Peacemaker Killing Suicide Squad's Rick Flag Earns Him a Second Chance

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Peacemaker Episode 1, "A Whole New Whirled," streaming now on HBO Max. 

Acting as a direct follow-up to The Suicide Squad, Peacemaker was always going to tackle the events of that film head-on. Chris Smtih made some awful decisions while he was in Corto Maltese, working as a double-agent for Amanda Waller to ensure the truth about Project Starfish never saw the light of day. But, against all odds, it turns out his most heartless choice earned him a second chance in his solo series.

Peacemaker Episode 1, "A Whole New Whirled," picks up right where the post-credits scene left off -- in the hospital with Peacemaker. It has been a few months since Bloodsport shot him, and he appears to be in good spirirts. More important than that, though, the doctor gives Chris the all-clear to go home, which he jumps at the opportunity to do because he should still be in prison. However, as soon as he gets back to his trailer, it becomes clear things were too good to be true.

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Soon after arriving home, A.R.G.U.S. agents, including two familiar faces in The Suicide Squad's Harcourt and Economos, surround Chris' trailer and hold him at gunpoint. Led by Clemson Murn, the group explains that they were keeping tabs on Peacemaker via the chip in his brain and are there to recruit him for a mission. Obviously, Chris is a bit taken aback, but Murn reveals that the villain's loyalty in Corto Maltese, including his willingness to kill Colonel Rick Flag, made him a valuable asset.

As soon as The Suicide Squad started, it was clear Peacemaker was a jerk, but that did little to prepare viewers for his dark turn at the end of the film. Waller initially sent two teams to Corto Maltese -- one was to be a distraction while the other snuck onto the island -- but things soon hit a snag. While Rick Flag was a member of the distraction team, he survived the initial battle, and a group of freedom fighters stumbled upon him. With Flag still in play, Waller sent the second team to retrieve him, but, of course, she had an ulterior motive for doing so.

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After a brief pit stop to rescue Harley Quinn, Task Force X headed to Jotunheim to take out Project Starfish once and for all. However, Flag and Ratcatcher 2 learned from the Thinker that America was heavily involved with the experiments on Starro, with American scientists being the ones to discover the creature in space. This enraged Flag, who couldn't believe the country he fought for would condone experiments on children, and he decided he was going to blow the whistle on the whole thing. Unfortunately, Waller already foresaw that outcome, which is why she tasked Peacemaker with doing whatever it took to make sure the truth didn't get out.

A fight ensues that sees both men try as hard as possible to take the other one out, but in the end, Peacemaker gets the upper hand and stabs Flag in the heart, killing him. It was a moment that set the tone for the character's future in DC Extended Universe, and whether he felt any guilt or not, it ended up being a decision that was in his best interest given the events of Peacemaker.

To see how killing Rick Flag gets Chris Smith a second chance, Peacemaker is streaming now on HBO Max. 

KEEP READING: James Gunn Developing Second DCTV Series to Follow Peacemaker

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Jackson Hayes (109 Articles Published)

Jackson Hayes is a Features Editor at CBR. He began his career writing news for several outlets before going out on his own with a group of friends and starting Full Circle Cinema. You can follow him on Twitter (@jacksonhayes67) or contact him directly at [email protected]

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