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SYFY WIRE Peacemaker

James Gunn reveals the 'Peacemaker' season finale scene that drove John Cena to real tears

James Gunn looks back at the Peacemaker season finale through a Twitter watch party.

By Matthew Jackson
Jennifer Holland John Cena

After eight wild weeks, the first season of Peacemaker wrapped up its run on HBO Max Thursday with an episode packed with fight scenes, hair metal, and a couple of surprising cameos. Now, the wait for Season 2 has officially begun, but even as he begins work on the next phase of the Peacemaker story, series creator James Gunn couldn't let the finale pass without taking a little time to chat with fans on Twitter.

**Spoilers ahead for the Peacemaker season finale.**

Gunn hosted a Peacemaker watch party Thursday evening with several of the show's stars, and as he so often does, the filmmaker spilled a few key details and insights about the making of the episode in the process. Like every episode of Peacemaker so far, the season finale -- "It's Cow or Never" -- combined over the top action with humor and some surprising emotional resonance, particularly when it came to the characters who were willing to finally be vulnerable with one another. According to Gunn, that meant that the scene in which Peacemaker (John Cena) sits down at Harcourt's (Jennifer Holland) bedside, and she finally reaches for his hand after weeks of distance, brought out real tears from the show's star. 

"In the hospital scene, [Cena] broke out in tears when he took [Holland's] hand & she started crying," Gunn wrote. "The camera wasn’t on him. Probably the most vulnerable moment in Harcourt’s life."

Speaking of emotional moments, Gunn also fielded a question about his favorite part of working with the show's ensemble cast. Though everyone clearly had a blast on the show, Gunn called getting to spend every day on set with Holland, his real-life partner, the best part of it all. 

And of course, the watch party wouldn't be complete without a few thoughts on how it all went down at the end, particularly when it comes time for Peacemaker to make the final decision on what to do about the Butterflies. In an unexpected twist, our hero is actually given the choice to declare peace or keep fighting when Head Butterfly Goff (Annie Chang) explains that her species has actually come to Earth to save humanity by making all the correct choices for them.

Instead of knowingly giving up the free will of his species, Peacemaker pushes ahead with plans to destroy the cow, taking away the Butterflies' food source and essentially wiping them out. When asked by a fan if he felt his hero made the right choice, Gunn answered this way:

With Peacemaker's choice, and the change it brings, in mind, Gunn also noted that one of the "saddest" moments in the entire series for him is watching Peacemaker feed the last of the amber liquid on Earth to Goff's Butterfly form back at the trailer. Goff knows it's the end, and that she'll starve eventually, and that she could take over Peacemaker's body as a form of revenge, so why does she hang on? It's simple:

"She loves Peacemaker, truthfully," Gunn said.

So, now the wait for Peacemaker Season 2 has officially begun, but we're not quite finished with everything left to see from Season 1 just yet. When asked if he plans to release a blooper reel of all the wild moments from the show's first run of episodes, Gunn answered simply: "Yes."

Peacemaker Season 1 is now streaming on HBO Max.