Face Off Episodes

Season

9

Episode

11

Beyond The Expanse

It's the end of the world as we know it, but the artists feel a little nervous about that. Syfy's upcoming series, The Expanse, is full of humans evolved to meet the changing futuristic environments, which serves as the jumping-off point for their Focus Challenge to envision the next step in human evolution, contingent on one of several natural disasters. Ty Franck and Daniel Abraham, the writers of the books and co-creators of the series, advise the artists to let the environment be their Bible: nothing will happen in the anatomy that isn't a response to the radically changed world.

Nora's blight of choice is Toxic Pollution and she sculpts a filtration system on her future human's face. She freaks out that it's not right and scraps it after a few hours. At what point do we get to say, "That’s so Nora?" Whatevs. She has her process, and her second face always comes out better than her first. And by the way, the show is called Face Off, so it makes sense that she takes the face … off. The judges love her sculpt, but her paint job is pretty weak, placing her right in the safe zone this week.

Scott is dealing with Nuclear Fallout for his character. He goes with the adage that, after nuclear war, the cockroaches will outlive us all, so his dude is a straight-up cockroach. Mr. Westmore tsk-tsks him for veering from the target of the challenge (HUMAN evolution, not cockroach evolution!) and he and McKenzie even come back to the lab specifically to tell him to get his butt on the beam. Scott regains his focus and makes the roach dude more humanoid. Not great, not awful; he joins Nora in the safe clique.

Ben has sworn up and down he won't be in Bottom Looks again, but guess what? There he is. Admittedly, Volcanic Disaster is a tough thing to embody, but the lack of symmetry to his metallic heat-reflecting skin and long flammable hair have the judges more confused than excited. He faces elimination along with Stevie (Polar Melting) who didn't put quite enough power in her design of the face; humans dwelling in water and becoming amphibious under such circumstances is bound to happen, sure (heck, we saw Waterworld), but the forms she sculpted aren't up to her, or the competition's, standards. In tandem with her poor color choices, her makeup is the weakest this go 'round, and she goes home. We'll miss our humble ray o' sunshine!

Jordan's humanoid has folds of skin and fat (sounds grosser than it looks) to keep him warm during the new Ice Age. He's so ahead of schedule that he's able to lay down some caveman-type beard hair and even sprinkle some snow flakes on the massive fur parka of the evolved human. That kind of finely detailed character is def going in Top Looks.

Meanwhile, Evan crafted some dope ventilation ducts for his Severe Drought dweller to gather and capture moisture; Ve loves the detail of condensation (actually glycerin) in the figure's protective nose plate. The depth of his thinking and crispness of his sculpting are offset perfectly by the subtle yet original paint job and he scoops up the win this week.

On to the final five!