Supernatural Season 12, Episode 10
“Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets”
Posted by Dawn and Jaymee
For eight seasons now, everybody’s favorite Angel of the Lord has been a part of Supernatural, so it’s great to finally be getting more background on Castiel. With all the buzz surrounding the upcoming Castiel-centric episodes, we knew the writers would be laying down some serious groundwork, building the history behind who Castiel was and who he has become. We could not be happier with how seamlessly “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” wove the beginnings of that extensive history into the current plot. Many times in the past, we’ve had “filler” episodes – the random hunt or salt and burn, Monster of the Week, etc. – that sorta had themes that might maybe hint at the overarching plot of the season, but you know they were just sorta…there to keep things moving.
Not so with “Lily Sunder.” This episode directly addressed the current hunt for the Lucifer’s child and the mythos of the Nephilim, and also dove head-first into Castiel’s history, the plight of the angels, the strain between the brothers and Castiel for his actions involving Billie the Reaper, and the big unknown of the season: Cosmic Consequences. Hard to do? Maybe. But writer Steve Yockey nailed every piece and gave us what was overall another phenomenally fantastic episode.
This one was complex, so we’re discussing it chronologically. Let’s go.
Castiel and Dean are giving each other the silent treatment. It’s kind of endearing, it’s kind of hilarious, it’s kind of childish, and it’s really just what we expect from the family dynamic of SPN. Basically, Dean’s pissed at Castiel for jumping in without fully understanding the ramifications of his actions.
Dawn: I’m not. As much as I hated losing Billie, I am fine with what Cas did, because it’s not like our boys ever gave a crap about cosmic consequences. But lots of people are mad, and I understand why.
Jay: Cas did what he felt he had to do. He always does what he thinks is right, is the best course of actions at the time. Sometimes it’s made things worse, sometimes it hasn’t. Now we have to wait and see, just like always.
The absolute best part of the entire “silent treatment” is Sam stuck in the middle, trying to make Dean and Castiel work through their little tiff. When normally it’s Sam trying to get Dean to talk about what’s bothering him, now Sam has two stubborn fools refusing to say thank you, refusing to appreciate each other, refusing to move on past this rather small issue with unknown consequences. Because honestly, we’ve had worse, and we’ve done this before. Remember that time Cas said “yes” to Lucifer? Or when Sam came back from the pit sans-soul and didn’t tell anyone? Wait, what about that time Dean decided it would be a really swell idea to bear the Mark of Cain…or Sam figuring Demon Blood was part of his balanced breakfast? No? Maybe that time Dean killed Death? OH WAIT! We all love that time they all worked together to release the Darkness into the world. Yeah. They’ve all done worse.
Jay: Personally I think Dean is being a big fat hypocrite! Who is he to judge Castiel’s actions when it was his own idea to make a pact with Billie and not fully understand what he was doing? If anything I think, much like Mary was doing last episode, Dean is projecting his own personal issues with the self-sacrificing angel. We all can’t be martyrs here Dean, you don’t get to sacrifice yourself all the time. I mean, is it weird for you that someone cares as much about you, as you care about Sam? Is it strange for Dean to see someone make the same rash decisions he, himself makes when it comes to Sam? And vice versa? Maybe now Dean and Sam will start to realize just exactly what these types of decisions do to the people who care for them, now that they are on the outside looking in and waiting for the other shoe to drop on Castiel.
Dawn: Well, actually, they can all be martyrs – they martyr themselves for each other all the time. And every time someone OTHER than Dean does it, he gets crabby. He has to learn to share martyrdom. It’s fine, Dean, really – there’s wood enough for everyone to hang themselves on a cross. And that way there will be plenty handy when you need to burn a body.
While it’s frustrating to see Dean treat Castiel like a child, Dean’s protective instincts are kicked into high gear and Chuck knows he’s done the same with Sam in the past. We get it, Dean: you don’t like seeing your family step into the line of fire, you’re the protector, you take the risks, blahblahblahwhinycakes.
Castiel hears a cry for help over “good old angel radio” from Benjamin, an old battalion friend, but the distress cry is suddenly cut off. Castiel has learned a lot from the Winchesters, notably when someone is in need, you run, so he does and we all get a bit of perspective when Castiel goes to investigate what happened to his old friend, including the end of the silent treatment (but not the end of the attitude, because Dean is, well, Dean).
And you know what’s awesome about all of this? For one of the first times, possibly the first time, we actually see Castiel accepting the Winchesters’ help from start. While normally it’s everybody join hands once things have already gone south, this time Sam is on Cas’ case from the second the angel tries to leave the bunker, wanting to know where Cas is going and offering help. And you know what’s shocking? Cas says yes, as long as it’s both brothers offering, and not just Sam.
So it turns out that not only was Benjamin’s vessel a woman, but that they were friends and Benjamin would never do anything to put [his vessel] in danger. Thanks to the investigations, a lot of information the relationship between angels and their vessels comes to light. And we see Castiel’s previous vessel.
Jay: I LOVED this. First of all, Cas is alway hot – only super – attractive vessels for our Angel of the Lord. It makes me wonder is this Jimmy Novak’s great-grandma or something? Dark hair, blue eyes, full lips, neutral-colored overcoat. Either our Castiel has a prefered vessel type or the Novaks have a very strong genetic preference for trench coats. I truly love that really solidifies that Castiel is a Multidimensional wavelength of Celestial Intent. And more importantly, he never cared about gender, cause like, man vessel, woman vessel, whatever, as long as it’s a smokin’ hot brunette with blue eyes, it floats the Castiel boat (and mine too).
Dawn: BRB. Finding someone to sew that cosplay for me immediately.
Unsurprisingly, Benjamin is dead. Murdered. We don’t know who did it but apparently Castiel knows someone who might: Ishim, the angel who used to command Castiel. It’s clear from the get-go that Ishim is not a fan of humans, not that that information stops Sam and Dean from fully getting involved in Castiel’s business like the two nosey brothers they are. Remember when Dean said angels are dicks? Yeah. Zachariah ain’t got nothing on this whackjob.
Castiel is over all of it. Sasstiel in the house, ya’ll. He is 1000% done with everything.
There are other angels two but they don’t matter and aren’t around long anyway. It’s all about Ishim. Smug, arrogant, disrespectful, disdainful Ishim. We can’t wait for someone to punch him in the face. He was Castiel’s commander before Cas got his own “flight,” as the angels call it. He seems particularly cruel to Castiel for his past transgressions.
Jay: But, like, guys, listen, okay! Like, the BEST part about Ishim hating on Cas is how PISSED Dean gets, like, “no one makes fun of my family but me, jackass.” It’s sooo great! And really it just completely solidifies the “Cas is family” that Dean’s been saying for the past, what, six seasons? Yeah, totally, no one will ever get me to believe any differently about Cas being a Winchester.
Dawn: I don’t understand how anyone doesn’t see that. Dean said it flat out — you’re our brother. And therefore Dean will whup the ass of anyone who gets up in Cas’ grill.
Dean puts up with standing around outside for what probably amounted to ten minutes, and now the brothers meet the new angel and it is a thing of beauty.
This is where the action heats up. We meet the eponymous Lily (played to perfection by Alicia Witt), a human who has been hunting down the angels. Because obviously revenge is best served cold – like hundreds of years cold. With the introduction of Lily not only do we blow open the mythos surrounding angels, we get some serious insight into Castiel’s backstory. Because Lily and Castiel have met.
Lily is a welcome addition to the often-too-short list of “Kickass SPN Women.” Once a professor of apocalyptic literature and therefore an expert in angel lore, she found a way to use the energy of her soul to power Enochian, or angel, magic. She also found a way to summon an angel, and after a lot of misunderstandings and clarifications, we find out the first angel she summoned was Ishim. And that’s where things get creepy and weird. Ishim, as it turns out, is an insane angelic stalker . Like seriously insane–when Lily rejected his advances, he lied and told his battalion that Lily’s daughter was a nephilim, because if he can’t have her, he will destroy what she loves. Obviously, he left that last part out.
To be clear: Ishim flat-out lied to to Castiel, Maribel, and Benjamin, and recruited part of the army of God to murder not one but two innocents: an angel and human child. And since Ishim knows nothing of humanity and clearly never did, he utterly underestimated the power and strength of familial love, particularly when that love also comes in the form of a grieving mother with extensive knowledge of Angelic lore and fluency in Enochian. Lily, fueled by the pain of her loss, is unbelievably dangerous and hell bent on revenge against those who had taken her family from her.
Jay: My favorite thing about times like this is that you are never facing just one Winchester. Cas might be down but he’s never alone.
Dawn: My favorite thing about this, and really one of my favorite things about Castiel in general, is that he always, always takes responsibility for his actions. The boys still haven’t learned that lesson.
Dean goes to inform Cas, while Sam and Lily bond over how her use of Enochian magic is eating away at her soul. Sam’s done the whole soulless thing and is in a great place to be empathetic. But Lily is smart, she is SO smart, and it only takes a few well-placed jabs at Sam’s obvious love for his brother to get him to bend to her will, and, really, just in the nick of time because…
Cut to Dean and Cas getting their asses handed to them by powered-up Ishim, who has them in a hell of a tough spot, with Castiel on the ground and Dean apparently halfway to hitting an angel ward. Enter the cavalry, and Lily goes total Kill Bill on Ishim, rocking two angel blades and some serious Darth Vader Force Hold until Cas gets in with an third angel blade (doesn’t it seem like those things grow on trees anymore?) and dispatches his old commander.
Now, Lily is face-to-face with the only other angel who, though unintentionally, had a hand in the killing of her child. Cas, ever the responsible one, says, “I’m sorry. I was wrong. While it’s true I didn’t know we were killing an innocent, ignorance is no excuse.”
Yes, he is an angel, but he has changed from who he was when she knew him, and in the end, of all things:
He accepts his fate at Lily’s hands, whatever that may be. Castiel knows he has done wrong, even though he was lied to, and he is ready to face the consequences. He reiterates that at home in the bunker – that’s right we said it, HOME – when he talks to Sam and Dean about Billie:
With this, the brothers really stress what Cas means to them, and that yeah, he’s changed, but that doesn’t make him weak. It is exactly what Cas needs to hear.
Jay: Honestly I’ve been pretty concerned about Castiel’s mental health and his struggles with depression. I think he needs this sort of reaffirmation on a more regular basis. This show never addresses Castiel’s or anyone’s depression or mental health. And Castiel has been and said he was depressed multiple times throughout the course of this show. I think it is one of the many unresolved reasons why he, and often Dean, are so quick to sacrifice themselves. I have a lot of feelings about this particular topic.
Dawn: The question will be can Castiel listen to their words they way he always expects them to listen to his, or will he emulate his hunters too much. Right now, it could go either way.
Hell, even Dean is coming to terms with and expressing his feelings, even if he is still the most emotionally constipated character ever. But at least we got this:
‘Cause you know, more Cosmic Consequences are on the horizon. Oh yeah, did we forget to mention? Mary is conveniently off doing her own thing again, I guess some people never learn.
In the end, Cas has faced his past and his future, and he is ready for whatever comes next. Amazingly, he still has hope:
OBVIOUSLY this episode left us with a lot of feelings and a lot to think about. Like, we really wanna know why Maribel and Ishim stayed on Earth in their vessels since the first mission with Lily. And if that’s the case, and they did remain on Earth, why did Lily wait to attack them? Was she waiting to get all the battalion in one go? And if Ishim and Maribel didn’t stay on Earth after they attacked Lily, how did they get the same vessels back, because though it was touched upon in the ep, it still doesn’t really make sense.
Has Lily opened a can of worms to Sam, using a soul to power angel magic? Will we be seeing more of this in the future? Are the risks worth the gains, our boys have done some dumb shit in the past but will they come to the point that Lily did?
All in all, we want more! We are ready for more: give us backstory give us history, give us more flashbacks so we can drool over Fem!Cas. And let’s hope we haven’t seen the last of Lily. We could use a good ally like her – that’s if she’s over her whole murdering of Castiel thing.
What questions or feelings are you left with? Share them in the comments below.
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