Episode 2 of Heels begins the morning after the disastrous main event. Jack shows up at work, determined to pay his bills, but has a flair for the theatrical. While it works for entertainment, it doesn’t do so well selling lawnmowers.
Back at the DWL, the wrestlers worry about the future of their federation. While Apocalypse believes they’ll be okay, the others aren’t so sure. They’re concerned about what the ramifications will be if they make it up into the title picture. After all, if that’s how Jack treats his own brother then what about them?
Meanwhile, Ace feels like he’s lost his big chance. He tries to ring Bill but he’s not returning his calls. In fact, Ace’s Mum even kicks Crystal out the house, telling her that the boy is going to make a fresh start. That start is certainly not going to come from his developmental contract, as Ace eventually receives a call from Bill – and it’s not good news.
Elsewhere, Willie sits down to have lunch with Charlie Gully, the owner of FWD. He’a pretty smug about his own fed’s success and even worse, he wants to buy out the Dome – that exact place where Jack and the DWL train. Charlie is determined to blow Jack out the water following him running his mouth about Charlie’s federation. “Jack’s ego will be the downfall of the DWL. Jump ship before you go down with it.” He urges Willie but she’s having none of it and rejects the offer.
Willie rings Jack and tells him about the offer. After the awful main event, Ace a no-show and the crowds understandably anger, it falls to Jack to try and deliver a killer script. Staci however, believes Jack should cancel the show but whatever he does – it doesn’t pose well for the future of DWL.
With Ace out drinking hard liquor and causing problems around town, it falls to Jack to head out and try and find his baby brother. Ace wanders into a sports bar where he rile the crowd up. He slurs his words, ends up antagonizing an old school buddy called Travis by the pool table and eventually ends up booed by the crowd. Ace even swears again and as things start getting intense with Travis, Crystal shows up and gives him a hurricanrana to end the conflict.
Jack drops Ace off back home who outright admits that he hates his brother. Ace sees through Jack’s genius facade and refers to him as a failed lawnmower salesman. “You ruined my life,” He eventually spits, as Jack stews over the words and walks away. And he’s not wrong. Jack’s ego certainly got the best of him that night and he messed up Ace’s big shot to make it pro.
It’s ironic too because Jack was the one who pushed Ace into wrestling originally. Standing outside with Crystal, she mentions how good Ace would actually be as a heel. Given the boos and antagonizing, that’s certainly a good point.
Unfortunately our trio of other wrestlers are concerned about their chances. Rooster seriously considers jumping ship for FWD if they come calling while Apocalypse mentions the good things DWL are building and tries to talk him out of it.
Outside the medical center, Ace and Jack end up talking about their situation. Jack pleads with Ace to come back. If Ace agrees, Jack promises him new storylines and no boos. That’s going to be difficult of course, given what we’ve seen, but eventually the brothers do head up to the medical room where Big Jim welcomes his son into the world.
As Jack gets back into working, Staci starts doing housework. She swigs beer from the can and mows their massive lawn. It’s a significant moment, especially given the earlier story Jack told while at work., and one that provides a brief respite before diving into the rest of the season.
The Episode Review
Heels slows things down this week a little, leaning into the estranged brothers and their relationship. Seeing Ace and Jack start to take on a new side to their character is fascinating and it seems like we’re going for a double turn. In other words, Ace looks like he’s on-course to become a heel in the ring while Jack will become a face.
At the same time, these roles will be reversed outside the ring too, with Jack becoming more of a wildcard and Ace becoming a redemptive character who takes the reigns of the federation. If that’s the way this show is going, it could well be a strike of genius.
There’s a poetic edge to a lot of Heels and given the show’s ties to wrestling and its culture, there’s a whole lot going on in this beyond the simple brother drama. That’s partly why this show works as well as it does and the preview for next week looks set to move things back to the ring in dramatic fashion too.
So far Heels has been an absolutely fascinating series to watch and each episode has zipped by, despite the hour long run-time. While not quite as explosive as the first chapter, Heels is undoubtedly a big draw and a really compelling drama.