“It’s time for a shake-up on this boat. Somebody’s got to go overboard,” Ceaser, the boss who feels like he hasn’t been treated as an authority figure much lately, says at the beginning of Black Ink Crew. There’s been a lot of questionable behavior from his subordinates lately, and O’S**t, one of his main tattoo artists, is guilty of barely showing up and doing shoddy work when he does. Ceaser has just about had enough.
“Honestly, this s— is not gonna work out for right now,” Ceaser tells O’S**t. “You might as well just pack up.”
O’S**t feels betrayed because he and Cease have been longtime friends, but let this be yet another example of why not to mix business and pleasure.
“I need to stop with the bulls—, so the bulls— stops today,” Ceaser tells Alex after she sits with him to find out why her buddy and confidante just left with bags packed. “I feel like a bastard but at the end of the day, this is what I gotta do.”
S**t sadly takes his daughter, who doesn’t want to leave the shop, home, and even though it’s what Ceaser needed to do as a boss, everyone’s sad to see him go.
Despite the employees’ sadness about O’S**t, Sassy and Puma muster up the strength to go to a strip club to party and before long, Puma gets a Very Important Phone Call. “Me and Sassy happened to go out that night to Sin City. Next thing you know, I get a freakin’ phone call that my daughter’s being born,” Puma says. “Who the hell gets a phone call in the strip club that their child is being born?” Fortunately he makes it to the hospital in time.
Puma’s a daddy now! Good thing he got that final trip to the strip club in, because his partying days are (mostly) over, he swears.
“Last night was wi-ild, probably one of the craziest days I will ever have in my life,” Sassy says. She was there with Puma when he got the call to go to the hospital, and now she’s meeting with Alex and Dutchess to tell them about it. She’s excited because she’s the baby’s godmother, but she has one interesting thing to share with the girls…
The girls move on to discussing a fashion show they’ve been invited to walk in, but Alex has reservations because she’s modeled before and doesn’t think this show is up to par. Sassy explains “She’s been in a couple of magazines, but she’s nothing special.”
Cut to Alex on the set at Urban Ink for a photo shoot where she’ll be showing off some of her new ink, which she got thanks to O’S**t who shows up to watch her and her “tig ole bitties” get professional. (Check out more of Alex’s Urban Ink photos right here.)
“I’m definitely in love with Alex,” O’S**t confesses. “I’m gonna marry her. She doesn’t even know it yet.”
At the shop, Nigel Talley, who’s a heavy hitter in the music industry, comes by with his crew to get some tattoos. Dutchess is tasked with a samurai warrior but when she shows him her drawing he’s not happy with it. And he makes no secret of the fact that he’s a little wary of her work because she’s a woman.
After a few passes at the design, Nigel tells her he still only loves her drawing “97%” and as he walks back to her studio, you get see an ever-so-slight hint of reluctance on his face. Just a lil’.
“Nigel’s talking all this s— about being such a big man, wait til I put that needle on his ass,” she says as she gets to work. When she finishes the outline of the samurai, the 3% that had him doubting her work is still there and he tells her he’s can’t really see the tattoo (nevermind that she hasn’t filled in the outline).
They argue over the point until he leaves, and Ceaser can’t believe he walked out. He just hopes Nigel returns, because Nigel’s always been a good customer.
Puma and O’S**t get together to discuss life as dads now, and since S**t has a daughter already, he warns Puma of life as a baby daddy. “Puma thinks he has himself a Claire Huxtable when he really has a Peggy Bundy,” O’S**t says, so he’s especially concerned that Puma needs to be on good behavior so he remains a part of his daughter’s life.
Puma wants S**t back at the shop and tells him to come by to plead with Ceaser for his job back. When the crew decides to throw Puma a “baby shower” a.k.a. an excuse to get him drunk, O’S**t decides to come to the party with Alex with the intention of apologizing to Ceaser, because he realizes he messed up.
Ceaser’s first thought upon seeing S**t: “What the F—?”
(Sassy’s first thought is slightly different, she just thinks Alex bringing him to the party is “a clear sign that something is going on between them.”)
“I don’t know who the f— told him that he could show up to that damn party,” Ceaser says. Everyone else is happy to see him, and even after S**t tells Ceaser he’s sorry for the way he has been acting at work, Ceaser’s not really having it. “The whole energy changed,” Puma, the guest of honor, says. “It hurt my feelings.”
Ceaser doesn’t accept O’S**t’s apology, so O’S**t walks out of the party with Alex lamenting that “Ceaser is just generally an a—-hole.” Alex tries to talk to O’S**t and tell him Ceaser just needs some time to cool down. But it might be too late. “I don’t think I’ll ever return to Black Ink,” S**t says.
Puma tries to convince Ceaser to get S**t back and explains “This is his home. He’s built a name here,” but Ceaser just says this: “Understand me, Puma. If he plays me again, I’m putting hands and feet on him.”
When Sassy goes to find Alex to talk to her about what’s going down, she can’t find her, and it turns out she’s in a back room flirting with Teddy, Ceaser’s cousin and one of the many shop managers. Alex and Ted have an ongoing flirtation (poor O’S**t, I wonder if he knows) and Ted is also trying to get info out of Alex about why she brought S**t to the party. But something tells me the conversation ended as soon as she sat in his lap and he started inspecting her tattoos.
The Black Ink Crew is a talented group, but judging from the previews next week, their romantic entanglements with one another might force the shop to relocate from Harlem to Melrose Place. Just sayin’.