Heels Season 1, Episode 2 recap: Dusty Finish

Heels Season 1, Episode 2 - Courtesy of Quantrell Colbert/Starz
Heels Season 1, Episode 2 - Courtesy of Quantrell Colbert/Starz /

In the aftermath of Jack humiliating his brother in the ring during the climax of the Heels Season 1 premiere, it doesn’t surprise me that Heels Season 1, Episode 2, “Dusty Finish,” begins with frustrations mounting at the DWL and everyone affiliated.

Ace takes out said frustration by having sex with Crystal while Jack’s more sullen approach culminates in a bad day at work. His day job, it turns out, involves selling lawnmowers at a local hardware store. His boss Tim (Steven Reddington), is a short-tempered man who thinks Jack’s whole wrestling career is a joke. I also get the vibe that Tim is intimidated by Jack, and he pretty much keeps Jack around because his father saw something in him.

At the DWL, Bobby is still struggling to figure who his character is, and the other wrestlers are concerned that tickets haven’t gone on sale for the upcoming match yet. Willie assures them everything is fine. Jack needs more time with his script. Rooster wonders why, if the script wasn’t written, he did Ace like that last week?

While Jack is caught up in the fallout of he and Ace’s showdown and struggling to decide the direction the league should move in next, Staci is concerned with problems at home, namely the squirrels that have moved into the attic.

Heels Season 1
Heels Season 1, Episode 2 – Courtesy of Quantrell Colbert/Starz /

Heels Season 1, Episode 2 recap: Ace goes on a downward spiral

Meanwhile, Ace spends his day canoodling with Crystal, pausing only to make calls to Bill, who hasn’t gotten back to him after the last match despite his big promises. Ace doesn’t want to accept that his offer is probably off the table.

Concern for her son coaxes his mom, Carol Spade (Alice Barrett), to confront Crystal, a woman she thinks of as a prostitute, or “jezebel,” as she calls it in that customary Southern twang. Carol corners Crystal on her way out and asks for a status update. When Crystal attempts to reassure her that Ace will be okay, Carol dismisses her. She believes Ace will ditch his silly wrestling dreams and settle into a “regular” normal life. That doesn’t seem likely, Carol.

Across town, Willie meets with Charlie Gully himself, who is interested in buying the dome. He’s like a shark circling the waters, and all of Jack’s problems, his bills, Ace, are chum in the water. But Willie is loyal to Jack and the DWL; she sets him straight.

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The only option she’s willing to discuss is the possibility of Charlie acting as a silent investor, which Charlie isn’t keen on, given how often Jack has badmouthed his league. Before departing, Charlie warns Willie that Jack’s ego will be the DWL’s downfall, and she should jump ship and work for him before sinking with it.

Willie calls Jack right after the meeting to fill him in, and Charlie’s meddling obviously has him rattled. His next script needs to be excellent.

Back to Ace and Crystal, Crystal arrives home at her trailer to her two rambunctious brothers making waves on the trampoline. Crystal might be invisible in the league, but her brothers are always happy to learn from her. Bill finally calls Ace back, and it’s bad news, enough to turn Ace to the bottle. The development deal isn’t going to happen, and the only advice Bill gives is for Ace to join Charlie Gully’s promotional brand while letting Jack tank the DWL on his own.

Bill’s call sends Ace on a downward spiral, which concerns his mom enough to call Jack and Crystal. Considering Jack knows nothing about Crystal beyond her being Ace’s valet virtually, they make for an unlikely duo traveling across Duffy at night searching for a drunken Ace.

Heels Season 1
Heels Season 1, Episode 2 – Courtesy of Quantrell Colbert/Starz /

Heels Season 1, Episode 2 recap: Crystal and Ace try to find Ace

This opportunity gives them a chance to bond. Jack tells Crystal that Ace might have taken refuge at Lucky Stand, where Jack used to go hunting when they were kids and hide out when their dad was on a bender. If anyone understands that, it’s Crystal, as her mother was also an alcoholic.

Instead of Lucky Stand, Ace finds himself at a karaoke bar where Rooster is emcees as one of his many side hustles. It doesn’t take long for Ace’s bad singing to incite heckling, resulting in an all-out brawl that Jack and Crystal arrive just in time to join. Poor Rooster has to kick them out, although Jack promises him they’ll pay for the damages (with what money, Jack?).

MORE: Yes, Pro Wrestling Really Hurts, Even On Starz’ Heels

Easily the high point of the scene is Crystal delivering a killer finishing move. You’d think Jack and Ace would be impressed, but it hardly phases them, much to Crystal’s disappointment.

The car ride home is an especially depressing one. At first, Ace is still riding on the post-fight adrenaline and even happy that he got to fight alongside his brother. But once he gets some fast food in his system and the high fades, Ace lets a little darkness out. Alexander Ludwig does some incredible acting in this scene, and it simply breaks your heart.

To cap it all off, when Jack tucks Ace into his bed, his younger brother says he hates him, that Jack ruined his life. Oof. Jack does express some of his guilt to Crystal after revealing that Ace never even wanted to be a wrestler. Crystal has a different perspective on the whole ring debacle. She thinks it could be great for his character. “He’d make a great heel.”

Heels Season 1
Heels Season 1, Episode 2 – Courtesy of Quantrell Colbert/Starz /

Heels Season 1, Episode 2 recap: Jack considers selling the dome

Given everything that happened throughout the evening and Ace’s charged response, it’s easy to understand Jack’s mindset when he asks Staci if he should sell the Duffy dome to Charlie. “Maybe it’s time.” Ever the voice of reason, Staci points out that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

For now, they’ve got bigger priorities, Big Jim’s wife has given birth, and the whole team is invited to the hospital to see the baby. Clueless Bobby points out that Charlie Gully sent Jim flowers, unaware that it would rub a little salt in the wound. The note reads, “From your wrestling family in Jacksonville,” what does that mean?

Embarrassed by everything that happened the night before, Ace refuses to go inside the hospital until Jack gets him. Sulking in the parking lot, Ace clarifies that if he’s going to return to the ring, things have to be different. He wants more say in his storylines, and he never wants to be booed again. For now, Jack agrees. But if Jack wants Ace to turn heel, it’ll be interesting to see how that goes in the future.

The final moments of Heels Season 1, Episode 2 show the DWL cooing over Jim’s baby. Despite their difficulties, this is a tight-knit little family. And while Jack returns to work and intimidates Tim right out of his office so he can get to work on his script, Staci takes control at home. She mows the lawn, shoots the squirrels and takes out the trash.

As star Alison Luff revealed to us, this scene is both Staci getting things done around the house that Jack hasn’t made time for and also favor to her husband, who has opted not to sell the dome and appears to be trying to fix things with his brother and the league as a whole.

Next. Heels STARZ: 5 reasons to watch the show. dark

New episodes of Heels Season 1 air Sunday nights at 9 p.m. ET/PT on STARZ.