Scarecrow is the 11th episode of Season 1. It aired on January 10, 2006.
SummaryA malevolent scarecrow is haunting an Indiana town - and the townspeople are sacrificing humans to its sake.
Burkitsville, Indiana – One Year Ago
A newlywed couple is leaving after the locals have helped them out when they got lost and stopped for gas. The guy has a tattoo that the local couple's teenaged niece notices as they make their farewells and leave.
On the way to the highway, the car and the couple's cell phones both die and they notice a nearby house. They go to check it out and on the way see an ominous-looking scarecrow suspended from a pole. The scarecrow seems to move as they head off into the woods – as they proceed they hear noises behind them and run for their car. The guy disappears and the woman turns, shouting his name, and stumbles over the corpse of her husband. A shadowy figure closes in on her as she screams.
In their hotel, the cell phone rings and Sam takes the call – it’s their dad. He assures Sam they’re okay but that they have to trust him – he can’t reveal where he is. He reveals he’s after the thing that killed their mom – a demon. He tells them to stop looking for him and write down a list of names, warning it’s not safe. Dean takes the names, which are of three couples who disappeared over a three year-period on the same day in April. After a heated discussion where Dean insists they follow their father's orders and Sam wants to disobey him and go to find him, they start to head to the town, Burkitsville, where the couples disappeared. Halfway through the journey, Sam decides he's going to California where their dad is. Dean accuses him of being selfish and takes off without him when Sam insists he go.
Dean pulls into Burkitsville and thinks about calling Sam, but decides against it. He meets with a local man, Scotty, but the man claims not to recognize the pictures of the missing couples. Sam comes across a young hitchhiker, who gets picked up by a guy in a van who refuses to take Sam. Dean isn’t having any luck with the Jorgesons, the couple that the newlyweds met earlier. Their niece, Emily, recognizes the newlywed husband, Vince, from the tattoo, and her parents then remember them and say that they headed off towards the highway. Dean leaves town, but his EMF meter goes off as he passes by the orchard. He investigates and spots the scarecrow, holding a sickle. He comments that the scarecrow is "fugly" but on closer inspection notices something is off about the scarecrow - it seems to have been made of human skin. He climbs up and finds the scarecrow has a tattoo on its arm just like Vince’s.
Dean pulls back into town and talks to Emily. She reveals that the Jorgesons are her aunt and uncle who took her in when her parents died, and that the town is seemingly “blessed.” He also notices a car belonging to another stranded couple.
Sam is unable to get a bus out and meets back up with the female hitchhiker, Meg, and they bond.
Dean goes into the café and chats up the couple, despite Scotty’s efforts to keep him away from them. They reveal that they had stopped for gas when a local mechanic "noticed" that their brakeline is close to giving, and he is fixing it for them and it'll be ready at sundown. Dean, who knows that this is a ruse, offers to help them fix it faster that that, but they decline. He gives them an ominous warning but they ignore him and Dean contemplates how Sam could have convinced them. Scotty calls the sheriff, who escorts Dean out of town.
Sam and Meg chat over a meal about her background and her issues with her family, and Sam’s similar problem with Dean. Come nightfall, Dean returns into town while the newest couple wander through the orchard and are stalked by the scarecrow. They run for it and Dean gets in front of them and sends them to their car. He opens up on the scarecrow with a shotgun to no effect, but they all get safely back to the car as the scarecrow disappears.
Dean checks in with Sam and they conclude that the scarecrow is a manifestation of a pagan god and takes the couple (fattened up by the locals) as a fertility sacrifice. The two of them kind of apologize to each other and Dean admits Sam has to do his own thing and he admires him for standing up to their dad. Dean meets with a local professor (William B. Davis) who provides information on a Norse god, the Vanir, which the locals of Scandinavian descent imported with them. According to the books, its energy springs from a sacred tree. Dean thanks him for his help and goes out of the room… whereupon the sheriff knocks him out.
The townsfolk are discussing what to do with Dean and how the Vanir is angry with them and the sacrifice must be made. It becomes clear that the Jorgesons are going to use Emily for the female sacrifice, and they toss her down into the cellar with Dean.
The bus arrives, but Sam decides to go to Burkitsville when he can’t get hold of Dean. Meg tries to get him to come with her but he refuses and heads off.
A panicked Emily has been ignorant thus far to what’s been going on. Dean figures out that they have to destroy the old tree the Vanir is tied to. She knows what tree he means but doesn’t know where the “First Tree” is. The locals show up to take them to the orchard, and tie them up to trees near the scarecrow/Vanir. Come sunset, Sam arrives and frees them but the scarecrow has already disappeared from where he was.
The three of them run off through the orchard, planning to come back in the morning to torch the tree, but the locals intercept them. Emily begs her aunt and uncle to let them go but they’re interrupted when the scarecrow kills both the aunt and uncle. The townspeople run off and Sam, Dean and Emily get clear. The next morning they find the First Tree, inscribed with runes, and the brothers prepare to torch it. Emily insists on setting it on fire herself and it goes up in flames.
Emily takes off on a bus, and Sam tells Dean he’ll be staying with him and they’re going to finish it… together.
Later at night, Meg is driving off with some guy in a van and asks him to pull over, which the guy takes as an invitation for sex. She says she needs to make a call, to which the guy offers his cellphone, but she smiles coldly and says "It's not that kind of call". She pulls out a silver goblet, cuts his throat with a knife, and catches the blood in the cup. She then recites an incantation and questions why she was ordered to let Sam go. She receives a silent explanation and responds, “Yes – yes, father”.
- Sam Winchester
- Dean Winchester
- John Winchester
- Stacey Jorgeson
- Harley Jorgeson
- Emily Jorgeson
- Burkittsville Sheriff
- Holly Parker
- Vince Parker
Featured Supernatural Beings
- "Lodi" by Creedence Clearwater Revival
- "Bad Company" by Bad Company
- "Puppet" by Colepitz
- The phone call Sam gets from John started at the end of the previous episode.
- Antagonist : Vanir
- This is the first appearance of Meg in the series.
- Also the first appearance of the Goblet of Blood in the series.
- Also the first appearance of a deity.
- This episode makrs the first mention of Dean's love for pie.
- William B. Davis, who plays the local professor Dean confers with, is best known for portraying the Cigarette Smoking Man on the cult Sci-Fi show, The X-Files.
- The urban legend of this episode seems to be influenced by the plot of the Neil Gaiman sci-fi novel American Gods , in which Odin, Loki and Thor are remanisfested and recruited to fight the New American Gods.
- This is the first odd-numbered episode not to feature a ghost (although, as demons are former human souls, this may not be true).
- The plot of this episode has similarities to the 1973 film The Wickerman and its 2006 remake. The locals in a rural area sacrifice people to a pagan god in order to keep the community prosperous.
- Goof: When Dean is heading for the door after speaking to the local professor, one of the cameras can be seen slightly.
Vince: Check it out. If only I had a brain...
- A reference to the Scarecrow character from the Wizard of Oz book and flim.
- Yahtzee is a dice made by Milton Bradley. Saying "Yahtzee" has come to mean something goods happens.
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 outweighs 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 skin and likes wielding a chainsaw in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Dean: "Dude, you fugly."
Dean: "I hope your apple pie is friggin' worth it!"
- Finnish: Variksenpelätin (Scarecrow)
- French: L'Épouvantail (Scarecrow)
- German: Vogelscheuche (Scarecrow)
- Italian: Lo Spaventapasseri (Scarecrow)
- Polish: Strach na wróble (Scarecrow)
- Romanian: Sperietoarea de Ciori (Scarecrow)
- Hungarian: Madárijesztő (Scarecrow)