Heels: Recap and review for episode 2 of the show

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 10: A view inside the premiere of the new STARZ series "Heels" on August 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Starz)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 10: A view inside the premiere of the new STARZ series "Heels" on August 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for Starz) /

As stated last week, we’ll be reviewing the episodes of Heels on the Starz network as they air. As far as episode 2 is concerned, I definitely have mixed feelings about this one, folks, and I’ll get to explaining why it only gets 3 DDTs out of 5.

*This article may contain spoilers from episode 1, but not of episode 2.

I figure by this point, you’ve seen episode 1, but if you haven’t, read the review of episode 1 and get to watching before reading on, dear readers.

Building on the main story

Like in wrestling, the story needs to have an organized progression. A show, movie, or book is very much like a wrestling match. It must have a beginning, middle, and end. Sometimes you have a little in the ways of outside interference, characters that show up in the script, but mainly, a show should tell the story of the main characters — the meat of what the story was built upon.

As far as Heels is concerned, the story is built around two brothers and the tiny wrestling promotion left to the oldest brother, Jack, by their father, who had passed on. This week, we are shown the aftermath of Jack’s betraying his brother, Ace.

In the first episode, Ace had an opportunity to wrestle for a bigger promotion and in the end, Jack put him in an arm lock in the ring for real, ultimately changing the ending that had been planned, overpowering his younger brother and ruining his chances in the other promotion. The lasting impression of the first episode is of Ace crying in the ring, as trash is thrown at him from the crowd.

The second episode opens with Ace living with his mother, getting drunk, and wasting his days away waiting for the other promotion to call him back (he’s left over 13 messages), but the message is clear that after his crying in the ring, they’re no longer interested.

On a drunken night, he ends up going to the local watering hole, and the only one that can save him from embarrassing himself further is the very man that betrayed him: Jack.

Also in this episode is the added element that another promotion, which is run by Gully (played by Mike O’Malley), is breathing down Jack’s neck, wanting to eliminate all other small promotions across the territories.

Jack is faced with the dilemma: should he sell or not?

Reviewing the episode

As I said, I only gave this episode 3 DDTs out of 5. I love the show, but there were problems in the narrative here, folks.

First off, I’ll go into what I liked…

The Good

I liked the family drama between the two brothers and their mother. I really associated with Jack’s character, having to always be the bigger man, his brother getting away with his behavior. That can be difficult for sure, no matter how much you care for your sibling. It was also interesting to see a little more of Jack’s life.

Running the promotion isn’t all he has to do. He also works as a lawnmower salesman to pay the bills — something they may have mentioned in episode one, but only in passing.

Regardless, the stresses of the business and working a part-time job are showing through and Stephen Amell is doing an epic job of delivering those emotions through the screen.

I loved the emergence and increased focus on the Crystal character; expect more from her, perhaps in a wrestling capacity in the future.

And I especially loved an exchange between the characters Apocalypse (played by James Harrison) and Rooster Robbins (played by Allen Maldonado), in the hospital gift shop. The scene was very funny and gave a lot of insight into these two characters, who I hope we see a lot more from moving forward.

The Bad

There wasn’t any wrestling in this episode. There’s a scene in the gym which was okay — we got to know Apocalypse more, and a few of the other wrestlers in Jack’s promotion, the DWL or Duffy Wrestling League. That was great, but we want wrestling.

Jack’s wife, Stacy Spade, is played by Alison Luff. In this episode, we see her getting frustrated with the household tasks; a squirrel has rented space in their attic and she grows frustrated with Jack’s schedule.

My question is this: They have a very young boy, but he’s at least 10 or 12 years old, and now she gets frustrated with his schedule?!

The annoyance here is that professional wrestlers have schedules that are more hectic and crazy than even say an OR, or rather ER surgeon. They don’t have time for much else other than getting their bodies ready to wrestle and the actual wrestling.

The term, ‘if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen,’ certainly comes to mind. She didn’t know all of this when they started their courtship? His daddy was a wrestler, for crying out loud!

Jack works the second job, so he can keep Stacy at home to work on her music, which is important to her.

Though she offers advice to him on how to deal with his brother she gets on him quite a bit for not being around the house, more. It doesn’t make that much sense if you ask me, especially seeing that this is the life Jack — and her, by association — has been living since his father passed away and left him the promotion.

The Ugly

Regardless, she takes her frustrations out on the poor squirrel, which is another point off for me, and it only takes away from her plight. You can catch a squirrel with some peanut butter and a cage and then let it out in a beautiful field full of trees that are full of acorns and freedom. Truthfully, I wasn’t a fan of that; especially since earlier in the episode, Jack avoids killing a possum with his car, avoids it at his own discomfort and his passenger’s, too (he also promises his son that he wouldn’t harm the squirrel once he got to it).

By the end of the episode, Jack makes a life-altering decision, one that perhaps will affect his marriage. How it will is unclear, but the episode ends with that feeling of unease. What is to come for the promotion? What is to come of Jack’s home life? Will Ace get a chance to wrestle in a major promotion? Will Jack’s promotion suddenly do a bit better by capitalizing on Ace’s bad publicity and turn him heel. (The name of the show speaks volumes on that front, folks.)

dark. Next. Top Five Returns in Wrestling History

Loads of questions and despite the low mark of this particular episode, there are in fact loads of reasons to keep watching. Just don’t hurt anymore defenseless animals, please.