Peacemaker Finds Friendship For The First Time In 'Monkey Dory'

In the second "Peacemaker" episode not directed by writer and creator James Gunn, the gang finally bonds a little. Following the Jody Hill-directed bummer of "The Choad Less Traveled" is "Monkey Dory," a wildly fun kick in the pants directed by Rosemary Rodriguez. This week's episode starts with everyone feeling pretty rotten, but after bonding over hair metal and a bit of bloody carnage, things almost seem like they might turn out okay for the members of Project Butterfly. There is still the whole thing with Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji), but that'll be just fine too, right? It's not like Gunn has a history of torturing his characters and making things go horribly wrong...

This week, the gang starts a group chat, Economos (Steve Agee) reveals just how bad he is at PowerPoint, and things continue to get a whole lot weirder. 

Spoilers for "Peacemaker" episode 5 from here on out!

A Quick Recap

Following the constant in-fighting in "The Choad Less Traveled," everyone's feeling a bit raw. The episode opens with Peacemaker (John Cena) drinking a raw egg as a hangover cure, then feeding the "butterfly" he caught from Goff's head. Looking rather depressed, he goes outside to sit on his porch, and Eagly brings him a squirrel in an attempt to make him feel better. Aww, Eagly. Meanwhile, Project Butterfly's rookie team member Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) is feeling a little stressed. Her mom, Project Butterfly boss Amanda Waller (Viola Davis), wants her to plant a diary in Peacemaker's home. Worse, her wife is frustrated with her, feeling as if Leota is putting the job before their marriage. 

After a briefing on the butterflies that includes some questionable PowerPoint decisions by Economos, Peacemaker can't help but poke fun at him. Adebayo, already at her limit, tells Peacemaker to leave it alone, which takes them into a discussion about bullying that sums up Peacemaker's entire worldview pretty easily. He actually doesn't understand that he's a bully, but Adebayo and Vigilante (Freddie Stroma) are helping him figure that out. After Adebayo discovered a connection between the butterflies they've encountered so far, the team set out to investigate a warehouse where shipments of the butterfly food are being kept. 

Meanwhile, police investigators Sophie Song (Annie Chang) and Larry Fitzgibbon (Lochlyn Munro) follow-up on their lead about Auggie (Robert Patrick), Peacemaker's dad, being in prison for a crime done by his son. They discover that the fingerprints at the crime scene actually belong to Peacemaker, not Auggie, and set off to get him released even though he's a white supremacist monster, because, I dunno, justice. They meet back up with witnesses Evan and Amber, who explain that they were bribed to lie, and didn't mind doing it because of Auggie being "some kinda Nazi." They take this information to the new police chief, who happens to be a plant hired by Murn, and he tells them not to do anything about it. Frustrated, Song calls her uncle Judy, who is a judge, in order to get an arrest warrant for Peacemaker. 

Project Butterfly go on their mission to get information about the food source, and on the way Peacemaker and Economos bond over a shared love of the band Hanoi Rocks. Economos even has a tattoo from one of their songs, "11th Street Kids," which leads the two to rock out and have a bit of fun. Things go a bit haywire during the mission when Peacemaker is attacked by a gorilla with a butterfly in its head, but Economos saves the day with a chainsaw. On the way back from the mission, covered in gore, the team cracks wise and sing together, like friends. Harcourt (Jennifer Holland) even snaps a pic and starts a group chat called the "11th Street Kids," which is as heartwarming as all get out. Adebayo takes Peacemaker home after the mission and he invites her in for drinks. They hang out and laugh, and Peacemaker gets choked up and has to leave the room when he realizes he has a real friend for the first time in his life. While he's in the bathroom, Adebayo plants the diary given to her by Waller. After she leaves, she calls her wife and leaves a voicemail telling her how upset she is about the whole thing. Everyone's getting along pretty great, finally, but Adebayo's betrayal might mess that all up.

Another thing sure to put a kink in Project Butterfly's plans comes after Adebayo puts on Peacemaker's X-ray vision helmet and sees the butterfly in Murn's head. That's going to get interesting, but the credits roll before we see what happens. 

The Sweet

After last week's utterly bleak episode, "Monkey Dory" is mostly a refreshing blast of joy. Our lovable gang of misfits are finally starting to get along with one another, and they all deserve love and friendship. Peacemaker and Economos finally getting along a bit when they realize they both love Hanoi Rocks is lovely. When Economos cuts the gorilla in half with a chainsaw and then helps Peacemaker to his feet, Peacemaker calls Economos a "f***in' stud," and it's a buoyant moment of pure warmth. The subsequent scene in the van where everyone's jamming out to Hanoi Rocks is the most fun "Peacemaker" has been since Peacemaker and Vigilante destroyed a bunch of appliances back in episode 2, and Harcourt capturing the moment in a photo is even sweeter. 

The 11th Street Kids group text is not only cute, it's the kind of thing that really brings these characters to life. It's a small bit of the real world injected into this superhero setting, bringing an authenticity to the characters. The dialogue has been great throughout the series, grounding things in a strange way, but these little moments are what make "Peacemaker" sing. The banter between Adebayo and Peacemaker when he asks her in for drinks is a perfect example: he asks her to come in and she immediately asks if he's trying to f*** her. Peacemaker laughs and says that while his penis is a lesbian, he has no untoward intentions. They end up drinking and chatting, and Peacemaker gets choked up because he realizes that she's his friend. Tears prick his eyes as he says, "I just thought I'd never have... I gotta take a piss," before running off to the bathroom to sob. We already know that Peacemaker doesn't let anyone see him cry, but his leaving gives Adebayo the opportunity to plant the diary, which is really the only bummer moment of the episode.

The Spicy

It wouldn't be an episode of "Peacemaker" without a few spicy moments, though this week's definitely seemed milder than most. Peacemaker ribbing on Economos early on is a bit mean, and the ensuing conversation between Adebayo, Peacemaker, and Vigilante is pretty vile. Apparently Vigilante and Peacemaker go way, way back, all the way to grade school, where Peacemaker would give the other kids nicknames based on what their penises looked like. Vigilante explains that after Peacemaker came up with a nickname for the kid based on their penis, they would go into the other room and cry because that would be their nickname for life now. Vigilante didn't, however, because he doesn't "have emotions like other people do." Sheesh. Peacemaker says that he got bullied too, because everyone else called him a bully. Adebayo is incredulous that Peacemaker doesn't understand that a bully can't be bullied, and she manages to convince him to be nicer to Economos, but the sequence is a stark reminder that Peacemaker can be a real jerk. 

Adebayo's planting of the diary is also pretty unpleasant, though her immediate regret is proof that she's been changed by Peacemaker as much as she's changed him. After these characters are all finally getting along, she decided to go and do something that could potentially ruin it all. 

The spiciest thing about this episode is the drink that Peacemaker made for Adebayo, called a "Peace Train." It's gin, vermouth, vinegar, peppercorn, a little maple syrup, and some yak butter (or regular butter, in a pinch). This drink is an abomination. If anyone actually drinks it and doesn't immediately vomit, I would be deeply impressed. (Don't.)

Best Lines and Post-Credit Sequence

"Peacemaker" has hilarious, often shocking dialogue. Each week I try to collect some of the best lines from that episode, for funsies. This week wasn't quite as silly one-liner filled as previous episodes, but that's because we were having warm and fuzzy feelings for once. 

  • Peacemaker when Harcourt asks if the members of the band Poison are men:

    "I believe their preferred pronoun is long live rock, and you are sounding awfully awesomephobic."

  • Peacemaker giving his opinion on Adebayo's choice of music:
    "I would rather listen to Vigilante's quiet farts back there than jazz.
  • Vigilante trying to give Economos some credit for the PowerPoint and missing the point as always:
    "You have to admit, it was kind of sweet how he wanted that monkey and that man to be friends."

The post-credits sequence for this episode is an extended list of people that Economos could have framed for the butterfly murder instead of Peacemaker's dad. Among them are Jim Morrison and "any of the f***in' Beatles."

New episodes of "Peacemaker" debut Thursdays on HBO Max.