DC’s Peacemaker: Monkey Dory (Episode 5) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
The latest mission for the crew of Peacemaker sees a lot of blood and guts flying everywhere and some heartwarming team bonding as they uncover new secrets about the butterflies.
Last week’s episode saw the team filled with tension as Peacemaker (John Cena) discovered that they’re responsible for putting his father Auggie (Robert Patrick) in prison and parts of Peacemaker’s past started to haunt him. Peacemaker is genuinely torn up and it’s not just because of the massive hangover he’s suffering from. Not even Eagly’s possum presents, which continue to make him absolutely adorable, can cheer Peacemaker up and this tension and frustration gets aimed at his teammates – specifically Economos (Steve Agee).
Admittedly, Economos’ PowerPoint presentation is pretty terrible, but Peacemaker certainly piles on a little too much with some heavy insults, including a hilarious rant rattling off the names of everyone real or fake that Economos could’ve thrown in jail besides his dad. The tensions are rising with everyone as Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) hates on the group bonding over glam metal bands, especially Peacemaker and Economos’ love for Hanoi Rocks, and Vigilante (Freddie Stroma) has annoyingly gone so far up Peacemaker’s ass that Harcourt and Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) roshambo to see who get stuck with him. The group is definitely on shaky ground and don’t even have Murns (Chukwudi Iwuji) to yell at them to keep it together, but maybe it’s better he’s absent since we learned that he’s a butterfly.
Thankfully for the group, their bickering doesn’t bleed into the mission much as they investigate a factory that’s supplying food for the butterflies and end up finding much more than they bargained for. This episode delivers the most action of the series thus far and it makes for a gory good time. The x-ray helmet Peacemaker wears is very effective in blasting the bugs inside people’s heads and his grenade/missile combination is a perfectly cartoony weapon to come from Peacemaker’s mind. There’s plenty of blood spilt throughout the mission and it all leads to a surprising reemergence of a previously teased story thread.
That missing gorilla Charlie ends up acting as a powerful final boss for this mission as it tosses everyone around like ragdolls until Economos steps in and steals Vigilante’s dreamed moment of killing something with a chainsaw. It’s an epic death, but also a sadly short-lived plotline that misses out on some interesting potential. Honestly, it would’ve been cool to see Charlie end up being a low-tier villain like Sergeant Gorilla since James Gunn is really great at elevating low-tier characters and it just feels like a heavily teased plot thread that didn’t go anywhere. The only thing that Charlie did was bring the group closer together, which I guess isn’t that bad – although seeing Peacemaker fighting a gun-toting gorilla would’ve been cool too.
After seeing Economos tear through Charlie with that chainsaw and slightly bonding over their love of glam metal, Peacemaker has a newfound respect for him and there’s something heartwarming about seeing them jam out on the van ride back and how it inspires Harcourt to warm up to the group. The impact that seeing everyone come together has on Harcourt is incredibly touching. It’s tough not to smile with how she snaps a group photo and names the group chat after the Hanoi Rocks song Peacemaker and Economos bond over. The frigid layers of Harcourt are finally starting to melt and with Murns’ time as team leader dwindling, especially with how this episode ends, Harcourt could end up being the perfect leader going forward.
The group bonding also sees some big improvements in Peacemaker and Adebayo’s dynamic as she provides great personal guidance to Peacemaker about how he treats people throughout the episode. Their relationship is easily one of the highlights of the episode and really the entire series because of the kind of growth Adebayo gives Peacemaker. With his father still in jail and a giant piece of shit, Peacemaker needs real guidance more than ever and it’s great how Adebayo provides that, even though she still follows through on her orders to put Peacemaker’s “diary” in his home. It’s tough to say what’s really in that thing or why Amanda Waller is hellbent on Peacemaker seeing it, but it’s likely going to open old wounds for him that’ll delve into his traumatic upbringing. Also, Adebayo now finds herself in hot water as the episode ends on her discovering that Murns is a butterfly before he attacks her. Shit is surely about to hit the fan.
There continues to be a lot to love about Peacemaker as this week’s episode delivers more blood-soaked action, adult hilarity, and real moments of bonding and progress between the team as Murns’ secret seems ready to throw a monkey wrench in everything.