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The Craziest Moments From Peacemaker Season 1

When Christopher Smith, aka Peacemaker, was first introduced to the DCEU in 2021's "The Suicide Squad," the character turned heads. John Cena's portrayal of the gun-totting peace-obsessed patriot was met with very positive reactions. James Gunn had definitely developed an affinity for the character and, amidst some downtime he had, decided to scribe "Peacemaker" — a project about which he said, "I have never ever been more excited to share something with the world."

The result is quite possibly one of the best pieces of media that DC Comics and Warner Bros. have made in some time. Not only is the show relentlessly funny, but it is also filled with great performances and legitimately emotional moments. Ultimately, underneath all of the humorous references and violence, it's a story about vulnerability and what some people do to conceal it. At the same time, it's also a story that features alien butterflies, a mind-controlled gorilla, and a car battery torture sequence! We'll be taking a look at some of the craziest moments from the first season of "Peacemaker" –- but be warned, spoilers ahead!

That opening title sequence

From the moment "Peacemaker" dropped on HBO Max, viewers were immediately receptive to the show and its off-the-wall tone. However, there was one aspect of the series that emerged as its most meme-worthy aspect –- its outrageous opening title sequence. Now, anyone who's seen a James Gunn helmed production before knows it's not uncommon for him to do something like this. One would only need to check out the dance sequence from "Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed," which Gunn wrote the screenplay for, or the "Guardians Inferno" music video for proof of that. Whatever the reason, Gunn really has an affinity for making his leads dance like goofs -– not that we're complaining, for the record.

Set to Wig Wam's "Do Ya Really Wanna Taste It?" the sequence is a gloriously neon-lit dance sequence featuring the entire cast. What makes the whole thing such a laugh riot is just how serious everyone's expressions are as they are dancing. Top the whole thing off with Eagly (the best character) posing as the show's title appears and you have a recipe for pure undiluted joy. The basic goal of any opening title sequence is to set the tone for the show it's attached to, and the "Peacemaker" intro most certainly does that.

Amanda Waller: Mother?

The character of Amanda Waller has taken on many different forms throughout the years, having been reinterpreted in several shows and films. Most recently, the role has been taken on by award-winning actress Viola Davis, who first played the character in 2017's "Suicide Squad." Despite the dubious quality of that first film, many fans on Reddit agreed that Davis perfectly captured Amanda Waller's cold and calculating demeanor. Her portrayal of Waller was so well received that Davis has returned to play the role in 2021's "The Suicide Squad" and the "Peacemaker" series.

The character was relegated to a cameo in Episode 1, but Waller still plays a significant role in subsequent episodes. In "Peacemaker," we were introduced to Leota Adebayo, a member of the Project Butterfly task force working alongside Chris. It's through Adebayo that he truly began his season-long metamorphosis from radically delusional himbo to a full-fledged hero. Unfortunately, Adebayo's presence is revealed to be the result of machinations by Amanda Waller -– her mother. This is the first time that Waller has been portrayed as a mother, and it's an intriguing change for sure.

Peacemaker vs. female Butterfly

The pilot episode of "Peacemaker" is a wonderful start to the series, with a big factor being its closing sequence. After striking out with Harcourt at a local bar, Chris ends up going home with Annie Sturphausen, an attractive blonde woman. After an evening of physical passion Chris, with a renewed positive attitude, begins vibing to her record collection. The image of John Cena singing along to "I Don't Love You Anymore" by The Quireboys makes for a hysterical visual. 

However, the scene quickly turns deadly as Chris is suddenly attacked by a knife-wielding, blood-crazed Annie. Chris, still in his undies, attempts to fight her off but falls victim to her seemingly unexplainable inhuman super strength. He is eventually forced to bail out the window and flees into the parking lot, where she gives chase. She has him cornered but is hit by a blast from Chris' sonic boom-equipped helmet -– turning her into a splattered mess.

John Cena, in only his tighty whities and his Peacemaker helmet, sitting shell shocked in a crater is utterly amazing -– both in and out of context. It is an insane way to conclude the first episode and only serves as an appetizer for the madness to come.

The Butterflies revealed

Throughout the first few episodes of "Peacemaker," we are told about the impending threat of the Butterflies with very little explanation. It isn't until the third episode that we were finally shown what exactly a "Butterfly" is, and it's a glorious reveal. 

Chris and the team set off on their first major mission – assassinating the Goffs, a senator and his family, who are believed to be Butterflies. This causes some unease in Chris who, despite his violent ways, cannot bring himself to pull the trigger on Goff's family. However, Vigilante, aka Adrian, being a legitimately good friend, quickly steps in and, with disturbing ease, takes out the mother, son, and daughter. Unfortunately, before the father can be gunned down as well, they are attacked by Judomaster and the senator's bodyguard. This leads to Harcourt, Adebayo, and Murn going on an impromptu rescue mission to save Chris and Adrian. After several minutes of physical torture –- mostly dealt out to poor Adrian -– Chris is able to break free and kill Goff.

His death does expose the truth about Butterflies and reveals that their name is quite literal, especially when an alien butterfly emerges from Goff's splattered head. The episode concludes on a worldwide map showing just how many Butterflies have already invaded and just how dire the situation truly is.

Vigilante (tries to) kill Peacemaker's dad

After his battle with the Butterfly Annie at her apartment complex, Chris makes a less than subtle exit, which quickly alerts the police. Not only that, but he leaves some DNA evidence and his car behind, which could've doomed the entire operation. Left with no other option, Economos is forced to divert attention to another suspect –- Chris' father, August "Auggie" Smith.

After a quick criminal database hack and bribing some witnesses, Auggie is off to the slammer, where he spends the bulk of the season. This situation is only exacerbated by Adebayo, who sees fit to convince Vigilante that it would be better for Chris if Auggie were gone. Adrian takes this to heart and gets himself arrested to do his bestie a solid — by killing his dad. 

After antagonizing Auggie and his skinhead crew with some very cocky anti-right wing rhetoric, Adrian makes quick work of his cronies. However, this gives Auggie the impression that Chris himself told Adrian to do it, further intensifying the issue. It's a great scene, not just for how it exacerbates the ongoing conflict with Auggie, but for how it establishes just how efficient Adrian is at his "job."

Economos kills a gorilla with a chainsaw

Nothing quite brings a team together like bisecting an alien-controlled gorilla with a chainsaw. After infiltrating a bottling factory run by the Butterflies, the crew discovers a massive stash of the nectar the creatures rely on. As Adrian and Harcourt stealthily make their way through one part of the factory, Chris and Adebayo blast their way through another. Figuring out who to shoot is made easier for the duo thanks to a special Peacemaker helmet that allows Chris to see the Butterflies within their host's skulls. However, their mission leads them into the den of an unexpected threat -– a gorilla controlled by a Butterfly.

In a news report seen earlier in the show, it is mentioned that a Gorilla named Charlie has been stolen from the local zoo. The enraged creature makes quick work of Harcourt, Adrian, Adebayo, and even Chris before going in for the kill. However, Economos arrives just in the nick of time, goring Charlie in two with Adrian's chainsaw. It is at this moment that, after episodes of name-calling and ridicule, Chris finally gives Economos his due. Plus, as if we needed to repeat it, the man cuts gorilla in half with a chainsaw –- what else needs to be said?

Sophie becomes a Butterfly

It's fair to say by this point that James Gunn has a definite affinity for insect-like mind-controlling extraterrestrial entries. If you watch "Slither" or "The Suicide Squad," you will most definitely notice these recurring ideas and motifs. After taking out Senator Goff and his family, Chris opts to hold on to the Butterfly that was controlling the senator by keeping the creature in a jar. Things begin to go sideways when the police department shows up at his house. Chris and Adrian attempt to escape by heading to the roof and then making it into the forest, but they are caught in the act by Detective Sophie Song.

Unfortunately, during their escape attempt, the jar holding the Butterfly Goff shatters, releasing it to attack Song. Within moments, the insect forces itself down her throat and into her brain, resulting in a sickening death scene. Soon after, Butterfly Goff, now adjusting to Sophie's body, resumes their previous machinations, resulting in another of the show's craziest moments.

The Butterflies invade the precinct

After being taken over, Sophie, now controlled by Butterfly Goff, quickly rallies the troops -– that being an entire fleet of butterflies. Butterfly Goff is soon joined by a fleet of other Butterflies, which kicks off the next phase of their plan. 

If there's something else James Gunn loves to pack his movies with, it's sequences set to weirdly appropriate songs. A prime example would be "Come and Get Your Love" by Redbone, which is also used in the opening moments of "Guardians of the Galaxy." In the same spirit, the song "Monster" by Reckless Love is blasted during the sequence where Butterfly Goff and their forces swarm the police station. The placement of that song, combined with the sequence's cinematography and use of slow-motion, is a winning combination.

It's a gleefully gruesome sequence, especially as every cop and prisoner has a Butterfly forced down their throats one by one. This onslaught of gleefully sadistic gore is perfectly in sync with Gunn's history with Troma Entertainment –- only this time on a bigger budget. The final image of all the officers and prisoners boasting creepy smiles makes for a sufficiently skin-crawling visual.

Peacemaker's sad origin story

Throughout the entire first season of "Peacemaker," one of the biggest questions raised is — what exactly happened to Chris' brother Keith? We are shown brief glimpses of what appears to be some kind of stroke or epileptic episode, but not much beyond that. However, before Chris' final confrontation with his father, we are finally shown Peacemaker's true backstory in a flashback. It's revealed that, after a brotherly jam session, the siblings are led into a fighting pit by Auggie. They are forced to fight for their neighbors' entertainment –- with some of the spectators even placing bets.

During the tussle, Chris knocks Keith flat on the ground. Before the fight can resume, Keith begins convulsing. As foam begins to form, it's apparent that Keith is having a seizure of some kind, which ends up killing him. Auggie is quick to blame Chris, which leads to Chris making a lifelong oath to kill only in the name of peace. It's an utterly heartbreaking scene and leads to some of John Cena's most emotional moments in the entire season.

Death of Butterfly Murn

The reveal that Murn was a Butterfly all along makes for quite the twist and is made even stranger by his ethical alignment. This explains his bizarre immunity to an earlier explosion and his in-depth knowledge of the Butterflies. Butterfly Murn reveals that, unlike his brethren, he doesn't wish to conquer the Earth and even actively disagrees with their methods. 

Unfortunately, Butterfly Murn isn't able to see the mission through after Goff and his forces close in. They make quick work of Murn, which leaves the Butterfly piloting his body to attempt to escape before being grabbed by Butterfly Goff, who still controls Sophie Song's body. Despite Butterfly Murn's tiny pleas, Goff quickly crushed the life out of him, much to the shock of their subordinates.

These are the kinds of moments that James Gunn is a master of — ridiculous concepts being used for maximum emotion. The image of Harcourt holding the crushed Butterfly that'd been Murn in her hand as he dies is both ridiculous and heartbreaking.

Peacemaker kills his dad

After an entire season of buildup, we finally get to see the White Dragon fully realized, and it does not disappoint. It's a shame that Auggie was a pig-headed, misogynistic, white nationalist because his villain costume is frustratingly cool. However, Auggie quickly goes to work trying to kill his son while reminding viewers that he is a horrible person, even stooping so low as to punch Eagly –- but luckily, Adrian and Economos make the save.

After they gun down his followers and damage his armor, Chris is able to mount some actual offense. Following a savage beatdown -– complete with finally telling his dad what a monster he was –- Chris grabs a gun. Auggie quickly attempts to prey on Chris' weakness and dress him down once again but to no avail. Chris shoots his dad stone dead right there on the spot, causing himself another major emotional breakdown. 

It's a shocking scene, especially seeing Chris finally give his dad the beating he deserves before ending him for good. If anyone doubted John Cena's ability as an actor, then this moment should finally put those fears to bed.

Activate human torpedo

With Murn dead and the Butterflies making their next move, time is running out for the team. Armed with some guns and the remaining Peacemaker helmets, the team has one goal -– kill the cow. The "cow" in this instance is a kaiju-sized creature that produces the nectar consumed by the Butterflies.

After an epic shootout, which is set to a welcome reprise of "Do Ya Really Wanna Taste It?" by Wig Wam, Chris finally makes it into the Butterfly lair. It's here that Butterfly Goff, who is still controlling Sophie Song's body, tries using Chris' vow of "peace whatever the cost" to save the cow and their species. However, while Chris does show some sympathy, he activates the helmet Adebayo is wearing, propelling her into the cow and killing it. 

It's equal parts heartbreaking and satisfying, especially when Adebayo comes spilling out of the cow, covered in guts. James Gunn has always been good at a few things as a director -– gore, spectacle, and unexpected emotional resonance. The season finale of "Peacemaker" has all three of these by the truckload, making for a supremely satisfying conclusion.