The time has finally come on Heels for the anticipated cross-promotion between Jack Spade’s Duffy Wrestling League and Charlie Gully’s Florida Wrestling Dystopia, and this season finale does not disappoint. So the question is: will Jack lay down for Gully to avoid the impending lawsuit that’s loomed over his head, or does he decide to go off-script?
We’ll find out as we see Jack practicing a shooting star press (badly) in a foam pit, and Tom Spade is right there to admonish him. This is a flashback where the elder Spade tells Jack he needs to accept his limitations and focus on what makes him a solid wrestler, not like a Rey Mysterio-type. But you can see that eats away at Jack as he wants to be more than his father and step outside his shadow.
Meanwhile, as we learned from the penultimate episode, Staci Spade learns that the DWL is on shaky ground financially. It has her getting a lawyer friend to give her legal advice, which means any incriminating evidence has to be moved out of The Dome. Then when she asks Willie what other things she needs to be aware of over the years, she opens the gate outside The Dome to show Staci the other side of how the DWL operates…as a farmland of sorts. Willie goes into detail about how she and Tom cooked up a scheme on what they had to do to funnel government subsidies as they operated with a “loss” in crops sold, among other things.
(Author’s Legal Note: Now this does sound like a pretty good idea but when I ran it by my lawyer, he advised me that should any legal expert see this show and deduce what I was doing, I would be in a heap of trouble for fraud, among other things. Also, should said government officials read this please note in my defense that, “We’re just performance artists, Your Honor.”)
Elsewhere, the CEO Jen Luisser (Emmy Raver-Lampman) and Brooks Rizzo (Josh Segarra) plan to get both promotions under the Continuum roof, but won’t bring it up until after they sign the contracts. That leads to Gully being all sorts of busy in Duffy, GA. Not only is he trying to schmooze Willie to have her and Crystal come over to the Skeezy Side of The FWD™ with a substantial advancement for both people, but he and Jack sign legal documents to agree to what will take place at the Harmegeddon PPV cross-promotion. Gully reminds/threatens Jack that he holds the cards if it doesn’t go to plan with his FWD going over he will bulldoze the DWL if he pulls a fast one on him. Considering how Gully did not appreciate how Jack told him off, he has made it clear last episode that he will back up “an oil tanker full of f*** you” to put the Spade brother in his place.
Which is as good a space as any to bring up the…
(Author’s Shameless Plug™: Myself and Utah TV Critic Bill Frost do The Only TV Podcast That Matters™, TV TAN PODCAST, and our latest episode has that snippet of dialogue from last week’s episode if you wanna click on it right here.
Also, it goes without saying our podcast is NSFW. That means “Not Safe For Work”; not “New Source For Whiskey.”
Now back to your regularly scheduled recap.)
Ace is still working at the hospice and encounters one of the patients dying on him during his shift. As he comes back home to his mom, Carol, he tells her how helpless he felt at that moment, and it makes him wish he could have done more, especially when it came to his Dad committing suicide. Carol then delivers this beautiful line:
“Loving someone is surprising in ways you don’t expect when you first fall in love. The longer you live with someone, their disappointments become yours; their sadness, their pain. And that’s what love should be. A harbor. A shelter. When you discover that loving people can’t make them happy anymore, you feel useless where you used to feel useful. Feeling called to something is a good thing, Ace. Just consider what that calling is tied to. Because sometimes the thing that we are called to breaks our hearts, even when it starts from love.”
Then it’s showtime at The Dome, and as Ace and Jack are finally mending things and Jack apologizing for what he put his brother through, Ace shows some maturity and lets it all go, because he knows they are doing business, nothing more. That brings in “Wild” Bill Hancock who is in a very reflective moment, and then lays it out for Jack in the second-best line from this episode:
“Tonight we have a chance to be great. How we booked it; not a shoot. Whatever comes from tonight…nothin’ we can do about it. It’s written in the stars. You just play it beat by beat. How you booked it, as good as you are, you could not have scripted what got us here. But tonight you have. It’s enough to have just one big night go the way you booked. Then you’re truly a professional. So just go wrestle.”
Then we kick off the show as Crystal ts off against Elle Dorado (AJ Mendez) in a new white bodysuit as she absorbs the fans’ boos after “defecting” to FWD, and they both put on a fantastic match that sees Crystal win with an avalanche Spanish Fly from the top rope. After the match, she cuts a heel promo and proclaims herself the “Goddess of Hostility.” As for the rest of the card, everything goes according to plan between the two rosters. which leads to the Main Event with Gully and Rooster coming down the ring calling out The Condamned, and he makes an appearance after the lights shut down and come back up, a la The Undertaker. Gully then gets the FWD roster to stomp him and tie him up. He gives the bat to Rooster to crack him on the head, only to be held back by Crystal to both walk away from Gully (even though Crystal told Willie she would not leave the DWL prior to the show).
But that ain’t the end as Jack rushes in and chases off the FWD, only to swerve the crowd and tell them he’s made an alliance with FWD and he will burn down the DWL to the ground. Once again the rosters spill out in a huge fight that goes to the back as The Condamned/Ace and Jack get into the Last Standing Match (which Staci helpfully explains to Jen, who finally made the trip to Duffy, GA to see the carnage), and he lights him up with chair shots, and both brothers tear down the house, figuratively and literally. They pull all the stops, including Jack hitting an elbow drop from the entrance onto Ace on a table below. As they send it home, Jack gets a wild idea as he feeds off the roar of the crowd. He climbs the ropes and does a shooting star press, the same move his dad did not want him to do all those years ago, and now Gully and everyone in the back is wishing he would not go through the high-risk maneuver.
He sticks the landing, and Ace says they did it as they lay there for the count…but Jack is hurt. He tells Ace to get up, and Gully is furious as this is being undone. As The Condamned has risen to the fans’ delight, Gully is seething and this is not looking good. Add to that, Staci realizes something is truly wrong as she goes to Jack, and he says, “I can’t feel my legs.”
And the show goes to credits.
Overall this season of Heels has shown marked improvement from the first and really fleshed out some more development. The script has been fantastic in the hands of Mike O’Malley, even when he chews the scenery in his Charlie Gully character. There is a lot of good in this show, especially when the lines are delivered by veteran actors like Chris Bauer and Mary McCormack or when the action in the squared circle has pros like Luke Hawx, CM Punk, and AJ Mendez. Of course, this show goes back to the brothers Spade and Stephen Amell and Alexander Ludwig bring it home, even though more issues loom on the horizon storywise.
But that is a subject for another day. Until the SAG-AFTRA/Writers Guild strike in Hollywood comes to an end and we find out when Heels gets a third season on STARZ, either subscribe to see what you missed or go back to the Slam! Wrestling archives to catch up.