The fallout from the previous mission causes problems for everyone in “The Choad Less Travelled” .
This recap of Peacemaker season 1, episode 4, “The Choad Less Travelled”, contains spoilers.
As I said at the end of my recap of the previous episode, at least Peacemaker knows what a butterfly is now. Sort of, anyway. He knows it’s a weird maybe-alien creature that burrows its way into a human’s brain and possesses them for nefarious purposes, but the one that clambered out of Senator Goff’s noggin was promptly blown to bits, and Murn still isn’t exactly forthcoming with information, so the details are still scant. What’s for certain though is that everyone is still reeling from that operation. Vigilante is missing half a pinky toe, Leota doesn’t know if she’s cut out for this line of work, Murn can’t rely on Peacemaker to pull the trigger, and Judo Master is comatose after being clobbered repeatedly over the head by Economos. Things aren’t looking good for anyone, and as saw last week, there are many more butterflies to deal with yet.
Peacemaker season 1, episode 4 recap
The stress is getting to Chris. He’s angry about Murn ordering him to kill children without providing an adequate explanation, he’s angry at Vigilante for not seeing his point of view regarding the whole torture/toe thing and for intimating he’s a racist like his father, and then he’s angry at Murn again when he finds out that he fit Auggie up for his crimes and got him sent to prison. Of course, Chris and Vigilante head right there, and then Chris is angry that his father hates his guts and is going to rat the operation out to the police. The episode’s title, “The Choad Less Travelled”, is a reference to Chris’s pathetic attempts to convince his father that he might come around to him someday — “Maybe I’m grower… not a shower.”
It’s Leota, predictably, who is there for Chris and shows him just a little compassion when he needs it. Cena is doing a decent job of portraying Chris as a man who has been starved of love, affection, and acceptance all throughout his life, and who has overcompensated with his persona to such an extent that he’s now first choice for clandestine killing missions that he doesn’t have the heart to carry out. He just needs a friend, really, and maybe a completely different father, although admittedly it’s a bit late for that.
All the niceties are interrupted, though, when Judo Master escapes captivity. When Chris gets there you can visibly see how he becomes Peacemaker again, back doing something that he’s at least halfway decent at, and he actually gets the upper hand in the big rematch. Judo Master, though, has something to reveal, something about the butterflies not being what Chris thinks, but Leota shoots him before he can spill. She’s visibly shaken at having killed man, even though Judo Master is immediately revealed to still be alive (leading to a brilliant absurd rant about how martial artists replace their hearts with their kidneys), and at this point, it’s unclear whether she pulled the trigger out of genuine concern for Chris or to stop Judo Master from revealing what he knows about the butterflies.
Everything is also complicated by the fact that Leota inadvertently persuaded Vigilante, who has technically been hired by Murn as part of the team mostly so everyone knows where he is and what he’s doing, to get himself incarcerated and kill Auggie. And Vigilante attempts that in a very funny scene that also proves he can’t quite keep his mouth shut, tipping Auggie off to the fact that someone’s trying to kill him and only stiffening his resolve to tell Detective Song what he knows.
Whatever Auggie did to Chris when he was a kid is a deeply-rooted issue for Chris, especially in how it relates to his brother, whose death he was supposedly “involved with”, though it isn’t currently clear to what extent. Late in “The Choad Less Travelled”, Chris gets drunk on Jack, hits the bong — including blowing a cloud of smoke into the jar he’s keeping Goff’s butterfly in, having obviously not killed it after all — and has visions of his childhood being trained to kill by his mulleted father, and his brother’s death. There’s clearly more to unpack here.
But wait! In the episode’s final scene, Peacemaker delivers its biggest twist yet — Murn is a butterfly.