Very quickly approaching the end of season two, with two episodes left after this week’s, Heels continues to find the right balance between in-ring exploits and backstage intrigue — this time exploring the past between Tom, Bill, and Willie in relation to Jack’s efforts to bring some of the big-time into little Duffy, Georgia.

The work that Jack and Gully have done, begrudgingly, between Dystopia and the DWL is spreading and getting a lot of attention, most especially on Crystal and her kayfabe betrayal of Jack. Ace, meanwhile, is in full introspective mode in conversation with his mom Carol. He wants time to think and reflect – not just train, practice, play, and recover, but his mom cautions him against going too deep into himself, which she knows all too well can hurt her son like it did her husband.

The episode uses a cool transition to go from the present-day DWL office to the 90s, where Bill, Willie, and Tom excited about the prospect of working with Ted Turner and Eric Bischoff as WCW has taken an interest in their potential. Note to Hollywood: they use different actors to play those younger versions and it works just fine! There, you can stop trying to de-age people and giving us wax museum versions of Indiana Jones, for one.

Back in the now, Jack is prepping for a meeting with Brooks Rizzo, who you may remember is interested in the DWL (and Dystopia, for that matter) as streaming property. Willie wants in on the meeting, but Bill says it’s Jack’s show to run. Willie isn’t so sure, saying “Here we go again,” so we know something happened with Tom and the chance for WCW all those years ago.

Back in the 90s, Tom is at CNN for a meeting with Turner while Willie and Bill are waiting outside. Ted is making Tom wait, giving time for Willie and Bill to guess how the meeting is going, or whether Tom is making a play for himself and cutting them out. Finally, Turner’s assistant tells Tom they have to reschedule.

Now it’s Jack’s turn. with Ace in full character gear and Staci in the meeting, he tries to impress all that he loves about Duffy and the DWL to Rizzo. Meanwhile, Bill addresses the roster, recognizing the attention that they’re getting but warning the crew not to feel entitled. As he puts it, hard work paying off is one of the biggest lies in life. He also suggests that wrestling as a storytelling device is about to expire, like Elizabethan drama, so it’s up to them to give it everything to help it out go out with a blast and not a fizzle. Fascinating idea, that.

Across the way at Dystopia, Rooster is cutting on Ace’s character, The Condamned. Gully, who is giving advice to Rooster on the promo that ruffles the moody star’s feathers, finds out that Crystal is getting eyeballs online and calls Willie, asking them both to defect to his promotion. Willie is clearly tempted, and suggests to Crystal it’s at least worth having as an option.

Back in the the 90s again — it’s been six months and Tom is finally getting his meeting with Turner. He knows now, though, that Ted only wants him, not Bill, not Willie. He lets Willie know, but asks her not to tell Bill yet. Once again, though, Tom is left sitting in the lobby as the day winds down, and once again, he gets notice of a reschedule. This time, Tom mouths off and leaves. He arrives back in Duffy to tell the others that he stepped away from the deal, and they’ll try Vince next. Bill thinks it was stupid, and his day gets even worse when he hears from the other two that Willie is switching to be Tom’s valet.

In the present, Bill is letting the echoes of the past bring him to philosophy, telling Willie that when she chose Tom it meant she thought he was the rising star, not Bill, and he’s held that against her all these years. He wants to find peace to the whole affair, but Willie brushes him off and says she doesn’t need it.

Back to the past we go, but not as far – Carol and Tom, alone in the house with the boys gone, discuss the prospects of the DWL which is weighing heavily on Tom. Carol lets him know he has to turn the bad times into good or it’s time to go. Tom visits Bill on a movie set (with some funny scenes of Bill playing an angel in a sort of Hallmark/Christian production), and they go for a beer. They chit-chat, until Bill drops the facade and says they’re not friends, and the $467,000 in loans he’s paid to Tom over the years is proof. Tom gets the money he needs, and leaves a message for Carol lying about where he got it.

Bill shows up for work the next day and the guard gives him a script that Tom dropped off, having written notes into the dialogue. Bill, who had acknowledged that Tom is a genius, performs the new dialogue in a take to great response.

And now we tie up all the timelines together. With Jack telling the roster that the meeting went well, we venture back a bit to see Bill arrive in his trailer to a call from Carol letting him know that Tom shot himself. Shocked, Bill listens as she chastises him for never helping Tom when he needed it, because Tom never told her about all the times he did. Bill doesn’t argue, he just listens in shock to close out an expertly-drafted episode.

Again, two more episodes left: and has you covered for the reviews!