Each week, Chris from @officialtalkintvpodcast will be recapping Peacemaker, now streaming on HBO Max.
Episode 3: Best Friends, For Never
The conclusion of the third act is here and with it all chaos has begun!
In this bombastic third episode we follow our heroes who are in full pursuit of a United States senator! You might ask yourself, why would they be on the hunt for an elected leader? Well, the answer is simple! He is believed to be linked to “Project Butterfly”.
The A.R.G.U.S. agents have been tasked with taking down this potential threat. The mission: kill him at all costs.
It is in this third episode where Peacemaker finds a way to challenge our moral compass once again. During the mission briefing from our lead A.R.G.U.S. agent, Clemson Murn; played by Chukwudi Iwuji, we learn this senator has a family. Why is this information important? Well, he is a young father, with a wife, and 2 children. All of whom, we find out later in the episode, are infected with Butterflies.
This information is discovered by Peacemaker and Harcourt who are staked out in the field with sniper rifles aimed at the Senators house.
Upon relaying this information to his fellow A.R.G.U.S. Agents Peacemaker is ordered to kill all who are infected.
It is here where the choice should be obvious for Peacemaker. Follow the order, or be killed by Argus himself. However, an interesting development occurs as he finds himself unable to harm the children. Peacemaker fully understands that their humanity has been drained by the Butterfly parasite infecting their body, yet, he cannot kill them.
This scene doesn’t come as a full surprise as Peacemaker alluded to his soft spot of not being able to harm children during the mission debriefing. But, this moment was hard to interpret as Gunn’s masterful directing comes into play yet again. Gunn only allows this moment of softness from Peacemaker to be present for a few seconds, quickly wisping us away with yet another masterful display of comedy.
This misleads the viewer into thinking that perhaps that was a fleeting moment of emotion from Peacemaker. A moment that will not bear many consequences going forward. As we learn throughout this episode that is not the case. Peacemaker is more than meets the eye. Who would have thought our main character, who by all accounts can be seen as a representation of the worst parts of our society, would be this emotionally conflicted.
And so, Peacemaker freezes in the field. Unable to pull the trigger. Almost missing the perfect opportunity to carry out the mission.
It is here where our level of understanding and the connection we have towards our titular character changes yet again. How could someone this morally skewered be so sensitive? Furthermore, what does it say about us as audience members that the more we get to know this character the more we can relate to him and his struggles along this journey?
But, of course it’s easy to understand. Soldiers oftentimes have to do things in the line of combat they would not do if not for following rank and orders. It’s what makes them human. And it is Peacemaker’s humanity that makes him relatable. Again, this does not excuse his skewed, and unacceptable worldviews. However, it does make him a character we can watch, and enjoy watching.
Peacemaker in this moment further cements his humanity, while further cementing my conflicted feelings towards him as an audience member as we further travel through this first season.
Christian Evanko is a journalist, musician, and host of the Talkin’ TV Podcast. Christian brings his many years of experience in the entertainment industry to the stories he covers in an effort to pull back the curtain and paint a true picture of the importance of covering the arts.
Photo from IGN