Sam and Dean (Jensen Ackles) 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 (Nicki Aycox), a young backpacker, who unbeknownst to Sam is working for a demon.
A road-tripping couple gets lost and stops for directions in Burkitsville, Indiana, a perfect little town where everyone is so nice, even plying them with free apple pie! Their car dies near an orchard featuring a freaky-looking scarecrow. It’s alive! The couple ties to run, but it hunts them down and kills them.
Sam answers the phone. It’s Papa Winchester, and he’s after the demon who killed their mom! Sam demands to know where he is, but Papa tells Sam to quit looking for him – they’re everywhere! It’s dangerous. Dean grabs the phone, eager to talk to their dad, but he snaps to attention and follows orders. Later, when they’re driving to Indiana, Sam stops the car. He’s not going to blindly follow orders, he’s going to look for dad. Dean is incredulous – how can Sam be so selfish? They should do what they’re told! Sam trudges off into the night.
The perfect town
Dean stops in Burkitsville, where, according to his dad’s information, a different couple has disappeared at the same time every year. Most of the locals aren’t forthcoming, but Emily, a girl at the gas station, recognizes the pictures of last year’s couple. Dean snoops around and finds the apple orchard, where his ghost-o-meter goes crazy. He checks out the creepy scarecrow, and finds the dead guy’s tattoo on its arm. When he goes back to the gas station, he finds a young couple with car trouble is in town. He tries to warn them, but they think he’s the creepy one. The sheriff runs Dean out of town.
While trying to hitchhike, Sam runs into Meg, a punky girl who’s also looking for a ride. She tells Sam to back off – he might be a freak! A van pulls up, and offers Meg a ride. She accepts. Sam is incredulous. Later, Sam finds a bus station, but the next bus to California isn’t until the next evening. Sam almost calls Dean, but is interrupted by Meg – she ditched the van guy and is now waiting for the bus to Cali. Turns out she’s running away from her family – they had expectations of her she didn’t want to fulfill, so she struck off to make her own life. Hey, me too! says Sam. They pledge to make their own way, away from their families’ demands.
The young travelers get stranded in the orchard, just like last year’s duo. But this time, Dean is there with a shotgun. He slows the scarecrow down enough to let everyone escape – apparently it can’t leave the orchard. Dean calls Sam and updates him on the situation – they’re obviously dealing with some pagan god, and he’s got an appointment with a local folklore professor to find out which one. While they’re talking, Dean haltingly tells Sam that he supports his decision – go live your own life.
Dean finds reference to the Vanir, Norse protective gods who were attached to a sacred tree and brought safety and fertility to a village. Torch the tree, kill the god. Speaking of killing … the sheriff is waiting to take Dean down. He’s going to be half of the new sacrifice. The other half will have to be Emily, the gas station couple’s niece who moved there when her parents died. She had no idea what was going on, and is horrified that her family would sacrifice her. It’s for the common good, her aunt tells her.
Rescue, part 2
Sam tries to call Dean, but he keeps getting voicemail. He tells Meg he has to go, much to Meg’s surprise. Dean and Emily are tied to an apple tree, waiting for nightfall. Sam finds them – but the scarecrow is already off his post. The trio tries to flee, but the townspeople are determined to keep them in. Turns out the scarecrow isn’t picky – he takes Emily’s aunt and uncle instead of the intended sacrifice. Everyone flees. The next morning, the guys and Emily come back with gasoline and find an ancient tree with runes carved into the trunk. They torch it, dooming the town.
Dean and Sam put Emily on a bus to Boston, then go off on their own. Dean offers to drop Sam off somewhere, but Sam says they have to stick together. Meg’s in another van, and tells the driver to pull over. She stabs him in the neck and fills a goblet with his blood, turning it into an evil cellphone. Whatever’s on the other end tells her to let Sam and Dean go. “Yes, Father,” she replies.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan
as John Winchester
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as Bus Station Clerk
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Official Episode Stills:
Episode Screen Caps:
“Bad Company” by Bad Company
“Lodi” by Creedence Clearwater Revival
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?
Sam: So, Dad is sending us to Indiana to go hunting for something before another couple vanishes?
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!
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: Well, then this selfish bastard is going to California.
Sam: You trust shady van guy and not me?
Dean: Actually, I’m on my way to the local community college. I got an appointment with a professor.. you know, since I don’t have my trusty sidekick geek boy to do all the research!
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. 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 don’t even know what to say
Dean: Say you’ll take care of yourself.
Sam: I will.
Dean: Dad said it wasn’t safe for any of us. But he obviously knows something that we don’t. So he says to stay away, we stay away.
Sam: I don’t understand the blind faith you have in that man. I mean, it’s like you didn’t even question him.
Dean: Yes! It’s called being a good son.
Bus Station Clerk: Sorry, the Sacramento bus doesn’t run again til tomorrow, 5:05 p.m.
Sam: Tomorrow! There’s got to be another way!
Bus Station Clerk: Oh, there is. Buy a car.
Dean: Hold me, Sam. That was beautiful.
Sam: You should be kissing my ass – you were dead meat back there.
Dean: Yeah right. I had a plan – I’d have gotten out.
Dean: Scotty, you got a smile that lights up a room. Anyone tell you that? (Scotty stares blankly) Ah, never mind.
Sam: The scarecrow crawled off its cross?
Dean: I’m telling you, Burkitsville, Indiana – Fun Town U.S.A.
Emily: I don’t understand. They’re going to kill us?
Dean: Sacrifice us. Which is, I don’t know, classier I guess.
Emily: So what’s the plan?
Dean: I’m working on it.
(several hours later)
Emily: You don’t have a plan, do you?
Dean: I’m working on it…
Dean: How’d you get here?
Sam: I stole a car.
Dean: That’s my boy!
Dean: Dude, you fugly.
Dean: I hope your apple pie is freakin’ worth it!
When Dean is walking towards the door after talking to the college professor, you can see a camera move with Dean in the top left corner of the screen.
When Sam and Dean are arguing in the car, Sam states that its been six months since Jess died. If it had been six months, it wouldn’t be the second week of April, it would be close to Sam’s birthday, the first week of May.
There is no Burkitsville, Indiana.
When Meg kills that older man at the very end, she uses that chalice to gather the blood. The way it was positioned on the man’s neck, under the cut, the blood would have hit the edge of the chalice and maybe even run down the outside. The edges were all clean. Even the edges on the inside were too clean.
When Uncle Harley is pointing the gun at Sam, Dean, and Emily, his coat is creased. Then, in the shot just before the scarecrow stabs him, his coat is straight, which means his hands would have been by his side before, and as he was stabbed.
The contact names in Sam’s phone are member of the crew or past characters. Rebecca Warren is the name of the girl the brothers helped in season 1 “Skin”. John Marcynuk is this episode art director and Mary Ann Liu is a graphic designer.
This is the first episode to feature the episode title on-screen.
When Sam first meets Meg in the bus depot, the song Lodi by CCR can be heard playing in the background.
Dean: Let’s get out of here before Leatherface comes back.
Leatherface is the main villian of the horror series Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The reference is likely due to the fact that skin from the victim at the start of the show was found grafted to the arm of the scarecrow. Leatherface would often make masks out of the faces of his victims, stated in the 2001 remake because he hides a degenerative skin disease.
There are several references to the movie The Wizard of Oz:
1) The Scarecrow,
2) An “If I only had a brain” quote,
3) a “into the cellar!” moment,
4) apple trees;
5) the girl’s name of Emily – “Em” for short and the same name as Dorothy’s aunt; and
6) Emily living with her aunt and uncle.
INSIDE THE LEGEND