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Episode Recap: Full Steam Ahead

The final four select a classic Wild West archetype and reimagine it in steampunk cyborg form.


The final four saunter onto an Old West set for their showdown to decide who will make it into the finale. McKenzie’s news that this will be a steampunk challenge has them quaking in their boots – what will Glenn think?!

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They breathe a sigh of relief when the steampunk authority himself saunters out of the local saloon to highlight the key points of this aesthetic (a Victorian or Edwardian fashion sense mixed with anachronistic technology, powered by steam). Glenn tells them, with a tinge of fire in his eyes, to make sure each component has a purpose – don't just go gluing rivets onto things 'cause it might look cool! For Pete's sake.

Everyone's intimidated by this challenge, naturally – it's no easy feat to take a character from the Old West mythology (barmaid, bank robber, undertaker, blacksmith) and reimagine them as a steampunk cyborg – and Darla spends her entire concept creation time totally at a loss, eliciting oh so slight feelings of panic and impending doom. It's not until the coaches arrive at the lab that she finally has the notion to put her blacksmith's forge where his heart used to be.

Logan is psyched by his concept of creating a buxom barmaid, but when Rayce takes a look, he asks, "With all of the things you have to do for this character, is sculpting a nice set of hoots the way to go?" A profound question, and, after searching his soul, one that Logan must answer with a "No": hoots are not the most important part here. He spends his time instead fabricating a fascinating attachment that allows the lusty wench to dispense spirits right from her arm, as well as sculpting a filigreed face appliance.

Laura is a little worried about Julian, who’s envisioning an elaborate mechanized arm in mind for his bank robber but has never fabricated anything in his life. If he can pull it off, it will be a gorgeous piece ... but it's a bit ambitious, even for an experienced fabricator. Emily is doing fine, per usual, though she's stressing about getting her chest piece molded since she plans to fabricate so many tubes and bottles of embalming fluids onto her undertaker's torso. She gets it done, natch, but then has to get creative when the edges of her face appliance come out wonky. Her fix is to create a stylized face that's corroded in much the same way as the chest piece, giving the whole thing a metallic vibe perfect for the cyborg nature of the challenge.

The judges are captivated by Emily's texturing, as well as her invention of adding paint to hair gel to create the undertaker's built-in chemicals. Her consistent innovation and imagination, combined with her technical acumen and overall ambition earn her the first spot in the finale. Darla delivered a super clean, well-conceptualized blacksmith, and takes the second spot. The judges wished she had attended to some more details around the character's cybernetic goggles and iron jaw, but the forge concept worked so well with the beads of sweat she added to his arms and forehead that it trumped any shortcomings.

The choice is now between Logan, who nailed the steampunk aesthetic in so many ways but fell short with a sloppy, crinkled chest appliance that saps much of the beauty necessary for his character to shine, and Julian, who had some great ideas for the workings of his bank robber's brain and quick-draw six-shooter arm but lacked finesse in the fabrication of much of his makeup. In one of the toughest decisions ever, the judges eliminate Julian and advance Logan. (Rayce breathes a little sigh of relief.) The judges send Julian off with every certainty that they'll see his talented behind again – this is only just the beginning for him.

It's also just the beginning of the finale! McKenzie tells the finalists (ooo, we get to say "finalists"!) that they won't be heading home just yet – their final challenge begins. Right. Now.

See all the looks from this episode's Spotlight Challenge.