Willie’s heel turn continues. All the things pointing toward her transformation into full heel in last week’s episode — Bill calling out her drinking, the way she reacted to Gully’s offer to join Dystopia — are back this week, and they are not so subtle anymore. It’s obvious that Tom Spade did a number on Jack and Ace, but maybe the person he messed up the most was Willie? She seems to think the only answer to her problems is to ditch the DWL for good, and she starts making moves that make me think she might just do it.
First, there’s the drinking. That whole “mix the alcohol with her morning coffee” move from last week is apparently a daily thing. However, this time, she’s at home, and while drunk in the morning, she completely snaps at her daughter when Robin brings up college. She’s so angry and unnervingly mean. After her rant, Robin asks her mom point blank what’s in her coffee mug. It’s Ted who finally breaks. Not only has the drinking gotten worse, but she’s crossing the line with their daughter; she’s avoiding home whenever she can. He’s “so, so tired” of watching his wife walk around and treat their home like it’s some sort of cage. Ted is so nice and undamaged, unlike everyone else around here! Is he going to kick Willie to the curb? I only ask because if she loses her home family, that will make what it seems like Willie’s doing with her dome family even sadder.
As the possible deal with Continuum looms, both Jack and Gully are told it’s time to impress the CEO. They each need to come up with a pitch as to why Jennifer should be interested in taking either promotion on and how they can help them grow in subscribers. The two men take the assignment in vastly different directions. Gully throws an insane party at his mansion with music and drinking and a man who is lit on fire before jumping into the pool. Jennifer loves it. She struck me as a no-nonsense woman, but no, she lives for the nonsense. At least, Gully’s brand of it. She also seems quite taken with Rooster’s big pitch about how Dystopia embraces chaos because it’s human, blah, blah, blah. Jennifer seems really into it. She’s so into it, in fact, that she cancels her plans to visit the DWL team that evening. Instead, she tells Gully to get Crystal Tyler and the Condamned over to his place ASAP.
Over in Duffy, a very different type of party is happening. The Spade brothers know they can’t compete with Gully’s spectacle. The biggest selling point of the DWL is its heart. They plan a big family dinner for Jennifer so she can meet all of the wrestlers she’d be hiring, and together Jack and Ace come up with a promo video that showcases every single person at the DWL — even Debbie! It’s very earnest and sweet, and everybody gets to do a jump off the top rope. I fear that Jennifer would hate it. But Jennifer won’t be watching that video surrounded by the DWL at their cute lil’ potluck, will she? And that’s because something very interesting goes down. When Jen asks Gully to get the two DWL wrestlers she’s most interested over to his party in Florida because she doesn’t want to leave, Gully calls Willie. He tells her what’s going on and brings up the idea of Willie and Crystal coming over to Dystopia for good. He then gives Willie an option: He could simply tell Jen that no one’s coming and hand her another drink so she stays, or he could remind her of the time and her obligation to head over to Duffy. It’s up to Willie, he says. When Willie doesn’t respond, well, Gully knows exactly what her silence means. It is deafening, Willie!! Gully hangs up to go get Jen another drink. She won’t be spending any time with the DWL.
It is a moment of complete betrayal, and Willie knows it. When Jack gets word from Jen’s assistant that they won’t be coming to Duffy and to just email their video, Willie sits there looking guilty. When, after they decide to play the video for the DWL family anyway, Crystal remarks to Willie how this really is a good group of people, a real family, Willie looks like she might barf.
And while, yes, I’m definitely worried about how Jack is going to react when he learns what Willie has been up to, I’m more stressed about Bill’s reaction. Although, Willie does sort of warn the guy at one point. Earlier in the episode, Willie and Bill are working on their scenes for the promo and Willie admits that she “lost track of what was right and wrong around Tom” and is carrying the guilt for so many mistakes. She wonders if she should leave. “And go where?” Bill asks. “Somewhere not here,” she says. Now, it’s one thing to leave behind a place full of bad memories that are clearly not great for your mental health, but it’s another to dick over everyone else there.
For Jack’s part, he takes the news from Jen pretty well. He’s disappointed, sure, but he doesn’t let it ruin the night. He tells Ace that all this should do is motivate them to really work to impress Jen when she comes to see the big Dystopia-DWL cross-promo, Harmageddon. Jack has really come a long way!
Unfortunately for Jack, the evening is filled with more than just one disappointment. Back at home, Staci needs to have what could be a life-changing conversation with her husband. You see, Staci, the most curious cat that ever lived, has been going through boxes and boxes of the DWL’s financial information that Tom had left tossed in boxes, buried in the basement. She’s right — their finances will have to be in order if they want Continuum to buy them. Unfortunately, what Staci finds is worse than just Willie bribing the county tax person. Now she knows about that, she knows that Bill gave the DWL a ton of money (he will neither confirm nor deny), and she knows there are some other very shady things going on. Tom left the DWL in such a state of debt that she doesn’t think there’s any way to recover. When she lays all of this on Jack, she tells him that there are some things in those boxes, things that Tom did that, if found out, could destroy what Jack and Ace have been trying to rebuild. It’s devastating. Jack takes it all in and has one simple response: “I hate him.” So, maybe Jack has bigger problems than Willie at the moment.
• Bobby Pin gets bad news this week: His doctor tells him that although his leg is healing, it isn’t progressing nearly as fast enough as they’d like, and surgery might be in his future. At least he and Crystal seem to be in a great place. She’s by his side, staying positive through the whole thing. She also flashes him in the doctor’s office to help his anxiety. That’s true love!
• The whole Bobby situation also hits Ace pretty hard. He pulls Crystal aside and tells her that “[his] life’s gonna be about making up for that moment.” He also tells her that he thinks the rage that led to him breaking Bobby’s leg in the ring was because he was in love with Crystal and didn’t realize what he was feeling. This guy, with his vision boards and introspection, is really putting in the work! Crystal simply replies that Ace should try to move on from the whole thing, which is a nice way of saying she’s very much Team Bobby.
• Speaking of Ace’s vision board and introspection (honestly, I could write a 50,000-word essay about Ace’s journey on this show thus far), his next stop in his Be a Better Human Tour is getting a job. Ace is now an orderly at a senior living facility, and on his very first day a man throws his shit in Ace’s face. It is horrific! But Ace sees it as a marker of his growth since he doesn’t completely freak out. “Without challenges, how do we know we’re growing?” he asks Jack after telling him the story. Who is this new Ace?
• “The worst thing that ever happened to me happened today.” “Worse than the day Dad shot himself?” “Second worst. An old man threw shit in my mouth.”
• When Willie asks Bill if he’s still dating the State Fair lady, he says that it’s less like dating and “more like intermittent intimacy dictated by her mood and [his] body odor.”
• I’m going to memorize Gully’s “Can of Fuck Yous” speech and perform it at parties.