Supernatural: Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets

"At the end of the day, it's a mom and her kid."

Just a little nephilim story to prepare us for a more important nephilim story further on down the line. We also got some new and interesting backstory for Castiel.

Alicia Witt guest starred as Lily Sunder, a brand new type of mystical character — a human woman who has kept herself alive with Enochian magic because of her need for revenge. The idea that a normal human could acquire and use the power of angels both as a weapon and as a way to extend her life was intriguing, while the idea that she had to trade little bits of her soul in order to use that magic was suitably creepy. Also intriguing and creepy was her angel eye. (I loved that Dean called her "Patches" and "One-eyed Willy.")

I'm not sure that I connected to Witt's performance, even though I understood that she was mostly unemotional because she was becoming soulless. I wonder if at some point she would have stopped caring about the death of her daughter May? Perhaps part of her already had, and she was only going through the motions. At least she didn't die at the end of the episode, which I was expecting. (I liked that Castiel told Lily that if she needed to kill him, he'd understand and he'd be waiting.) Maybe she'll be back, and as an ally. With Rowena still hanging around the Supernaturalverse, that would give us two extremely powerful, immortal redheads waiting in the wings, wouldn't it?

Since many angels turn out to be jerks, what happened with Castiel's old commander Ishim shouldn't have been a surprise. But I've been thinking about it, and the details didn't work for me. Way back when, Lily was obsessed with angels and managed to summon one —Ishim — and he fell in love with her. I got that. But what happened then? Were they ever actually lovers? Was it just that he was controlling and abusive? Ishim was certainly something of an angel supremacist, snidely calling humans all sorts of ape-related names, so he was probably a huge disappointment to Lily... or did Ishim turn all anti-human because of Lily's rejection? There was also a tantalizing mention about Ishim cutting out his own soul. I thought angels didn't have souls.

So in order to punish Lily for running away with Akobel, an angel who wasn't her lover but was simply protecting her, Ishim told his "flight" that Lily's daughter May was a nephilim and led them in a mission to destroy her. But then the entire flight had to wait outside the house while Ishim killed May. This all seemed convoluted to me. Why wouldn't Ishim simply kill Lily herself? Wouldn't it have made a lot more sense dramatically if May had actually been a nephilim, and Ishim's daughter?

It was also a bit of a stretch that Lily waited all those years simply in the hope that someday the angels would fall and she'd be able to kill them. How did she know that would happen during her extended lifetime, after many millennia of it not happening?

(Honestly, I didn't know I was going to pick apart this episode until I started writing. As my mother used to say, "You'll have this.")

For me, the best thing about "Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets" was Castiel as a blue-eyed woman back in 1901. I only wish we'd gotten more, because I have so many questions. We know that angels have gender, and they sometimes aren't picky about the sex of their vessels (the teaser with the angel Benjamin and his female vessel was a bit of foreshadowing), but how long was Castiel in a female vessel? What happened to her? Is Castiel actually a male angel to begin with? Have they ever said so, one way or another? Correct me if I'm wrong (twelve seasons!) but I don't think they have. Please, Supernatural Powers That Be, I want more about Castiel's past now. A lot more. Pretty please?

The episode began with tension between Dean and Castiel because of Billie's death and the possibility of "cosmic consequences" (loved the scene in the car). At least we got past that tension, and it ended with Dean and Castiel pretty much back to where they were. But Castiel just followed up killing a reaper with killing another angel. Will there be even more cosmic consequences? How many cosmic consequences could there be?

This week wasn't centered on Sam, but I loved how he acted as the Destiel referee and how he predicted exactly when Dean would lose it and storm into the diner. And honestly, my favorite bit in the entire episode was when Sam jammed himself into the booth with Dean and Castiel. It was a perfect little bit of physical comedy. And how Dean folded his arms and confronted Ishim. I do love my Winchesters. But you knew that.


Bits:

-- Ian Tracey (Ishim) also played a hunter named Lee Chambers in a season seven episode called "Adventures in Babysitting." Plus he played a terrific continuing character on another series I reviewed, Continuum.

-- Ishim liked sugar. I enjoyed that little character bit Ian Tracey did with the sugar packets.

-- Ishim and Lily received similar wounds and were both healed in much the same way with angel magic. Maybe a bit of a reminder about their initial connection?

-- No news about Kelly Kline and her Rosemary's baby. And Mary was again out of the picture, hunting shapeshifters in Atlanta.

-- This week: the MoL bunker; Orono, Maine in 1901; and wherever the Hotel Mallobar and The Wright Spot were. I especially liked the look of the deserted church that Ishim called a "safe house."

Quotes:

Sam: "I don't think we've got the kind of mom who's gonna stay home and make us chicken soup for dinner."
But still, Mary should have taken them up on their offer to help with the case. Why didn't she?

Dean: "Billie said there would be cosmic consequences if that deal got broken. Do you have any idea what that means?"
Sam: "No."
Dean: "Neither do I, but I'm pretty sure it ain't jelly beans and G-strings."

Castiel: "If I plan to do anything else stupid, I'll let you know."

Sam: "So what's the plan?"
Dean: "We knock on her door, ask her nicely not kill any more angels."
Sam: "And if she says no?"
Dean: "We burn that bridge when we come to it."

I thought I liked this one when I first watched it, but then its flaws kept popping into my head. Two out of four jelly beans and G-strings,

Billie
---
Billie Doux has been reviewing Supernatural for so long that Dean and Sam Winchester feel like old friends. Courageous, adventurous, gorgeous old friends.

8 comments:

Robin Vogel said...

Billie, I try not to pick apart Supernatural episodes. If I did, I'd go mad. And given that the show has been on the air for 12 years, there is bound to be a lot of canon fodder for us to shoot at. But I just don't. I love my show, warts 'n' all, and I refuse to call B.S. on every single oops. What if everyone we knew turned around and did that to US? Ouch, right? Rest, relax, watch a couple of season 2 episodes. . .

Yeah, that's the ticket. Love me some season 2 Supernatural. . .

Love,
Robin

TheShadowKnows said...

While we're being picky, "nephelim" is the plural form (like "cherubim" and "seraphim"). "Naphil" is the singular form. You'd think an angel would have a better grasp of Hebrew... :p

Anonymous said...

I find it funny that Dean is angry for Castiel killing a reaper, considering that he did the same thing to "Death" two seasons back.

Billie Doux said...

TheShadowKnows, I actually do have some Hebrew and had never thought about the origin of the word "nephilim" before. Stupid me!

Anonymous, I don't think Dean cared about the actual death of a reaper or an angel. He's only worried about the "cosmic consequences."

Logic?wedon'tneednostinkinlogic! said...

@TheShadowKnows
As Robin says, gotta love it warts and all. This is a show about angels who don't know how to properly pronounce Samhain (Sow-en)--I can buy the guys, though only barely Sam, not knowing this, but the angels would.

There are always inconsistencies. As for lady Cas, all they really need to be careful with is she was part of Jimmy's bloodline. The concept of a soul is slippery on Supernatural. Chuck could rebuild the dead archangels, but it would take time. Death is older than God but killed by Dean? Nope. He's around. Michael isn't dead, why not spring him from the cage? You can go on forever here.

Best to just lie back and think of your favorite Winchester.

Patryk said...

I think Mary is working with the British full time now and that's why she does not need any help.

Anonymous said...

Best to lie back, and think of your favorite Winchester. Thanks, O Knowing Shadow... that made me laugh!

magritte said...

Billie, while it might not have been as satisfying as it could be, I think the plot couldn't unfold that way if the child had really been a nephilim. If it had, Castiel wouldn't feel any guilt. The only crime then (from Castiel's point of view) would be that Isham had created the child in the first place, as Akobel would have been in the wrong defending it. And I assume the reason he took the whole posse with him was he wasn't sure he could beat Akobel by himself...but he couldn't take the posse with him to kill the child because the other angels would know it was an ordinary human child.

And while it isn't explicitly stated, I do think he turned against humans (to a Lucifer-esque degree) because of Lily's rejection, whether they were ever lovers or not. Also, did Ishim say he cut out his own soul? I thought he said he cut out his weakness, referring to his love for Lily. Have to rewatch I guess.

Still, there were some unanswered questions. If the child was born before she met Ishim, who was the father. Did Akobel possess her husband? And who was the host when Ishim was summoned? And yeah, the waiting forever didn't make much sense unless she was trying to find a way to get into heaven. I also thought it was a little odd that she didn't wonder how Sam knew so much about losing one's soul. Maybe this was just an episode that had a little too much to stuff into a one-hour time slot. I think one of the strengths of shows like Black Mirror is that they don't have a precise "target length" the way a network show does; they can just have an episode that's a little shorter or a little longer, if necessary.