DC’s Peacemaker: Murn After Reading (Episode 6) Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
After some big secrets are revealed, Peacemaker puts its titular anti-hero on the run in a fun and wild episode that sets up two evil forces that are surely going to give the team hell in their upcoming mission.
Last week’s episode left things on a huge cliffhanger with Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) discovering that Murns (Chukwudi Iwuji) is a butterfly, and we basically get right into it with another secret being revealed. It turns out that both Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) and Economos (Steve Agee) knew that Murns was a butterfly all along and, to be honest, the whole “Murns being a butterfly” thing ends up not being as game changing as it seemed. Aside from the hilarious image of Economos plugging his ears like a kid every time someone brings it up, nothing too exciting or impactful comes from this secret being revealed. The butterfly inside of Murns is simply a defector and explains that the butterflies’ plans went from survival to world domination. Nothing too different from a standard alien invasion plot.
Murns’ secret being revealed may not create the rifts and conflict that many would’ve expected, but thankfully everything surrounding Peacemaker (John Cena) and his soon to be rouge’s gallery is amazing. First, seeing Peacemaker talk to a class of children about him defeating Kite-Man, then giving them terrible names, and then getting owned by one of the kids is an absolute treat. However, the way that one child’s question about his origins strikes an emotional chord in him that’s deeply explored in this episode.
We still don’t know what exactly happened between Peacemaker and his brother, but it’s clear he still struggles to cope with it and it’s making him question everything. Recently, Peacemaker has taken a more introspective look at himself, and it’s opened him up in compelling ways. He’s not exactly always willing to pull the trigger anymore and killing innocent people leaves more of a mark on him. Locke (Christopher Heyerdahl) killing innocent police officers absolutely disgusts Peacemaker, even though it benefited his escape, and it’s interesting to see him and Vigilante (Freddie Stroma) argue about his new mentality. Don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing new to see them have their comedic spats, but something about the way Peacemaker scolds Vigilante here feels different.
It’s almost like he sees how his actions have influenced and impacted who Vigilante has become in a similar way to how his father Auggie (Robert Patrick) influenced him. There’s certainly a big effort happening inside of Peacemaker to change his views of the world and the way he treats people. There’s still some ground for him to cover, especially when it comes to confronting his past, but there are some strong steps forward here that don’t go unnoticed by others. Adebayo’s so heartbroken from betraying Peacemaker with planting that journal and keeping secrets from him that it looks like she’s going to ponder walking away from it all. Even Harcourt’s relationship with Peacemaker improves to a warming first name basis and leads into a powerfully emotional piano sequence where Cena actually shows his playing prowess. Maybe even Vigilante will start to learn from Peacemaker’s recent changes and change himself.
Peacemaker continues to fill in some strong character shades between its action and villain build-up, both of which are plentiful here. The entire sequence of Peacemaker and Vigilante dodging the police after they ambush them to arrest Peacemaker is great mix of suspense and mind-blowing action. Eagly is the MVP once again with how he swiftly pecks at everyone in their path. The best part of this week’s episode though is how it expands upon the strength of the butterflies and Auggie.
At first, it seems like the butterflies might not be all that bad with how the one that Peacemaker has, which we find out is the Queen, seems peaceful with him. However, once she’s out and in another body, she calls for reinforcements and takes over the entire prison. If you didn’t think the butterflies were scary, they’re absolutely terrifying here with how quickly they consume the prison in a bloody, brutal fashion and luckily for Auggie, he was able to get out before the butterflies came and begin his own resurgence. As expected, Auggie is returning as the White Dragon and his sole goal is to kill Peacemaker. The suit looks awesome and his lackies’ white devil hoods that fittingly resemble KKK hoods show their true colors. Peacemaker might not have had a select set of villains before, but he’s sure got some now.
While Peacemaker continues to have introspection about his upbringing and personal demons, his enemies have truly rallied the troops and the latest episode is the calm before the storm that will see Peacemaker and his team stretched to their psychical and emotional limits.