Heels Episode 6 recap: An episode sans wrestling is the show’s finest hour yet

Heels Episode 6 - Courtesy of Quantrell Colbert/STARZ
Heels Episode 6 - Courtesy of Quantrell Colbert/STARZ /

Heels Episode 6, “House Show,” exemplifies all of the traits that make this show so damn good. It doesn’t have a single wrestling scene in it, yet it is one of the show’s finest hours yet. A riveting compilation of raw, honest character interactions, bracing and realistic conversations, I felt moved while watching this episode in a genuinely special way. “House Show” reminded me of one of the many reasons I love television so much. Stellar writing and performances all around this week.

When I chatted with Stephen Amell before the season premiered, he said they could film a 56-minute episode where 50 minutes is nothing but wrestling, but if no one cares what happens in that other six minutes, then what’s the point?

Heels Episode 6 proves that this show has nailed that dynamic and the development of these complex characters with true aplomb. I’m betting that most of the cast will submit this episode for Emmy consideration next year, and I’m excited to see where it goes from here in this season’s final two episodes.

When we last left off with the cast, Ace made the devastating and horrific decision to break Bobby’s leg in the ring. Bobby is now in recovery, eager to begin physical therapy, yet still his mostly happy-go-lucky self.

The bulk of this episode revolves around Jack freaking out about the upcoming Georgia State Fair performance and trying to figure out if he should accept Bill’s crazy proposition when he stormed the week in the fifth episode. The group also attended a baptism and barbecue for Big Jim’s newborn baby.

Heels Episode 6
Heels Episode 6 – Courtesy of Quantrell Colbert/STARZ /

Heels Episode 6 recap: The DWL isn’t selling tickets

While performing at the Georgia State Fair would be an excellent opportunity for the DWL, Jack soon finds out that the fair isn’t selling tickets even half and the previous year’s entertainment. With Jack hoping that the fair will be the break he’s been looking for to get the DWL back up and running like it was in the glory days, he has to find a way to get the word out.

The opportunity arises for him to guest on a podcast, but doing so conflicts with Big Jim’s baptism. It doesn’t end up being the best decision because the podcaster is more interested in digging up dirt on Jack’s family drama. He asks him about his father’s suicide which is a total no-go for Jack.

Not only does the podcast wind up being a fluke, but Jack also misses the church ceremony and seeing Staci perform a new song she was working on during it (Alison Luff is a talented singer).

Heels Episode 6
Heels Episode 6 – Courtesy of Quantrell Colbert/STARZ /

Jack not showing up for Staci’s performance is just another thing in a long list of disappointments for his home life. Toward the end of the episode, Jack and Staci have a heart-to-heart where Staci reveals how empty she’s been feeling lately. She’s upset that Jack seems to undermine everything she says consistently, and she struggles to feel like she’s remarkable.

Staci went to college, and now she’s working as a grocery store clerk. She’s searching for her next “thing,” and she needs Jack to be a more active participant in their family, especially for Thomas. If something doesn’t change soon, then it’s hard to see what the future holds for their relationship.

Heels Episode 6
Heels Episode 6 – Courtesy of Quantrell Colbert/STARZ /

Heels Episode 6 recap: Rooster makes a big decision & Ace apologizes

Charlie Gully is courting Rooster hard this week, and while at first, Rooster isn’t interested in what Gully is selling, by the end of the hour, he is ultimately sold by his pitch. The tipping point is when Rooster tries, yet again, to get Jack’s attention and gets disappointed by his response.

In Rooster’s final scene, he calls Gully and tells him he’s in, which means Rooster is probably leaving the DWL. Or will someone be able to prevent that from happening? The main thing is that Gully is promising loyalty and legitimate money. He sees the potential and talent in Rooster in a way that Jack hasn’t yet.

Heels Episode 6
Heels Episode 6 – Courtesy of Mark Hill/STARZ /

Then there is Ace, who finally makes some strides to be a better man this week, although I do feel like he’s getting off easy for literally breaking Bobby’s leg in the ring. And Bobby, poor adorable Bobby, is just too sweet to stay mad for long even when he does have a broken limb. But to Ace’s credit, he does apologize to Bobby and to Crystal, too.

He shares a tender moment with Big Jim’s new baby at the end of the episode that seems to signify that Ace could maybe imagine a life beyond wrestling, but he’s going to have to deal with his complex residual trauma regarding his father’s death.

Heels Episode 6 recap: Bill makes amends with Willie

Since this is a quieter episode, the bulk of it revolves around important conversations and more lighthearted scenes between the characters. One of the best performances and moments from this episode comes from the ending when we see Bill and Willie have a serious conversation about the ways they’ve wronged each other over the years.

MORE: Watch the first three episodes of Heels free right now

What Bill did most recently, claiming Willie should have aborted her daughter, was pretty bad. It takes some coaxing, but he does finally apologize to her and reveals that he was in love with her all those years ago and that she broke his heart when she went on to be Tom Spade’s valet instead of his, which resulted in the end of their relationship at the time.

Mary McCormack and Chris Bauer do phenomenal work here, and it’s riveting stuff to watch. Out of everyone in this episode, those two and Alison Luff deserve some awards buzz next season.

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New episodes of Heels air Sunday nights on STARZ.