This week’s episode of Black Ink Crew: Chicago took a break from the drama that is usually associated with the show and focused on Charmaine as she dealt with the sudden and very tragic passing of her mom.
Before we get to what was arguably one of the saddest moments in reality television history, the episode did squeeze in some other matters. The show opens up with a surprise visit from Bella, an old employee from the now-closed old 9Mag tattoo shop.
Bella is experiencing some hard times and can’t land a good job since being terminated, so she figured she would try her luck with Ryan in hopes of him giving her a job at his new shop.
Unfortunately for her, Ryan wants nothing to do with that old energy and tells her while he feels sorry for her and hates to hear she is struggling, he doesn’t have a job for her. Before Bella leaves, she asks Ryan if he could keep her in mind if there are any openings, and he doesn’t say a word, and she leaves.
Last week, we learned Phor could possibly be the father of a teenage girl after the sister of the girl’s mother reached out to him and explained the situation. Phor was skeptical being that so much time had passed before he was informed of this, but he made the decision that he would be a man about it. He links up to talk with the girl’s mom, and she brings up the fateful night she met Phor and how they hid in a closet and ultimately had sex. Phor has no memory of the night, but she does have receipts in the form of a photo that has Phor and one of his friends.
She ultimately asks Phor if he wants to meet the young lady, and he hesitantly agrees to do so even though he thinks it’s a bad idea. Phor and the girl exchange pleasantries, and he learns about the girl and that she currently runs track and that she has dreams of becoming a lawyer.
They seem to hit off despite things being a bit awkward. Before they end the meeting, Phor promises to get to the bottom of the situation to determine if he is the girl’s father or not.
The mood of the episode quickly changes when we arrive at Charmaine and Neek’s house. She is currently on the phone with her dad, he is keeping her up to speed with a developing situation with her mother. Charmaine’s dad calmly tells his daughter that her mother’s heart stopped and that doctors are desperately trying to save her. Charmaine is a wreck and understandably so and is also on the phone with her husband, Neek, breaking things down to him while trying to get some comfort.
When she finally gets her dad back on the phone, you can hear him on the other end trying to keep it together, but the breaks in his voice are evident as he tells Charmaine her mom has passed away. She immediately breaks down in tears, it’s genuinely one of the most heartbreaking things you will ever see.
Ryan eventually shows up to console Charmaine in her time of need putting aside their differences for the moment. Charmaine and Ryan reflect and reminisce about her mom. They talk about how she was always pushing for them to get along and stick together. It seems with her passing, she has managed to do that.
Phor and Don eventually show up, but they decide that timing is not right and do not knock on the door. They want to give Charmaine space to grieve and will talk to her when the time is right.
Back at 2nd City Ink, Charmaine’s crew is worried about their boss because they have not heard or seen her since her maternity shoot that took place earlier in the episode.
Ryan eventually shows up taking them by surprise, but he’s not there to hate on the shop but to deliver the heartbreaking news, and they are absolutely stunned.
We head back to Charmaine and Neek’s crib, and they are preparing to head to Lousiana so Charmaine can be with her dad and help him prepare for the funeral. Charmaine is still in shock, but she is managing somehow, the couple hops in an SUV and make their way to the airport.
#BlackInkChi viewers had plenty of reactions to the heartbreaking episode, you can see them all in the gallery below. Our thoughts go out to Charmaine and her family. RIP Glenda.
Photo: Bernard Smalls / @PhotosByBeanz
I commend her dad being strong for Charmaine over the phone even though it’s a shock to him as well #BlackInkCHI— Franshell Jones (@MissJae2u2) January 9, 2020
Do you know what Phor's period of having suicide ideations and Charmaine mother's passing have in common?— Shanique K. Dennis (@AttractiveBeing) January 9, 2020
Ryan Henry's show of selfless compassion and steady expression of love and support.
No matter what, he's always there.#BlackInkCHI
I can’t even function! This episode so hard to watch! Seeing Don and Phor stand outside just to show their support was amazing #BlackInkChi— 💫Shauna💫 (@OpulentBravado) January 9, 2020
Charmaine dad said yep like 5 times that man in shock trying to be strong for his daughter 😢😢🙏🏾 #BlackInkCHI— Gutta 👩🏾🦰 (@guttababy30) January 9, 2020
I respect them dudes much more now for showing support to Charmine despite their issues 🙌🏽🙌🏽 #BlackInkChi— 💜🧘🏽♀️Chica Sol🔮✨ (@KattSimply) January 9, 2020
This has gotta be hard. Your husband is away, you’re pregnant & your mother is fighting for her life 😞😞😞— Kenita Stewart (@DopeAsKen) January 9, 2020
Also, what kinda toxic-ass mother brings her 17-year-old child to meet a man who may or may NOT be her father on national tv? She's causing long-term trauma today. #BlackInkCrewChi #BlackInkChi pic.twitter.com/RZaWmbTX8X— Always Right (@UppityInsomniac) January 9, 2020
Right now it's easy to believe that my mother is never going to die, but as you get older, the truth creeps in a little more each year. I can still pretend that my mother is invincible though & I plan to hold on to that as long as I can. #BlackInkCrewChi #BlackInkChi pic.twitter.com/H0Gyh9zfid— Always Right (@UppityInsomniac) January 9, 2020
Don, Phor, and Ryan stepped up. That’s the definition of TRUE FRIENDSHIP. We may not always be on the same page but when the tough times come, they dropped everything❤️ #BlackInkCHI— SICA (See-ca) 🇵🇦 (@PinkPradaChick) January 9, 2020
Ever since I found my mom on the floor fighting for her life in 2016. I’ve been going Into her room everyday making sure she’s ok. We only have 1 mom in this world. My mom was so use to being super mom. As her youngest i stepped up to take care of her ❤️ #BlackInkChi pic.twitter.com/2PrRtzDsUb— July 19 (@212Lexus) January 9, 2020