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'Supernatural' nostalgia recap: Someone gets comfortable in Dean's skin

Season 1 | Episode 6 | “Skin” | Aired Oct 18, 2005

“The Story So Far” Rating: It’s not necessary for the overall storyline, but it’s a very good episode.

You already know that any episode starting with “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” a bloody girl tied to a chair, and a close-up of a knife is going to be interesting. That and the cops closing in on the house make this scene look like a love letter to Michael Mann’s Manhunter.

The cops enter just before the assailant goes out the window. Hands up, he turns around, looking just as dangerous as you’d imagine a guy like this would look:



Okay, it’s a good thing we’re getting a “One Week Earlier” here or I’d be really confused.

Sam and Dean are gassing up when Sam gets an email from his friend Becky (Amy Grabow) saying that her brother Zach (Aleks Holtz) has been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend. Dean teases Sam about keeping up with his college buddies, but this email has Sam freaked out and soon they’re off to St. Louis.

Becky is desperate. The police have video of Zach entering his apartment just before his girlfriend was killed, but she swears Zach was with her until close to midnight. In essence, he would have to have been in two places at once.

Sam is all about helping. Dean? Not so much. But Sam is not having that, and helpfully adds that Dean is a cop. How sweet of him!

Becky has keys to her brother’s apartment, and soon they’re illegally entering the crime scene. Whatever happened here, it was bad.

Meanwhile, a guy who looks like Zach, but can’t be because Zach’s in jail, is hanging out, watching a pretty young lady send her husband off on a trip. She’s going to be all alone.

Looks like something’s up with his eyes.

hungry eyes

The brothers notice that same flash of the eyes when they’re checking out the security video that Becky managed to swipe earlier. This is also the first time we get the “eyes are the window to the soul” theory; that video might be a way to spot monsters. It won’t be the last.

Remember that guy who left for a business trip? His name is Alex (Peter Shinkoda), and he just came home to his wife, Lindsay (Anita Brown), tied up, bloody, and begging him not to hurt her any more. Suddenly, a second him comes out of the shadow and hits him with a baseball bat. Talk about beating yourself up!

Just like Zach, this guy is arrested for murder. Sam and Dean are definitely on the case now. They’re dealing with some kind of shapeshifter or skinwalker and, considering how it seems to disappear after leaving each crime scene, a little deduction sends the boys into the sewers.

Yay, sewers! Nothing bad ever happens in those!

shedding shifter


Looks like our shifter sheds. Ew.

Bad news. Becky just found out that Sam was lying about Dean being a detective, and she’s pissed because they may have jeopardized Zach’s case. Dean can’t help but say “I told you so,” but it’s because he knows that, much as Sam wants a normal life, their life isn’t normal and friends aren’t something they can have.

Winchester Brothers Deep Thoughts Moment™ over, they head deeper into the sewers with silver bullets, determined to get this thing.

Hey, look, our shapeshifter.


He takes a swipe at Dean before running. The boys give chase, which leads to one of those needle-in-a-haystack scenes where the boys are looking through crowds for someone who could be anyone.

Soon enough, Dean catches up with Sam and they head for the car. Or is it Dean?

dean eyes

Sadly, Sam figures this out a bit too late. Soon he’s tied up in the shifter lair, and his big brother is looking all kinds of menacing.

Well, this explains the opening scene. But it’s still pretty weird to see how … connected this monster is to Dean. It’s happy to tell Sam all kinds of things—how Dean’s angry, that he’s jealous that Sam got to be normal. There’s a lot of brutal stuff that sounds like truth to Sam.

angry brother

The chat doesn’t last long, though, because “Dean” plans to go see Becky.

Luckily, real Dean’s alive. It takes some doing, but they get free and head for Becky’s, which is good because Shifter Dean has gotten Becky right where he wants her. Now he’s not in the mood to play nice.

tied up


We’ve come full circle to the opening scene. Our “Dean” not only escaped, but he assaulted a SWAT member in the process. He’s a fugitive and the cops are gunning for him.

Sam and the real Dean are definitely going to have to hurry.

They have no weapons, but Baby is at Becky’s, so they head there. Why do I think that’s a bad idea? Oh yeah, ’cause the cops are there. Sam tells Dean to run and orders him to stay out of the sewers.

Well, Dean listened to half of that command, which is actually a good thing because he finds Becky tied up down there. Except that Sam is with Becky right now. Oh mah God, Becky!

Yep, you guessed it. Sam is not with Becky. He’s with our shifter, who’s back to being Dean; he’s planning to kill Sam and place Dean on the hook for first-degree murder.

What a sweetheart!

The fight that ensues is positively Freudian. It starts with Sam and Dean punching it out, and ends with Real Dean shooting himself twice in the heart. Well, not his real self, but you get me.

dead dean

In the end, it looks like Zach is gonna be freed because they found this “Dean Winchester” guy’s lair and it had stuff from all the break-ins and killings.

That means it’s time to hit the road.

on the road

Until next time, crank it up and roll the windows down.

Winchester Authority impersonation count: federal marshal, park ranger, U.S. Wildlife Service, Homeland Security, detective.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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