Ink Master: Angels finale review: Did Scientific defeat Ryan Ashley Malarkey?

Ink Master Angels finaleThe Ink Master: Angels finale aired on Spike tonight, and one of the most interesting things about it was how it brought the show full-circle.

As many of you may have realized while watching the episode, this felt different than the entirety of the rest of the season. This episode wasn’t as tightly-produced, there was less of a rhythm to it, and it didn’t seem as though it was structurally the same as some of the installments that came before it. It turns out that there was a very clear reason for that. This episode felt like it was the pilot episode of the series, filmed before any of the others and before the producers had even figured out what some of the various challenges should be. There were two challenges rather than three in the episode, a larger showcase on the individual contestants and their shops, and also a format that felt a little bit looser and gave us a chance to see more of the Angels having natural discussions with each other.

We’re a little torn as to what we like better — this episode or what the show became after the fact with the three challenges. That was better for the sake of understanding more of the artists’ talent. This was better for the sake of getting to know the artists. We met the three contestants, and got to see the interpersonal relationships between them. We also had a chance to understand more in terms of their specialties and how they handled adversity. Ria Rabbit was an interesting personality and it’s a shame we won’t see any more of her. Ultimately, though, we can say the same thing about Tony Scientific a.k.a. just Scientific, who was the new artist who eventually challenged and lost to Ryan Ashley Malarkey at the end.

Despite the differences in the format and a more intimate show tonight than we’re used to, nothing altogether was different when it comes to the stakes at the end of the hour: Had Scientific beat Ryan, he would’ve had a show at being a part of Ink Master season 10. That just didn’t happen. His tattoo had some things going for it, but at the same time it also had some serious drawbacks when it came to anatomy. While Ryan faced some serious adversity in how her canvas’ skin turned red like a tomato both during and after the process, she had more of a solid piece over all, one that would hold up well after the fact and looked better as the skin returned to its normal color. The way of the winner being determined was the same as it was during past episodes.

CarterMatt Verdict

This Ink Master: Angels finale was fascinating just to understand the progression of the show. Clearly producers felt like they wanted to shorten the earlier rounds and get more tattooing in a single episode. It was nice to see Gia Rose again, especially with the knowledge that this is apparently the last time we’re going to see her on this franchise. (She will not be a part of season 2.) Ink Master: Angels has a few little kinks to work out in terms of how winners are determined and also forcing conflict where there isn’t any, but we would argue that this was an enjoyable intermission between Ink Master seasons.

What did you think about the Ink Master: Angels finale, and was the season entertaining to you as a whole? Be sure to share in the comments below!

Also, take a look over here for more news (including some speculation on season 2) and like CarterMatt on Facebook if you want some more news regarding this show and some others we cover. (Photo: Spike.)

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