Peacemaker’ 1×06 Review: “Murn After Reading”

**Spoilers Ahead**

With only two episodes left of DC’s flagship TV show Peacemaker, there’s a sense of stories coming together and loose ends being tied up. The stage is set, and the team is ready to move forward. In the words of this very episode, “This shit is getting goofy” in the best possible way.

We finally have even more details about what the mysterious Butterflies are. Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) is now also aware that Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji) is himself technically a Butterfly. They are an alien race from a distant planet, and their leader, the Goff Butterfly, will lead its fellow aliens to take over the world. Economos (Steve Agee) has probably the most understandable reaction by plugging his ears and humming loudly every time this is mentioned. But, of course, we probably couldn’t handle hearing mystical and violent beings are eating our brains and taking over our bodies, either.

Closer to Earth, Peacemaker (John Cena) was in his element presenting to schoolchildren as part of a show-and-tell/career day situation. Giving the youngsters nicknames is reminiscent of Sawyer in Lost, and honestly, Peacemaker is basically DC’s version of the smooth-talking castaway. This was the venue for the return of the hospital janitor from the first episode, Jamil (Rizwan Manji), whose daughter was in this class. The fact that the word of the day on the blackboard is “moisty” is proof that these kids need a superhero to save them or, at the very least, a violent anti-hero who has their best interests at heart (maybe). 

(L) Rizwan Manji (R) John Cena, ‘Peacemaker’. Photo Credit: HBO

The references to multiple other DC properties were…interesting. Often, references like these can be what makes franchise entries like Peacemaker seem cheesy. This choice can take away from the standalone story that is being told and remind fans in the most jarring way that there’s an entire universe that this story needs to tie into. Sure, we can believe The Flash is a giant D-bag, but Wonder Woman making…eyes with Peacemaker is definitely a bridge too far.

Officer Sophie Song (Annie Chang) continues to be one of the best cops on television in a crowded field, and when we know ACAB. Sadly, we saw our favorite officer succumb to the Butterflies as they continued in their quest to take over our planet. In a poignant moment, the Butterfly taking over Song mentioned the fact that she had been fond of her partner, the bumbling Fitzgibbon (Lochlyn Munro). To their credit, the Butterflies chose an absolutely badass woman to lead them in their planetary takeover.

Cena continues to demonstrate his talent in portraying the emotion and inner workings of a man whose actions so often make him close to impossible to sympathize with. In this episode, the piano was the heartfelt outlet for this emotionally repressed character to express himself healthily. He was able to make a real connection with Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) that was proof of how deep into his feelings he’s able to dig. The tune he played here was Motley Crue’s ‘Home Sweet Home. This entire scene was a closer look at Chris Smith and gave us more of his vulnerability which was refreshing.

Christopher Heyerdahl, ‘Peacemaker’. Photo Credit: HBO

By the end of the episode, the alien invasion is well underway, complete with the reading of Peacemaker’s fake diary for all to hear on national television. The incredibly creepy Captain Locke (Christopher Heyerdahl) is the perfect spokesperson for this terrifying horde. The stage is also set for us to see the White Dragon, with Auggie (Robert Patrick) making a vow to kill his son. Where our team of misfits will ultimately come out remains to be seen.

As the inaugural (but hopefully not the last) season of Peacemaker comes to a close, there’s a lot of potential to wrap everything up nicely. We have showdowns that are coming, and the team of misfit antiheroes will have no other choice but to rely on one another. If the final two episodes lean into the unbridled chaos we’ve become used to, we could be in for a wild ride that will be worth every moment.

New episodes of Peacemaker air Thursdays on HBO.

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