"You are not my brother." : Sam in SkinSkin
highlights the brothers` bond in both positive and negative aspects.
On the one hand Sam right from the bat seems to have suspicions about Dean being in fact Not!Dean after they had split up on the shifter hunt. And Impostor!Dean doesn`t show any weird behaviour at all. So this makes Sam`s ability to almost immediately call him on it even more amazing. As a regular viewer of Charmed trust me on this. That show played the cliché to ludicrous proportions.
Yet otoh he also gets an earful of Dean`s innermost feelings and most notably resentment towards him and their father, very probably taken out of context since for the shapeshifter it would make sense to only latch on the negative feelings and discard any positive thoughts that would balance them out.
Sam is clearly affected in hearing this yet he refuses to be baited by the shifter. He keeps asking about Dean`s whereabouts and doesn`t let himself get derailed.
Of course his insistence that: "You are not my brother.
can also work as a shield against this newfound insight. After all Dean expresses pretty negative and hurtful emotions: "...left me with your sorry ass."
Ouch. So it is only natural to take comfort in the notion that this isn`t in fact Dean and therefore Dean doesn`t think like that.
Even though I`m not convinced that denial was 100 % effective for Sam here.
Part of the shifter`s confession is also new information to Sam, especially Dean`s fear and feelings of abandonement, which feeds in the ongoing theme of Season 1 of the brothers (re)-discovering each other. Sam is slowly letting go of the views of a child/teen in regards to his family. As such it isn`t uncommon to be totally stupified by the sudden notion that parental figures, which I think Dean was for Sam, are capable of such vulnerability and fear. Or simply put, children aren`t intentionally hurtful to their parents/elders but because they don`t think anything they can do, would or could hurt them.
On top of that Dean always tries to exude an air of being unfazable so it`s slowly revealed to Sam how that is not really the case, like the peeling of an onion. :)
Interesting in terms of Sam`s character is the view into his little world we`re provided with here. Granted, they are nowhere near Stanford but Becky (and Zack) apparently were close friends with both Sam and Jess in college. It`s a world that is totally Sam`s apart from John and Dean.
It also reiterates the theme of Sam not wanting his two worlds to collide. (Which in an ironic twist of fate they would have as this shapeshifter incident is completely unrelated to Sam or the Demon, yet would have brought a Supernatural element back in Sam`s life any which way.)
He never told Jess about his past, not the full truth at least, which is understandable, or the existence of anything Supernatural and he never planned to as his adamance in the Pilot shows.
Of course this had by logic to extend to any friends he made. And he still plans to keep it this way. He has suspicions about something Supernatural right from the start but he obviously doesn`t wanna clue Becky in and is unhappy when his cover story blows.
Sam introduces his brother as a detective from Arizona. Now we know from the Pilot that Jess at least knew he had
a brother named Dean. And one can assume that Sam made up stories about both John and Dean to deflect further questions. Non-flattering stories if you go by his drinking remark about John in the Pilot. So what did he tell about Dean?
I mean even the thickest friends would probably find a: "My family is perfectly fine and dandy, we get along great" yet they never call or visit and Sam doesn`t either, odd. ;) So there must have been something.
The way it plays here it`s not even clear Becky knew he had a brother in the first place. And even so Sam must have obviously kept the details vague or else his little revelation here would have been weird.
Honestly if Becky wasn`t a bit preoccupied with her brother`s murder case she should have grilled Sam like mad. Figuratively speaking. ;) This is a huge aspect of his life and one she, as a good friend, apparently had no knowledge of.
I gotta say I found his reaction at the end of the episode puzzling. He is amused by his brother being pegged for the serial killer and now for all intents and purposes being legally dead. I don`t think he would have found it quite as funny if Sam Winchester, promising law student, would have been legally dead now. In fact he`d have blown a fuse since that puts a pretty big wringer into returning to a normal life.
I don`t think Sam wouldn`t want his brother to have a happy "normal" life if Dean so desired. Even this early in the game when the brothers were still overcoming years of estrangement, Dean obviously means something to him. And I`ve always held the belief that Sam would have been overjoyed if Dean got out of hunting and followed Sam`s footsteps into normalty. And I don`t think he has ever accepted Dean`s declarations how he wanted this life.
Of course Dean would be up to the task to forge himself a new identity and Sam knows it but it would still be living a lie. Which yes, sad.
And even in the lifestyle the legally dead thing poses a problem if they ever run into the authorities at an inopportune time. As much outside of the law as they live right now, both brothers should have been far less okay with this as they seemed to be. It shows a very carefree and yes, stupid kind of thinking on their parts. Or lets say the writers parts. *cough*
Last but not least is this the second time Sam gets to demonstrate his fighting abilities. And for a guy who was banged in the hed twice, trussed up like a turkey for quite some time, he is holding himself pretty good. Either John trained them so hard that most of the moves went into muscle memory or Sam has been keeping up with at least light training while he was away.