Sam (Jared Padalecki) and Dean (Jensen Ackles) 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.
The episode was written by John Shiban and directed by Robert Duncan McNeill.
Becky, a friend of Sam’s from college, e-mails that her brother has been arrested for murdering his girlfriend. But he couldn’t have done it –he was with him at the time of the murder, no matter what the security tapes show! She’s right – a man who looks just like her brother, but with eyes that flash like gunmetal, is stalking another couple. He takes on the form of the husband, and beats the wife to death. The husband is arrested.
Sam insists they find out what’s going on. Dean is amazed that Sam still keeps in touch with friends from his old life, and counsels him to cut all ties. What does he tell his friends he’s doing? Sam says he’s on a road trip and getting over Jessica’s death – true, but it leaves out some important details.
The guys figure a shapeshifter of some sort is committing the crimes. They know how to kill one of those – silver bullet to the heart. Luckily, they have a trunk full of silver bullets. The guys figure he must use the sewers to escape from the crime scenes, so they take to the tunnels. They find a horrible mass of skin on the ground – like a snakeskin, but sticky, bloody and distinctly human. As they track the shapeshifter to his lair, and find dozens of mounds of shed skins – how long has he been doing this? Before they can find out, the shapeshifter attacks Dean, hitting him in the arm, and takes off. Sam follows, but the beastie goes above ground and gets away. The guys split up and try to find him. No luck. Dean finds Sam and suggests they go back to the car. But wait — do Dean’s eyes usually flash like that?
Sam quizzes FakeDean about their past, and FakeDean answers. But when Sam throws FakeDean the keys to the car, he catches them with his wounded arm. Sam pulls a gun on him, but hesitates and FakeDean knocks him out. FakeDean ties Sam up in the lair and talks some smack about how Sam never appreciated him, how it’s not fair he got to have a life while Dean had to stay home with their dad. He’s obviously sharing the real Dean’s memories. When FakeDean leaves to visit Becky – after all, the real Dean would try to get together with her, too — Sam tries to escape his bonds, and discovers the real Dean tied up nearby. They figure out the shapeshifter needs to keep the people whose forms he’s stolen alive so he can leech their memories. They get out and call the cops –even though that means they’re putting an APB out on Dean himself.
FakeDean talks his way into Becky’s house, and he tells Becky about the shapeshifter. He spins a line about how he can understand the poor beast – so alone, just wanting love. Becky’s not having it, and tells FakeDean to leave. FakeDean declines, and ties Becky up, preparing to kill her. The cops arrive just in time, but they spot FakeDean as he’s trying to escape. FakeDean knifes one of the cops and flees.
The guys see a police sketch of Dean on TV — he’s wanted for assault. Dean is all for going back to the sewers and kicking some shapeshifter butt, but Sam reminds him they have no weapons. They decide FakeDean must have taken Dean’s car to Becky’s house. They sneak back and find the car, but the cops are waiting. Dean runs, and Sam tells him not to go into the sewers, but instead to meet him back at Becky’s when the coast is clear. Dean ignores this – when he comes back for weapons, he goes right back to the sewers.
Dean finds Becky tied up in the shapeshifter’s lair. But if she’d there, who is Sam talking to in her house? You guessed it – the shapeshifter. The beastie ties Sam up and prepares to kill him. Sam manages to get free and has a vicious fight with his fake brother. FakeDean gets the upper hand, and is strangling Sam when the real Dean bursts in. He kills his doppelganger, and leaves the body for the police.
Becky tells Sam all his friends in the real, non-spooky world miss him. Dean apologizes for pulling Sam away from his old life, but Sam admits even before he started hunting again, he knew he didn’t fit in. It looks like the guys are freaks together. Oh, and Becky’s brother? The police let him go, deciding all the crimes were committed by the same Dean Winchester they’re burying right now.
as Rebecca Warren
imdb.com | gallery
as Zach Warren
imdb.com | gallery
Official Episodes Stills:
Episode Screen Caps:
“In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” by Iron Butterfly
“Poison Whiskey” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
“Hey Man, Nice Shot” by Filter
“All Right Now” by Free
Dean: Hey. Remember when I said this wasn’t our kind of problem?
Dean: Definitely our kind of problem.
Dean: So the neighbor’s dog went psycho right around the time Zack’s girlfriend was killed.
Sam: Animals can have a sharp sense of paranormal.
Dean: Yeah, maybe Fido saw something.
Dean: Sam, the guy’s walkin’ around with my face. Okay, it’s a little personal, I wanna find him.
Sam: What are you gonna do to me?
Shapeshifter Dean: I’m not gonna do anything, Dean will, though.
Sam: You’ll never catch him.
Shapeshifter Dean: Oh, it doesn’t matter. Murder in the first? Of his own brother? He’ll be hunted the rest of his life.
Rebecca: What did you call it?
Shapeshifter Dean: A shapeshifter. Yeah, maybe we’re crazy, but what if we’re not? I mean, look, you said it yourself, that Zach was in two places at once, now tell me how that can happen?
Rebecca: Okay, so this thing, it can make itself look like anybody?
Shapeshifter Dean: That’s right.
Rebecca: Well, what is it? Like a genetic freak?
Shapeshifter Dean: Maybe…evolution is about mutation, right? So maybe this thing was born Human but was different, hideous and hated… until he learned to become someone else.
Shapeshifter Dean: I must say, I will be sorry to lose this skin. Your brother’s got a lot of good qualities – you should appreciate him more than you do.
Sam: We’ve gotta find a phone, call the police!
Dean: You’re gonna put an APB out on me?
Dean: I really wish things could be different, you know, I wish you could just be Joe College.
Sam: Nah, that’s okay. You know, truth is, even at Stanford, deep down, I never really fit in.
Dean: Well, that’s cuz you’re a freak.
Sam: Yeah, thanks.
Dean: Well I’m a freak, too. I’m right there with you, all the way.
(talking about the shapeshifter)
Dean: Argh, the thought of him driving my car.
Sam: Ah come on.
Dean: It’s killing me!
Sam: Let it go.
Dean: I think we’re close to its lair.
Sam: Why’d you say that?
Dean: Because there’s another puke-inducing pile next to your face.
Sam: Urgh, God!
Shape-Shifter Dean: Even when we were kids, I always kicked your ass!
Dean: You know, I gotta say, I’m sorry I’m going to miss it.
Sam: Miss what?
Dean: How many chances am I going to have to see my own funeral.
Dean: Alright, what are we doing here at 5:30 in the morning?
Sam: I realised something – the videotape shows the killer going in but not coming out.
Dean: So he came out the back door.
Sam: Right, so there should be a trail to follow, a trail the police would never pursue.
Dean: Because they think the killer never left, they caught your friend Zach inside. (sotto voce) Still don’t know what we’re doing here at 5:30 in the morning.
Sam: Hey Bec, can we take those beers now?
Rebecca: Yeah, sure.
Sam: And, ah, maybe some sandwiches too.
Rebecca: What do you think this is, Hooters?
Dean: (sotto voce) I wish.
Dean: Sam wears women’s underwear.
Sam: I’ve been listening, I’m just busy.
Dean: All right, but first I want to find that handsome devil and kick the holy crap out of him!
Dean: Man, it’s not even a good picture!
Sam: It’s good enough.
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!
Shape-shifter Dean: He’s sure got issues with you. You got to go to college. He had to stay home. I mean, I had to stay home, with dad. You don’t think I had dreams of my own? But dad needed me! Where the hell were you?
Sam: Where is my brother?
Shape-shifter Dean: I am your brother! See… deep down, I’m just jealous. You’ve got friends. You’ve got a life. Me? I know I’m a freak. And sooner or later, everyone’s gonna leave me.
Sam: What are you talking about?
Shape-Shifter Dean: You left. Hell, I did everything dad asked me to and he still left me! No explanation, no nothing, just poof! Left me with your sorry ass! But still, this life isn’t without its perks. I mean, I meet the nicest people! Like little Becky. You know… Dean would bang her if he had the chance. Let’s see what happens!
Dean: I hate to say it but that’s exactly what I’m talking about. You lie to your friends cause if they knew the real you, they’d be freaked. It’s just… it’d be easier if…
Sam: … If I was like you.
Dean: Hey man, like it or not, we are not like other people. But I’ll tell you one thing. This whole gig… it ain’t without perks!
(hands Sam a gun with silver bullets in it to kill the shape-shifter)
(after Dean finds out that Sam’s friend, Zach, has been put in jail for murdering his girlfriend)
Dean: Dude, what kind of people are you hanging out with?!
Dean: Yeah, it sucks. But with a job like this you can’t get close to people. Period.
Sam: You’re kind of anti-social, you know that?
Dean: Yeah, you know. Whatever.
Dean: You kidding? You still keep in touch with your college buddies?
Sam: Why not?
Dean: Well, what exactly do you tell them? You know, about where you’ve been? What you’ve been doing?
Sam: I tell them that I’m on a road trip with my big brother. I tell them I needed some time off after Jess.
Dean: Oh, so you lie to them?
Sam: No! I just don’t tell them… everything.
Dean: Yeah… that’s, that’s called lying. Hey man, I get it. Telling them the truth is far worse!
The way the Winchesters parked looks like they came in driving towards the intersection. But that is impossible given the fact that it is a dead end. Even if they did reverse in, they still would have seen the crime scene coming in. Plus, the police are still putting up the crime scene wrap several hours in.
Rebecca Warren’s Email to Sam
“hey sam – wanted to update you; wasn’t sure if you’d heard the news, zach was arrested for killing his gf. sounds crazy, i know – but he’s charged with murder. cops say they have dna, fingerprints, all kinds of evidence… he didn’t do it!! this all feels so unreal.
just thought you’d like to know”
When they first come across the shapeshifter in the sewer and Dean gets hit he is holding his left arm yet when they leave via the ladder is holding his right arm as if it’s hurt.
When the shape-shifter leaves to go to Rebecca’s he throws a tarp over Sam. When Sam is struggling with the ropes the tarp is shown hanging off of his shoulder. The camera changes to show Dean tied up nearby and when it returns to Sam the tarp is gone.
At the end of the episode when Sam is saying goodbye to Rebecca and she hugs him, you can see she is wearing a huge silver bracelet but after they are done hugging she is no longer wearing a bracelet.
In an interview in TV Guide, Eric Kripke, the show creator admitted that he got so many requests from the viewers to see Jensen and Jared with “less on”, that he created this episode for Jensen to be shirtless, and added a scene in the episode “Hell House” for Jared to be shirtless to please the fans.
Sign: Drive Safe, America!
Refers to the traffic school launched in 1974 to provide traffic safety instruction nationwide.
Rebecca: What do you think this is – Hooters?
Hooters is a chain of restaurants with a relaxed beach-theme. Its also famous for its staff of Hooters girls.
Dean: You mean like a Vulcan Mind meld?
This refers to the Star Trek Universe and the ability for Vulcans to meld with another’s mind using a special position of the fingers on the face of the other person. Also, director Robert Duncan McNeil starred in Star Trek: Voyager as Lt. Paris.
INSIDE THE LEGEND