In Review: Supernatural, Episode 286 “Funeralia”

How can this all be resolved with only four episodes left in the season?

Supernatural, Episode 286 “Funeralia” Broadcast on April 19, 2018

Written by Steve Yockey

Directed by Nina Lopez-Corrado

Then: Angels are going extinct, Sam helps Rowena the witch power up, Dean meets Reaper Jessica and Death’s new incarnation, Asmodeus is burned by Gabriel, and then Gabriel flies the coop.

Now: In Portland, Oregon at a modern art gallery, Rowena is called on her cellphone by the Winchesters to ask for help in rescuing their families and battling the Archangel Michael. After the boys are given the negative in no uncertain words, Rowena goes to check off the next item on her To-Do List. She spies wealthy donor Elizabeth Mahler. She introduces herself and apologizes for bringing up something the woman doesn’t wish to discuss. A song begins and Rowena gives her purse to Mahler before going off to dance an elaborate tango with her muscular manservant Bernard. Rowena and Bernard catch the attention of everyone in attendance with their moves. During a dip from Bernard, Rowena looks upon Elizabeth and utters a few words that result in Ms. Mahler bursting into flames. Cue opening title card.

This was the best Rowena episode in the series’ history. Her motivations for killing off people are fantastic, attracting not only the attentions of the Winchesters, with Sam feeling incredibly guilty for helping increase her powers, but Death, who sends Reaper Jessica to speak with the boys. Jessica is fantastic. She’s got a great tone, she pops up whenever she’s not wanted, and she’s forced to have “clean hands.” Rowena learns something incredibly important about herself that will obviously be at the front of her mind whenever she’s around the Winchesters. While Sam and Dean are trying to track down Rowena, Castiel goes to Heaven to get help from the Angels in finding Gabriel so he get him to help stop Michael and save the world. What Cas finds above is not what he expected. Who he finds there is quite a surprise and it’s not the character fans are expecting him to discover. Castiel gets some information that has him thinking that Sam and Dean’s quest to save their family is not the most pressing issue in the universe.

I like that Steve Yockey’s script gave Ruth Connell the best she’s gotten. She’s given some terrific moments, allowing Rowena to dance, murder, be incredibly strong, incredibly weak, and incredibly human. It was neat to see where she ends up by the end of the episode, with a question left unanswered. Jessica and Death also get some memorable moments in this episode. Let’s just say that I would pay to see Kayla Stanton and Lisa Berry back on this series soon. The closing comments from Berry in the final act are awesome. The direction on this episode is also good from Nina Lopez-Corrado. There’s a great fight between one of the Winchesters and Bernard, with a fall into the camera wonderful. A cameo by some hipsters during the fight is a solid laugh. Jessica’s appearances in and out of scenes work very well due to Lopez-Corrado’s work. The effects, particularly on Rowena’s eyes are fantastic.

The good: Cas talking sports, great effects on Rowena, the music while Cas waits in Heaven, Jared Padalecki getting some excellent emotional moments with Ruth Connell, with her getting her best episode yet and her running with it. Kayla Stanton and Lisa Berry are also in top form in this episode, with Berry being flat out awesome in the climax. The final fight is also outstanding.

Fun lines: “Hello, Tweety Pie,” “For what it’s worth, good luck,” “I think that maybe we can help each other,” “Ashton’s second best movie,” “Of course it’s a trap,” “Safety first, boys,” “Clean hands,” and “Flatterer.”

The bad: Not enough Jessica or Death.

The final line: An excellent episode that continued this season’s arc, but also expanded the troubles for the heroes. This was Rowena’s best episode, and appearances by Jessica and Death made it even better. Things are spiraling further out of control. How can this all be resolved with only four episodes left in the season? I don’t know, but I’ll be watching to find out! Overall grade: A

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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