Characters are growing, being tested, and testing themselves.
Things are changing in the DWL, and it’s impossible not to feel the excitement creeping back into everyone. They might have hit a rough patch, but they’re moving through it and taking things to the next level.
There were three significant developments on Heels Season 2 Episode 4, and that’s where we’ll focus our time in this review.
First, let’s talk about Crystal and the Women’s Division.
She’s done a lot of work getting herself into ring shape, but when she had to face off against a woman, the gloves came off, and she had to fight harder than she ever had to with the guys.
Tanya, aka El Dorado, has seen it all. She’s been on the circuit for a long time, living on the road and taking each fight as they come available. Without an actual women’s division, she was effectively freelance.
She doesn’t have insurance, her body is battered and bruised, and she doesn’t even have a place to call home.
For the first time, Crystal understands what it takes to make it in this business, and she also realizes how valuable the advice Willie has been giving her really is and why she has to take her licks and earn a top spot.
Willie never got her chance, and it still eats away at her. She’s struggling more than ever. If she can do anything to help make a difference in Crystal’s career, she wants to do it.
Crystal can be her own worst enemy, but she’s also learning how to show herself and those around her grace, and it will take her very far.
She’s growing closer to Bobby every day, and any residual feelings she might have had for Ace have taken flight.
Ace, meanwhile, has gotten reacquainted with his family, and spending time with Thomas put the wind back in his sails for wrestling. He learned a lot about himself on the road, and reconnecting with Thomas was the final piece of the puzzle to make him whole again.
Jack needed his brother for support and to use his considerable talents in the ring to command the audience again.
What happened during Heels Season 1 put Ace in a bad place personally and with the audience. They still loved him, but he also recognized how they can turn on you on a dime.
Reenergized, Ace came up with a plan to take the audience by storm. To carry it out, he needed Crystal’s help.
Ace’s path to redemption has been swift and pure of heart. How he hurt Crystal couldn’t go unrecognized, and he used his plan as an excuse to get back into her good graces.
It was a way for them to bond and forge a new relationship based on friendship.
The scene was filmed to show how close they are to each other, and it was incredibly effective, all the more so since Crystal has given her heart to Bobby.
She’s found peace and happiness, so she can open her heart again and allow Ace a place in her world. Knowing they can lean on each other like that is priceless.
The only problem with Ace’s plan was that, once again, it meant throwing a wrench in what Jack and Charlie Gully worked on together.
With Gully still reeling from the negative attention he’s getting on social media and the chip on Rooster’s shoulder for how Jack treated him previously, Ace’s stunt could go very wrong.
But Gully knows that audience reaction is everything, and it’s more likely than not he’ll be intrigued and want to see more of what Ace has to offer as The Condamned.
He was once Ace’s biggest fan, and as a passionate cross-promoter, whatever gets Gully and the Florida Wrestling League attention, he’ll appreciate.
And dang it, when Ace swooped in all dressed in black, it was the real deal. You could feel the electricity in the air as the mystery unfolded. People love that stuff, and Ace has a knack for it.
Since he’s playing a character, there’s a chance he won’t get caught up in the celebrity of it all. As himself, he let it go to his head. There’s always a chance it could happen again, but with what he’s learned of late, you have to hope he’s on top of it.
My favorite storyline comes from Wild Bill Hancock as the realization that he has nothing to show for his life slaps him square in the face.
When I spoke with the incredible Chris Bauer, we chatted about this at length. Bauer does an incredible job conveying the simmering fear Bill feels when he and Diego meet with their old friends Alvin and Jimmy John.
Bill is a very good guy, and it was fear that he might never find the happiness Alvin and Jimmy John found that caused him to be such an ass in their presence.
Bill: So, Alvin, what you’re tellin’ me is that when your knees started hurt, you turned into a giant pussy who likes dogs and froyo. Or do I have that incorrect somehow?
Alvin: Is this a bit, Sporto?
Bill: Honest question.
Alvin: ‘Cause if you want to do a bit-
Bill: I want an answer.
Alvin: I’m a happy man, Sporto. Most of our generation are crippled, broken, or dead. One way or another, we were all addicted — the crowd, the adrenaline, to stand in the center of that ring. So when I see you still clawing away on that same damn hill, I understand, and I cheer for you, but I don’t wish I was you.
I ached for them, though, as Bill’s attitude took them by surprise. They expected a nice reunion with old friends and were raked over the coal instead. It was embarrassing.
That embarrassment increased when Jimmy John, being egged on by Bill, rose above and walked away without giving Bill the satisfaction of a fight.
Growing old is hell even in the best of circumstances, but Bill is in a physically demanding sport that comes with all kinds of goodies like boozing and one-night stands.
He’s put his life aside to pursue his passion for wrestling at the expense of everything else in his life.
It’s always seemed that Willie Day was the one that got away, and when he couldn’t have her, he flushed any chance at that kind of happiness down the toilet.
These three stories alone set up some very interesting avenues for the show going forward.
Which story was your favorite? Was it the dawn of the Women’s Division, The Condamned’s arrival, or Bill’s sad realization of all he’s missed in life?
Share your thoughts in the comments below!
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.