5.12 Swap Meat

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Title Swap Meat
Episode # Season 5, Episode 12
First aired January 28, 2010
Directed by Robert Singer
Written by Teleplay:
Julie Siege
Julie Siege
Rebecca Dessertine
Harvey Fedor
On IMDB Swap Meat
Outline A group of teenagers decide to go after the demon bounty of Dean.
Monster Humans
Location(s) Housatonic, Massachusetts
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Open in a bar, where Sam enters, the bartender asks Sam what he would like, to which Sam replies, "Well, I'm 26. As you can see. From my license." Sam then orders a banana daiquiri. A blonde woman at the bar then introduces herself to Sam, saying her name is Crystal. Sam then replies, saying "Hi, Crystal, I'm Gary." it is implied that Sam is there on a case, as he seems to be using an alias, and is acting very out of character - more like a teenager than himself. After a quick chat, Crystal proposes the two of them leave together, and (after clarifying that she does indeed mean sex) Sam replies "Crystal, I would love to have the sex with you". Most of this exchange is seen through a mirror. The camera then moves, and now we are seeing the actual scene, rather than it's reflection. We then see that Sam is not Sam at all, but a nerdy-looking teenaged boy, who is for some reason impersonating Sam.

Thirty-six hours earlier, Sam and Dean arrive in Housatonic, Massachusetts. They are visiting Donna, their old babysitter and her family (her husband, and her daughter Katie). Donna tells Katie that she knew John, and Sam tells her that John was an expert in hunting ghosts, and now he and Dean are too. Dean suggests the family is being haunted by a poltergeist. Donna's husband tells the boys that the strange happenings started a month or so after they moved in. Donna tells them that at first it was just very minor occurrences, but then the poltergeist started to break objects, and, two nights ago, it attacked Katie. Katie then stands and lifts up her t-shirt, exposing her stomach, where the words "Murdered Child" have been carved onto her skin. Dean promises Katie that everything will be fine.

The boys go to a diner and order lunch. As they talk, it is revealed that Dean had a crush on Donna as a child. Dean asks Sam if Donna’s life (a family, a house etc...) is still the life he would want someday, and Sam replies that it isn’t his thing anymore. The boys then begin to discuss the poltergeist. Sam tells Dean that the house is hundreds of years old, and (supposedly) was owned by Isaiah Pickett in the 1720’s, who hung a woman named Maggie Briggs in his back garden for witchcraft. They boys then conclude that the poltergeist must be the ghost of this witch. As they say it does not explain why the poltergeist cut “murdered child” into Katie’s stomach, we see that their server – who a chef calls Gary – is watching Sam from the diner’s serving counter – he is clearly up to something.

Later, we see Sam talking on the phone to Dean, having searched the town records. He found nothing, not even proof of Maggie Briggs’ existence. After Sam hangs up, he is shot in the side of the neck by a tranquilizer dart. He wakes up in shrubbery, wearing clothes that are not his. Confused, he begins to walk back to the house, but a police car asks him to stop. The driver calls him Gary Frankel, and tells Sam that ‘his’ family is worried sick about him. Sam thinks the policeman means Dean, but the policeman just tells him to get in the car. Sam is taken to a house and is told that it is his home. A man and a woman run towards Sam, the woman calls him Gary and hugs him, and when Sam asks who they are, the man sternly asks if he is drunk. The couple are revealed to be Gary’s parents. Confused, Sam goes to explain that he is not Gary, but catches sight of his reflection in the police car’s window. His reflection is not his own, but Gary’s. He freaks out, asking whose reflection it is.

Cut to Sam, standing in front of a mirror and flexing his muscles. As the camera moves away from the mirror we see that it is not Sam, but Gary. For some reason, the two have swapped bodies. Dean enters, and asks ‘Sam’ where he has been. Gary replies that he left to get food, passing Dean a bag that contains the same meal he ate earlier for lunch. A little confused at his brother’s overly apologetic nature, Dean thanks him and takes the food. He goes to eat it, but Gary says that they need to leave – the maid came in earlier and saw the weapons on the bed. Annoyed, Dean asks why Gary let the maid in, and Gary replies that “it just happened”. Still cross, Dean says that they do indeed need to go, and says he’ll be along in a minute. Gary says he will wait outside. After Dean leaves, Gary takes his cell phone. Then, in the Impala, he takes all the other cell phones out of the glove compartment and bins them. Dean arrives in the car, and Gary asks if he can drive. Dean obliges. Gary is ecstatic over being allowed to drive, and Dean is both confused and annoyed when Gary just sits there and revs the engine. Gary is clearly not a good driver, as he puts the Impala into reverse, and crashes into a sign. They both get out of the car and go to inspect the damage, with Gary apologizing profusely. Dean tells him to shut up, the two swap back and Dean drives off.

Meanwhile, the real Sam is calling every single phone that Dean owns, and leaving messages. He says that he thinks he is in the wrong body, and that he has asthma. He then calls the hotel he and Dean were staying at, and finds that “those guys checked out” surprised that it is guys as in the plural, Sam hangs up, leans into a mirror (which shows his true appearance as Gary) and asks who his reflection is. Sam then searches Gary’s room. Gary is a very smart kid, a fan of Star Wars, and Sam assumes that he is a virgin (which, judging from Gary’s reaction to Crystal’s proposal, is almost certainly correct). Further searching causes Sam to discover that Gary is into witchcraft. Gary’s mother then calls him down for breakfast.

Once downstairs, Gary’s father begins to question Sam about what happened the previous night, and Sam discovers that Gary’s plan is to go to MIT and become an engineer. Sam says that he “couldn’t give a rat’s ass” about this plan. Too late, Sam remembers that he is a teenager, and the man he just talked back to is, for all intents and purposes, his father. Trying to backtrack, Sam begins to investigate, asking if ‘he’ (Gary) has seemed moody or withdrawn lately. Receiving no actual answer, Sam continues, asking if Gary has had any occult fixations (his mother is horrified). Sam then states “Let me guess, I’m amazing at Latin.” and is told that Gary has an ear for languages. Sam asks if any neighborhood pets have gone missing recently, and Gary’s father (whose name is revealed to be Leonard) asks if he is smoking drugs. Sam next wonders if any of the family has seen ‘him’ with a book, before saying that actually, Gary would most likely be hiding it. Sam takes a piece of toast from Gary’s mother’s plate and takes a bite, the woman all too late saying that Gary is allergic to wheat gluten.

The next scene is the closed door of a bathroom. We hear a toilet flushing and Sam coughing – he seems to have vomited. He exits the bathroom, groaning, and finds ‘his’ sister standing there (her name is revealed to be Sydney). She states that he must have lost his mind, and tells him that “if Mom and Dad ever found that creepy book of yours, you’d be grounded for a decade, and you’re bringing it up at breakfast?” Sam asks where Gary keeps the book.

We cut to the real Gary and Dean walking around the town. Dean states that since Sam couldn’t find anything, they have to do an “all day tombstone roll” to try and dig her up. Gary tells Dean that the local legend is different to the widespread one. The local legend states that Isaiah Pickett didn’t hang Maggie, that she was supposedly carrying his illegitimate child, so he murdered her and buried her in his basement. This explains the words carved onto Katie’s stomach. Confused, Dean asks how Sam suddenly knows all this, and apparently Gary has done plenty of research of his own (he tells Dean that he did the research last night). Still very confused, and starting to seem a little concerned, Dean praises him and they head to Donna’s house.

The real Sam, meanwhile, is at Gary’s school. Sam comes across two of Gary’s friends – Trevor and Nora – and asks what his locker number is. He breaks into Gary’s locker, searching for the book Sydney mentioned earlier. Eventually, he finds it tucked at the back of the locker, and discovers that the book is an especially dangerous one.

Dean and Gary are at Donna’s house, in the basement. They find the grave, and Dean gets to work on digging up the body. Gary meanwhile, is holding a rifle, aiming it at Dean. He apologizes to Dean and is just about to pull the trigger, but then he is thrown back into a wall. Dean calls out to him, worried for his brother – having not seen the gun and still oblivious to the fact that he is an impostor. Gary says that they should go, but Dean tells him that they still need to burn the body, before being thrown around himself. The poltergeist then shows herself, and walks towards Dean. Just as she is about to touch him, she burns away – Gary is burning her body. He remarks, “Dude, that was sweet.” And though relieved that he is not dead, and the job is done, Dean gives him a strange look.

Sam, meanwhile, is still at Gary’s school, being tailed by Trevor and Nora, to boot. Sam says that he needs to go. He turns away, but Trevor calls “Hey!” and Sam turns back to him, annoyed, only to be shot in the neck by a tranquilizer dart.

Whilst this occurs, Gary and Dean are at a bar. A waitress brings them drinks, and Dean asks if he could have a cheeseburger with bacon and an egg. Gary asks for one too. Once the waitress leaves, Dean turns to Gary, asking who he is and what he has done with Sam. Worried, Gary asks what Dean means, to which Dean replies, “bacon cheeseburgers now?” Relieved that he has not been discovered, Gary blows this statement off, and tells him that they are celebrating. They drink their shots, and Gary thanks Dean, saying he had a really awesome day. Confused, but in good spirits, Dean asks why it was awesome, as this was a fairly basic hunt. Gary asks if he can’t be in a good mood. Dean goes to shrug this off, saying, “I guess...” but then backtracks, stating that this is not Sam’s style. Gary then retracts, saying that it is just a new Sam, and then goes into a speech about how he feels as if his whole future is being decided for him, coming dangerously close to revealing himself. Gary realizes this, telling Dean that he’s drunk and to just forget it. They take another shot each, and Gary says “You’re a good guy, Dean.” to which Dean replies, “You really are drunk.” The waitress brings them their food, and Gary continues, telling Dean that he means it, Dean really is a good guy. Time passes, and we come to see Crystal and Gary once more, and Crystal’s proposal to leave the bar together. They do so, and just as they leave, Gary whispers excitedly to Dean, “We’re gonna do it!” – meaning himself and Crystal. Very confused, Dean stays in the bar, and a thoughtful expression comes on his face. Now he is suspicious.

The real Sam is tied to a chair, Trevor and Nora standing watch. Trevor calls Gary (who is lying in a bed, awaiting Crystal) on his phone, and Sam realizes something is up, as Trevor A: Calls Gary ‘Gary’ and B: Asks where Dean is. Trevor then asks why Gary has not killed Dean yet, and Sam exclaims “What?” and asks why they want Dean dead. Trevor ignores him, and expresses worry over the fact that Sam is onto them. Gary blows this statement off – no one will believe Sam if he tells them anything. Trevor then tells Gary to “hurry up and kill the son of a bitch”. Crystal then enters the bedroom where Gary is, wearing a very provocative dress, and holding a riding crop. Gary hangs up on Trevor, and states that he is in over his head. Trevor, meanwhile, is having doubts on whether Gary will kill Dean or not. Sam asks them how they know Dean, and Trevor replies that everyone knows Dean, he’s Hell’s most wanted. Sam asks if they have been talking to demons, and Nora explains that they were “goofing around” with the book, (she is obviously not as committed as Trevor, as he states that praying to their “dark overlord” is not goofing around, and seems far more dangerous than Nora) and Gary went into a trance, picked up a pencil and drew a very good, very accurate, very detailed, picture of Dean. Sam is then told that Gary is a terrible artist, and that Gary heard a voice, telling him that demons were looking for Dean. It was Gary’s idea to swap bodies with Sam. Nora then dreamily finishes her explanation with “he’s really smart.” Trevor, seemingly jealous, then adds that Gary might not be able to do it. Sam tries to reason with Nora, telling her that they are crossing a line that they won’t come back from. Scared, Nora turns to Trevor, and he asks if she is seriously listening to Sam. Nora, frightened, says that Sam might have a point, and we see that Trevor is clearly the only one of the trio who is still committed to the plan, as he goes to summon a demon. Nora tries to talk him out of it. Sam adds to her point, telling him that it is a very bad idea. Trevor ignores them and turns away. Cut back to Gary. He is creeping around a dark house, fully clothed, Crystal nowhere to be seen. He holds a gun, preparing to shoot, but Dean turns up and knocks him unconscious. Dean grabs Gary’s collar, saying that he is not Sam, asking who he really is.

We then see Trevor, Nora and Sam once more, Sam is begging Trevor not to summon the demon, Nora agreeing with him. Trevor ignores their wishes and begins to chant. He finishes the chant, and nothing happens. He turns to Nora, and sees her slumped on the floor, unconscious. He asks if she is alright, and she turns to him, her eyes black. She is possessed. She asks why Trevor called her up, and Trevor tells her that he has Dean. The demon asks where, and Trevor gives her the address of the motel Dean in staying in. The demon turns to Sam, who tells her that Trevor is a moron. The demon asks Trevor if Sam is in Gary’s body, then who is in Sam’s, and Trevor tells her that it is a dangerous warlock. The demon is pleased – Dean Winchester and Lucifer’s vessel. Trevor asks for his reward, and he is ‘given’ the demon’s undying gratitude. Trevor asks if that is it, and Sam tells him “be quiet you idiot” but Trevor does not listen, and demands a real reward. The demon seems to oblige, asking him what he wants, and for a moment seems to go along with it, before jamming her hand inside his body and crushing Trevor’s heart, killing him. The demon licks the blood on her hand and states that it “tastes like moron”.

Dean meanwhile, has tied Gary to a chair and called the voice mail service. He listens to a few of the 38 messages Sam left for him. Dean tells Gary to start talking. Gary apologizes and is on the verge of tears. Dean, not unkindly, tells him to pull it together and asks where Sam is. Gary tells him and it is revealed that Gary is 17. Before Dean can continue, he is thrown across the room – the demon has arrived in Nora’s body. Sam, meanwhile, is trying to free himself, but cannot because Gary’s body is too weak. Whilst he does this, demon Nora frees the real Gary and asks what he wants as a reward, and Gary says he wants to be a powerful witch. The demon agrees, and says that first he must meet with the Devil to do this. Gary backtracks, stating he does not want to get mixed up in Satanism that serious. The demon coaxes Gary, stating that all he must do is answer one question with the word “yes” – obviously the question that will allow Lucifer access to Sam’s body, his one true vessel. She then turns and proceeds to beat Dean – who was trying to stab her. Gary changes his mind and tries to exorcise the demon. She starts to strangle him before he finishes, but Dean continues where he left off. The two continue to bat the exorcism back and forth, eventually succeeding.

Later, while Nora recovers, Gary switches back with Sam. Gary apologizes, and Dean says that if Gary had been 18 or over, they would have killed him. Dean tells Gary to quit the Satanism, or they will kill him. They drop Gary back home, and Sam tells him that his life isn’t that bad (he lies) and he can do what he wants, not what his parents want (within reason). Sam also tells him that Nora wasn’t in the plan to get a reward, but to spend time with Gary, she likes him. Their work finished, they drive off.




  • "Rock and Roll Never Forgets" by Bob Seger & the Silver Bullet Band
(the song Dean plays in the Impala, first with Gary/Sam in the car, and then Sam)
  • "I Got More Bills Than I Got Pay" by Sonny Ellis (Black Toast Music)
(plays in the bar when Gary/Sam talks to Crystal, then later when Dean watches him leave with her; also played in episode 1.08 Bugs)
  • "Got My Wings" by Hazy Malaze
(plays when Dean and Gary/Sam order burgers at a bar)


Gary / Sam: Evening, barkeep. I would like to purchase some alcohol, please.

Bartender: Uh-huh, what can I get you?
Gary / Sam: Well, I’m 26. As you can see. From my license.
Bartender: Congratulations. What can I get you?

Gary / Sam: A banana daiquiri, my good man.
Gary / Sam: Are we talking about sex?

Crystal: Well, I, uh – Yeah. I suppose we are.
Gary / Sam: Crystal, I would love to have the sex with you.

Crystal: Great. Then let's go.
Sam / Gary: Dean, I've called every phone we got. Where are you, man? So, this is gonna sound crazy, really crazy, but, um – I think I'm in the wrong body. Could use a little help here. I-I think I got asthma. Call me back.
Gary / Sam: Well, then, it's a new me. I mean, come on. Why shouldn't I be happy? I've got a gun, I'm getting drunk, and I look like this. I don't know. You ever feel like your whole future is being decided for you?
Nora: We’re not allowed to talk about him? We were down here, goofing around with that book.

Trevor: Um, I wouldn't exactly call praying to our dark overlord 'goofing around.'
Nora: Don’t be a loser, Trev.

Sam / Gary: Yeah, Trev.
Sam / Gary: Listen to me. You are making a terrible mistake. We're talking about a demon deal – killing somebody. This isn't a game. You're crossing a line you won't come back from. Believe me.
Sam / Gary: The kid is a moron. He doesn't have any idea where Dean is.
Sam: Uh, this is gonna sound crazy – really crazy – but I think, uh, I think I'm in the wrong body. Dean, the guy right next to you is not me! Dean, check your friggin' voicemail. Damn it.
Dean: So... Gary.

Gary: I know – my bad.
Dean: 'My bad?' Kid, 'my bad' ain't gonna cut it. See, if you were of voting age... you'd be dead. Because we would kill you. So either you straighten up and fly right or we will kill you. Are we clear?

Gary: Crystal.
Sam: I totally lied. That kid's life sucked ass. All that apple-pie, family crap? It's stressful. Trust me – we didn't miss a damn thing.
Dean: Or we don't know what we're missing.

Trivia & References

Some plot similarities to the movies Freaky Friday and Like Father, Like Son, in which parents swap bodies with their children.
Dean: Oh, you shake it up, baby.
This may be a reference to the Beatles' song "Twist and Shout."
Sam: Dude, don't tell me you've still got the hots for our babysitter.

Dean: What? No. That's weird. I'm just saying that she, you know, she – she's – she's doing good. You know, with her husband, her kid. This whole Amityville thing being thrown at them, and they're hanging tough.

"Amityville" is a reference to the Amityville Horror, the purported paranormal instances that plagued the Lutz family in 1975.
[as Gary repeatedly revs the engine]

Dean: You wanna get the lead out, Andretti? Come on.

A reference to renowned race car driver Mario Andretti.
Sam: Smart kid. [sees Star Wars shirts] Virgin. [finds porn magazines] Frustrated virgin. [finds a black dagger and a black cloth with a pentagram] Witchcraft, huh, Gary? You little Satanic bastard.
Sam discovers a number of Star Wars t-shirts in Gary's wardrobe. One of the writers of this episode Julie Siege used to write for the animated series Star Wars: Clone Wars.
When Sam opens Gary's school locker, inside the door there is a painting/drawing of a hand showing the sign of horns. In some cases, particularly in the context of heavy metal or rock music, people think it is a sign of the Devil, with the thumb, index, and pinky fingers combined forming the shape of three sixes (666).
In Gary's backpack, Sam finds the comic books Tales of Penance Trial of the Century. Issue #3 and Eve: Vampire Diva, Issue #2
The diagram found in the book that Gary was hiding in his locker is the "table of Sephirothic correspondence". Read more on it here.
Gary/Sam: Boo-yah! Master Chief is in the house, bizatches!
Master Chief is the main protagonist in the Halo video game series.
Nora: Yeah, like, every witch or Satanist across the whole country. But Gary – Gary’s the one who spotted you.

Sam: And the Freaky Friday crap?
Nora: Another spell from the book. Gary's idea – go in Trojan Horse-style. He's really smart.

Trojan Horse refers to the method in which the Greeks snuck into the city of Troy during the Trojan War.
Trevor: Everybody knows Dean. He's Hell's most wanted.
This could be a reference to the TV show America's Most Wanted.
Trevor: I'm calling one of these bad boys, turning these punks over, and getting paid. Dolla dolla bills y'all!
The phrase 'dolla dolla bills y'all!' is from a lyric in the Wu-Tang Clan song "C.R.E.A.M.".
Dean: All right, pal, either you start talking, or I start waterboarding.
Waterboarding is a controversial torture/interrogation technique in which water is poured into a person's respiratory passages to simulate the sensation of drowning.
Demon: You know, your Satanic Majesty, or whatever the kids are calling it these days.
Their Satanic Majesties Request was an album by The Rolling Stones.
The spell, "Animae domum redeant. Fas atque nefas instauretur. Potestate, et auctoritate, sic fiat." that Gary said, translates into: "Household together. The right and the wrong, be restored. Of control, and by the authority of, so must we do."
Dean: Welcome back, Kotter.
This is a reference to the 1970s sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, which was set in a Brooklyn High School.


Filming Locations: Map of known locations.
This episode filmed between the 6th and 18th of November.
Writer Rebecca Dessertine is a co-author with Peter Johnson of Rising Son - the second series of Supernatural comics and co-author of the novel Supernatural: War of the Sons. This is her first episode of Supernatural.
The diner that Gary works at is called the Patriot Burger Diner.
Dean and Sam/Gary stay in room 102 of The Lucky Star Motor Inn.
If you watch the scenes in which Sam or Gary are standing in mirrors closely, you cans see that Gary and Sam's movements and lips are slightly out of sync; the "mirror" in actual fact is a window, and whilst one of the actors moves and speaks, the other mimics said movements and moves their lips.
The second motel that Dean stays at with Sam/Gary is the Cloverleaf Motel.
Goof: When Dean replays the voice mail messages left by Sam, he hears Sam's voice. But as Sam was in Gary's body, it should be Gary's voice that recorded.

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts


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