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Oh, this one's a doozy. You've got to admit, when trying to pick memorable episodes, "Skin" comes to mind. Upon watching this again, I forgot how much I liked it. It's not one I watch often. It's just too gross. However, there are some big bonuses. First, this is one of the best music selections for an episode. Forget how cool "In-Gadda-Da-Vida" is during that stunning and pretty graphic opening.   The entire sequence with "Hey Man Nice Shot" is thrilling and one of the best musical scenes done on this show. One of the freaking grossest too. But hey, a young show needs to make a statement. 


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+. 


# Bevie 2010-01-12 20:05
Another good recap Alice. I liked this one a lot as well. The shapeshifter spilling Dean's inner thoughts to a captive Sam. I wonder if Sam ever told Dean about that!

Wasn't fond of Becky at all either. She seemed sort of sharp and snooty to me. Wondered why Sam liked her. Could be I'm just superficial though. Deep down she might be Mother Teresa!

And the view of the shapeshifter taking off Dean's shirt was very nice to see, until he began to distort. Yuck! Also enjoyed Dean without his layers in only his Tshirt. Less layers the better! LOL!

I give it an A.
# Alice 2010-01-12 20:45
People of the earth...

I think I'm going to follow Conan O'Brien's lead and start all my articles like that. (Thanks to Mo Ryan for the idea!)

Anyway, if anyone hasn't read yet my interview with Director Robert Duncan McNeill about this episode, the link is here:
# Narcissus 2010-01-12 23:35
If all evil beings looked like this one, I'm pretty sure there would be soooo many more girls getting kidnapped, or, you know, throwing themselves at the hot evil monster :mrgreen:

I don't really mind Sam's character development in season 1..I mean, people don't always know what they want (and apparently, neither do writers heheh). I agree about the music though Alice...totally awesome, second only to the Nightshifter ending.

I am not going to attempt to grade episodes because I'll change my mind every time I watch an ep :-)
# Supernarttu 2010-01-13 01:35
Awesome eppie, I love it to bits. I loved the creeping tension Shifter-Dean had with Sam & Becky ( I liked her btw 8-) ) He was extra freaky and Jensen really nailed it. And Dean in a t-shirt is a rear thing so ofcourse you drool 'a bit' when you see him in one. I think it's somekinda law... :mrgreen:

And the music is just perfect! I still remember seeing the teaser the first time and thinking DEAN?!?! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING??? :D A great teaser btw, I usually skip them but not this one... hmm how about a top10 teasers ;-)
# Suze 2010-01-13 07:35
I'm with Narcissus, let the poor bugger have some wriggle room - He's even more of a problem when he does make his mind up about something!

You're quite right about the lies/ leaving stuff out divide between the brother's world views ... Myself, I think it's WHAT you don't tell that's the clincher, so not telling your mates you hunt demons for a living is fair enough as they'd think you were a headcase if you did 'fess up but not telling your nearest and dearest you've developed a taste for blood is a bit more of an oh-shit moment ...
# Dany 2010-01-13 08:01
Skin is definitely one of my favorites episodes!
I like the entire episode (and of course almost shirtless and only one layer of clothes Dean is always a bonus ;-) ), even the shifter "skin pealing" part and I don't even close my eyes! Yes, it's gross but I try not to look but it's stronger than me and I always end up looking! Yes I'm weird, haven't you figured that out by know?
# Josie 2010-01-13 14:37
Skin was my first exposure to Supernatural (ah, memories!). It's a fine, creepy episode. Looking at it again, there are indeed hints of resentment and disagreement between Sam and Dean. I'll make sure to point that out the next time someone claims that the brothers always got along and were super-close in season 1. ;-)