DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Peacemaker episode “Monkey Dory” has spoilers. Proceed at your peril. 

Welcome back, arbitrators of peace! Peacemaker continues to kick ass across the board, acting as an exemplary representation of how comic book adaptations should be. Fun, whimsically violent, poignant, flashy and hilarious. 

“Monkey Dory” checks off all the boxes for me, with the Glan Tai scenes serving as some of the show’s best action sequences. Watching Economos kill a Butterfly Gorilla with a chainsaw was pretty damn James Gunn, if you catch my drift. 

Ready to dive into “Monkey Dory”? Let’s get to it. 

RELATED: Peacemaker Recap: (S01E04) The Choad Less Traveled

We open with Chris Smith, a.k.a. Peacemaker (John Cena), recovering from a brutal hangover. Peacemaker’s also feeling emotionally low after finally unearthing his buried trauma. Eagly senses this, and he tries to cheer up his owner. 

Meanwhile, Leota (Danielle Brooks) gets ready to leave for work, but Keeya (Elizabeth Faith Ludlow) knocks on her door. Keeya asks if her wife is ignoring her calls. Leota insists she’s merely busy with her job. Talk it out, my babies!

Amanda Waller texts Leota, asking if the latter hid the diary in Peacemaker’s home. She tells her mom she hasn’t done it yet. Of course, the closer Leota gets to Chris, the less she wants to frame him. 

Peacemaker Season 1 Episode 5 Monkey Dory

Pictured: Chukwudi Iwuji in PEACEMAKER Season 1 Episode 5, “Monkey Dory.” Photo courtesy of HBO Max.

Leota joins Peacemaker, Harcourt (Jennifer Holland), Economos (Steve Agee) and Vigilante (Freddie Stroma) while Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji) gives a PowerPoint presentation. Murn educates the masses regarding butterflies and how they hijack the human body. You mean Murn, the Butterfly? 

Peacemaker pokes fun at Economos for the s**t PowerPoint. The pair veers off the subject at hand on a tangent, leading to Economos framing Chris’s father.

That’s the crux of the bad blood between these two. Economos apologizes for putting Peacemaker’s dad in prison, but it’s not enough.

Sorry, not sorry, Dye Beard!

I love that Peacemaker rattles off names of people Economos could have framed, including “those c**ts in Riverdale.” The Riverdale dig’s even funnier, considering Lochlyn Munro, who plays Fitz, was a series regular on that show. 

Viggy wants humans and monkeys to go on adventures together and to DVR Fargo so that he doesn’t miss it. A pure man. 

Later, Auggie (Robert Patrick) asks to see Detective Song (Annie Chang) and Detective Fitz (Munro) in a bid to clear his name and throw his son under the bus. As usual, Auggie spews racist rhetoric and hurls vitriol because he’s a bitter little snowflake. 

Auggie urges Song and Fitz to redo his fingerprints and compare both sets. 

Leota learns all about Chris’s uncanny ability to read penises like tarot cards. Vigilante doesn’t care because he doesn’t have feelings like ordinary people. He’s too busy thinking about that man and the chimp from Economos’s PowerPoint!

Peacemaker, Harcourt, Leota, Viggy and Economos embark on a mission to Glan Tai Bottling Company as part of Murn’s latest assignment. Since there’s a connection to Glan Tai via Annie Sturphausen and Senator Goff, there’s a good chance the facility will yield some fruit. 

Peacemaker and Economos finally bond over the glam metal band Hanoi Rocks

Meanwhile, Murn meets Locke (Christopher Heyerdahl), an enigmatic man who vows to handle the Auggie situation. How? By as-yet-to-be-seen-and-potentially-shady methods. 

Peacemaker Season 1 Episode 5 Monkey Dory

Pictured: Annie Chang and Lochlyn Munro in PEACEMAKER Season 1 Episode 5, “Monkey Dory.” Photo courtesy of HBO Max.

Song and Fitz get the results of Auggie’s recent fingerprints, and it’s not looking great. Auggie’s right — they don’t match. 

So, Song and Fitz revisit Amber (Alison Araya) and Evan (Lenny Jacobson). Both reveal they lied about who kidnapped them. Peacemaker did all that, but he was somewhat lovely about it? Plus, Auggie’s an unrepentant racist Nazi. 

Later, our gang arrives at the Glan Tai warehouse. Everyone gathers their weaponry. Viggy tries desperately to bring his chainsaw (not a euphemism), but Harcourt squashes his dreams. Now he’ll never get to kill someone with a chainsaw!

Harcourt and Viggy split off as one pairing while Peacemaker and Leota enter through the front of the building to question the employees. Economos stays inside the van to survey the whole shebang. 

While inside, Peacemaker utilizes the X-ray vision component of his latest helmet. He can see inside people’s heads! When he notices everyone therein is a butterfly, he starts firing, much to Leota’s dismay. 

Harcourt and Viggy discover that several thousand boxes in the warehouse contain the golden honey-like liquid butterflies consume to survive. Therefore, it must be a supply depot of sorts—a food center. 

Peacemaker and Leota keep shooting butterflies left and right. Unfortunately, Harcourt and Viggy catch the attention of a butterfly, and a bevy of butterflies descend upon them. They flee into a room chock full of tech ripe for stealing. 

Suddenly, a massive beast takes Viggy and Harcourt out of commission instantly. 

RELATED: Peacemaker Recap: (S01E03) Better Goff Dead

Peacemaker and Leota observe from afar while a horde of butterflies attempt to break down the door of the room in which Viggy and Harcourt lay unconscious. Peacemaker procures a grenade combined with a Russian tank shell, an invention he concocted earlier that day. He chucks it near the butterflies, and boom!

Bye-bye, butterflies!

After recovering from the explosion, Leota and Peacemaker reunite with Harcourt and Viggy to defeat the beast at hand. It’s a gigantic gorilla, but not just any gorilla — it’s a butterfly. 

When all else fails, Economos swoops in to save the day. He kills the Butterfly Gorilla with a chainsaw, much to Viggy’s abject disappointment. 

Peacemaker vehemently thanks Economos for saving his life. Besties forever!

The gang steals some equipment and gets the hell out of Glan Tai. 

Everyone’s all smiles while on the road home, dancing it out to Hanoi Rocks. Harcourt, all smiles, snaps a photo of the group, immortalizing the moment. It does my heart good to see Harcourt happy. 

Meanwhile, Song learns the station won’t release Auggie because, according to them, his prints are still a perfect match. Song barges into her superior officer’s office, only to find Captain Locke. So, Murn’s friend went the extra mile. He tampered with Auggie’s prints so that he’d stay in prison while unseating the ranking officer therein. 

Song instantly loathes Locke, notably after telling her to take off the rest of the day. 

Peacemaker Season 1 Episode 5 Monkey Dory

Pictured: Freddie Stroma in PEACEMAKER Season 1 Episode 5, “Monkey Dory.” Photo courtesy of HBO Max.

After the group returns to headquarters, Murn encourages them to take the night off like Song. Party it up! 

Next, Song decides to soar above Locke’s head and do the right thing — she reaches out to her uncle, who’s a judge. She asks him about Peacemaker. 

While Leota drives Chris home, we see Harcourt created a group text chain for everyone, “11th Street Kids.” It’s that Hanoi Rocks song!

We see texts exchanged between the crew. Everyone looks giddy with glee to be part of something. 

When Leota and Peacemaker arrive at the latter’s trailer, Chris invites Leota inside for a drink. Leota notices a newspaper clipping detailing Peacemaker’s apprehending of Kite-Man. This bit makes me want to see Peacemaker cross over to Harley Quinn at some point so that he can interact with Kite-Man there. 

Leota tries a Chris libation that sends her running for the toilet. She’ll take a regular beer, please. 

The pair chat about life, and Peacemaker even divulges his crush on Harcourt to Leota. This scene is quite touching; it’s lovely to see a softer side to Peacemaker (Sears). Cena and Brooks crush it here. 

While Peacemaker’s in the bathroom, Leota pulls out the fake diary to plant to frame our titular character. She struggles to conceal it, but she eventually settles on a location. 

Leota leaves a voicemail for Keeya, apologizing for what happened earlier and vowing to call later for a heart-to-heart chat. 

Peacemaker Season 1 Episode 5 Monkey Dory

Pictured: John Cena in PEACEMAKER Season 1 Episode 5, “Monkey Dory.” Photo courtesy of HBO Max.

She arrives at the headquarters to find Murn hard at work. Leota picks up Peacemaker’s X-ray helmet and dons it to see for herself. After testing its X-ray capabilities on people and animals, she whirls around to face Murn. However, that excitement quickly morphs into fear when she discovers he’s a butterfly. 

Suddenly, Murn lunges at Leota, and the latter runs outside. A brief skirmish transpires before we see Leota on the ground with Murn looming above her. 

Uh oh. Murn the Butterfly’s not here to play!

RELATED: Catch up on all the peaceful violence and Eagly goodness with our Peacemaker recaps!

Stroma as Vigilante will always be one of the highlights of Peacemaker, and I’d be game to watch a spin-off with him (as long as he gets to kill people with chainsaws while watching Fargo). 

Gunn’s strength lies with his characters — he’s adept at creating fully-formed, fleshed-out characters for whom you can’t help but root. Gunn firmly establishes who these characters are in Peacemaker without sacrificing the plot. 

“Monkey Dory” strikes the perfect balance between endearing, hysterical and moving with a touch of pathos. 

Here’s hoping those butterflies stay away from our orifices. 

New episodes of Peacemaker are available to stream every Thursday on HBO Max

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Melody McCune
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