‘Supernatural’ is known for a lot of things. The two brothers who don’t take their shirts off often enough. The baby angel who is too good and too pure and is treated like trash. The King of Hell who, as it turns out, has some pretty serious mommy issues. And then there’s mommy dearest, Rowena.
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If you haven’t seen the mid-season premiere, I suggest you go watch it now and then come back here when you’re done! For everyone else, this is the final spoiler warning!
Supernatural‘s return from hell-atus brought with it choices. A walk down memory lane showed us the original sin of Team Free Will. The episode talked about the adverse effect of brotherly love and as usual, a beloved character died.
There are a lot of points to be tackled. Like the way the show has treated Cas, the way that was chosen to be acknowledged, how that indirectly and then at the end directly relates to the shows long history of poorly managed female characters. But that’s a lot of semantics that are just not necessary to get into right now. That’s not to say that they should be swept under the rug or ignored just because this season has been one of the best in a long time. Or the fact that you can’t enjoy something just because it’s fun. But each point does deserve their own opportunity to be made and this is not the space for that. This is the place to remember Rowena. To honor the witch who really wasn’t all bad, but the bad parts are what made her so good!
She Can Be Really ScaryRuth Connell as Rowena in Supernatural Photo: CW Gif: casclaire via Tumblr
The first time we met Rowena, back in early season 10, she was casually reading a book while two people were nailed her to ceiling. And every time after that it was clear she posed not just a danger to the Winchesters but the world. Initially she seemed like another typical “villain.” And Supernatural as a whole has an uncanny ability to change your mind about a character with one line of dialogue. In Rowena’s case she seemed like the kind of threat that would just sort of dissipate over time and then show up every once in a while to throw a wrench in the family business and just be an overall nuisance to the Winchesters bros. Of course that plot line went to Cole, which was a good thing because Rowena was not typical and after her motives became a little bit clearer she was way more fun! Her fear of vulnerability and the moments that made her feel vulnerable were worrisome. But if there can only be one awesome red-head on the show at a time, we’re glad it was Rowena that stepped up in Charlie’s place (but we’re not talking about Charlie here, because if we talk about Charlie we’ll cry so shhhh and focus on the queen of witchcraft!). She was the best kind of loose cannon and we’ll miss her in the canon. Here’s a shortlist of a few of the things we’ll miss the most:
She Has a Flair for The Dramatic
Rowena likes to push her luck. She doesn’t apologize for hating her son, Fergus, and her multiple attempts to kill him. But as it turns out there’s a reason behind this behavior. Better yet, she doesn’t apologize for choosing witchcraft (her career) over Crowley and in the same breath acknowledges that she was a terrible mother. But the familial drama is nothing compared to the way she wields magic. Or her perfectly executed one-liners. She knows how to do a big reveal. Like when we first learn that she’s Crowley’s mother. Her disguises are on point, even if we prefer her as a redhead instead of a blonde. But her most outstanding dramatic moment was when she created the MEGA COVEN! #GirlPower
She Is SassyRuth Connell as Rowena in Supernatural Photo: CW Gif: spnfeed via Tumblr
We know where Crowley gets it from. Her antagonism of the boys makes a lot of what she says the truth. But she’s usually right about the kind of imprint they leave on the world. Which is probably why we might enjoy watching her be successful a little too much. She makes deals, much like Crowley, for her own benefit. And there’s some kind of benefit. She doesn’t accept insults. In fact, she rolls with them and fights back like a pro. Of all of her abilities, this just might be best-honed skill. We’ll miss her dry wit and honesty. She might have expected to be the queen and she’s got nothing on Lucifer in this department, but Hell is a darker place without her in it. Or maybe brighter? How does that work anyway?
She Is Insanely Powerful
It’s not just that she was killed by Casifer. It’s the fact that that’s all it took to take her out that’s upsetting. Okay she can be excused a little because looking into Cas’ eyes could probably have that effect on anyone but this is the same woman who cursed him and turned him into a rabid killing machine at end of season ten. She can curse angels. That has got to be useful! She fought with Dean and didn’t just manage to squeak out of it. They were both out to kill. She knows how to dig the knife in deeper with Sam and not just when she’s angry. She summoned the Cage. And even better, and possibly the most significant part, Rowena made herself an asset to the Winchesters. Sure, they had her handcuffed but she is the only one powerful enough to help them. Her final words to Crowley were horrible. They were awful because even now, even after centuries she still has the ability to hurt him. And in a lot of ways he didn’t deserve to be spoken to that way. Yet, Crowley will rally, he’ll at least have the opportunity to anyway. And he did look away when Casifer killed Rowena. The thing is that Crowley is a major part of Rowena’s power, despising him is what prevents her from feeling weak.Ruth Connell as Rowena in Supernatural Photo: CW Gif: dustydreamsanddirtyscars via Tumblr
She might have set unattainable beauty standards. But it’s hard to believe that Rowena would succumb to Lucifer so easily. Where’s the bargaining chip? Where’s the backstabbing? Is “the original Dark Prince” so enamoring? She shouldn’t have been honest. She could have negotiated with him first to protect herself, because even against Lucifer she would think of herself first. It all would have gotten her killed anyway so she might as well have tried. “Love is weakness,” she said that to her own son. So then infatuation is death? Because she definitely didn’t love Lucifer. And if she did, if she was proving her own point then Cas saying yes to Lucifer is even more dangerous than we could have ever anticipated because so many people love Cas! There’s obviously more to Rowena even in her death, so maybe this isn’t the end.
We’re certainly sad to see another female character go, especially another redhead we liked so much. Rowena even beat out Ruby for more episodes of any female character on Supernatural. This was not part of our mid-season premiere wishlist! We wanted more Rowena! Then again, her death is not the worst thing this show has done to our feelings and the best thing about Supernatural is no one actually stays dead!
Come back soon, Ruthie Connell! We’ll miss your behind the scenes photos most of all! So long for now, Rowena.
Supernatural airs Wednesdays at 9/8c on The CW.