Episode 6 of Heels begins with the DWL struggling. Pre-sale tickets are lagging behind and the promoters for the fair are starting to grow concerned. With Bobby out injured, Jack is swamped with work. Big Jim’s baby’s baptism feels like an unwelcome distraction for him, especially as he prepares to advertise DWL and drum up more support.
Speaking of support, Rooster is approached by Charlie Gully, who tries to sweet-talk the guy into joining Florida Wrestling Dystopia. He even leaves $1000 on the table too. Although Rooster gives the tough guy approach and wards him off, it’s clear he’s definitely considering it.
Rooster tries talking to Jack about his character and whether he’ll be main event material but now is obviously not a good time. Defiantly smoking out the front, he eventually decides to join Gully. He rings him later in the episode and confirms as much, leaving question marks over how his teammates – and Jack – will react to this news.
Meanwhile, Jack and Willie butt heads over Bill’s inclusion in the upcoming program. Despite him being a complete wildcard, Jack’s not stupid. The pop they received in the crowd, and the excitement toward this ladder match, could well be enough to spin things back in DWL’s favour. Willie though is not so sure.
The man is dangerous and given he dropped DWL at the first opportunity, she doesn’t want him doing the same again here. It’s certainly a tough position to be in but with the fate of the wrestling promotion at stake, Jack is clearly gearing toward including him.
At the baptism, Crystal shows up to try and learn what her role in DWL is going to be now. After her promo in the ring, and the ensuing fireworks, Willie reminds her that what happened after is all on her. And seeing Bobby limp out the car is a pretty horrible reminder of this.
Meanwhile, Jack Spade heads on the podcast where none other than Mick Foley is there to interview him! For those unaware, Mick Foley is a wrestling legend, having cut his teeth in WCW and ECW before venturing over to WWE. Oh, and he’s a four time champion too.
Anyway, Mick begins diving into Jack’s father and his anger problems. As soon as Mick mentions Jack’s father though, our protagonist folds up and curses. Given the podcast is supposed to be no holds barred, this is one area he’s not willing to dive down into. In fact, he skips out on the podcast altogether and show up late to the baptism. He actually shows up right off the back of Ace’s touching speech.
Following this, Ace and Bobby patch up their differences. Crystal does the same after the show with Ace, admitting she’s to blame for what happened between them. What they had was special but now, especially after that promo, things won’t be the same as they were before.
While apologies come easily to these three, it doesn’t to Bill. He dances around the facts when he waits for Willie later that evening. He matter-of-factly tells her what he said was wrong. Only, he’s unable to say the words “I’m sorry”, at least not until Willie walks away.
Stuttering his words, Bill admits that he was in love with her once upon a time. Back then though, Willie completely dropped him – both professionally and personally – which crushed the man completely. This, coupled with breaking things off personally, is the real reason Bill left. He’s been hanging onto this for years and since then, has been struggling to articulate this in the open.
Now, a lot of this episode has exemplified the push/pull struggle of what it means to run a wrestling promotion while being there for one’s family. This is especially true late on when Jack is busy on his phone while Staci is outside catching fireflies with Thomas. It’s a significant moment for them though, marking a breaking point of sorts as they hash out their differences that evening.
Staci feels like her wings have been clipped, and while Thomas is at school and Jack is building his federation, Staci is the odd one in the middle. As a compromise, Staci wants Jack to spend more time with their son, trying to patch up those differences and become a unified front once more.
As the episode closes out, we cut across to Ace one more time as he reflects back on home videos, struggling to hold in his tears.
The Episode Review
Heels takes a deep breath this week, deciding to instead step into the eye of the storm and calm things down before the whirlwind final two episodes of the season. For much of the episode, the theme rests on forgiveness and patching up old wounds that have been opened.
Bill finally apologizing to Willie and facing his past is a good step forward for him, although it’s obvious he’s still got a lot of psychological issues to deal with.
However, understanding just why he left the federation is certainly welcome and helps to understand a lot more about his persona and how he thinks.
Likewise, seeing Ace apologize to Bobby and patch things up with Crystal is nice to see, while Jack continues to exemplify all of his father’s worst traits. His desire to work hard has become an obsession, missing out on the best moments of their family’s life. Sometimes you just need to take a step away from everything to begin seeing things clearly.
However, all of this character work is gearing up for the big house show to come, with Bill, Ace and Jack leaving it all out on the line inside the ring. The trouble is, they’re going to have to do it without Rooster, who jumps ship and head across to the FWD. Whether this turns out to be the right move or not for him though is left up for debate.
What’s not debatable though is the quality of this show. Heels has been a really enthralling drama and the way these characters have been written helps to give much more depth to the backstage politics of wrestling federations beyond what we’d normally see. With two episodes left, this welcome step back is very clearly prepping for an exciting and shocking finale to come.