Peacemaker season 1, episode 3 recap – “Better Goff Dead”

January 13, 2022 (Last updated: December 6, 2022)
Jonathon Wilson 0
HBO Max, Streaming Service, TV, Weekly TV
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“Better Goff Dead” finally reveals what Project: Butterfly is in a morally questionable episode that ups the body count.

This recap of Peacemaker season 1, episode 3, “Better Goff Dead”, contains spoilers.

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Peacemaker is a DC property and not just a weird John Cena vehicle. In the opening scene of “Better Goff Dead”, when Chris and the rest of the task force offhandedly discuss a few other Z-tier comic book characters, it occurred to me all of a sudden, like I’d made an important discovery. Imagine this guy meeting Batman. It’d be amazing. None of this is important or relevant, by the way, but you know how this sort of irreverent TV works. It sends you off on tangents.

Peacemaker season 1, episode 3 recap

Despite all the mishaps of the first two episodes, including Chris discovering that miniature UFO, the task force still has a job to do, which includes assassinating a State Senator, the titular Goff, by the end of the day. Goff is a butterfly and a climate change advocate. During the briefing, Leota accidentally flips to a photo of her wife’s vagina, since she has sent her away on Harcourt’s recommendation so they’re practicing new forms of intimacy. If this team manages to pull anything off, let alone the assassination of a senator, it’ll be a miracle.

Anyway, Goff. The team doesn’t know whether or not his entire family are butterflies, in which case Chris will have to kill them all, including two children, but they do know that he has a very short bodyguard named Judo Master. Murn still doesn’t trust Chris enough to tell him what a butterfly actually is, but he does expect him and Harcourt to take up position and shoot a man and possibly his wife and children with a sniper rifle. All for peace, obviously.

The setup is a good time for jokes. Murn shows some humor with Economos, even if it’s related to his apparently terrible mercenary past, and Chris gets a good joke in about Harcourt’s snacks. Eventually, Goff and his family turn up, but their frolicking outside is obscured by a hulking bodyguard, meaning Chris can’t get a shot. When they head inside, the pretense of a happy family is dropped and they all walk zombie-like past one of the windows, leading Harcourt to assume that the entire family are butterflies.

Either way, they have to wait for a clear shot, which allows time for some minor bonding between Chris and Harcourt, and eventually the arrival of Vigilante, who has been following Chris since the opening scene. As it turns out, even though everyone thinks he’s ridiculous, Vigilante arrives in the nick of time. As Chris and Harcourt continue to surveil the family, they pour yellow goo into bowls and then start drinking it through purple suckers that emerge from their mouths. Murn orders Chris to kill them all immediately, but he can’t bring himself to shoot the kids, so Vigilante takes over and cheerily shoots all of them except Goff himself. Before he can take that shot he’s interrupted by Judo Master, who turns out to be dangerous after all. He easily takes out Harcourt, Vigilante, and Peacemaker by himself. The latter two are taken inside by Judo Master and Goff, while Harcourt, unconscious nearby, is accosted by another of Goff’s bodyguards. Leota interrupts them, but she can’t pull the trigger, so Harcourt does instead.

While Vigilante and Peacemaker are being held captive in the basement, Murn, Leota, and Harcourt try to find them, which means taking a brief tour through the house where Goff’s family is still laying dead on the floor. In the time it takes them to find the hidden door, Goff has despatched Judo Master to report what happened, unmasked Vigilante, who hilariously tries to preserve his identity by constantly pulling faces, and attached electrical clips to his genitals. Peacemaker won’t break under torture, least of all under someone else’s torture, but Vigilante really goes through the wringer here. It’s hard to feel sympathetic for him since he’s obviously psychotic, but nobody wants to have their little toe hacked off with blunt shears, do they?

Murn is delayed by a door — locked with a keypad containing the same glyphs as the miniature flying saucer — that he has to blow through using an experimental explosive device. It goes off in Murn’s face, but the explosion buys Peacemaker enough time to free himself, fight Goff, and eventually blow a hole in his face with a shotgun. Elsewhere, Economos t-bones an escaping Judo Master and is forced to hesitantly beat him to death with a tire iron. As “Better Goff Dead” comes to a close, an alien-looking butterfly claws its way out of the remains of Goff’s face and begins to fly up and out of the cave as Peacemaker stares at it, having finally figured out what Project: Butterfly means. The final shot of the episode is of the computer inside the van, which flashes red with the coordinates of all the suspected butterflies, which are spreading all across the world.

You can stream Peacemaker season 1, episode 3, “Better Goff Dead”, exclusively on HBO Max.

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