Michelle is the first client of the show and talks to Nunez about getting a tattoo of an imprint of a pair of lips. Ami and Nunez decide it would be best for her to kiss a piece of paper and get the tattoo of her own lips. After doing this several times, she finds an imprint she likes and Nunez tattoos it on her wrist.
The crew gets a new Jeep to transport supplies and provide advertising for the shop. They have the Jeep delivered to the airbrush master himself, Mike Lavallee. Ami designs a Japanese style dragon head to have Mike paint on the hood of the Jeep.
Marc gets a tat from Kat to represent his faith. An Egyptian symbol that means “No one can judge but God” in front of a cross. Marc is 6’9” and wants the tattoo to cover most of his back, which makes for a huge tattoo (his first). Kat originally thought they’d have to do it in two settings but Marc sits through the whole thing really well.
Mark wants a tat from Ami in honor of his father, who was a mechanic with a love for hotrods. Mark wants a tattoo that shows his toolbox, which he inherited when his father passed away. Ami designs a toolbox with a blower motor sticking out of the top and smoking exhaust pipes underneath.
Garver’s working with Danny Dringenberg to design a tattoo machine. Garver’s a “lefty” and complains that most tattoo machines are designed for right-handed people and has decided to do something about it. He goes to L.A. to meet up with Dan who’s been building tattoo machines for 15 years. Dan actually involves Garver in the process, cutting and drilling the metal to create the frame. Dan fine tunes the machine to make it even better and tells Chris he’ll send it to him when it’s ready.
Kenya wants a tattoo from Garver of cherry blossoms to signify her love for her family. She gets four open blossoms for herself and those she loves the most – her mother, father and sister. She grew up in Japan where the cherry trees are abundant and highly revered. She asks Garver to give it a look like a water color painting, with no dark outlines. Garver wraps a branch around Kenya’s arm and explains to her mother how he is being more gentle because people of color tend to scar more easily.
Mike Lavallee comes into the shop to get Ami’s drawing and shows him a picture of the painting that started his signature “true fire” art – a lion head engulfed in flames. Mike asks Ami if the painting could be translated into a tattoo and Ami tells him that too much of the impact would be lost.
Mike gets to work on the Jeep. He talks about the similarities and differences between tattoo and airbrush art forms. Ami comes by to see how it’s going and Mike tries to get Ami to give the airbrush a try, which he refuses in fear of screwing up Mike’s awesome painting.
Chris wants his company logo – Fatco -and a “Day of the Dead” skull on the back of his neck. Owns four tattoo shops in Oklahoma – including the First Amendment Tattoo Company within view of the Capitol building – despite the ban at the time. Has been on a crusade to get tattoos legalized in the state, which now they are but these guys deserve credit for pioneering the efforts and being willing to do jail time for what they believed in.
Jorge brings his four-legged friend, Caliber, with him. Caliber had a near-death experience one day while they were duck hunting. Jorge sent him after a duck and he didn’t come back. When Jorge went to go find him, he saw him twitching right next to the duck and figured he got bit by a snake. Thankfully, Jorge got Caliber to the animal hospital just in time and they saved his life. Jorge admits that Caliber is like a son and partner to him and that his girlfriend accuses him of being a little too attached. He gets a beautiful portrait of Caliber from Kat.
Mike delivers the newly painted Jeep to the shop and the dragon head looks awesome. Ami and Nunez take it for a spin. Also, Garver finally receives his fine-tuned tattoo machine prototype from Dan and Kat offers herself up as a guinea pig so he can try it out. Ami teases Kat as she whines through it and tells Garver after just a few minutes that she can’t take any more, but it was enough of a test to impress Garver. Hopefully we’ll be seeing his tattoo machines available soon.