‘Heels’ S1, Ep. 7 – ‘The Big Bad Fish Man’ Review
After a week-long hiatus, Starz’s latest hit drama series Heels is back. Episode seven immediately drops an emotionally-driven flashback involving Jack and his late father Tom. The anger and desperation Jack has displayed in the last 6 hours of television are beginning to unravel themselves as a longing to make right on promises left unfulfilled to this dad. However, this conversation is extremely notable to the narrative. This conversation between father and son takes a turn and gets physical fast after disagreements about the future of the DWL, notably the inclusion of Ace. At this time, Ace is a young high school football player beginning to take interest in the family business. Unfortunately, while Jack encourages his participation, Tom wants him nowhere near it.
Before diving into the rest of the development episode seven dishes out, it’s helpful to remember professional wrestling’s history as a family business. Vince McMahon, the founder of the WWE is the son of a longtime wrestling promoter Vince McMahon Sr. Additionally, names like Bret Hart, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt, and Dwayne Johnson found their love for the sport through their fathers’ success in it.
However, these names found their own great success through the support of their fathers, others like Charlotte Flair have found success in wrestling while not growing up glorifying it. In fact, Charlotte was met with the ugliness of professional wrestling due to her father, Ric Flair’s infamous party-loving tales, and absentee-father tendencies. Instead, the death of her wrestling-loving younger brother Reid inspired her to live his dream for him. One has to imagine, due to Amell’s love and respect for the business, a story similar is playing out with Ace’s involvement in the DWL following the loss of his dad.
Elsewhere, the pressure is on as the DWL’s performance at the Georgia State Fair looms. Additionally, Mike O’Malley’s Charlie Gully and his rival promotion, the FWD, are on the attack. The team discovers a plastering of FWD posters for an upcoming event all over the DWL. However, this week’s biggest drama is the preparation for the big Triple Threat Ladder Match between Ace, Jack, and Wild Bill. With Jack’s agreement to drop the belt (lose the championship) to either one of them, they both stake their claim. Unfortunately, the conversation does not go the way Ace would prefer and he makes a rash decision himself. In typical Ace fashion, he heads right for the mansion home of FWD owner Charlie Gully, looking to retaliate.
However, Gully is in his element. Ace finds himself in the middle of a huge mansion. In the middle of a party with beautiful women and a lot of booze. Ace is suddenly in the palm of Gully’s hand. This is not a totally unique notion and the history of wrestling sets the precedent. Hulk Hogan left the WWE in the early 90s and led the charge against them while making a ton of money in the WCW. On the flipside, WWE bought the WCW in 2001 and turned some of their guys into big stars.
Wrestlers need to be aware of greener pastures and what other companies can do for them when their current team is lacking. Recently, one of the greatest wrestlers alive today, Bryan Danielson, who recently performed in the main event of WWE’s WrestleMania, is now the latest acquisition by the AEW. The long-term future of Ace Spade is the most intriguing storyline of season one of Heels so far. Why? Because it feels familiar. It feels relevant.
Finally, as stated in previous reviews for the series, Kelli Berglund’s Crystal Tyler is the undisputed standout of Heels. Her character is beginning to discover her own independence and her own strength in real-time. She is an allegory for the way women have been treated in the wrestling industry. And her endgame could be to be the catalyst for change in the DWL. Moreover, she is crushing it from every angle. Her raw emotion shines and her physical capabilities when doing her own stunts in the ring are immaculate. Additionally, Crystal emerges as the hero of the episode when she reveals Ace’s plan to leave the DWL for the FWD moments after finding out. 2021 continues to churn out quality content on television and Heels will undoubtedly be a frontrunner in all the drama categories during next years’ awards season.
Heels airs every Sunday on Starz!
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