Anytime you watch a movie or show written or directed by James Gunn, you know you are going to be treated to amazing and well-time music moments. We experienced it with the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies and then again with The Suicide Squad with all its badass music scenes. And so when it was revealed that Gunn was working on a Peacemaker show starring John Cena, it was all but guaranteed that the series would follow suit.
Now that the Peacemaker Season 1 ending has aired, we can finally go back through the hilarious, bloody, and surprisingly heartfelt HBO Max series and break down the best musical moments involving Chris Smith himself. And I know just the way to get this started…
The Peacemaker Opening Credits Sequence
If you were to tell me at the start of 2022 that I, and everyone with an HBO Max subscription, would fall in love with the Peacemaker opening credits sequence, I would have said something like, “You’re probably right.” Little did anyone know but the first episode of the continuation of The Suicide Squad would give the world perhaps the greatest opening sequence of all time and one that I feel morally obligated to watch every episode.
This 90-second dance number set to Wig Man’s “Do Ya Wanna Taste It” features all the characters from the show and tells you pretty much everything you need to know about the tone of James Gunn’s latest project. Sure, it’s silly and completely random, but it is handled with so much love, care, and practice that it doesn’t come off in a way that does the show, or actors, any disservice. And those deadpan expressions, especially from Jennifer Holland and Steve Agee kill me every single time.
Peacemaker Dancing To ‘I Don't Love You Anymore’ (‘A Whole New Whirled’)
When we first see Peacemaker in the Season 1 opener “A Whole New Whirled” the douchebag Captain America is in a strange place. He pretty much came back from the dead, escaped the hospital (and essentially prison), and has been put on “Project Butterfly.” Although things could be much worse for Christopher Smith, they could also be better. Well, his fortunes turn (momentarily at least), when he picks up a random woman from a bar and goes back to her apartment.
After they do the deed, Peacemaker, wearing nothing but underwear and scars, finds an old The Quireboys record and puts on what must be one of his favorite tracks: “I Don’t Love You Anymore.” What follows starts off as a man dancing and singing into a woman’s sex toy quickly turns into one of the show’s most intense fight sequences when the woman is revealed to be a “butterfly” who tries to repeatedly slash him with a knife. All of this is going on while the power ballad plays at full volume.
Peacemaker Cries While Listening To ‘Don’t Treat Me Bad’ (‘Best Friends For Never’)
In the second episode of Peacemaker, “Best Friends for Never,” Christopher Smith goes back to his trailer after nearly being killed the previous night, and we are treated to one of the best moments of character development so far in the series. In this short sequence, which is set to Firehouse’s “Don’t Treat Me Bad,” we see just how emotionally complex of a person the character is, especially when he starts bringing up events from The Suicide Squad, specifically Rick Flagg’s final words about him being a “joke.”
We will see more of this behavior later on in the series, but Peacemaker’s actions in this short and sweet scene serve as a great introduction and help break down the character that, up until this point, was all about jokes and killing people.
John Economos And Peacemaker Bond Over Love Of ‘11th Street Kids’ (‘Monkey Dory’)
There is a moment at the end of the fifth episode of Peacemaker, titled “Monkey Dory” where the Project Butterfly team has a great bonding moment after infiltrating the Glan Tai facility that is being used to bottle the butterflies’ food supply. But before we get to that great moment that feels like the famous “Tiny Dancer” scene in Almost Famous, Peacemaker and John Economos bond over their mutual love of “11th Street Kids” by Hanoi Rocks. That bond becomes even stronger minutes later when “Dye Beard” slices the killer gorilla in half, saving the team.
But back to the bus at the end of the episode. Everyone, even the cold-as-steel Emilia Harcourt, is all smiles as they drive off on a victory lap. Harcourt even takes a picture she later sends to the team, the very same picture that Economos puts on his desk in the badass montage to close out the Season 1 finale.
Peacemaker Plays ‘Home Sweet Home’ On The Piano (‘Murn After Reading’)
One of the music moments in Peacemaker also happens to be one of the most toned down scenes in the series but also one of the most emotional. In the final minutes of “Murn After Reading,” after Emilia Harcourt opens up to Christopher Smith (and adds a Dove of Peace to his gun), our friend Peacemaker sits down at the piano and plays Mötley Crüe’s seminal classic “Home Sweet Home” as he reflects on his past and what the future holds.
This is one of those scenes I’m sure we’ll come back to time and time again whenever discussing Peacemaker’s incredible arc throughout the series and is another reminder of the emotional baggage he carries around like a bag of concrete. And yes, James Gunn confirmed on Twitter that John Cena was actually playing the piano in the scene.
‘There’s No Wrong Time To Rock, Mother Fucker’ (‘Stop Dragon My Heart Around’)
This final moment doesn’t really have to do with a particular song (though Hardline’s “Hot Cherie” is playing in the background), but more so is about just how badass it is. When Peacemaker, John Economos, the sweet yet sociopathic Vigilante, and Eggly are trying to escape the White Dragon and his cronies in “Stop Dragon My Heart Around,” Vigilante turns up the dial and yells out “There’s no wrong time to rock, mother fucker!”
This moment is just so badass and full captures the hilarious dynamic shared by Peacemaker and Vigilante and how the latter is constantly unable to read the room (or any situation, really). What’s also great about this scene is how Economos calls back to it later in the episode in a similar situation.
With Peacemaker coming back for Season 2 at some point in the future, expect to see more badass moments like this in the future. In the meantime, check out all the other new and returning shows on CinemaBlend’s 2022 TV schedule.
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Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.