With our heroes’ window to eliminate the butterflies’ food source (a huge alien “cow”) closing, Episode 8 is a full-on assault of their compound. The butterflies move as quickly as they can to teleport it to Maine, while the team makes use of Peacemaker’s (John Cena) array of power helmets to finish them off.
Like much of this show, the finale features a great mix of practical and computer-generated special effects, while utilizing generic, no doubt easy-to-secure locations, which makes it feel both well-made and cheap. Its action is good and comical, and like the rest of the show, its tone isn’t too dark or too silly.
Peacemaker and Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) make up in a bizarre set of scenes in which Adebayo dons his “human torpedo” helmet. John Economos (Steve Agee) also steps up this episode, and Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) almost dies. We also see what the Butterflies’ true motivation is, and in typical James Gunn fashion, it’s not completely villainous: They want to save the planet by taking over the bodies of key figures on Earth and make the decisions we’re unable to make for ourselves.
When it’s clear that they are not going to survive, the Butterflies make a last-ditch plea to Peacemaker to let him join them, which he declines, which is also in line with his contradictory theme of freedom that is present throughout the show, and I like how there are layers to this finale. Peacemaker is an antihero, and as such it was to be expected that his mission from Taskforce X director Amanda Waller was going to be morally-dubious, especially after what we saw in the events of “The Suicide Squad.”
As a whole, “Peacemaker” has an affect similar to “The Boys” Season 1, in which a lot of what makes it enjoyable comes from its shock value, before it slowly settles into a fairly standard narrative. It’s bizarreness eventually becomes normal, but there is a steep bar of entry; this is a very profane and crass show, and if you hated Episode 1, you’re not going to like Episode 8.
“Peacemaker” Season 1 is a breathe of fresh air in a genre still dominated by save and formulaic Marvel films, though it’s not for everyone.
“Peacemaker” Season 1: Episode 8 “It’s Cow or Never” gets an 8/10