Spoilers for the episode
A shape shifter is impersonating men and killing their partners. Sam’s friend Zak gets arrested for killing his girlfriend and Dean spends most of the episode pointing out why Sam shouldn’t have friends.
Police enter a house and find a woman tied to a chair and a man escaping who turns out to be Dean covered in blood and holding a knife.
One week earlier Dean and Sam are getting fuel while Sam’s answering emails from college buddies. He’s told them that he’s on a road trip. Dean says that’s lying and he should cut everyone out if his life but Sam denies it.
An email says that his friend Zak has been arrested for his girlfriend’s murder but that he didn’t do it. Dean thinks it’s not their problem but Sam says they’re friends.
They visit Becky, Zak’s sister, who was with him when Emily, the girlfriend, was being murdered but there’s tape from a security camera showing him at the house at the time.
Sam decides they’ll go to the crime scene and tells Becky that Dean is a cop so it’s alright. Dean points out this is lying.
There’s not much to see at Emily’s house but apparently a week before someone broke in and stole Zak’s clothes and the neighbor’s dog has been aggressive since the murder. Animals are more sensitive to supernatural stuff.
They ask if Becky can get the tape from her lawyer but she’s already stolen it. So they watch it and Sam sends Becky for beer and food so he can examine it more closely. Zak’s eyes flash in the video. Photos can catch a glimpse of the soul.
Meanwhile Zak’s sat on a bench watching a couple and his eyes flash so we don’t get confused. Then later the man comes home to find his wife tied to a chair and she asks him not to hurt her anymore. He hears a noise and goes to investigate instead of calling the police. You know someone is in your house they’ve tied your wife up. He finds his double and gets knocked out.
Sam decides to go to Emily’s house early in the morning and Dean’s still not sure this is their kind of problem and isn’t really putting any effort in. I’d be the same at 5:30 in the morning.
Sam’s looking for a trail because if the police thought they’d caught the murderer they wouldn’t look. He finds blood but the trail ends.
They see an ambulance and follow it to the house of the guy who came home and found his wife tied to a chair. Now Dean thinks it’s their kind of problem.
Sam goes round the back of the house and finds a trail but again it ends. Sam wonders about flying but Dean suggests the sewers. This reminds me of the first episode of Buffy where one of them asks if vampires can fly and she says they can drive. It’s always the simplest explanation.
Down in the sewers they find the shifter’s shedded skin and hair from when he transforms. It’s all slimy and gooey.
Back at the car and they’re loading silver bullets into the guns because that always kills shifters no matter the type.
Becky phones Sam and has found out Dean’s not a cop from her lawyer and is rightly angry that they went to the crime scene because it could ruin Zak’s case.
Dean takes this moment to point out it would be easier to not have friends than to lie to them. He’s got a lot of evidence that not having friends is for the best.
Down in the sewers and they’re getting close because there’s another shedding pile right next to Sam’s head on a pipe which makes me wonder if the shifter is using it as decoration because of where it’s placed. It makes sense to be on the floor not up high.
The shifter appears behind Dean but Sam misses when he fires and they split up to chase it through the streets.
They meets back up but it’s not Dean because his eyes flash helpfully for the audience. Sam finds out pretty quickly too when the shifter catches the keys with his injured arm. Sam pulls a gun but because he’s not 100% sure hesitates to shoot and the shifter knocks him out.
Sam wakes up tied to the pipes and asks about Dean. The shifter says he doesn’t want to know which is a bit ominous but Dean’s tied up only a few feet away you just can’t see him because he’s got a blanket over him. I’m assuming this is so they don’t have to spend money on an effects shot.
The shifter’s got Dean’s memories and acts like him but decides to uncharacteristically acknowledge all his emotions and say them out loud. He resents Sam for getting to go to college and have friends. Everyone’s going to leave him. He did everything their Dad said and he still left. And finally Dean would bang Becky so the shifter’s going to go after her.
Shifter tells Becky he’s here to apologise and she lets him in. This is why you should never forgive people. He then tells her about shifters because even monsters need to express themselves.
Becky says it would have to be a genetic freak. He says evolution is about mutation and the shifter was born hideous and hated but learned to become someone else. No wonder the world’s got a creationist problem with all these shows explaining evolution like this. This is a very X-men style of mutation.
Back to Dean and Sam who are trying to escape. They theorise that the shifter has to keep who it turns into alive so it has a psychic connection to download the memories. That explains why Dean is alive but not why Sam is. The shifter never turns into him.
They call the police to warn them about the shifter but that means the police are hunting someone of Dean’s description. It’ll be fine though he didn’t even have to hide when he took out two policemen who got a good look at him.
The shifter gets creepy with Becky and she tries to kick him out but he ties her up and we’ve caught up with the beginning of the episode.
The police enter and the shifter escapes out the window, gets into the sewer and starts to change. It’s gross. Teeth popping out and he pulls his ear off and bones start popping. I wonder if there’s time limit on how long he can stay in one form?
The brothers watch the news reporting on the man hunt for Dean who feels it’s personal because the guy’s walking around with his face. They’ve got no weapons so they go find the car but the police show up.
Sam gets caught so Dean can get away and tells him not to go into the sewers alone. Dean goes anyway because of course he does and finds Becky tied up. She woke up in time to watch the shifter become her so now she believes them.
Sam’s gone to Becky’s house and he doesn’t think it’s strange that she let him in after his brother tied her up and hurt her.
Why isn’t he looking for Dean? He said don’t go into the sewers without me. He should be finding Dean and regrouping.
Anyway the shifter knocks him out and when he comes to he’s tied up again. The shifter should have just killed him when he was unconscious. And the shifter is Dean again so we can watch the brothers try to kill each other. And so Dean can kill himself metaphorically. And so the police can see Dean’s dead body blame everything on him and case closed.
Becky says it must be a lonely life because now she knows what they do and they keep talking about having friends so she gets to rub it in at the end. Zak’s getting released because Dean’s getting the blame.
Dean wishes things could be different for Sam and he’d like to go see his own funeral but considering he has no friends that’d be a bit depressing.
I found this episode convoluted but that made it funny. I like getting to know Dean better and him secretly being jealous of Sam going college and having friends. It’s all good conflict that gets explored more later.
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