*Warning: This article contains spoilers for episode seven of Peacemaker*
Peacemaker’s seventh episode sets the stage for an incredible finale by thwarting us immediately in the series’ remaining conflicts to wrap up. Christopher Smith (John Cena), John Economos (Steve Agee), and Adrian Chase (Freddie Stroma) decide to team up to “finish the job” once and for all. However, after a possessed Captain Locke (Christopher Heyerdahl) issues a nationwide search to track and arrest Peacemaker, they rapidly get confronted by our titular character’s inner demon: Chris’ father (Robert Patrick).
Dressed in a comic-accurate White Dragon suit, it doesn’t take long for Auggie to confront his son head-on and kill him. The fight between Peacemaker and White Dragon is one of the highlights of the series so far. It starts as an all-out battle between good and evil and then shifts into Peacemaker’s most brutal confrontation yet. The episode opens with a dark flashback in which Auggie blames Christopher for killing his brother, but Auggie leads him to his death. Then, the White Dragon had his two sons fight to bet on them with his followers. And when Peacemaker finally decides to “become a man” and defeat the person who has held him back all these years, a significant shift in personality happens for him.
He doesn’t hesitate to fire the gun that’ll ultimately kill his father because he doesn’t want to “take s—” from him anymore. It’s another remarkable moment between John Cena and Robert Patrick, which solidifies one of the best (and most complicated) father/son relationships in a James Gunn title. It’s even better than Ego vs. Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 because Auggie’s outlook on his son is much darker than Ego ever did. Ego used Quill as a pawn, but Auggie hates his son with all of his guts. The only thing he wants to do is kill Christopher, which will make him a better human being in God’s eyes. Before Cena kills him, Patrick’s monologue immediately bumps him in the top 3 of DCEU villains. We now have an antagonist that’s not only menacing for the sake of menacing but represents pure hatred in a way other DCEU villains have not been able to convey.
As soon as he gets introduced, there’s this aching feeling that you can’t trust Auggie Smith, and even if Chris wants to defend him because he’s his father, there’s absolutely nothing to protect from a person like the White Dragon. Gunn has meticulously built up episode seven’s confrontation, which ends in an emotionally satisfying way for the protagonist and completely changes him as an individual. Because when we see him again in the veterinarian’s office after Eagly (Dee Bradley Baker) gets seriously injured, he doesn’t think about his bruised ego anymore.
As he prays to a higher power to get Eagly back, Peacemaker’s journey of self-discovery comes to an end. He’s no longer the dickish Captain America introduced in The Suicide Squad, but a hero who, while highly flawed, will always do the right thing to save the world, even if he’s been betrayed countless times and abused in his life. He doesn’t want to hold back anything anymore and is ready to defeat the butterflies and hopefully move on to something else.
The butterflies, unfortunately, catch and kill Clemson Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji). However, he gets the last laugh since his butterfly mind knows Detective Song/Goff (Annie Chang) plans to invade the world through butterfly-minds through an Alien cow. Peacemaker is done hiding his real persona through one where people will think he’s a joke. The only joke left for him to do is kill the cow, but the A.R.G.U.S. group doesn’t know (with Jennifer Holland’s Emilia Harcourt acting as new leader) is that the “cow” is not a cow. It’s a Kaiju-like creature that looks nothing like a “cow” but produces Alien milk, so I guess she’s a cow in the butterflies’ mind? No matter since they’re going to have to kill it if it means saving the world. Though they are pretty ill-prepared.
Big surprises may happen during the finale (it’s rumored that Viola Davis will appear as Amanda Waller again) in big James Gunn fashion. But it won’t necessarily matter since the show is already one of the very best things to come out of the DCEU. If Peacemaker’s finale focuses on our titular character’s journey and solidifies his relationship with the A.R.G.U.S. crew while saving the world, the only way he knows how it’ll already be an incredible time and truly solidify the show as being a top-tier DCEU title. Let’s see.
The seventh episode of Peacemaker is now streaming on HBO Max.