How 'Peacemaker's Intro Foreshadowed The Whole Season
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HBO Max's Peacemaker surprised everyone by taking an obscure DC character like two people cared about, turning him into a bastard, and then still making us care about the guy. A big part of that is due to James Gunn's writing and John Cena's interpretation, but an even bigger part, in our opinion, is because of that incredible opening sequence, which depicts the entire cast performing a ridiculous dance number to glam metal anthem "Do Ya Wanna Taste It" by Wig Wam. But there's more to that sequence than meets the eye. Early on, Gunn let viewers know that the intro would somehow foreshadow the show's storyline -- and, with the season now over, it is our duty to look back and figure out how. Spoilers ahead, duh.
(Are we gonna embed that video every time we talk about this show? Yeah, probably. You're welcome for the 2 cents in YouTube revenue, Wig Wam.)
First of all, Gunn has already revealed in post-season finale interviews that the main significance of the intro was the song of choice: the "It" in "Do Ya Wanna Taste It" isn't anything sexual as you might have imagined from Robert Patrick's sensual hip gyrations in the dance sequence but to badass government agent Jennifer Harcourt's blood. As in the blood she ended up choking on after being shot in the finale. Gunn even made the song play again over that moment, which seems painfully obvious in retrospect.
But that's not the only hidden meaning here. Gunn has also talked about how having this “absolutely ludicrous, goofy, nonsense dance, but combined with everybody being absolutely dead serious” perfectly represents the contrasts of this show -- a violent comedy full of dick jokes but also a surprising number of heartfelt moments. On a plot-specific level, the characters' dead serious faces while dancing like marionettes is a great metaphor for the fact that most of them are being manipulated: some by Amanda Waller's machinations, and others by the “butterfly” aliens that literally crawl into their brains and take over their bodies.
As for those amazing dance moves themselves, it's been pointed out that the choreography sure looks a lot like the movement of the ships in the game Space Invaders, foreshadowing the alien invasion in the story. That appears to be a fortunate coincidence, but what probably isn't is the moment when Peacemaker shoots at the camera ...
… and we cut to Robert Patrick, who plays his evil Nazi dad and dies from a son-inflicted gunshot to the head in the next to last episode. Meaning that the last thing he saw was something much like the screenshot above, minus the neon lights and such.
Another hint hidden in the dancing is the fact that Judomaster is only glimpsed at for most of the sequence, which according to actor Nhut Le represents the fact that he spends most of the season sneaking around on people. Whether this was an intentional choice or something Gunn told the actor to justify cutting most of his moves is unclear, but it works either way.
Finally, Gunn said on the official Peacemaker podcast that the intro is kind of a Rorschach test for the show: “It just always tells a different story. You'll see as our story gets darker, deeper, and more sad, that the dance itself kind of becomes more sad and more serious and less funny.” Hence the tonal whiplash on episode 7, where we go from the harrowing flashback of Peacemaker accidentally killing his brother to Wig Wam's riffs. The dead serious look on Peacemaker's face as he dances does take a whole new meaning in that moment -- especially considering that the character has a personal and redemptive connection to dumb hair metal music, according to Gunn.
There, those are the secrets of the Peacemaker opening credits unraveled. The only mystery now is how the hell Gunn is gonna top that next season. Our money's on an interpretative ballet number.
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Top image: HBO