‘Heels’ Season 1 Episode 4 Recap: “Cutting Promos”

Heels Season 1 Episode 4
Stephen Amell and Alexander Ludwig in ‘Heels’ season 1 episode 4 (Photo Credit: Starz)

FX’s Heels season one episode four begins by filling in the story behind Wild Bill’s penis-exposing video. Apparently Wild Bill (Chris Bauer) isn’t a fan of a new and improved championship belt that does everything but play the “Star-Spangled Banner.” He’s advised to get behind the redesign or else.

The nearly naked video captured on a cell phone was his response to being forced to toe the company line. After downing a few drinks, Wild Bill changed into the belt and stripped naked on board a flight. The video, shot by his fellow passengers, went viral and forced him to take time off from his job.

Wild Bill’s only option was to return to Duffy and beg his ex, Willie (Mary McCormack), and her hubby to take him in for a while. He’s a disruptive houseguest and Willie’s patient husband appears to be on the verge of tossing him out after the first night.

Over at Jack’s place, he’s busy working on a script when a fire breaks out in Thomas’ room. They’re all able to escape, but the house will need major electrical work after squirrels in the attic chewed through wires. Jack (Stephen Amell) begs Staci (Alison Luff) to have faith the DWL will bring in money soon and once again convinces her she doesn’t need to get a job.

For now, the trio will stay at his mom’s place.

Rooster (Allen Maldonodo), Apocalypse (James Harrison Jr), and Diego (Robby Ramos) give Crystal (Kelli Berglund) a hard time about Ace while she’s cutting Bobby’s hair. Diego hits her up for a haircut, short of cash but offering a TGI Friday’s gift card. Fortunately for Diego and his shaggy mane, Crystal’s a fan of the restaurant.

A short while later, Crystal visits Bobby (Trey Tucker) in his trailer at his request. He reveals he loves to write lyrics and graphic novels, and then cuts to the chase. He asks for help in establishing a character in the ring. He confesses he has no idea who “Bobby Pin” is and since people respect her opinion, maybe she can offer a few suggestions. He plays a rap he wrote and Crystal admits she doesn’t think “rap” when she looks at him.

Jack gets busy trying to secure funding for an expanded DWL YouTube campaign that will feature content from the DWL’s archives as well as new videos. He and Willie visit the Earls to see if they’d be willing to sink more money into the league to hire a social media manager. The Earls aren’t in the least bit interested in putting any additional sponsorship dollars into the DWL, despite Willie and Jack’s impressive pitch. Supporting a league named after the town won’t help the Earls bring in business from outside the city.

Jack doesn’t take rejection well and he launches into an expletive-laden rant after leaving the Earls’ car lot. Willie is the voice of reason, reminding Jack they don’t have a chance of succeeding if he gets too emotional.

Wild Bill’s manager calls and suggests he go to rehab if he wants to stand a chance of staying employed. The viral video, along with calling his bosses the “c” word, have put his job in jeopardy.

Ace (Alexander Ludwig) heads over to the bar for a beer and wings, but once the pretty bartender informs him Wild Bill’s in the bathroom, Ace tries to escape before he emerges. He fails and is forced to listen to Wild Bill’s X-rated description of what he’d like to do to the bartender. Ace’s monosyllabic replies don’t shut Bill up and when Bill invokes Ace’s dad’s name, Ace reluctantly agrees to stick around for some pool. Wild Bill puts down Jack while simultaneously feeding into Ace’s ego.

Crystal’s come up with an idea for Bobby and whips up a drawing of his new character, Bobby ‘85. She believes people want to remember how good things used to be, and the ‘80s were the golden age of wrestling. They high five over Bobby’s new character.

Crystal and Bobby enjoy some ice cream and an evening stroll, and it’s evident Crystal is beginning to realize Bobby’s sweet demeanor and naivete isn’t an act. When two young fans want a photo, he graciously poses with them as Crystal takes it in and smiles. After the boys run off, Crystal tells Bobby he’s going to be a great face.

After a disastrous family dinner in which Ace and Jack’s mom tells Thomas his grandfather’s rotting in hell for killing himself, the bros retire to the basement. Jack watches old DWL footage and confesses he shot a video challenging The Rock to a fight in hopes of generating some buzz for the league. (Ace compares it to a nerd asking Taylor Swift to the prom.)

Ace suggests they shoot a few promo videos but make them much more cinematic. Jack shuts him down and Ace calls his brother an a**hole for not accepting any input. They then discuss whether it’s necessary to be a heel all the time or just in the ring.

Jack proves he’s not always a jerk by letting Ace help him write the script for a new promo.

The news everyone except Wild Bill expected arrives, and he’s sacked because of all the negative attention.

Heels Season 1 Episode 4
Trey Tucker and Kelli Berglund in ‘Heels’ season 1 episode 4 (Photo Credit: Starz)

The ever-optimistic Bobby heads over to Crystal’s to show off his new costume. He’s like a kid in a candy store when he sees she has a trampoline, but then turns serious when she calls herself just a valet. Crystal doesn’t want him to tell anyone his new character’s her idea, and Bobby hates that she’s putting herself down. “You’re super smart and you’re really talented. And, yeah, the people at the top might not see it but we do,” says Bobby. “You’re the one that should be getting the push.”

Bobby poses in his new costume which consists of a white furry jacket, tight pink and white shorts, and sunglasses. Crystal considers it for just a second and then says, “You know, I think you shouldn’t be Bobby ’85. I think you should be Bobby Pin.”

Bobby’s not sure he understands who that is but Crystal’s come to understand what’s inside this earnest, gentle man. She believes he’s a real good guy and that’s enough of a gimmick. Bobby’s confused as to what that means, and Crystal suggests he just be himself.

Their discussion’s interrupted by a text from Jack informing them they’re shooting a promo. And, that leads right into the next scene which is the actual filming of the promo. Ace and Bobby stage a pretend fight in a gas station store, tossing each other around while Crystal cheers Ace on. The action moves outside and involves an ATV, a pickup truck, and a car wash. Jack knocks them both down, shouting at them to settle their score in his ring. The promo ends with Jack lifting his shirt and saying whoever wins gets a shot at the belt. (It’s actually a pretty cool, legit-looking promo.)

Willie handled the job of cinematographer and the guys – plus Crystal – gather around to watch it on her cell phone. They’re impressed with how it went down, and Ace even high-fives Bobby for his smooth moves.

Jack approves of Bobby’s new “regular guy” character, and Crystal and Bobby exchange knowing smiles after getting Jack’s support.

They do a few more takes and everyone’s in a great mood once filming wraps.

Ace pulls Crystal aside and in his own weird way apologizes for his behavior after the last match. He asks her out for dinner but she declines because she has to do a shift at the gas station.

Late at night Wild Bill proves he’s the biggest douche on the planet by insulting Willie, her husband Jack, and everyone else he can think of to mention. The string of insults leads to an actual fistfight between Bill and Willie.

The following morning Bill gets his comeuppance when Willie’s husband moves all of his belongings out of the house and suggests a motel down the road. (It’s a well-deserved eviction.)

Crystal and Bobby continue to hang out and Ace spots them goofing around on her trampoline.

Bobby wonders when they can go for ice cream again, but Crystal thinks they need to stay out of the public eye. She believes Jack might get angry that Ace’s valet is hanging around with Ace’s enemy.

Ace takes off before they notice him but not before keying the side of Bobby’s Bronco.

Bobby’s not even angry when he notices the lengthy scratch because…well…as has been established, he’s just that sort of guy.

Ace confesses to his mom that whenever it’s quiet he hears the gunshot and relives the day his dad took his own life. It’s coming up on the one-year anniversary and he still has a difficult time sleeping because of his dad’s suicide. She believes being sad is selfish, but Ace thinks you need to listen to your sadness and work through it. He wonders why she stopped smiling way before Tom’s death. She doesn’t reply and instead leaves him alone on the front porch with his thoughts.

Jack calls Staci to apologize for being late and she breaks the news she got a job at the grocery store. She doesn’t want to be like his mom; she wants to go back to school and contribute to their family. Jack replies, “If you want to work, I want you to work. I just want you to be happy.”

Ace uses sex with the bartender as a way to hold things together. Jack’s also thinking of ways to keep Ace in the right headspace and stops by the motel to warn Bill to stay away from his brother. He spots Bill looking old and worn out, struggling to get ice from the machine. Jack decides there’s no need to warn this version of Wild Bill away from Ace.