Supernatural: Swap Meat
August 15, 2021 4:06 AM - Season 5, Episode 12 - Subscribe

While investigating a routine haunting, Sam becomes the target of a teenaged witch's body-switching spell.

Quotes:

Sam: [finds Gary's advanced placement chemistry textbooks in his bedroom] Smart kid.
Sam: [finds a "Star Wars" t-shirt] Virgin.
Sam: [finds pornography magazines] Frustrated virgin.
Sam: [finds a black dagger and a black cloth with a pentagram.] Witchcraft, huh, Gary? You little Satanic bastard.

Trivia:

Entering the basement to hunt for the witch's bones, Gary is carrying a shotgun and says "Booyah, Master Chief is in the house". Master Chief Petty Officer John-117 is the main character in an enormously popular and successful online First Person Shooter game Halo: Combat Evolved.

At the end, when Sam has returned to himself, he tells Dean to turn down the rock music. Dean says, "Welcome back, Kotter." He's referencing the show Welcome Back, Kotter. The teacher, Mr. Kotter, was often the "spoil sport" for his students' shenanigans, just as Sam sometimes spoils Dean's fun.
posted by orange swan (7 comments total)
 
I was curious to see what Colton James (Gary) looked like now that he's grown up, so I looked at his IMDb page, and it turned out that he WAS already grown up -- he was 21 when this episode aired in early 2010. My goodness, he certainly passed for a teenager. He hasn't acted since that year, and seems to be working as a production manager now.

I find it hard to believe that the woman at the bar wouldn't have given up on Gary-Sam once she realized how naïve and backward he was. No man is so handsome as to make it worth dealing with... that.

Dean figured out that Sam wasn't actually Sam before he ever heard the voicemail messages Sam left them. He knows Sam so well -- what he eats, the things he'll say, what music he likes, that he's not one to pick up women at bars, his stance on everything, and he also knows that possession/magic is a thing, so of course he would. Speaking of those voicemail messages, they ought to have been in Gary's voice, not in Sam's.

Sam would definitely not want to be under the thumb of a controlling father like the one Gary had (he's been there, done that, has the psychic scars), and I doubt very much he'd want to give up his size, strength, excellent health, and looks to be an asthmatic, gluten intolerant, weedy, average-looking teenager. Nice of him to tip Gary off that Nora has a thing for him, though -- if she does. But she probably does. Sam is certainly astute on picking up on whether women are interested in him, and knows the signs.

I really wish the whole Busty Asian Beauties porn mag thing would just die already. Or better yet, retroactively. Fuck, how did the creators of the show ever think that was funny?
posted by orange swan at 4:24 AM on August 15 [3 favorites]


Since these literal children have a tranquilizer gun and are apparently great at ambushing experienced adult hunters, I feel like it would've been much easier to just kill Dean that way and be done with it. On the other hand, this does seem like the overwrought plotting of a 17 year old who's extremely into his fantasy image of himself.  

Dean resigns himself to not actually killing Gary when he finds out he's 17; Sam tolerates Gary's life for almost three seconds before he can't be bothered trying not to ruin the whole ass thing. I get why they're not willing to execute a high school student, but the whole "steal your body, kill your brother for demon $$" thing feels like it rates maybe more than a stern pep talk and a tipoff that his cute friend--who was just possessed by a demon herself, and may have a radically different perspective on the moral weight and and/or sexiness of stealing someone else's body and using it as a murder weapon--has a crush on him.

I will let this go eventually but. so weird that again we had a witch(ish) who's a guy, and again no one remembered to call him a whore or complain about his body fluids. such a weird. weird. coincidence.

A thing that's interesting to me: the show went to the trouble of putting Ruby in a body that had no one else in it, to make it acceptable for Sam to have sex with her; Sam's relationship with Ruby is framed as a transgression against Dean. Not that much later, Dean brings Castiel to a sex worker, and here, Gary goes home with one too. Both scenes are played for comedy and part of the joke is both characters are (in different ways) inept at sex, but we're meant to be on Castiel's side and feel at least a little sympathy for Gary. But the troubling aspects of using Jimmy or Sam's bodies for sex they didn't consent to (to say nothing of the sex workers' consent) doesn't come up at all, and clearly isn't something we're supposed to think about.

I'm positive this was a joke, but I laughed super hard at the idea of Dean being under the impression this whole time that the exorcism ritual ends with telling the demon 'adios'.
posted by jameaterblues at 8:12 AM on August 15 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure that Crystal is a sex worker? Just a lady who prefers dom - and is written as getting off on garySam being a naive doofus. Not a fan of using the BDSM for a cheap laugh, it's non-consensual on Crystal's side. Should have discussed it with garySam before springing it on him. By 2010 BDSM communities generally embraced modern ethical thought and practicing it (either as dom or sub) with someone non-consensual isn't considered sexy at all. The audience doesn't know whether they went ahead with the consummation or if garySam just bugged out, though.

The previous Castiel sex worker interaction was gross too, lazy writing assuming that (all) the sex worker had daddy issues. But her response ("Asshole!") to Castiel mind-reading/history-trolling/concern-trolling her was the correct one, even if the writers' intention was misplaced.

The recurring BAB is seriously unfunny. Apparently, the BAB web address was bought by Warner at the very beginning of the show and for a number of years redirected to Warner's main webpage.

Has there even been a single BondSPNgirl who was Asian? Given that the casting is in Vancouver and the predilection for casting physically attractive female actors, this lack is super fishy. Racial sexual fetishization is a (sometimes surface paradoxical) marker for really toxic racism smothered in sexism gravy.

The 'just joking' aspect of it is a classic bullying/ abuse-of-power hallmark.

Letting the kids go scott free feels like a really poor strategic decision, given that they're practitioners and known to the demonsphere. At least destroy the tome (or confiscate it)? I got zero indication that Gary is even a little bit averse to exercising supernatural power despite the (really mild, given the circumstances) 'scared straight' treatment.

Also, their friend is dead - the possessed retain (some?) memory of their time while possessed, right? Nora's surprisingly chill about the whole thing.

Nora/ Sarah Drew looks like she went on to have a decent journeyman acting career. She was... also on the cusp of 30 in 2010? Had been acting pretty regularly for a decade by then. Not terribly believable as a 17 yo, but had acting chops.

Colton James is apparently a really common name. Google image search for it is a little bit amusing.
posted by porpoise at 11:39 AM on August 15


The mirror trick (two actors on opposite sides of 2 way glass in a mirror frame) was decently done.
posted by porpoise at 11:40 AM on August 15


I'm not sure that Crystal is a sex worker? Just a lady who prefers dom - and is written as getting off on garySam being a naive doofus. Not a fan of using the BDSM for a cheap laugh, it's non-consensual on Crystal's side. Should have discussed it with garySam before springing it on him.

No, now that I'm semi-awake, I agree with you about Crystal, you see so little of the interaction the whole thing is just weird. And by the time Castiel actually has sex with anyone Jimmy isn't in there with him. But the attempts at comedy from all angles are unpleasant.

The previous Castiel sex worker interaction was gross too, lazy writing assuming that (all) the sex worker had daddy issues.

God that was some obnoxious writing.

Has there even been a single BondSPNgirl who was Asian? Given that the casting is in Vancouver and the predilection for casting physically attractive female actors, this lack is super fishy. Racial sexual fetishization is a (sometimes surface paradoxical) marker for really toxic racism smothered in sexism gravy.

I haven't counted, but I would put some money down that there have been more BAB jokes (and I use the term extremely loosely) than Asian women on screen to date. A couple played housekeepers, Brittany Ishibashi played Maggie Zeddmore of the Ghostfacers, but even that was kind of played as a joke. It's so bad.
posted by jameaterblues at 12:12 PM on August 15 [1 favorite]


"The sex." Really? I know he's an awkward, inexperienced teen, but that seriously seems like a stretch (or truly bad writing).
posted by sardonyx at 5:43 PM on August 15


Yes, I noticed that too. An intelligent kid like Gary is going to know better than that. I could maybe see him getting so rattled that he might end up saying it inadvertently while stammering his way through a sentence (i.e., "I would love to... have it... have some... have the... sex with you,"), but Jared Padalecki didn't read the line that way.
posted by orange swan at 6:20 PM on August 15


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