Skin is the 6th episode of Season 1. It aired on October 18, 2005.
|There was something about being there... It felt pure.|
This episode summary is an official CW press release. It may contain errors.
DO NOT CHANGE!
Sam and Dean come to the aid of Sam's old college buddy after he is accused of a murder he swears he didn't commit. The brothers discover a shapeshifter is adopting the likenesses of others and murdering people. The brothers' race to stop the shapeshifter takes a terrifying turn when he shifts into the likeness of Dean.
Sam receives an email from Becky, a friend in Stanford, whose brother Zach has been arrested for the murder of his girlfriend. Keen to help them out, Sam convinces Dean that they should travel to St. Louis.
When they arrive, Becky explains that Zach came home to find his girlfriend Emily beaten to death. Becky claims that Zach was with her when Emily was killed, but that a security tape shows him arriving home around the time of her death.
Claiming that Dean is a police detective, Sam gets Becky to take them to the scene of the crime. The only clues they find are that the house was robbed about a week before the murder, and that the dog next door has become vicious since the attack. Dean is still skeptical, until he and Sam examine the security tape, which Becky has obtained from Zach's lawyers. On the tape Zach's eyes flare when he looks directly at the camera.
Elsewhere in town, "Zach" watches a man leave his apartment and kiss his wife goodbye. Later that night, someone who appears to be the same man, returns and tortures her.
Early the next morning, Sam and Dean return to Zach's house, as Sam points out that if the person they saw enter wasn't Zach, then he must have left by the back entrance to avoid being captured on the video camera. The blood smear in the alley behind the house supports this theory. They then see an ambulance pass, and follow it to discover that another murder has occurred, and in a striking similarity to Zach's case, the man claimed to be driving home at the time his wife was killed.
Dean and Sam find another bloody trail behind the apartment block, and follow it down a manhole to the sewer. On finding a pile of skin and blood they realize they are dealing with a shapeshifter. Suddenly the shapeshifter attacks them, and runs off. During their pursuit the boys are separated, and when they reunite at the car, having lost the creature, Sam suspects that Dean is actually the shapeshifter. As Sam confronts him the creature knocks him out and takes him prisoner.
Sam regains consciousness in the sewer, bound to a beam. The shapeshifter has access to Dean's memories, and claims that Dean is angry at Sam for having left him to go to college, and for having opportunities Dean never had.
The creature finally leaves, telling Sam it has plans to attack Becky. At her house, Becky invites the shapeshifter, whom she obviously thinks is Dean, in for a beer. They talk for a while, but eventually the creature attacks her. Suddenly a SWAT Unit arrives, and the shapeshifter flees, leaving Becky alive but bloodied.
In the sewer, Sam struggles to get free, and suddenly hears Dean regain consciousness. Together they manage to escape, and as they walk the streets, see a police sketch of Dean on TV – he is now wanted in relation to Becky's attack. They return to her house and Dean gets the Impala, while Sam distracts the police.
Dean returns alone to the sewer to track the creature, and finds Becky there – the creature has assumed her identity now. Back at Becky's house, the shapeshifter has tricked Sam, and is holding him captive. Sam fights back, and then Dean arrives, finally shooting the creature who looks just like him.
The police decide to release Zach, as they now suspect "Dean Winchester", whom they found dead at Becky's house, was the culprit in Emily's murder. As they leave town, Dean muses that he is missing his own funeral.
- Amy Grabow as Rebecca Warren and Serial Killer Shapeshifter
- Alex Holtz as Zach Warren and Serial Killer Shapeshifter
- Anita Brown as Lindsey
- Peter Shindoka as Alex and Serial Killer Shapeshifter
Featured Supernatural Beings
- Skinwalkers (mentioned only)
- Shapeshifter (Serial Killer Shapeshifter)
- Tulpa (referenced only)
- Werewolves (mentioned only)
- This episode begins the series' storyline in which the brothers are pursued by the law. Many more episodes also focus on the law and cops: Nightshifter, The Usual Suspects, and Jus In Bello.
- Anita Brown, the actress who plays Lindsay, also appears in Wishful Thinking as Hope Lynn Casey.
- The director of this episode, Robert Duncan McNeill, also directed an episode of The CW series Dawson's Creek titled "Instant Karma!," which starred Jensen Ackles.
- Jared Padalecki has stated in an interview that he finds this the scariest episode of Supernatural.
- Emily (mentioned only)
- Serial Killer Shapeshifter
- Iron Butterfly - "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"
- Mommy and Daddy - "Good Deal"
- Lynyrd Skynyrd - "Poison Whiskey"
- Filter - "Hey Man, Nice Shot"
- Free - "All Right Now"
- The Death Riders - "Mary"
The song playing in the pre-title teaser, "In A Gadda Da Vida" may be a homage to the 1986 flim Manhunter, in which the same song is background music to a very similar scene. Manhunter was the first flim to feature the character Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a character Dean references on other occasions.
- Sam: I don't know, it was like he was downloading your thoughts and memories.
- Dean: You mean like the Vulcan Mind Meld?
- In Star Trek, the Vulcan Mind Meld is a procedure that involves physical contact with a subject (though instances of mind-melds without contact have been seen), making it possible to share thoughts, experience, memories, and knowledge with another individual. Also, the director of this episode Robert Duncan McNeill previously starred as Tom Paris on the television show Star Trek: Voyager.
- Dean: Argh, the thought of him driving my car.
- Sam: Oh, come on.
- Dean: It's killing me!
- Sam: Let it go.
- Dean: That better be you Sam and not that freak of nature!
- Sam: Yeah, it's me. He went to Becca's, looking like you.
- Dean: Well, he's not stupid. He picked the handsome one!
- Dean: All right, but first I want to find that handsome devil and kick the holy crap out of him!
- Dean: (after looking at the breaking news report with a drawn picture of himself on TV) Man. It's not even a good picture!
- Sam: We gotta find a phone, call the police.
- Dean: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. You gonna put an APB out on me.
- Czech: Druhá Kůže (Second Skin)
- Brazil: Pele (Skin)
- Finnish: Paholaisen nahoissa (In the Skin of the Devil)
- French: Faux Frère (False Brother)
- German: Haut (Skin)
- Italian: Questione di pelle (Matter of skin)
- Polish: Skóra (Skin)
- Romanian: Piele (Skin)
- Hungarian: Barát a bajban (Friend in Trouble)
- ": "Skin" Review", IGN review.
- The Alter Ego (the Japanese Animated remake of this episode)