So, here we go again with another episode since the return from hiatus (or hellatus as the Supernatural fans call it), still not dealing with Castiel or Lucifer nor the rest of this season's story arc.
The episode begins when Sam eagerly takes a seat at a bar and orders a banana daiquiri – which doesn't seem entirely out of character for Sam. This is, after all, the same guy who orders health quake salad shakes at fast food joints. He also happens to be sitting next to a cougar who clearly has him in her sights. They chat but strangely, Sam introduces himself as Gary. The cougar offers to take him home and Sam responds "Are we talking about sex? Because I would love to have the sex with you." It's then we find out Sam's body has been taken over by a geeky kid, played by Colton James, who you may recognize from 7th Heaven fame (playing the exact nerdy character).
The show then cuts to thirty six hours earlier. Ugh, is it actually going to be one of those episodes? I guess the writers didn't feel like having the prince of darkness in this episode, so we have to make do.
The boys pull into town to see their former babysitter about her ghost problem. After agreeing to take the case, Sam and Dean take time for lunch. Dean picks up his order while his cashier, Gary, stares at him like an eleven year girl at a Jonas brothers concert. After splitting up to do research, Sam walks along before getting shot in the neck with a tranquilizer dart...ouch.
Sam later wakes up wearing the same fast food uniform that Gary was earlier. He's then picked up by the police who inform him his family are worried about him. It's obvious that Sam is no longer in his body but there is a lead into it anyways just as Gary is flexing his arms (in Sam's body) to show us he has taken it.
Okay – I dreaded writing this part but I'm just going to plunge right in. Gary, in Sam's body, actually helps Dean stop the ghost for their babysitter but not before trying to kill him. Sam, in Gary's body, attempts to call Dean but doesn't get a hold of him and just as he is about to make progress, Gary's friends Nora and Trevor shoot him in the neck with tranquilizer... again.
Apparently there is a bounty on Dean's head for all of the demons that Gary and his friends learned about after toying around with some black magic/satanic worship (some kids like emo music while others like satanic rituals I guess). Gary and friends wanted to kill Dean and cash in, which they confess to a tied up Sam...in Gary's body.
Though the boys managed to save the day and put Sam and Gary in their respective bodies, nothing could save this episode from mediocrity. The whole Freaky Friday premise of the body switching/aging/possession has been done before and better such as in the episode from season two, "Born Under a Bad Sign". It was even more disappointing the episode wasn't filmed well either. It would have been quite funny to Jared Padalecki act like a seventeen year old boy, but instead, all we get is a boy dressed in Sam's clothes talking with Dean. Sorry guys, but Sam and in a bright hoodie with a gluten allergy just didn't cut it.
The elegantly titled episode "Swap Meat" fails to entertain on many levels. At least in last weeks' "Sam, Interrupted" there were a few funny moments and some excitement but this week there was neither. While I don't expect action and explosions every week, this season promised apocalypse and the devil but we have only seen him three times in twelve episodes. I repeat, three times! We saw hellhounds more this season...and they're invisible! Every episode dealing with the imminent doom and destruction Lucifer brings has been fantastic while others have been more or less distractions. I loved the episode "Changing Channels" because it had a unique wit and style, but the past few have been under the bar of quality Supernatural fans are accustomed to.
Hopefully the show can get back on track next week when Sam and Dean take a trip to the past.