Mick Foley is one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time. After a storied career in the WWE, Foley is a part of some of the greatest moments of all time. From the Hell in a Cell against The Undertaker to This Is Your Life with The Rock, Foley’s talent shines in the ring and on the microphone. With that in mind, seeing Foley make an appearance as the host of a podcast on episode six of Heels is just delightful.
However, a cameo from the WWE Hall of Famer is not enough to brighten up the narrative of the latest addition to the season. Following the events of episode five, Jack spirals to retain control of the DWL with Wild Bill Hancock running roughshod in front of crowds and ace injuring Bobby Pin on purpose. Additionally, with Crystal going off script and Allen Maldonado’s Rooster teasing an offer to join the DWL’s competition, the FWD, control is quickly slipping away.
Lingering over the first season of Heels is a lot of trauma. Jack and Ace’s father committed suicide and neither one has really dealt with it. Likewise, Crystal, as well as Mary McCormack’s Willie Day, have skeletons in their closet as well. Skeletons neither cope with in the healthiest ways. In fact, that seems to be the one thing the employees of the DWL all have in common. It takes one mention of his father to cause Jack to angrily storm out of his podcast interview. Willie snaps at Crystal after she asks a question about her future. Rooster betrays Jack’s trust after feeling unappreciated by joining the competition.
There is a lot of anger and depression inside many of these characters and that is a reflection of the industry in which it’s set. Over the course of history, professional wrestlers have unfortunately died at young ages. Bouts with alcohol and drug addiction are common. The life of a wrestler is a daily grind with wear and tear happening to the body. What Heels does well is realistically expose the hard stuff in lieu of glorifying it.
Any fan of pro wrestling will confirm that there is a certain level of camaraderie between the performers in the ring. These men and women work together to tell stories and that forms bonds out of respect. This is true for the crew at the DWL as well. However, with tensions flaring to a breaking point, lines are being drawn and folks are beginning to choose their side. Episode six features a different side of Ace Spade, formerly unseen. While last week, his anger got the best of him, this week, he attempts to make amends with Bobby and Crystal. With Jack growing more distant and a bit colder, Ace seems to express his true desire is to be loved.
Heels, at its core, is a show about broken people coming together to try and create something beautiful. The MVP of episode six is former NFL linebacker James Harrison as Apocalypse. Viewers are treated to the softer side of the hulking individual as he leads some sort of group therapy session. While Jack, Ace, Wild Bill, and damn near everyone else on this show consistently lose their battles on a daily basis, Apocalypse silently serves as the epitome of hope by facing his demons head-on and guiding others to do the same. And, at the end of the day, professional wrestling is storytelling, and storytelling at its finest provides hope. Unfortunately, sometimes the wrestlers providing that hope may simultaneously be losing their own.
Heels airs every Sunday on Starz!
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