I'm also praising the gratuity. This marks the first time we see a shirtless Winchester. Sure, it's "shapeshifter" Dean, and it's ruined when he stops to take off his skin after removing his shirt, but hey, we'll take it. Not only that, Sam gets tied up not once but twice! "It's not without its perks" as Dean would say. The "Dean" shapeshifter is easily one of the creepiest villains on this show. The creep factor is multiplied times ten when he's talking with Becky in front of the fire, and again when he captures Sam in the sewer.
The theme in this is very clear too, actually anvilicious. It's about being a freak and not being able to fit in. The parallel though is between Sam and Dean and their abnormal lives and some shapeshifter that takes off his skin and butchers people? Really? Um, okay. After that entire ordeal in which Sam's friend is almost butchered and Sam is almost butchered and Dean is now listed as a dead murder, Sam decides that he never fit in at Stanford and life with Dean is okay. That is until the next week when he's back to wanting to have his own life again. Sam's character development in season one still has me scratching my head.
Out of all that brotherly strife though came a VERY interesting piece of dialogue. One that defines the show to this day. When Dean questions Sam what he's telling his friends about what he's been doing since Stanford, Sam's explanation is he's on a road trip with his brother. Dean calls it lying, Sam calls it not telling the whole truth. There's the fine line that still plagues the brothers!!! They're still worlds apart on that definition, and it's now causing deeper and deeper resentment.
I like the overall tone and storytelling of "Skin", as well as the pacing as the mystery unfolds in the beginning. The score highly compliments the eerie feel of the murders. However, I hate the Becky chick. She deserves to be filleted. I also love the small comedic touches, like when Dean peels off from the gas station, runs through the stop sign and there's the sign "Drive Safe America." I've never noticed that before. Also, I've been to St. Louis. The street scenes look incredibly like Vancouver!
Overall grade, a B+.