The penultimate episode of the first season of Peacemaker is here, and it turns out to be the most emotional so far. That’s definitely not a word I’d expected to use to describe a journey for the title character, played by John Cena, but here we are. Peacemaker 1×07 provides plenty to talk about leading into next week’s season finale, so let’s get to it.
“I bet you could write bomb poetry.”
Peacemaker 1×07 begins with a stunning flashback, as we finally see the full circumstances behind the death of Peacemaker’s older brother when they were kids. Their despicable white supremacist father, played by Robert Patrick, forces them to fight each other while his friends bet on it. Then he blames Chris, a.k.a. Peacemaker, when a punch goes wrong and causes a fatal seizure in the older boy. The tortured look on Chris’ face as he is remembering this moment really hammers the emotion home.
Now that Chris’ father has returned to his supervillain persona White Dragon, the time has come for the confrontation between them that has been brewing all season. Auggie is not only a terrible person and father, he also has absolutely no interest in redeeming himself at all. There was never any chance of a last-minute change of heart with him. He will spout his horrid racist and sexist vitriol until his dying breath.
Which, it turns out, is exactly what happens. When the two come face-to-face for a violent fight, teamwork allows Peacemaker to get the upper hand. He also has a breakthrough at the same time. The guilt that has built up in Peacemaker breaks, and he places the blame back onto his father where it belongs. When he finally shoots Auggie in the head, it’s a significant moment. Not just in the character’s emotional development but also in terms of the plot. It’s the first time in the series that we see Peacemaker kill someone outside of the team’s mission.
“I just saw an eagle hug a human.”
That mission comes to a turning point as well in this episode. Stopping the invasion of the alien “butterflies” who have taken over the bodies of thousands of people seems less likely than ever. The butterfly inhabiting Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji) was helping to stop their plans for domination because he didn’t agree with them, and he goes out heroically opposing the other butterflies. It’s a scene that will touch you more than you could have anticipated.
At the same time, the new girl on the team, Leota (Danielle Brooks), also comes to an epiphany. The entire season, she has been uncomfortable with the kind of work she’s been asked to do and with all the time spent away from her wife. She has been on the cusp of leaving many times. Now, things change. She overhears Peacemaker praying for the health of this injured pet eagle, and the connection between them strikes her as a sign to stay. Even though Peacemaker is angry with her, she is ready to help complete the mission.
All this sets up the title character’s progress and the team dynamic for the season finale to come. The plan to kill the cow that is the butterflies’ only food source has obstacles, to say the least. However, Peacemaker and the others have done so much together so far that I am eager to see them get the job done. The cow itself looks to be a prisoner, so it might assist in its own freedom. Or the butterflies might be destroyed in some other, completely crazy way. This is the world of Peacemaker after all. I think it’s a safe prediction that Peacemaker and Leota will repair their friendship as well.
The bottom line is that the viewer is engaged watching these people work together. I ended this episode hoping for a strong resolution to this season for these characters. And perhaps more after that.
Peacemaker is streaming on HBO Max.