Welcome to our newest guest post series! Head Over Feels are finally filling our SuperWhoLock quota with “Salt vs. Sass: Dawn & Sarah take on Sam and Dean,” a Supernatural recap-a-thon! We’ll learn all about the family business through the eyes of veteran fan Dawn and n00b Sarah. They’ll be posting weekly, so now is the perfect moment to queue up your rewatch or pop your SPN cherry. Want to speak fluent SPN fangirl? Check out this handy Glossary of Terms.
Take it away, ladies! –S
Dawn Ferchak is a long-term Dean girl who occasionally has trouble resisting the King of Hell.
Sarah Bisman is an SPN newbie and professional crafter of one-line bios.
Sarah: This episode didn’t scare me so much as SQUICK ME THE EFF OUT. In honor of Passover, I blame canned gefilte fish for my total abhorrence of gelatinous substances. Also, this week hammered home how badly the Winchesters need a therapist. And some hugs.
Dawn: This week, I learned that even I have a gross-out threshold, that not even Jensen Ackles’ handsome face would get me to open the door when shit clearly AIN’T RIGHT, and goddamn, am I glad I’m a brunette. Also sewers are bad places. Just in case you were unaware.
Season 1, Episode 6: Skin
Written by John Shiban
Smash super-recap complete with mom on the ceiling. But no flames! Jess, however, gets the flames treatment, which means we need a new flames gif just for Jessica. Let’s make it nice and romantic and stuff, since they were so in love and also we are cruel:
Dean’s hunting dad. Check. Sammy is looking for Jess’ killer. Check.
We’re in St. Louis, Missouri, (Chyron Check!), in a dark room, in which an unseen person with a hunting knife is torturing a whimpering blonde. Blondes do not fare well on this show. Search lights and moonlight reveal lots of blood, kind of everywhere, including a bloody handprint on the wall. Something Has Happened. Check.
Someone/thing walks by in the darkness. Like a shadow, i.e. SPN Life Lesson 8.
The SWAT team approaches the whimpering blond, and we see bloody ropes and handcuffs. Ew, and also creepy. She manages to convey that her captor is in the other room, and the authorities go off in pursuit. They catch the guy, who is about to leap from a window with knife in hand, and bellow the usual “Hands where I can see ‘em” TV-cop stuff. The guy turns toward the camera, and holy shitballs, it’s Dean, with some scary dead (sexy) eyes and a bruised/bloody cheek. Sarah says WTF psycho; Dawn says have that one washed and brought to my tent. You decide:
Then we jump back in time to a week earlier.
The boys and Baby are at a gas station, where Dean ribs Sam for still keeping in touch with his college friends. Dean’s kind of amazed that Sam hasn’t cut everyone out of his life; Sam is kind of amazed that Dean is still playing the cool-lone-wolf card. Also Sam is checking his phone and email with a pointy plastic stylus, because it’s 2005 and there won’t be iphones for another two years. Ah, memories. Anyway, turns out Sam has an email from his old pal, Rebecca Warren, whose brother Zach has been arrested for murder. Of course, she thinks he didn’t do it. Of course, the cops think he did. Sam wants to head to St. Louis to check it out; Dean disagrees because it doesn’t sound like their kind of problem and also it’s 400 miles in the wrong direction. Oh, Dean. Time for SPN Life Lesson #20: It’s always a Winchester kind of problem.
The brothers drive off toward St. Louis. Dean isn’t pleased, until Rebecca offers him a beer. Sam, the buzzkill, refuses for both of them. Let’s call that SPN Life Lesson #21: Season 1 Sam will not have fun and you can’t make him.
Rebecca tells the tale of how her baby brother found his girlfriend beaten up, but was arrested when he called 911. He’s on a video from the security tape, which shows Zach coming home right before his girlfriend was murdered…but he’d have to have been in two places at once because he was with Rebecca drinking a “few” beers until after midnight. One person in two places at once? C’mon, Dean, that’s totally Life Lesson #20! Maybe you should check out the crime scene, just in case.
Rebecca, who has no idea how much disregard for real-world rules her old college pal actually has, suggests that perhaps this is not the best idea. And this brings us to our Alias of the Week, which is that Dean Winchester just happens to be an off-duty police detective from Bisbee, Arizona (which, for those of you who might care, is mostly a wee artist colony). Is it technically an alias if he’s using his real name? Sure it is, especially when he just straight out calls himself “an officer of the law” as they walk under the yellow tape and into the blood-spattered room. Seriously, there is blood everywhere. Everywhere. The apartment is decorated in lots of white, so it really stands out. Sam helpfully notes that if Zach didn’t do this, “it means someone else did.”
Sarah: REALLY, Sam? We totally thought it just happened this way.
Dawn: It’s that kind of logic that must have dazzled the Stanford acceptance committee. “Well, if you don’t accept me, it means you’d have to accept someone else.”
Rebecca is awfully calm for someone standing in a room full of all that’s left of her brother’s girlfriend, and she notes that someone broke in and stole some of Zach’s clothes about a week earlier. She also mentions that the neighbor’s formerly sweet dog has been fully psycho since the murder. Dean still isn’t buying it — maybe he’s still pissed about no beer — but Sam is convinced, and thinks Dean will be if they review the security tape. The security tape that Rebecca has conveniently stolen from Zach’s lawyer’s desk. Sarah thinks this makes her about 10x more interesting; Dawn thinks this makes her an awfully convenient and lazy move on the writers’ part.
Time to check in on Zach! He’s stalking a couple coming out of an apartment building. Of course, we know it’s not Zach because the real Zach is in jail. So, DoppleZacher watches from the shadows. He seems pleased, and his eyes glow yellow, which probably doesn’t bode well for the happy couple frolicking in the sunshine.
Back at Rebecca’s, everyone is viewing the security tape. Sam decides this is a perfect time to get peckish and sends Rebecca off in search of beer and sandwiches, though she reminds them this isn’t a Hooters. (Sam apparently had really terrible taste in bars back at Stanford.)
Of course, Sam’s really sent Rebecca off because he saw Zach’s glowy eyes and thinks it might have something to do with how he could be in two places at once. Dean seems into it. Or maybe he’s just happy he’s getting a beer. Could go either way, really.
Back to DoppleZacher. who is in the formerly happy couple’s apartment. We know it’s him because a) we are way smarter than Sam, b) of the ominous music playing so soon after a reference to him, and c) we’re in an apartment we’ve never seen where the male half of happy couple utters the innocent phrase, “Hi Honey, it’s me.” Oh, sugar. You picked a bad day to come home early. Also the reason you can’t find Lindsay is probably because she’s dead. Especially since there is blood smeared on the walls. Including more bloody handprints.
Sarah: Who’s making those? And why do they cut off at the edge of the wall?
Dawn: Uh, I’d be making them if you were trying to drag me out of a room.
Good News! Lindsay isn’t dead!
Bad News! She’s been tortured and is all kinds of bloody.
Worse News! She seems pretty convinced that her husband has been doing the torturing. Husband looks terrified and terribly confused, but he doesn’t exactly help his case when he fails to untie her in favor of leaving to go check out the sound of crashing glass.
Utterly Fucked News! Husband finds DoppleHubser, who has a baseball bat. DoppleHubser makes smash on Husband.
Cut to the brothers parking Baby behind Zach’s house. Dean is very cranky because it’s 5:30 in the morning; Sam explains that the killer was tracked going in, but not coming out. The police wouldn’t have bothered to worry about that, since they thought they caught the killer inside the house, but Sam knows better. Dean still doesn’t understand why that means 5:30 a.m., but now Sam has found blood so there is no stopping him. Before this can get all WMS, an ambulance drives by, and there is a trail of cops and bystanders. Why? Because Lindsay’s husband has just been arrested for attempted murder. Dean is FINALLY convinced this is their type of problem — thanks for catching up, Dean-o — and the brothers are briefly possessed by Cecil and Basil so we can learn about shapeshifters, our Monster of the Week.
The creepfactor rises as the brothers enter a creepy network of sewer tunnels; the squickfactor rises when they find a truly disgusting gelatinous mess of skin and hair on the ground. Turns out shapeshifters shed when they change. Kind of like molting, but way, way more gooshy. Ewwww. Luckily, we don’t have to look at it much since it’s time to head back to Baby and the arsenal in her trunk, because a silver bullet to the heart will kill a ‘shifter. While Dean takes inventory, Rebecca calls — seems she was smart enough to call Bisbee PD, where there is no Detective Dean Winchester. Since she let them into the crime scene, this has compromised Zach’s case, and she politely tells them to fuck right the hell off. Dean uses the opportunity to get on his lone wolf high horse again, though he actually raises a pretty good point:
He gives Sammy his very own gun, which the younger Winchester promptly puts in the back of his jeans. Also, Sam wears tighty-whities. No, seriously:
What do you do when you lose a friend? Well, if you’re a Winchester, you head back to the sewers for “another puke-inducing pile” of skin and ick. Also dirty clothes, so the ‘shifter has probably been living here for a while. Or is living there right now. Ooops. Dean takes a shot to the face and falls; Sam is not a terrific shot with his brandy-new pistol, so we go above-ground for a chase. This is tricky, at best, since their quarry could be absolutely ANYONE. They decide to split up to cover more ground. Because there’s no way that can go wrong.
They reunite what seems like minutes later, neither having found a thing. Sam crosses the street to Baby; Dean waits for a car to pass because he’s responsible and interested in safety and self-preservation.
Dean’s eyes flash. Oh shit, it’s DoppleDeaner. And now we find out that Sammy is indeed smart as fuck, because he knows who is and who is not his brother, goddamnit. Too bad he’s not quite as quick to shoot, though, so DoppleDeaner hits him with a crowbar and drags him off to sewer sweet sewer.
This sets up a confrontational scene between DoppleDeaner and Sam. It seems ‘shifters take on more than their victim’s skin/shape — they also take on their memories, and DoppleDeaner uses this to taunt Sam because SPN Life Lesson #22: Winchesters inhale guilt like normal people inhale oxygen. And also he’s off to torture Rebecca. Toodle-oo!
Rebecca is way dumb, because she invites DoppleDeaner in, even though he is WAY smarmy and seriously not even Dawn would buy this bullshit, not even from that face (Sarah thinks the recapper doth protest too much but ok, fine…).
Quick cut back to Sam, who has managed to free himself from the ropes and hear a noise. Hooray, it’s real Dean, who is SARCASTIC, thank you, not SMARMY, so there.
Back at Rebecca’s, we’ve dimmed the lights and served drinks and lit a fire. Because that makes total sense. If you’re a fucking moron. Also she is totally buying this shapeshifter thing, which perhaps we can chalk up to grasping at any straw to save her brother. Or she’s a fucking moron.
Back to the Winchesters! Sam explains how the ‘shifter took on more than just Dean’s face; Dean lets his inner nerd slip by comparing it to a Vulcan mind meld (SPN Life Lesson #23 is that Dean is the secret Winchester nerd, but don’t tell anyone). They realize they can’t call the cops without accidentally getting the real Dean arrested, so it’s off to Rebecca’s we go.
Fake Dean is the creepiest Dean and Rebecca FINALLY realizes it, just in time to get knocked down, tied up with phone cord, and tortured.
Sarah: Being a blonde lady on this show is a terrible idea.
Dawn: And that is Life Lesson #24
Now we’re back at the start of the episode. DoppleDeaner chucks the knife at one of the SWAT guys and takes off back to the sewers, where the squickfactor goes off the charts as the ‘shifter sheds Dean. It is completely disgusting, involving fingernails popping off and teeth falling out and skin being torn from wet, red muscle, and even Dawn grimaces.
Real Dean and Sam are back on the streets, but the news ain’t good — the cops are publicizing a picture of Dean as the suspect in Rebecca’s assault.
Dean realizes the DoppleDeaner not only has their weapons, but drove Baby. DOPPLEDEANER IS NOW DEAD MAN WALKING. The brothers walk the streets until they find Baby, and Dean is ready for a loving reunion when the cops descend. Dean makes a run for it while Sam waits behind to be arrested. Sam admonishes Dean not to go into the sewers alone, because Sam has never met his brother before and clearly doesn’t remember the bit earlier in the episode where seeing Dean make a move with safety in mind was the first clue that it wasn’t Dean. So naturally we go straight to the sewers, where Dean finds Rebecca! Who is also, just at that very moment, in her living room, smashing Sam in the head with a beer bottle.
When Sam comes to, it’s DoppleDeaner again, who shares his plan in an incredibly Scooby Doo-like moment — kill Sam and leave enough evidence behind that Dean will be pursued for the rest of his life.
Sam fights back. DoppleDeaner hits back with fists and bad memories, which seems a little uncool, but then again he’s clearly not a believer in fair fights. Right as he’s about to choke the life out of poor Sammy, Real Dean shows up and shoots fake himself in the chest twice. And he takes back his goddamn necklace, thank you very much.
In the aftermath, soft music plays as Rebecca gently grills Sam about his double life. He says goodbye to his old life by saying goodbye to Rebecca. Dean’s being blamed for the crime spree and murders, but that’s ok because he’s got his Baby and his brother and the long, long road. Both brothers are a couple of freaks, they agree. Dean’s also bummed to be missing his own funeral, but not bummed enough to stick around to watch it. There is smiling and laughter, and it’s adorable. We enjoy it while we can, because we — and probably they — know damn well it’s not going to last.