DC’s Peacemaker: Season Finale Review
*This Review Contains Full Spoilers*
The season finale of Peacemaker ties its adventure together with a sting of hilarious and kick ass action that also contains some amazingly emotional character arcs and a couple of fun surprises for DC fans.
Although tensions are still high between Peacemaker (John Cena) and Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) with Peacemaker blowing raspberries through Adebayo’s attempts an apology, the group is still ready to strike the butterflies’ cow. However, things still aren’t going right. Eagly ends up going MIA and sending the group on an extraneous hunt for Peacemaker’s sonic boom helmet. Adebayo accidently activates the anti-gravity helmet sending it on a hilariously slow journey to space. Even worse is that Peacemaker is starting to see visions of Auggie (Robert Patrick) taunting him making Harcourt question if his head is in the right place.
The team might’ve come together on paper really well at the end of last week’s episode, but they’re certainly struggling at the start here. While it’s definitely hilarious to watch this group fight with each other, even when the episode needlessly wastes time showing their banter, what really stands out is how they truly come together here as no stone is left unturned in some of the heartfelt and emotional arcs that are given to each character – especially Economos (Steve Agee).
For the most part, Economos has simply been this likeable, but skittish tech guy that’s clearly away from being behind the computer for the first time and isn’t that excited about it. Here though, he’s thrusted out into the field posing as a security guard and there’s something really fulfilling about that. Adebayo has been the one who’s had to figure out if she’s “made for this,” but Economos has never really gotten the chance to be tested until now. It’s honestly fun to watch him try to deceive the butterflies and vomit because he’s so nervous. The best part though is a confession he makes and it’s not just because it’s payoff for a recurring joke.
Yes, it was kind of funny that Peacemaker was correct for calling him “dye beard,” but James Gunn smartly frames this moment in a more emotional light. Rather than make this moment feel funny, it feels like a sad realization for more than just Economos. Instead of it solely pointing out Economos as a pathetic nerd like Peacemaker has made him out to be, it actually makes Peacemaker realize that he’s been a total dick to Economos. Agee’s performance totally sells the emotion of the scene and really tugs at your heartstrings. Admittedly, there isn’t a lot more for Economos after this moment and Vigilante (Freddie Stroma) doesn’t get much growth either, but the pieces are set for them to have that growth in the future now that Peacemaker shows himself as a better person.
Truthfully, the entire last act of this finale is brilliant in multiple ways, but especially in that final interaction between the queen butterfly and Peacemaker. Personally, it was really great how Gunn uses this last bout between Peacemaker and the queen butterfly to further expand both of their characters rather than just put them in a fight to the death. By having the queen butterfly give a deeper insight into their motivations for possessing the human race, there’s actually a lot of great context established for what we’ve seen lately.
Not only does their explanation of why they’re hellbent on taking over the Earth create a deeper background for them that connects them to humanity and bring out some messaging about power and choice that’s more relevant than ever, but it plays into a view that tests Peacemaker like never before. Life finally doesn’t feel as meaningless to Peacemaker and the idea of taking vows and peace carries a new meaning. More importantly, his team matters to him to the point where he outwardly rejects the queen’s offer and kills the cow, basically signifying the end of the butterflies’ survival. It understandably feels grim for him at first since, based on what the queen says, he’s basically sent humanity towards its own self-destruction. But, as Adebayo says, now humanity can make its own choices and possibly be better and the same can be said about Peacemaker now.
The last image of Auggie still haunting Peacemaker shows that his issues with Auggie aren’t going away anytime soon and that there’s still more growth needed for him to bury his demons. However, he won’t be alone going forward as the relationships between him, Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), and Adebayo improve greatly. Harcourt taking some heavy hits in the final battle was absolutely heartbreaking in the moment, but it’s nice how it leads to a tender, emotional moment between her and Peacemaker in the hospital. Peacemaker and Adebayo reigniting their bond is even better with their final exchange making Peacemaker’s new outlook on life clearer and him calling Adebayo his best “human” friend instantly warming your heart.
Even crazier is that Adebayo delivers a shocking moment that’ll actually have some lasting ramifications for the DCEU going forward. To top off her arc of no longer feeling under her mother’s thumb, Adebayo publicly reveals the existence of ARGUS and Task Force X. The cherry on top is that she names her mother Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) as the head of the operation. Davis’ reaction as Waller is priceless and now that her operations are out in the open, it’s going to be interesting to see the future of The Suicide Squad and Waller in the DCEU.
Honestly, it’s just great that this finale delivers the kind of joyous, blood-soaked action that fans have been waiting for. There’s been some solid action here and there throughout the series, but it doesn’t even compare to Vigilante, Harcourt, and Peacemaker storming into battle to take on the butterflies with the series’ theme song playing throughout.
This final battle had everything. Tons of blood, Peacemaker pulling out his sword and shield, and some amazing direction from Gunn that keeps you constantly invested. It’s a momentous build-up of action and emotion that perfectly leads to one of the best surprises in any of the DCEU properties. Just as the group walks away from battle all bloodied and beat up, the Justice League arrives and while Superman and Wonder Woman are unfortunately left in the shadows, we do get to see Ezra Miller’s Flash and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman deliver some funny lines. It was sheer perfection.
Peacemaker solidifies itself as one of DC’s best adaptations to date as well as some of Gunn’s best work as it creates a one-of-a-kind experience for DC fans full of amazing surprises, incredible action, and meaningful character arcs that capture your heart. For the first time, the DCEU has an interesting direction worth talking about.