Heels Season 1 Episode 3 Review: Cheap Heat

at .

Is Ace ready to go full heel?

Hardly. And on Heels Season 1 Episode 3, he and Jack fight bitterly about it.

Jack still wants to generate heat and enthrall the crowd, but his focus on the story might be detrimental to his relationships outside the ring.

Alison Gets a Rare Night Out with Friends - Heels Season 1 Episode 3

Before we get to that story, there are a few other matters to discuss.

Alison has been keeping her college friends in the dark about her family, but they embraced wrestling and her hot husband as the bad guy with vigor.

It was like a weight off of her shoulders.

As soon as she saw them enjoying themselves and really getting into it, she loosened up significantly. After all that she does, she deserved the night, and I hope more of them will come for her as the season progresses.

Alison's Friends are Impressed with the Duffy Dome - Heels Season 1 Episode 3

Even though Ace's last bout in the ring was relatively traumatic, Jack was building on that momentum and hoping to capture the audience with a showman named Ricky Rabies.

Jack was hedging his bets to show that he's got a lot more up his sleeve to entertain them even if Ace leaves.

Ace was on the card, but he was fighting Bobby Pin, who is just enjoying himself and trying to fit in. His excitement is catching. Who doesn't love a guy who calls his parents to brag about being on the ticket or fails miserably at pranks?

Well, that might be Rooster. Rooster thought he should be fighting Ace, and he was trying to catch Jack to talk about it again. It took a couple of false starts, but when they did talk, it made sense.

Rooster Finally Gets Time with Jack - Heels Season 1 Episode 3

Sure, Jack picked Bobby, but that's because he's so malleable.

With his personality, Rooster isn't someone who can be used and manipulated for someone else's story. If there is stardom in his future, they need to write it well. It seemed to satisfy him, and it did me.

Now, let's dissect the Spade family dynamic.

Getting the full scope of Tom Spade's death adds another layer of tragedy to the Spade family's story.

Tom Spade on a Run - Heels Season 1 Episode 3

We learned on Heels Season 1 Episode 1 that Ace was walking in his daddy's footsteps as a face in the ring and a heel out of it. He's got so much of himself wrapped up in his image of his father.

It was rubbing Jack the wrong way, and while Tom has been on Jack's mind since he's getting the full flavor of running the league, how he tried to enlighten Ace about the pitfalls of being like Tom, it didn't land well.

Suicide is impossible to understand. If someone is sick and losing their faculties, it's not too hard to put yourself into their place with the struggle it must take to choose death for all of the reasons that make us human.

But with Tom Spade, it wasn't easy to understand at all.

His story in the ring was all smiles, cheers, heroism. But, out of it, he was cruel.

Jack Berates the Audience - Heels Season 1 Episode 3

We don't have much knowledge of Tom as a husband and father.

We know that Jack tries very hard to be good at both, but it seems more likely he's trying not to be his dad than emulating him.

Ace's image of his father is more the hero. He wants to follow in his footsteps, being the face that the crowd adores. Jack saw his father for what he was, and it's hard for him to justify his dueling personalities in and out of the ring.

By pressuring Ace to be a heel, Jack might be hoping he can sway Ace's behavior outside of the ring. As we've seen, he needs the help.

But Jack's method reminds me of what people say about alcoholics. You can't stop drinking until you're doing it for yourself. Trying to stop for others never succeeds.

Ace Takes a Breather - Heels Season 1 Episode 3

At first, Ace was hoping he could win over the crowd again with an amazing speech. Crystal had her doubts about his practiced words, but Jack wouldn't change it.

He and Ace had a good talk. Jack tried to understand why Ace wanted to leave the Duffy Dome where he could be a big fish in a little sea to jump to the big leagues where he could become a little fish in a large sea.

Jack was sure that Ace could pull it around, and it would be good for the story. Willie disagreed, but Jack's laser focus can be detrimental.

Whatever his thought process was, Jack finally realized how wrong he was when Ace couldn't turn it around, and as the audience booed him and threw trash at him, he mentally collapsed and left the ring.

Ace Storms Off Again - Heels Season 1 Episode 3

Jack had to feel like he saw Ace implode before his eyes, so he dropped that bomb about their father at the worst time possible. It was out of desperation as their argument intensified. It was a door-slammer on their conversation.

Ace: Of course you're OK with people hatin' you, Jack. It fuckin' comes naturally.
Jack: Listen to me, you shit. You're fuckin' amateur hour out there cuz you don't understand the difference between cheerin' and booin' and generatin' heat! Generatin' heat is your fuckin' job! You'd make a really good heel, Ace.
Ace: Get your fuckin' hands off me!
Jack: What is wrong with bein' a heel?!
Ace: You're the fuckin' heel! I'm the fuckin' face! Dad was a face! Get that through your fuckin' head.
Jack: Dad was a face. Tom Spade was a face. Yeah, cuz he was a good guy. He was a real good guy. [pause] He knew that you were home.

Tom's suicide didn't seem planned.

Then again, he could have seemed so casual because he saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Everything seemed so normal that even grabbing the gun didn't seem abnormal.

He didn't hesitate for a second. It's mystifying.

But one thing wasn't. Tom knew that his son was in the house. Jack delivered a blow to Ace that rocked his world as he knew it. It's unfathomable to think that your father was so callous as to leave that heavy bag right at your feet.

But, in a way, Jack's words achieved his goal. He wanted Ace to be a heel.

Bobby Pin in Ace's Headlock - Heels Season 1 Episode 3

Ace and Bobby put on one hell of a show, cementing Ace as a heel. Everyone was thrilled with it, except for Ace.

Ace: [to Crystal] Get the fuck off me. I'm not your fuckin' boyfriend. How clear can I be? Jesus fuckin' christ.
Jack: Hey! Whoa, whoa, whoa!
Ace: What, Jack? What's the problem? Oh, you got somethin' to say, too, Willie? Go ahead, bitch!
Jack: Hey! What the FUCK are you doin'?! [walks a way] [whispering] Hey. At what point do you think it's going to be OK to call Willie a bitch? What's wrong with you?
Ace: That's what you wanted, right? [crying] I'm a heel now.

Maybe it's just the culmination of everything that he soaked in recently, but how he treated Willie and Crystal was terrible, especially Crystal.

She's been there for him, cheering him on to be his best, whatever that may be.

She sees his potential as a heel because she understands the sport. Ace was more wrapped up in how the sport made him feel than understanding the power of the heel.

I hope that he figures it out soon enough. He might get a hand on the bigger picture now that Wild Bill is back in town.

Wild Bill Hancok at Willie's House - Heels Season 1 Episode 3

He tried so hard to get Ace to join him in the big leagues, but he's been miserable, drinking himself into a state to survive.

You could tell he felt devalued and craved attention again. Getting old is a bitch, and it must be so much worse when you've outlived your worth to the crowd.

I can say that the one thing I never saw coming was Chris Bauer butt naked and flapping in the breeze. That guy is always a star, but he's going the extra mile to be as audacious as he can with Wild Bill.

Of course, as his world crashed around him, he went to Willie.

Willie Counts Cash - Heels Season 1 Episode 3

Willie can be tough on Crystal, but she's lived the life. And when she says she thinks Crystal is too good for it, it's a compliment. The last thing Crystal needs is to wind up like Ricky's valet.

Getting to know who Wild Bill and Willie were through the present offers a lot to Heels.

Bauer and Mary McCormack are standouts in everything they do. They're very similar in their styles, a bit pessimistic with a crackling wit that hides an enormous heart.

There is so much emotion already in this show. Can we even handle more? Well, we're damned well going to try.

Cheap Heat Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
  • 4.5 / 5.0
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
User Rating:

Rating: 4.4 / 5.0 (10 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

Show Comments
Tags: ,

Heels Season 1 Episode 3 Quotes

Ace: Hey. What's it mean when your boots are unscuffed again?
Jack: It means they're a bad partner in the ring. Don't be.

Hey, grateful to have you. You were a big draw when we were kids.