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Episode 8 - Head Games

6 March 2012

I know this is an irrelevant tangent but I can usually recognize actors fairly quickly. I'm sure you know the feeling when a guest star pops up on screen and your mind begins to search for where you have seen them before. I knew throughout this episode that I had seen Ed Romeo (Eamonn Walker) before but I couldn't place him. Some of you may have shrugged and thought of ER or Oz but as I scanned IMDB I stopped on a British sit com called One Foot in the Grave. Ironically Walker played a boxer who was part of a really funny special episode of a sit com about as far removed from Lights Out as you can imagine.

I thought Ed Romeo was ok here. I did like the fact that Lights was changing up his routine and learning from a new trainer for the first time in years. However it also felt a bit like all of the family drama was being shunted aside to make room for Romeo's story. I wouldn't have a problem with that except it's a little late in the game for a brand new character and I'm not sure this was executed particularly well.

Though it never became too problematic, Walker played Romeo in a way which never let you forget that he was acting. His overly gruff voice and unusual manner stuck out in a world where everyone else plays things fairly straight. That theatrical acting style made Romeo the first character to successfully wrench the focus of the story away from Lights and toward someone else but I'm not sure that's a good thing.

While Romeo brings with him some interesting additions to the story I don't know if they will go anywhere. First we have the question about what effect Lights' family have on him as a fighter. In such an intense environment as a heavyweight boxing match what might happen to Lights if he didn't have his brother, sister, father, wife and daughters to support? Second we have the relationship between Reynolds and Romeo. Again the psychology is fascinating as Romeo alleges that once a fighter becomes champion he wants to get rid of the people who remind him of when he was weak. I did like the confrontation between Reynolds and Romeo where the latter bites his tongue despite the obvious well of emotions below the surface. We then learn that he apparently cut himself in an apparent suicide attempt after Reynolds' first big fight. That element of instability is interesting but as I say, this isn't the Romeo show, it's the Lights show and I'm not sure if this helps the narrative.

I'm willing to give the two another chance but this was mixed at best. The Ava story feels irrelevant in a show which is unlikely to last beyond a season and is so focused on one fight.



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