Friday, January 29, 2010

Swap Meat

Okay, Thursday is not my best night. I wrote this up last night---and posted it to my own blog! Sorry!

What the hell. Every time Trish stays with me and we watch SPN together, the TV tricks out. Last time I missed 20 minutes, and this time, after the scene in the bar where “Gary” was ordering a banana daiquiri and agreeing with the woman at the bar that he was very good-looking, then the picture went black, then you could hear the Law and Order theme, then a goofy movie with a giant gumball machine came on (this sounds like one of my dreams), then we see Sam walking down the street in a GOOFY costume before being pulled over by the police. When he’s escorted “home” and told to listen to his “father” he freaks out, especially when he catches a glimpse of his reflection in the mirror and sees a teen-aged boy looking back at him.

Finally we’re back on track, and we see Sam checking out his arms in the mirror (Mary pauses the DVR). When he turns away, we see it’s the teen-aged boy who’d been so delighted about being 26 in the bar. He gets Dean to let him drive the Impala, and he guns the engine—right into the trash.

Sam investigates the kid’s room, finding Busty Asian Beauties, Star Wars t-shirts and a cloth with markings (pentagram?) and a sword. Immediately he suspects satanic stuff, and when he’s called to breakfast, he quizzes his parents about “his” behavior. Turns out his sister knows just what he’s into and clues him in on the whereabouts of his special book—his locker at school.

So Sam, wearing a hoodie and doing a fair impression of a teenager, goes to school and finds a “very bad book” in Gary’s locker. Meanwhile, Dean and Gary are hunting a witch. Gary knows where the witch is buried and why and leads Dean into the basement of an old house. As Dean is digging up the grave, Gary holds a rifle on him, only to be blown back by the witch’s ghost when he tries to shoot. Dean is blown back, too, and the witch charges him, which Gary declares “cool.” But I don’t think it’s resolved. The two of them go drinking together and Gary gets drunk on one shot. He orders a bacon cheeseburger and is taken aback when Dean asks who he is and what he’s done with Sam. But Dean goes on to say, “Ordering bacon cheeseburgers now?” Gary runs off with a woman from the bar, saying over his shoulder, “We’re going to DO IT!”

Sam encounters Gary’s high school buddies, who tranq him and hold him hostage because there wasn’t supposed to be an occupant of Gary’s body while he inhabits Sam, and they don’t want him getting in the way. The high school kids, Trevor and Nora, spill the beans. Gary took over Sam’s body in order to kill Dean, because he’s on hell’s most wanted, and the kids want to collect the bounty.

Trevor doesn’t think Gary can go through with killing Dean, so he gets Gary’s book and plans a demon summoning.

Next we see Gary in the hotel room with Dean, looking at a lump in Dean’s bed. He gets Dean’s gun, aims, and Dean steps out of the shadows and punches the kid, finally cluing in.

Trevor calls the demon, who inhabits Nora’s body. He asks for the reward, but all she offers is her undying gratitude. Trevor pushes despite warnings from Sam, asking for millions and the love of a girl. She reaches into his chest and rips his heart out. “Tastes like moron.” He deserved it.

Gary is falling to pieces in Dean’s custody as Dean listens to his voicemail (FINALLY) and then Dean goes flying across the room as Nora appears. (DH pointed out that perhaps the Winchesters should lay down salt at their hotel rooms’ doors and windows.) She unties Gary and asks what he wants. He wants to be a witch for real, out from under his parents’ control. She says he can have it but he has to meet the boss, Lucifer. (Sam’s meat suit is empty, after all.) All he has to do is say yes and he’ll get his reward.

Dean attacks but Nora slams him back and stalks Gary. Gary starts an exorcism, which pisses Nora off, but Dean chimes in, and the two work together to exorcise her. I liked that bit. Then Gary repeats the spell, putting him and Sam back in their rightful bodies.

Dean and Sam drive Gary and Nora home. Sam tells Gary he doesn’t have it so bad and if he wants to get his dad off his back he needed to rebel in a non-Satanic kind of way. He told the kid Nora was into witchcraft because she liked Gary. Gary was all happy. Dean turned to Sam after all was said and done. “That was a nice thing to say.”

“I totally lied,” Sam said. “Kid’s life sucked ass.”

Dean is surprised when Sam said, “All that apple pie family crap is stressful. We didn’t miss a thing.” So was I. Sam from even 2 years ago wouldn’t have said that.

I liked the episode (would have liked it better if I’d SEEN THE WHOLE THING, DAMN YOU CW) and will probably like it better on second viewing. It won’t be a favorite, but it was solid and fun. It probably would have fit better in an earlier season and I'm wondering what happened to Lucifer and Death, but...

What did you think?


Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I liked it. Jared as a teenager was a lot of fun, and I giggled a lot. But it frustrated me that when Gary was inhabiting Sam's body, Dean was always looking down at him, not up at where he would normally look. That's bad directing.

The whole section when the demon was going to take Gary!Sam to Lucifer and have him say yes, and Sam was helpless to stop it, freaked me out.

I was SUPER disappointed that Sam and Dean didn't swap bodies, though. And now it's like they can't use that premise again (though I guess they could, they've reused premises before, but it likely wouldn't be until next season).

Good writeup, Mary, though GAH on the DVR/station screwing up!

Trish Milburn said...

Oh, Natalie, you're right. I didn't catch that about the height. I too thought, "Oh, no! This is how Lucifer gets in Sam's body, in an episode that's not even really all that much about the apocalypse arc."

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

The way you say that, Trish, makes me think that might be where they're going. Now Lucifer has a way in. Eek!

I really don't want Lucifer to take over Sam, or Michael to take over Dean. They must win BEFORE that happens!!! :(

MJFredrick said...

If Lucifer had gotten Sam's body that way I would have felt cheated. I want Sam to have to make the choice.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

I can see that, but I will NOT like Sam finding some reason to think saying Yes would be acceptable. Having to be convinced to say yes takes a lot of the tension out of it. There are other ways to increase it again, but this way--that Sam might not be able to stop it--frightens the hell out of me! :)

Gailann said...

Maybe Trish has some kind of weird internal electo-magnetic aura that messes with your tv. Maybe she's an alien! :D

I enjoyed this episode quite a bit. Like Natalie, I too noticed the looking up & down, but I think it would have been really hard to look up to 6'4" when the person you're talking to is at 5'8" (and vice versa), so I was able to let it go.

What I can't let go is the lack of any reference to poor dead Trevor. That was just piss-poor writing.

P.S. It is friggin' HARD to write a comment on Blogspot. *sumbliminal message: come over to WordPress, see the light...* :D

Norah Wilson said...

I enjoyed the show, too, but was also bugged at the actors looking too high or too low at Gary/Sam.

But re the end and Sam telling the kid he had a good life, I think he meant it, even though he immediately denied it to Dean. I think the lie was the latter part, that normal family life and apple pie sucked. Better to believe that (or try to) than the alternative.

And yikes! I was scared Lucifer was going to get into Sam's body. It worked to ratchet up the tension, but I'm so glad it didn't happen that way!

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Good point, Gail, about Trevor. But if actors can act with nothing, or a tennis ball floating in space, or THEMSELVES, they can shift their body language a little. Even just standing straighter (instead of bending to get in Gary's face when we know he'd be "seeing" Sam's abs!) and maybe looking at the top of his head instead of down at his face.

I agree with you about Sam's last words, Norah. I think he did mean that GARY's life, specifically, sucked ass, but didn't mean it when he said forget the rest of it.