Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Peacemaker Season 1 Ending Explained

Contains spoilers for "Peacemaker" Episode 8

After only five weeks, the first season finale of "Peacemaker" is already available for streaming on HBO Max. In only a little more than a month, director James Gunn has completely transformed the face of the DC Extended Universe with its first official television series. Dare we say it, after this season finale, the balance of power in the DCEU has shifted in a rather dramatic fashion.

Episode 7 ("Stop Dragon My Heart") concludes with the timely and well-deserved death of Auggie Smith (aka White Dragon) (Robert Patrick) at the hands of his son, Christopher Smith (aka Peacemaker) (John Cena). Though that episode would seem to wrap up one significant antagonist, it also teases the beginning of a new bloody front in the war against the Army of the Butterflies. 

As soon as Episode 8 ("It's Cow or Never") begins, Gunn makes it clear he's not pulling any punches for this season finale, but the real surprises come even later. Here's a quick explainer about where Season 1 of "Peacemaker" leaves things at the end of its inaugural run.

The Justice League is late to the fight

Of course, no television series set in a famous franchise can escape the charm of a few legendary cameos at just the proper moment. Towards the beginning of the season finale, Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) requests that her mother, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), send in the Justice League to take on the Army of the Butterflies. While Waller appears to respond negatively to the suggestion, it becomes clear by the end of the episode that Waller actually passed the request along anyway. She's almost certainly a war criminal, but at least she loves her daughter!

Unfortunately, the superhero team only manages to arrive after all of the action is already finished. Though four members of the Justice League are technically present, we only ever see the faces of Aquaman (Jason Momoa) and the Flash (Ezra Miller), while Superman and Wonder Woman's faces are conspicuously hidden in the darkness. Also notable is the complete absence of both Batman and Cyborg. Though it's unclear exactly why two heroes are able to appear and their arguably more famous colleagues are not, this year's upcoming DCEU movie slate seems to be a likely explanation ("Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom" and "The Flash" are both due later this year). Hooray for cross promotion!

While it will certainly make many DC fans smile to see the group appear on screen briefly, Peacemaker isn't in much of a fanboying mood by the time he sees them. With Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) and Vigilante (Freddie Stroma) grievously wounded by the bloody battle, Peacemaker simply walks past the tardy party with barely a thought for them (though he does send a few richly deserved obscenities their way).

Leota exposes Amanda Waller and Task Force X

One of the most popular relationships "Peacemaker" has built throughout its first season is the unlikely friendship between Leota and Peacemaker. While the two are both somewhat surprised by how quickly they become friends, Leota's betrayal in Episode 5 ("Monkey Dory") brings the two co-worker's friendship to an uncertain impasse. At the end of Episode 7, Peacemaker coldly denies Leota's heartfelt apology for her duplicitous actions. 

While Leota again attempts to apologize before the mission in the season finale, none of her words seem to get through to Peacemaker until after the Butterfly cow is dead. It would seem that all it takes for Peacemaker to forgive Leota is the opportunity to use her as a literal torpedo against an alien cow! If this is true of anyone else in Leota's life, she is certain to have some difficult times ahead. After reconciling with Peacemaker, Leota takes drastic action to further make up for her mistake.

In a sudden press briefing outside the team headquarters, Leota clears Peacemaker's name, blows the whistle on Task Force X, and points the finger directly at her mother. In the aftermath of this announcement, there appear to be a number of changes taking place behind the scenes at A.R.G.U.S., including the reassignment of John Economos (Steve Agee) to Belle Reve Penitentiary. Notably, Economos is the warden of the famous prison in the DC Comics (via DC Fandom).

The further implications of Leota's decision are sure to reverberate not only in the second season of "Peacemaker," but throughout the rest of the DCEU as well.

White Dragon will always be a part of Peacemaker

Of course, Leota isn't the only member of Task Force X that suffers from longterm issues with a parent. Throughout his entire life, Peacemaker has been haunted by the racist instructions of his father, Auggie Smith (aka White Dragon) (Robert Patrick). Though Peacemaker puts an end to White Dragon's lively form in the penultimate episode of the season, Episode 8 quickly makes it clear that White Dragon is now literally going to haunt Peacemaker. At two moments in the episode, Peacemaker appears to carry on entire conversations with a ghostly form of his father who appears to him as a hallucination of some sort.

Though the TV series has altered Peacemaker's origin story from that of the original comic book series, this particular narrative choice is extremely similar to something from the second volume of the "Peacemaker" comic (via DC Fandom). In the original source material, Peacemaker's father is actually a former Nazi concentration camp commander named Wolfgang Schmidt, instead of the American white supremacist leader portrayed in the television series. Additionally, the comic book version of Peacemaker's father dies when Peacemaker is only a child. Despite this fact, Peacemaker's long dead father routinely appears to instruct and torment his son in all four issues of the 1988 volume.

While it's obviously troubling that Peacemaker remains unable to escape the deceased White Dragon, it will be interesting to see how writers incorporate this development in the recently confirmed "Peacemaker" Season 2. It certainly seems like a nice excuse to keep Robert Patrick around.

Goff is still alive, but maybe not for long?

Episode 8 also features a number of surprise recoveries, including Harcourt and Goff the Butterfly. Though many Butterflies surely died to bring us this episode, Goff is apparently the last Butterfly left flying by the episode's end. For whatever reason, Peacemaker appears highly reluctant to kill the most important Butterfly. Though we can't exactly explain Peacemaker's previous decision to keep Goff in a jar, his willingness to let the creature live in the finale is more easily explained.

After the assault on Coverdale Ranch, Detective Sophie Song (aka Butterfly Goff) (Annie Chang) pulls Peacemaker from the rubble and explains the true mission of the Butterflies. She explains that the Butterflies previously ruined their own planet and relocated to Earth in search of another home. However, they were distraught to discover many of the same warning signs on Earth as they previously saw on their former home planet. 

In essence, the Butterflies' goal is not to takeover Earth for power, but instead to take it over to save it, no matter how many men, women, and children they have to kill to do so. Though Peacemaker ultimately chooses his friends over the Butterflies, he obviously makes a connection between his oath and Goff's mission. Of course, with the Butterfly cow dead and Peacemaker's supply of Butterfly food fading fast, it seems like Goff may not be long for this (or any other) world.  

Vigilante does not understand sarcasm

Every episode of "Peacemaker" ends with a post-credits segment that expands on the humor in a scene from the episode that just finished airing. Unsurprisingly, the final post-credits scene of the season focuses on a humorous exchange between Economos and Vigilante, just prior to the battle with the Butterflies. In the original scene, Vigilante's suggestion that people issue warnings before engaging in sarcasm is ignored as quickly as it is offered. 

However, in the post-credits scene, Economos can't help himself in openly questioning Vigilante's absurd suggestion. Sadly, Economos quickly comes to regret this decision once Vigilante uses sarcasm to make a variety of jokes about Economos' physical appearance. Though none of Vigilante's cruel comments appear to bother Economos nearly as much as the "dye-beard" jokes from Peacemaker, he obviously still isn't very happy about it. 

Assuming Economos comes back to the team in "Peacemaker" Season 2, we have to wonder if the poor man will ever catch a break?