After an angel is murdered by a vengeful woman with angelic abilities, Castiel and the Winchesters follow a short trail leading to other angels led by Isham who, with Castiel once took part in the execution of one of their own over a century ago involving the forbidden creation of a nephilim. After the woman, Lily, kills again and wounds Isham, Sam and Dean track her down and discover the truth. Lily’s daughter was in fact human and Isham killed her as punishment for Lily, who had sought an escape from Isham’s obsessive behavior over her. Dean later confronts Isham but is overpowered as Lily and Sam intervene. It is Castiel who kills Isham and accepts his fate should Lily decide to revenge against him in the future. Afterward back at the bunker, Sam, Dean, and Castiel prepare for what’s to come should Lucifer’s child be born.
This is one of those episodes that I wished had been written back in the 4th or 5th season when the angel craze was at its peak. This was powerfully written and masterfully directed past the angel prime, and though this won’t necessarily breathe new life into the angel paradigm I really found this tale enjoyable and softly heartbreaking in its basic tone. Just when you think you’ve discovered all of Castiel’s layers, he reveals yet another somber piece of his life that helped build his character even after years of seemingly reaching the height of his form. And the supporting cast did well with the help of the gorgeous Alicia Witt and Ian Tracey, whose prior works includes the sci-fi series, Sanctuary. Anyone who has felt this show has dragged on too long hasn’t experienced what this awesome season has given us thus far and hopefully continues to do so.
Lily’s tragic story had the allure of mystery surrounding both her abilities and the nature of the nephilim child who Isham used as a ruse to manipulate his group of angels into finding her. At first, I wasn’t sold on the convenient flashback tale that involved a nephilim offspring that just so happened to coincide with this season’s recent arc, but the twist worked great and Lily’s pain was arguably justified. If it weren’t for the wrap up, I’d say she’s do for another follow up episode, but in a way I hope she stays far away from Castiel, for the sake of it.
Dean’s issue with Castiel’s choice to kill Billie and cause a future cosmic backlash is all-but guaranteed to happen now and dealing with the actions and potential consequences now between family is good not to drag out too long. The brothers settle their issues over several episodes but Dean and Castiel needed to hash out their differences now and not drag it out. It was done in fitting time and with both members on their own virtuous side of right, it was a compelling argument either way. Except we always knew neither brother would have been killed anyway, that’s just radically impossible.
I stated earlier that breathing new life into the angel plot is difficult because there are no more “famous” angels that can come out and play a pivotal role. Introducing Isham and making him somewhat of a revered warrior of the past seems redundant since he wasn’t an archangel nor was he ever mentioned in any angel episode prior. How many more awesome and powerful angels are there left that Castiel is leaving out of the plot who are supposed to matter to us? At least none in this group were goofy and obnoxious like most demons are these days.
When we discovered that May was human and not a nephilim. It was brilliant of the writer’s not to reveal a real hybrid that existed in the past. There might be a case in the future to tell a story that involves an actual nephilim from way back when that caused this forbidden rule to be put in place, but for now the idea that this would bring angels to earth when they rarely visited was the right approach, sealed even further when the angel Isham lied to find Lily. I enjoy it when moments like these aren’t easily discernable.
Alicia Witt’s journey as Lily was fun to watch. She may not have been more than a two-dimensional revenger all Kill-Bill style, but the act had me convinced of the price she was paying to stay true to the one she loved and lost. By the end I had hoped she’d settled the vengeance herself, but as Castiel has maintained, he’ll soak up all that pain and retribution for himself to save other the despair if he has to. Great performances all around.
The idea of a nephilim having the ability to destroy the world isn’t new, but I wonder how Supernatural intends to explain just how exactly these nephilim possess that much power. They briefly commented that a nephilim born of an archangel would be immensely powerful, but how does merging with a human actually propagate that power when humans are generally designed to be powerless with the exception of having a soul? It’s not like combining the best traits from two species and creating something more potent, so how will humans prove to be the kinds of vessels needed to create this destructive force?
Lily’s abilities were born from her obsession and study of angels over the years and some glossed over moment when she gave up segments of her soul to use those abilities and stay immortal. It’s a great backstory but I think it lacked some more creative elements to it. I wanted to know more about what it took to accomplish that since no human before has ever done such a thing. Is she the only one? Maybe, maybe not.
This season deserves alternate episodes where we follow Mary Winchester concurrently while she has these one-off adventures. I want to see her take on this shapeshifter and discover what made her an incredible hunter. Now there’s another spin-off that would have worked far better than that Bloodlines attempt.
Realistically, how many angels are left on Earth after the fall? Generally, I’d get the sense that it could be somewhere in the hundreds of thousands, but I wonder if it’s much smaller than that and I also wonder if the Men of Letters from London have encountered any and treat them the same way they do monsters in their territory. Mr. Ketch might have a story or two about it perhaps.
9 out of 10. “Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets” took an existing angel plot and inserted a very appropriate tale that reflected on Castiel’s decisions in the past and present while dealing with Dean’s frustrations over the cosmic consequences looming on the horizon. A tragic tale should never invest in major humorous moments and the writers took careful consideration with that in their tale which helped really give this episode a great quality even if it was typically a revenge-plot. Most angels are forgettable these days but every now and then we can understand the role they played a little better by giving humans enough reason to interact with them. They are a fickle bunch with issues we can hardly relate to except when it comes to Castiel and a few choice others. This felt like it needed to be elevated within the confines the major arc and that’s a great sign of a good crew producing a fine episode. Well done. Thanks for reading.
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