Why aren’t people watching this show?
Heels Season 2 Episode 2 is chock full of so many interesting character dynamics and life lessons; on top of that, it makes you feel good.
These aren’t flawless people; they’re deeply flawed and working hard as hell to be better people.
Let’s start with the Ace size hole in the DWL.
Oh, Jesus. The minute we get some momentum. These fuckin’ brothers, man. Now Ace quit? Rooster defected. Poc’s gone AWAL, Bobby’s leg’s broken. Just fuckin’ great.
I’ve got a couple of observations off the top of my head that are neither here nor there storywise, but I’ve got the space, so I’m going to share.
The first thing that comes to mind is that the past is always present in entertainment these days. Whether it’s muscle cars or classic rock, they’re so prevalent, which makes an old geezer like me feel warm and fuzzy.
On Heels Season 2 Episode 1, Ace left town with Boston blaring, and the follow-up is The Rolling Stones. Great music never dies, and dang it, it just warms my heart.
What I do not appreciate, though, is how terribly driving is portrayed on TV and in the movies. Ace checks his voicemail and reads pamphlets instead of looking at the road. That is so aggravating!
Have you ever tried looking away from the road for as long as an actor does? At a high rate of speed, I can barely look at the radio, let alone pick up reading material. It sets a terrible example for those unfortunate enough not to understand the difference between reel life and real life.
Frankly, Ace would probably be one such person.
Have you ever seen anybody so woefully unprepared for, well, everything? Heels has given us the impression that Tom coddled his youngest son, and nowhere was that more apparent than on this spur-of-the-moment road trip.
With no plan in mind, he just took to the road — with his Xbox! That’s so childish that it would be cute if he weren’t so self-centered.
Part of what got him in this mess with Jack was how a little fame went to his head. He couldn’t have been brought up to treat people like dirt, but he did it anyway. That comes from the aforementioned coddling and lack of consequences for his actions.
Who takes their Xbox on the road but doesn’t consider their need for cold hard cash? He couldn’t order an actual meal for lack of funds, and instead of accepting someone’s offer of kindness, he figuratively slammed the guy’s face into his plate for it.
Ace: Hey, here. I don’t know why I did that.
Man: I do. Ya feel the world owes it to you. So, you keep it.
What that kind stranger said was spot on — Ace thinks the world owes him a living.
That attitude might get wiped off the map with this road trip. He refuses to believe anyone knows better than he does, which has put him in grave danger.
Before he fell over the side of a cliff deep in the forest, Ace tossed around his arrogance and ignorance with another kindhearted soul at the camping supply store.
I’ve seen the episode twice and still rewind to watch that guy’s incredulous reaction to Ace’s questions about raincoats.
Employee: Hey, I just want to make sure you know what you’re doin’ up there. I mean, you’re askin’ me about the efficacy of a raincoat.
Ace: This, this particular raincoat.
Employee: Raincoats always work, man. That’s why they’re raincoats.
Ace: Do you sell tents?
Employee: [rubs his eyebrows] Oh my God.
His delivery was perfect, and I don’t know who he is, but I’d love to see him pop up in something else. Someone with a small part cannot often make such a significant impact.
That interaction made me laugh when later Ace, who was so sure he would be right as rain in his broken-in tennis shoes on rough terrain, slipped on those silly shoes and over the edge of a cliff. He deserved that!
Alexander Ludwig is a star on this show, and he’s not going anywhere. How his predicament is resolved remains to be seen, but he got a good comeuppance for now. The question is whether or not he’ll take what happened to heart and mend his ways.
He’s so sure that he has all the answers and taking advice is above him. Surely, this will change that to some degree.
What we do know is that Ace shares that trait with his brother, and I’d venture to guess they both share it with dear old Dad.
Like Ace, Jack Spade likes to think he’s got it all figured out. What’s weird about that is, at the same time that he’s giving that impression to the world, he seems to know better. He needs his wife and brother’s support to walk through this world.
Tom Spade did a number on his sons, and trying to clear away the muck in the wake of his death is their journey.
You know it will come to pass when Jack takes responsibility for the sh!tshow that was the state fair fight (regardless of how well it turned out) by apologizing to his team and thanking them sincerely.
But as soon as he does the right thing by adding Crystal to the DWL roster, he turns around and pulls the curtain on her excitement by nullifying the results and stripping her of the belt.
One thing you can say about Jack is that with each mistake he makes, he learns something. It may not always be what the other party wants him to learn, but there is something.
Wild Bill knew how much the belt meant to Crystal, but he also knew how much Crystal could mean to the DWL. He’s got volumes of experience (and notes for stories) that he wants to share with Jack to bring the DWL to the next level.
Sharing his notes is a great show of confidence in Jack, who hasn’t been at the helm of the DWL for very long. Bill has seen a lot, and he knows opportunity when it arises.
While they didn’t come out and say that they worked on the fight that Jack threw to Crystal, Bill and Jack’s discussion after the match gives credence to the idea.
Bill was right — it takes a big man to be willing to be bested by a tiny woman for the betterment of the group. Ace is gone, and nobody knows how long before he returns. Crystal won hearts as his valet and with her guts at the state fair. Taking advantage of that momentum is a very good call.
As Debbie said, Crystal Mania has arrived!
Like everyone else in the episode, Crystal had to let go of believing she was right, too. She did it with Willie’s help. Willie has been in her shoes with the same aspirations. She never got her chance and didn’t want to see a talent like Crystal squander hers.
I had no idea that Willie was considering leaving the DWL. It’s been so long since Heels Season 1 that if that came up, it was already forgotten.
Could Jack run the DWL without Willie’s help? I hope we don’t have to find out. Mary McCormack’s ability to weave a cuss-filled yarn is without equal, which makes Willie a hoot to watch.
I can say that she’s got a lot going on, and she will find herself at a fork in the road as the season continues. There will be many forks and choices, some right and some wrong, so keep your fingers crossed that all roads lead her back to the DWL.
The other person Jack needs in his life desperately is his wife. Staci’s resolve to stay away from her husband is cracking, but his actions at the school meeting didn’t settle well with her.
I’ll never understand how or why kids operate, but there seems to be something to what Jack said about bullying and how fights are started.
Staci: Thomas is a sensitive boy who responded in a way we don’t prefer.
Jack: Thomas got told to go fuck himself. That’s bullying. Thomas taught that bully a life lesson about usin’ threats and fightin’ words.
Principal: There’s no such thing as fighting words, Mr. Spade. Fighting words escalate into a school shooting, and you don’t want that, do you?
Jack: Did you just ask me if I wanted this to escalate to a school shootin’?
For one thing, there ARE fighting words. If there weren’t, some words wouldn’t be frowned upon. Philosophically speaking, verbal and physical violence should both be punished, but one often goes unheeded, even while being the provocation to the other.
It’s a terrible battle that kids will likely be navigating forever. There is never a simple answer, and although he didn’t say it well, that’s what Jack was driving at with his less-than-eloquent statements.
All Staci really wanted was for her husband to work with her and not against her to get their son back to school.
Staci: They wanted us to acknowledge that punching was wrong. How could you not read that?
Jack: ‘Cause punchin’ is not always wrong. Listen, are we supposed to live according to principle, or are we just supposed to suck it up?
Staci: We’re supposed to live according to principle and common sense.
Jack: Well, let me know when to use which.
Unfortunately, they are not living together, and their communication is suffering. Had they had the opportunity to discuss in advance what they expected from the conversation and each other during it, things would have gone much more smoothly.
Now, we wait to discover how Ace gets out of his predicament and how Jack will work magic to reunite with his brother.
What’s your guess about how it will unfold?
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.