Supernatural’s resident big bad witch, Rowena (Ruth Connell), previously met a gruesome fate. To ensure the only person capable of locking Lucifer away in his mystical cage was dead, the Prince of Darkness killed Rowena and left her charred corpse on the floor. That marked the end of the Scottish spellcaster -- or, so everyone thought. In tonight’s episode, "Various & Sundry Villains," Rowena resurfaces, alive and kicking.
Teaming-up with Sam and Dean, Rowena must retrieve a spell book and thwart two witchy sisters, Jamie and Jennie Plum, from running amok. To complicate matters, the siblings bewitch Dean -- with comical results. Normally, Rowena would easily take care of business. But with Rowena still reeling from her lethal encounter with Lucifer, not to mention the news that he also slaughtered her son Crowley, will she be up to the task at hand?
Connell (pictured above from season 12 episode "Family Feud") spoke with CBR about Rowena’s resurrection, needling the Winchesters and the episode’s shocking conclusion.
CBR: Last time audiences saw Rowena, she looked extra crispy and dead. Bring us up to speed -- where do we find her in the episode?
Ruth Connell: We find her slightly less deep fried. We find her slightly defrosted and thawed out and pieced together. That’s not to say that she’s not affected by what’s happened. I think it’s really important that she remembers what Lucifer put her through. She was pissed before he broke her neck. That was rude the first time. What he’s done now is really rude and it’s not something she’s going to get over easily or quickly or forget.
How does Rowena and the Winchesters’ worlds collide once again?
As usual, Rowena needs something. I do think we see in this episode a little bit of her vulnerability. In a way, she does connect with Sam. There was a scene I really enjoyed filming with Jared [Padalecki], where they connect over the truth of their vulnerability with Lucifer. It’s always a balance with Rowena over what’s real and what’s being played for effect, or to get what she needs to get. But, there's real moments in here, so I’m interested to see what the fans think of that. They always seem to enjoy when she has these moments with Sam or with Dean or Castiel, when you get to see their specific relationships.
Rowena always appears to have fun at the boys’ expense. Will we see a little bit of that as well?
One of the fun parts is to see Jensen [Ackles] goofing about like a love-struck teenager. It’s never not fun. I just saw the ADR and he’s just so charming, right? There’s a lot of fun there.
And, Rowena can’t help herself. She could just ask for something nicely, but she can’t help but say the annoying thing or the teasing thing. She has to poke them every time. She enjoys playing with the boys. I think it’s honestly part of her lust for life. What’s the point if you can’t piss people off and get a rise out of them or get a response? That’s a big part of who she is. She likes teasing and being annoying.
There’s no denying Rowena is one wicked witch. What does she make of these two sisters dabbling with magic?
Those actresses, Elise Gatien and Jordan Claire Robbins, were terrific. Lovely girls. That always happens on Supernatural. You get guests come in and knock it out of the park for an episode. Me personally, as Ruth, I really enjoyed what they were doing. As Rowena, nobody is as big as she is -- and it’s tough at the top. When people aren’t respecting magic or doing it correctly, it’s rude. It goes against her raison d’etre. Magic is her religion. She loves it. It’s precious and she treasures it. In the wrong hands, it’s awful and offensive to nature, never mind that it gets in the way of her plans.
She doesn’t suffer fools lightly, either.
No. There’s a couple of interesting moments with these girls where it’s, “Rowena, just bite your tongue,” but she can’t help it. This isn’t the time for her to tell the truth about what she really thinks of them, but she can’t help it. She always does.
A lot has transpired since Rowena’s “demise.” In what ways -- if at all -- do they touch on the death of her son, Crowley?
You get to see the moment she really finds out. I think she’s been looking for him. “I have not felt him. I have not felt him around. I have not been able to tap into him or see where he is.” It’s suspicious to me. You see the moment she finds out. It was interesting to me as an actress because, what really makes me believe he’s dead, dead, dead? People die all the time and come back. What is it that really makes me know he is dead? Ultimately, I think a gnawing inside of her is verified by the boys. Her response is interesting. I love what Steve Yockey wrote. It’s an interesting response to how Crowley died and it’s a hard thing for Rowena to get behind.
Lucifer killed Rowena and Crowley. Lately, he’s a sitting duck, trapped on Earth without his powers. Will Rowena be seeking a little payback?
Oh, I would think so, right? It would be a shame not to. It’s not necessarily her objective at this point. She needs something from the boys. She needs their help. There’s a journey to go on with Lucifer. We talked about PTSD. We talked about trauma. That was one of the first things Steve Yockey mentioned to me. Just because she comes back, it doesn’t mean she isn’t affected by what happened.
Was there a defining scene that really stands out for you in this episode?
The last shot of the episode. I can’t say anything else about it. There’s something very special about it. I’m the only one who has this thing. I think it might be a Supernatural first. You might understand when you see it.
"Various & Sundry Villains," the latest episode of Supernatural, airs 8 tonight on The CW.