Peacemaker Season 1 Finale Review: DC Is On A Roll

By Drew Dietsch | 3 months ago

peacemaker season finale review

Peacemaker is currently sitting in first place as the highest-rated entry in the DC Extended Universe over on Rotten Tomatoes. While this reviewer would argue that The Suicide Squad is the true feather in DC’s cap for the modern era, there is no denying that Peacemaker has proven to be a deserving smash hit. Our previous review showered plenty of praise on the bulk of the show, but now that we have closure for the first season, it is time to look back and see just what makes this particular DC project so rewarding.

Obviously, John Cena is one of the biggest factors in Peacemaker being so great. This is Cena’s true star-making turn. He proved his ability in The Suicide Squad, but the show has allowed him to showcase an incredible variety to his acting talents. And the character of Christopher Smith has undergone a genuine change from the start of his journey. By the time he is given a world-changing choice once again – it’s a clever reintroduction of the kind of choice he was given The Suicide Squad – he goes left instead of right and it is a wonderfully earned moment that Cena totally sells in the epilogue of the finale. Cena has a great career ahead of him, but we will definitely be looking back at his role as Peacemaker as the moment when he became a superstar actor.

Equal credit belongs to James Gunn as the main creative force behind the series. Gunn was able to take a comedic but despicable character from The Suicide Squad and make us empathize with his plight. While there is definitely a redemption arc for Peacemaker, Gunn knows that growth is not something to handwave with a magic spell or lazy writing. Christopher still has a lot of change to deal with when the season finale wraps, and some of the final images acknowledge that it is going to be an uphill struggle. The inclusion of Robert Patrick makes that point pretty sharp. Also, it is great to know that we will still get to see Chris’s father in the show, even if it is as a specter in Chris’s head.

john cena peacemaker

It will be interesting to see how the ensemble cast is brought together for the show’s second season. The ending blows up a lot of established structures. For example, it looks like Task Force X will no longer be operating after Leota (Danielle Brooks) revealed it to the public and likely created permanent strain between her and her mother, Amanda Waller (Viola Davis). How this will affect other characters like John Economos (Steve Agee) and Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) is going to be a fun writing challenge to tackle. Especially because the audience will assuredly want to see this gang get back together for some other mission, even if it’s not one that is assigned to them by another entity.

One of the great things about the Peacemaker finale is that it could actually act as a series finale. While there are certain threads worth chasing, Gunn wrote the episode with just the right kind of finality while leaving the door open for more exploration. The last shot is a statement about how we still carry our trauma and negativity with us on the road to betterment, but that our friends are still there for us to help along the way.

Oh, and Peacemaker is equal parts hilarious and awesome if you hadn’t noticed by now. The humor is juvenile and absurd but never at the expense of the characters it cares about. Instead, Gunn points that acerbic finger at the larger DC universe in a wonderful cameo that includes the best use of the DC Extended Universe’s Justice League to date. And the action is fun but brutal in that very fine-tuned James Gunn style. The big showdown takes the hit intro song and applies it to a bonkers brawl that will assuage any fans of bloody battles.

At this point, DC is on one heck of a roll with their major properties. Peacemaker has been a breakout and could end up acting as a true cornerstone of the cinematic DC world. We could not be more excited to see where the road is headed.


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