In 'Supernatural' Season 12 Episode 10: “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets”
Exploring some character backstory in a slowly moving stand-alone episode.
SupernaturalAirtime: Thursdays, 7pm
Cast: Jensen Ackles, Jared Padalecki, Misha Collins, Mark A. Sheppard
Subtitle: Season 12, Episode 10 – "Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets"
Air date: 2016-01-26
“Patience is a talent. You'd be amazed what a person can do with a little bit of purpose and an abundance of time.”
-- Lily (Alicia Witt) in Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets
It's safe to say that about half of Supernatural's fans weren't looking forward to this episode. Many viewers, for one reason or another, dislike Castiel (Misha Collins) and don't particularly care for angel-based storylines, believing that they take too much screentime away from the Winchester brothers and their mission of “saving people, hunting things”.
In last week's episode, Castiel saved the life of at least one member of the Winchester family, but he had to kill a reaper to do so, which supposedly will lead to “cosmic consequences”. It's a frequent plot point for this show, with pretty much every major character on the show having to back out of a desperate deal made with one supernatural entity or another at some point, which eventually leads to unintended bad results. It's the reason why John Winchester (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) died in season two, why Uncle Bobby (Jim Beaver) sold his soul in season six, why Dean (Jensen Ackles) killed Death himself in season ten, and so on.
Strangely, however, the only fallout we see from Castiel's actions in this episode was Dean's feelings of resentment towards him, which is a stupid plot point. Are we to believe that he would have preferred to be dead, or for his brother (Jared Padalecki) or mother (Samantha Smith) to be killed, instead of incurring the potential wrath of whatever Billie (Lisa Berry) was talking about? At least this conflict was resolved by the end of the episode, with Dean begrudgingly acknowledging that Cas did what needed to be done.
Still, the main plot centered on Castiel's past as an angel soldier. Back in the year 1901, he, wearing the vessel of a woman (Jessa Danielson), was part of a league of angels who were sent to do missions on Earth. Their leader was Ishim (Ian Tracey), an angel who hates humankind and is an arrogant, bossy sort of creature. Also under his command were the angels Benjamin (Miranda Edwards) and Mirabel (Tiara Sorenson), who end up being killed by the angel blade of one Lily Sunder (Alicia Witt).
Lily Sunder not only has supernatural powers but also has an eye patch and an interesting backstory. As it turns out, she researched everything there is to know about angels and lived with an angel named Akobel (Nils Hognestad). Ishim accused her of giving birth to a half angel, half human hybrid (which is supposed to remind us of Lucifer's impending pregnancy), and ordered his troops to kill Akobel and her daughter, May (Ava Sleeth). As to be expected, Castiel is her next target.
It's a little shocking that, despite the fact that she has just killed two (basically innocent) angels, the Winchesters have a sympathetic attitude towards Lily and come to believe her side of the story. Not surprisingly, however, it's Ishim who is the actual villain of the episode, and he is taken out in the predictable fashion.
Despite introducing an interesting new character to the Supernatural universe, this week's episode of the show stalled into a disappointment. The idea of “bad angels” who abuse their power and look down upon humans is one that the show has explored in the past, and the general lack of action led to a somewhat skippable episode. However, next week's episode looks more eventful and emotional, as Dean loses his memories and sanity after being cursed by a witch.
Good news for Supernatural fans, as The CW announced this week that the show will be renewed for a 13th season. Also, here's a fun little fact: the actress playing Mirabel tonight might look familiar to some Supernatural fans. Tiara Sorenson previously appeared as one of the seven deadly sins (Greed), in season three's The Magnificent Seven episode.