caranfindel (caranfindel) wrote,

Initial reaction 12.10: Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets

The "Then" reminds us that Cas used to be an awesome BAMF warrior angel of The Lord with gorgeous fluffy hair, and also that he killed Billie, and both of these reminders break my heart (shakes an angry fist at the "Then.")

Now: A surly video game player who turns out to be an angel named Benjamin is killed by a surly eyepatch-wearing redhead who also seems to be an angel because she wields two angel blades (one of which ends up rolling under a piece of furniture), but then maybe not, since she refers to "your little angel tricks." Before dying, Benjamin sends out a call for help to some other angels, including Cas.

Title card!

Dean's annoyed at Mary for not needing help on a hunt (and note that he's not passing messages on to Sam unless Sam specifically asks) but more annoyed at Cas for killing Billie (yes, Dean, this is quite annoying). This entire episode seems to be a love note to the Destiel fans, since they're portrayed as a feuding couple. Sam asks if they're going to keep "walking past each other in the kitchen not saying a word" and I imagine poor Sammy feels the way little kids do when their parents are fighting. Dean's concerned about the "cosmic consequences" Billie threatened, which is ironic, maybe even hypocritical, in my opinion, because Dean's motto has always been "save my family and worry about the consequences later," so it seems churlish of him to be mad at Cas for doing the exact same thing. Cas shows up to defend his honor and then announce he's leaving to rescue an old friend who was begging for help. Sam stands up and says they'll go with, and it's funny to watch the camera pan up with him as he rises because it has to get so damn high. Dean says something mean and Cas and Sam both bitchface at him and at the risk of sounding like a broken record this season, the guys are unbelievably pretty in this scene.

So pretty.

In the car, Sam's still uncomfortably stuck between the feuding couple and he also tells Dean to keep his eyes on the road, finally. Cas says that Benjamin, unlike Dean, is thoughtful and appreciative. And probably brings his wife flowers. He also explains that Benjamin and his vessel are very close, and I'm not sure if the takeaway is supposed to be that Benjamin the "male" angel could have a female vessel, or that an angel and a vessel can be very close, or that an angel and any human can be very close. But we're supposed to get something along those lines out of this conversation.

Also, more pretty!!!

We briefly see the red-headed pirate chanting something while lying on a bed, next to a desk strewn with mysterious equipment.

Back at the video arcade, Cas gazes sadly at the charcoal imprint of Benjamin's wings on the walls while the Winchesters interview the employee who found the body. Cas is emotional, Sam is sweetly concerned, and Dean notices what the police and the other 2/3 of TFW didn't - the missing angel blade. Cas recognizes that it doesn't belong to Benjamin. Huh. There's another interesting skill Cas has picked up lately. He closes his eyes and hears the chanting of the red-headed pirate, and we cut back to her, sensing Castiel. (I notice she has two angel blades on her desk. So, either she had quite the collection to begin with, or someone forgot she lost one. Let's say it's A.)

Not that I care, because godDAMN, look at those faces and those backs and Sam's hair curling over his collar.

As the red-headed pirate (can I call her Redbeard? I'm gonna call her Redbeard) kisses a little girl's photo, Cas yanks the guys out of the arcade to meet an angel named Isham, his former battalion leader. Isham doesn't like humans, even perfectly adorable humans like these, so Cas leaves them outside.

I'm surprised too, boys. And Sam's wearing his awesome S11 red plaid shirt. Who could dislike him in that???

Inside the diner, Cas meets with Isham and the non-Biblically named Mirabelle (or maybe there is a Mirabelle in the Bible, I don't know) and there is plenty of snark, because not only does Isham dislike humans, but he's not a fan of Cas either.

Are you here to insult me, or talk about Benjamin?

Can't we do both?

I like it.

Cas mentions that they kept their old vessels, and Isham comments that he preferred Castiel's old vessel, which is information we will need for the upcoming flashback, so thanks for that, guys. We also learn that what used to be called a garrison is now apparently called a "flight." I'm not sure what we need that for.

Outside the diner, Dean gets annoyed and storms in just as Sam predicts. They shove themselves into Cas's booth, which is visually cute but tactically stupid. Isham sends Mirabelle outside to see if there are any other uninvited tagalongs, and pours several packets of sugar into his coffee, which makes me wonder if anyone's going to make a reference to The Fly. (They don't.)

Visually so very cute.

While Isham snarks about Cas's poorly trained monkey friends (and Cas makes it clear that he'll put up with Isham's rudeness because he has to find his friend's killer), Redbeard shows up outside and apparently kills Mirabelle, although we don't see burned wings. She also wounds Isham, who tries to smite her but fails - bright light emanates from her mouth and exposed eye, like a dying angel, but she survives and laughs at him, saying she's no longer powerless. TFW shows up and Cas has a brief flashback of Redbeard in an old-fashioned dress, sans eyepatch. She tells the Winchesters she doesn't want to hurt any humans and releases a bright light from her hand, blinding them and letting her make her escape in a Mustang convertible. But Sam got her tag number cause he's awesome.

At Isham's safehouse, an old church that I think we've seen before, Cas reminds the audience that before the apocalypse, angels rarely came to earth. (Except they all seemed to have a pretty rich history on earth once we met them in S4, and we know Cas was around to watch fish evolve, but okay.)

Flashback time!

It's 1901, and the angels we've seen in this episode are walking toward a house. There's another angel we don't recognize, and it turns out to be Castiel in a female vessel. It's a good thing they warned us "male" angels can have female vessels, because we might have freaked out. Particularly if we'd forgotten about Raphael's multi-gendered vessels. Or about Cas briefly using Claire as a vessel. Whew! They've come to take care of a nephilim (duh duh duuuuuuhhhhh!) which is dangerous and forbidden!

They approach the house and are not-exactly-greeted by the redheaded lady, now with both eyes (okay, she's Lily, I'll call her Lily) and an angel whose name is Akabel or something like that, with very long pretty hair. (Yeah, maybe I have a type.) Castiel reads the charge, and on rewatch, it's more obvious that Akabel or whatever is surprised that he's being charged with fathering a nephilim. He's executed, and Isham goes inside to do the "next part" alone. And judging by what we hear from outside, the "next part" is killing Lily's daughter.

Back in the present, Isham explains that Lily Sunder was a professor of "apocalyptic journalism" (which wasn't a major available to me, maybe because I went to a state school) who studied angels and spoke fluent Enochian. He claims she made a demonic pact to stay alive for 100+ years and repel angel powers. Sam suggests that he and Dean go talk to her and see if they can convince her Cas is no longer the family-murderer she wants to murder, and Cas says "She won't quit. Think about it. Would you?"

And well, that's a tricky question, isn't it? Coincidentally, it came up on Tumblr lately that Sam seems more likely to forgive those who hurt him than those who hurt the people he loves. So I think the answer to this is "yes, I might quit, because I have a history of turning the other cheek, but if my child (or my brother, because that's what we're all thinking) had been murdered, maybe not. (Exhibit A: Lilith.) But the Winchesters are going to try anyway, so they take off.

Lily uses angelic-looking powers to heal her battle wound, while Cas uses bona fide angel powers to heal Isham. Isham continues to chide him for being friends with "simians" (I enjoy the way he, like Uriel, uses terms like monkey, simian, and primate to refer to humans). Cas is severely weakened by the process.

At Lily's hotel, Sam explains for the audience how he found her location using car rental records, to which Dean replies "you could have just said yes." It's cute. When she steps out into the hall, brandishing an angel blade, they're relieved to find that none of them want to kill each other. Lily is surprised when they call her daughter a nephilim, and they get her side of the story. Which is that her daughter was completely human, Isham was summoned by Lily as part of her in-depth angel studies and became obsessed with her, and Akabel wasn't her lover; he was only there to protect her. Isham told us earlier that he "spared" Lily by not killing her, but in the flashback, it's obvious that he kills the girl and leaves Lily alive in order to break her heart.

Sam and Dean aren't sure whether to believe her. Huh. Too bad Cas and his recently-revealed lie detector abilities aren't handy. Dean attempts to call Cas, maybe thinking he can play lie detector over the phone, or maybe thinking he'll say "oh yeah, that sounds a lot more reasonable that the story I've believed for over 100 years." Either way, he hangs up after two rings and declares Cas isn't answering. They decide Dean will go talk to Cas while Sam stays to guard Lily. Lily points out that she's no threat and also that she can hear everything they're saying, which is awesome.

How could you lie to this face?

After Dean leaves, Sam asks Lily why she waited so long to enact her revenge (and admits he understands seeking revenge, which is true, and nicely provides some continuity). She says she couldn't hunt them down before they lost their wings. Which raises the question... why did she do whatever she did to herself alive, if she had no idea she'd ever be able to get her revenge? Did she know the angels were going to fall? Anyway, Sam tells her Isham claimed she was using dark magic, but she explains she uses angel magic, and we get this.

Enochian magic? That's possible?

It is if you're willing to pay the price of admission. (motions to her eyepatch) Every time I use one of their spells, a piece of my soul burns away. And once it's gone...

You won't feel anything any more. You won't care about anything any more. You won't be human any more.

Oh Saaaammmmmm!!!!! I wonder what Sam remembers about being soulless? I know he remembers what he did. But does he remember what he felt? Or didn't feel?

Sam's "I know what it's like to be soulless" face.

However, let's not get distracted from the knowledge that humans can use angel magic. Will that come up later? Will someone have to burn away a piece of his pretty pretty soul? Hmmm!

Lily then tells Sam that Isham is going to kill his brother, and when that happens, Sam won't stand in her way any more, he'll help her, and she can wait for that.

Sam's "that's what you think" face.

(At this point, The Husband comments that Lily is an interesting character, and I say yes, but I don't think she's going to survive the episode. Because let's face it, the survival rate of redheads on this show is almost as bad as that for people of color.)

Meanwhile, back at the safe house, Isham feels awesome but Cas is still weak, and also can't find his phone. It's like someone untrustworthy took it or something. When Dean shows up, he tells Cas he's being played, and Lily's daughter was human. Isham says it's a lie, and asks "Who are you going to believe? Your brother, or this filthy ape who's always talking down, always mocking you?" Because obviously Isham hasn't been watching the show and has missed the many, many indications that Cas considers Dean his family. (But he's seen enough to notice that Dean talks down to him and mocks him, so I'll give him that. And he must have caught it by watching previous episodes, because I don't really think he did in Isham's presence. Or did he?)

There's a fight, and in his weakened state, Cas can't defend himself. Isham takes out his angel blade and says he is going to "cure you of your human weakness the same way I cured my own; by cutting it out," and for a second I think he's going to literally cut something out of Cas, which is kind of a stupid conclusion for me to jump to. Instead, he's going to kill Dean. Dean cuts his palm and paints a banishing sigil, but Isham points out that Cas might not survive the banishing.

Dean's "well shit, he does have a point" face.

Luckily, Lily and Sam arrive, and Sam's all "Lily's battling an angel and Cas looks half dead over there but I'm gonna make sure Dean's okay" and runs to his brother's side.

That's why I love you, Sammy.

Lily loses her weapon but then flicks off her eyepatch and advances on Isham with her... evil eye? I don't know what's going on here? Does she have power that comes out of that eye or something? It's a moot point, because Cas stabs him in the back (just like he stabbed Billie, goddammit Cas) and so long Isham.

Afterward, Dean tells Lily she's done, but Cas apologizes and says that if she can't forgive him, he'll be waiting. Waiting for her to come kill her? As in, he won't defend himself?

Back at the bunker, Dean has stopped being a dick to Cas. Both brothers tell him he's better than he was back in the day (although I sincerely miss BAMF god warrior Cas) and shower him with warm fuzzies, though Dean points out he's still worried about those cosmic consequences. Cas says he has no regrets, even if he ends up losing his life over it. Dean asks about his plans if he finds Kelly and her nephilim, and Cas says an ordinary nephilim is one of the most dangerous beings in creation, and Lucifer's nephilim will have unimaginable power. And, okay, we've seen a nephilim before. She wasn't dangerous. She was a waitress, for Christ's sake. She didn't try to hurt Cas and Metatron until she was in self defense mode, and she was easily defeated. So Cas, maybe someone lied to you about the dangers of the halfbreed babies. Just saying. Cas says at one point he wouldn't have hesitated to kill Rosemary's Baby, but now he doesn't know. And then they get drunk.

And... we never do find out what Lily regrets. Summoning Isham? Probably. Not killing Cas? Possibly. The eyepatch? You never know.

So. This was obviously a Cas-centric episode, which is never my favorite type of episode. But it felt like they were laying the foundation for something. So many points were made. I just don't know which ones were red herrings, and I was burned pretty bad last season, so I'm feeling tentative.

Our options are:

1. Don't forget those cosmic consequences.
2. Male angels can have female vessels. (Hey, do we know of a male angel out there somewhere, who might have an appropriate potential female vessel out there? Asking for a friend.)
3. Angels can become very close to their vessels.
4. Angels can become very close to humans, whether or not they are their vessels.
5. Cas's family is the Winchesters.
6. Nephilim are eeeeevvvviiiiilllll.
7. But Cas might be convinced not to kill one.
8. Humans can make use of angel powers.
9. But it burns away part of their soul.
10. Sam has been without a soul.

Will any of these be relevant for future episodes? I guess we'll find out when they show up in the "Then" segment.

As always, no spoilers in the comments, please!
Tags: 12.10 lily sunder has some regrets, initial reaction, pretty, season 12, supernatural

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