Review: Lights Out – Combinations

It’s been a week since Theresa through him out of the house, and since then Lights has been on a full time training regiment courtesy of Papa Leary.

Six AM call times, five days a week of sparring, morning runs, ice baths, the whole shebang. But things go south when Lights takes an accidental thumb to the eye during training.

Could this be the monkey wrench that will throw Lights off his game? Or will Johnny be able to come to the rescue? We’re just going to have to wait and see.

Review: “You want the fight, you pay the price.”

Last week I said that episode five was a turning point for the series. That from that point forward we would see Lights focused on one thing, his come back. Well, it looks like we got that and a bit more.

Honestly, it feels like the show has done a complete one eighty in terms of pace. Rather than having these long drawn out scenes that scream HBO, we’re finally moving through the episodes. Things are happening, people are encountering conflicts and motivations are being revealed.

Right from the get go things seem like they’re finally getting good. Take the press conference at the top of the episode for example. On the surface, before anything else is known, it was rather compelling. Granted a scene like that does take away from the real world view the show has been going for, but what it ends up lacking in reality, it makes up for in good writing. And then, when the reveal comes that the entire thing was staged, it changes the entire dynamic of the opening, this is the kind of writing I’ve wanted to see from the series since the beginning.

I also want to take a moment to address the development of Stacy Keach’s character. Here’s a guy that from the beginning had clear potential to be the back bone of the series. And now that Lights is in full time training, I think his true colors are finally showing through. Pops has a clear drive, a drive that frankly we don’t see in any of the other characters, including Lights. It’s clear that he misses the days when he could step into the ring himself, and now he’s using Lights as his own personal avatar. I’m going to be very interested to see where his new spotlight will take the series.

As for the ongoing situation with Mike Fumosa, I think the character has definitely evolved since episode two, but has a long way to go. I’ll say this though, it’s nice to finally see a journalist represented in the media as more than just a story hungry asshole. This guy has a heart, and wants to make Lights looks like a hero. It’s Lights who’s refusing to play ball, not him.

And finally, I think it was a smart move to take, at least partially, Lights’ family out of the picture. I’m fine with having the girls and Theresa delegated to three or four short scenes like they were in this episode, but having them around Lights 24/7 like they were in the first five episodes, was doing more harm than good.

Final thoughts: Turning point, achieved.

Episode: “Combinations” (Season 1, Episode 6)

Airs: FX, Tuesdays, 10pm

What’s next: Lights, at a crossroad, attempts a difficult comeback both in the ring, and in his home.

To listen to the latest episode of Merrill’s TV Podcast, The Idiot Boxers with Kevin Carr, head over to Fat Guys at the Movies.

From a young age, TV guru Merrill Barr has been obsessed with the small screen. And one day he decided to put that obsession to good use.

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