Welcome to Wrexham – Season 2 Episode 12 “Hand of Foz” Recap & Review”

“Hand of Foz”

First Half

The Wrexham men prepare for their late-season match against this season’s rival and top competitor, Notts County. Both teams have done wonderfully this season. Both teams are about to break the record for most points in a season. Only one team, however, can take the top spot.

Before this big game, Wrexham faces Halifax away. It should be an easy in. Wrexham fans travel to Halifax with great confidence. Mendy returns after his early injury. Elliot Lee scores. After the half, Halifax comes back and ties it, and then takes the lead. Then, they go down 3-1 and lose in an upset.

Keeper Ben Foster is thrown into self-doubt. Mullin deletes his social media to avoid getting involved with all the negativity, even from the fans. Foster agrees. Coach Phil reminds everyone that winning football is not a divine right and that it always has to be earned. Now, the game against Notts County is all the more important, as they’ll go into the match tied at 100 points.

Julie and Jacqui expand on the team philosophy going into the sold-out, Easter Monday match. The consequences of a loss make them fear the worst. Humphrey and Harvey explain that they’re technically in the hole for nearly 11 million pounds. If they sold the team though, they’d profit. Rob jokingly asks, assuming he keeps the team forever, “At what point do I get paid?” Joking aside, the tension mounts as the game nears.

Second Half

The morning of the game, Rob and Ryan receive the ‘Freedom of the Borough’ award from the Wrexham council. Meanwhile, fans flock to the Racecourse. Shaun Winter (superfan) relishes what a global phenomenon Wrexham has become. Rohan, a Wrexham fan from LA, reveals that he’ll meet up with a lifelong friend from India at the Racecourse. By the time the team takes the pitch, we’ve heard from nearly everyone featured over the season.

Immediately, there’s a barrage of questionable calls (and lack thereof) to Wrexham’s detriment. Rob and Ryan try to give the refs the benefit of the doubt, but fans are astounded. Having the benefit of high-def cameras, there are one or two objectively bad calls. Then, goals score like dominoes fall.

Notts County scores off a freekick just before the end of the first half (0-1). Mullin soars to the rescue with an equalizer in minute 50 (1-1). Mendy scores from the back post to take the lead (2-1), but Notts County respond fast (2-2). Elliot Lee takes the lead for Wrexham (3-1). In extra time, though, a devastating error: a defensive handball in Wrexham’s own 18.’ Subsequently, Notts County gets a penalty kick- in the final minute of the game. Ryan calls this rollercoaster of a match ‘typical Wrexham.’ Superfan Shaun recounts Wrexham’s history of critical moments of football folly.

Ben Foster makes the critical save. Wrexham wins, 3-2.

Ben shows his goosebumps in an interview. Superfan Shaun cries and screams in a sea of celebration. Rob kisses Shaun Harvey, and Ryan kisses Ben. Rob and Ryan recall it as among the greatest moments of their lives. Coach Phil and Humphrey remind us in the final moments that the season isn’t actually over.

The Episode Review

Long fuse

The anticipation leading up to the late match between Wrexham and Notts County buzzes even beyond the regular sphere of fans, and into the general interest. Hardcore and casual football fans (even soccer fans) turn their heads towards the National League and to this show. The mesmerization is difficult to deny, and this episode delivers on the buzz in spades.

The way Humphrey speaks about the ‘upcoming’ Halifax away match hints that it may not go well… it doesn’t. This is a rare taste of the logical time delay being used to a narrative advantage. It’s a surprising loss, and it certainly keeps the drama stirring.

Jacqui and Julie’s commentary is awesome as always. Julie’s fears leading straight into Rob and Ryan’s discussion of the same topic with Humphrey and Harvey is a brilliant bit of editing. It’s all laugh-inducing and gripping in the way only life can be. Shaun’s projections of what’s to come, should promotion be secured, dips deep into newly meta territory. They’re essentially behaving as if they already have achieved promotion, consequences be damned.

The way Ryan voices his enthusiasm and anxiety is almost sarcastic at times, like his ‘persona.’ He’s an actor after all, and actors emote, even exaggerate around kernels of truth. Despite all their joking around, it’s lovely to see Rob and Ryan speak to community leaders about their journey with Wrexham.

Big Explosion

As the pregame festivities begin, it feels much the way rivalry matches do for actual sports fans. The electricity is palpable. Few documentaries have captured the essence of sports fandom the way this show has. It boggles the mind to imagine what a fan like Shaun White has felt this year. It never fails to warm the heart when life-long fans welcome new fans (of anything) with open arms. Rohan and Ani’s short story illustrates why perfectly. Traveling across the world to reunite with a friend at a football game is what it’s all about.

This episode is another shining example of ‘the more football, the better.’ Non-sports fans are certain to feel that sharp frustration of enduring bad calls. A Notts County player trips over his own feet. As a result, a penalty is called. It’s jaw-dropping. Seeing a sold-out Racecourse erupt because Mendy scores a beautiful goal feels like a full-circle moment. Mullin going from a major highlight scorer to a clear play-developer, and having so many assists shows a football-specific sense of growth to a player that came in as a star.

The game and this episode is a textbook example of a nail-biter, and the payoff is exquisite. “You can’t write this,” indeed, Ben Foster. There’s nary a thing out of place in Wrexham when this episode ends, and there’s more yet to come. Though the season isn’t over for the team or the show, there was something definitive about this episode. It goes beyond the idea of the featured game ‘deciding the winner of the league.’ Rivalry face-offs feel climactic, it’s often why they occur near the end of seasons. This episode is top-tier sports content and Wrexham through and through.

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You can read our full Season 2 review of Welcome to Wrexham here!

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