Ding, ding, ding, it’s fighting time.
The day has arrived and Lights has done everything he possibly can to get ready for his come back fight against El Diablo. But his right eye is still giving his trouble, and when Johnny begins to take notice of the level of intensity Pops is taking to train the prize fighter he steps in to try and help.
And that’s only the beginning of Lights’ troubles. Because he and Theresa are about to get the one phone call they could have never expected.
Review: Now this is what people have been tuning into Lights Out for… the boxing. And there was plenty of it tonight.
I actually want to start at the end of the episode. The actual fight between Lights and El Diablo may have been short, but boy was it sweet. I actually think having it last only two rounds was a perfect way to show where Lights has come as well as how far he still has to go. Upon realizing his strategy isn’t working after round one, he mimics the dirty tricks of his opponent to win a fight he could have eventually won anyway. It’s clear that Johnny’s speech about doing whatever it takes a few weeks back is finally getting to him.
I also think Stacy Keach was pitch perfect in this episode. I’m so happy he’s really starting to get some extremely well deserved recognition. You wouldn’t know it by watching some of his other roles, like the warden in Prison Break, but man can Keach play a good motivational and demanding coach. I truly believe that if he was playing this role in a real life setting at some gym and someone wasn’t aware of who he was he could definitely pass for a professional boxing coach.
I do find it interesting that this episode ends on a rather book-ending moment. Lights’ comeback fight was a success, Theresa accepted him back into the family, Johnny has been rehired as Lights’ manager, and the fight with Death Row is a go. It’s almost like the writers were intending this episode to be the season finale, but then they realized they really had to pick things it up a notch if the show was going to survive.
But on a critical note, that storyline with the eye was useless. It served as very little conflict in the last episode, and just when you think it’s going to play a major role in the actual fight at the end of this episode Lights knocks Diablo out in round two. So what was the point? Why couldn’t a compelling conflict be put in its place. Maybe something like Johnny was slipping Lights some illicit enhancers without his knowledge to try and help him, but instead they cause Lights to lose strength and power against Diablo and he has to fight for eight to ten rounds. Now that would have been a conflict.
And on a quick side note for those that have been constantly complaining about Catherine McCormack’s “American” accent, the writers made a point in this episode to say that her family is from England… thus excusing the accent.
Final thoughts: All in all, this is an episode that the show needed.
Episode: “Crossroads” (Season 1, Episode 7)
Airs: FX, Tuesday, 10pm
What’s next: Lights, in dire need of alternative training, turns to an unorthodox boxing guru.
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.