Photo: Ben Cohen / Oxygen

Is Best Ink's Sci-Fi Episode Crackerjack Or Memento?

Almost everyone cries, and the term "fantasy" is stretched to its limit.

It's a promising episode hindered by choppy editing and melodramatic contestants. Should you leave it in the box?


Danny announces that he won't "be an emo-ass bitch" about the competition anymore; Alayna's glad not to be in "the bottom of the middle" (hee) thanks to her win last week; and May May is determined to bring it. So, those three are probably doomed as the Inkers board a party bus headed for Comic Con in San Diego.

Flash Challenge

Romeo's from San Diego, and everyone acts like that's advantageous somehow, but unless they're tattooing maps of the transit system on their skins, I don't see how.

Glenn Hetrick is back to judge the Flash Challenge: each Inker gets a rubber creature head to paint. Lara brags that she's in her element while Alayna worries that she's more into "pretty things, and pretty girls." May May's head has devil horns, and she makes an unfunny about that and her taste in men.

Hetrick doesn't make a ton of sense in his judging, sometimes wanting more blending, other times saying colors look too muddy, but at least he disses Lara by putting Karly and Danny on top. Lara sulks. Danny wins. Lara: "I disagree completely." Whatever, sourball.

The segment once again somehow takes too long while showing us almost nothing of the techniques Hetrick is actually gauging the artists on.

Ink Challenge

The "fantasy/sci-fi tattoo" mandate is hopelessly broad, but Romeo and May May get psyched anyway. The skins list their hoped-for artwork: Poseidon; alien invasions; a housewife-alien; a space mermaid; a pin-up dude. Darnell's skin wants an alien brain on the side of his head.

The Inkers have five hours, as usual, but this time it's "street-shop" style, which means they have to make their drawings in two hours, then start inking that day. Almost everyone is thrown off by that development while Joe and I wonder how exactly they exist as tattoo artists if they can't handle walk-in-type assignments.


Karly is concerned because it usually takes her a long time to draw her stencils. Darnell is not artistically stimulated by the alien brain, has never worked on a head before, and has to fight overhead glare and the tendency of the head to bleed more than other parts of the body.

May May fights with the copier and gets a late start. She does finish, but in the lounge during judging, she brats that she doesn't want to cry today, and in an interview she pouts that she doesn't want anyone's sympathy.

Pete comes in and pounces on a napping Romeo (?), while wearing yet another ladies' garment, this time an origami-neck jacket that's kind of Zbornak, if he'll forgive my thinking so.

Biggest Gap Between Challenge Brief And Tattoo Art

Danny's is okay, but doesn't look that sci-fi/fantastical. It's just a woman with leopard spots.

Tattoo I Would Consider Copying

Joe's alien-invasion tat is amazing, particularly the background detail. Everyone bags on it, and she would have landed in the bottom three without immunity, but I like Alayna's post-apocalyptic tableau as well.

Client Who's Saving For Laser

It's praised by the judges, but Lara's spaceman pin-up looks shaky and gaudy at the same time. Not my thing. The alien brain isn't good either.


Joe Capobianco's advice is somewhat subdued this time around, though he's got some good tips for Romeo about the proportions of the face in his artwork (which Romeo should have listened more closely to, as it turns out).

Sabina's also educational when she talks about how Willy's needs more color to reflect the design's dynamism, and she argues with Capobianco about whether Danny's is the best work he's done so far. Everyone helps laypeople understand why the alien brain doesn't work, and Capo unexpectedly doesn't give Darnell both barrels when he starts weeping from shame at how poorly he thinks it turned out.

Lara, Joe, and Willy make the top three, which I don't quite get, but Joe wins, which I do get. The top three put May May, Romeo, and Danny in the bottom; I think Romeo had a legit bad week and the other two are getting punished for being crybabies.

I think that's definitely the case with the final result; May May's work isn't to my taste, but it wasn't the worst tat there. They're just over her sniveling.

Quote Du Jour

"This ain't a May May moment, dude, keep it together." -- Joe on Darnell

Crackerjack Or Memento?

I had higher hopes for the episode than it delivered, but because May May finally went home, I'll give it a reluctant Memento.

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