A quick note by way of introduction may be required here. For quite some time now, certain members of the Richmond WriMos have been trying to persuade me to watch the CW show Supernatural. I have relented and am now embarking on watching Supernatural via the wonders of Netflix. This series of posts will simply be my first impressions, almost stream of consciousness style, presented in the form of the time elapsed in the episode and my thoughts expressed as bullet points. It’s effectively live tweeting the episodes except I don’t have to stick to 140 characters or fewer. So without further ado here’s my take on:
Season 1 Episode 6 – “Skin”
- 02:10 – Wait, is that Dean involved in the inevitable teaser death?
- 02:22 – Gas at $2.6 a gallon. It’s almost nostalgic
- 03:13 – Technically it’s omission, Dean, which isn’t quite lying. They are heavily interrelated though
- 04:22 – Great peel out in the Impala. Also this episode is directed by Robert Duncan McNeill aka Star Trek: Voyager‘s Tom Paris (And Kevin Corrigan from the Masters of the Universe movie)
- 06:08 – So far this seems like a more straight forward murder investigation, not really in Supernatural’s wheelhouse. It’s slightly reminiscent of the show Millennium and the teaser was shot in a very X-Files manner
- 06:50 – Also very X-files: Dean being the Scully to Sam’s Mulder about this murder case and Sam’s friend’s brother being innocent
- 08:11 – That is a heck of a lot of blood
- 09:07 – Okay, that dog looks guilty. I’m saying it’s the murderer. Motive: It wanted more than just Kibble for breakfast
- 09:52 – So Becky’s just confessed to a felony and the boys think that Murder Dog might in fact be a witness
- 10:51 – Creepy eye transition on the Becky’s brother lookalike person(?) Almost looked canine like. I still say Murder Dog is behind this
- 11:28 – No, Becks, your shorts aren’t short enough for this to be Hooters
- 12:01 – I know the exposition about supernatural phenomena is necessary, but Padalecki is way too obviously just reading this Dark Double stuff going by his delivery, Ackles’ Doppelganger bit sounds so much more naturalistic.
- 13:03 – Tied to a chair, blood everywhere very similar set up to the teaser and the description of Becky’s brother’s accusation. I thing we’ve established Murder Dog’s MO. Not sure how he ties the ropes with those paws though.
- 13:34- Okay, it’s definitely a doppelganger or shapeshifter of some sort as the Asian guy just proved. I guess my Murder Dog theory just got debunked.
- 14:17 – I concur with Dean’s crankiness about it being 5:30 AM. I’m going to follow his example and fix some coffee
- 16:09 – A much more naturalistic exposition exchange between the brothers Winchester plus the line “I’m guessing we’ve got a shapeshifter problem in the neighborhood” is darkly funny. I’m going to assume we get the usual shapeshifter paranoia tropes and likely a shout out or two to John Carpenter’s The Thing
- 17:03 – If those sewers were any bigger I’d expect the boys to find a rat and four amphibian mutants named after renaissance artists down there
- 17:34 – Skin shedding shapeshifters sound gross (and alliterative)
- 18:11 – Sam’s been caught in a lie…
- 20:54 – You’re chasing after something that you know has the ability to assume the shapes of other people and sheds skin in “puke inducing piles,” why on earth would you split up? That’s just begging the dark double to assume one of your shapes (presumably Dean, going by the teaser). This isn’t Scooby Doo. (If it were, Murder Dog would be Old Man Withers)
- 21:44 – Yep, it’s Dean
- 22:47 – Nice spot with the keys after the traditional memory test bluff failed Sammy boy.
- 23:11 – Sam all tied up. It’s like a million voices all cried “Squee!” at once.
- 25:13 – I wonder how much of Shapeshifter!Dean’s angst is true for the actual Dean. I think the implication is all of it, but there’s wiggle room for the writers if they don’t like the character dynamics it reinforces.
- 26:36 – “He’s not stupid. He picked the handsome one,” damned right, Dean. Also both Winchesters tied up in the basement. I assume the shapeshifter’s true form is a Supernatural fangirl
- 28:20 – Yeah, I guess calling the police would make Dean the current prime suspect
- 29:45 – Seems like we’re close to catching up to the teaser. Also “Dean’s” attack on Becky was incredibly uncomfortable to watch even with the judicious editing.
- 30:54 – These SWAT guys are terrible shots. No way “Dean” should have gotten out of that house alive
- 31:50 – The skin shedding effects are both excellent make up work and incredibly freaking gross
- 33:07 – Love that Dean seems more upset about the shapeshifter driving his car rather than wearing his face
- 35:00 – Sam isn’t nearly paranoid enough for a shapeshifter story. Trust no one! That’s why you got a beer bottle smashed against your stupid ugly hair.
- 37:59 – Surprisingly brutal fight scene between “Dean” & Sam. Ended by the real Dean and a couple of well placed silver bullets
So, if I’m understanding the conclusion of this episode, the world at large now consider Dean Winchester both dead and a serial killer. I’m sure that’ll come into play down the road. Also, I feel sorry for the innocent Asian business man who is probably jailed for life due to the shapeshifter.
This episode was very much a standalone and I think if I had skipped it, my enjoyment and understanding of the season would not be impaired. It wasn’t bad, nor was it superlative. I’d say it was a solid, coherent story, if ultimately forgettable. It was certainly better than episode 4. It just wasn’t very memorable with the notable exception of the skin shedding transformation sequence, which was pretty nightmarish and more than a little similar to the transformation sequence in An American Werewolf in London.