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Peacemaker Season 1 Ending Explained: What Happens And How It Might Affect Season 2

John Cena on Peacemaker
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains details about the entirety of the Peacemaker Season 1 ending, so keep your helmet on if you have not caught yourself up yet.

It looks like viewers really do wanna taste it, based on the fact that Peacemaker has been renewed for a second season on HBO Max. So, what can we expect to see from John Cena’s deadly - but somewhat morally rehabilitated, apparently - titular anti-hero and his surviving Task Force X teammates on the Peacemaker cast when he returns? The answers may lie in what happens in the Season 1 finale.

A lot happens in Episode 8 (creator James Gunn’s favorite episode) from a mind-blowing revelation about the otherworldly alien race referred to as Butterflies to an equally mind-blowing, and memorably hilarious, cameo. The following is a quick breakdown of all the major events from the Peacemaker ending, each accompanied with few speculative notes about what it means for Season 2, starting with the team’s main objective.

The Cow on Peacemaker

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Task Force X Kills The Effin’ Cow

To prevent the Butterflies from taking over the world, Chris “Peacemaker” Smith, Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks), Vigilante (Freddie Stroma), Emilia Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), John Economos (Steve Agee), and Eagly race to “kill the fucking Cow” - the Kaiju-like creature which provides the winged, parasitic alien race with their only food source. The mostly impromptu operation consists of planting Peacemaker’s voice-activated explosive helmet to blow up the barn hiding the Cow, gunning down as many of the remaining Butterflies as possible, and (the most last-minute decision of all) using Adebayo as a human torpedo with another voice-activated helmet that launches her right through the giant beast. 

After Harcourt and Vigilante just barely survive their little battle with the Butterflies and Economos trips and breaks his ankle, Peacemaker and Abebayo take them to the hospital. While in the waiting room, they reconcile their friction over Adebayo’s betrayal (she planted a fake, incriminating diary in Peacemaker’s house) and discuss the moral implications of using the human torpedo helmet on the Cow. This was actually a more difficult decision to make than they had initially expected after what one of the leading Butterflies revealed moments earlier.

Annie Chang and John Cena on Peacemaker

(Image credit: Warner Bross.)

The True Reason The Butterflies Came To Earth 

Peacemaker’s infiltration of the Cow’s hideout is interrupted by a Butterfly they refer to as “Goff,” now inhabiting Detective Sophie Song (Annie Chang), who explains that its kind first came to Earth needing to escape their uninhabitable planet. However, they soon realized that mankind was ignorant of the same sort of warning signs they ignored about their own dying home. They began inhabiting human hosts as part of a vow to prevent humanity from suffering the same fate no matter how many lives it may cost them. 

Noticing similarities to his own vow that he took after his brother’s death, Peacemaker hesitates, but opts not to help the Butterflies in order to protect his teammates, to which Adebayo adds that it may have given Earthlings a chance to better the world without “insect overlords.” Above all, it sees Peacemaker end on a surprisingly thoughtful and powerful note that is boldly relevant to real life, but also hints at some potentially disastrous circumstances that might take place in Season 2. Of course, that is certainly not the only moment from the finale that puts the future of the series in question.  

Danielle Brooks on Peacemaker

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Adebayo Blows The Whistle On A.R.G.U.S.

Before reuniting with her wife, Keeya (Elizabetht Faith Ludlow), and dogs, Adebayo decides that the time has come for her to follow Peacemaker’s example and do what she believes is right, which means blowing the whistle on A.R.G.U.S. She calls a press conference that reveals Peacemaker’s innocence, all the details of Project Butterfly, and the existence of Task Force X. She puts the final nail in the coffin by mentioning that Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) is not only behind it all, but also her own mother. 

Well, I think it is clear that Adebayo has cost herself a warm reunion on Mother’s Day as Waller may finally be facing the consequences of her corrupt, inhumane actions, which would make for a great story arc for Peacemaker Season 2. However, Abebayo’s reveal could likely have major effects on the DCEU has a whole, such as whether or not we have seen the last of the Suicide Squad on the big screen. Well, I at least hope that some iteration of Task Force X will still exist, considering the clear survival of one major character.

Butterfly Goff on Peacemaker

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

“Goff,” The Butterfly, Is Still Alive

After killing the Cow, an apologetic Peacemaker turns his gun onto Goff, who then crawls out of Detective Sophie Song’s lifeless a minute later. In the episode’s final moment, we see Goff in its natural form fly toward Peacemaker, who pours out some Cow goop for the alien to enjoy on his porch. Honestly, I was not sure what to make of this somewhat endearing sight as I saw it unfold, but I see two potential outcomes.

For one, I would not be surprised if Peacemaker has officially gained another pet considering the bond that Goff and Peacemaker seemed to develop while he kept it in a jar. Yet, I also see Goff’s return as a bit of a warning sign because how many other surviving Butterflies could be aspiring to continue honoring their vow? Honestly, though, considering how little Cow goop there likely is left on Earth, I am much less concerned about any lingering Butterflies in Peacemaker Season 2 than I am about another character lingering.

John Cena and Robert Patrick on Peacemaker

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Peacemaker Is Still Haunted By His Father’s Image

Episode 7 saw two major deaths: one saddening (Chukwudi Iwuji’s Clemson Murn at the hands of Goff) and one less saddening (Robert Patrick as Peacemaker’s bigoted father, August Smith, at the hands his own son). However, that was not the last we saw of John Cena’s The Marine co-star in the role as he showed up as a hallucination in Episode 8 twice. The first time was while Peacemaker was searching for his sonic boom helmet and the second was while he enjoyed a beer on his porch in the episode’s final shot.  

I suppose this means that we may not have seen the last of Patrick on Peacemaker and he will return in Season 2. As much as it is always great to see the Terminator 2 star in anything, I am still concerned by this probability. Other than just finding the character unbelievably despicable, it looks like he will continue to live on in his son’s mind Dexter-style, but as more of a burden than an ally.

Oh, I should also mention the Peacemaker ending’s awesome Justice League cameo. Ezra Miller as the Flash and Jason Momoa’s Aquaman arrive with Wonder Woman and Superman’s silent silhouettes just a little late to fight the Cow, of which Peacemaker is quick to sternly inform them. It’s brief, but has one lastingly hilarious impact and makes us curious what other characters from the DC movies could show up in Season 2.

Jason has been writing since he was able to pick up a washable marker, with which he wrote his debut illustrated children's story, later transitioning to a short-lived comic book series and (very) amateur filmmaking before finally settling on pursuing a career in writing about movies in lieu of making them. Look for his name in just about any article related to Batman.