After eleven seasons, something possessed me (see what I did there) to start watching Supernatural from the beginning. If you are a fan of the series, feel free to go back and re-watch it with me. Please do not be a troll and post spoilers for future episodes in the comments section. If you have been wanting to start Supernatural, then I encourage you to watch with me. Spoilers for the series as I go.
In a sleepy Indiana town, couples keep disappearing during the first few weeks of April. This time instead of sending coordinates, John calls his sons (the phone call at the end of “Asylum”) to put them on the case. While on the phone with Sam, John reveals he is hunting the demon who killed Mary and Jessica, but he needs Sam and Dean to stop looking for him. Sam, of course, promptly ignores his father’s orders to go to Indiana and hitchhikes to the nearest bus station to head towards California since their father called from a payphone with a Sacramento zip code.
Dean is the “good son” and goes on to investigate why couples are disappearing. Upon arriving in Burkitsville, Dean is met with a lot of cold shoulders from the locals with the exception of one young woman, Emily (Tania Saulnier). Emily remembers the couple Dean is looking for and points them in the direction her aunt and uncle did a few nights before. The EMF meter goes crazy as Dean is driving near the town’s apple orchard. Looking around, Dean finds a scarecrow with tattoo markings similar to one of the men who went missing.
Another couple is passing thru town while on a cross country road trip, but the locals are more than friendly to them, giving them free food and “fixing” a problem with their vehicle. Dean attempts to warn the couple not to drive around at night when the town sheriff runs him out of town. Later that evening, while driving down the same road next to the orchard, the couple’s car breaks down. They walk thru the orchard looking for help when they spot the scarecrow chasing after them with a sickle. Dean, who was waiting for them, shoots the scarecrow, but it only slows it down enough to get the couple back to the safety of their car.
Sam meets a woman on the road to the bus station named Meg (Nicki Aycox). They chat a bit, but she quickly catches a ride with another driver who is not willing to take Sam, but they meet again at the bus station. Meg is also going to California and the two bond over their domineering family woes while waiting for the next bus leaving in the morning. That evening, Sam gets a call from Dean to update him on the situation in Indiana (after he saved the couple first). Dean figures the scarecrow is a pagan god the towns people send sacrifices to so their orchards continue to produce even after the surrounding towns have perished. Dean also apologizes to Sam for kicking him out and admires his younger brother for standing up to their father their whole lives, which stuns the hell out of Sam.
Needing more information as to what god the scarecrow could be and how to kill it, Dean goes to
The Smoking Man a local college professor (William B. Davis). The scarecrow is a Vanir that was brought over in a tree by the Scandinavian settlers of the town. Burn the tree, the god dies. Before Dean can leave the home of the professor and find the tree, he is knocked out by the town sheriff.
Since the Vanir didn’t get its two goodies the night before, the towns people must give him another sacrifice that night. The problem is they only have Dean and need a young woman to complete the ritual. The townspeople pick Emily (who never knew about the Vanir or the unwilling victims) to be Dean’s partner because “sacrifice means giving up something you love for the greater good.” (It is pretty messed up they only consider placing Emily in the orchard murder, but not Dean or the countless other couples they have sent out there over the years)
Thankfully for Dean and Emily, Sam had a change of heart and didn’t get on the bus despite Meg’s pleas for him to not go back. He steals a car and arrives at the orchard just after dark, freeing Dean and Emily. Knowing the scarecrow is out there waiting for them, the group decides to get to safety and find the tree they need to burn in the morning. The locals have probably seen enough Bond movies and know you just can’t tie your prey up and leave without making sure everything goes to plan. They corner Dean, Sam, and Emily, but the scarecrow has had enough and wants his sacrifice. He makes off Emily’s aunt and uncle as the rest of the elders flee in fear. The next morning Emily burns the tree and Meg cuts a man’s throat to talk to her father.
Who is the father Meg is talking to in the bowl filled with the man’s blood? My guess would be the demon John is hunting. I’m also thinking she doesn’t want to kill Dean and Sam, but use them against their father. I fully expect to see her again soon.
How freaky are scarecrows? I mean scare is literally in the name. It is also another great example Supernatural taking something which normally petrifies us and has some urban legends tied to it, then twisting it around a bit so it seems new enough to keep us guessing. All though the Vanir god used as the mystical mcguffin is actually a group of Norse gods associated with fertility, wisdom, magic, nature, and prophecy. They also look nothing like scarecrows. Using the Vanir is also a noteworthy reference to the Neil Gaiman book American Gods (which is currently being filmed as a TV series!).
Of course the subject of John puts the brothers at odds and they have the same argument about blindly following their father, prompting the initial spit. While Sam is seemingly getting validation for leaving his brother and father’s demanding ways behind (from an ulterior motive filled Meg), Dean is missing his brother’s easy way of getting people to trust him and research abilities. It doesn’t shock me Dean admires Sam for constantly challenging their father. I feel like Dean chooses to be the “good son” because Sam and John butt heads. Dean likes being John’s confidant because it is something he has on Sam, but over time it wears on him and he longs to be more independent. Out of habit, he follows his father’s order in the beginning, but hunting with Sam has started to make him feel like his own man.
What did you think of “Scarecrow”? Are you a little freaked out by them? Will you ever look at apples the same way again? Let me know what you think in the comments section below and please do not post spoilers for future episodes.