"The last straw. A seemingly mad woman held captive on a farm insists that the scarecrow is alive."
- -- DVD description for the episode
"Four-Sided Triangle" is the ninth episode of the second season of Tales from the Crypt and the fifteenth episode overall. The episode aired on May 29th, 1990.
A young runaway named Mary Jo (Patricia Arquette) lives and works on a desolate farm under the watchful eyes of George (Chelcie Ross) and Luisa Yates (Susan Blommaert). Some time ago, George caught Mary Jo robbing a store in town and has been blackmailing her to work for them ever since. She is regularly abused by the Yates; if Luisa -- who walks with a leg brace -- isn't beating her with a cane, George is usually sexually harassing her.
One day, George spies on Mary Jo as she collects eggs. He later orders her to milk the cow, then watches her with erotic thoughts. He sneaks up on her “looking to talk” but she throws the milk bucket at him in self-defense. He threatens her once again with his blackmail, but she pushes him to call the police as she’d rather live anywhere else. George grabs the screaming Mary Jo and smashes a bottle over her head, leaving her with a nasty head wound. Luisa comes looking for Mary Jo after hearing the scream, so George covers the unconscious girl with hay. While he sloppily lies to Luisa about what happened, Mary Jo wakes up and runs out to the cornfield. She falls down in front of a clown-faced scarecrow and imagines it briefly coming to life before passing out again. The Yates find her and wake her up; she begins rambling about “her man” and how much she wants him to make love to her. George insists the head injury made her crazy, but Luisa is suspicious.
A few nights later, Mary Jo makes dinner while George once again harasses her. She rebuffs him and talks about her man, leading a frustrated George to tell her nobody’s around for 60 miles. She claims her mystery man will come and make love to her; Luisa, aware of her husband’s advances, angrily chases Mary Jo out of the kitchen. The two realize they have “free help“ for a lifetime, deducing that nobody else will take care of a crazy girl. This excites George, a moment that does not go unnoticed by Luisa. Later that night, George wakes up after having a wet dream of Mary Jo — he looks out the window and sees the giddy girl heading into the cornfield. He follows her to the scarecrow and watches her talk to it. Believing she has no concept of reality, he tries making a pass on her. She rejects him again; he angrily insists the scarecrow isn’t real and that he is “flesh and blood”, causing Mary Jo to run off. When he returns to the house, Luisa asks where he’s been. He claims to have been chasing a trespassing critter — Luisa spots Mary Jo outside happily dancing around. She calls George a fool and goes back to sleep.
Mary Jo wears a dress around the farm the next day. She informs George she has another date with her man at midnight, getting him aroused. That night, Luisa threatens to do “the same thing you do to bulls when you want them to be steers” if she ever catches George cheating on her. After falling asleep, George dreams of making love to Mary Jo when suddenly she changes to Luisa — he wakes up and steps out of the bedroom.
Midnight strikes. Mary Jo heads into the cornfield and starts fondling the scarecrow, whose eyes suddenly open. When he wraps his arms around her, she happily proclaims “You’re truly alive!” and kisses him. As the two get passionate, Luisa angrily approaches them; the scarecrow goes back onto the pole and becomes stationery, causing Mary Jo to plead “Don’t leave me!“ Luisa demands to know where George is; Mary Jo claims nobody except she and “her man” are out here. Finally pushed to her breaking point, Luisa insists the scarecrow isn’t real and proves her point by stabbing it repeatedly with a rake. Blood trickles from the scarecrow — it falls to the ground and the clown mask falls off, revealing it to actually be George. She stands over his lifeless body and calls him a fool one last time before Mary Jo fatally stabs her in the back with the rake. Now with a confident look in her eyes, Mary Jo grabs the key to the farm’s only working car off George’s neck and runs off singing about being “free at last”.
Opening Segment Edit"She loves me; she loves me not. She loves me; she loves me not. Ah! What do flowers know about love anyway? Well, hello there boils and ghouls. Just getting in the mood for tonight's tawdry tale a story of love and lurid lust in the dust. Sure to arouse the sickies amongst you to some heavy breathing. A tale I call "Four-Sided Triangle."
Closing Segment Edit"That young lady certainly knew how to make her point! But what a shame for poor George and Louisa. They thought they had their labor problems all sewed up. But Mary Jo formed her own union with the scarecrow. And just when George was going to reward Mary Jo for all her hard work with a big bow-nus. Now, that is definitely not what you call safe sex. Tune in next week kiddies for another terribly traumatic tale."
- The ending implies that Mary Jo may not have truly been insane and was pretending to be so as part of a plan to escape. Whether she really was insane or not is left up to the viewer.