Peacemaker: It’s Cow Or Never

They’re not ending my season after only eight episodes without a fight!

The season finale of the insane ride that has been Peacemaker is here. There have been all sorts of twists and turns and few losses along the way. Now the team, and they’re finally starting to act like one, comes together to try and end the menace of the Butterfly invasion. Since they revealed their target last episode, it’s not much of a stretch to see how they got the title of “It’s Cow or Never.” As this is a season finale, there may be some spoilers below.

The team is rolling towards their target, but this time, there’s no music and camaraderie. Tension is heavy in the air from Adebayo’s betrayal, and no one is happy about it. She tries to apologize, and both Peacemaker and Vigilante handle it in the mature way you’d expect from those two. Peacemaker finally lets his temper go on Adebayo, although Vigilante has trouble switching gears and dealing with complex emotions. Finally getting to their destination, Harcourt pulls the door open and the team gets out. Adebayo explains the situation to her mother, Amanda Waller, and asks for help. We don’t hear Waller’s side of the conversation, although the mastermind behind the Suicide Squad seems to agree with the team’s choice of putting Harcourt in charge. With a snarky comment, Harcourt accepts, relays the plan, and goes over their resources.

The team setting up is punctuated by Vigilante’s inability to grasp pretty much anything along the lines of social mores, and Peacemaker explaining what each of the remaining helmets do. It’s an odd array of effects, and he points out that the maker of the helmets is dead now. I’d think with the resources at her disposal, Waller could get more made, but that’s a problem for another time. Adebayo says the wrong thing and they lose a helmet that’s important to their plan, and Peacemaker’s back-up plan doesn’t go well either. The group has to split up to find something crucial to them having a chance of succeeding, which gives us another surreal conversation between Economos and Vigilante, a deeper one between Harcourt and Adebayo, and Peacemaker starting to show one of the problems his comic book incarnation had at times. Eventually, they find what they needed, Harcourt sends Peacemaker on a special mission, and then they all meet up again.

Peacemaker shares some unpleasant information about his experiences with killing, and Economos has many reasons to be unhappy about pretty much everything. With their options limited, the team sends in possibly the worst, but only, choice for an undercover mission. Despite a few close calls, it goes reasonably well until the last few moments. Then all hell breaks loose as the enemy makes a discovery, there’s a conversation about human habits that goes back to a running joke from the first episode, someone panics, and a fairly awesome force of destruction is unleashed. Having done what they can in stealth mode, Harcourt, Vigilante, and Peacemaker charge forward in a frontal assault. What follows is a bloody battle, a new weapon of Peacemaker’s that might be based on some of Cena’s comments about the character, and a reprise of the theme song that has helped the opening become a trend in its own right. As the battle rages on, numbers begin to tell, the team starts to fall, and they play with the music in an eerie way. The team really is good at creating havoc and building a body count.

Watching from the shadows, Adebayo sees the tide turning, and makes a desperate decision. Quoting one of Harcourt’s lines to her earlier, she arms up and charges in after the team. Economos shows some touching concern for her, but his habit of unexpectedly saving the day is clearly not happening this time as he does something any gamer can sympathize with and more or less rolls a 1 on his dexterity check to follow Adebayo. She goes in guns blazing, showing an impressive level of skill, and even saves Harcourt from something truly terrible. Mission focused even in extreme pain and seriously wounded, Harcourt tells Adebayo to help Peacemaker. The titular character has found himself in new trouble when the damage from their earlier attack causes something unexpected to happen and makes his job a lot harder.

Deep inside enemy territory now, Peacemaker gets an unexpected rescue and then has a long talk with one of the opposition. We learn a lot more about exactly what the Butterflies are doing, and it’s unexpected. They say the villain is the hero of their own story, and this one makes a good case and does their best to temp Peacemaker into changing sides. It’s a surprising approach, and what Peacemaker chooses to do next catches everyone off guard, friend and foe alike. It does accomplish their mission, end a few more foes, and bring out something we’ve seen before. A very battered and bloody team limps away, and we get a cameo I didn’t expect. The show’s twisted humor rises to the fore as the team leaves, and I can only presume whoever started a particular rumor has never seen Mera.

The major action over, there are assorted wrap-up scenes to finish out the episode and the season. At a hospital, the battered team gets seen to. Peacemaker uncharacteristically gets very deep and reflective about some of the things he’s learned, and Adebayo gives the best answers she has. It’s an interesting conversation I wouldn’t have expected back at the start of the series. Vigilante initially resists treatment, but events catch up with him. Adebayo makes the decision to do the right thing, and does something incredibly brave, earning the wrath of her mother at the very least, and then goes home to her wife. Vigilante, patched up, makes an odd exit from the hospital. Economos heads back to his old job, which seems unlikely, and makes an interesting decorating choice. Also something I wouldn’t have guessed, there’s an actual nice scene between Harcourt and Peacemaker before he heads home, spends some time with Eagly, and gets a visit that the rest of the team would be surprised by. It’s an interesting note to end the season on, and I wonder how much, if any of this, will be carried over to next season.

What I liked: The big fight near the end was well done. They managed to work in a lot of surprises, including the various cameos. I’m intrigued by both the hospital visit with Peacemaker and Harcourt, and the visitor at Peacemaker’s place at the end. This weird team of outcasts came together well, and I really liked Adebayo’s choice at the end.

What I didn’t: Economos’ injury near the end seemed really random and I’m not sure what the point was. It looked cool and all, but where did that big weapon/prop of Peacemaker’s come from for the final fight?

It was a fun ride. I’m glad there will be a season two. I’ll give the episode a 4 out of 5 and the same to the season.

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