Let’s have a serious conversation for a second. You know who sucked in the first Hunger Games movie? Sucked. Sucked. Suuucked with two more u’s than necessary. Peeta Mellark. Whether brooding about Katniss’ lack of love for him or limping around the playing field like an injured bunny rabbit, he was a complete and total buzzkill during round one. He may as well have contorted himself into the fetal position and wrapped his skinny little body around Katniss’ neck like an ill-fitting turtleneck or an outlandishly sized necklace. He was dead weight with only some painting talent to fall back on. Even worse, his general vibe came off as way more helpless little brother than believable love interest, which didn’t exactly help the whole Team Gale vs Team Peeta plotline.

Fortunately, that whole pathetic vibe was almost completely washed away by director Francis Lawrence in Catching Fire. Gone is the overly nice pushover, replaced by a competent human being who can actually carry his own weight and contribute in some discernable way beyond just being physically present. Sure, Peeta still has some notable limitations and a penchant for getting injured, but a cake decorator can’t ever completely change his frosting. On the whole, it’s forward progress, and we’ll take it. Not really sucking is exponentially better than full-on sucking any day of the week.

Here are six ways Peeta sucks less in Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Obviously Contains Spoilers)…

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