The penultimate episode of Peacemaker was one for DC’s books. The team of misfit antiheroes has spent the entire series coming together as a team, with varying levels of success. This was the pinnacle of so many stories Peacemaker has been building to and sets up for a finale with a lot of potential.
The confrontation between Peacemaker (John Cena) and his father, Auggie (Robert Patrick), has been building all season. I’m torn between being disappointed that we haven’t seen much of these two characters together at all through the season and being thankful that we saw less of Auggie since we really don’t need to see any more nazis. Flashbacks can take away from the story in media. However, Peacemaker made such effective use of flashbacks in this episode, and it was emotionally devastating to see the death of Peacemaker’s brother.
John Cena again proved how talented he is as an actor. His emotions, when confronted with his past and with his monster of a father, were utterly relatable and enthralling at every moment. The success of this character is that his actions are never explained or justified. We, the audience, are merely given additional context into why he is the way he is. Even when humor is interjected into emotionally tumultuous situations, it’s always used to reflect emotions rather than cut them off.
The death of Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji) was the final straw to bring the team together. Seeing Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) and Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) bond in the wake of losing their leader is a testament to how far both of these characters have come and how much this show has developed the relationships between characters. The revelation that Adebayo is the daughter of Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) was a long time coming, and having it out in the open means the team will have no choice but to trust each other more.
The star of this episode by far was Jennifer Holland. She has so come into her own, and it’s just too bad it took until near the end of the season for her to be appointed leader of the team. Her character is the natural choice, and she continues to show how ready she is to take the mantle of leadership. She’s been shown to not only be a boss in her own right but to have the emotional maturity to handle leadership. Her grief and compassion for the death of Murn and the Butterfly that inhabited his body were palpable and only adds to the depth of her character.
The more minor characters were also given development in this episode. Vigilante (Freddie Stroma) has proven his loyalty and support, which will serve him well as the team gears up for their final battle. Economos (Steve Agee) continues to try to prove himself and what he brings to the table. He finally succeeded in this episode by literally blowing nazis away in the best possible way. Finally, Judomaster (Nhut Le) has returned, and he’s likely to cause plenty of chaos for the team in the season finale. Even Peacemaker’s beloved pet eagle Eagly got his moment in the spotlight after having fans holding their breath when he was injured. All is well, and we know the majestic bird is also going to help save the world.
Now that we’ve finally seen the mysterious Cow that keeps the Butterflies alive, the team has one mission, to destroy it. Hopefully, Peacemaker can stick the landing, and wrap up the story they’ve set up in a satisfactory way. There’s definitely opportunity to give us a beautifully chaotic ending, yet equal opportunity for it to fall flat on its face. If any superhero show could pull it off, it’s absolutely this one.
New episodes of Peacemaker air Thursdays on HBO.