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 16: Black Dog Serenade
This is one of the more violent and bloody episodes. It opens on a prison ship full of corpses. One prisoner celebrates with champagne while another seems responsible for the deaths. Jet gets a call from someone named Fat. Faye notices his cigarette has burned to his fingers, but he doesn’t feel it. His prosthetic arm needs to be repaired. The ship is for death row inmates on the way to the prison on Pluto. They’ve taken the pilot hostage, but one of the prisoners shoots him. Udai Taxim, an assassin, kills the hotheaded prisoner. Blood floats in zero g.
Jet meets with an old friend who tells him about the prison ship. Jet knows Udai. He seems to have something to do with Jet’s missing arm. Jet thinks Udai went to Europa. He manages to board the prison ship despite heavy fire. Udai fires at him down a corridor, Jet dodges, they fight. Udai shoots Jet, but he blocks with his prosthetic arm.
Udai reveals that he wasn’t the one responsible for Jet’s arm. Jet’s partner was the one who shot him because he was on The Syndicate’s payroll. Udai is then shot by Jet’s partner, who then points his gun at Jet. Jet shoots Fat. Fat had only one bullet in his gun. He knew Jet would shoot him first. He asks for a cigarette and dies. He couldn’t quit smoking after all.
Session 17: Mushroom Samba
A Blaxploitation-themed episode. Ed and Ein look into an empty refrigerator. Ed is so hungry she bites the empty shelf. Jet asks who ate the emergency rations. Faye says they haven’t eaten in two days. They’re also out of fuel, but if they wait, their inertia will carry them to Europa. They crash into another ship, which leaves them behind in a hit and run. They then crash land in a desert. Faye gets sick. Ein points out the rations were expired, so apparently Faye was the one who ate the rations.
Ed goes in search of food while Jet and Spike fix the ship. Ed finds a watermelon stand, but has no money. There’s a female bounty hunter named Coffee looking for a mushroom dealer. Ed hides in the bounty hunter’s trunk. Police search the truck and find Ed and Ein inside, playing dead! While they arrest the bounty hunter, Ed wanders off. She sees a man eating a hotdog and charges for him like a feral animal, but the man finishes eating before she gets to him.
The man’s name is Domino Walker. A man who calls himself the youngest Shaft brother says he bought mushrooms from him, but Domino doesn’t remember him. Shaft’s older brother laughed to death after eating a mushroom, so he drags an empty coffin around wherever he goes so he can put Domino’s body in it. He pulls a gun on Domino who runs away, dropping several mushrooms in his wake. Ein eats one of the mushrooms and starts acting weird, hopping around without bending his knees. Ed decides not to eat one herself, thinking they might be bad. She does, however, bring them back to the ship for the rest of the crew to eat!
Spike finds himself on a never-ending stairway. A frog tells him it’s the stairway to heaven. From Ed’s point of view, Spike is just climbing the same stair over and over. Faye is in the bathroom, looking up at the toilet which is as large as a building. It floods and she’s underwater, surrounded by fish. In reality, she’s normal-sized and making swimming motions on the floor. Jet has a conversation with his bonsai trees. He learns the secret of the universe, but doesn’t remember who he is.
Ed sees the bounty on Domino and decides to catch him for money to buy food. The female bounty hunter sees Ed and escapes from the police. Shaft also sees her. He’s eating at a restaurant with the three old men from Tijuana making yet another cameo appearance.
Ed finds the hit-and-run ship. Domino is growing mushrooms in there. Ed hits him with stinky gas guns. He flees and jumps on to a train. Shaft steals the watermelon truck and also climbs aboard the train. The bounty hunter shoots at Shaft for being in her way. Ed and Ein jump on. Ein yanks away Domino’s bag, knocking Shaft into the bounty hunter’s car, causing a crash.
The train stops for a cow, throwing Domino and Ed off. Domino offers her the shrooms to let him go. Meanwhile, Ein thanks the cow for stopping the train. After their hallucinations wear off, Spike wakes up on top of the ship, Faye is wrapped in toilet paper, and Jet is wearing lipstick. The police officer scans their mushrooms. They’re regular, not the illegal kind. The crew once again miss out on the bounty, but at least they finally get to eat.