Nuñez has been left in charge of the shop while Ami’s soaking up rays and surfing waves. The team left behind – Nuñez, Darren, Kat and Yogi – are jealous and resentful. But a few highlights of the week make it more bearable.
The first customer is Stacy – a North Carolina hottie who came all the way to Miami to see Nuñez. Her greatest love is her father – a hard-working farmer. Stacy does the best she can to help out her dad on the farm, but today she wants to show her devotion with a tattoo. She gets two koi fish on her lower back, one with her zodiac sign and one with her father’s.
If you read no other part of this show summary, read this paragraph! The most touching story of this episode is that of a man named John, who asks Kat Von D to do a portrait of his 2 ½ year-old daughter, Elise. Elise has a fatal, degenerative disease called Tay-Sachs. Most children with Tay-Sachs do not live past 4 or 5 years old. John knows his daughter will die, and he wants a tattoo of her to remind him of his best memories of her – when she falls asleep on his chest. Elise is blind and can’t sit up on her own, and the only time she really relaxes is when she is in her father’s arms – and John brings Kat several pictures of her angelic face asleep on his chest, which is exactly where he wants the tattoo. Kat does a phenomenal rendering of Elise, and John is so happy he hugs Kat really tight and thanks her. John is grateful for the opportunity to be on TV to raise awareness of this little-known disease, especially because it is preventable. A simple blood test can determine if a couple has the genes to cause this condition before they become pregnant. If the tests show that a couple does carry these genes, there are alternatives available to ensure a healthy baby.
The next client to walk through the door is Billy Lane himself, an old friend of Nuñez. Years ago, when Nuñez was just an apprentice, Billy was just getting his bike shop going and the tattoo guys and motorcycle guys would trade ink for bike work. Nuñez is impressed that Billy, although extremely successful now, still remembers his roots and comes back home for a tattoo. He decides to get this one on his hand – a traditional style heart with “Mom” tattoo for his mother – who happens to hate tattoos.
Elizabeth is a loyal client of Miami Ink – she has already gotten tattoos from the rest of the crew, and this time she has zeroed in on Yogi. She wants a butterfly and she knows he’s already done a butterfly on himself, so she wants him to do one on her. He knows he’s not a skilled tattoo artist and the prospect makes him really nervous. He calls Ami in Hawaii to ask him if he can do it, and Ami and Garver decide that Yogi needs to practice like crazy for the next week. So Yogi draws butterfly after butterfly, on paper and that fake skin stuff Ami got him. He even visits a butterfly museum and live butterfly garden to study them and learn more about them. And then Elizabeth comes back to the shop to tell Yogi she’s changed her mind and wants something tribal. Yogi is pissed but Garver tells him that people change their minds all the time and he needs to get used to it. So they have made another appointment and I guess that will be on another episode.
Darren says a lot of people mistake him for being Latin, but his true identity is revealed when Michael and Stephen come in wanting matching tattoos of the Polish eagle. Darren says that he is also Polish – actually, Polish and Irish. Nuñez does Stephen’s tattoo and Darren does Michael’s. It’s obvious that family is really important to them and they are really proud of their heritage tattoos.
The crew’s irritation about Ami and Garver’s vacation results in some play time. First, Kat has temporary stick-on tattoos made of Ami’s and Garver’s faces – and she puts them on her chest over her heart like a memorial tattoo. While discussing how much they “hate” Ami and Garver, the guys decide to close up the shop and go fishing. The guys start getting bored until Yogi hooks their first Tarpon, which is the beginning of several good catches for the day.
The last client of the show is Marci. Marci is a breast cancer survivor and has been clear for a year. She wants a tattoo to signify her victory, and loves the art of Alphonse Mucha. She chooses a beautiful woman with a face that actually looks a lot like her own. It takes two visits to complete this large arm tattoo, but it looks fantastic when it’s finished.
Next Week: Rock ‘n’ Roll All Night – Garver designs a guardian angel while Ami continues a Hindu-inspired piece on a client from New York. Then Ami does a Hawaiian-style tattoo to remind a man of his childhood.
Miami Ink airs on Tuesday nights, 10/9c, on The Learning Channel.