TV Review: Peacemaker, 1×2, “Best Friends, For Never”

User Rating: 8

Episode two of Peacemaker is one of those episodes that will stick in my memory for quite some time. The central conceit is getting Peacemaker out of the apartment of the woman he killed, who happened to be a butterfly trying to kill him. Using the team’s help, he can escape but not before John Economos (Steve Agee), tech expert, registers Peacemaker’s car in his father Auggie’s (Robert Patrick) name. Of course, the idea that Auggie has been blamed for the murder, which deeply upsets Peacemaker. Meanwhile, Auggie is taken away and named the white dragon in prison. The rest of the episode sees Christopher Smith feeling sorry for himself and having a long, drawn-out conversation with his sidekick, Vigilante (Freddie Stroma).

The most interesting part was watching Peacemaker trying to escape from the police. Seeing him fall all over the place and re-injure his shoulder was hilarious. I’ve learned about James Gunn from his writing, and the way he directs action is that he goes for the laugh at every available opportunity. He uses the visual scenery around the characters to create the laugh rather than forcing the characters to constantly be funny through dialogue. I honestly think that’s the smartest play in the book when talking about an action-comedy involving a superhero.

My main problem with the story is that we don’t get much backstory on the rest of the team that Peacemaker works with. Lacking that information makes it very difficult to root for these characters to survive whatever mission they’re on. Vigilante, for example, comes across as an annoying little kid even though he’s a fully grown man.

The character that I enjoyed the most in this episode had to be Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) because, like Peacemaker, she has no filter. Helping even more is the fact that she’s her own hype man. No matter how much crap the rest of the team throws her way, she’s always ready for the ultimate comeback or the most curious questions. She’s a mix between a child learning about life and a grown adult who knows how to use weapons. It’s a fascinating combination that I’ve not seen on television before. What I want to see most out of the rest of the series is diverse interactions rather than the easy laugh or the quickest romantic connection the show can create. That alone would make me proud to enjoy this show.

The biggest weakness of Peacemaker is not knowing whether he can change. I hope that Gunn will give him a turning point to allow him the opportunity to be a better person. So far, he treats Vigilante like absolute crap, which could easily evolve over time. I’m hoping something allows him to realize he can be rather than being stuck with who he is. Hopefully, Peacemaker gives peace a chance.

PIeacemaker is now streaming on HBO Max.

Written by
Chike has been a film critic in Illinois for the last 10 years with Urbana Public Television. Most of his work can be found on their YouTube channel where his show Reel Reviews is posted. The films he enjoys most are the kind that surprise you with characters that are deeper than you could ever suspect. As much as he loves reviewing it’s the stories that are unexpected that bring him the most joy. He lives in Champaign with his parents surrounded by cornfields.

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