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L.A. Ink Season 3 Episode 14: Showdown at the Shop

The second part of Season Three of TLC’s L.A. Ink kicked off on Thursday February 18, with the usual drama serving as a backdrop for some great tattoos with a few “rad”s and “awesome”s sprinkled throughout.  The show stars tattoo artist Kat Von D and her staff of Los Angeles’ High Voltage Tattoo and airs at 10 P.M. Eastern on cable network TLC. 

Last season’s cliffhanger reached its resolution when Kat finally canned shop manager and one-woman-Romy and Michelle, Aubrey.  After Aubrey and Corey have a verbal throwdown, Kat finally intercedes and tells Aubrey to pack it up and call it a day  Aubrey counters saying that she has dealt with an unprofessional environment and Kat and the rest of the staff have not been  patient with her.  Kat brings up the fact that Aubrey took a lackadaisical approach to her job, sometimes showing up late for work and not at all.  Aubrey is then throw out of the shop, with other shop manager, Adrienne and the rest of the shop elated that Aubrey was finally gone.  As irritating as Aubrey may have been, Kat and the rest of the crew come off as a tad elitist, talking about their “tattoo family” as if they were some sort of mafia with needles.

But don’t think that means you’ve seen the last of Aubrey this season!  A sizeable chunk of the episode featured Aubrey phoning tattoo artist Amy, now working at Craig’s shop, American Electric, to tell her that she was fired.  Amy’s tired of hearing about all the Kat Von Drama and is relieved that, for Aubrey’s sake, she will have to find a new job.

More changes are afoot at L.A. Ink this episode, too. Kat changes her blonde hair color back to a darker brown shade as a celebratory gesture with Aubrey gone, vowing there will be no more blonde in the shop.  However, her sister, Karoline, has decided that she’s going on a long, two-month trek with friends and Kat will just have to find herself a new personal assistant.  Kat’s pretty upset about this for a number of reasons.  She’s close with her sister and her sister knows how to keep things in order.  Furthermore, it seems that Karoline may have been planning this trip for some time since she had been training their brother, Michael, on some of her everyday tasks.  Considering his track record with hiring Aubrey as his most outstanding accomplishment, Kat doesn’t seem to trust Michael’s organizational skills too much.

That means Kat must interview for yet another personal assistant/shop manager.  After running through a cadre of kooky characters — the MVP of which was a middle-aged, punky Asian woman named “Gin” (“like the drink”) who threw a tantrum on her way out having not been hired on the spot — Kat hires Liz as a new assistant shop manager on the recommendation of her business manager.  The new hire has an air of cutthroat corporate about her.  And she doesn’t have a single tattoo, to boot, which is a faux pas as bad as wearing white after Labor Day in the world of Kat Von D and the rest of her tattoo family.  While Liz does seem to have an adequately impressive resume and decent skills, her overconfidence and overzealous need to climb some sort of a corporate ladder seems like it will make for yet another stellar clash of personalities.  Kat has already dubbed her “not one of us,” which pretty much means she’ll be canned before the second part of Season Three wraps up.

As for the few tattoos that the show managed to sneak in between Kat’s multiple hair color changes and various snit-fits, Corey did a beautiful half-back piece of in a sumi-e/watercolor style of a Japanese cherry blossom tree with a snake crawling through its branches.  The work was absolutely beautiful and truthfully, I’d have rather seen more of his creative process than Aubrey attempting to interview with a few other tattoo parlours and coming up fail. Dan did a crested Ugandan bird on a woman’s leg and Amy at American Electric got to tattoo her friend and Misfits drummer, “Dr. Chud” with his infamous neck-and-chest stitches in a fun and informal session.

One Response to “L.A. Ink Season 3 Episode 14: Showdown at the Shop”
sd - March 13th, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Does anyone know where I can find a picture of the cherry blossom and snake tattoo? It was absolutely stunning.

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