Peacemaker: Murn After Reading
February 3, 2022 12:55 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Butterfly kisses, of a sort.

- Locke, played by Christopher Heyerdahl (related to Thor Heyerdahl), comes off as a cross between John Carradine and an older version of the Joker.

- Even with all the other gore in the series, the Butterflies assimilating their hosts was not fun to watch.

- Apparently the bit with the planted diary was to have Chris take the fall for killing the Butterflies' hosts. The comics version of Waller would have a backup plan, but who knows about this version...

- Chris knows how to play at least one song on the piano.

- Speaking of Murn, the actor (Chukwudi Iwuji) is also working with James Gunn on Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. They're keeping mum about which role he's in, but there's some speculation that he's playing a character that rhymes with Pilfer Smurfer, sort of.
posted by Halloween Jack (13 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Eagly is pretty hardcore....
posted by Pendragon at 2:17 PM on February 3, 2022 [11 favorites]

The ballad was just...excellent. No cuts to other events or other characters, just the music and Cena's face.
posted by miss-lapin at 7:23 PM on February 3, 2022 [3 favorites]

There were also several cuts to what can only be Cena's meaty fingers playing the piano.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 7:50 PM on February 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

When Peacemaker goes to feed the Butterfly Goff (it has a name!), I was so expecting an escape attempt after he opens the lid (and Goff turns out to be a right bastard once free!).

Colour me surprised; Peacemaker already thought of that and the lid has a mesh(?) screen.

"I think you're my real father..." - did not expect the show to go there but, that was played so straight deadpan, I loved that.

The character of Det. Sophie Song is treated like a real individual, and the least incompetent person in the room, with just the right amount/ verisimilitudinous of racial/ professional stereotyping and anti-stereotyping, for my lack of better terms. I like her wtf? --> condescension --> backhanded amusement responses to Auggie's (Augustus? Augustine? Probably Augustus/ Octavian rather than Augustine who was Berber) brain-dead schoolyard racism. Personally, I very rarely ever encounter that level of wth overt/ dated racism anymore.

I do like that Annie Chang got a great opportunity to express some range. There are a ton of pain receptors in the back/ roof of the mouth/ sinuses, but once Goff got into her brain, the brain itself has zero pain receptors. Butterflies must have some method to augment coagulation; there should be so much more blood, and continued bleeding.

The Oriental/ Asian discussion, with commentary from an African American woman, is a cherry on top. Once upon a time, Chinese in N. America/ Australia were referred to as 'Celestials' (as in, people from the Celestial Empire - a(n English) poetic translation of a (Chinese) poetic self reference, used in the C19th as a "polite" term, usually in newspapers - I have no idea if people actually used the term in the everyday).

I'm actually wondering if Auggie will have a heel-face turn of some kind. Robert Patrick has shown some pro-Tumpiness irl, so I'm not sure what to think about his performance here.

Heyerdahl always brings it, although he's typically cast in a rather narrow range of roles.

Bald Eagles can do a lot of damage, but irl, they're cowards and bullies (and they kind of sound like dolphins, not the Red-tailed Hawk sound that they're attributed with). But yes, they can do a lot of damage.

I can't shake my huge crush on Jennifer Holland/ Harcourt.

Sorry, it looked to me that Cena was (mostly) fingersynching the piano playing. Really great editing, though.

The 'Monster' song/ montage is excellent.

This show is SO much better than it needs to be.
posted by porpoise at 8:17 PM on February 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

The thing the show excels at more than anything is funny-until-it's-not moments. Getting the tone right for a show where a person getting shot in the face is sometimes a punchline, sometimes deadly serious, and usually both at the same time...that's hard. I experienced convulsive laughter every time Eagly crashed into somebody, then abject horror when I saw Eagly eat somebody's face. Murn's line about "not naming our genitalia, as humans do"* is part of a brilliantly funny scene that turns on a dime when Murn shares his angst over murdering his host.

And most of all, that "Home Sweet Home" scene...the sight of this hulking dude in his goofy costume sitting down in front of a piano is instantly funny, the first strains of "Home Sweet Home" are funnier still (at least if you're about as old as John Cena and know the reference, so that's me), and then...I don't know, but Cena really sells it. You can see how much pain he's carrying and how much he needs to express it. It began feeling like a scene where we'd goof on Chris, and became a scene where we feel for him. It's clear that he's a soulful person who was molded into something else by his dad. The show doesn't have to get that deep, but it's cool that it does.

*I'm not sure if this was scripted as sarcasm -- Murn may struggle with a full range of human emotion, but he seems to have sarcasm on lock -- but the actor's wonderful delivery implies Murn believes this is something most people do (presumably because of his acquaintance with Chris), and may be the funniest line reading in the episode, and that is saying a lot.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:46 PM on February 3, 2022 [6 favorites]

God I love Eagly.
posted by fatbird at 11:06 PM on February 3, 2022 [5 favorites]

I've been trying to figure out where I knew Locke from and realizing that he was, in fact, the same guy who absolutely killed the role of creepy demon interrogator Alastair from Supernatural makes perfect sense. Referring to him as "Pennywise the Clown" was a great moment.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:06 PM on February 3, 2022 [2 favorites]

Kittens for breakfast: What I especially loved about that reading was that it seemed like Murn was trying to be *polite* and *respectful* about a human custom he found perplexing.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 6:34 AM on February 4, 2022 [3 favorites]

James Gunn on Twitter:
While we were shooting #TheSuicideSquad in Panama, I got word my dog of nearly 17 years was about to pass away. It was one of the saddest days of my life. I decided to fly home for a day to be with him. I sat in the hotel lobby bar with John waiting to be taken to the airport.

John got up & sat at the grand piano & played the most beautiful rendition of The Pixies' "Where Is My Mind." It crushed me & yet soothed me & everyone around me was crying. I wanted to capture some semblance of that moment with this song.
posted by simonw at 8:03 AM on February 4, 2022 [27 favorites]

I'm not usually squicked out by violence, but holy crap did that police station scene get me.

Also, John Cena keeps going up and up in my estimation. Dude has layers.
posted by drewbage1847 at 10:41 AM on February 4, 2022 [2 favorites]

Just in case y'all aren't loving John Cena enough, here's a link from today's Ad Council FPP where he lays out what America means to him.
posted by whuppy at 4:47 AM on February 7, 2022 [4 favorites]

I have no idea if people actually used the term ["Celestial"] in the everyday

Well, they did on Deadwood, for whatever that's worth...
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:01 AM on February 14, 2022

I'm loving this show for all the reasons, but I want to highlight Christopher Heyerdahl some more. He's usually cast as a heavy, and sometimes as a somewhat dour spiritual person. Seeing him get to do bizarro comedy is such a treat. It makes me glad that he got a role where he could demonstrate more of his range, but it also reminds me how sad it is that there are these brilliant performers out there who get shoehorned into very narrow ranges.

I really hope casting directors take notice and put him in more roles with greater range. My mind was recently blown by Hamish Linklater's performance in Midnight Mass (among other mind-blowing performances on that show). I'd previously seen hi in a narrow range of roles, and seeing him get to really inhabit a complex character was such a treat. I hope Christopher Heyerdahl gets a chance at something like that.

The after-credits scene where he was giving instruction on how to shower and dry off was pure gold.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 3:55 PM on April 25, 2022 [1 favorite]

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