Lights Out may have eased up on the fighting this week, but there was no shortage of drama and plot advancement.
On "Head Games," Pops refused to continue training because of his fears for Patrick’s demise. He had expressed concern since his son’s first defeat, often holding him back during future fights. It made sense that no parent would want to watch his child be pummeled in such a manner.
However, it felt rather convenient that Pops wanted to drop out at a time when things were good with Theresa and Johnny again. It seemed more like an opportunity to move the story forward and maintain some family problems for Patrick. Still, the result of Pops backing out was a great payoff in the form of new character, Ed Romeo.
The former trainer of “Death Row” Reynolds had plenty of complexities and a conflicted past. Along with a husky voice that employed speeches with the same power as a loud one, Ed garnered a command and presence that could be feared and respected.
Of course, with a new trainer, came new rules and a new routine.First, there was training at night and 360 degree camera spins around Patrick shadow boxing on a snowy roof. It delivered some cool visuals within a typical training monologue. Then, Ed dug deeper and attempted to sever Patrick’s ties with his family.
Ed did offer a perspective from an outside view that illuminated some valid points. Yes, his family loves him, but is that the only reason they want to take part in his boxing exploits? I want to give the benefit of the doubt to the Leary family, but I’m sure other issues and reasons find their way in as time goes by. It’s hard to separate the personal from the business, especially if family is involved. I’m glad Patrick declined Ed’s demands, but there’s certainly going to be tension because of the leadership change.
The episode also took time to delve into Ed’s past and general personality. His passion for the boxing game is an extreme one. He is an efficient and an excellent trainer, but there is an underlying sentiment beneath the powerful exterior.
His resentments towards “Death Row” for firing him has stayed with Ed for years. The fact that he cut himself, with what appeared to be deep looking gashes, illustrated a crazy and perhaps unstable side.
Ed holds an “all or nothing” mentality and a fear of betrayal. To him, boxing is a lot like dating. Hopefully, he doesn’t become violent and dangerous if things don’t go his way or Patrick chooses to let him go in the future. There’s a lot more to Ed that I’m sure will bubble to the surface soon enough.
On the family matters portion, Theresa tried to convince her daughter to focus her life. I’m not sure if it was her regrets for her own path or Theresa was acting like any typical parent with knowledge to spare. Either way, Ava wants to be her own person. Sounds like a typical teenager.
Slow but interesting, “Head Games” kept things going with success. The family struggles were ever present and Ed Romeo added to some serious drama. Will Patrick be better prepared with his guidance? Should he fight Reynolds instead of a few smaller fights? Is Patrick too old to try?
The road has a lot more bumps ahead, but Patrick isn’t one to quit. He has the heart of a champion.
Sean McKenna is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.