The King of Hell has a mother—and she’s a witch.
That was the twist that shocked everyone on Supernatural this season, when Ruth Connell made her debut as Rowena. And after weeks in Hell, Rowena is finally getting her chance to come face-to-face with the woman who ruined her life when the leader of the Grand Coven, Olivette, shows up in tonight’s episode.
To be fair, she doesn’t quite just “show up”—Crowley captures Olivette. Regardless, it means more drama for Rowena (and hopefully more magic). We talked to Connell about Olivette’s arrival and what’s coming up for Rowena.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How would you describe Olivette as a character?
RUTH CONNELL: She’s played by Teryl Rothery from Stargate. We got along really well, had a fantastic time ripping each other to shreds. To be blunt, Olivette was the bane of my life. She was the reason I was ostracized from the community. All of this has been about Rowena reclaiming her power base. The last episode, it looked like I was going to get Crowley to help me go after he. Then I was very disappointed when he went and helped the Winchesters instead. So for him to then make amends in a way—or he’s probably got another reason for doing it as well, I’m sure—but for him to offer Olivette, to capture her for me and put her in front of me, it’s kind of like, “What do you do when you’ve got the thing in front of you that you’ve been running from, that you’ve been afraid of and that you also hate?” It doesn’t turn out how you think it might. I can’t wait for the fans to see the last scene.
Are we going to get to see more of the Coven than just Olivette?
That’s what gets revealed in this episode. In my mind, they’re the Vatican of witchcraft. [Laughs]
For most of her time on the show, Rowena’s been in Hell. Are we going to get to see her outside of Hell, maybe enjoying her magic a bit more?
Spreading her wings? [Laughs] Yeah, [in] the very opening scene of the episode you see a few more of Rowena’s spells kind of take off. There’s a couple of fun moments. You see it building. And I hope she gets to fly at some point.
Speaking specifically about her relationship with Crowley, I feel like there’s so much there. Are we going to explore that a bit more this season?
It’s a constantly changing thing. There’s so much to explore. Obviously I wasn’t mother of the year in 1665 or whatever it was. There must be reasons for that. The thing that intrigues me is who really was his father. I know I said he was conceived at a winter solstice orgy, [but] maybe I do know who it was. I don’t know. There’s so much fun to be had that could be explored. I hope that happens. I would love that.
With the Coven, we know she was ostracized. But will we get more glimpses into her past?
Yes. Olivette says a couple of things that are quite illuminating about Rowena. I have a lot of empathy for Rowena, I almost see her from her point of view sometimes, and there’s a reason she’s as tough as that because at some point, she felt vulnerable, and I hope that that comes through. Hopefully you can see some of the slightly soft underbelly and moments of Rowena. [Being ostracized] can’t have been a lot of fun.
I can never decide with her: Sometimes I want her to be evil, and other times I just want her to be a good mother. That’s what I like about her. I never wanted her to be flat and obvious. To me there was so much color. She makes mistakes. She does things wrong. I think she’s a bit of a chancer. Someone who’s been on the lamb [for 300 years], there is the potential for her to become an arch nemesis given the right circumstances. I think she’s always working her way toward something. Maybe this is her moment.
Is Rowena going to play into the larger story—might we see her interact with the Winchesters?
I hope she gets to play with the big boys. I think there’s a clip where you see Dean holding a knife to me, bending me over a bar. [That’s] always a fun way to spend an afternoon in Vancouver. [Laughs] So yeah, more of that please. I’m happy to do it.
Are we going to see any new sides of Rowena here soon?
Yes. I’m just reading the episode now, yes. [Laughs] There’s so much scope and I love what the writers and producers have given me to do, the next episode especially as well. I nearly fell out of my bed when I read it. It just gets more outrageous.
Supernatural airs tonight at 9 p.m. on The CW.