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Rewatch S13: Funeralia (13x19)

Finally! Let's see if I like this episode as much as I remember liking this episode!

Funeralia

Rowena's ring tone is a particular song... it reminds me of videogames?  Maybe it's just a standard ringtone in some phones... If anyone knows what it is, please tell me.

Rowena: "...But I'm in the damn Pacific North-West right now working on my own little project."
Dean: "Roger."
Sam: "What project?"

- Okay, so, something happened between S10 and now, in which I started shipping Sam and Rowena. I cannot explain this, as I usually don't ship in this fandom at all. Not that I'm out there writing fic or anything, but I... love them? I want them to have acrobatic sex? Or, perhaps better said, I really dig their new dynamic.
- I also love how different Sam reacts to Rowena than Dean does... and I guess maybe part of their appeal to me is that I think Rowena slots into the "Sam friend" box more than the "Dean friend" box, which is fairly rare on this show. Jody started off as a Sam friend, but she's moved more into "equal friend" and that's really awesome too. But since Dean tends to monopolize relationship ties in this show, I tend to really cling to anyone who Sam seems closer with than Dean does.
- Anyway, this is all to say that I love how the difference is illustrated here by Dean not being at all curious about what Rowena is doing to the point of being dismissive, and Sam being unabashedly curious, to the point of looking up what Rowena might be doing online after the call.

Sam: "Rowena, are you at a party or something?"
Rowena: "I am, but I'm surprised you recognized the sounds of a party seeing as how you're all work and no play."

- Hahaha, again, I just love them.

Castiel: "You know, she's right. You never go to parties."
- Hehe. It's true.

I am once again curious about Bernard, and I can't remember what happens to him or why he's going along with Rowena's plans here. I have a thing for large silent guys who do what I say though, so, score one for Rowena.

Dean: "I need a real drink. I'mma get a beer. You want a beer?"
Castiel: "No."
Dean: "I'm going to get a beer."
*Dean gets two beers*

- Speaking of dynamics I love... he JUST SAID NO, DEAN. You're ridiculous.

Castiel: "We had our disagreements, but they got results."
Dean: "Doesn't make it right."

- Couples' fight!

Sam: "We don't know what this is yet! She might have had a reason-"
Dean: "Just because she had a reason doesn't make it okay!"

- Oh, Dean is having the same fight with two different people now. Also, this is the theme of the entire episode.

Dean: "Cas, you want to try this angel thing, then go for it. Just don't get dead again."
- I'm very interested into why Dean decides to agree with Cas just as he picks the same fight with Sam. Does he just decided that he can't be fighting with both of them, so he concedes to Castiel? Or in trusting Sam to clean up his mess with Rowena, does he realize that he has to trust Castiel too?

Castiel discovers that Heaven has fallen apart. I don't really have anything to say about this. I like Indra, the drunk suicidal angel.

Jessica: "Not to mention the 3 day old bacon cheeseburger in your room"
- Dean, how can you sleep in that smell?

Dean: "[...] Secondly, the burger's for emergency purposes only-"
- So, a lot of fans took this as a pretty big red flag for Dean's childhood. Food hoarding is a sign of being formerly food deprived, which is depressing. BUT, you should keep something that doesn't need refrigeration, otherwise you're just asking for poisoning...OR, you're well aware that you're doing it purely for psychological purposes and the food doesn't have to be edible as long as it's there (I assume.)
- But, that being said, I've never been deprived of food, but I get super paranoid about not having any on hand, mainly because when I get hangry, I get REALLY HANGRY. I think someone like Dean is probably a little better at regulating his moods through different circumstances though. Anyway, if I'm staying somewhere else (hotel, with friends, etc) I usually always have granola bars in my bag "in case of emergency" - again, though, that isn't something that needs refrigeration - Dean LIVES at the Bunker and is therefore in control of groceries and has access to the kitchen 24/7. Now, just last year, they WERE locked in there against their will, so maybe this "in case of emergency" burger is in response to that - and maybe Jessica misspoke here, and the burger is in an icebox. BUT, again, a burger is a REALLY weird choice, and is therefore most likely an unhealthy irrational psychological response to trauma than any sort of well thought out contingency plan.

And yes, I'm not saying anything about the porn, or the innuendo with Sam. Those bits are funny too though.

Jessica: "Have you ever heard of the Butterfly Effect?"
Dean: "Ashton's second best movie."
Sam: "Yes, of course..."

- ...what was the best, Dean?

Jessica: "Usually, a mass kill off, like the black plague, or a mid-sized war - something to wipe the board clean, so, you're help in avoiding that would be appreciated by everyone."
- One thing that's cool about these later seasons is the times when supernatural creatures come to the Winchesters for help. When the show started out, it was always them finding humans to help them, occasionally, they'd be called into help by another hunter and/or family acquaintance. They'd SOMETIMES help supernatural creatures, but only if they discovered that they needed help (Blood Lust) - but they weren't sought out. I guess Crowley sought them out on occasion for mutually beneficial things, or to blackmail them, but I kind of like that these later seasons, the good/neutral supernatural creatures are seeing Sam and Dean as agents or allies to keeping or restoring order. I mean, granted, I have a personal desire for the end of the series that this factors into, but I like that Sam and Dean are starting to sort of...belong... to the community of beings in the world who are set there to keep everything spinning as it should.

Jessica: "But in Rowena MacLeod's notebook, her death is always the same. She's killed, Sam Winchester, by you."
- Again, this just makes their friend dynamic more interesting to me. Also, as we'll see in S14, this knowledge provides Rowena with a feeling of safety, but also encourages her to remain on the Winchester's side.

Aww, poor Reaper. He was just doing his job.

Naomi: "Those were simpler times."
Castiel: "I'm sorry goes along way."
Naomi: "Mmhm. After Metatron attacked, I had a few reliable angels spread the word that I was dead."

- Oh Naomi, you're still the worst.

Naomi: "There are a grand total of 9 angels in Heaven. Present company included. And 1 or 2 on earth, and that's all. We are the last men and women and divine waves of light still standing, as it were."
Castiel: "No, that's not uh... that's... I knew our numbers were small."

- I really hate this plot, because they've not only made up something that doesn't make sense metaphysically (for the universe they've constructed, where we've already been told that SOULS are power too), but also it doesn't make sense to me that heaven, as a place, could collapse. I mean, I guess they've established that Chuck is a fallible god (unlike God in RL Abrahamic religions), so maybe his construction of the universe has several glaring flaws - but, I still think it's dumb. Also, by saying that there are only 10 or so angels left in the world, they've basically said that we can't have any more angel deaths. The only thing I LIKE about it is that it's a way to remove Heaven from the storyline. That Naomi recalls what angels are willing and locks the gates behind her to secure what they have left means that we don't have to deal with angel politics anymore - which I enjoy simply because I hate political storylines.

Naomi: "Without him, in time, we'll burn out. Heaven will crumble, and all the souls entrusted to our care will fall back to earth - picture it Castiel, billions upon billions of ghosts unleashed upon the world - all that chaos, all that death."
- Again, this also puts a timebomb on the world that they haven't mentioned since. Maybe they'll bring it up again in the last 3 episodes of S14? Or in the final season? It's definitely a problem that needs solving, but so far SPN hasn't readdressed it - oh, I guess there was the S14 episode where Jack died and the angels were trying to keep him in heaven. More angels died then too. But they didn't remind us of this timebomb did they? Seems a dangling thread.

Sam: "Rowena, this isn't why I helped you. Were you just playing me the whole time."
- Awww, Sam's worried he's been used.

Rowena: "Death has something I want."
Sam: "What's that?"
Rowena: "My son. [...] it's my fault he went down the path he did. I left him."

- I think this is a common thing parents do. Like... I know this from friends' coming out stories, where the reaction they've gotten is "Is this my fault?!?" which, fyi, isn't a good reaction. But, yeah. I like this storyling for Rowena, because it's very human... you want to be in control of your life, so you look for causes that you can control. Like, I've convinced myself that if I watch a hockey game, then the team I want to win will lose, and therefore I can't ever watch hockey unless I don't care about the outcome. Now, that's a really stupid thing to believe, because a hockey game is dependent on everything that is happening on the ice with the players and the coaches, and is not affected whatsoever by a single quiet person in the stands or a single person watching on TV in some bar somewhere. Rowena's belief here isn't QUITE like that, because she did affect Crowley's life - but it's impossible to know how much of an impact she had, and it's still egotistical to assume that it was her abandonment that was to blame. It may have been a factor, but so could have many other things. He may have still walked the same road even if she had stayed with him, or taken him with her when she fled Scotland.

Dean vs. Bernard.

Dean: "You know she's controlling your brain?"
Bernard: "She's powerful, she's gorgeous, and she's paying me a small fortune - that woman didn't have to cast a spell on me."

- I love Bernard.

Sam: "Listen to me, I get what you're trying to do for Crowley. But you're messing with the machinery of the universe - Death won't give you what you want. You have to stop!"
Rowena: "I can't stop, Samuel, you'll have to shoot me."
*Sam lowers the gun*
*Rowena turns*
*Sam fires*
*Rowena stops the bullet*
Rowena: "You really would have shot me?!"

- Oh man, everyone is having relationship trouble.
- I do like the fact that Sam took the shot. I like that he took it even though we could see that he really didn't want to. I also like how heartbroken Rowena was over the fact that he did.
- But seriously, play this scene right after one of their S10 seasons in that distillery. It's an amazing change of relationship dynamic.

Jessica: "He was a highly trained military operative. It's impressive that you can-"
- Yeah, dog, Dean's also a highly trained (para)military operative.
- Though, I really hope Dean didn't actually kill Bernard. The reaper's use of the past-tense is worrying.

Sam: "Rowena, you gotta listen to me, this power is going to your head, okay? It's making you go crazy!"
- I like that Sam is still giving Rowena the benefit of the doubt - that it's the power corrupting her rather than her true uninfluenced choice.

Rowena: "No, it's giving me clarity. It's showing me that everything I did before - for wealth, for magic, for myself - meant nothing and it took everything from me. Everyone I loved, my family - oscar, my son - I'm a flawed, petty, evil creature, Samuel, I don't know if I can be redeemed, but I have to try. And I do wish there was another way."
- It's interesting, because what Rowena is seeking here IS redemption, but she's just going about it in the exact wrong way. She's not WRONG about her past, the problem is that she's trying to change without changing her methods. It's like... let's say, I was a member of some crime family/gang, and I killed a whole bunch of people for them... and then I realized that murdering people was wrong. So my solution - my idea for how to fix my mistake, was to kill every member of my crime family/gang instead. Technically, I'm killing "bad" people, but I'm still killing people. I'm still an active murderer that should be stopped, because murder is bad. In order to stop being a murderer, I would actually have to stop being a murderer - changing my motivations for the murders doesn't change the fact that I'm a murderer. 

Rowena: "There's only one way to stop me - you! - but if you're dead, I can't be stopped - Death will have to grant me an audience."
Sam: "You don't know that."
Rowena: "True, but there's only one way to find out."
Sam: "What are you doing? What's that?"
Rowena: "You don't want to know."

- I love how Ruth is delivering her lines here. She makes it obvious that Rowena is operating under the belief that the ends justify the means, but that she really doesn't want to do this - that she's trying her best to make it as easy on Sam as possible - ironically, she did the same when she killed Oscar. Which goes back to my point of her changing her motivations but not her methods and therefore falling into the same traps as before.

Sam: "Rowena, you don't have to do this!"
Rowena: "What haven't you done for your family??! What wouldn't you do??!! I'm sorry, Sam."

- Awww, she IS sorry. And I like how Sam pretty much just accepts that it's going to happen after she yells this at him.

Rowena: "Then I'll kill Sam Winchester! That will really frog up your natural order, won't it?"
- Hahaha, I only now just caught on to "frog up" - that is ADORABLE and HILARIOUS.

Billie: "Go ahead."
Rowena: "What?"
Billie: "I don't think it's a good thing and I don't think any of us will like what comes next. But I don't do blackmail. So, go ahead. I'm curious to see what happens."

- I like Death as a truly neutral force, and I'm glad that they're returning Billie/Death and the reapers to that realm...you'll notice that suddenly there are 10 angels left alive, but Death doesn't seem to mention any shortage of reapers as the reason that Rowena has to be stopped. It's nice to have that mythlogy separated again, after the Carver years "frogged" it up.
- My point though is that I like that Billie was trying to have the Winchester's stop Rowena as a COURTESY. Like she's really just trying to put up a warning sign - "don't touch the third rail, you'll be electrocuted and probably die" - okay cool, thanks Death.

Sam: "No, no, no, no, no, Rowena - I know what you would do, and I know how much you lost, and I realize how much you want your family back - but don't do this like this - this is not you. Not anymore."
Rowena: "What happened to me, those were my choices - but Fergus never- it wasn't fair. IT'S NOT FAIR!"

- Rowena's psychology is interesting here. Because she really has convinced herself that EVERYTHING is caused by her. She's convinced that her own life was her choices, and Crowley's life was also her choices... when really, Rowena could just as easily say "I was taken advantage of by a wealthy man because he realized he could easily exploit my desire to change my circumstances... and the circumstances of my birth (poor in 18th century Scotland) that led me to be vulnerable to such an exploitation were beyond my control." Because it was really that that led her down to the path she traveled... she was exploited and made to feel powerless, and as a product of that exploitation, she became a destitute single-mother... so as a reaction, she sought power and wealth. She didn't CHOOSE to be born into those circumstances, and she's basically victim-blaming herself for being seduced and discarded by a scumbucket. Meanwhile, she's taking Crowley's agency away from him too. It was Crowley that sold his soul, Rowena didn't sell it for him (*cough*Mary*cough*). Yes, he was abandoned by his mother at a young age, but so are a lot of people who don't go on to sell their souls or become the King of Hell.
- It's a hard thing to wrap your head around, because I also believe that we DO control our lives, and we DO have the power to change our lives if we want to - but within REASON... we're all born into certain circumstances, there ARE things that we can't control that happen to us in our lives. I live in an earthquake zone that is always on the verge of expecting "the big one" - on the one hand, I could move, but if I move to avoid a possibility, that's still that possibility dictating the course of my life, just as much as if I stay here and the "possibility" means there's an earthquake tomorrow and I die or am severely injured to the point where my life changes. Whatever the earth under my feet does is beyond my control. Likewise, we all live in different countries that have different laws... and laws change. If I live in a country that suddenly decides that it hates people like me (or has a long history of hating people like me) that's going to affect me in ways that I don't get to choose. I can choose how I react, but I can't choose that I HAVE to react.
- This is really in character for Rowena though, because it makes us feel powerful to believe that we control our own lives - that we can do anything, that we can CHOOSE anything. It's an intoxicating lie. Just as believing the opposite is a debilitating lie.

Rowena: "I don't know what I'm doing."
Billie: "Sometimes life is unfair and sometimes we lose things, and sometimes we make mistakes, and some of these things can never be fixed, no matter how powerful you become - some things just are. And everyone has to live with that."

- Aw, way to go Billie, just sum up what I said SO MUCH QUICKER.

Dean: "Sam!"
Sam: "Dean!"

- The room is quiet, Sam, there's no need to match Dean's tone here, beyond that this is a reflexive response... and if that's the case, you are both adorable.

Billie: "Hey Dean, see you again soon."
- Way to be foreboding, Billie.

Naomi: "This may be one of those things that can't be fixed, Castiel."
Castiel: "This is heaven we're talking about."
Naomi: "Everything ends, Castiel."
Castiel: "Everything ends."

- Hmmm, this makes me wonder if they were already planning to tie this storyline in with the finale season. Or, perhaps this is just a weird coincidence and they never thought that far ahead.

Sam: "How are you feeling?"
Dean: "Like I got punched in the face... a lot."
Rowena: "Yes, about that, Bernard's very enthusiastic."

- No past tense! Bernard may still live!

Rowena: "Sam, what have I done?"
Sam: "You had a chance to kill me, and you didn't. I'd call that progress."
Dean: "I'd call that a miracle."

- Awww, forgiveness is wonderful.

Sam: "And you know, what happened to Crowley, that wasn't your fault."
Rowena: "He never had a chance."
Dean: "He made his choices. Just like we all do. Look everyone of us has done something that we have to live with - that we're trying to make up for."

- I like the fact that Dean tells her this, just because Dean was, in the end, the person who was closest to Crowley. I feel like he, more than anyone else, has the ability to speak on Crowley's behalf - and think that's what he's doing here. Again, it's about demonstrating forgiveness.

Sam: "Even without all that extra juice, you're still the deadliest witch around."
Rowena: "Flatterer."

- See, I love them. Especially since Sam just continues on like Rowena isn't flirting with him. :P

Sam: "Well, we may need your help - to save our family too - to save the world."
Dean: "You want to be redeemed, this could be a pretty big step."
Rowena: "And you think I can be?"
Dean: "Yeah, I do."

- I like how Rowena perks up here. She IS obviously searching for redemption, and forgiveness and people believing in her go a long way to giving her hope, I think.

Sam: "We both do. Before you answer, you have to know something - Lucifer is back."
Rowena: "Hm. Of course, he is.
[...]
Rowena: [...] Lucifer isn't the one whose going to kill me, is he?"
Sam: "You changed other people's fates - maybe we can change yours."

- I love that Sam and Rowena share this fear of Lucifer.
- I also think that while Rowena's fate is horrible to SAM, Rowena actually finds comfort in it, and probably doesn't want it changed. SAM does, because Sam obviously likes Rowena and doesn't want to kill her. So, he wants to change her fate. But Rowena has already realized the POWER of knowing that Sam will be the one to end her. She knows from which direction her death will come, and that's no small thing.

So, final verdict - still a great episode! 

Rewrites: Depending on what they do in the future, I'd probably want to rewrite the heaven stuff. At the very least, I would remove the weird timebomb of Heaven collapsing. I think it's a big enough threat to Castiel that the angels may go extinct, that Heaven would be left UNPROTECTED. I think that's a better threat actually... and would have tied in nicely with Castiel lecturing Indra about how he should take his Heaven's Gate guard-duty more seriously. So, yeah, unless they tie that timebomb of Heaven collapsing into S15 (or the last 3 episodes of S14), then I'd just get rid of it, and have the threat be that heaven will be vulnerable to future attack and all angels gone. Not everything has to be an "end of the world" problem.


Let me know if you there's anything you want to discuss that I missed!

This entry was originally posted at https://hells-half-acre.dreamwidth.org/576036.html.

Comments

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
borgmama1of5
Mar. 31st, 2019 02:57 am (UTC)
I am rally tired right now and can't think of anything to add, just want to say this was a nicely thorough review. Thank you!
hells_half_acre
Mar. 31st, 2019 04:12 am (UTC)
Man, you and me both... I'm supposed to be cleaning my apartment, but instead I just spent an hour and a half drawing.

Glad you liked the review! :)
liliaeth
Mar. 31st, 2019 02:15 pm (UTC)
One thing I've noticed in regards to the differences in relationships that Sam and Dean ahve is something that goes back to the flashbacks we've had of them.
It's noticeable how they were both affected by John's tendency to move them around with little or no notice.

Dean, who was older at the time, still had the urge to build deeper friendships deeper relationships, so when he lost those, whenever they moved, he stopped making new friends whenever possible. Which is why most of the friendships and relationships he did form are either with people in the hunting world, or with people he sees as family.

Sam on the other hand used the defense mechanism of building shallow friendships, which let him make more friendships, but ones he generally wouldn't mind cutting ties with too much, when they had to move again.

Sam is that guy who can walk into a room, and be friends with everyone, but who is easily forgotten once he leaves, because the bonds he built are on an acquaintance level. (except with the few people he did dare to grow deeper bonds with, which is once again, his immediate family)


hells_half_acre
Mar. 31st, 2019 06:52 pm (UTC)
I'd agree to that, at least in part. I think Sam can definitely ingratiate himself to anyone - hence why Dean relies on him for witness/townspeople interviews. But I think if we're talking about a purely social setting, Dean has no trouble forming friendships, whereas Sam holds himself aloof... not friends with anyone, just "there too". BUT, I think this started after Stanford - I think his childhood behaviours were different, because as a child he believed that he would stop hunting one day.

Dean is definitely the more social of the two, and I don't think he can help it. The bonds might be superficial, but there's a reason that Dean can adapt to any society really quickly - and there's a reason that people they meet soon find themselves better able to connect personally with Dean rather than Sam. Dean also needs other people more than Sam does, which is another reason he attracts people like a flower attracts a bee. Sam has always been more independent, so he doesn't pursue people or present himself as open to friendship as Dean does. Sam presents himself as open to understanding and compassion - but that's a therapist, not a friend.

Anyway, that's the way I see it. I definitely agree that they had different defense mechanisms as children, and that affects how Dean labels everyone he loves as "family" in order to justify loving them... but I think Sam was a little more social as a kid, and then moved towards holding himself away from people either slowly during high school years, or not until after Jessica went up in smoke.

Edited at 2019-03-31 06:54 pm (UTC)
missyjack
Apr. 2nd, 2019 01:29 pm (UTC)
I really enjoyed this episode, and the final scene with them all sitting on the floor together is one of my all time favorites! As to the state of Heaven, in a metaphorical ratehr than metaphysical sense i can understand Heaven collapsing if there are few angels left. Elsewhere in Supernatural, borrowed heavily from Gaiman's work, we see the power gods have fade as less people believe in them, and worship them. So maybe this is like a parallel to that? Also a couple of times, maybe at SDCC 2 years ago and maybe last year? Bob Singer and I think Brad Buckner have mentioned something about (and i can't remember the term they sued right now) a "ghost apocalypse" where all the souls were let out, so its definitely been in play but not played out. I think kept thinking the dire state of Heaven would end up with Michael somehow imprisoned there as a "battery", but maybe we could yet see Lucifer return to do that. idk.
hells_half_acre
Apr. 2nd, 2019 04:31 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that scene with them all sitting on the floor is amazing - I pretty much just wrote it out word for word to talk about there at the end. It's a really great adult conversation about regret and redemption, and I love the fact that they're sitting on the floor like teenagers for it... or, like exhausted adults, I guess. :P

The problem with comparing it to pagan gods, is that Supernatural has only ever done the Gaiman thing with the pagan gods - It's always set the Abrahamic God apart from that and the originator of the universe, and therefore not dependent on belief (he was there to invent the believers). So, to me that doesn't tread that he'd make a home for himself and the angels that could collapse without it being a design flaw - which is FINE, because one thing SPN DOES do is make their version of the Abrahamic God fallible.

BUT that all being said, my main problem with it was just that it seemed to be a story-line that was dropped - but if there's a good change they've been planning a "ghost apocalypse" for a while and just wanted to have it simmering on the backburner, ready to go when it was dinner time, then great! Accepted! But if they never serve it, I'm going to be standing in the kitchen saying "What about this soup over here? Why the heck did you make it? Everyone is gone now, and you never gave served this soup!"
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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