“Lily Sunder Has Some Regrets”
February 2, 2017
THEN: “I thought angels were supposed to be guardians. Fluffy wings. Halos. You know, not dicks.”
Dean is in the map room studying the wall of crazy Cas has built on Kelly. Sam walks in behind him. He notes that Cas has been busy. Dean snarks that the angel has been busy not finding Kelly or her “Rosemary’s baby.” He wonders how she could just drop off the map.
Sam changes the subject to the other woman in their life. Dean says Mary called last night. She’s working a line on a shapeshifter in Atlanta. And she declined his offer to come help. He cranky air quotes that, apparently, she’s ‘got it.’ Sam is like, have you met her? It’s gotten. Trust.
Dean worries that Mary has jumped back into the hunting life too quickly. I think what he means is, Mary started working cases instead of looking for them while they were at Site 94 and then immediately went back to hunting – solo – after they escaped, even though one of them nearly died and they still have the threat of Billie’s cosmic consequences hanging over them.
No, Dean’s abandonment issues haven’t been triggered at all.
Sam takes it in stride. He reminds Dean that, whatever mother he remembers, the person Mary is now isn’t going to stay home and make them soup. Dean is like, one bowl of tomato rice would have been nice.
Sam continues wading through fraught waters. He asks if Dean has talked to Cas yet. Are they going to just keep walking past each other in the kitchen, not saying a word? How long is Dean planning to stay pissed? Dean says he’s not pissed that Cas cares about them. He’s grateful. But he is worried about the fallout from the broken deal.
Because hey, remember what happened the last time somebody thought they were doing the right thing in service of saving a Winchester, cosmic consequences be damned? THE DARKNESS WAS RELEASED AND THE WORLD NEARLY ENDED. REMEMBER? REMEMBER THAT, SAMUEL?
Castiel joins the conversation. He’s all sorry not sorry. He says he was doing the right thing. And that when the other shoe drops, he’ll deal with it. Sam and Cas both seem to forget that it’s Dean’s ass that generally ends up GETTING KICKED BY THAT OTHER SHOE.
But Cas doesn’t have time to discus cosmic footwear. He says another angel, an old friend, called out for help and then went silent. Cas needs to know if Benjamin is still alive. Sam immediately volunteers their help. Dean is like, what is this ‘we’ you speak of? Castiel considers the offer. He looks at Dean. “Both of you?” Dean reluctantly agrees. Sure. They can help … “and make sure you don’t do anything else stupid.”
Dean simmers. Cas stink eyes the back of his head. The car’s hostile silence makes Sam physically uncomfortable. He tells them to just get a room already. Barring that, they should probably know what they’re walking into and have an actual plan. Cas sighs heavily.
He explains that Benjamin wouldn’t call for help lightly, or put himself in harm’s way if he could help it. Dean likes Benjamin already. He sounds like an angel who doesn’t make half-cocked, knee jerk choices. Castiel says what he likes about Benjamin is that he’s sarcastic, “but he’s thoughtful and appreciative, too.”
Salty Cas is the finest Cas.
Dean turns all the way around to face Cas. Sam is like, roadroadROAD as a horn blares past them. Dean holds his angel’s angry gaze for a beat longer before turning back. Cas continues. He says that long ago, Benjamin found a powerfully devout vessel. Dean is surprised to learn that Benjamin is a woman.
“Benjamin is an angel. His vessel is a woman.”
Castiel says she’s more than that though. He struggles to put it into words. Sam simply says, “she’s his friend.” Castiel glances quickly at Dean. He says Benjamin would never put her in unnecessary danger.
The next day the boys interview the only witness, the bartender who was trying to close up shop while Benjamin was obsessively trying to beat an arcade game. Castiel stands apart from them staring up at the far wall, looking at the outline of Benjamin’s burned out wings. The bartender floats his theory that it’s a cult thing. Cas snaps at him to get out.
Dean notices something shiny under one of the other games. He pulls out a gladius and hands it to Cas. Cas says it isn’t Benjamin’s blade and then he’s overcome by a whispering voice in his head. The voice stops. Cas tells them they have to go. Now.
They pull up to a diner some time later. Castiel has arranged a meet with his former commander, Isham. He tells the boys to wait outside. Isham said to come alone and he doesn’t like humans. Cas is like, it’s a whole thing with him, so. Dean balks at being left behind, but Cas reassures him.
“If I plan to do anything else stupid I’ll let you know.”
Castiel is pleased to see his old comrades. Isham and Mirabel, not so much. He notes that they’ve kept the same vessels. Mirabel says they’re not careless. Her tone is icy. Isham says he liked the old Cas better. Mirabel complains that they’ve been waiting. But then it does take longer to get places without their wings. Castiel is like, so that’s how it’s going to be, but he doesn’t rise to her bait.
The ‘order up’ bell ding-dings in the background. Well, maybe that’s one angel getting his wings? Isham tuts that some angels think of Castiel as a hero. He did have his own command. Balthazar. Uriel. Great soldiers. Both dead.
“You had a hand in that, too.”
“Sometimes doing the right thing requires sacrifices.”
Isham agrees … but says it seems like it’s always other angels who pay the price for Castiel’s good deeds. “Their wings. Their lives.” Castiel’s tolerance for his siblings’ abuse is growing thin. Are they here to insult him or talk about Benjamin?
Mirabel says two other angels from their flight have also been murdered. She and Isham are all that’s left. They didn’t tell Cas because they didn’t think he would care.
Sam is watching Dean pace outside. “And you’re going to storm in …
Cas looks over his shoulder. His entire body screams, ‘DEAN, I’M HANDLING IT’. Dean saunters over and tells Cas to scootch. He slides into the booth next to his angel. Sam perches on the very edge of the seat, one cheek valiantly trying to maintain purchase.
What is happening? There’s an empty chair right there. What even is this?
Castiel introduces them as his friends. “My friends who don’t listen very well.” Isham sends Mirabel outside to check for others. His voice remains low and even. The only tell of what he’s feeling are the sugar packets he steadily and aggressively empties into his coffee. Isham tells the boys that when he knew Castiel, he was a soldier. He was a warrior …
“Now look how far he’s fallen.”
Stillness settles over Dean. He goes to his dead-eyed place. He knows how much Castiel has sacrificed. He’d go across the table at Isham if he weren’t squished in so tightly between Sam and Cas. Instead he asks if Isham would like a little coffee with that sugar. Hey, don’t hate. That’s just how some of us like our joe.
Isham takes Dean’s measure and then turns back to Cas. “No wings. No home. Just a ratty old coat and a pair of poorly trained monkeys.” Cas sits and continues to take the abuse. He says it’s not about him – it’s about Benjamin. Isham agrees. He says they should move the party to his safe house nearby. He goes to fetch Mirabel, dropping a few bills on the table as he walks away.
“Have some pie.”
Dean pockets the money. Oh, there will be pie.
Sam slides over to the empty booth. I bet his butt was starting to cramp up. He and Dean both question why the angel walked out with all of his teeth still intact. Cas reminds them again some more that the angels he served with are being killed. So he will put up with Isham. He will put up with everything else – and so will they.
Isham finds Mirabel’s body in a nearby alley. His only warning of the coming attack is the sound of quick footsteps behind him. A redheaded woman glides by him, opening a glowing wound in his side as she goes. He blocks her next blow and claps a hand to her forehead. Golden light glows through her one good eye and spills from her mouth … and then it recedes. The woman smiles and chuckles.
“You can’t smite me, Isham. I’m not powerless anymore.”
Fight fight struggle fight. Castiel joins the fray. He slashes at the woman and she falls to the ground. A flash of memory and he realizes he knows her. She kicks him aside just as the boys round the corner. They draw on her in sync. Isham scurries out of the line of fire.
The woman rises to her feet. She says she doesn’t want to hurt them. She doesn’t want to hurt any human. Just let her finish what she started. Dean tells her that’s not going to happen. He calls her “Patches.”
The woman throws up her hand. The alley is filled with glowing, golden light. When the light fades she’s gone and Dean can’t see. There’s the roar of an engine and she speeds by in her shiny white convertible. Sam tracks her with his gun but doesn’t shoot.
Dean blinks hard, still blinded. Which I thought was curious – and I’m not the only one. Dean stared right into Zachariah’s grace as he died and it didn’t affect him. But I think this scene is meant to be a clever hint to the source of Lily’s power. And a reminder that humanity is the most powerful force in the universe.
Morning. Safe house. Isham is stretched out on a couch, trying and failing to heal the deep gash in his side. It’s another indication of just how powerful Lily Sunder is. Isham tells Castiel he doesn’t owe Sam and Dean any explanation. Dean points out that “One Eyed Willie” wasn’t trying to kill them. She was hell-bent for angel, “so talk before she kicks in the damn door.”
Castiel reminds them that, before the Apocalypse, angels rarely came to Earth. But there was an anomaly. Picture it! Maine, 1901. Castiel’s vessel was a woman then because angels are multidimensional wavelengths of celestial intent and gender is just a construct.
One of their own had taken a human wife and fathered a child. Castiel may have flinched at the sound of the girl’s screams as she died, but he was a soldier upholding one of Heaven’s oldest laws.
That’s how he explains it to the boys now. “We completed a mission.” He agrees that it was horrific, but says it was necessary. It was right. Isham says Lily Sunder was a professor of apocalyptic literature. He took mercy on her and let her live. Isham believes she made a demonic pact in order to exact revenge. It’s a deal that keeps her young and strong and makes her immune to angelic power.
Dean says he and Sam will work the Lily angle – alone. Castiel is vehement that trying to reason with her won’t work. It won’t matter to her that he has changed.
“She won’t quit. Think about it – would you?”
Still, the boys are going to try and they weren’t asking for permission, so.
They step off the elevator into the hotel hallway. Dean asks Sam if he’s sure of the address. Sam explains that he called the rental car company and said she was wanted for questioning by the FBI … Dean cuts him off. “You could have just said yes.” Castiel’s life being in danger makes Dean a little snappy. Sam asks what the plan is. Dean says they’ll knock on her door and ask her nicely not to kill any more angels.
They turn a corner and walk right into Lily. She goes into a ready stance, gladius in each hand. Sam tells her they just want to talk. They know what happened to her family. Dean puts it to her bluntly. He says Cas is their family. They can’t let Lily hurt him. She throws back a challenge – ‘let’ her?
Dean downshifts. He says they don’t want to kill her. Lily says again that she doesn’t want to kill them. Sam is like, yay! Look at us agreeing not to kill each other! He argues that it wasn’t Castiel’s fault that Heaven has rules against nephilim.
Lily looks gobsmacked. She relaxes her stance, but it’s not Sam’s ‘just following orders’ argument that causes her to lower her weapons. It’s how far off base they are. Lily walks towards them, guard down. The grief of her loss washes over her.
Her daughter’s name was May. She was beautiful. And she was wholly human.
Lily says all her life she dreamed of angels. She made them her life’s work. Eventually she learned a spell to summon one – Isham. He taught her the angel’s secrets and their magic. She thought he was perfect.
“But he is a monster.”
He didn’t kill the angel Akobel because he fathered a child. Akobel died because Lily chose him over Isham. Because she chose his protection over Isham’s obsession. Lily believed that she was next, but Isham wasn’t there to kill her.
“You broke my heart, Lily. Now I’m going to break yours.”
Dean needs to take a beat. He asks Sam if he buys the story. Yeah, Sam kind of does. I think Dean does too, but believing her feels disloyal to Cas. He says they need to be sure. He calls Cas. Cas doesn’t pick up.
DAMMIT MAN. THE TRENCHCOAT HAS POCKETS. USE THEM.
Sam tells Dean he’ll stay with Lily while Dean compares notes with Cas. Dean balks, but Lily interrupts. She says again some more that she’s no threat to humans. And that she can hear them.
Sam and Lily wait. He says that he understands wanting revenge – trust him on that – but he wonders why she waited so long. Well, there was the drapes project to finish.
And before the angels fell there was no way for her to hunt them down. And it is curious that all of the angels in Castiel’s flight were still just chilling on Earth. I mean, wasn’t that the entire point of Castiel’s pointless story line in Season 10? Rounding up the rogue angels who hadn’t yet returned to Heaven? It kind of bugs me, but I’ll let it slide because I like new writer Steve Yockey. Lord knows he built up a metric ass tonne of good will with me for “Celebrating the Life of Asa Fox.”
Anyhoo, Lily says patience is a talent. “You’d be amazed what a person can do with a little bit of purpose and an abundance of time.” Sam is like, yeah about that. Lily says she uses Enochian magic – the angel’s magic – to fight, to hear them … to stay alive. It’s possible if you’re willing to pay the price of admission. She gestures to her eye patch.
“Every time I use one of their spells a piece of my soul burns away.”
And once it’s gone … Sam can fill in that blank for her. Once it’s gone, she won’t feel anything anymore. She won’t care about anything anymore. “You won’t be human anymore.” Jared is splendid in this scene, conveying all of Season 6 in just these few lines. Kudos.
Lily says she used to dream about her daughter every night. Does he know what she dreams about now?
She knows that Sam doesn’t trust her, but when Dean confronts Isham and Isham kills him, Sam won’t stand in her way anymore. He’ll help her. “And for that, I can wait.”
Dean arrives at the safe house. Cas looks like ass warmed over. He’s drained from healing Isham – who’s feeling fit as a fiddle, thanks for asking. Dean is like, oh wish you hadn’t of done that just yet. He steadies Cas as he gets to his feet to confront Isham. His old commander says Lily is a liar. “She’s human. It’s kind of what they do.” He asks Castiel who he’s going to believe – his brother or some filthy ape?
Isham asks who is Dean to question his choices? To question Castiel’s? Cas is like, do you watch this show? My choices need to be questioned on the regular. He presses Isham for an answer – was May human? Isham says Cas isn’t going to like the answer. That’s enough confirmation for Dean.
He pulls a gladius from his belt. Isham mojos him across the room and proceeds to beat the pretty off Cas. When he’s done pummeling Castiel, Isham straightens his tie. He says he’s going to help his brother. He’s going to cure him of his human weakness but cutting it out.
Dean is crouched against the wall. His hand hovers over a banishing sigil. Isham challenges him to do it, but reminds him that it will blast Cas out of the room, too. Isham will survive. Is Dean so sure Cas will? Y’all, didn’t Cas survive a beat down from Lucifer himself just a few episodes ago? How is it that this tool Isham is able to beat him nigh unto death?
It’s a valid question, but not one Dean is willing to roll the dice on. He stands down. And perhaps with good reason, because what he drew isn’t the usual banishing sigil. Maybe Lily isn’t the only angel magic expert in the room.
Dean tenses for Isham’s attack but the cavalry arrive first. Sam decided to skip the Dean dying part and go straight to helping Lily get her revenge. Good call. Fight fight struggle fight. Sam and Dean dart in, slashing at Isham, buying Lily time to regroup when she needs it. She tells Isham it’s not over. She pulls off her patch revealing the dead white eye behind it.
“I will never be powerless again.”
Her soul’s light glows behind her eye. She sends Isham sailing through the air. He hits the wall hard and bounces to the floor. She pins him upright, but he’s able to fight against her magic. He says she can’t hold him forever. Isham closes the distance between them and raises his blade to strike. Castiel stabs him through the back. That’s kind of his thing now. He collapses to his knees in front of Lily.
“You held him for long enough.”
Lily stands over Isham’s body in the curve of his burned out wings. It’s a beautifully framed and lit shot. Kudos. Dean asks if she’s done. Lily thinks about her answer. She says revenge is all she’s had for over 100 years. “It’s what I am.” Dean is like, let me try that again.
Castiel wearily tells him to zippy zip. He apologizes to Lily. He says he was wrong. That his ignorance was no excuse for his actions. Lily seems astonished by his words. Her soul isn’t yet so dead that she is totally without feeling. Castiel acknowledges the depth of her pain and her loss. He tells Lily that if she finds she can’t forgive him, “I”ll be waiting.” It’s as much comfort as Lily may ever find and she gratefully takes it.
Dean puts a beer in front of Cas. He tells his angel he earned it. And that despite what Isham said, he’s not weak. He knows that, right? He’s been a part of Team Free Will every step of the way. “No matter how crazy it got, you never backed down.” Sam says that takes real strength.
And as long as they’re caring and sharing, Dean says he doesn’t like how the whole Billie thing went down. He stresses that he’s not mad. He’s worried. He can already feel the Universe’s teeth on his ass. Castiel acknowledges Dean’s fear, but says he doesn’t regret what he did, “even if it costs me my life.”
Dean gestures to the wall of crazy behind Cas. What is he going to do if he finds Kelly and her child? Cas says that an ordinary nephilim is one of the most dangerous beings in Creation. But one that’s fathered by an archangel? By the devil himself? He can’t imagine its power. He says there was a time that he wouldn’t have hesitated. But now … he doesn’t know. He proposes they drink.
“And hope we can find a better way.”
Supernatural airs Thursday at 8:00 p.m. (Eastern) on The CW.