Supernatural Season 5, Episode 12 recap: The body swap episode

Supernatural -- "Fallen Idols" -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR
Supernatural -- "Fallen Idols" -- Photo: Jack Rowand/The CW -- Acquired via CW TV PR /

Sam Winchester found himself in the body of a teen in Supernatural Season 5, Episode 12. Here’s everything that went down in Swap Meat.

Supernatural Season 5, Episode 12 saw the body swap episode we didn’t realize we needed. Instead of Dean and Sam switching bodies, Gary the Teenage Witch did instead. Here’s everything that happened in the episode.

This episode started with Sam entering a bar, offering up his license for ID without even being asked, and then ordering a banana daiquiri. With “Crystal, I would love to have the sex with you,” it’s clear that there’s something going on with Sammy. And then it all becomes clear as, in the mirror, we see a nerdy teenager looking back.

Thirty-six hours earlier

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Since it’s clear something happened first, we have to jump back in time to 36 hours earlier, when the Winchesters head to see their former babysitter, Donna, and her family. There’s the likelihood that the family is being haunted by a poltergeist, giving us the case of the week. This is an unusual one with “Murdered Child” carved into the stomach of Donna’s daughter, Katie.

While at lunch, the brothers talk about a normal life and Sam makes it clear that it isn’t his life anymore. He no longer wants the apple pie life (although it’s only been in recent years that we’ve officially seen that) and the brothers get to work on figuring out who the poltergeist could be.

It’s soon clear that Isaiah Pickett, the owner of the house in the 1720s, hung Maggie Briggs in his backyard for witchcraft. She must be the poltergeist, although it doesn’t explain the words in Katie’s stomach. During this exchange and research, we see Gary watching the Winchesters.

Later, Sam is shot in the neck with a tranquilizer, knocking him out cold. By the time Sam wakes up, he’s in odd clothes and in a shrubbery bush. He tries to get back to Dean, but the police stop him saying that his family is worried sick. Sam initially assumes that Dean has sent out a police search party and given him the name “Gary Frankel,” but it’s soon clear that something bigger has happened.

Sure enough, Sam sees his reflection and notices that it’s Gary. He’s been body-swapped and his body is currently in front of a mirror, flexing his muscles. That stops when Dean walks in, but doesn’t realize that Sam is now Gary. Dean clearly knows that something is off, though. Sam is overly apologetic, can’t drive to save his life, and is acting odd.

It’s not going to be easy for the real Sam to get word out to Dean. Gary gets rid of all the cell phones in the Impala, takes Dean’s phone, and convinces Dean to find a new motel room.

Sam gets to the bottom of the problem

While in Gary’s body, Sam goes through everything in the room. He realizes that Gary is into witchcraft, which adds up with the body switching going on.

However, Sam has to face the parents, which involves Gary’s father questioning Sam about his whereabouts the night before. Sam uses this as a chance to fish for more information about Gary, including he has a knack for Latin. It’s not the parents he should be talking to, but the sister. Sydney knows about a creepy book.

Next, Sam has no choice but to head to Gary’s school, where he runs into his friends, Trevor and Nora. That’s where the book is. However, Gary’s friends tranquilize Sam and capture him.

Figuring out the poltergeist

It turns out Gary being in control of Sam’s body is good for the case. Gary knows the local legend that Isaiah murdered Maggie after finding out that she was pregnant with his child. Her body was buried in the basement and it certainly now links back to the “Murdered Child” note.

The two head back to Donna’s house and to the basement. Sure enough, the bones are there but Gary has other plans. Just as he’s about to kill Dean, Poltergeist Maggie attacks. Dean doesn’t realize that Gary was about to kill him, but before he can get the job done, he’s thrown around by the poltergeist, too. Fortunately, Gary is able to burn the bones with an odd reaction.

Dean’s worrying about Sam continues as Gary orders a bacon cheeseburger like Dean. Sam never orders this. Gary comes close to revealing that he’s not really Sam but manages to brush it off with fact that he’s drunk. That’s when we jump back to where the episode started, with Gary at the bar with Crystal. This is the point that Dean is convinced something isn’t right.

Getting to the bottom of the body swap

Finally, it’s time to turn the attention fully to the body swap in Supernatural Season 5, Episode 12. Trevor and Nora knew what Gary was doing and want to know where Dean is. They’re also worried that Sam is onto them.

Gary is too busy enjoying his time with Crystal and Trevor is sure that Gary won’t kill Dean. It turns out that Dean is Hell’s most wanted. While messing around with the book, Gary went into a trance and drew a detailed picture of Dean. Finding out that demons wanted Dean, Gary came up with the idea of the body swap.

Realizing that Nora is the least committed of the two, Sam tries to reason with her. She listens to Sam and tries to talk Trevor out of killing Dean but it’s not enough. Trevor summons the demon that wanted Dean dead and is happy to find out that Lucifer’s vessel currently holds a teenager.

Meanwhile, Dean knocks Gary out, knowing that this isn’t really Sam. With Gary tied up, Dean goes through his voicemail service to hear all 38 messages Sam left him. He’s now able to put it all together. However, it’s too late as the demon shows up in Nora’s body.

When Gary realizes that it was all a trap and he’s not going to get to be the powerful witch he wants to be, he decides to exorcise the demon. The demon starts strangling Gary, so Dean continues it. The two work together to get rid of the demon.

After that, Gary switches back with Sam and apologizes to Dean. Had Gary been over 18, Dean would have killed him but he’s getting a second chance. Sam also offers the news that Nora likes Gary and it looks like there’s some good to come out of all this.

Meanwhile, the Winchesters’ case is done and they go off onto their next hunt.

Next. Supernatural Season 5, Episode 11 recap: Sam, Interrupted. dark

What did you think of the body swap episode? Are you still waiting for an episode where Sam and Dean switch bodies? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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