Castiel’s past comes back to haunt him in “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets.” It turns out there are consequences for some actions, whether “comic” or not. Castiel isn’t the only angel who appreciates humans on Supernatural, but he often seems to be in the minority amongst those of the Heavenly realm. Angels have a mixed reputation among the humans as well. In “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets,” Supernatural reminds us once again that angels are just as flawed as humans.
Speaking of being flawed, Dean has fallen back into his angry, sullen ways. Dean is mad at Castiel for killing Billie to save the Winchesters, risking “cosmic consequences.” Dean spends too much of the series being angry. We’d like to see him enjoy his newfound freedom a little. If it really was hellish being locked up in solitary for six weeks, maybe it’s time to hit a roadhouse and live a little. Or maybe watch some Netflix. At least we get to have a little fun watching Sam become increasingly uncomfortable as Cas and Dean give each other the silent treatment in the Impala.
Dean is also worried that his mom has been out hunting on her own. Unlike earlier in the season, he doesn’t seem angry with her, just concerned. Dean’s anger tends to be singularly focused. On the other hand, Sam is very easygoing and understanding when it comes to his mom, pointing out that she isn’t “the kind of mom that’s going to stay home and make us chicken soup.”
A cry from an angel leads Castiel to meet up with his old commander, Ishim, who doesn’t seem to be Castiel’s biggest fan. After witnessing Ishim’s tirade against Castiel, Dean asks, “Why do you let him talk to you like that?” Later, Ishim describes Dean as “a filthy ape, always mocking you, always talking down to you,” when he challenges Castiel on whom he’s going to save. It’s about time everyone was a little more respectful to Castiel.
A human, Lily Sunder, has been getting her revenge on the angels who killed her husband and daughter. A flashback to the original incident shows Ishim telling his angel band that the child is a nephilim—a dangerous creature born of an angel and a human, forbidden by the oldest laws in Heaven. They’ve already lost one angel, and then quickly lose another. When Sam and Dean talk to Lily, they learn that her daughter was human and that Ishim went after her family out of jealousy. Lily comes to kill Ishim, but ultimately it’s Castiel who kills his old commander, saving Lily and Dean in the process.
It’s evident that Castiel made a mistake by following orders. Ishim was consumed by his anger and acted out of revenge, making the other angels accomplices to his crimes. Castiel offers Lily a heartfelt apology for his role in the death of her husband and child.
“I’m sorry. I was wrong. And … while it’s true that I didn’t know we were killing an innocent, ignorance is no excuse. I truly can’t imagine the depths of your loss. This was your child. I can’t imagine the pain. So if you leave here and you find that you can’t forgive me … I’ll be waiting.”
There was a time when Castiel terrified his enemies. He was even a kind of god for a time. He has lost some of his powers, but apparently all the angels remain grounded. Ishim tells Cas, “I used to envy you. You survived Hell. You were chosen by God. Now look at you. You’re just sad and pathetically weak.” Though we don’t believe Castiel is pathetically weak, he has changed a great deal.
Sam provides an alternative perspective to that offered by Ishim. Sam tells Cas, “You’re not weak, Cas. You know that, right? I mean, obviously, you’ve changed, but it’s all been for the better, man. And you have been with us every step of this long, crazy thrill ride. And no matter how crazy it got, you never backed down. And that takes real strength.”
Not all of the changes Castiel has gone through since Season 4 have been for the best. Like it or not, Castiel has become a fully emotive angel, who even uses sarcastic barbs when frustrated. His emotional turmoil has become increasingly evident in the last few episodes. Though there is a certain power to emotional expression, we miss Castiel’s detached demeanor and socially awkward interactions.
At the end of the episode, Dean makes his peace with Castiel, telling his angel bestie that he’s not mad (could have fooled us), but worried, “because things like ‘cosmic consequences’ have a habit of biting us in the ass.” Castiel has no regrets about saving the Winchesters, even if it costs him his life. Let’s hope that’s not where this season is heading.
Castiel has gone through a lot of changes, something he acknowledges to Sam and Dean. They talk about the impending birth of Satan’s spawn, and Castiel notes, “An ordinary Nephilim is one of the most dangerous beings in all of creation. But one that’s fathered by an archangel, the Devil himself? I can’t imagine the power.” Sam points out that it’s still just a mother and her child, asking if he’ll be able to take action when the time comes. Cas isn’t sure.
Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets
Alicia Witt played Lily Sunder, and her tough demeanor felt like a callback to her Saviors character in The Walking Dead. Yet, her eye patch was reminiscent of Doctor Who—specifically, Amy Pond wearing an eye drive in an alternate reality. Ian Tracey played Ishim, a villain pretending to be a hero.
“Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” was directed by Supernatural veteran Thomas J. Wright. The episode was written by Steve Yockey (“Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox“), who just joined Supernatural this season. Yockey has stayed true to the characters while also showing the audience the ways Castiel has changed. Although we miss old, more powerful, Spock-like Cas, his evolution played an important role in this story.
With “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets,” Season 12 of Supernatural returns to telling self-contained stories. This was a different kind of story than we’ve seen before in Supernatural. Rather than giving us a typical monster to be hunted, Supernatural shows us that monsters and their victims are not always easy to tell apart.