S1 Episode 6 Skin
Who’s ready to go out on another hunt? Well, put on your crucifix necklaces. Get your bottle of holy water, and buckle up when you get into your Impala. Today the Winchester brothers are going on the hunt for a shape shifter!
Similar to the past episode this one has a few creepy elements going on in it. Anyone sensitive to abuse or blood is advised to avoid this episode. There are also elements of torture going on in this episode that may be disturbing to some viewers. You have been properly warned, but the author would like to note that these elements become more prevalent later in the Supernatural series and other seasons. Anyway, on to the review!
The episode starts out with Sam getting a phone call. One of his old school friend’s was framed for the murder of his girlfriend. Dean points out Sam should cut all his past ties, but his brother refuses. After lying he’s a police officer, Dean and Sam manage to convince the sister of the convicted friend to let them into the apartment. After a quick investigation Dean still has his doubts about it being a true case. It’s not until they watch the security tape the brother changes his mind.
On a security tape they see Sam’s “friend” at the store. When the man on the video looks up his eyes appear to glow. Sam rewinds the tape and shows it to Dean again. After a trip into the sewers both brothers come to the conclusion they’re dealing with a shape shifter. They come across disgusting mucus like substance they realize is the shape shifter’s “skin”. The shape shifter takes on the appearance on whoever it’s hunting. Once it has its target in its sights it breaks into the targets house. It steals clothes to wear and once the target is gone the shape shifter breaks in once again. Disguised as the loved one the shape shifter will break into the house and murder.
This episode’s creepiness factor comes in when it comes to the glowing eyes over the security footage. It can be called unsettling to say the least, and comes right out of a cliché B horror flick. On the other hand there are some disturbing elements in this episode.
One of those elements is the opening scene. A man is leaving on a business trip, kisses his wife goodbye, and leaves. The man returns home a few hours later due to a client canceling on him. When he comes into his house he hears muffled cries. He runs to his wife’s aid and finds her bound to a chair. She’s bleeding from several cuts, and has obviously been tortured. As the man is doing his best to untie her she begs him not to hurt her anymore, and of course the man is confused. He’s knocked out by the shape shifter and later arrested for the murder of his wife.
While in the end Dean and Sam catch the shape shifter and kill him this episode seems to linger long after the ending credits. Dean’s death is faked when the shape shifter is killed, he had transformed into Dean and been shot down, but the fact remains it’s a disturbing one. It also gives viewers a taste of what to expect in future episodes of the series. At time Supernatural can be very light hearted, but at other times incredibly dark.
Side Note: Shape shifters are actually studied in cryptozoology. Cryptozoology is the study of mythical creatures. Some common ones are Big Foot, the Yeti, Chupacabra, and quite a few other fantastical creatures depending upon on how deep you dig.
While the shape shifter in this Supernatural episode changed his appearance completely there are actually two types of “shifting” that can happen. The physical changing of the body, for example Werewolves, where a being’s entire form changes or alters. The form is the changing of the “light body”, or a change taking place in your mind. There are groups of people who feel as if they are changing, but their bodies remain the same. Instead their mental state alters and they can “feel” the change of their chosen animal taking place.
Shape shifters are also found in a lot of lore, myths, and legends throughout the world. In Ireland there is a shape-shifting goddess known as “Morrigan”. She is the harbinger of war and has been known to even turn into a crow. A representation of her has also been present in a recent video game series called Dragon Age Origins and Dragon Age Inquisition.