After learning that Cowboy Bebop is getting a live-action remake, I decided to revisit the much-beloved anime series from the 90s (although not aired in the U.S. until the early 2000s). Many people think of it as the best anime series ever, and with good reason. My episode reviews will contain spoilers, so be sure to watch the series before you read this.
Session 4: Gateway Shuffle
Faye is out of fuel, adrift in orbit around Jupiter. There are food wrappers floating around her, so she’s a bit of a slob. She comes across a shipwreck and finds a mysterious package…
Spike and Jet are in a restaurant on Ganymede after another bounty. Ganymede’s architecture is modeled after France. Their bounty is shot by a woman named “Twinkle” Maria Murdoch and her sons for ordering the sea rat, which she claims is an intelligent animal. The group call themselves the Space Warriors and their logo is a dolphin. It was a previously peaceful environmental group until Murdoch took over and turned them into terrorists. They open fire in the crowded restaurant, killing several people.
Spike, while hiding under his table, reaches for his drink, but withdraws his hand at gunfire. He and Jet aren’t that concerned about the death around them. They come off as really uncaring in this episode. Spike and Jet catch Murdoch, but her boys threaten the Ganymede police and get the bounty on her canceled.
Spike and Jet find Faye and handcuff her. (Faye spends a lot of time handcuffed or tied up throughout this series.) They find out she lost all the money she stole from them. Jet contacts an old friend of his named Bob who is looking at porn. They used to work in the same department. Bob isn’t helpful until Jet brings up the illegal eyedrops that seemed to disappear when they used to work together.
The mysterious package Faye acquired contains a virus called Monkey Business that turns humans into apes. The terrorists are using Monkey Business to threaten Ganymede, but Spike doesn’t know this. He tries to break the container open while Murdoch watches him, horrified.
The terrorists end up launching a missile containing the virus. In order to stop it, they prevent it from entering normal space, so it’s trapped in hyperspace, unable to interact with normal matter. And the villains are trapped in hyperspace, with it. Once again, no reward for the crew of the Bebop.
Faye decides to join the crew, despite Spike’s objection. There’s no discussion regarding turning Faye in for her bounty, which is presumably why they handcuffed her earlier.
Session 5: Ballad of Fallen Angels
Mao Yenrai, a crime boss that Spike knows, is murdered after signing a peace treaty with another crime boss. His murderer is a man named Vicious, a gangster with a black bird. Spike and Jet see the bounty for Mao and get into a fight about whether to catch him. Faye intercepts info meant for Jet and shows up at an opera, nearly landing her zipcraft on top of a car. She finds Mao dead and gets captured by Vicious.
Spike stops a kid from shoplifting pornography (by the way, this kid was what Edward originally looked like before they changed the character to a female). Spike then meets an old friend, a convenience store owner named Annie who thought he died three years ago. Spike and Jet get a call from Faye, who’s been kidnapped. She sure spends a lot of time tied up in this show, doesn’t she?
Spike and Vicious meet at a cathedral while dramatic music plays for a show down. Vicious tells Spike, “When angels are forced out of heaven, they become devils.”
Spike frees Faye and gets into a shootout in which he gets shot. He shoots Vicious the same time he stabs Spike. Vicious throws Spike out a window at the same time Spike drops a grenade at his feet. We get the impression these two are evenly matched. Spike remembers fighting side by side with Viscous years ago, as well as roses and the woman we see in the closing credits. We find out she nursed him back to health after his last brush with death.