"Peacemaker" Season One Talkback (Spoilers)

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Yojimbo

Yes, have some.
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I don't think anyone expected this to have the first official confirmation of Green Arrow, but there you go. The JL could use new people :p.
2/17: They could. <cough>Shazam<cough>
I'm really surprised they never used the Scabies helmet...
Yeah, you never know with season 2. Wonder if someone else is going to figure out his helmet tech or he's stuck without the sonic boom and anti-grav helmets forever.

Makes me wonder if this will play into season 2, the other SS spinoff, or the next SS movie :ack:.
I'd guess the next SS spin off or maybe even Black Adam lightly touches on it.

2/18: Gunn releases blooper roll. Naturally, there is swearing.

2/19: There were Batman and Cyborg stand-ins, too.
 
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-batmat-

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This was a great show. I wasn't very invested or entertained during the first few episodes, but it only got better and better. Seeing the group come together in friendship was great.

A bit too much F this and F that all over the place to my taste, but great overall.
 

Fone Bone

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Peacemaker "A Whole New Whirled"

It was all right, but I really disliked the ending. It was lurid.

I was sort of always gonna be a tough sell for this show so the fact that the rest of the premiere was okay surprised me a bit. I thought James Gunn's Suicide Squad was passable. But I certainly didn't need to see more of it. Especially not the character of Peacemaker after what he did to Flag.

But the show is taking the right tack by making him utterly pathetic. And I cannot properly overstate how much I hate his racist father which is probably why he's so messed up in the head. I loved the janitor calling him racist. But it's weird he thinks he's a superhero. Superheroes don't get sentenced to 30 years in prison for murder.

Speaking of the dad, Robert Patrick currently looks like utter crap. I honestly see why Chris Carter declined to bring him back for the recent X-Files relaunch. It works for his scumbag character here, but really he is not the same rough, good-looking dude he used to be.

Waller's daughter is definitely in the wrong line of work.

Peacemaker is impressed with Harcourt beating up those vulgar barflies. Not me. I think kickass women in the DC Universe are a dime a dozen. What impressed me is that she doesn't flinch when the guy gets in her face. That was the thing that told me she was both dangerous and hardcore.

I really like the main titles. Literally no other live-action DC show has has a theme song remotely like it.

I already hate Adrian Chase. It says something about Vigilante when HE is the loser in his and Peacemaker's friendship.

This show probably won't wind up a disaster, and I already like it more than Titans and most of The Arrowverse. Still, I'm not 100% sold yet. ***1/2.

Peacemaker "Best Friend, For Never"

I never heard of White Dragon but he instantly alarms me. The team probably should have picked a different person to frame.

I like that Economos is truly disappointed he's never been shot at.

Vigilante isn't just a scumbag, he's a crazy one.

I like the idea that Ben Affleck's Batman has dealt with Bat-Mite. Makes me hate the DC Extended Universe a little less.

Interesting how much Peacemaker regrets killing Rick Flag. Frankly, I found that unforgivable, and it was the reason I didn't care about seeing a series centered around the character. At least it's the thing that make him blubber like a baby. That's something.

All right. ***1/2.

Peacemaker "Better Goff Dead"

All in all, I think James Gunn's attention would be better spent on Guardians of the Galaxy.

The trailer at the end was great though.

And it's BerenSTAIN Bears. This episode pointed out the most obnoxious thing about people who call them the Berenstein Bears. They are SO damn sure of themselves. Which is why they suck.

This could go somewhere interesting. But it hasn't gone there yet. ***.

Peacemaker "The Choad Less Traveled"

I actually really liked this one. Maybe I'm a bad person but I laughed HARD at the way Vigilante riled those white supremacists at the prison table. It was SO mean, and uncalled for, and utterly righteous. It was hilarious. I was rolling.

Murg's a butterfly? Now I'm really curious what Judomaster was going to say about them before he was shot.

And yes, Chris's dad IS a total monster.

I'm not this show's biggest fan but I really liked that episode. ****.

Peacemaker "Monkey Dory"

It was a little much. And that's been all the episodes. A little TOO far. Each one of them. Not a LOT too far. But a little too far. And it's a little much.

I'll say this: The talking gorilla (which was sliced open by a chainsaw) says that James Gunn is a comic book producer who actually understands the only thing that superhero comic books are good for. If nobody's punching talking gorillas, I just don't care. I cared for this episode for a brief shining moment, because it was briefly worthwhile for the reason all comic books are ever briefly worthwhile.

I like the interaction and arguments between the characters, especially when they turn pop-culture related. Chris saying all of the people Economo could have framed instead off the top of his head felt very realistic (as in as if a real person was making it up) because plenty of his choices were stupid, and something a person who is clearly upset wouldn't understand don't fit the parameters of what he's talking about. It was still funny, as was the bit where Peacemaker called him a stud.

A little much. Just a little. ***1/2.

Peacemaker "Murn After Reading"

That was the most solid episode so far. A little too dark for my tastes (the smiles at the end were disturbing) but the most all-around high quality episode.

Speaking of those smiles, Christopher Heyerdahl has the ability to make the most absolutely disturbing facial expressions. He did it on Van Helsing, he did it here. That tag was less funny to me and more horrific. He's TOO good at making scary faces. It's not actually funny.

Chris's increasing rage at both Adrian and what he is being asked to do is very interesting. This is probably the angriest so-called superhero I have ever seen. Wolverine is measured and chill in comparison.

I look forward to the blow-up between Chris and Adebayo next week. That was her lowest point, and she needs to be held to account for it.

Sophie's death was heartbreaking and the entire police station and prison being killed and taken over was similarly soul-crushing. I feel especially bad for Fitzgibbon. He had no idea what he was up against.

I think Locke being taken over by the butterfly was a narrative mistake. I think the human version of him was absolutely crazy, which made him interesting enough to keep around. I thought the Hamburglar thing was beyond insane, even for a character on this show.

Either James Gunn knows nothing about music (which I'm sure you'll agree is a stretch) or Chris is an inherently gifted musician. I am not, but I used to be pretty good at playing the piano after years of practice. I can tell you that if you aren't musically gifted and step away from that, you lose the ability. Not forever. But it's not like riding a bike. You have to relearn all your pieces all over again after years away from them. The fact that Chris spent years in prison and was able to do that when he came up to a piano again years later either means James Gunn is an idiot or Chris is super talented. I think it's probably the latter.

I loved Song's specific snap at Auggie's haircut. That is one of the worst haircuts I have ever seen. I hope when Robert Patrick is filming this show he wears a hat off-set out of embarrassment. It's that atrocious.

Finally, I want to talk about the best part of the episode: The beginning. Murn being a GOOD butterfly explains everything, especially his sudden redemption arc, which made no sense to the other characters. And good for Harcourt for using logic to provisionally trust him. He helped them far too much to be lying and against them. And the pathos and guilt Murn feels for the monster he replaced seems misplaced to me, until he notes he senses in his thoughts the guy had the capacity to change. Is that something every butterfly would find true of every terrible human being they inhabit? And is the teal question from Vigilante actually stupid or is it interesting? And who can blame Chris for not knowing the actual letter grade you get for 50%?

I was very much devastated by the ending, and I hope the series doesn't exist to simply be nihilistic like Titans does. I don't like any of the characters. But for some reason I still kind of care about them. And I don't know why that is.

This was the best episode so far. ****1/2.

Peacemaker "Stop Dragon My Heart Around"

This was not the first great episode of the show. But it was a turning point for me. Even bad TV shows can have occasional great episodes. It is totally possible. Even the crappiest Arrowverse shows have done one or two great episodes. This episode told me this was not a bad series. It is probably a good one. The scene with Eagley and Chris in the vet's room told me that by the time this is over, I will probably wind up liking the series. This is not the exercise in total nihilism Titans always is, and Doom Patrol often is. That hug effecting Adebayo so much was storytelling magic. There is no other word for it, whether this show has exploding heads and f-bombs or not. It moved me because it mattered.

And I'll tell you why I want to rave about that moment instead of declaring it a one-off that works solely because of the actor's performances. Because when she apologizes to Chris later on, he tells her to eff off and that he never wants to see her lying face again. She was outside of that amazing moment and tried to use the apology to get her way back in Chris's good graces, and she realized she is always going to be on the outside of the guy amazing enough to have an eagle hug him. She destroyed a huge opportunity for a friendship and a relationship because she listened to her dumb, untrustworthy mother. Which was Chris's entire problem with his father. If he didn't ever listen or take after him Rick Flag would still be alive. No doubt. Knowing that Chris is amazing enough to get a second Eagle hug makes me even madder at Flag's death. If Peacemaker were as sociopathic a character as Vigilante, it would simply be the price of doing business. Instead he believed his father that HE killed Keith even though it was 100% Auggie. And now he actually IS the piece of crap his father always told him he was. But he doesn't have to be. And maybe he won't be anymore from this point forward.

Can you be an amazing person and a worthless piece of crap at the same time? Chris and this show suggest the answer is yes. And I very much support the idea that people aren't always all good or all bad. And maybe the solution for people who are both is to listen to their better angels. Good things can happen if they do. I like that message. Even if Chris is always a worthless piece of crap. He's still amazing.

I don't personally like Vigilante. In general I dislike sociopathic characters. But his back and forths with the other characters are some of the best moments of the show. Picking his brain and finding out where his boundaries and moral lines do and don't exist is not only funny, it's getting to be a bit fascinating.

Murn's death was a shock, but killing the butterfly inside him too just meant all bets were off. The Eagle hug coming in an episode where THAT happened and Peacemaker is forced to kill his own father says perhaps the tone of the show being uneven may be a selling point rather than a fault. The very good occurring in the same episode as the very bad resonates with me for that reason.

For the record, Murn going into the room with Harcourt and Adeboya and revealing he already knew everything shows that guy has his crap together like no other character. His death is an actual blow against the good guys for that reason. Although it's not lost on me that he didn't exactly shoot down or criticize the idea of framing Chris. As far as he was concerned, even if that wasn't his plan, it was always on the table. Which means he too is not all good or all bad.

Those punks at the Mini-Mart learned you don't mess with Judomaster. Unless you're Harcourt with an assist from Adebayo. Then he's getting his ass kicked. For the record I still haven't remotely been able to fathom Judomaster's motives. The kid makes no sense to me.

So that's the Cow, huh? Well it has to look like something, so it might as well look like a cross between Queen Slug For A Butt, and the Slurm Queen. But if Gunn thought he was showing us something new and unimaginably grotesque I must point out Futurama and Earthworm Jim both existed long before this show did. Nice try, James.

I can't speak to the long-term health of a show like this. But I have a very good feeling that I will be very satisfied by the time the first season is over. Gunn brought the goods this episode, and I expect him to do it again when it really counts. *****.

Peacemaker "It's Cow Or Never"

Honestly, it could have been better.

James Gunn made some story choices I would not have made in his place. Some of those choices were interesting. Some were not.

It's always been hinted that the Butterflies are more than the heroes think, and that perhaps their mission was misunderstood. So I understood the significance of Groff telling Chris what she does. But I don't agree with the notion that Chris either would or should have tried to stop her. To be fair, it's treated as a controversy after the fact, but as it's happening Chris gives that idea no credence, which I don't find believable in the least. The last scene with the Groff butterfly at his place shows why: They had developed a rapport. It's doesn't feel right that after the crap he give Adebayo over her betrayal that he refuses to hear her out further.

Also, not to put too fine a point on it, but the F-Bomb dropping Aquaman made me cringe and very glad that it appears the DCEU is on its way out. The heroes are punchlines at this point, and having Jason Mamoa and Ezra Miller appear in character to degrade themselves only proves it.

Adeboya turning into an effortless badass killer is a good reminder as to why, all things considered, I tend to hate this genre. It doesn't allow for opposing viewpoints. If Adebayo opposes killing people, obviously she's the one with the problem that needs to be gotten over. And I hate that about superhero projects and genre in general. James Gunn believes Adebayo is better off as a character embracing being a murderer. I think it outright sucks that he thinks that. And that he's crazy if he thinks he can get me to think it too.

I'll tell you what moment I liked: Economos' confession over dying his beard. I like it because it shows something I love being portrayed about mean-spirited, yet seemingly funny behavior: It can hurt. Deep down. Peacemaker was just being a jerk. He didn't mean anything by it. And you realize exactly how deeply and personally it effected Economos in hindsight. I've done that specific thing in my own writing, which might be why I responded so positively to it here. People like Economos aren't simply punchlines that exist to take Peacemaker's abuse. They are real people with real feelings. And that moment reminded me of that. Another interesting thing about the confession: He made it because he thought he was going to die and that it would somehow clear his books with the team. And that makes it extra fascinating to me. It was riveting.

I can't fully dismiss an episode with that Economos scene in it. But the truth is I think Gunn made several questionable storytelling decisions here. ***.
 

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