Season 1, Episode 11|
Official WB Description Sam and Dean finally make contact with their father, but he tells them to stop looking for him and sends them on another ghost-hunting job. Frustrated with their father's evasiveness, Sam sets out alone to find him while Dean stays back to obey his father. Dean investigates a small town in Indiana where couples have gone missing the same day each year and discovers the farmers are sacrificing them to a Pagan God who takes the form of a scarecrow. While en route to California, Sam meets Meg, a young backpacker, who unbeknownst to Sam is working for a demon.
|April 2005||Holly and Vince pass through Burkittsville, Indiana; they get lost in the orchard and killed by the Scarecrow|
|April 13, 2006||Sam answers Dean's phone; John sends the boys to Indiana; Dean and Sam argue; Sam leaves Dean to hitchhike to California to find John|
|April 14, 2006 (Dean)||Dean arrives in Burkittsville, interviews residents; Emily Jorgeson remembers Vince; Dean investigates the orchard, finds Vince's remains; Dean interviews Emily about the history of Burkittsville; Steve and Pauly arrive in town and given directions to the orchard; Dean tries to warn the couple but is run out of town; Dean follows Steve and Pauly to the orchard, and saves them from the Scarecrow|
|April 14, 2006 (Sam)||Sam meets Meg; the bus for California leaves the next day, leaving Sam and Meg to talk about their lives|
|April 15, 2006 (Dean)||Dean and Sam speak about the Scarecrow case while Dean drives to the community college; Dean asks the professor about local lore, narrows it down to the Vanir; he is ambushed leaving the office by the sheriff; the Burkittsville residents meet and decide to sacrifice Emily and Dean and puts her with Dean in the cellar; Dean and Emily are taken and tied in the orchard; Sam arrives and frees them; Scarecrow takes Harley and Stacey Jorgeson|
|April 15, 2006 (Sam)||Dean and Sam speak about the Scarecrow case; later, Sam gets worried about Dean not answering his cell and heads to Burkittsville; Sam arrives and frees them; Scarecrow takes Harley and Stacey Jorgeson|
|April 16, 2006||Dean, Sam, and Emily burn the First Tree; Emily leaves on a bus; Sam decides to stick with Dean, to do it together; Dean and Sam leave in the Impala; Meg hitchhikes in a van and kills the driver; she speaks to someone called "Father" in a goblet of blood|
A young couple, Vince and Holly, is leaving a cafe, with a send off by a kind husband and wife, Harley and Stacey Jorgeson, and their niece, Emily Jorgeson. Stacey Jorgeson offers them a pie which they gladly accept. Harley Jorgeson has just finished filling up the car with gas, and he and Vince exchange a handshake. Emily notices that Vince has a distinct tattoo on his arm, and compliments him. Harley Jorgeson gives the young couple directions to get back on the interstate.
Once on the road the young couple experiences car troubles, forcing them to pull over. Unfortunately Vince's cell phone also went out. They notice a house nearby they can go to for help, except they have to pass through an orchard to get to it. Holly reluctantly follows Vince. Along the way they notice a Scarecrow tied to a cross. Vince thinks it's freaky, but it scares Holly. Once they pass it, the Scarecrow moves it head and faces them. This frightens Holly, and she asks that they hurry. They hear a rustling, and start to run. Holly loses sight of Vince and notices he is gone. She calls for him a few times, before turning around and running back towards the car, trying to find him. She trips and falls. On the ground, she looks over and finds Vince, dead. She screams several times. The Scarecrow then comes up to Holly, and she tries to escape, screaming, but she shares the same fate.
As in the end of Asylum, Dean's asleep when his cell phone rings. Sam answers the phone to find out that it is his father on the other end. Sam questions his dad if he is okay. John answers by saying he is fine, asking if Sam and Dean are good. Sam asks Dad where he is. Dean wakes up when he hears him say "Dad!" He cannot tell his sons where he is, asking Sam to trust him. Sam deduces that Dad was closer to finding what killed Mom. John confirms it is a demon. Sam asks for confirmation that it is a demon. Dean wants to know what Dad is saying, as he pulls his shirt over his head. Dad expresses sorrow over Jessica. Sam asks more questions, as Dad replying that he cannot be a part of it, while Dean is asking for the phone. John just wants Sam and Dean to stop looking for him, and to take down some names. Sam demands to know what is going on, but John tells him this is bigger than he thinks, that it is not safe. He has given Sam an order, and he expects to be obeyed. Dean grabs the phone, and he starts to take down names at his father's order.
Sam and Dean start to discuss the names of three couples and how each of them were connected. All of them are from different towns, different states, but they went missing on a cross country road trip. They all disappeared around the same area in Indiana during the second week of April. Sam realizes that Dad was sending them to Indiana to go hunting before another couple vanishes. Dean is awed over how much a master Dad is in putting this together, but Sam pulls over and tells Dean that he does not want to go to Indiana. Dad called from a payphone in California - Sacramento - and if Dad is closing in on the demon, they gotta be there to help. Dean argues with Sam, saying how they should follow their dad's order. Sam argues to get revenge, that Dean does not understand how Sam feels. Dean argues that it is not safe; Sam does not understand Dean's blind faith! Sam steps out of the car and takes his backpack, and two duffel bags from the trunk. Dean calls him a selfish bastard, that he only does what he wants, not caring what anyone thinks. Sam replies "this selfish bastard is going to California", and starts to walk away. Dean does not believe Sam is serious, but Sam insists he is. Dean threatens to leave Sam behind, and Sam replies, "That is what I want you to do." Dean calls "Goodbye, Sam", closes the trunk, climbs in, and drives away. Sam watches him leave, before turning around and heading off again.
Dean arrives at Burkittsville, parking beside the town gazebo. He takes out his phone, scrolling through his phonebook until he finds Sam's name. However, instead of calling he shuts his phone and steps outside the Impala. Walking up in front of the Cafe, Dean introduces himself as "John Bonner." The owner, Scotty, was able to identify that name as the drummer of Led Zeppelin. Dean was impressed. Dean hands Scotty a missing person posters of Vince and Holly Parker and asks if he has seen them before, claiming they were friends of his that went missing a year ago. Dean had already been to Scottsburg and Salem. Scotty says sorry, that they do not normally get visitors. Dean makes a sarcastic remark about Scotty's smile, and then walks away.
Sam is hitch-hiking and comes across a young woman sitting down on her backpack listening to music through earbuds. Sam taps her shoulder and startles her, jumping up and turning around to face him. Sam apologizes, asking if she needs help, but she is good. He asks where she is headed, but she is not going to tell him. He could be some kind of freak. A man driving a van pulls up beside them asking, "Need a ride?" Both answer "Yeah", although he only took the woman. Sam is surprised she trusts shady van guy, but not him.
Dean walks to Jorgeson Gas Station, asking the same questions to Harley and Stacey Jorgeson as he did with Scotty. He receives the same reply, until the niece, Emily, refreshes her uncle's memory. They were just married, and there for gas, then back to the Interstate. Dean asks for the same directions.
Driving along next to the orchard, the device in the back of the car started to go off. Dean pulls over right where the other couple did. Dean gets out to search the area, and finds the "fugly" Scarecrow. He grabs a nearby ladder which he uses to climb to get a better look at the Scarecrow. He looks at the arm and finds the same tattoo that Vince had, checking it against the picture of the flyer he has. He looks at the Scarecrow again, saying, "Nice tat."
Dean drives back to the Gas Station and is greeted by Emily. Dean asks for her to fill her up, and then asks if she grew up there. Emily lost her parents to a car accident when she was 13, but her uncle and aunt took her in. How nice everyone is in the town, and how the town seems blessed that no one is losing their farm or home. He then asks about the Scarecrow, in the orchard. Emily did not know much about it, only that it is always been there and it creeps her out. Dean notices a red van in the garage and asks whose it was; turns out it is a young couple just driving through town.
Sam arrives at the Bus Station, only to find that the next bus he can catch is tomorrow at 5:05pm. He then takes out his PalmPilot and looks through his phonebook to find Dean's name. He highlights it but the girl he found hitch-hiking before calls out to him, so he shuts his phone off. Apparently things did not work out with the "Shady" guy, who was all hands. They also share the same destination, California. She introduces herself as Meg, and Sam introduces himself. They shake hands.
A young couple, Steve and Pauly, are sitting in the cafe, being offered the apple pie. Dean walks in and starts up conversation. Scotty tries to verbally push Dean away from them. Dean offers to fix their "broken" brake line for free, but Pauly declines, saying the mechanic will have it ready by sundown. Dean tries to warn them of the danger, driving at night, but Steve just says, "Look, we're trying to eat. Okay?" Dean makes a comment about Sam giving them a puppy dog look. The Sheriff arrives to take Dean and drive him out of the town.
Sam and Meg indulge in eating and idle conversation. Meg had to get away from her family; she loves them, and they wanted what was best for her. They just did not care if she wanted it. Because her family said so, she was supposed to sit there and do as she was told. So she went her own way instead. Sam shares a similar situation in terms of Sam's dad and brother, and that is why he is not riding with his brother anymore. They toast to living their own lives.
The Impala is driving back to town. Steve and Pauly's car died at the edge of the orchard. They, too, are walking towards the house on the other side of the orchard. They hear a growling and at first do not see anything. Then the Scarecrow comes striding out from behind some trees, its sickle in its hand. They start running and are almost overtaken by the Scarecrow when Dean steps in front. They stop running, but he tells them to run back to their car. Dean shoots the Scarecrow with his gun, but it only stumbles and continues striding. He shoots again, running back, and shoots again. They all make it back to the Impala, but the Scarecrow disappears.
The next morning Dean, driving, and Sam, at the Bus Station, speak on the phone. Dean describes the incident with the scarecrow and speculates that the couples (fattened up by the locals) are annual fertility sacrifices to a pagan god. Dean explains he is on his way to a local community college to talk with the professor, since he does not have his trusty, sidekick, geek boy to do all the research. Sam says if Dean is hinting that he needs Sam's help, which Dean quickly responds that he is not hinting anything. Dean starts to get emotional with him, and he kind of apologizes; Sam responds he's sorry too. Dean tells Sam that he was right, to live his own life, to go after what he wants and that he stands up to Dad. He admires Sam, and is proud of him. Dean hangs up after telling Sam to call him after he found Dad. Meg wakes up, and wonders who Sam was just talking with. He tells her that it was his brother, and that he had just said "Goodbye."
Dean asks about the local lore on pagan idolatry, possibly imported by immigrants. Professor answers the ancestors of Burkittsville were Northern Europeans, who would have Norse gods. There are hundreds of Norse gods and goddesses, the Professor explains as he pulls out a book and starts to flip through it. Dean is only interested in one that might live in an orchard. As the pages are flipped Dean notices a scarecrow on a post surrounded by farmers in a field. He starts to read up on it. It is called Vanir, of protection and prosperity, with worshippers offering human sacrifice of one male and one female. They derive their power from a sacred tree, so Dean speculates torching the tree would kill one. He thanks the professor and heads out... where the sheriff renders him unconscious with the butt of his rifle.
There is a meeting with all the people included in the ritual. They all have mixed emotions on their next sacrifice, and how the Vanir is angry with them and the sacrifice must be made. Dean has to die, but Harley is questioning the wisdom of Emily being sacrificed. It becomes clear that the Jorgesons are going to use Emily for the female sacrifice, when they toss her down into the cellar with Dean. Emily, scared and ignorant, wants to know why her Aunt and Uncle are doing this. Stacey answers, "For the common good." They shut the door.
Back at the bus station, Sam gets worried when Dean does not answer his phone that he might be in trouble. Despite Meg encouraging him to come with her to California, Sam decides to go after Dean, because he is family.
Dean tries to hit the door to get out, but to no avail. He realizes that Emily has no knowledge of the Scarecrow and explains how they are being sacrificed. He also questions her if she knows about a "special tree." Emily tells Dean of the First Tree, an apple tree brought over by the first immigrants and revered by the town. The locals show up to take them to the orchard, and tie them up to trees near the Scarecrow. Emily pleas to be let free and questions why they are doing this. They want her to know it was for the town. Dean accuses the sheriff, but the townspeople remain stubborn and leave them for the Scarecrow. Emily asks Dean if he has a plan. He says, "I'm working on it." Time passed, and Dean and Emily were still tied up. Dean still said "I'm working on it" when she asked what the plan was again. They hear a rustling and think it is the Scarecrow but turns it out to be Sam. Sam releases Dean and they look over to find the Scarecrow is gone. The three of them run off through the orchard, planning to come back in the morning, but the locals intercept them. They surround Sam, Dean and Emily. Emily begs Stacey and Harley to let them go. The aunt and uncle promise it will be over quickly and for Emily to let the Scarecrow take her, but they are interrupted when the scarecrow kills Harley, and grabs Stacey, taking them both. The townspeople run off, and the brothers and Emily get clear.
The next day Sam, Dean, and Emily go to find the First Tree, inscribed with runes. Sam pours gasoline over it, and Dean prepares to torch it. Emily insists on setting it on fire herself, knowing it will kill the town, and it goes up in flames. The boys take Emily to the bus station; she is heading 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. Dean gives a snarky response. Sam says, "You should be kissing my ass. You were dead meat, dude." Dean claims he had a plan, and they climb into the Impala.
Meg is hitch-hiking again with some guy in a van and tells the driver to pull over, that she has to make a call. She pulls out a silver goblet, cuts his throat with a knife, and catches the blood in the cup. After making an incantation over the goblet, she speaks to someone, saying she could have stopped Sam or even taken them both. She receives a silent explanation and responds, "Yes - yes, father," clearly indicating that the Winchesters are known to them.
|Shirts the Boys Have Worn|
|Interesting Things That Have Happened|
|Items That Have Shown Up|
|Quotes People Have Said|
|Total Count of Species|
|Who Died and How|
|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.|
|Vince: Check it out. If I only had a brain...|
A reference to the Scarecrow character from The Wizard of Oz book and film. 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: Yahtzee. Can you imagine putting together a pattern like this? All the different obits Dad had to go through? The man's a master.|
Yahtzee is a dice made by Milton Bradley. Saying "Yahtzee!" has come to mean something incredible coming together.
|Dean: Hi, my name's John Bonham.|
Scotty: Isn't that the drummer for Led Zeppelin?
|Stacey: Sweetheart, that's what sacrifice means. Giving up something you love, for the greater good. The town needs to be saved. 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 Chain Saw 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.
Writing the Episode
|Vince: If I only had a brain...|
(Holly looks at Vince.)
Holly: We wouldn't be lost.
|Sam: You're after it, aren't you? The thing that killed Mom.|
John: Yeah. It's a demon, Sam.
Sam: A demon? You know for sure?
|John: Listen, Sammy, I, uh... I also know what happened to your girlfriend. I'm so sorry. I would've done anything to protect you from that.|
|John: Listen, Sammy, that's why I'm calling. You and your brother, you gotta stop looking for me. Alright, now, I need you to write down these names.|
|John: I've given you an order. Now, you stop following me, and you do your job. You understand me?|
|Dean: Alright, 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: Dad said it wasn't safe. For any of us. I mean, he obviously knows something that we don't, so if he says to stay away, we stay away.|
Sam: I don't understand the blind faith you have in the man. I mean... it's like you don't even question him!
Dean: Yeah, it's called being a good son!
|Dean: You're a selfish bastard, you know that? You just do whatever you want. Don't care what anybody thinks.|
Sam: That's what you really think?
Dean: Yes, it is.
Sam huffs, and grabs the last bag, swinging it over his shoulder, before facing Dean once more.
Sam: Well, then this selfish bastard is going to California.
|Dean: Hey, I'm taking off! I will leave your ass, you hear me? |
Sam: That's what I want you to do.
Dean: Goodbye, Sam.
|Dean: Dude, you fugly.|
|Dean: Nice tat.|
|Sam: Just trying to get to California.|
Meg: You know, the next bus isn't until tomorrow.
Sam: Yeah. Yeah, that's the problem.
Meg: Why? What's in Cali that's so important?
Sam: Just something I've been looking for. For a long time.
|Dean: You know, my brother could give you this puppy dog look, and you'd just buy right into it.|
|Meg: No. It's just... because my family said so, I'm supposed to sit there and do what I was told. So I just went on my own way instead. I'm sorry. The things you say to people you hardly know.|
Sam: No, no, it's okay. I know how you feel. Remember that brother I-I mentioned before, that I was road-tripping with? It's, uh, it's kind of the same deal.
Meg: And that's why you're not riding with him anymore?
(Sam shakes his head, also giving a small, sad chuckle. Meg raises her beer bottle.)
Meg: Here's to us. The food might be bad, and the beds might be hard. But at least we're living our own lives. And nobody else's.
|Sam: Well, you figure out what it is, you can figure out a way to kill it.|
Dean: I know. I'm actually on my way to a local community college. I've got an appointment with a professor. You know, since I don't have my trusty, sidekick, geek boy to do all the research.
Sam: You know, if you're hinting you need my help, just ask.
Dean: I'm not hinting anything.
|Dean: Sam. You were right. You gotta do your own thing. You gotta live your own life.|
Sam: Are you serious?
Dean: You've always known what you want. And you go after it. You stand up to Dad. And you always have. Hell, I wish I... Anyway... I admire that about you. I'm proud of you, Sammy.
Sam: I don't even know what to say.
Dean: Say you'll take care of yourself.
Sam: I will.
Dean: Call me when you find Dad.
Sam: (sadly) OK. Bye, Dean.
|Meg: Who was that?|
Sam: My brother.
Meg: What'd he say?
|Meg: But... I don't understand. You're running back to your brother? The guy you ran away from? Why? Because he won't pick up his phone? Sam. Come. With me, to California.|
Sam: I can't. I'm sorry.
Meg: Why not?
Sam: He's my family.
|Dean: I hope your apple pie is frickin' worth it!|
|Dean: How'd you get here?|
Sam: I, uh... stole a car.
Dean: That's my boy! Keep an eye on that scarecrow. He could come alive any minute.
(Sam looks over, after finishing untieing Dean.)
Sam: What scarecrow?
|Dean: So. I drop you off somewhere?|
Sam: No, I think you're stuck with me.
Dean: What made you change your mind?
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, ah, if we're gonna see this through... We're gonna do it together.
Dean: Hold me, Sam. That was beautiful.
|Sam: You should be kissing my ass. You were dead meat, dude.|