Again, I can't believe the writers would re-tread the same plot unless they're calling attention to something important.
(I have future episode titles under the cut, if you care. But no future spoilers.)
Both Night Shifter and Skin start in flashback. ("One Week Earlier" and "One Day Ago")
Also, in both:
-Dean is mistaken for the bad guy.
-An innocent tries to help the guys and has magically pre-stolen the security tapes.
-The security tapes show the camera-flares proving it's a shapeshifter.
-A SWAT team enters the premises.
-Dean actually kills the shapeshifter.
-Dean is seen covered in blood and holding a weapon while kneeling in front of a dead woman.
Skin ends with Dean apologizing to Sam for pulling him out of school and taking away his chance at normal. Night Shifter ends with Dean freaking and saying "we are so screwed." Even life by Winchester-normal-standards is gone now.
Special Agent Victor Henrickson clearly has inside information on the boys. Is it coming from Gordon? (Who I personally think will come back into play closer to the finale.)
Also, Kripke has said that in S2, Dean starts to lose it and begins cracking under the pressure. A lot of people pointed to Dean smashing the Impala as the breakdown being referred to. Even when that episode aired, I strongly disagreed. I think that THIS is what Kripke was referring to, NS is the beginning of Dean's downward spiral. This is where he is starting to panic and freak out and be unsure about what to do next.
Yet again, I don't have a clue what this all means. I do think we're coming to a point where Dean is going to sacrifice himself to save Sam. We're clearly still meant to see Dean as a hotheaded hero who does what he needs to, even if it puts him in danger.
Next week: Houses of the Holy vs. Faith
Then: Born Under a Bad Sign vs....well, I haven't decided yet if it's Nightmare or Shadow, I'm gonna have to see it first.
Also! Today is the last day to sign up for spn_j2_bigbang. So go do that if you've been wavering!