A Whole New Whirled
Episode 1 of Peacemaker begins with our hero fully recovered. Or recovered enough to leave the hospital anyway. After promising the janitor that he’s going to “level out” the amount of people he kills, targeting more white people in the future, Peacemaker gets a taxi back home.
On his way out though, one of the nurses messages someone called Clemson Murn, telling him that Peacemaker is “on the way.” He, in turn, messages Leota while she’s with her girlfriend Keeya, cryptically telling the woman that “The Dove’s headed to the coop.” This is, of curse, directly referencing Peacemaker who returns to his run-down trailer.
The place is a mess, and after checking his messages from Vigilante, let his guard down temporarily. He’s surrounded by several characters holding guns to him – including Leota.
After only serving a fraction of his prison sentence, Peacemaker still has time to serve. Instead of forcing him behind bars though, he’s encouraged to work for Clemson Murn. Specifically, working on Project Butterfly. After the Starfish gig, Peacemaker is convinced that he’s going to fight a giant moth and implores Murn to get him a jetpack.
In reality though, he’s actually doing contract work. Butterfly is just a code-word for killing a series of different targets. If he refuses? Well, he still has that bomb in his neck and could well be detonated. Or he could be thrown back in prison. So it’s not much of a choice really!
Agreeing to meet up later that night, Peacemaker heads off to visit his dad, Auggie Smith. There’s clearly no love lost between them, and he’s quick to show his son to his pet eagle, called Eaglely. Wrapping his wings around Peacemaker, this sweet moment is interrupted by his dad walking away.
When they sit and eat together, they start talking about the group and Project Starfish. When Auggie finds out that Ratcatcher was the one who shot him, Auggie is disgusted. He’s quick to remind Peacemaker that he’s a disappointment, despite showing off his closet full of new uniforms and different helmets.
Meanwhile, the rest of the group get set up in their new Black Ops HQ but with leaky pipes, a run-down locale and even a piano in the room, it’s less than ideal. They’re convinced that Amanda Waller is messing with them, and when Peacemaker shows up in full costume that night, that’s only compounded further.
Peacemaker takes everything seriously though, and he learns that his first target is a US Senator. Unfortunately he’s also alone and he struggles to connect with any of the team.
One of those includes Emilia, who’s just trying to enjoy a beer without getting chatted up by men later that evening. Between some idiots in the bar and Peacemaker himself, she eventually leaves.
Back home, Leota updates Amanda on what’s going on. It’s here we learn that she’s actually Amanda’s daughter, and with a journal in hand, she’s tasked with keeping it in his apartment somewhere.
Peacemaker meanwhile, turns his attention to a quiet blonde sitting in the corner, whom he ends up sleeping with. The thing is, she’s not an ordinary woman and while they’re both in their underwear, she attacks him with a knife. It turns out she’s a metahuman with crazy strength.
Their fight spills from the apartment to outside, where Peacemaker uses his helmet as a weapon, sending a massive shockwave out that completely liquifies the woman, with thin remnants of her organs left on the floor.
The Episode Review
When Peacemaker was initially announced last year, many people had their reservations about this show and whether it would actually work. James Gunn is well known for a certain type of superhero silliness and that fun, vibrancy worked for both Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy. When it comes to Peacemaker though, the verdict is still out for this one.
It’s still early days of course but everything here just feels less driven and less fun than either of those two projects. There’s some social commentary in here too, which is nice, but the early parts of this episode are particularly rough around the edges.
One of the better jokes here comes from the throwback to Project Starfish in Suicide Squad. Seeing Peacemaker going on a tangent about tracking down a giant moth is really on-point and it’ll be nice to see more of these jokes across the series.
The complicated relationship between Peacemaker and his father is a nice touch too, but out of all the characters from The Suicide Squad, Peacemaker just seems the least interesting. Still, there’s plenty of time to change that over the coming episodes.