Peacemaker Episodes Eight: It's Cow or Never - Spoiler Review

After seeing the finales for both The Book of Boba Fett and Peacemaker it is easily apparent that Peacemaker is the better show. While Peacemaker never went as big as The Book of Boba Fett in terms of action, but it delivers a very strong season focused on the characters. Episode eight titled It's Cow or Never was a great send off for the season, it delivered action while not sidelining the character work the show has been great at. When I wrote my episodes six and seven review I did not know if there was going to be a second season. I liked that going into the finale the second season had been announced, some might have wanted that for later but in terms of the show the announcement had no effect on the finale. The finale worked because it laid the groundwork for a possible second season while wrapping up the character work done during the season. The butterflies were handled in a way that not only made them sympathetic, but also showcased why Peacemaker and the team needed to stop them. I really wished that Murn was not killed, I had liked his character more and more; but I also realize why he had to die. Leota and Harcourt needed a push to action, while Peacemaker had his own problems to deal with (his father) Leota was preparing to leave. The sacrifice Murn made showed Leota and Harcourt that the butterflies had to be taken out.

The opening credits of the show is easily one of my all-time favourites, I also liked the music choices used throughout the season. While I don't think episode eight had the best songs, it picked songs that fit the mood of the scene. I also like that with each episode we get to see just how much of a sociopath Vigilante is, he is obviously messed in the head; but he is also so much fun to watch. The dynamic between Vigilante and Peacemaker is a lot of fun to watch, Peacemaker is like the jerky older brother that Vigilante looks up to. When Vigilante, Peacemaker and Harcourt went into battle together they looked like such bad asses; when Leota and Economos had to help and Economos broke his leg just climbing over the fence was hilarious. James Gunn did such a great job of developing these characters over the course of the season, all of them had moments where we got see different sides of them. A show that can tell a good story built around characters that are well developed will be a good show, even if the effects aren't as good. Peacemaker does not look as good as The Book of Boba Fett, but I'm fine with that since it delivered a better story. 


The episode opens with the team on the way to the ranch to kill the cow before the butterflies can teleport it somewhere else. Leota is trying to apologize to Peacemaker for planting the diary, but every time she talks Peacemaker makes a fart sound which Vigilante copies. Peacemaker is hurt that Leota betrayed his trust. Leota says that if Peacemaker can't forgive her, he needs to at least forgive himself for his brother's death. They arrive at the ranch and Leota calls her mother (Amanda Waller) asking for help, Waller tells Leota that Harcourt is in charge. Leota brough Peacemaker's helmets, they all have different functions. There is a human torpedo helmet, an anti-gravity helmet, a helmet that allows underwater breathing and the sonic boom helmet used in episode one to kill the butterfly. They plan to put a walkie talkie inside the helmet and activate it from a distance, they try to use Eagly to bring the helmet to the barn. Eagly eventually picks up the helmet and flies away, but instead of bringing it to the barn he drops it in the middle of the forest. 

The butterflies almost have the teleporter operational; meanwhile, our heroes are searching the forest for the sonic boom helmet. Peacemaker is searching, and he sees his dead father who starts insulting him, Peacemaker takes out his blow dart and shoot his father (a tree) in the head. Harcourt witnesses Peacemaker talking to himself, but she does not bring it up and she then finds the helmet. Harcourt asks Peacemaker to kill a butterfly to take the police uniform so Economos can infiltrate the barn with the helmet. Economos is scared, but he is the only one who the butterflies have not seen before. Economos makes it inside the barn, and he is able to place the helmet in the cave where the cow is. On his way back a detective butterfly asks Economos why he dyes his beard (proving Peacemaker was right all along). A butterfly saw Economos leave the helmet behind, so he follows him outside and reports him. The butterflies attack Economos, but Leota activates the sonic boom which causes the butterflies to run back to the barn. The helmet has four charges of the sonic boom which Leota uses the destroy the barn and kill a bunch of butterflies. The sonic boom was effective, but the cow is still alive, so Peacemaker, Harcourt and Vigilante launch an attack on the butterflies.

They keep killing butterflies in an attempt to forge a path that will allow Peacemaker to get into the barn. Peacemaker falls down through a hole and becomes trapped underneath the rubble. Outside, Vigilante and Harcourt slowly become overwhelmed by the butterflies leading to Leota coming to their aid. Economos tries to join Leota, but he trips over a fence and breaks his leg. A butterfly starts to enter Harcourt, but Leota arrives just in time to pull it out. Leota puts on the human torpedo helmet and enters the barn looking for Peacemaker and the cow. Peacemaker is dug out of the rubble by Goff, they fight and Leota arrives activating human torpedo for it to fly her right into a wall. Goff then attempts to get Peacemaker to join them, she tells Peacemaker that the butterflies came to earth, and they realized that earth was on the same trajectory that their planet had been on. Goff says the plan is to save both the humans and butterflies, she asks for his help to work the teleporter allowing them to teleport the cow. Goff says that she took a vow like Peacemaker did, but Peacemaker has since realized his vow was done for the wrong reasons and he says activate human torpedo which propels Leota into the cow. Peacemaker kills Goff's body, but he allows her to fly away in butterfly form; Peacemaker picks up a badly injured Harcourt and carries her back to the van. The Justice League arrive after the battle is over and Peacemaker tells them that they're too late. 

At the hospital, Harcourt is getting medical attention; but Vigilante is hurt too, and he passes out after saying he was fine. Leota asks Peacemaker why did he not help the butterflies to which he replies that they would have hurt Leota and the rest of the team if he had helped the butterflies. Leota goes to the press and tells them about the butterflies; she also says that Peacemaker and Vigilante helped save the world. Leota goes on to tell the press about Task Force X, and that it is run by her mother Amanda Waller. Harcourt is awake and Peacemaker comes to visit her, she asks if he waited outside for days for her and when Peacemaker says yes, and they hold hands as she sheds a tear. Economos goes back to Belle Reve Prison, and he puts a picture of the team on his desk, Leota reunites with her wife and dogs. Judomaster finds the remains of the butterflies and cries, Peacemaker and Vigilante blow up a car, and Harcourt is undergoing physical therapy. Peacemaker is woken up by Goff banging on his window, he feeds Goff the remaining nectar and has a beer while sitting on the porch of his trailer seeing his father sitting beside him as the episode and season ends.


What a fantastic season and show; I think anyone who doubts that James Gunn has gone soft since working for Marvel can rest easy. The James Gunn that made Slither and Super is still there; he is just a more mature person and filmmaker now. If you watch Gunn's films, he seems to have a great writing ability to make you like misfit characters. In the MCU, Gunn turned a bunch of heroes that nobody had heard of into one of the biggest franchises in the MCU. What makes Guardians of the Galaxy work so well is that the characters are very flawed, but likeable at the same time (and the music is great too). The finale is getting really good reviews, but for me it was middle of the pack; and I only feel that way because I thought that the episode was not bigger, funnier, better acted or more action-packed than the others. This is such an amazing show that even an okay episode of Peacemaker is still a great episode of television. The news that there is going to be a second season while not surprising still made me so happy that we will see the team again. 

The way the show started with the team not getting along, to the way the show ended with the team considering each other family was done in really heartwarming way. All the team members started the mission with a lot of baggage, throughout the course of the season each of them lightened their load by bonding with each other. The character work done in the show was so amazing, they took characters that were nobodies and a guy we hate (Peacemaker) and made them into characters we are now rooting for. There was such great humor to go along with the heartwarming stuff, the arguments between the team were always peppered with funny comments. The team did not hold back from insulting each other, those back-and-forth shots at each other were savage, but a lot of their observations were true. The insults they lobbed at each were often very hurtful and vulgar comments, but as the season went on those insults lessened as they would come to care about each other. Many of the fights they had with each other were as a result of them not working together as a team, they were all more used to working alone. Even though Vigilante and Peacemaker hung out, Peacemaker did not know who Vigilante really was. Peacemaker enjoyed the adulation that Vigilante heaped upon him, and that is why they hung out. Even though that dynamic in their relationship never changed, I think Peacemaker now has more respect for Vigilante. 

I mentioned in an earlier review that I wanted them to explore more about Vigilante, but now I want to learn his origin story, and nothing else. The end of the season cemented the fact that Vigilante is a sociopath, he kills without a conscience. I do not want them to change the character, I think he is such a great foil for Peacemaker; they are friends, but Vigilante is not someone who can be redeemed. Vigilante is best left as a quirky killing machine who is kept in check by his relationship to the team. The way Gunn has written Vigilante has made him a favorite character to watch, he is odd and endlessly entertaining. Vigilante being utterly unaware of emotions never got old, in episode seven when he thought Peacemaker was practicing his face stretches when he was crying over the death of his father was great. Peacemaker has been stuck in a state of arrested development since the death of his brother. Peacemaker was never able to forgive himself for the role he played in his brother's death (something his father kept reminding him about). Peacemaker behaves in a way that is very childish, now that he has removed his death influence from his life he can finally grow up. Just because Auggie is dead does not mean that Peacemaker has gotten rid of all of his inner demons, that fact that he still sees Auggie suggests that he is still dealing with some issues. The next season can explore those issues, and he will continue to evolve as a person. John Cena has done such phenomenal work in this show, he has shown such fantastic range; it will be interesting to see if this leads to more interesting roles for Cena. 

The entire main cast all delivered very strong performances, as much as Gunn did a great job with the writing and directing, without the great performances by the actors then it wouldn't matter. The Finale gave all of the actors great moments that showcase just how talented they are. Jennifer Holland's had a few moments to shine during the season, but her moment in the hospital when she finds out that Peacemaker had been waiting in the hospital for day was great. The relationship between Harcourt and Peacemaker is still early, but the seeds have been planted for it to grow into something more. Holland's tears were really powerful, they were are all lonely people, and now they are not alone anymore. Steve Agee also did some great work in this episode, he is so funny, but when he explains why he dyes his beard it was such an emotional scene that started from a joke. All of the main characters of the show (our team) have grown over the course of the season, but the butterflies have also evolved. They have not evolved as characters, but our perception of them has evolved throughout the season. When Goff explains to Peacemaker why the butterflies are trying to take control of the planet, I think there are a lot of people who would agree with the butterflies. The butterflies' motive is something that a lot of people would feel is justified, Goff's appeal to Peacemaker that they are following their own code was a great choice. Peacemaker's evolution as a character was solidified there when he turned her down, I think he does understand what they are trying to do, but he is not willing to let the people he cares about get hurt. Peacemaker's decision to let Goff live is something I would be interested to see explored, when he fed her the amber he emptied the bottle, does he have more amber or is that the final food for Goff. 

There are so many things that the second season can explore, one of the things I am curious about is what will happen to Amanda Waller. Waller (whom I don't expect to appear beyond a cameo) was outed by her daughter over her morally questionable operations; could Amanda Waller resign or possibly face criminal charges. Leota's decision was very brave, but it was also the right thing to do based on her experience with the team. Leota obviously felt bad about framing Peacemaker, and based on the team's opinion of her mother, Leota did what she felt was right. Leota is the opposite of her mother, them being so different as people easily makes Leota an interesting character going forward. Leota could take over for her mother, and I wonder if she is put in charge will she find herself doing things like her mother did. Peacemaker will need to continue to deal with killing his father; he will need to figure out who he is and what his mantra will be. Economos will have to learn to trust his fellow team members and nurture the relationships he started building with them. Economos, though easily the least brave of the team was very important to their success; he is capable (barely), and he will not let his friends down. Harcourt will need to get healthy and like Economos further develop the bond she shares with the rest of the team. Will Harcourt and Peacemaker start a relationship, I would like to think so, but I could also see a side where they are both people with traumatic backstories who can help each other heal.

I am going to give the episode an 8/10, but I will give the season a 10/10 since I enjoyed every episode, and I can't wait for the second season. The season was one of the best things I have watched in a long time, it was incredibly funny while also featuring a very strong emotional core. I think Peacemaker was some of James Gunn's best work so far, his maturity allowed for the emotional arc of the characters to hit really, but his immaturity in terms of humor had me in tears. The action in the show was always secondary to the character development happening, but when there was action, it was always well done and gruesome. The overarching plot of the season featuring the butterflies was simple, but the twists and turns the story kept the audience on the edge of their seats. With the bar being set so high by how amazing the first season was, I am not sure if the second season can match it; but if the second season only delivers an 8/10 than I will be happy. This season has taught to not count out James Gunn, I know not everyone is a fan of his style of writing, but I think anyone watching can appreciate what he has done with the character of Peacemaker was something nobody expected. The performances delivered by the cast, and the chemistry between them was probably the most shocking thing about the season. John Cena was great in The Suicide Squad, but after the flatness of his performance in F9 it is great to know Cena is good actor when given good material. This was a perfect season of television for me, not only is highly rewatchable, but it also has a strong emotional core to it. If you have not seen Peacemaker, please do yourself a favor and watch it (adults only though as the show is definitely not for kids).

Thank you for reading my review of Peacemaker, please let me know what you thought of the episode and the entire season one.

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