Spoiler warning: The following article contains spoilers for Heels Season 1, Episode 3.
In Heels Season 1, Episode 3, “Cheap Heat,” Jack enlists the help of wrestling veteran Ricky Rabies in an attempt to drum up more heat, setting Ace up with a full house for his comeback match against Bobby Pin. Jack also tries to make amends with his brother after the devastating smackdown from the first episode.
Heels Season 1, Episode 3 recap: How did Tom Spade die?
The third episode of Heels Season 1 opens with a look back on Tom Spade’s (David James Elliott) final day on earth. It started normal enough and then came to an end with Tom stepping out onto his front porch and shooting himself in the head. It was Ace that found his body. The reveal of how Tom killed himself is shocking and explains a lot about the unresolved trauma his sons carry with them. It also casts a darker look over Ace’s mental health and his potential struggle with depression.
In the present, Bobby Pin is at a local strip club letting his parents know that he’s got a big match planned, which will be against Ace as part of his comeback orchestrated by Jack. Speaking of Jack, he’s got an idea in mind to get butts in seats at the dome. He calls his wrestler Ricky Rabies (CM Punk) to get in the ring with him.
Part of Ace’s comeback involves a big speech about how he was betrayed by his brother and his disappointment over letting his fans down. He practices his spiel for Crystal, who thinks he should try a new angle, maybe one that’s less heroic and positive. Jack interrupts and says it sounds great, that he wouldn’t change a thing. Ace has a few pointers for his speech, and he wants to change the ending to “in the end, good always triumphs over evil.” But as Jack points out, that’s not true.
Then he tries to make amends with his younger brother. At the same time, Jack tries to convince Ace that being scouted by another league isn’t necessarily a good thing. He’d be a pawn at one of those places, but at the DWL, he can become a partner.
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Willie is concerned about Ricky Rabies and the internet feedback. Ricky is expensive, and people aren’t exactly thrilled to see Ace in the ring again. Jack argues that when they acknowledge what happened wasn’t part of the story, it becomes part of the story, and they’ll earn their fan’s trust back.
In the meantime, Jack and Willie have to contend with one of their sponsors, Eddie Earl (Joel Murray), a local proprietor and churchman who would like Jack to make a commercial with him as Tom did in the past. It might be the only way for Jack to earn more funding from them, complete with more Bible verse banners.
Heels Season 1, Episode 3 introduces us to the “iced” game, and if you’ve never been to college, then you might not be familiar the what being iced entails. The guys like to hide Smirnoff ices around the locker room, and if you find one, then you gotta chug the whole thing. As a sign of affection and to let Ace know that everything is okay, the guys ice him.
Everything feels normal again, except with Rooster. There is some animosity between Rooster and Ace as Rooster is frustrated the new guy, Bobby, is getting the main stage match with Ace, while Rooster still hasn’t gotten his chance at the belt despite being there much longer.
Before the match gets going, Jack introduces Ace and Crystal to Ricky Rabies, his son Wolfgang (Stone Garcia), and his valet Vicky (Bonnie Sommerville). Ace is a little perturbed because Ricky intends to bring blood into the ring since DWL is known for family entertainment and not the Charlie Gully insanity. But Ricky and Vicky assure them that the blood is actually for his entrance, not for him to bleed from injury. “Think less blood-letting and more blood-unifying.”
Once Ricky leaves the room, Ace vents his frustration to Jack. If Jack is wrestling Ricky tonight, that means they’re not here for Ace, and it’s supposed to be his big night. Jack argues that Ricky is just here to get people in the seats, that he’s nothing more than an opening act. “You just gotta trust me.”
Outside of the DWL, Staci Spade is out having a girl’s night at a local restaurant. It feels like a normal night on the town, but then the waiter reveals Staci’s connection to the dome and the fact Jack owns the ring. Staci’s friends are immediately interested in going to the league to watch the match, something Staci appears to have mixed feelings about.
Rooster’s frustration boils over onto Bobby when Bobby tries to ice him ahead of the match. “I thought that was main event ice? Is my a** in the main event?” Apocalypse and Diego tell him to cool it. It’s not like it’s Bobby’s fault he got picked to wrestle Ace. If Rooster wants to make his voice heard, he needs to talk directly to Jack instead of taking his anger out on Bobby.
While Ricky is at the league to help get some buzz, Vicky takes Crystal aside to discuss valet. She tells Crystal that treating her man right will make him yours forever. “And there ain’t no telling where he’s going to take you.”
Acting on Vicky’s advice, Crystal goes to help Ace prepare for getting in the ring, giving him a shoulder and neck massage. In return, he checks out her outfit to make sure she’s all set. But nothing about the interaction is exactly affectionate or romantic the way Crystal might wish. It’s hard to tell how Ace feels about her beyond the ring and her valet duties.
Heels Season 1, Episode 3 recap: Ace gets back in the ring
Back in the ring, Ace doesn’t have the best official return to the ring. His speech doesn’t get the reaction he wants from the crowd, who start booing him. One particular heckler calls him a crybaby and throws tissues at him, which starts a huge “crybaby” chant and blizzard of tissues.
Staci and her friends arrive at the ring, and they’re shocked by how the crowd is reacting to Ace, but as Staci says, it’s complicated.
Well, the way the crowd reacts to Ace royally pisses him off, and he marches out of the ring backstage to scream at Jack. Jack points out no difference between hate and love; it all generates heat, and Ace needs to understand that. He’d make a great heel! But Ace doesn’t want to be a heel because his father was a face.
The crux of it is that Tom was a face, and so Ace wants to be one too, but Jack points out that Ace puts Tom on a pedestal as this good guy. “He knew you were home.” OUCH. Yes, Jack just said Tom knew Ace was home before he shot himself, knowing full well his son would find his body.
Sensing Ace might need her, Crystal finds him in the back of the locker rooms, and they have sex. You have to wonder how much longer Crystal will go along with this before she feels like enough is enough, and she deserves better treatment from Ace.
Backstage, Rooster finally gets to talk to Jack, but he doesn’t hear what he wants. Despite saying he’s the best guy they have, Jack still is only willing to tell him he’ll get a chance at the belt when it “makes sense for the storyline.” He also tells Rooster that he made Bobby the main event because he’s new and could be molded into whatever he needed him to be face-off against Ace.
Heels Season 1, Episode 3 recap: Jack vs. Ricky Rabies
By the time the big match starts, it’s Jack facing off against Ricky. Staci’s friends are overjoyed to see him out there. Ricky makes his big entrance complete with a possum drone that spits blood all over Jack’s face. I guess that’s the “blood-unifying.”
While the match is going on, Apocalypse gets a video showing a viral clip of Wild Bill naked on an airplane. No wonder Willie’s phone has been blowing up with calls from Bill, calls she’s been ignoring.
Outside, Rooster shows Ace the video of Bill and talks about his wrestling history. Rooster admits he thought things would be different for him when Jack took over and feels foolish for having that hope now. But he does give Ace some solid advice. Turning heel would be the best move for him and his career.
Back in the ring, Jack beats Ricky.
Heels Season 1, Episode 3 recap: Ace turns heel
Finished with Ricky, Jack is furious when he goes backstage, and Ace is nowhere to be found. He’s got to send Bobby out there to wrestle him even though Willie says he can’t wrestle two matches in a row. Well, if Ace doesn’t show, they don’t have a choice. Thankfully, Ace does show up, although he’s definitely in a mood.
The Ace vs. Bobby match goes ahead as planned. But then Ace does something that shocks everyone. He turns heel in the ring. Everyone is ready to congratulate him backstage, but Ace immediately lashes out, telling Crystal to back off. “I’m not your boyfriend, how clear can I be?” And even calling WIllie a “b***h.” Jack asks him at what point he thinks it’s okay to talk to Willie like that. “That’s what you wanted right? I’m a heel, now.”
To Jack’s credit, bringing Ricky in turns out to be the right move. They make bank that night, per Willie.
In the parking lot later, Vicky hugs Crystal and tells her she has a good feeling about Crystal’s future. Then Ricky comments that they’ve got to get home to his wife, Betty. Crystal is clearly shocked, obviously thinking Vicky and Ricky were together. “Not all relationships are conventional darling.” Vicky also tells her not to take what Ace said personally, “Men can be emotional sometimes.” Crystal is obviously going to have to think long and hard about her relationship with Ace and how much she’s willing to tolerate.
Bobby also ices Rooster again on his way out, this time, it goes much better, and they appear to make amends.
Heels Season 1, Episode 3 recap: Willie has a surprise waiting for her at home
In the final moments of Heels Season 1, Episode 3, Willie arrives home to find Bill waiting for her outside her house. “I f**ked up pretty bad.” You don’t say, Bill! Maybe Willie shouldn’t have ignored those calls.
And Bobby, poor sweet Bobby, calls his parents and leaves a voicemail talking about how fantastic the match was. He’s thrilled about how it went, but it seems like his parents might not be super active in his life as this is the second time we’ve seen him talking to them via voicemail, and they didn’t come to the match despite him asking them to at the beginning of the episode.
Then there is Jack and Staci, who still have some serious problems to work through. Even though Staci had fun at the match, all she wants is to go on a vacation, and Jack argues they can’t for a million reasons, all excuses, she says. But what really upsets her is that her friends got to go to the match and then leave. For Staci, it’s her whole life because it’s Jack’s whole life. She doesn’t get to leave.
And all of this, Staci, Ace, the league hanging by a thread, it’s all too much for Jack to handle. So he grabs a quiet moment to himself outside and cries.
What did you think about Heels Season 1, Episode 3? Were you shocked by Ace turning heel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
New episodes of Heels Season 1 air Sunday nights on STARZ.