Peacemaker season 1, episode 6 review: Murn After Reading

Chukwudi Iwuji in Peacemaker Season 1, Episode 5. Photograph by Katie Yu/HBO Max.
Chukwudi Iwuji in Peacemaker Season 1, Episode 5. Photograph by Katie Yu/HBO Max. /

“Do you have an origin story… Not in the traditional sense” Spoilers for Peacemaker season 1, episode 6 follow.

Secrets were revealed and the dramatic fallout began to cause a schism between morality and purpose.

A possible alien invasion on the rise and Peacemaker is torn apart emotion by emotion about who the person he wants to be.

Here is everything that went down in Peacemaker season 1, episode 6 “Murn After Reading”.

Calm before the storm

The latest episode of Peacemaker felt completely different in terms of writing, quality, and pacing from before. The story started off running and never looked back by picking up immediately after the previous episode. Leota found out that Murn has been a butterfly this entire time and that was a bombshell; only for us to see the tension manifest and build over the course of 45 minutes, reinforced by array secrets being expelled. It felt that all the dominos had all started to fall one after another, building to an explosive and epic finale that will transpire over the last two episodes.

First, we find out that Agent Harcourt and Economos knew about Murn the entire time even though they remained unaware that Leota has concealed the fact she is running a side op for Amanda Waller. The exchange between the team was great, and it gave off the impression that not everyone will make it out alive going forward, or that lines will be crossed.

Danielle Brooks continues to play Leota with such finesse that we can feel her sorrow, pain, and innocence. We understand she doesn’t want to stay in the shadow of Amanda Waller forever, similar to the way Peacemaker declares to Harcourt he doesn’t want to spill any more innocent blood in the name of a false ideal.

One thing I noticed that stood out was how Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji) explained that the butterflies lived in peace on earth and didn’t want to rule with conviction. Instead they wanted to forge peace and co-exist, but his species started to build anger, and fury towards humanity. It’s an interesting angle to explore, and it does feel reminiscent of The CW’s Supernatural in how angels and demons would take over host bodies to walk the earth, and how the memories of their hosts could be felt long after the original consciousness faded.

Murn confessed that his host body belonged to a terrible man, but he could still sense good and hope, but he’s also gone and can never change. I wonder if Gunn was using that dynamic as a metaphor to portray the balance of morality in terms of how Peacemaker’s soul is hanging in the balance every episode.

Peacemaker goes to school and the lesson of the day: Imposter v Origin Story

The infamous scene from the trailer where many have been wondering why Peacemaker is conducting a show and tell in front of a few elementary school students, and ironically it turns out to be one of the best scenes of exposition as it solidifies how our anti-hero is completely broken, and suffering from imposter syndrome. He utilizes the double standards to make himself feel powerful, and arrogance to shelter the pain he harbors. The jabs at other DC comics figures such as The Flash and Wonder Woman did come off comical though perhaps a tad out of place if being honest.

It all built to one of the children asking if Peacemaker had an origin story, and then the camera zoomed in on John Cena’s eyes as Christopher Smith felt a moment of hesitation take over and his childhood pain start to take control. A flashback scene started to unfold and gave us some much needed context of how his brother was killed, and why his father resents him even though he just wants to please him. The moral struggle of fighting for a parental figure’s respect even though his father is a terrible, and sickening human being.

Peacemaker, Peacemaker season 1, Peacemaker season 1 episode 5, Peacemaker ending explained
John Cena in Peacemaker Season 1, Episode 5. Photograph by Katie Yu/HBO Max. /

The way James Gunn has written the character of Auggie Smith (Robert Patrick) is downright bone-chilling, right down to the reveal that he wants to rid himself of the son he sees as a mistake. Everything about him is odious and everything that comes out of his mouth is hard to listen to. And seeing his followers help him suit up in his White Dragon costume was an eye-opening and unnerving experience.

In an episode full of shocks, it is the final scene that leaves us gasping for air the most as the alien invasion the team fought so hard to prevent has officially begun, all because Peacemaker couldn’t let go of the primary butterfly known as Goff. And the battle for Peacemaker’s soul is up for grabs as well to say the least.

That brings me to the brilliance of John Cena playing “Home Sweet Home” by Motley Crue on the piano. Once again it’s just a creative stroke of genius because the song has always revolved around coming home, and coming to grips with your upbringing while standing firm with who you want to be. However a piano is always seen as a symbol of freedom and innocence, and the shot of the reflection showcasing the dark and light inside of our hero could foreshadow what’s to come: Peacemaker has to atone for the past, and he wants to change for the better.

Peacemaker is a series that comes off as quirky on the surface, however, it’s extremely character driven and reflects on our motivations and why we can still grow from the worst of our flaws. Which is why it continues to work and challenge the precondition standard of superhero media.

Peacemaker season 1 returns to HBO Max on Thursday, February 10 for its penultimate episode.

Next. All 11 DCEU films ranked from worst to best. dark

What did you think of Peacemaker season 1, episode 6? Let us know in the comments below!