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In this week's new episode of HBO Max's original series, Peacemaker, there's a veritable tsunami of big character moments laid out for the supporting case as Christopher Smith (John Cena) and the Project Butterfly team continue to learn more and more about the reason they've been put together by Amanda Waller.
**SPOILER WARNING! Spoilers below for Peacemaker, Episode 5, "Monkey Dory"**
In "Monkey Dory," Smith and team leader Murn (Chukwudi Iwuji) go deeper into the "butterfly orifice infiltration" happening around the globe. Interestingly, Murn doesn't even sweat during the team meeting, considering it was revealed in last week's cliffhanger that Murn was anything but strictly human.
It's a huge reveal that's expanded upon at the end of this episode when Leota Adebayo (Danielle Brooks) sees Murn for the butterfly he his. Actor Chukwudi Iwuji tells SYFY WIRE that writer/director James Gunn told him about Murn's arc for the season before they even started shooting.
"I knew that was the journey, and that was the icing on the cake to play the character, definitely," Iwuji says about Murn's alien status. "But I've always said that I really avoid playing into that luxury of knowing where the story is going. For me, it was this gorgeous knowledge that I had this wonderful secret lodged in that you, the audience, don't know about. It was my job to play scene to scene so that it was a surprise when it came instead of leaving little treats. Of course, if you go [back] and [watch] carefully, you might see that, but that's up to you. That's not my responsibility. My responsibility was playing a very focused team leader."
Similarly, Steve Agee, who plays John Economos, reveals that he also had to wait patiently for this episode to show off that insane power move in the action set piece: the Glan Tai bottling sequence.
"When I got all the scripts and read them, that was the one moment that I was like, 'Oh my God, I get to do what? I can't wait!'" Agee says. "But it was five episodes in and I was like, 'I gotta wait three months to shoot this?' It was definitely hands down the one scene I was looking forward to the most."
As Smith's verbal punching bag and the guy usually in a van or on a computer when the crazy is going down in the field, Agee says he was thrilled to see a character like his get a moment to shine. "It was great to see a guy, much like myself when I was younger, who's been the butt of a lot of jokes, get his comeuppance and get his badass moments of kicking ass and stuff. This was like a dream come true for me."'
The success of the mission, which had everyone on Project Butterfly finally working together to accomplish quelling the swarm of butterflies in the warehouse, also gave Agent Harcourt, played by Jennifer Holland, the realization that this gaggle of misfits might mean more than she thought.
In the van together after the mission, Holland says the camera captures a subtle, but important shift for Harcourt. "When Peacemaker asks Harcourt: 'Not so bad, Hardcourt?' She says, 'Yeah, not so bad.' And for me, the actor, I thought she was really saying, 'Yeah, you guys are not so bad.' Not just talking about the music, but the experience in general."
Holland continues, "I think that moment for Harcourt hits her like a ton of bricks, because I think Harcourt is this desperately lonely person who has absolutely no idea that she's lonely. She doesn't think she needs anyone. She's pretty convinced that she actually would be better off alone. And she seems pretty content with that. But I think in that moment, when she is realizing that she's a part of a team, it hits her. And she just realizes that it's something that she's wanted all along, and she has it, and it's not so bad."
New episodes of Peacemaker drop every Thursday on HBO Max.