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Supernatural is truth
Bible Entry 1x11: Scarecrow 
27th-Sep-2006 02:02 am
SPN - Impala

1x11 Scarecrow

Boring Production Crap
Original Air Date: 01/10/06
Writer: John Shiban
Director: Kim Manners

Guest Players
John Winchester: Jeffrey Dean Morgan
Meg: Nicki Lynn Aycox
Emily: Tania Saulnier
Harley Jorgeson: Tom Butler
Stacey Jorgeson: P. Lynn Johnson
College Professor: William B. Davis
Holly Parker: Lara Gilchrist
Vince Parker: Christian Schrapff
Steve: Brendan Penny
Scotty: Tim O'Halloran
Sheriff: Brent Stait
Pauly: Leah Graham
Bus Station Clerk: Angela Moore
The Scarecrow: Mike Carpenter

What Time Is It?
The teaser takes place one year ago, but the bulk of the episode is set during the second week of April, 2006.  When Sam and Dean are discussing the missing couples, Dean mentions that they all disappeared from the same part of Indiana, during the second week of April "one year after another after another."  Sam helpfully points out to Dean (and us) that "this is the second week of April."  Thank you Sam, for finally giving us a timeline for an episode.
Now, Which One Was That?
Sam and Dean's father sends them to a small town where the citizens sacrifice couples to a pagan god which manifests through a scarecrow.  Sam and Dean have a big fight when Sam decides to go to California to find John, so Dean is left alone to investigate the couples' disappearances.  On the way to the bus station, Sam meets a mysterious girl named Meg.
All the Niggling Little Details
  • The episode takes place in Burkitsville, Indiana, which doesn't seem to exist.  There is a Burkittsville, Indiana, though.  It's possible that the name of the town in this episode is an homage to Burkittsville, Maryland, the town in which the 1999 film The Blair Witch Project takes place.

  • They get the obvious Wizard of Oz (1939) joke out of the way in the teaser.  When Vince and Holly first encounter the Scarecrow up on his cross in the orchard, Vince utters the famous line "If I only had a brain."  If he had had brains, maybe they would have survived.

  • After the teaser flashback, we pick up right where we left off in "Asylum," with the boys getting a phone call from John.  This is John's second appearance since the pilot, and the first time he and Sam have talked since Sam left for Stanford.

  • John is calling from a Sacratel phone booth.  Sam later confirms that the call came from a Sacramento Area Code.

  • John reveals to Sam that the thing that killed Mary and Jess is a demon.  Before this conversation Sam and Dean have always referred to it as "the thing that killed Mom [and Jess]."

  • Dean once again sleeps in the bed closest to the door.  And speaking of sleeping habits, Sam sleeps with a shirt on (the greyhound shirt!) and Dean sleeps with no shirt.  Also, for some reason, Dean feels the need to put a shirt on to talk to Dad.

  • In an interesting role reversal, Sam is driving, while Dean looks over their research from the passenger seat.

  • The pertinent info about the case: three couples from different locations (specifically Washington, New York, and Colorado), "each couple took a road trip cross country; none of them arrived at their destination; none of them were ever heard from again...Each one's route took them through the same part of Indiana, always on the second week of April."

  • Yahtzee is the trademarked name of a popular dice game made by Milton Bradley (now owned by Hasbro).  The object of the game is to score points by rolling certain combinations of numbers with five dice.  A Yahtzee is a five-of-a-kind and holds the game's highest point value in certain circumstances. [more info]

  • The fight shows us the essential difference between Sam and Dean: Dean is willing to except that things are a certain way without explanation.  Sam has to know why.

  • When Sam leaves, he takes the laptop with him.  Does that mean it's his?  If it is his, that still doesn't explain the decals, which don't really seem to be Sam's style.

  • This episode marks the first time the boys have split up for any length of time since the Pilot.  Dean seems to have gotten used to working with Sam, and is having a hard time relating to people without him around.

  • Visible contacts in Dean's cell phone: Bren, Carmelita, Christian, Curtis, Dad, Donny, Robin, Sam.

  • It rains a lot in this episode.  There are black umbrellas everywhere.

  • Vince and Holly Parker are the couple that disappeared in the teaser.  Vince has an interesting tattoo on his right forearm.

  • Dean tells Scotty that he's already asked about "his missing friends" around Scottsburg and Salem, both of which are real towns in Indiana.

  • When Meg first shows up, it's almost as if she appears out of nowhere.  Sam's looking around, and all of a sudden, there she is sitting on the ground behind him.  Nothing in Sam's expression suggests that this is actually the case, it's just interesting that the first time we see her, she's just right there.

  • Jorgeson Motors and Jorgeson General Store were established in 1962.

  • When Dean asks the Jorgesons about Vince and Holly, they say they can't remember.  Emily, who it turns out has no knowledge of what's going on recognizes the couple right away, based on Vince's tattoo.  When she prods her Aunt and Uncle, they reluctantly admit that they remember the couple, but make light of their visit to the town ("weren't here more than ten minutes").  Now we saw how friendly and apple-pie-giving the Jorgesons were in the teaser.  Obviously something fishy's going on.

  • I want to know why the EMF meter is randomly on, and why Dean's duffel is suddenly in the back seat instead of the trunk.  It seems like every time Dean pulls out the EMF meter, it has to be turned on, but now it's just on in the bottom of Dean's bag.  And it's going nuts in the car, but he doesn't bother bringing it into the apple orchard?  Okaaay.

  • When Dean takes a closer look at the scarecrow, he notices a tattoo remarkably like the one on Vince's arm on the scarecrow.  It shows up on the scarecrow's arm as if the Vanir takes the body/skin of its sacrifices each year.  This is a major break in the case.

  • Emily came to Burkitsville when she was 13.  She lost her parents and her Aunt and Uncle took her in.

  • Emily tells Dean that it's almost like the town's blessed.  All the towns surrounding Burkitsville are having trouble (with crops, etc.) but Burkitsville is thriving.

  • Where exactly is this bus station that Sam's at?  From the amount of light outside, it's mid to late afternoon, but the next bus to Sacramento doesn't run until 5:05PM the next day.

  • Visible contacts in Sam's phone: Rebecca Warren (from "Skin"), Jerry (pager) (Jerry from "Phantom Traveler"?), John Marcynuk, Dean, Mary Ann Liu.  No Dad?

  • The couple is stuck in town due to a problem with one of their car's brake lines.  It'll be fixed by sundown.

  • Apparently Burkitsville is famous for its apples, and all sacrificial victims have got to try the apple pie.  Except Dean, who Scotty won't wait on for some reason.  I guess Burkitsville's not known for its hospitality, just its apples and the speedy response time of its police force.

  • According to the highway sign, Burkitsville is three miles from some train tracks.

  • Meg and Sam bond over beer and nachos.  Meg tells Sam about her family.  Her parents want what's best for her, they just don't care if it's what she wants.  Like with Sam, it didn't sit well with her, so she left.  Sam likens his situation with Dean to Meg's.

  • Shooting the scarecrow does absolutely nothing.  It disappears when Dean and the couple are out of the orchard.

  • Sam and Dean have the most heartfelt and sharing conversation they've had to date (and may ever have).  We don't know who called who, though.

  • Dean thinks the scarecrow is animated by a pagan god, based on the annual cycle, man/woman (possible fertility rite), the last meal given to sacrificial victims.  The couple is given as a ritual sacrifice to appease the pagan god.

  • Sam is Dean's trusty sidekick Geek Boy.

  • Dean's first sign of anything except complete agreement with John: he's proud of Sam for stand up to Dad, and maybe wishes that sometimes he could too.

  • Sam tells Meg that he talked to his brother.  She asks what he said, Sam says "goodbye."

  • At the local college, Dean learns that the scarecrow is most likely a Vanir.  In order to stop the god, he needs to destroy the sacred tree that holds the Vanir's energy.  Dean also learns that the professor is in on what's going on in Burkitsville, when he tries to leave and is knocked out by the sheriff.

  • The college professor that Dean meets with is played by William B. Davis, who's most famous for playing the Cigarette Smoking Man on The X-Files.  In fact, Supernatural (and this episode in particular) has a lot of X-Files connections: both shoot in Vancouver, Supernatural has a lot of former X-Files crew, and both shows have guest stars in common.  This episode was directed by Kim Manners, who was one of the most prolific directors on The X-Files.  He directed or produced over half of the series' 202 episodes (136 to be exact). In fact, "Scarecrow" has several direct homages to Manners' first X-Files episode, season two's "Die Hand Die Verletzt" (German for "the hand that wounds").  The conversation between the Jorgesons, Scotty, and the Sheriff is an homage to a similarly shot scene in that X-Files episode (especially that crane shot that shows the tops of their umbrellas with rain falling down).  Not only that, but P. Lynn Johnson was in both episodes (here as Stacey Jorgeson, in "Die Hand Die Verletzt" as Deborah Brown).  Another actor in that episode (Dan Butler) played Reverend Sorenson in "Hook Man".

  • The townspeople are obviously planning to sacrifice Dean, but are very vague as to who they are going to sacrifice with him.  Dramatic tension, anyone?

  • The Jorgesons tell Emily that they have to sacrifice them "for the common good." 

  • Sam decides not to go to California with Meg because Dean won't answer his cell phone.  He knows Dean wouldn't ignore him, so the fact that he's just getting Dean's voicemail means something's wrong.  Meg tries to get Sam to come with her, and seems upset when he says no, but he has to make sure Dean's okay, because Dean's "[his] family."

  • Dean questions Emily about the sacred tree.  She says that "there was this one apple tree; the immigrants brought it over with them.  They call it the First Tree."  It's in the orchard, but she doesn't know where.

  • Emily asks her Aunt and Uncle why they're doing this, says she's their family.  Stacey says there's no other choice, "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."  Maybe these guys are Star Trek fans.

  • Good thing Sam shows up in time to save Dean and Emily, because it looks like Dean's plan is pretty much "I'm working on it."  Sam stole a car to get to Dean.  Dean's response: "That's my boy."

  • "Let's just shag ass before Leatherface catches up" is a reference to the 1974 horror movie, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (and, yeah, to its several sequels and remakes, but let's just ignore those, shall we?).

  • The scarecrow is apparently not picky about the state of its sacrifices, just that they be a man and a woman, because it takes the Jorgensens when they try to stop Sam, Dean, and Emily from leaving.  Just like in the teaser, the scarecrow kills the man first.

  • The next morning, they find and torch the sacred tree, which is thankfully easily identifiable by the symbols carved into its trunk.  Sam pours gasoline on the tree, and Dean lights a big stick on fire to burn the tree with.  Emily wants to burn it herself ("You know the whole town's gonna die?" "Good.").

  • After the tree is destroyed, Sam and Dean put Emily on a bus to Boston.

  • Sam and Dean share a moment.  Sam decides to stay, even though he still wants to find Dad.  "You and me, we're all that's left."  Dean, of course, cheapens the moment with a joke, to which Sam responds by saying that Dean should be kissing his ass for saving them back in the orchard.  Dean says he "had a plan, [he'd] have gotten out."  Yeah, sure Dean.  You keep telling youself that.

  • As the episode ends, we find out that Meg is not an ordinary girl.  She's riding with shady van guy #2, and when they pull over, she tells him she has to make a call.  She slits his throat, fills a creepy silver chalice with his blood, chants something in Latin, and contacts someone.  She and this mysterious someone are planning something regarding the Winchesters, but she doesn't understand why she had to let them go.  She refers to this someone as "father."

Where'd That Myth Come From?
This information comes directly from the pad of definitions from the Official Supernatural Site.  If/when I find more information for any of this, this section will be updated.
  • The Vanir: In Norse mythology, the Vanir are originally a group of wild nature and fertility gods, the sworn enemies of the warrior gods of the Aesir . They were considered to be the bringers of health, youth, fertility, luck and wealth, and masters of magic, also known for protection and prosperity, and keeping the local settlements safe from harm. Some villages built effigies of the Vanir in their fields, while other villages practiced human sacrifices consisting of one male and one female.

  • Pagan: One who follows an ancient polytheistic or pantheistic religion and therefore does not follow one of the World's main religions, especially if such follower is not a Christian, Muslim, or Jew.

  • Old Norse Mythology: This mythology refers to the pre-Christian religion, beliefs and legends of the Scandinavian people, including those who settled in Ireland. In Scandinavian folklore, these are the beliefs that lasted longest, and in rural areas some traditions have even been practiced until the present. Norse is the best-known version of the older common Germanic paganism and Germanic mythology, which also includes similar Anglo-Saxon mythology. The mythology was taught by mouth, in the form of long, regular poetry. Oral transmission continued through the Viking Age, and our knowledge about it is mainly based on medieval texts written down during and after Christianisation . It was not a religion the Gods taught to the immortal, but there are myths about Gods visiting normal people or normal visiting the divine.
What's in a Name?
  • When investigating the disappearances in Burkitsville, Dean introduces himself to Scotty as John Bonham, who is, in reality, the drummer for Led Zeppelin.  His alias backfires, since Scotty is apparently a "classic rock fan."  Surprisingly, this is the first time that has happened.  Considering their Ford/Hamill aliases in "Dead In The Water", you'd think people would have figured him out earlier.

  • Sam/Sammy Battle: Dean calls him "Sam" five times, and "Sammy" only once.  John calls him "Sam" twice and "Sammy" three times.  So at seven to four, "Sam" is the clear winner this week.  Sam says "Dean" four times.
What Did You Just Say?
Counting the Cost
Pain Quotient: Most of the pain inflicted in this episode is emotional witness the phone conversation between Sam and John, and Sam and Dean's fight, but Dean does run into a bit of physical trouble in Burkitsville.
  • Dean gets the butt of a rifle to the face, courtesy of the sheriff.
  • Dean and Emily get manhandled by the townspeople and tied up in the orchard.
  • Sam escapes this week's episode unscathed, except for possibly wounded pride at being trusted less by Meg than she trusts Shady Van Guy.

Collateral Damage: The missing couples in the past, Holly and Vince (the couple from the teaser).  The scarecrow takes the Jorgesons, who might also fit under bad guys since they were in on the conspiracy.

The Bad, the Ugly, and the Dead: Sam, Dean and Emily torch the sacred tree, killing the Vanir.

Metallicar Watch: It's a miracle Dean doesn't run off the road trying to get the EMF meter out of his duffel bag, but otherwise, the car's fine.

Zippo Count: The tree gets burned down, but Dean uses his lighter to light a branch to start the fire, rather than just tossing the zippo.

Sacrificed on the Altar of Whoops!

  • I don't know if this is a mistake, per se, but Sacratel is not a real company.  Yes, they wanted something that would tell us John was in Sacramento, but Sam's comment about the area code did that perfectly well.
  • Dean mentions that he's checked in these other towns in Indiana, but why would he have to if the missing persons papers say "Burkitsville, Indiana" right on the top?  Besides, I thought no one knew where these couples disappeared from.
  • What was the point of setting the episode in a real town in Indiana, only to spell the name of the town incorrectly?  The town is called Burkittsville, but spelled Burkitsville on the title card in the teaser, and on all signs.
  • The state of the apple orchard is absolutely not correct for the time of year.  Planting and the start of blooming occurs in April.  An orchard wouldn't look the way this one does (apples strewn across the ground, baskets and crates all over) until fall, which is prime apple picking time.  Now I get that they wanted us to know it was an apple orchard, but really.
Driver Picks the Music
"Lodi" by Credence Clearwater Revival
"Bad Company" by Bad Company
What Did They Just Say?
Official Heavy Metas
Dean -- Half Full of What?: Dean in "Scarecrow" by deannie
Sam -- Sam in "Scarecrow" by chaneen Coming Very Soon! (Later today, in fact)
John -- John in "Scarecrow" by kronette

Other really cool people talked, too!
Please link me any "Scarecrow" metas you run across so I can include them here!

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