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My collected recaps and reviews of season one, which first appeared on Innsmouth Free Press, are now up (with a few extras) on Kindle. The Kindle version is available through Amazon and is on sale through this Friday. The print version is also up. If you buy the print version, you get a Kindle copy thrown in for free. I also get paid if you get it on Kindle Unlimited (for free), read the Kindle version, or lend it to a friend via the Kindle Owners Lending Library. Reviews also help with sales. Just FYI.
Yes, I know. This recap accidentally got released unfinished into the wild months ago and the season premiere is tonight. Well, I still don’t get the CW live, so I won’t be able to recap the season 14 premiere until tomorrow night. But I can recap the rest of season 13 (since I skipped to the season finale) while Hurricane – pardon me – Tropical Storm Michael bad-touches us here in the Carolinas all night long.
Recap of Rowena and the season so far, sort of. As ghost is my witness, I was surprised to look back and realize that I really did recap the previous episode wherein Colonel Sanders got roasted, ’cause it was that unmemorable.
Cut to Now. Rowena is in Portland, OR when she gets a call from the Brothers and Castiel, asking for help in finding Gabriel. Rowena is a bit distracted (and says so) by doing something she’s pretty sure the Brothers wouldn’t like if they found out about it. Sure enough, she hexes a snotty young woman (with the Latin words “Mors lumine” – “Death from light”) a moment or two later, causing her to burst, screaming, into flame.
Unfortunately for Rowena, as Dean (first over coffee and then the inevitable beer) is trying to brainstorm with Castiel ways to find Gabriel somewhere in the SPNverse without Rowena’s help (and really not liking Castiel’s idea of going to the angels), Sam finds an article about Rowena’s hit on the young woman.
Dean is furious all over again with Sam for giving Rowena the page from the Book of the Damned that freed her powers. Sam admits that it may have been a mistake, but it’s one he will make up for if necessary.
So, off the Brothers go to find Rowena and figure out what the heck is going on. And off Castiel goes to talk to the angels. Much against Dean’s advice, but with his reluctant blessing.
Castiel arrives at the playground/portal to Heaven and finds a very depressed (and trying very hard to get drunk) angel named Indra guarding it. Indra is so down that he can’t even maintain any real hostility toward Castiel and basically asks him to put an angel sword through him. Yikes. When Castiel asks why, Indra tells him to go ahead and have a look in Heaven.
Upstairs, Castiel finds some very empty hallways. Then he encounters Dumah (the angel who had previously tried to entrap him) and two other angels. While they watch him silently, he blurts out his situation and requests help.
Then some unnerving happens. The lights flicker and a sound like an engine faltering hums around them. When the lights come back up, he asks Duma was just happened. And then she does something even more unnerving. She offers him a truce.
As the Brothers are driving down the road, Dean reminds Sam that while Rowena can be a lot of fun and a useful ally, she also has a very, very dark side. The unspoken addition to that is “just like us.” But the a fundamental difference quickly becomes apparent when Jessica (remember the red-headed Reaper Dean met the last time he killed himself?) appears in the backseat.
She disappears as Dean slams on the brakes, but reappears after he pulls off to the side of the road. At first, Dean doesn’t recognize her, but as they approach her, he realizes who she is. She says she was assigned by Death Herself to watch them. She also points out something pretty relevant – Dean never told Sam about her.
Jessica has arrived to announce that Death has made available as a “resource” to them. It turns out Rowena is killing people before their time and her body count is up to four (I guess that means the Fates are definitely toast). This is the main difference between the Brothers (well…Dean) and Rowena. They help police the Natural Order and fix it. Well, they do say the best way to catch a thief is to recruit one.
Sam turns her down flat and Dean grumps at him about it. But don’t worry. She’s bound to return.
Meanwhile, Rowena is getting a phone call that she grumps a bit to her bodyguard, Bernard, about, while moping over a framed photo of a young boy. The call is from the Winchesters and she refuses to take it while insisting to Bernard that they won’t be able to stop her since is “capable of anything now.” Her eyes glow violet.
At the gallery, the Brothers are investigating Doomed Teaser Gal’s ash shadow, while Sam hacks into her emails to try to find some clue to Rowena’s motivation. He finds something-kind-of-sort-of useful. It turns out the victim was a CFO of a drug company that mislabeled drugs and killed people. The CFO got off on a technicality.
But why would Rowena have killed someone like that? Dean finds a clue when he notices a faint ash pile behind the CFO’s ashes – and Sam finds a handy-dandy fake-medieval illumination of a Reaper turning into ash.
Dean says he’s got an idea. This involves going outside and sensibly asking Jessica for help. She shows up and, indeed helpfully, infodumps for them (after throwing Sam some well-deserved shade for blowing her off earlier). It turns out Rowena is killing people before their time (but, presumably, only bad people like the CFO) and then killing their Reapers when the Reapers show up. Jessica then infodumps to Sam about how there’s a ripple effect if people die before their time and don’t do things they were supposed to do (Dean knows all of this from “Appointment in Samarra,” since it was the main point of the episode, but stands there and listens as if he’s never heard it before).
If the ripple effect becomes too large, the Reapers have to do a system reset, “like the Black Death. Or a midsized war.” Well, the Black Death was considerably worse than even either of the World Wars, but we’ll let that be. The point is that the consequences of letting Rowena continue to mess with the Natural Order are BAD.
In Heaven, Castiel is standing in an empty anteroom while Heaven powers up and down around him. As he waits…and waits…he gets bored and does bored human things (ah, Castiel, bless yer heart).
Finally, Dumah shows up with the other two angels. She says they’ll be happy help him once he brings Gabriel back to Heaven. Castiel reiterates that he doesn’t have Gabriel, that he’s asking for help in looking for him, and Dumah admits this is a problem. When Castiel starts to get irritated at the delay, someone shows up – someone Castiel (and we) thought long dead. Naomi. Heaven’s lead torturer.
Naomi, like the others, is uncharacteristically subdued and relatively non-hostile. She openly admits that they are not refusing help because they don’t want to help him, but because they can’t.
Back in the car, Sam is saying that Rowena’s intended victims are linked – they all worked for Pirodine, the corrupt pharmaceuticals company. There’s only one left alive – the CEO.
Jessica appears in the backseat again (freaking Dean out) and tells them that the CEO is already bound for Hell, but his death date has changed to right now.
In the CEO’s backyard, he’s bleeding to death from a stab wound from Bernard. Rowena leans over him and tells him he’s got some retribution coming, but that’s not why she’s there. As her eyes glow violet, she looks around and sees Bernard’s Reaper, whom she then torches along with Martin, with the Mors Lumine curse, after the Reaper refuses her demand to summon Death.
At the scene afterward, Jessica tells the Brothers the Reaper’s name was Martin. They get a call from Rowena, who agrees to a chat. As she hangs up and asks Bernard if he’s ready (he cracks his knuckles), the Brothers debate, not over whether it’s a trap (obviously, it is), but what to do about it.
In Heaven, Castiel is meeting with Naomi. It’s not quite as violent and coercive as the last time, so there’s an improvement. But it’s the same old Naomi when she admits they never saw “eye to eye” and Castiel gets pissed. He points out that she tortured him and forced him to kill Dean repeatedly. She also killed a lot of people. “An apology would go a long way,” he notes.
She acknowledges that one would, then doesn’t give it, anyway.
Instead, she gets right down to business, explaining that she didn’t die from Metatron’s drill, but she was badly hurt. She had some of her henchangels put out that she was dead so she could recover and “put my thoughts back in my skull.” She’s not quite back up to speed, but she’s come out of hiding because she has no choice.
She then asks Castiel what “powers” Heaven and he says “angels.” Naomi agrees and talks about each angel being “a walking talking battery.”
Umm…no, Dabb & Co.? Season six made it pretty clear that human (and former human) souls powered the various afterlife realms. That would include Heaven. Otherwise, it wouldn’t make sense for Castiel to power himself up with souls in the first place.
Anyhoo, Naomi says that there are only nine angels in Heaven (including her and Castiel) and perhaps one or two more down on Earth. She obliquely refers to Lucifer’s attempted reign as a failed plan by the other angels to bring in an archangel for more power (Castiel wouldn’t have known about that side plot). Then she tells Castiel that if the angels burn out (and it eventually will), Heaven will fall apart at the seams and unless over a hundred billion ghosts upon the world.
Now, it would probably be possible to recruit the human souls into saving their own home, but it doesn’t appear to occur to Castiel and it certainly doesn’t appear to Naomi. As subdued as she is, she’s as arrogant as ever. It’s also pretty hard to say how much she is exaggerating or prevaricating about the situation (we know for a fact she’s dancing around the whole Lucifer-in-Heaven thing from a few episodes back).
In a cocktail lounge, Rowena and Bernard meet with the Brothers. They warn her about pissing off Death (though they don’t mention the consequences thing) and she tells them she’s trying to bring back her son, Fergus (AKA Crowley). The Brothers set her back on her heels with the info Jessica gave them that the only way she ever dies is at Sam’s hands. When Sam tries to put demonic bracelets on her, though, she turns out to be an astra projection (she and Bernard are actually across the room).
Rowena and Bernard then run out the door into a series of hotel rooms, the Brothers in hot pursuit with guns full of witch-killing bullets. Bernard waits in ambush and lets Sam through, but then knocks Dean down. A pretty kick-ass fight between Dean and Bernard ensues. It turns out that Bernard is not being controlled by Rowena. He just thinks she’s hot and likes the potloads of money she’s paying him. So, he’s a psychopath. There’s an amusing bit where the elevator dings, a young couple appear as the doors open, and then the couple just closes the door and goes to a different floor.
Sam catches up with Rowena out in the alleyway and tries to explain (lamely) about the whole ripple effect thing. Rowena just tells him to shoot her. Predictably, that doesn’t work out. When he finally gears himself up to shoot her, she has turned around and she stops the bullet. Then she appears behind him and speaks a spell to put him to sleep.
Upstairs, Jessica appears to Dean and tells him he has to hurry, but says she can’t help him with Bernard because “clean hands” (i.e., no interference). Dean finally chokes Bernard out. As Jessica comments that Bernard is/was “a highly trained operative” and is impressed that Dean got the better of him, Dean rushes out into the alleyway. But Sam is already gone.
Sam wakes up in a chair (yep, kidnapped and tied to a chair again). Rowena uses an elaborate spell to try to kill him, presumably one where it would be very difficult to bring him back, as Sam tries to talk her out of it. Billie (Death) finally appears.
After recognizing her from the season 11 finale, Rowena demands that Billie bring Fergus back or she’ll kill Sam, saying it’s her fault Fergus became Crowley. Billie tells her to go ahead: “I’m not saying any of us will like what happens next, but I don’t do blackmail.”
Rowena appears to start killing a freaked-out Sam again, but instead, turns on Billie a frustrated blast of violet light. It barely ruffles Billie’s hair. As Rowena collapses to the floor, sobbing, Billie tells her that she would have killed Sam once, but now she’s changed. Some things can’t be changed, though, or taken back, and one of those is Fergus/Crowley’s permanent death.
Rowena asks in a hopeful voice whether Death will kill her, at least, but Death says no. She tells Rowena that she already knows her fate (as opposed to Dean who, as he puts it, has “a whole shelf”).
At this point, Dean bursts in with Jessica, bloody and armed. He sees Billie, who greets him and then tells him, “See you soon.” She and Jessica vanish (though presumably, Jessica is still watching them).
At the Heaven gate in the playground, Naomi once again asks Castiel to find Gabriel and bring him back. Castiel insists they will find a way to fix Heaven, but Naomi is not sure it can be fixed. Everything has to end. Yeah, whatever, Naomi. The show’s not going anywhere for a while. Meanwhile, Heaven is closed for business. At least, as far as Castiel getting in. Pretty sure the Reapers are still going back and forth (oh, but wait, have we already forgotten that they’re angels, too, Dabb & Singer?).
In the last scene, Sam asks an exhausted Dean and Rowena if they’re okay. Rowena feels bad for trying to kill Sam. Sam calls her not actually doing it “progress.” Dean calls it a “miracle.” Rowena admits a lot of her Dark Phoenix power has drained, but it’s pointed out to her that she is still the most powerful witch in the world.
The Brothers then lay on her that Lucifer is back. Rowena is pretty upset, but admits that knowing Sam will be the one to kill her, not Lucifer, is rather comforting. Sam says she can change her fate (not really helping, Sam). Rowena wonders if she can be redeemed. She seems quite touched when Dean says he believes she can.
They then ask her for help in finding Gabriel. We end on her pensive face.
Hey, did y’all know I have three new kitties from this past summer named Rowena, Pyewacket and Castiel? Castiel just got spayed and she’s currently running around with a Cone of Shame. She looks like Offred from The Handmaid’s Tale.
On to the next one [cracks knuckles]. Yes, I know y’all are watching the season premiere, but I can’t do that until tomorrow, so….