Peacemaker Episodes 1-5 Spoiler Review

John Cena is such an interesting person; on the surface he seems a little uptight and he has become a better actor with each new role. Cena was funny in Trainwreck and Blockers, but I think his performance in The Suicide Squad was what finally won me over. In The Suicide Squad we got to see him be both funny and lethal; his killing of Rick Flag was haunting. John Cena has had his fair share of misses as an actor too; his performance in both Bumblebee and F9 were utterly forgettable. I was never a big fan of Cena as a wrestler, but since he has focused on his acting career, I have enjoyed his occasional return to the WWE ring. I think what makes Peacemaker an interesting character is the way James Gunn has written the character in The Suicide Squad and the Peacemaker streaming series. Gunn wrote a character that is so rigid in his devotion to his belief system that he kills a character whom he looked up to. In the scene where he killed Flag, Peacemaker was not happy about what he did; and even after that he attempted to kill two more of his teammates before he himself was taken out. In The Suicide Squad Peacemaker was never presented as a sympathetic character, but the first episode of the series made me root for him. 

I really appreciated that the show was rated R, that it did not hold back on the language (it is fabulously vulgar) and violence. I really enjoyed Gunn's work with Marvel (Guardians of the Galaxy 1 and 2), but I liked Gunn's twisted sense of humor that is on full display in Peacemaker. This is a show that is not for kids, it is a very much grown ups comic book series, more so than anything else that has been made. The music in the show is awesome, it is nice to see some appreciation for classic hard rock (I mean 80's). The opening credits and song are fantastic, the song is stuck in my head along with some of the dance moves. The opening credits features the characters of the show dancing, it is both funny and weird. I am having such a blast with this show so far, it is like James Gunn created something just for me. The main cast assembled for the show all have such great chemistry with each other, they way they constantly insult each other makes me crack up every time. Based on James Gunn sense of humor I think he and I would get along famously. Besides John Cena, the show stars Danielle Brooks as Amanda Waller's daughter Leota, Freddie Stroma as Vigilante, Steve Agee as John Economos, Jennifer Holland as Emelia Harcourt, Chukwudi Iwuji as Clemson Murn and Robert Patrick as Peacemaker's father Auggie. They all seem perfectly cast for their various roles; Robert Patrick is a racist dirtbag who taught Peacemaker all the skills he has. It is no wonder that Peacemaker is such a broken individual, he was raised by a monster of a dad. 


The series starts with Peacemaker getting out of the hospital after being shot in the throat by Bloodsport and having a building fall on him. While his doctor is explaining how lucky he was to live, he was more worried about the x-ray showing the definition of his smaller muscles. Peacemaker is surprised to be released, and that there was nobody there to take him back to prison. Peacemaker (real name Christopher Smith) heads home where his team comes to him, and he is told that needs to meet them at a restaurant in the evening. Chris goes to see his dad so he can get a new helmet and his pet eagle Eagly. Chris goes to dinner in full costume with Eagly waiting in the car, at the dinner he is told that their mission is to locate and kill targets called butterflies. Chris follows fellow team member Emilia to bar where he attempts to hit on her, but she is not interested. Chris then is seen hooking up with a trashy blonde at her apartment, Chris is marveling at her record collection when she attacks him with a knife. His hookup seems to have supernatural strength, she beats him up, but he is able to make it back to his car where he puts on his new helmet and activates a new feature that kills her to end the episode.

Episode two starts with Chris stuck at the apartment building, he goes back to his hookup's unit to get his clothes, her record collection, the mission file and a weird looking device. The police arrive and Chris calls Emilia for assistance, breaks into another apartment where he meets Amber. Amber and Chris hit it off, but he needs to tie Amber and her boyfriend up so he can escape using the balcony. Chris jumps from balcony to balcony until he gets to the ground floor. A unit of police are waiting for him there, but Emilia uses a tranquilizer gun to sedate them. While Chris, Emilia and Leota are on their way back to base Murn has John hack into the system and change the registration on Peacemaker's car to his father's name. The police go to see Auggie who utters a racial slur to one of the detectives, and then he tells them to get out of his house. At the base the team tries to figure out how one of the butterflies targeted Peacemaker so fast, Chris then points out that he brought the mission dossier to her apartment and left it on her bed. Leota is tasked with bribing Amber and her now ex-boyfriend to identify Auggie as their attacker. Chris goes home and laments how much of a screwup he is, his old pal Vigilante arrives and tries to cheer him up. Vigilante takes him into the woods, and they shoot a bunch of things until Peacemaker feels better. They cap off the day with a meeting with Amber that ends with Chris, Amber and Vigilante hooking up. While laying in bed Chris is playing with the weird device he took from the butterfly's apartment, and it turns into a tiny spaceship. Auggies is arrested by the detectives and brought to prison where we learn the other prisoners kneel before him calling him the White Dragon as the episode ends.

Episode three starts with the team getting prepped for their first mission, the task is to kill an American senator who is believed to be a butterfly. They head to the senator's home where they are briefed by Murn on the mission particulars. The senator has a wife and two children who they are not sure are butterflies as well. Peacemaker rejects the idea of killing kids, but he is told they aren't kids if they are butterflies. The senator has bodyguards, and a particularly dangerous one in Judomaster whom Peacemaker insults saying he looks like tiny. When the team gets on site Chris and Emilia go to find a place where they can setup the sniper rifle, Leota, Murn and John stay in the van. While waiting for the senator and his family to get home Emilia and Chris start to bond until Vigilante arrives. Vigilante is told to stay because they don't want him being seen by the family and blowing the operation. The senator and his family arrive home with a bodyguard and Judomaster covering them, once inside the family acts robotic. It becomes obvious that the entire family are butterflies and Peacemaker is told to kill them all. Peacemaker cannot make the shot, so Vigilante takes over and proceeds to kill the two kids and wife before Judomaster interrupts them. Judomaster kicks Emila down a hill, and then he knocks out Peacemaker and Vigilante. The senator comes out and tells Judomaster to bring them inside, the senator has Vigilante and Peacemaker brought to a cavern-like basement where they are ties to chairs. 

Murn and Leota go looking to help, but they are too late as they only find Emilia who was knocked unconscious during the fall down the hill. Emilia uses the tracker in Peacemaker's head to locate that he is still alive and inside the house. Leota, Murn and Emilia enter the house and search for Peacemaker; they figure out that there must be a basement. They start looking for an entrance when Leota notices a secret panel in painting, she pushes a button, and an alien-looking door is revealed. While the team is trying to breakthrough the door, Peacemaker and Vigilante are being questioned by the senator. The senator tells Judomaster to exit through the forest and alert the others about what has happened. The senator begins to torture Vigilante, he hopes that seeing Vigilante get tortured will get Peacemaker to divulge information. Peacemaker refuses, but when Murn, Leota and Emilia use an explosive to blow open the door Peacemaker is freed from the chair. Peacemaker kills the senator, and then a weird little alien comes out of the senator head (it looks like a butterfly). John stops Judomaster from escaping by hitting his car with the van and then using a crowbar to knock him out as the episode ends.

The fourth episode opens with the team returning from the mission, Vigilante is hurt, and they have Judomaster as a prisoner. Murn asks Chris to keep an eye on Vigilante, Murn believes the team will need Vigilante for the battles that are ahead. Peacemaker and Vigilante leave to go home and get some sleep, but on the way, they argue about whether Peacemaker should have let Vigilante get tortured. They arrive at Peacemaker's dad's house so Peacemaker can get a helmet that he thinks will help with the operation. While looking at the helmets, Peacemaker decides to take them all, and when he is leaving the next-door neighbor tells Chris that his father was arrested. Peacemaker then learns that his team framed his dad for what happened at the apartment building. Peacemaker goes to the jail to visit his father and tell him he had nothing to do with the frame job. Auggie wants nothing to do with his son, and when Chris tells Auggie what Murn did to frame Auggie, Auggie says he will tell the detectives that he was framed. Leota arrives to talk Peacemaker down, but she also manipulates Vigilante into believing that Peacemaker would be happier is his father was no longer around. Vigilante gets himself arrested so he can get near Peacemaker's father, Vigilante plan is to try and get Auggie to attack him so he can defend himself and kill Auggie in the process. Auggie is too smart to attack Vigilante, when Leota admits what she did with Vigilante Murn has John hack the prison system to get Vigilante released. Judomaster is able to escape, he attacks John and runs away. Leota and Peacemaker arrive to help John, Peacemaker and Judomaster fight in the parking lot. Judomaster is about to say something important to Peacemaker about the butterflies when he is shot by Leota. Peacemaker goes home, gets drunk, and hangs out with Eagly, and the butterfly that came out of the senator's head which Peacemaker captured and put in a jar (even though he told everyone else he killed it). Leota at HQ goes through things and finds the Glan Tai business card, she calls Murn to say she might be onto something. We see that Murn himself is a butterfly as the episode ends. 

The fifth episode starts with Peacemaker waking up hungover; he makes himself a hangover remedy drink and then goes to HQ for their next mission briefing. The briefing is revealed using a PowerPoint presentation that Peacemaker says was made poorly. John gets defensive since he made the presentation, Peacemaker keeps insulting John and his motive is that he is still mad that John framed his father. The mission is to investigate a facility that has ties to the butterflies; both the senator and the butterfly Peacemaker slept with both have ties to the Glan Tai. Murn believes that Glan Tai makes the substance that the butterflies need to eat. The mission is to investigate the warehouse for proof of the connection to the butterflies. In the van on the way to the operation Peacemaker and Vigilante are listening to some music which Harcourt turns off. John reveals which band he likes, and it turns out that him and Peacemaker do have something in common. Vigilante wants to bring a chainsaw in, but he is told not to by everyone. John stays in the van to give technical support, and Peacemaker goes with Leota, while Vigilante goes with Harcourt. 

Peacemaker and Leota go in through the front door with Peacemaker activating his helmets x-ray vision feature. Peacemaker using the helmet to guide him starts killing everyone he sees as they are all butterflies. Vigilante and Harcourt enter through the back of the warehouse where they locate where the liquid for the butterflies is bottled. Harcourt and Vigilante get spotted, and they run to a computer room and lock the door. With Harcourt and Vigilante trapped Peacemaker and Leota make their way to rescue them. Peacemaker uses a Russian tank shell that he taped a grenade to as a way to kill all the butterflies in their path. John can't get a hold of anyone inside after the explosion happens, and he starts to panic. Peacemaker and Leota enter the computer and are attacked by a gorilla with a butterfly inside of it; the super gorilla tosses them around the room. All of the team take shots at the gorilla, but nothing deters it except for when John appears and uses the chainsaw to saw through the gorilla's chest. Peacemaker is proud of John, while Vigilante pouts that he wanted to use the chainsaw. 

While the team was on a mission Murn was trying to prevent Auggie from getting released from prison. Auggie spoke with the detectives, and he told them he was innocent and that his son was the real culprit. The detectives then took Auggie's fingerprints and compared them to the ones from the scene of the crime and no surprise that they don't match. Murn enlists an old acquaintance to help with the situation, the acquaintance takes over as the captain of the police force and tells the detectives to stand down. The detectives unhappy with the coverup go to a judge to get a warrant I assume for Peacemaker's prints. After the mission Leota goes back to Peacemaker's trailer where they have a beer, while Peacemaker goes to the washroom Leota plants the diary her mother (Amanda Waller) asked her to plant. Leota goes back to HQ because she was unable to sleep, she puts on Peacemaker's helmet and activates the x-ray vision. While Leota is having fun with the feature she looks at Murn and realizes that he too is a butterfly. Leota tries to run away, but Murn catches her as the episode ends.


I am not going to attempt to make a case that this show should win a bunch of awards, but I am enjoying it more than anything else I have watched in a long time. I have watched some good shows and movies, but watching Peacemaker is entertainment on a whole other level. The MCU series are fun, but they are PG rated series that are also more dramatic. Peacemaker is about having a lot of fun first and delivering a compelling story as a close second. I have talked with a few coworkers about their thoughts on the show, and I got a mixed reaction. While I think the show is hilarious, I had one agree with me, and two more who think the show is just okay at best. I wanted to get into it more with them, but I found it difficult to quantify my enjoyment of the show. I have watched the show multiple time already, and yet I never find myself getting bored by it or finding flaws within the episodes. There is nothing I can think about the first four episodes that I did not like, I know this is not an awards worthy show, but it is incredibly entertaining. The chemistry between the cast is so good, with each episode the bond between them grows deeper, and they also take on some of the qualities of their fellow teammates. 

We are now five episodes into an eight-episode season, and despite knowing the general plot (hunting butterflies) we know little else about what is going on. Their mission appears simple; they are to learn more about the butterflies while also stopping them whenever possible. We still have no clue what the butterflies are trying to achieve, and why Murn who is a butterfly is helping the team. There is also still the issue of the Judomaster about to confess something about the butterflies before he was shot by Leota. Things are starting to build up to a boiling point now, with Leota placing the diary in Peacemaker's home, the detectives going to the judge, and Murn being outed. I can't wait to see episode six now, I get the feeling that if Peacemaker learns that Leota placed the diary in his trailer that he will be devastated that he was burned again by his team. We still do not know what is in the diary, and why Waller wants it placed in Peacemaker's trailer. I have a suspicion that Waller's intent with the diary is to frame Peacemaker for something, with all of the missions they are doing being secret having a fall guy is essential. 

I really hope Peacemaker is not a limited series, there is room for it to get more seasons as there are plenty of crisis' that require the team's assistance. Gunn has crafted a story that is like an R-rated Guardians of the Galaxy, it brings together a group of misfits who band together and become a makeshift family. So much of Peacemaker is focused on the relationship between the characters, the plot is given to us in little doses. The focus of the show is on the characters, and everything else is less important which when done right works well. All of these characters feel distinct and unique, and I can appreciate all of their eccentricities that make them feel like misfits. James Gunn has a way of making misfits feel seen and appreciated, which I think might be his specialty. The only character he has created here that I hate is Auggie Smith, which is by design since he is truly a bad guy. I am not even convinced that the butterflies are bad, but I do not doubt for a second that Auggie is bad. I think it is quite funny that despite being raised by Auggie, Chris is still not a bad guy, he is just a little lost. The thing about Peacemaker that keeps me so interested is that he has done some bad things, but he believes he is doing something for the right reasons. Leota perfectly states why Chris cannot turn his back on his dad, she said he has such a big heart that he is looking for something to love in his father despite how bad he is. 

There is so much ground for the show to explore, we can do a deep dive into each of the characters history. All of the characters in show have such an appeal to me, that I would be interested to learn more about all of them. One my favourite parts of the show is Vigilante, it is such a different take than what Arrow did. Peacemaker is using Vigilante in a way that makes sense for show, Vigilante is a sociopath who has a very black or white view of right and wrong. Having Vigilante be a Punisher like character just would not work for this show, which explains why the role was recast midway through shooting the season. Freddie Stroma who plays Vigilante is so adept at the humor, but also can play the sociopath part so well. When Vigilante was using the sniper rifle to take out the politician's family, he was casually whistling while killing as if killing did not bother him at all (a sociopath). John Cena is giving the performance of his career so far; he is required to a lot in the role. Peacemaker will go from comedy to tragedy so quickly, and Cena is such a sympathetic character when he is vulnerable. In episode when we see him dancing while flashing back to traumatic memories, it was such an affecting scene for me. 

There is so much in the first 5 episodes that make me think this show might be my new favourite series. The show has both a grounded feel, but it deals with aliens, has a secret out of dimension room (Auggies lair), and lots of superhero references (Batman, Superman and Aquaman). I am not going to rate each episode, but I will say that each episode has something great to add to the ongoing season. The show is a 9/10 for me, it is not going to be nominated for any prestigious awards, but it will be one of the most entertaining shows you will watch. The chemistry between the cast is outstanding, and the vulgar and raunchy humor brings a smile to my face constantly. The show never holds back, and I admire HBO Max that they are letting Gunn do whatever he wants. With only three more episodes before the season is over, I think it is a safe bet that we will be in for a surprise coming. I am still not sure what to think of the butterflies, but I think there is more to them than just villains. I am also surer now that before the season is over, we will see Auggie in his White Dragon outfit (which we glimpsed in episode four). I also think that Peacemaker will be forced into picking which family matters most to him, his new family or his father. I look forward to the remaining episodes, but I am also sad that we are nearing the end of the season. Peacemaker is a must-watch show for fans of James Gunn, superheroes, The Suicide Squad and anyone who wants a great story built around interesting characters.

Thank you for reading my review of the first 5 episodes of Peacemaker, let me know what you think of the series.

0/Post a Comment/Comments