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Season 1, Episode 6

AirdateOctober 18, 2005
Written byJohn Shiban
Directed byRobert Duncan McNeill

DateMarch 5, 2006 - March 8, 2006
LocationSt. Louis, Missouri

Bloody Mary Hook Man

Episode Transcript


WB Description Dean and Sam 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.


March 5, 2006Sam receives email about Zach from Rebecca; Dean and Sam head for St. Louis
March 6, 2006Dean and Sam interview Becky; investigate Zach's house, watch security tapes; Shapeshifter attacks Lindsey
March 7, 2006Dean and Sam go back to Zach's house and follow trail in the sewer; Lindsey's body is discovered; Dean and Sam follow new trail into the sewer; Shapeshifter attacks, becomes Dean; Sam and the shapeshifter meet at the Impala; Shapeshifter takes Sam prisoner
March 7, 2006 (night)Becky invites the shapeshifter in; Dean and Sam escape the sewer; shapeshifter attacks; SWAT arrives; shapeshifter flees; Sam distracts the police while Dean escapes; Dean goes back into the sewer and finds Becky; Sam goes to Becky's and the shapeshifter knocks him out; Sam and the shapeshifter fight; Dean arrives and kills the shapeshifter
March 8, 2006Zach is released; Dean and Sam leave town


Sam receives an email from a friend in Stanford, Rebecca Warren, 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, but when he and Sam examine the security tape, which Becky has obtained from Zach's lawyers, they see 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 was not 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, hurts Dean, 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 partly because he is not hurt. 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, who she thinks is Dean, in for a beer. Meanwhile, in the sewer, Sam struggles to get free, and hears Dean regain consciousness. Together they manage to escape, calling in an anonymous tip to save Becky. At Becky's house, Becky and "Dean" talk for a while, but eventually the creature attacks her. Suddenly a SWAT Unit arrives, and the shapeshifter flees, leaving Becky alive but bloodied.

As the boys walk the streets, they see a police sketch of Dean on TV - he is now wanted in relation to Becky's attack. They return to find the Impala at Becky's house, but before they retrieve weapons the police show up. Dean escapes while Sam distracts the police, warning Dean not to go back to the sewer.

Dean, ignoring Sam's warning, 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, knocking him unconscious, and is holding him captive again. Sam cuts his ropes, and fights back. Just as Sam is being choked by Shapeshifter Dean, the real Dean arrives, finally shooting the creature who looks just like him.

The police decide to release Zach, as they now suspect "Dean Winchester," who they found dead at Becky's house, was the culprit in Emily's murder. As they leave town, Dean regrets that Sam can't be normal, and claims they are both freaks. He also muses that he is missing his own funeral.


Main Cast Recurring Cast
    Guest Cast


    • Iron Butterfly - In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida
      (plays while the shapeshifter is surrounded by police in the apartment)
    • Lynyrd Skynyrd - Poison Whiskey
      (plays at the gas station, where Sam is reading his emails)
    • Filter - Hey Man, Nice Shot
      (plays when the shapeshifter is fleeing the crime scene and shedding its skin in the sewers)
    • Free - All Right Now
      (plays at the end of the episode when Dean tells Sam that he wished he could have a normal life)


    • Dean - Bisbee, Arizona, detective

    Supernatural Beings

    Interesting Things

    Shirts the Boys Have Worn
    PersonShirt Counts
    Dean1 Black
    1 Brown Plaid
    2 Gray
    1 Green
    1 Red
    1 Suit
    Sam2 Blue
    1 Brown
    3 Gray
    1 White
    Interesting Things That Have Happened
    Baby driven by other1
    Dean knocked unconscious1
    Dean lies to Sam1
    Other cries1
    Sam knocked unconscious2
    Sam/Other hug2
    Items That Have Shown Up
    Items Shown
    Grenade Launcher
    Quotes People Have Said
    Check this out (Sam)1
    Son of a bitch (Dean)2
    Total Count of Species
    SpeciesNumber of Characters
    Who Died and How
    CharacterCause of DeathKilled By
    ShapeshifterShotDean Winchester

    Pop Culture

    The song playing in the pre-title teaser, "In A Gadda Da Vida" may be an homage to the 1986 film Manhunter, in which the same song is background music to a very similar scene. Manhunter was the first film 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.


    Writing the Episode

    • Trying to break the story for 'Skin', the question was posed on how to do an original morph for the shapeshifter. "Everyone's done them. I have to give credit to Eric for saying 'Everybody does CGI. Let's not... Is there a way it can be closer to An American Werewolf in London?'... But the idea that he's got to shed his skin was what was cool about it." - John ShibanSupernatural The Official Companion Season 1, p. 47
    • After receiving endless requests to show "less on", Skin was written for Jensen to go shirtless. Eric Kripke never intended for the boys to be quite as naked as they've become known to be on the show.
    • Going into the episode, the writers knew one of the boys were going to have to be the shapeshifter. There were problems in how to finish the episode, wondering how to get Dean clear. They didn't want to be three episodes later wondering how to get out the pickle. It was scary, but they were able to use it to build onto the characters. Because once it airs, it's canon. Now Dean can't just walk into the police station, because he'll be flagged. So in 'Benders', he uses an alias and hears about his own reputation.Supernatural The Official Companion Season 1, p. 43

    Casting Characters

    • Anita Brown plays Lindsay, the second victim of the shapeshifter, and she also played Hope Lynn Casey in Wishful Thinking. She also had previously appeared as "Gill Girl" in an episode of Dark Angel alongside Jensen Ackles.
    • Ron Blecker and Nick Allen are listed as SWAT Captain and SWAT Teamer respectively in Supernatural The Official Companion Season 1. However, neither are listed on IMDb.


    • Filming Location: Gastown, near Victory Square.
    • Since he's shedding, he needs a place to hide. So the lair in the sewer came to be, "which led to a lot of great set pieces." - John ShibanSupernatural The Official Companion Season 1, p. 47
    • "I love where the doppelganger tears the skin off. I did the inserts of the teeth and the ears, and the ripping off and the teeth falling out, so that was a lot of fun. I grossed everybody out and they loved it. I loved that episode just because of how weird and strange it was." - Producer Cyrus YavnehSupernatural The Official Companion Season 1, p. 43
    • "We had that fight scene that took all day to film. Ten... fifteen seconds long. Everything just came together, and I loved the dynamic of these brothers clashing." - Jared PadaleckiSupernatural The Official Companion Season 1, p. 41
    • The fight was "one of the most difficult sequences we did. It was a scene where the two brothers had to face off. They had to do a fight in a games room, and I remember the producer coming to me and saying 'Look, you're gonna have to work with these guys over the weekend for two days to get this fight down, because it's a very long, brutal fight that's going to feature a lot of the guys, with stunt doubles, of course.' Having worked with them already, I knew this wasn't going to be two days, because they are so quick at picking up stuff. We literally had it done in four hours. We got a call from Kung Fu magazine, who wanted to do an interview about that particular fight. The main engines behind that fight Jared and Jensen, because without their physical ability you couldn't possibly do it. It's because these guys are so precise and so smart about what they do that it just came off without a hitch." - Stunt coordinator Lou BolloSupernatural The Official Companion Season 1, p. 41-42
    • "With the exception of the guy going into the bookshelf and then falling into the coffee table," cuts with Jensen and Jared were used. "I was supposed to just use them for close-ups, or whatever, and I was telling Phil [Sgriccia], 'These guys are good. I don't see any reason to do trickery here with the editing because they're really good." - Editor Anthony PinkerSupernatural The Official Companion Season 1, p. 43
    • The aerial shot of the Impala traveling through green fields dotted with livestock was also used in Sin City. What's really odd is that it also seems to have appeared in an episode of House.


    • The Meaning of the Episode Title: "Skin" describes the monsters of the week - someone who changes skins.
    • The subtitles on the DVD sections are:
      1. Bound to die.
      2. Dark doubles.
      3. "Where's Dean?".
      4. Score to settle.
      5. Missing the funeral.
      6. End Credits.
    • "We first started to catch our vibe with 'Skin'. I loved 'Bloody Mary' and I loved 'Phantom Traveler', but they're fun and just about the monster concept. 'Skin' was the first time we started to dig deeper, the first episode that we really started to feel like, 'Oh, well hey, there's actually more interesting levels here than just the scares. Jensen got to be evil. He got to say things that his character might be too reserved to say, or too repressed to say." - Eric KripkeSupernatural The Official Companion Season 1, p. 40-41
    • Jared Padalecki cited this episode as one of his favorites to the premiere edition of the Official Supernatural Magazine saying: "I really enjoyed 'Skin'! Great sets!"
    • "I gotta say my favorite [season one] episode was 'Skin'. Not just because I wrote it and it was well-executed... It really worked as a thriller, a great supernatural mystery. And I think the director did a phenomenal job with it." - Co-executive producer John ShibanSupernatural The Official Companion Season 1, p. 43
    • At the Paley Festival in 2006, John Shiban spoke about the gratification he got from coming up with scary concepts and effects.
      "A fan was watching the show and giving her impressions as she watched it, 'Oh my god, Dean's taking his shirt off!' And followed immediately by, 'Oh my god, he's taking his skin off!' I knew then that we had it. I was very pleased with that."
    • When Dean pulls into the SureGas Gasoline station at the beginning, the gas price listed was $2.65 and $2.85.
    • When Sam is reading his text messages on his phone, one of the messages was sent by a Jerry Wanek, a reference to the show's production designer.
    • Sam's contacts include Jerry Wanek and John Marcynuk, both named after production designers for Supernatural, and Mary Ann Liu and Stanislava Shmakin, both named after graphic designers for Supernatural.
    • When Sam is checking his emails, his email is shown to be
    • This is the only episode in which the shapeshifter's eyes flash silver without being on a video. Instances: Shapeshifter Zach's eyes when he looks at Lindsay; Shapeshifter Alex's eyes when he hits Alex over the head with a baseball bat; Shapeshifter Dean's eyes reflected in the car's headlights, while he talks with Rebecca in her home, and when he talks with Sam in Rebecca's house; Shapeshifter Rebecca's eyes after she hits Sam over the head. The standard in later episodes, the flashing silver eyes on video, is also seen when Shapeshifter Zach looks directly at the security camera.
    • This is the only time the shapeshifter needed to steal the person's clothes in order to impersonate them. Rebecca mentions that Zach's house was broken into and some of his clothes were stolen the week before. However, there is no way it could have stolen Dean's clothes because Shapeshifter Dean shows up with Sam dressed in Dean's clothes, yet when Dean is shown tied up he still has his clothes on.
    • It seems the shapeshifter needs to keep the victim alive in order to download the memories.
    • It also seems that the shapeshifter goes through pain when it sheds, as evidenced when Shapeshifter Dean is in the sewer shedding its skin.
    • Skin is the first of the few episodes where the only onscreen death is the monster of the week.
    • Inside the Legend: Skin


    • Sam meets up with a friend from Stanford.
    • Dean Winchester's record reflects that he died on March 7, 2006 in St. Louis, Missouri. WARNING: SPOILERS Highlight to read as seen in The Benders. This is the first of Dean's many deaths.
    • This episode begins the series' storyline in which the brothers are pursued by the law. WARNING: SPOILERS Highlight to read Many more episodes also focus on the law and cops: The Benders, The Usual Suspects, Nightshifter, Folson Prison Blues, and Jus In Bello to name a few.


    • The on-screen time for the events does not come out to be 1 week. From the time Sam receives the email from Becky to when Dean and Sam leave St. Louis is only 4 days (March 5 - March 8).
    • The email Sam receives from Becky is dated Monday 5 Dec 2005. The episode is set at the beginning of March 2006.


    Dean: You're kidding. You still keep in touch with your college buddies?
    Sam: Why not?
    Dean: Well, what exactly do you tell 'em? You know, about where you've been, what you've been doin'?
    Sam: I tell 'em I'm on a road trip with my big brother. I tell 'em I need some time off after Jess.
    Dean: Look, it sucks, but in a job like this, you can't get close to people, period.
    Sam: You're kind of anti-social, you know that?
    Dean: Hey. Remember when I said this wasn't our kind of problem?
    Sam: Yeah.
    Dean: Definitely our kind of problem.
    Dean: You know, I just had a sick thought. When the shapeshifter changes shape-maybe it sheds.
    Sam: That is sick.
    Dean: I hate to say it, but that's exactly what I'm talkin' about. You lie to your friends because 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- (He holds up a pistol) -it ain't without perks.
    Dean: I think we're close to its lair.
    Sam: Why do you say that?
    Dean: Because there's another puke-inducing pile next to your face.
    Sam: Oh, God!
    Shapeshifter Dean: I swear, the more I learn about you and your family-I thought I came from a bad background.
    Sam: What do you mean, learn?
    Shapeshifter 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?
    Shapeshifter Dean: I am your brother. See, deep down, I'm just jealous. You got friends. You could have a life. Me? I know I'm a freak. And sooner or later, everybody's gonna leave me.
    Sam: What are you talkin' about?
    Shapeshifter Dean: You left. Hell, I did everything Dad asked me to, and he ditched me, too. No explanation, nothin', just ffwt. Left me with your sorry ass. But, still, this life? It's not without its perks.
    Dean: That better be you, Sam, and not that freak of nature.
    Dean: Well, he's not stupid. He picked the handsome one.
    Sam: Come on. We gotta find a phone, call the police.
    Dean: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. You're gonna put an APB out on me.
    Sam: Sorry.
    Dean: (after looking at the breaking news report with a drawn picture of himself on TV) Man! That's not even a good picture!
    Dean: All right, but first I wanna to find that handsome devil and kick the holy crap out of him!
    Dean: (Upset) The thought of him drivin' my car.
    Sam: All right, come on.
    They start walking.
    Dean: It's killing me!
    Sam: Let it go.
    Dean: Sorry, man.
    Sam: About what?
    Dean: I really wish things could be different, you know? I wish you could just be... Joe College.
    Sam: No, that's okay. You know, the truth is, even at Stanford, deep down, I never really fit in.
    Dean: Well, that's 'cause you're a freak.
    Sam: Yeah, thanks.
    Dean: Well, I'm a freak, too. I'm right there with ya, all the way.
    Sam: Yeah, I know you are.
    Dean: You know, I gotta say-I'm sorry I'm gonna miss it.
    Sam: Miss what?
    Dean: How many chances am I gonna have to see my own funeral?