Supernatural

Season 5 Episode 12

Swap Meat

7
Aired Tuesday 9:00 PM Jan 28, 2010 on The CW
8.2
out of 10
User Rating
595 votes
17

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
While the brothers are on a case, Sam is targeted by a high school student who has learned a body-switching spell. Dean discovers his brother is now more interested in getting drunk and hitting on women, while Sam has to deal with the teenager's home and school life.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Mediocre until the wtf-ending.

    4.0
    Seriously, what the hell? The sociopathic stupidity and irresponsibility of these three young adults led to one of them killing the other while possessed. She stabbed her arm through his stomach! Why are Sam and Dean talking to them about high school crushes and "I hope you've learned your lesson" like they just left a flaming bag of poop on their porch. They attempted to recognize the gravity of what had happened with a short "We'd kill you if you were older" quip, but it wasn't enough. One of their best friends is dead. They should be permanently scarred. They shouldn't be able to look at each other at all, let alone as romantic interests.



    The rest was okay, but I couldn't stop thinking about that last scene. It just bugged me... A LOT!!!!



    And it didn't help that there was no Cas in this episode. *pout*moreless
  • Sam and a kid get switched into each others bodies.

    3.0
    By far the worst episode. I don't even like thinking about this episode let alone watching it. First of all the characters are shown as to which character they are not who's body they are in. All the kids in this episode are annoying brats. The actors who play the kids can't act. Also the episode was really badly written particularly with Dean. I am sorry but he would have known that annoying twerp was not Sam. The storyline was a cliche and extremely predictable. I also found Sam and Dean's relationship was oversimplified and wasn't like the series either.moreless
  • Brilliant episode

    10
    I don't know what these other people are talking about...

    I thought this was a fantastic episode with a lot of humor and some much-needed character study, if not development. Jared Padalecki obviously had a lot of fun doing the episode and because of that, so does the viewer. The first half of season 5 was so jam packed with tension and JESUSTHATWASCOOL!!! moments that I view this mid season fluffy filler as a great chance to draw a collective breath before jumping into the meat of the whole "Devil and Hell on Earth" plot-line.



    As a side-note, I'm really looking forward to see what happens to Death and the Angels (It's safe to say that Sam would probably allow Lucifer into his body as a trap or something...) As another side note, just heard Season 6 is officially happening, so that pretty much made my day.moreless
  • Once again, that pesky little thing called the Apocalypse can wait another week while Sam and Dean muck about in a small town.

    8.0
    Once again, that pesky little thing called the Apocalypse can wait another week while Sam and Dean muck about in a small town, helping passing acquaintances of their father's from years prior. Forget about the fact that Lucifer's roaming the Earth and that, you know, everything could turn to dust in a few seconds flat: we need to deal with the poltergeist that's terrorising poor little whatsername!



    And that, perhaps, is a little harsh. For all this is effectively another stand alone, and just about everyone and their uncle desperately wants the show to just get on with it, it is, nonetheless, a pretty fine and considerably entertaining episode. The story itself is rather neat, transforming from one thing to another within the first act and then doing the same in the later stages; essentially, the witchcraft narrative is just an aside to the real meat (if you'll pardon the pun) of the plot. The inclusion of the mythology arc is certainly commendable, especially since it's executed in a perfectly logical and refreshingly unintrusive way. These warlock-wannabes are aware of Sam and Dean and they darn well should be: the Winchesters' reputations would most certainly preceed them now that they're essentially the vessels for the (final?) battle between good and evil. It's nice to see ancillary characters afforded a role within the arc; there are no big names here, no Lilliths, Lucifers, Allisters or Azezils, and yet the threat remains decidedly potent. This is thanks, in no small part, to the skills of Everwood's Sarah Drew, who is able to convincingly turn from lovesick high school girl to brutal demon b****h in the blink of an eye. Her potrayal of the character's possession is wonderfully eerie, delivering each line with a sinister gravitas that sorta makes you wish she'd stick around for future instalments.



    The guest cast are all pretty strong, in fact, and special note should be given to Colton James as Gary Finkel, who effectively carries a large proportion of the narrative on his own. It's refreshing to see someone so young not come off as forced or mawkish, hitting the appropriate notes for the relevant responses at all times. Indeed, he and Jensen Ackles play very well off each other, creating some pleasingly comedic two-handers, particularly the scenes in the bar and at the site of the witch's burial. Credit too to Jared Padalecki, whose 'Sam trapped' is killingly funny; it's all in the nuances with this guy, most notably as he's checking out his new meat suit in the kid's room or attempting to explain everything at dinner with the folks. It is a little unusual, however, that Sam refers to Gary as a virgin upon discovering his Star Wars obsession, given his own geeky proclivities. Such a callous remark feels rather out of character, the kind of thing that Dean would have no trouble uttering, for example. His comforting of the boy at hour's end, the reassurance that actually, life isn't so bad after all, feels much more in line with his personality, although the conclusion itself is rather perfunctory, tying things up a little too quickly (would Gary and Nora really be this well-adjusted in the aftermath of their friend's death?) Still, we are treated to a nice moral lesson about being grateful for what you have. Let's just sweep the fact that the show's done this more than a few times before under the rug, shall we?



    'Swap Meat' is an entertaining diversion from season five's arc plot, providing a fairly taut script that takes a number of interesting twists and turns and contains a strong mixture of comedy and drama to boot. It's a shame that it doesn't do more with the mythology, especially now that we're all gagging for a little more Lucifer (nudge nudge, wink wink), but at the very least, it's engaging enough to leave you satisfied. Now here's hoping the stand alones are about to take a back seat...moreless
  • Entertaining.

    8.0
    Sam switches body with a teenager, and it was funny to watch, Sam living in someone else's body. And the other kid living in Sam's body. At first, I thought this episode wouldn't be that great, but as the ending started coming closer, I realized it was something much more that just switching bodies. It turns out some kids have been talking to demons and it lands them in a whole lot of trouble, especially for Sam & Dean. This episode had a lot of funny moments, with an action-packed ending. The original kind of episodes on Supernatural. Surprisingly great episode.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (3)

    • When Sam is about to start preparing his salad shake in the diner, he places the plastic fork upside down between his teeth. In the close-up less than a second later, the fork is the other way up.

    • At the beginning of the episode where Gary/Sam is in the bar drinking the banana daiquiri, the levels of the beverage go up and down from scene to scene.

    • There are several "errors" exist that are typically found in body-switching-type episodes of this sort, but are unavoidable because of either dramatic necessity to make things clear to the audience (Sam's voice instead of Gary's being heard when Dean plays back his messages), the fact that ultimately these are actors performing roles (sight lines), or to avoid distracting the audience (clothing that fits regardless of body).

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Dean: Wow, is it just me, or are we actually drinking together?
      Gary/Sam: We don't do it that often, huh?
      Dean: Yeah, you can say that.
      Gary/Sam: Well, we should, You're a good guy, Dean.
      Dean: Wow, you are drunk.

    • Sam: Gary, take it from someone who knows. Chill out, man. Your life ain't that bad.
      Gary: Uh, you met my parents?
      Sam: Yeah, so what? It's your life. You don't like their plan for you, tell them to cram it. Rebel a little bit. In a healthy, non-Satanic way.

    • Sam: I wish I had your life.
      Gary: You do? Thanks.
      Sam: Get on out of here.
      Dean: That was a nice thing to say.
      Sam: I totally lied. The kid's life sucked ass.

  • NOTES (2)

    • International Airdates:
      UK: April 21, 2010 on LIVING
      Sweden: July 16, 2010 on Kanal 5
      Spain: November 8, 2010 on AXN
      Australia: January 31, 2011 on ELEVEN
      Germany: February 7, 2011 on Sky Cinema Hits
      Czech Republic: September 23, 2011 on Prima COOL
      Finland: May 22, 2012 on Sub

    • Music: Rock And Roll Never Forgets (Bob Seger)

  • ALLUSIONS (3)

    • Dean: This whole Amityville thing being thrown at them.
      Referencing the purportedly true-life story of the Lutzes, who moves into a house in Amityville, NY, and discovered that it was haunted. Jay Anson wrote a book relating the events, which became the target of lawsuits over its truthfulness. The book spawned a movie adaptation in 1979 and a series of sequels and remakes.

    • Sam: And the Freaky Friday crap?
      Referencing the 1972 children's novel by Mary Rodgers, which tells the tale of a rebellious teenager who finds herself swapping bodies with her mother. The novel was subsequently adapted three different times into movies, in 1976, 1995, and 2003.

    • Dean: Welcome back, Kotter.
      Referencing the 1975-79 TV series, which told the story of Gabe Kotter (Gabriel Kaplan), who returns to his old neighborhood to teach a remedial class consisting of the local gang, the Sweathogs.

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