SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading if you have not seen the Season 1 finale of “Heels,” titled “Double Turn”
The Starz pro wrestling drama “Heels” wrapped up its first season in spectacular fashion, with an ending worthy of a WrestleMania main event.
But before we get to that…
The episode picks up right where the previous episode left off, with Jack (Stephen Amell) standing over Charlie Gully (Mike O’Malley) in the Florida Wrestling Dystopia ring. Jack and Ace (Alexander Ludwig) lock eyes before Gully orders his goons to attack. Jack and Ace fight their way outside and make their escape. In the car, Ace berates Jack for not listening to him and again expresses his desire to turn face. Jack explains that Ace will be a face when he wins the DWL championship at the South Georgia State Fair in the match against both Jack and Wild Bill (Chris Bauer).
Back at home, Staci (Alison Luff) has left and taken Thomas (Roxton Garcia) with her after learning Jack planted Kleenex in the crowd to manipulate Ace. When they meet up to discuss the situation, Staci tells Jack that he embraced all of the situations that led to their split when he could have just as easily held out.
“To me, if you don’t have a clean conscience, you’re living a corrosive existence that’s eventually going to get you,” series showrunner O’Malley said. “Jack has to own how he treated Ace and how it’s affected his marriage and affected his relationship with his son. So here’s Jack, he’s gained everything he wanted but his brother’s walking out on him and his wife his son aren’t there.”
Later, Wild Bill approaches Crystal (Kelli Berglund) with an offer to be his valet during the main event at the state fair. Crystal is reluctant, but Bill tells her she has too much talent to waste her life in Duffy. At the Duffy Dome, Bill cops drugs from Diego (Robby Ramos) in an effort to get in shape quickly for his match. Diego warns him there could be consequences but Bill isn’t hearing any of it.
“Jack ignited this thing in Wild Bill which is like, ‘I’m going to show you just what you don’t know,’” O’Malley said. “And I think that relates to Crystal too. So then when she’s sidelined and he realizes there’s an opportunity for him to get her into the fair, he recognizes that having a talented person alongside him help carry him.”
At the state fair, Jack rallies his team in the locker room with a rousing speech. He thanks them for their sacrifices and for never giving up on him. Elsewhere, Staci finally gets to the sing the national anthem and brings the house down with her performance.
In the main event ladder match, Jack, Ace, and Bill get to work. Everything is going according to plan and the crowd is behind Ace. But things go awry when Bill takes a bump to the outside and poops his pants. Rather than risk the shame of being seen in this condition, he pretends to be knocked out. This forces Ace and Jack to improvise, but little do they know Gully and his goons are in the crowd. They have distributed packets of Kleenex to the audience and coax them into tossing them in the ring.
Ace is furious and Jack finally reveals that Ace getting pelted with Kleenex the first time was his idea. Ace starts to beat Jack for real in a rage and thing quickly go off the rails.
Crystal knows that this can only end badly, so thinking quickly, she hops in the ring and challenges Ace. Seeing what she has in mind, Ace goes along with and Crystal puts her impressive moves on display, dropping Ace to the canvas. Jack also sees he has no choice but to go with this and allows Crystal to suplex him. Gully is bound and determined to interfere, but Bill puts an end to that by savagely clotheslining Gully before he can reach the ring. With all three men in the match out of commission, Crystal climbs the ladder and claims the DWL championship belt.
“Crystal really embodies the phrase luck is when opportunity meets preparation,” O’Malley said. “And yet, throughout the season, opportunities were not being presented to her for a number of reasons. Some of those because of mistakes that she made. I think that Crystal is someone who leads with her heart. She really wants to be a wrestler, but she’s also very good with her instincts in terms of what the storytelling aspects of wrestling are. And this is revealed throughout the season, in different moments. And I think that what happens in that moment in the finale is that she recognizes there is a moment for her to step in there. And even though she’s risking a lot, by getting into the ring, she’s saying, ‘I’m here to save you guys.’”
O’Malley went on to say that he and the show’s writers are already breaking stories for a potential second season, which could include storylines about new wrestlers wanting to train at the DWL following the events of the state fair and a massive surge in popularity once DWL matches are posted more frequently online.
He closed by praising Ludwig and Amell, saying they led the cast by example not only in their dedication to bringing complexity to their characters but also in the physical training they endured for the many wrestling scenes required.
“These guys never balked at anything,” he said. “And they understood the complexity of these characters. They were such tremendous partners and stewards.”
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