Supernatural: Scarecrow
May 23, 2021 9:56 AM - Season 1, Episode 11 - Subscribe

After arguing about whether to search for their father or work a case he gave them, Sam and Dean part company: Sam to continue the search in California; Dean to investigate the mysterious disappearances of couples passing through a seemingly idyllic town in Indiana.
posted by orange swan (3 comments total)
[Emily and Dean are tied to trees to be sacrificed to the scarecrow]
Emily: So, what's the plan?
Dean: I'm workin' on it.
[Hours pass, and it's growing dark]
Emily: You don't have a plan do you?
Dean: I'm workin' on it!

Bus Station Clerk: Sorry, the Sacramento bus doesn't run again 'til tomorrow. Uh, 5:05 pm.
Sam: Tomorrow? There's got to be another way.
Bus Station Clerk: Well there is. Buy a car.

That scarecrow was genuinely freaky.

I suspected that the orchard scenes shot in this episode were the same ones used in The X-Files episode "Schizogeny", and googled it, and yes, it is: both episodes were shot in Hazelnut Grove in Langley, B.C.. Whoever prepared the setting put lots of fresh-looking apples on the ground and in bushel baskets placed about the orchard to make it look like an apple orchard, but this episode supposedly took place in April, so that was a bit of a goof.

Speaking of The X-Files, Dean's seen The X-Files, so you'd think he'd know better than to trust CSM.

I don't know how Sam could expect to track his father from the Sacramento, California pay phone he used -- it was a quixotic effort on his part. It's not like John's going to be still hanging around the pay phone when Sam gets there days later.

The dynamic between Dean and his father is... interesting. Dean is so cocky and defiant and mouthy with every other authority figure except his father, but his father's word is law with him. I suppose it makes sense, given the way he grew up. He's never had the kind of time away that Sam has, to grow up, to gain perspective, to learn to centre himself in his own life. He lost his mother under traumatic circumstances, and then all he had left was his father, his brother, and a life as a hunter, and he clings to them all like a drowning man. To question his father's word would mean re-examining the only life and the only purposes he has ever known, and he refuses to do that.  

Sam, meanwhile, didn't grow up with the sense of familial responsibility Dean did. He's had an easier life than Dean in some ways. He doesn't remember his mother or the night of the fire, and his father's and brother's quest would never have had the kind of resonance for him that it did for them until he lost Jessica -- he saw it as a futile waste of their lives that would never bring back a mother he never knew and therefore didn't grieve. He's also never had to take care of anybody else the way Dean had to take care of him, and while he loves his father and brother and would be there for them if he thought they really needed him, he grew up feeling he should be able to live his own life in his own way.

While they shared the same childhood, their experience of it and perspective on it was quite different in the way that siblings' lives can be, and it's largely shaped their distinctly different approach to life: Dean embraces the life he knows, while Sam reaches out for new and better things. And then Dean resents Sam's feeling of autonomy and calls him selfish, while Sam can't understand why Dean feels so bound to their family and to hunting.
posted by orange swan at 10:50 AM on May 23, 2021 [3 favorites]

lol. Neat cameo by William B. Davis. It speaks to direction that Davis holds a pair of glasses like CSM holds a cigarette to evoke the shadiness without specifically referring to the character.

Hazelnut Grove or Walnut Grove? Hazelnut might be the name of a particular farm (in Agassiz a couple of hours East), Walnut is an area in Fort Langley. Real life Fort Langley has super weird vibes to me. Nice restaurants though.

I really liked the bit of storytelling of Dean going "yes sir" when dad's on the line. It efficiently and effectively (incrementally) shows his particular trauma.

This was one of the creepier episodes. Kudos.

Is this first episode to formally introduce the Demon Conspiracy? I remember that the goblet CG effect was pretty wild on first watch.
posted by porpoise at 11:49 AM on May 23, 2021

Dean is the classic Oldest Daughter syndrome. Sammys selfishness is a gift given to him by Dean shielding him throughout their terrible childhood - he grew up with a loving parent in his parent-figure, Dean.

I love the second Meg actress so much more that this Meg doesn’t land for me anymore in hindsight. Maybe it’s the super specific haircut that has aged badly!

Is it the same creepy scarecrow that reappears to haunt them in the fan fiction school theatre episode? A very effective monster. And I love their immediate disgust at demonic bargains, the hypocrisy!
posted by dorothyisunderwood at 9:22 PM on May 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

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