Thursday, 9 February 2017
Review - Supernatural 12x10 Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets - by sweetondean
I’m not necessarily a big fan of the angels/heaven story line - well, not in recent times. I feel like we’ve been going around and around on that one. And I’ll be honest, I can be a bit resentful if the story forgets that there are central characters on the show and solely focuses on characters we don’t know anything about. Thankfully this wasn’t the case with “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets”. Steve Yockey did a great job of anchoring this story on the one angel I do give a shit about, Cas, while also never forgetting that the Winchesters were also there, allowing them to have an essential role in the story while being very much themselves, he even managed to give us new characters that were interesting and that, in the case of Lily, I would gladly see again. Plus we finally got a decent backstory on Cas, seeing the garrison that we’ve heard him talk about, revolving around that one time they all came to earth, looking resplendent in their early 1900’s duds! Win win all around!
Revenge, consequences, morally grey areas, mixed with a dash of you can’t out run your past, were all themes peppered throughout this episode, pointing towards the possible fallout from last week’s abruptly broken deal with the Reaper Billie, and the upcoming hunt of Lucifer’s Nephilim offspring.
Of course these are the common threads that have been weaving their way through Supernatural right from the beginning. The Winchesters’ lives were built on revenge - that’s what started this whole cockeyed existence for them. And consequences is something they both know a buttload about. Nothing they have done to save the world and/or each other, has ever come without a cost, and they are painfully aware that the cost usually ends up being something they have to sort out!
The Winchesters have been told many times that they should not play with the natural order - they’ve been told this by Death himself - and they find themselves in the thick of this dilemma once again, having died to escape the inescapable prison, with a little help from Billie, then not fulfilling their end of the bargain with one of them dying in return for the help - for reasons of Cas killed Billie.
There are now unknown cosmic consequences, hanging over the brothers' heads like the Sword of Damocles, and that has both Sam and Dean worried.
For Dean, initially, these concerns manifest in him being narky with Cas and his spontaneous decision to angel blade the reaper. Not that Dean is angry that Cas saved the brothers, he says to Sam and later to Cas that of course he’s grateful for that, but it’s those pesky cosmic consequences that’s got his clingy black boxers in a bunch, the brothers have been down this road before and it never leads them to a happy destination.
Both Sam and Dean have made choices that have ended up causing world shattering, and possibly world ending, circumstances. Part of their pact at the beginning of season 11 was that they would be smarter about these things. As Sam said, they have to stop repeating the mistakes they kept making over and over - for each other - that bear terrible consequences. Regardless of whether we think the brothers would have gone through with the deal or not, in the Lily Sunder episode there was no discussion between the boys indicating they would betray that deal, on the contrary it sounded like their intent was to honour it. Whether they would or would not have, we can only continue to speculate, but as it stands - the boys are now heeding the warning that something big and cosmic is about to bite them on their perky butts.
On top of all of this, there is now concern over what will happen to Cas. The outcome of breaking the deal with Billie is unknown, the consequences could be global, like the Darkness or the Apocalypse was, or directed solely at the individual who broke the deal.
Dean has nearly lost Castiel on more than one occasion due to Cas' rash decisions and the fallout of those decisions. In each case Cas was acting in a way that he believed would help to save both the world and his friends (something he most likely learned from the Winchesters). Cas was nearly lost to the brothers when he let the Leviathan in and again later, when he let Lucifer in. The consequences of these decisions put Dean at war with his best friend - having to fight him, while also trying to save him, not knowing if in the long run he would have to kill Castiel for the greater good, and not knowing if he'd ever have his friend, who has become family for both him and Sam, back.
Both Dean and Sam have been down this road way too many times not to sweat it, and in a period where they are harmonious in their relationship, their mum is back, they defeated the devil, and they’ve pledged to each other to be smarter, a period where no world ending big bad is waiting around the corner, the thought of another cataclysmic event must be such a bitch.
Dean’s pissed offeness at the whole shebang is understandable, he is only human after all - a dirty big hero, sure, but human - and he loves his people, his family, fiercely and I don’t think he’d ever apologise for that. Castiel is family - that has been communicated to him in no uncertain terms, I’m pretty sure Dean would also have been pissed with Sam if he was the one who broke the deal without any planning for what the outcome may be. Dean has experienced considerable growth over the last few seasons. He listens. He has taken a lot of criticism on board and has changed a lot of behaviours. He has become far more honest and transparent, and has allowed others their space to make their own decisions, and has discussed options with his brother without arbitrarily making decisions on their behalf. This has been instrumental in the transformation of his relationship with Sam. But there’s at least one area that Dean will never change, and that’s in how much he cares - and make no mistake, everything with Cas in this episode is because he cares so damn much.
His experience with the cost of deals is plentiful and losing someone he loves, because his life is saved is always going to be unacceptable to him - regardless of whether he’d die for those he loves. Cas said at the end of the episode, he'd be cool with dying to save the Winchesters, but Dean, and Sam for that matter, would not be cool with that. Sure, if the shoe was on the other foot, they’d both probably die for Cas, but risking your life for your family and them doing the same for you are two different things.
To his credit, Cas is having non of Dean’s shit, firmly cementing himself as one of the family by not apologising for putting family first, and giving a helluva lot of sass while doing it! He has, after all, learnt from the best! Season 12 Cas is one salty bastard! And the conflict between the friends was brief. As soon as Dean’s immediate worry overtook his other concerns he was right by Cas’ side, squeezing in next to Cas, along with Sam, like two giants on a tiny booth chair, after storming into the diner in one of the funniest scenes I’ve seen for a while - as Sam counted him down, proving yet again, no one knows Dean Winchester like Sam Winchester!
The angels in Cas’ garrison were dicks. They were the angels of old. The Uriels and the Balthazars who call humans hairless apes and care nothing for humanity as a whole. Soulless warriors for God, who have lost sight of what God thought of his great Creation. Cas was once a little bit like this - but even the Cas we first met in season 4, wondered at humanity instead of disrespecting it. He was always fascinated by humanity, and was often torn by his duty to heaven and the duty of care to the two boys fast becoming his friends. He appreciated their beauty and their flaws.
Where as most angels have stayed with their own kind, Cas has been hanging around the Winchesters for going on eight years now. Hell, it looks like he pretty much lives with them these days! The Winchesters are the most human of humans and Cas has dramatically changed by being exposed to their very special breed of humanity. He was quick to back the Winchesters when he could see that they were on the right side of the whole Apocalypse argument, and became an ally which caused him no end of heavenly trouble. The Cas of now would have argued long and hard with the Cas of then when the garrison went to sort out the problem with Lily Sunder and her child.
Lily Sunder was terribly wronged. Her child, killed by Isham as his angel compatriots stood by, was human and not Nephilim, and when Cas found this out, as we found out Isham’s bitter reasoning being to cause maximum pain because Lily pushed him away, Cas was devastated, opening the door wide for the conflict to come as Cas and the brothers hunt down Lucifer’s Nephilim, who of course, is a child, who has a human mother. Cas allows Lily to go, but says he will be there if she finds he can’t let him go - demonstrating how very different he is from the angels that she once knew and learned to hate.
I liked Lily a lot. Alicia Witt did a great job of being kickass while being so obviously destroyed by what happened to her life and what her world then became.The boys know something about revenge and what that can do to you and how it can overtake your very existence, and this made both brothers open to reaching out to her. She was human after all.
What was really lovely was the conversation Lily then had with Sam, as she talked about her soul, with Sam reflecting upon his experience with soullessness. I’ve loved how we’ve looked back this season. There have been two protagonist that Sam could directly relate to, first Magda with her powers and now Lily and her ever dimension soul. I did laugh out loud when Lily said she could hear the boys standing two feel away from her talking about her! It reminded me of Kripke’s commentary on “In the Beginning” when Priest Dean and Young Mary were talking about the boy who made a deal with the YED, while standing only a few feet from him! Damn hilarious.
Cas has had 2 substantial and problematic kills over the last two weeks. Both the Billie and Isham’s deaths would be looked upon very harshly in the eyes of those who are already out gunning for our favourite angel who only ever tries to do his best. I wonder if news of both deaths have reached heaven’s ears and if there will be any fallout from that? It was interesting that Isham’s safe houses was a decrepit church. A symbol of his crumbling angelicness and the fall of both himself and of heaven.
And in the end we got Sam rushing to Dean and the brothers pep talking Cas in a show of solidarity and olive branch offering, as he hopes they can find a better way to deal with what they know they have to deal with in the form of Lucifer’s child.
I totally enjoyed Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets. All in all, this was another nice outing from Steve Yockey who is currently batting 2 from 2! A strong script with excellent, memorable new characters. and a compelling story all about Cas that did not forget Sam and Dean.
And now I head to Vegascon! If you don’t follow me on twitter, check me out at @AmyinSydney, I promise I will post photos!