1.11 Scarecrow

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Promotional image from Scarecrow
Title Scarecrow
Episode # Season 1, Episode 11
First aired January 10, 2006
Directed by Kim Manners
Written by Teleplay:
John Shiban
Story:
Patrick Sean Smith
On IMDB Scarecrow
Outline Sam and Dean argue and part ways; Dean to a hunt in Indiana, and Sam seeking John in California.
Monster Vanir
Timeline Between April 8-15, 2006
Location(s) Burkittsville, Indiana
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Contents

Synopsis

It is the morning after the events of 1.10 Asylum. Dean's cell rings, and Sam answers to hear his father’s voice. John expresses sympathy at the murder of Jess, and for the first time reveals that he knows that what killed Mary and Jess was a demon. John tells Sam that he must stop looking for him and he starts to give Sam details of a new hunt, but Sam argues that he wants to help John hunt the demon.

Dean grabs the phone and takes the details from John. Each year in the second week of April, a couple on a cross-country trip has gone missing near Burkittsville, Indiana.

As they head towards Burkittsville, Sam argues with Dean, and declares that he wants to go after John, who he knows from the phone call is in Sacramento. Sam stops the car, and gets out of the driver's seat. He argues with Dean that he's going to Sacramento. Dean threatens to leave and go on without him, but Sam is set on finding his father instead of following orders from him. Dean shuts the Impala's trunk, gets in the car, and drives away, as Sam walks off down the road.

Whilst trying to hitch a ride, Sam comes across another hitchhiker Meg. They chat briefly before she manages to get a lift, with an unsavory looking guy driving a van.

In Burkittsville, Dean hands around the photo of the couple who went missing the previous year, to no avail. He follows the route they took out of town, and when his EMF meter starts reacting, he stops to investigate an orchard. He finds a scarecrow, and discovers it bears the same tattoo as the last missing man.

Dean returns to the township, and speaks to Emily, who lives with her aunt and uncle. He finds out that a young couple are at the diner, while their car is being fixed. Suspicious, Dean joins them and tries to encourage them to leave the town in daylight, until the Sheriff arrives and orders him to leave town.

Meanwhile Sam has reached a bus station, where he finds out it is a day’s wait til the next bus to California. He encounters Meg again, who is also traveling to California, and they start talking, comparing stories of dealing with family expectations.

The young couple’s car has broken down, and as they wander through the orchard, the scarecrow has climbed down from its perch and starts to pursue them. Dean arrives and shoots at the scarecrow to deter it, which allows him and the couple to escape.

The next morning Dean and Sam speak on the phone. Dean describes the incident with the scarecrow and speculates that the couples are annual fertility sacrifices to a pagan god. He concludes by telling Sam that he has always been proud of how he goes after what he wants, and wishes him well in his search for their dad.

Dean goes to visit a local professor to investigate local lore, and finds out about the town was settled by Northern Europeans who brought their Norse gods with them. Vanir, fertility gods, can keep a town thriving if they're appeased by a sacrifice of a man and a woman once a year. They derive their power from a sacred tree, so Dean speculates torching the tree would kill one. As Dean goes to leave, he is knocked out by the Sheriff.

When Dean regains consciousness, he is locked in a cellar with Emily. The townsfolk including her aunt and uncle, have decided that they will be the sacrifice this year, to replace the couple who Dean helped escape. Emily tells Dean of the First Tree, an apple tree brought over by the first immigrants and revered by the town.

Back at the bus station, Sam gets worried when Dean doesn’t answer his phone, and despite Meg encouraging him to stay, decides to go after Dean.

The townsfolk tie Emily and Dean to trees in the orchard, leaving them for the scarecrow. As night falls, Sam arrives and frees them, but the scarecrow is already after them. The townspeople try to thwart their escape, but instead the scarecrow takes Emily’s aunt and uncle.

The next morning Emily, Sam and Dean return to the orchard, and burn the First Tree. The boys take Emily to the bus station, she is returning to Boston. Dean offers to drop Sam somewhere, but Sam tells him he has decided to stay with him, and that they should stick together.

On the side of a highway, Meg hitches another ride. Along the way, she tells the guy to pull over, whereon she slits his throat and collects his blood in a goblet. After making an incantation over the goblet, she speaks to someone she calls Father, clearly indicating that the Winchesters are known to them.

Characters

Definitions

Music

  • "Puppet" by ColepitzS1Com
(the song Meg is listening to on her iPod while she's waiting for a ride, when Sam "startles" her)
  • "Lodi" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
(plays at the bus station, when Sam meets Meg again)
  • "Bad Company" by Bad Company
(plays at the end, when Meg makes her "call")

Mentioned, but not played: Led Zeppelin

Quotes

Sam: You’re after it, aren’t you? The thing that killed Mom.
John: Yeah. It’s a demon, Sam.
Dean: All right, look, I know how you feel.
Sam: Do you? How old were you when Mom died? Four? Jess died six months ago. How the hell would you know how I feel?
Dean (to scarecrow): Dude, you fugly.
Dean: I hope your apple pie is freakin' worth it!
Dean: You've always known what you want and you go after it. Stand up to Dad, and you always have. I wish I had. Anyway, I admire that about you. I'm proud of you, Sammy.
Sam: I didn’t. I still wanna find Dad. And you’re still a pain in the ass. But Jess and Mom — they’re both gone. Dad is God knows where. You and me. We’re all that’s left. So, if we’re gonna see this through, we’re gonna do it together.
Dean: Hold me, Sam. That was beautiful.

Trivia & References

Filming Location(s): Deer Lake; Burnaby Village Museum on Deer Lake Ave.
This episode is supposed to have taken place in Burkittsville, Indiana. The horror movie "The Blair Witch Project" is supposed to have taken place in Burkittsville, Maryland.
While Burkittsville is a fictional location, the two towns Dean checked before Burkittsville - Scottsburg and Salem - are real towns in the southern part of the state. Nearby is Seymour, the birthplace of John Cougar Mellencamp who released the album "Scarecrow" in 1985.
William B. Davis who plays the Professor at the College, is best known as The Cigarette Smoking Man from The X-Files.
The apple trees in "Scarecrow" were actually hazelnut trees.S1Com, p. 64
Vince: [seeing the Scarecrow] Check it out. If I only had a brain...
A reference to the Scarecrow character from The Wizard of Oz book and movie. All the main characters in Oz lack something they wish for The Wizard to give them; in Scarecrow's case, it is a brain. The line itself is from the famous 1939 movie musical, in which Scarecrow and the others sing "If I Only Had a Brain"...
Dean: Hi, my name’s John Bonham.
Scotty: Isn’t that the drummer for Led Zeppelin?
Stacy: Sweetheart, that’s what sacrifice means. Giving up something you love for the greater good. The town needs to be safe. The good of the many outweighs the good of the one.
Possibly a reference to lines from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan:
Spock: Were I to invoke logic, however, logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
Kirk: Or the one.
Dean: Let’s just shag ass before Leatherface catches up.
Leatherface is one of the family who wears a mask made of human skins and likes wielding a chainsaw in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, stars of the eponymous 1974 movie by Tobe Hooper (remade in 2003). The family’s home is decorated with furniture and items made of human skin and bones. This interior design style is later referenced again in The Benders.
The urban legend of this episode (immigrants bringing their old gods to worship in a new country) seems to be influenced by the plot of the Neil Gaiman sci-fi novel American Gods, in which the deities of ancient mythology (Odin, Loki, Thoth, etc) are remanifested and recruited to fight the New American Gods. Kripke has said he is an avid fan of Gaiman's work.
As Sam says "we're not going to Indiana", it seems clear that they are not yet in the state. If they stayed where they were after the previous job, they are in Rockford, Illinois.
John phones Dean's cell, presumably because he doesn't have Sam's number.
Burkittsville was originally settled by Scandinavians, which connects the scarecrow to the Norse Vanir legends.
Sam stole a car to get to Burkittsville.
Dean's cellphone includes the numbers for at least Bren, Carmelita, Christian, Curtis, Dad, Donny, Robin, Sam. Of these, other than Dad and Sam, of course, the names seem to be art department crew members from the show: Bren Moore (Costume Set Supervisor), Carmelita Fowler (Property Assistant), Christian "Chris" Sneddon (Construction Coordinator), Curtis "Curt" Maze (On-Set Dresser), Donny "Don" McGill (Assistant Property Master) and Robin Stooshnov (Assistant Property Master).

Minutiae

Sides, Scripts & Transcripts

Promotion

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