We left the bitterly frigid streets of for the somewhat slightly cold but more ratchet streets of New York City, Harlem to be exact for a new season of Black Ink Crew: New York. As hinted in the for the shows 8th season, Ceaser is on a mission to fix his flagship location on 113th street, and to do so, he has to clean house.
The episode opens up at the leading Black Ink Shop, and it’s “business as usual,” and we don’t mean tattoos are getting done. Instead, the artists are doing the limbo, we are not kidding, while Ceaser is in the back going over financial numbers that were brought to him by Puma. Ceaser reveals all of his other shops are doing well except his flagship location and its sinking fast. While he is stewing over the numbers, we learn that Black Ink Crew OG, Sassy, is back, and she is working as a consultant and is there to make sure people are doing their jobs.
We quickly learn that Sassy is not there to play, and she gets them in line, immediately asking Bae, Mike, Donna & Brock if they got any work done. Sassy checks with Tati if she ordered MadaCide for the shop, but she’s too busy looking at her phone at an Instagram post left by Black Ink’s former Brand Ambassador, Miss Kitty. Tati is in her feelings and claims she could care less about what Kitty says, but that clearly is not the case because she is salty about whatever Kitty is saying about them in the video.
Ceaser walks up and hears Tati talking about Kitty, and he is furious because he told them to never say her name in the shop ever again. He takes Tati’s phone and throws it in the trash for good measure. The next day at the shop, Ceaser shows up and is tired from working at Black Ink Brooklyn who is booked throughout the year, unlike the 113th shop. He quickly notices his prized painting of himself that he received last season is missing, and someone left a ransom note stating he will be hearing from them. Ceaser is pissed, everyone else finds it extremely funny, especially his lazy cousin Ted. Ceaser lets them know that until the painting is returned, everyone is a suspect.
Things go from funny to a bit serious when Sky’s son Dess pops up at the shop. Apparently, Dess wants to patch things up with his mom following the big blowup they had last season. Ceaser reveals to him he has no idea where is and that he has been telling the crew that she is on vacation so they wouldn’t worry. With Dess popping up, Ceaser realizes that things must be bad, and plus, he’s worried because she isn’t answering his calls or reaching out to him, which is not like her. Ceaser explains to Dess that his mother is probably suffering from bi-polar disorder like his grandmother and that Sky was exhibiting the same behavior as her mother when she disappeared.
We get back to the case of the missing painting, and Ceaser shows up at the shop with Judd, his lie detector administrator.
The whole thing turned out to be a waste of time with everyone’s test coming back inconclusive except for Puma, who told the truth. Puma also revealed that he used to be an exotic dancer named Chocolate Thunder. Really son?
Tati and Teddy were the only ones who didn’t participate, that will come back to haunt them later.
Following the lie detector test, Puma and Sassy show up with a flow chart breaking down all of the workers at 113th and their positions in the company. After going over it, Ceaser begins to ponder precisely what are these people are doing at the shop. This is the moment he decides to make some changes.
Ceaser has everyone show up to the shop for a big meeting where he announces some significant changes. He starts off by naming Young Bae lead artist in the shop and Walt the new manager.
He fires the “event coordinator” London and tattoo artist Mike.
He demotes Tati from VP of operations and blesses her with the receptionist position. When Tati inquires about Ted’s job, Ceaser reveals his cousin no longer president and has no role in the shop. As for Donna, Ceaser makes her an apprentice, putting her under Bae’s tutilage. She needs it because her tattoos are absolutely trash. It’s officially a new day at Black Ink.
We catch back up with Dess, and he breaks down his meeting with Sky. He tells Ceaser everything at first appeared to be going well, but things quickly fell apart when she asked her son about a girl in her Instagram DMs claiming Dess got her pregnant. She then accused her son of stealing money from her, and Dess accused her of being a terrible mom and even called her a fraud. The two almost come to blows while Sky is saying absolutely awful things to Dess. Security steps in to break up the fight before got out of hand.
Ceaser suggests to Dess that he and his mother needs to go their separate ways and that they should let time heal their wounds.
We catch up with Ceaser learning from a producer on the show that there was an incident involving Sky where people got hurt. He breaks the bad news to the crew. They are stunned at the revelation about Sky, and the episode ends.
Of course, viewers had plenty of thoughts, especially about Sky, in particular. You can peep all of the reactions in the gallery below.
Photo: Bernard Smalls / @PhotosByBeanz