By the Cedars A&E Staff
“Look, we all want to believe that our parents are flawed but innately good, and maybe, usually, that’s the case, but not here. Your dad is not a good man!”
The fourth episode of “Peacemaker” is great. Following hot off the heels of a solid third episode, this one sees Peacemaker and his team deal with the captured Judomaster as well as trying to contain the situation when Peacemaker finds out that his father has been framed to cover up his own mess. Playing up the inner-team drama to its max, having Vigilante truly earn his place as a main character, and unearthing our biggest hints yet to Peacemaker’s backstory make this the best episode of “Peacemaker” yet.
The episode opens with Peacemaker and the team returning from the Butterfly assassination mission, as Peacemaker confronts Murn about the real nature of the mission. In these scenes we see how Peacemaker’s mindset towards killing and obeying orders have changed, and how he no longer is willing to kill people (especially children) without knowing why. Similarly, we have the opportunity to see Adebayo further grapple with the morality of killing and her inability to do so, which is brought full circle later in the episode in a shocking way.
Vigilante, despite his comedic moments, really is an unstable force to be reckoned with.
The central conflict from this episode comes when Vigilante takes Peacemaker to visit his dad, where they find out that he’s actually been arrested for a killing that Peacemaker committed back in episode one. As the team finds out what Peacemaker intends, Murn sends Adebayo to talk him out of visiting his dad for fear of compromising the mission. Their confrontation does start this way, but Adebayo shows an unexpectedly compassionate side as she tries to get Peacemaker to realize what kind of person his father really is. This makes Peacemaker further demonstrate his complicated relationship with his father and how he does love him in spite of all of those glaring flaws.
The standout character in this episode was Vigilante. After his contributions to the team in episode three, he continues to be a well-meaning (if a bit unhinged) friend to Peacemaker, and when Adebayo plants the idea in his head that Peacemaker will never be happy until he’s free from his father’s influence, Vigilante shows the audience exactly how far he’s willing to go for his friend. This results in one of my favorite scenes from the series so far as Vigilante gets himself put into prison so he can have a shot at killing Peacemaker’s father.
By episode four, “Peacemaker” finally starts getting us to care about its piece-of-garbage protagonist.
While the Butterfly plotline takes a bit of a backseat this episode to resolve other side plots, what revelations we do get concerning the mission have incredible importance. Questions are answered only briefly, leaving Peacemaker and the audience mostly in the dark, except now we know enough to be distrustful of the answers that are given. The episode concludes with a massive plot twist that promises to bring this plotline back into focus for episode five, as well as finally give us the answers we’ve been craving.
What truly sets episode four apart from the rest of the episodes, though, is that, while still maintaining some of its vulgarity and immature humor, this episode finds the balance that it so desperately needed. There were genuinely funny moments in this episode, but they were balanced out with a general sense of seriousness and self awareness. Plus, the last five minutes were an unexpected gut-punch of emotions. This episode showed that, when focusing on its main character and his broken psyche and past, “Peacemaker” can prove to be a show that’s worth every minute of your time.
I give episode four a 9/10.
“Peacemaker” is currently streaming weekly episodes on HBO Max.