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Peacemaker Episode 1 Ending Explained

You might not be able to see John Cena, but you can watch him in the first set of episodes of "Peacemaker." Though HBO Max is adopting the weekly release model for the rest of the first season of the James Gunn series, the streaming service isn't at all shy about letting a sizable "piece" hang out, rather like Peacemaker himself. A whole three episodes of the spinoff to Gunn's "The Suicide Squad" are now available to all HBO Max subscribers. 

If you just finished up the first episode and still have a few questions about what you just saw, you are certainly not alone. The first live-action television entry in the DC Extended Universe has a lot of area to cover. The first hour brings a number of familiar faces back from Task Force X in "The Suicide Squad", including: Chris Smith (aka Peacemaker) (John Cena), Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), John Economos (Steve Agee), and, briefly, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). By the end of the first episode, we also meet a number of new characters including: a new member of Amanda Waller's team, Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks); a mercenary whose dark reputation apparently precedes him, Clemson Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji); Peacemaker's racist father, Auggie Smith (Robert Patrick); and a rather strange fanboy of Peacemaker's, Adrian Chase (aka Vigilante) (Freddie Stroma).

Here's a quick explainer about where Episode 1 ("A Whole New Whirled") leaves things at the end of the first hour.

Peacemaker is attracted to Harcourt, but she definitely isn't interested

After following Harcourt to a bar, Peacemaker makes numerous passes (more like desperate pleas, really) at his co-worker, who dismisses Peacemaker, as well as numerous other bar patrons who approach her. Though Peacemaker is immediately attracted to Harcourt, he becomes even more smitten when she violently takes down a man who attacks her. "I have no interest in you, other than your ability to fight for us." Harcourt later tells Peacemaker. "Just because you're handsome, doesn't mean you're not a piece-of-sh*t murderer." Of course, Peacemaker is unable to take a hint and only responds with, "You think I'm handsome?" When Peacemaker begs for a no-strings-attached deal, Harcourt appears even less interested and quickly departs the bar, leading Peacemaker to make even worse choices (more on that later).

Prior to his mission on the island of Corto Maltese during "The Suicide Squad," Peacemaker spent a whole four years in prison. The superhero is, therefore, immediately eager to explore the boundaries of his newfound freedom, especially when it comes to certain adult activities which he was unable to enjoy with women during his time in prison. While Peacemaker spends a significant amount of time in the first episode focusing on sex, Harcourt appears laser-focused on her new job. She sees her placement on this specific task force as punishment for her participation in the mutiny against Amanda Waller in "The Suicide Squad" and, no doubt, wants to prove herself to her superiors.

Amanda Waller has a secret plan and it involves a Batman reference

Somewhat surprisingly, Viola Davis has a short cameo in this episode as Amanda Waller. She appears in a short FaceTime call with Leota, who, in addition to working as Waller's eyes and ears on this mission, also happens to be her daughter (imagine growing up with Amanda Waller as a mother!). As is usual, Waller is playing a game outside the bounds of the stated mission. During her FaceTime call with Leota, Waller commands that she hide a forged diary in Peacemaker's trailer. Eagle-eyed fans will notice the Wayne Foundation name and logo on the cover of the diary, alongside a slew of other stickers. While this is obviously a giant Easter egg for DC fans, it's also possible that Waller wants to make it appear as if Peacemaker is conspiring against the Wayne Foundation in some manner.

The exact purpose of this diary is unclear at this moment, but given the crying child on the cover, it's likely to paint a less-than-flattering picture of Peacemaker's inner psyche. Such merciless manipulation sounds just about right for Amanda Waller. Waller is one of the most ruthless characters in the history of DC Comics. The organizer of Task Force X, Waller is willing and eager to kill anyone who stands in the way of her goals. During "The Suicide Squad," Waller sends one team to Corto Maltese as a simple diversion, knowing full well the entire squadron will be massacred upon arrival. While her exact plan in this series remains unclear, it seems certain that Waller will seek to double cross Peacemaker and the rest of the team eventually. Where Leota's allegiance will fall during this moment is sure to prove interesting.

Peacemaker's father gives him a new helmet just in time

Leota isn't the only character in "Peacemaker" with an interesting, but difficult parent. "Terminator 2" star Robert Patrick plays Peacemaker's appallingly racist father, Auggie. When Peacemaker first arrives at his dad's home, his father is visibly unpleased to see him. While Auggie is briefly amused at the story of Bloodsport's childhood trauma, his only substantive response to his son's war stories is disappointment. He repeatedly calls Peacemaker "pathetic" and refers to him as "a simp." At his son's insistence, Auggie gives him another Peacemaker-branded helmet. However, Auggie only does so with the expressly stated hope that Peacemaker can use it to target racial minorities, something that Peacemaker insists he isn't interested in. As it turns out, Peacemaker's new helmet comes to him at just the right time. 

Peacemaker spends the evening with a random woman from the bar (an act which includes Peacemaker screaming "Freedom!" at a particularly "heightened" moment). Post-coitus, Peacemaker proceeds to dance and sing in his underwear, using a vibrator as a microphone. Such a ridiculous scene leaves him vulnerable to a sudden knife attack from the same woman with whom he just had sex. It isn't until Peacemaker is reunited with his helmet that he is able to gain the upper hand by activating a new sonic boom feature.

Given the success of this helmet, it seems all, but certain that each of these other helmets will be utilized at some point this season (Chekhov's helmet, if you will). The other power-up options in Auggie's lab offer features as varied as a full body forcefield, underwater breathing and X-ray vision. In a post-credits sequence, Auggie even shows Peacemaker a helmet that literally just infects its wearer with scabies. Perhaps one of Peacemaker's helmets might even be able to make John Cena visible?

New episodes of "Peacemaker" drop on HBO Max every Thursday.