Supernatural S1 E6: “Skin” Summary and Counts

Oh, joy. Get ready for the torturing of women as a plot point, because our episode starts with a terrified young woman tied to a chair and bleeding.

Blood and Gore: 1

Unlike many shows of this sort, though, they don’t linger on the helpless female. They cut straight to the SWAT team in the yard. So we know she’s going to be rescued. And they don’t make the shots of her overly sexy. A lot of shots focus on non-sexy things, like her arm.

Of course, what they’re leading up to is this dramatic moment:

Screenshot shows a very mean-looking Dean standing in a doorway, a red laser sight targeting his face. He his lifting his hands. There is a knife in one. It's all very grim-dark and gritty.

Dear oh dear, Dean!

This is one of those episodes with a time warp. In the next scene, we’re a week earlier. The boys are on their way to Bisbee for some ungodly reason. Dean gets upset at Sam for wanting to maintain contact with his college friends. In Dean’s opinion, Hunters don’t have friends.

Toxic Masculinity: 1

Sam’s all, whatevs. Then he gets an email from his friend Rebecca Warren, whose brother has just been arrested for murdering is girlfriend. Sam’s all, “Nowai!” Dean’s all “Yeswai!” Sam wins, and they go to St. Louis to investigate. Rebecca, of course, is hawt, and so Dean is obligated to hit on her.

Definitely Hetero Dean: 1

Rebecca tells them that Zack came home and found his girlfriend tied to a chair, beaten to death. The cops arrested him. BUT! Rebecca says he would’ve had to be in two places at once if he was the murderer, because he was with her when Emily was murdered. It’s a case! So Sam tells his friend that Dean’s a cop, Dean bumps himself up to detective (from Bisbee, AZ, which delights this former Arizonan to no end), and off to the crime scene they go, with Dean whining this isn’t their sort of thing.

Come on, Dean, admit it: you’re just jelly cuz Sammy has friends and you don’t.

Toxic Masculinity: 2

They go to the crime scene, a cute little ground-floor apartment that’s liberally splashed with blood.

Blood and Gore: 2

We find out there was no sign of a break in and Emily clearly let her attacker in. Someone had broken in a week before and stolen some of Zack’s clothes, but the police don’t believe it could possibly have anything to do with the murder. If this was happening on-screen, I’d be giving them a You Bloody Fools count.

Then we come to the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Daytime. It’s been barking the whole time. Becca says he used to be sweet until around the time of the murder. Now Dean’s ready to view the security tape that purports to show Zach entering the crime scene. Good thing Becca stole it from Zach’s lawyer.

They leave, and we pan on the photo of Zack, Sam, and Becca on the fridge, so that the audience knows what Zack looks like before we see him lurking in the bushes as the scene changes. He’s stalking a couple. The man mentions his out of town trip as he gets into his car and drives away. The woman walks back into the house all sexy-like. Duplicate!Zack stares lustily after her, and we see his eyes get all weird.

Image shows a young man with black hair and a goatee standing in front of a hedge. He is leering. His eyes are flashy yellow.

This is significant, fyi.

Meanwhile, Sam and Dean are watching the security tape. It’s totes authentic. Sam notices something funny, and sends Becca into the kitchen for beer. He can’t resist making a sammiches comment.

Swimming in Sexism: 1

And Dean can’t help proving he’s hetero by wishing he could see her boobies.

Definitely Hetero Dean: 2

With the civilian safely out of the way, Sam shows Dean the eye-flash on the video tape. Significant!

We cut to the business husband dude, returning home early because his client canceled the trip. He sees a splash of blood on the wall, freaks, runs looking for her, finds her tied to a chair covered in blood

Blood and Gore: 3

and gagged. When he takes her gag out, she starts crying “Please don’t hurt me anymore!” And then a glass breaks in the kitchen, he goes looking for the source, and runs into himself. Poor dude is having the worst night.

Screenshot shows the face of an East Asian man with a grim expression and the flashy yellow eyes.
He gets the shit beaten out of him by himself. Then it’s the next day, and the boys are driving up to investigate Emily’s crime scene. Sam’s dragged Dean out at 5:30 in the ay-em to find out if the killer escaped out the back door. He finds blood on a pole. Then an ambulance goes screaming by, and they chase it to discover the business dude getting stuffed in a cruiser and a neighbor explaining he’s being arrested for beating up his wife and trying to kill her. Gee, just like Emily! Dean gets the full story from a patrolman, and now totally believes it’s their kind of case. The boys hit on a shapeshifter as a probable suspect. They follow its trail, which suddenly stops. But wait! Manhole cover! So they end up in the sewers looking for this thing, where they find its discarded skin. Eewww.

(And every time these things come up, I’m thinking of the MASSIVE caloric needs they must have, considering how much flesh they shed when they change.)

They head back to the car for silver bullets. Sam gets a call from Becca, who has discovered Sam and Dean were lying about Dean being a cop. Dean’s all I told you so, can’t have friends in this gig, but hey, we get to have guns, so yay!

Toxic Masculinity: 3

(PS: the way these boys carry their weapons, they’re lucky they haven’t shot their ass-cheeks off yet.)

They go back down into the sewers, flashlights and guns at ready. They find flesh piles all over. Then Dean gets whacked in the shoulder by the shapeshifter. He sends Sam ahead to look for the thing. It heads for the surface and takes off running. The boys split up to find it. Dean goes running into a dark alley, while Sam sticks to the main streets. They meet up on a street corner, and when Dean crosses the street behind Sam, we see his eyes flare. Dun-dun-DUN.

Sam, for some reason, is suspicious, and starts questioning Duplicate!Dean, trying to trip him up. But D!Dean knows all the answers. Then Sam tosses him the keys, which he catches without wincing. Oops. He ends up with Sam’s gun in his face, which goes fairly well until D!Dean manages to conk him in the head with a pipe he grabs out of the open trunk.

What Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

Sam: 1

Sam wakes up in the sewers, tied to a huge vertical iron pipe. D!Dean comes up with a bunch of rope and punches him in the face, knocking his head back into the pipe.

What Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

Sam: 2

Sam demands to know where Dean is, and D!Dean starts psychoanalyzing the shit out of them. It’s hilarious watching this murderous monster denigrating the brothers for being horribly fucked up. See, he can get into the heads of the people he’s mimicking, and learn all about them. It’s about here that I was thinking what amazing therapists good shapeshifters would make. And we learn that Dean’s so fucked up over Sam and his Dad leaving him that it’s hard to tell whether the shapeshifter’s talking about itself or Dean when it talks about fears of abandonment.

Daddy Issues: 1

Brotherly Love: 1

The shapeshifter then goes after Becca, easily gaining entry because Dean is so charming and masculine and stuff.

Definitely Hetero Dean: 3

Meanwhile, back in the sewers, Dean calls out to Sam, and then start picking on him, claiming that the shapeshifter picked the handsome one.

Brotherly Love: 2

Also, since Dean was obviously unconscious for some time, our cumulative trauma count goes up:

What Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

Dean: 3

Back at Becca’s, D!Dean is having beers with her and explaining about the shapeshifter being responsible for the murder her brother’s accused of. Becca calls it a genetic freak, which it obviously doesn’t like.

In the sewers, Sam and Dean decide they’re being kept alive because the shapeshifter needs to keep a psychic connection to the people it’s mimicking. They wriggle free and escape the sewers. Sam wants to call the police, but Dean doesn’t want an APB out on himself. Understandable.

D!Dean puts the moves on Becca, which causes her to flip on it, and of course it attacks. Interestingly for a dudebro show, they don’t linger on the attack. They cut pretty quickly to it already having her tied up, and we are back to the beginning, with the scared, bloodied female tied to a chair, and the police breaking in. D!Dean takes off through the back, but gets caught by the police. It makes the unwise choice to throw a knife at the SWAT team, but manages to escape despite the hail of bullets. It runs into the sewers, strips (the bi and hetero female fans thank you, good sirs!), and sheds the Dean look. It’s extra-gross.

Blood and Gore: 4

I don’t even want to contemplate how much latex that took.

Poor Dean is now a wanted criminal. And D!Dean stole all their weapons. Dean is almost more upset about D!Dean driving his car than he is the fact that it attacked Becca and got him in trouble with the law. The brothers track the car back to Becca’s, where of course the police are laying in wait.

You Bloody Fools: 1

Sam sacrifices himself to the cops while Dean runs off. Sam yells at him to stay out of the sewers. We all know how well Dean listens. He takes off tracking the shapeshifter and finds Becca tied in its lair. Meanwhile, Sam has been released by the cops and is sitting with Becca, explaining the situation. I think you can see the problem, here.

Screenshot shows a young woman with long blonde hair, looking down. Her eyes are flashy yellow.
She knocks Sam out with a beer bottle, thus bringing the brothers even.

What Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy?

Sam: 3

Down in the sewer, we learn Becca was walking home when the shapeshifter helped her join the What Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy club. Dean frees her, and they take off to rescue Sam, who’s about to be murdered by D!Dean. Sam escapes his bonds, they engage in fisticuffs, and D!Dean mocks him by saying he was able to kick his ass even when they were wee kiddies.

Brotherly Love: 3

Dean busts in on D!Dean strangling his brother and caps his ass, thus ending the threat and giving the police a conveniently dead D!Dean to pin all the murders on. He takes back the necklace Sammy gave him. Becca is impressed. All is sorted. And Sam has learned that yeah, having friends in this life is complicated. He retcons his college history, claiming he never really fit in. Dean mourns the fact he won’t be there for his own funeral.

Toxic Masculinity: 5

They drive off into the sunset. Soon, there will be another job.


Supernatural S1 E6: “Skin” Summary and Counts