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Heels on Starz, Episode 6: ‘House Show,’ reviewed

heels episode 6

Six episodes (and six buzzword titles) in and the momentum continues for Heels. House Show featured exactly zero in-ring action, but of course this isn’t why we watch. We love the people in Duffy who, as we’ve been so masterfully shown in this season, all know each other and are all very different in a myriad of ways. However, what connects everyone is the squared circle, and that is where some of the biggest plot points have occurred; on the mat.

‘King’ Tom Spade, the former head honcho of the DWL, cries in the opening scene. With the promotion losing money, Willie (who we later learn was his valet, and I say this purely in the context of how valet-wrestler relationships are portrayed in this show) tries to comfort the seemingly inconsolable Tom. This is especially tough knowing Tom’s fate.

The DWL dome is a hall for hire. With Apocalypse hosting an AA meeting there, and it later being used for a jewelry fair, it’s unclear as to whether this has always been a business practice of the Spades’, or if it has only begun recently. Either way, it lets us know that the DWL needs all the help it can get.

Rooster, who in his frustration with his spot on the card (he’s like DWL’s Brian Cage), meets with rival promoter Charlie Gully of the outlaw FWD (Florida Wrestling Dystopia) at a diner and Gully wants Rooster. Over coffee and a diet Coke with lemon, they briefly discuss it before Gully leaves in a rush and drops $1000 on the table. This insults Rooster who follows Gully outside as a car pulls up to get Gully. A random dude walks up and picks up the cash that Rooster previously threw on the ground. This was some Sopranos shit and I loved it. The outlaw rival promoter having a crony is a great wrinkle. Rooster later calls Gully to accept when Jack still fails to give Rooster the time of day despite being pulled in all different directions.

After Wild Bill goes into business for himself challenging Jack & Ace to a triangle ladder match for the DWL title, Jack begrudgingly wants to do it in order to not hype a match that’ll never happen, but Willie wants him to walk it back as she too hates Bill. We the viewers also hate Bill, but he absolutely would’ve brought the house down for anyone watching with his joke about the character Mick Foley cameos as, Dick Valentino. You can figure it out. After Bill pesters Jack about the match Jack appears on Valentino’s podcast, he storms out when Dick persistently brings up the subject of Tom’s suicide.

On the topic of Bill, he later apologizes to Willie in one of the most well-written scenes so far. “I guess piling up new words on top of old words can’t make the old words unsaid, even if the new word is sorry.” Just a fantastic string of words by Michael Waldron.

After a deep and meaningful conversation with the guys in the Dome’s gym, we see Ace watching home videos of himself playing quarterback in some backyard flag football, and he threw a mean deep ball as a youngster. Tom, cigar-in-mouth, predicted Ace reaching such heights as the Georgia Bulldogs and the NFL. Ace goes downstairs to find his mother, Carol, bagging up Tom’s belongings to donate. At the end of the episode we see Ace bring some of the bags into his room to keep, not wanting to let go of what’s left of his father.

Big Jim and Melanie Kitchen’s newborn Shelby was christened in this episode, and everyone was there. After Staci performed a song with her guitar, Ace, as Shelby’s godfather, did a speech and he was nervous going in but he found it as he was doing it and it wasn’t dissimilar to his deep thinking out loud he’d done while drunk. Jack was late to the service after he had to do the podcast and there was a car wreck taking up the whole road. This was a major point of contention between he and Staci at the after-party and a tipping point for Staci’s emotional and non-hostile confrontation with Jack at the end of the episode. Staci wants her voice to be heard and she wants Jack to be present, and not always on his phone dealing with the DWL.

One of the best overall sequences in the run to date was the after-party/BBQ after the christening. We get the awkward Jack-Staci tension. There’s a nice scene where Bobby (with his leg in a cast) says Crystal is too talented to be a valet. After Bobby fails to load his plate and balance his crutches, we get Ace awkwardly apologizing to Bobby for injuring him while he drowns Bobby’s food in ranch dressing, then the awkwardness mounting when Crystal walks up (I popped for this). However, Bobby breaks the tension declaring his love of ranch. There were just a lot of different interactions here and it made for some great, while minor character development.

This episode wasn’t as good as the previous but that in no way means I’m less into the show. I’m hooked. It’s going to be in my top five favorite shows of 2021 for sure. Michael Walrdon is literally writing the upcoming Doctor Strange sequel and he’s also given us this gift of a show. Tell your friends about it.

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