Better Goff Dead
Episode 3 of Peacemaker begins with Peacemaker telling the group about the trinket he’s found in the meta-human’s apartment. Vigilante happens to be hiding behind a trashcan though, and he’s quick to remind Peacemaker that the team aren’t going to be as good a friend to him as he is.
Vigilante is quick to point out he should befriend Leota though, especially because of the rumours about him being racist going around. Eventually Vigilante leaves, as the rest of the crew pack up their things and prepare to hit the road.
En-route, Peacemaker is briefed over his target – Senator Goff. He’s a climate change denier and he seems to be traveling with his family. Unfortunately that also means Peacemaker is going to have to kill his kids, as they’re not sure whether they’re Butterflies or not. Goff is also accompanied by a meta-human called Judo Master, who serves as his bodyguard.
While setting everything up, Murn reveals to Economos that he’s got a dark past. He’s also never expressed his emotions either. While the two awkwardly try to converse, Peacemaker sets up his sniper and prepares to scope out the Senator’s house. Emilia is with him too but she’s pretty quiet, at least until she notices the Senator and his family acting strangely inside.
With the group undecided over whether the family are butterflies or not, they agree to hold off until morning when a better opportunity arises to assess the danger.
While they wait, Emilia admits she got into this line of work back when she was 20. After high school she joined the CIA and now she’s “living the dream” working for Murn. I’s a really nice moment but it’s quickly quashed by Vigilante showing up and revealing himself.
An opportune moment does eventually arise just after this, as the Goff family sit down to eat. A strange purple (tongue? worm?) protrudes from their mouths, lading Murn to give the kill command. Only, Peacemaker freezes.
With his hands shaking and unsure whether to take the shot, Vigilante instead takes over and kills all of them himself. Well, almost all of them. Judo Master shows up and stops “Papa Bear” from being shot, leading to a big fight to break out.
Unfortunately, Peacemaker and Vigilante are both captured by the Senator and brought inside. In their absence, Leota and Emilia are forced to kill the human bodyguard, whom they’re not sure is actually a butterfly or not. Leota apologizes when Emilia makes the killing shot, admitting that she’s never actually killed anyone before.
Eventually though the par are joined by Murn and break into the Senator’s house, determined to finish the job and take out their target. While they set to work opening up the hidden compartment they’re being housed in, Senator Goff tortures Vigilante in front of Peacemaker, determined to make him talk.
Unbeknownst to them, Judo Master gets in his car and hightails it away. Thankfully Economos jumps in just in time, slamming his van straight into his car and knocking it off the road. Judo Master survives though, crawling across the floor. With little other choice, Economos bashes the guy constantly with a tire iron.
In the wake of all this, the door to the torture chamber explodes, courtesy of Murn’s quick thinking and special adhesive card. This gives Peacemaker enough time to grab a shotgun and shoot Goff in the face.
Out of his mutilated corpse steps a large butterfly, which flies into the air. Peacemaker marvels at its form as we cut to the van outside. The computers begin blinking as a screen showing suspecting butterflies appears. They’re all over the planet!
The Episode Review
Vigilante’s inclusion in this series confirms one thing – John Cena does not have the comedic wit carry this show alone. His brief cameos have been some of the comedic highlights of Peacemaker and hopefully we’ll see more of him over the coming chapters.
However, there are a few redeeming features, like seeing Peacemaker struggling to kill his targets. These moments are pretty good and help to add a much needed depth to his character.
This has been a real mixed bag series so far, although this third episode is easily the best when it comes to balancing action and comedy. There are echoes of Doom Patrol and The Boys here, wrapped up with the glossy visual hue of Guardians of the Galaxy.
There are definite high points with Peacemaker – namely this episode in particular – but there are equally some jokes that don’t work and a bunch of characters that just don’t feel that fleshed out or developed.
Still, the ending to this chapter serves up a really enticing prospect for where the rest of the season may go.