Warning: this article contains spoilers for Peacemaker episode eight.
Following the release of the season finale of Peacemaker, the DC Extended Universe series on HBO Max, showrunner James Gunn is finally breaking down the meaning of that infectious theme song, Wig Wam’s “Do Ya Wanna Taste It.”
Though the tune would not sound out of place among hair metal hits of the 1980s, it was actually released in 2010. The music accompanies the delightfully deadpan dance number that serves as the show’s opening credits, but the track was also used in a breathtaking action sequence of the climax of the first season’s final episode.
Be warned, we’ll be talking spoilers from here on out.
The sequence in question sees John Cena’s Peacemaker, Jennifer Holland’s Emilia Harcourt, and Freddie Stroma’s Vigilante heroically storming the farm where the body-snatching butterfly aliens store their space cow food source. They rush in, guns blazing, with the glam metal anthem accompanying the action scene.
When asked in a recent interview with Rolling Stone about why he chose that song for that scene, Gunn explained it is the lyrics that coincided so well with the sequence.
“I thought that song kind of leads to that moment,” he said.
“Both [the lyric] ‘Do you want to taste it,’ in the sense of ‘Do you want to deal with this shit from these three badasses?’ but also, it all leads up to Harcourt getting wounded and choking on her own blood.”
What’s more, Gunn fielded a question on Twitter Thursday when a fan asked what is meant in the song lyric “throw your dog the invisible bone.”
Gunn said, “You know when assholes f–k with dogs by pretending to throw something, & the dog runs to get it, & then the jackass laughs because he’s smarter than a dog?
“That’s an invisible bone.”
That “invisible bone” meaning not only works in a self-contained way but could also be interpreted as relating to the show as well. Viola Davis’ Amanda Waller sets up Peacemaker as a fall guy by dispatching her daughter, Danielle Brooks’ Leota Adebayo, to plant a fake diary in his house after previously presenting herself as just wanting to be his friend. It’s a similar, metaphorical bait-and-switch.
Gunn also shared what he called a “strangely heartbreaking” acoustic version of “Do Ya Wanna Taste It,” which would probably add a whole new layer of emotional depth to the action scene if it were swapped out with the original.
Check out Peacemaker‘s episode eight, and the entire first season, on HBO Max now.