead shapeshifter and is upset that it drove his baby, the Chevrolet Impala.
- I Just Want to Have Friends
- I Shall Taunt You: The shapeshifter to Sam.
- Knife Nut: The Shapeshifter.
- Kubrick Stare: Shapeshifter!Dean gives one to the SWAT team.
- Let's Split Up, Gang: The brothers, while looking for a shapeshifter. What could possibly go wrong?
- Living a Double Life: Sam does not tell his college friends about hunting because he does not think they would understand or believe him.
- The Masquerade Will Kill Your Social Life: One of the reasons Keeping Secrets Sucks.
Dean: Look, it sucks. But with a job like this you can't get close to people. Period.
Sam: You're kind of anti-social, you know that?
Dean: Yeah, whatever.
- Metaphorically True: Sam didn't exactly tell his friends what he was doing with his brother.
Sam: I tell them I'm on a road trip with my big brother, I tell them I needed some time off after Jess.
Dean: Well, so you lie to them?
Sam: No, I just don't tell them... everything.
Dean: Yeah, that's called lying.
- Mutants: The shapeshifter suggests this is his origin.
Becky: Well, what is it? Like a genetic freak?
Maybe...evolution is about mutation, right? So maybe this thing was born Human but was different, hideous and hated... until he learned to become someone else
- Painful Transformation: and disgusting.
- Pants Positive Safety: Sam tucks the gun Dean gives him into his waistband,
- Rape Discretion Shot: After Shapeshifter!Dean fails to seduce Becky, he chases her through her house, holds her down, and ties her up while she's screaming. The scene quickly cuts away, then cuts back to a bloodied, carved-up Becky tied to a chair. It's never stated outright that he raped her, but given how it acts it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that he raped her (and possibly his other victims).
- Serial Killer
- Shapeshifter Baggage
- Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: One of the many examples in the show.
Shapeshifter!Dean: I am your brother. See, deep down, I'm just jealous. You got friends. You could have a life. Me? I know I'm a freak. And sooner or later, everybody's gonna leave me.
Sam: What are you talking about?
Shapeshifter!Dean: You left. Hell, I did everything Dad asked me to, and he ditched me, too. No explanation, nothing, just poof. Left me with your sorry ass.
- Shout Out:
- Becky makes a reference to Hooters.
, can we take those beers now?
Becky: Uh, sure.
Sam: Hey, ah, maybe some sandwiches, too?
What do you think this is, Hooters
Dean: (quietly) I wish.
- Similarly Named Works:
- Skin Walker
- Super Dickery: The opening scene with "Dean" torturing a sobbing, bloodied woman with his knife.
- Tempting Fate: When Dean find his car. "Ah ha! There she is! Finally something went right tonight!" Cue the police cars.
- Traitor Shot
- Wrongly Accused: The secondary victims of the Criminal Doppelgänger. This episode also start an important subplot of the show, with the brothers being hunted down by the police who believe them to be some sort of homicidal maniac family.