At the tweediest community college to ever exist, Dean walks down some stairs with none other than Cancer Man, who I mentioned in the last recap I wrote, but didn't know would be showing up and inviting me to take a dip in the craggy pools of mystery dotting his wizened face! Plus, he's wearing the thick wool cardigan sweater of Hollywood professorhood. So cozy. He expresses surprise that Dean is there to talk about "local lore. I'm afraid Indiana isn't really known for its pagan worship." Dean shows his complex grasp of American history by asking, "Well, what if it was imported? Kind of like the Pilgrims brought their religion with them? Wasn't this area settled by immigrants?" Oy. Cancer Man tells him that Burkitsville has Scandinavian roots, but there are "hundreds of Norse gods and goddesses." Cut to Cancer Man opening an enormous leather-bound volume on a table while a fire roars behind them. Nice community college, this! He flips the pages and Dean stops on an illustration of a scarecrow. He starts reading the page across from it about the "Vanir" god, finding that it assures "protection and prosperity" whose "energy sprung from a sacred tree." Blah blah blah sacred tree, until Dean gets a little too close to figuring out how to kill the god, causing Cancer Man to chuckle, "Son, these are just legends we're discussing here." As Dean tries to leave, he's met with a face full of rifle butt administered by Sheriff Chad. (Note: not his real name; he just looks like a "Chad").
Out in the rain, the evil townspeople stand under umbrellas and discuss their troubles in varying inexplicable dialects. They all express dismay over having to feed a scarecrow with sacrificial human flesh, but whaddya gonna do? Property taxes next town over are just brutal. Seems they're cooking up an extra-special plan this time. Pop is busy protesting, but Mom and Scotty overrule him. Their last chance to feed the scarecrow is that night, and they're gonna feed it Dean and...
…Emily! Gee, next time I'm babysitting my nieces, I'm totally going to use the "if you don't stop pulling your sister's hair, then I'm going to feed you to the scarecrow!" tactic. They've got Dean locked in a cellar, and they throw Emily in there with him to await nightfall. When Emily pleads with her aunt and uncle to tell her why they are doing this, they answer "for the common good" and shut the door.
Commercials. Bus station. Short Lip tells Sam that their bus is waiting. Sam tells her he has to get to Dean because he isn't answering his phone. Short Lip tries desperately to get Sam to change his mind, but it doesn't work, not even with Emoting Piano Plinks in the background.Back in the cellar, Emily says she doesn't understand. "They're gonna kill us?" Dean clarifies, "Sacrifice us. Which is, I don't know, classier, I guess?" Heh. Great line. Turns out that Emily didn't know anything about her town's evil pastime. Dean tells her that they have to find and destroy the sacred tree, but they have to find it first. Emily describes an apple tree that "the immigrants brought over" and that is called "The First Tree." Oh, maybe -- just maybe! -- that's what we're after! What, was everyone out with the stomach flu the day they were supposed to come up with a resolution to this episode? The cellar door creaks open, and Dean and Emily are told "it's time."