Heels (Episode 3)—Recap and Review

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 10: (L-R) Kelli Berglund and Mary McCormack attend STARZ celebrates the premiere of its new series "Heels" after party on August 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 10: (L-R) Kelli Berglund and Mary McCormack attend STARZ celebrates the premiere of its new series "Heels" after party on August 10, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) /

After the 3 DDTs out of 5 rating I gave episode 2 last week, Heels on Starz definitely took a turn for the better coming into their third episode, and shockingly so.

Honestly, I was worried they weren’t going to recover from last week’s flop, but recover they did, and like Hulk Hogan hulking up for a big finish, they won me over by the time the credits rolled.

This episode lands a whopping 5 DDTs out of 5 folks, and I’ll set to proving just why in this piece.

*This article does not contain spoilers for episode 3 but does contain spoilers for episodes 1 and 2, so watch them and read previous articles published here before reading this article, then get to watching, as you will not regret it, dear readers. You are in for a treat with episode 3.

A dramatic opening

The show is based on the lives of two brothers who live in a small town called Duffy. The older of the two, Jack Spade has left his father’s independent wrestling promotion, the DWL.

This much we know, but what has been a mystery thus far is their father, a wrestling legend in Duffy in his own right.

Well…in this episode, we get insight into how the father passed away, and the way he died speaks volumes in why the relationship between the two brothers is as messed up as it is.

Their father is played by screen legend David James Elliott, and the episode opens with a retro shot of him on one of his runs; the scene is very reminiscent of Jack going for his runs — something we’d seen in episode 1.

The overall feel of a show that in the first two episodes had tones of humor, action, and pro wrestling turned into a show with a lot more drama than originally expected, and in the opening scene of episode 3, the viewer is taken from the lighter feeling revolving around episode 2 we were left with, to the weightiness of a dramatic film like, say, Sophie’s Choice.

Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but pretty close.

This show handles some pretty difficult issues and they do it with grace, but still leaves the viewer wanting to know more.

Character development

And speaking of character development, this episode achieves this big time, and not only with the show’s main characters, Jack and Ace. The secondary actors I’ve mentioned in previous reviews are getting a voice and they are delivering their own plight to the screen perfectly.

As far as Jack’s betrayal of Ace, the two brothers are still having issues, with Ace still embarrassed by his reaction to getting betrayed by his brother in the ring in front of all the crowd (essentially, he wept), his future in a northern wrestling promotion destroyed by the in-ring moment.

Ace is still struggling, however, to recover from that. He faces the question I posed last article, and one which the show’s narrative posed as well: Can Ace come back from the embarrassment and the newfound hate for him from the fans of the DWL? Or, will he turn heel?

We get an answer to those questions in episode 3, folks.

As far as the other characters are concerned, we get a deeper look at the development of the Rooster Robbins character, played expertly by Allen Maldonado. We also get a deeper look at Crystal Tyler, who still isn’t getting the respect she deserves, and of course a deeper look at the Willie Day character (Jack’s assistant at the promotion, played by Mary McCormack), and some mysterious texts she’s been getting.

Jack’s wife, whom I wrote about extensively in the last review, also has some forward motion in the realm of character development and what I was worried about seems to be progressing dangerously.

She has a massive problem with Jack’s line of work and the walls seem to be closing in for this character. And it leads the viewer to wonder the question: Is jack headed to the same end his father found? And how much does the DWL have to do with that?

A special guest appearance to write home about

In this episode, we got CM Punk. His AEW debut a few weeks back wasn’t the only big news concerning this in-ring legend.

He’s been working on his acting career over the last few years and has landed some pretty serious independent roles — his role in the horror film Girl on the 3rd Floor in 2019 probably being his biggest…until now, that is.

His performance in the show was spot-on. In fact, there were moments where I forgot I was watching Punk at all; he does a great job and it’s worth checking out his performance as the enigmatic Ricky Rabies.

Wrestling is back

Last time, I complained that there wasn’t enough wrestling in episode 2, and this episode makes up for that big time, folks. It’s an extravaganza and, again, the actors are proving that they put in the necessary work to make the wrestling scenes in the ring as believable as possible.

So, do yourselves a favor and check this episode out, and we’ll talk next week and see how episode 4 turns out, which will bring us to what seems like the halfway point of this show’s first season, as it says on IMDB that this season is projected to be only eight episodes long.

Next. AEW: It’s time to put the tag titles on Jurassic Express. dark

But after episodes like this, eight is surely not enough. Here’s to more seasons if they can keep up this momentum.