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 18: Speak Like a Child
Faye is watching a horse race. Her horse almost wins, but ends up losing. Says she should quit the ponies. Spike is fishing, but the fish gets away. Jet is telling Edward a story about a man who goes to a paradise where he can eat anything. Spike complains he hasn’t eaten bream or halibut for a while. Once again, we have an episode opening showing us how hungry the crew is.
Faye gets a package from a turtle delivery company, but runs away, fearing it’s from an enemy. Jet says he’d better run tests on the package before opening it, but Spike just tears into the package. It’s a Beta video cassette. They take it to an antiques dealer to see if it’s worth anything. The antiques dealer is watching an episode of Beverly Hills 90210. They watch Faye’s tape. There’s some static, so Spike kicks the player, destroying it. He’s confused that this happens, since kicking the ship makes it work!
Faye is at a dog race, which she wins. Dogs are better than ponies, she decides. Ed finds another Beta deck in Japan. Spike and Jet search through an old underground area and come back with a video player, however, it’s a VHS, so it won’t play the Beta cassette.
Faye loses again and calls the Bebop. Ein answers at first by pushing the button with his nose. Ed tells Faye that Spike and Jet are disappointed. She takes that to mean they miss her and returns to the ship. Faye gets another package, this from a rabbit delivery company. Jet says he won’t accept it, but Spike has already opened it. It’s a beta player.
Jet won’t let Faye see the tape because she hasn’t paid the delivery charges, but she watches anyway. The tape is of Faye as a schoolgirl. She and her friends made it for their future selves. She tells her future self she’ll always be cheering her on. Faye doesn’t remember that part of her life. A melancholy ending.
The preview for next episode is narrated by Ein, so it’s just barking until he announces the name of the next episode.
Session 19: Wild Horses
Faye and Jet are trying to catch spaceship pirates George, Harman, and Ruth around Earth. The space pirates harpoon their ships and infect them with Black Hell, a virus mixing system that takes over their ships. Spike’s ship, the Swordfish, crashes. The tow truck driver he’s expecting is Doohan, but instead his assistant Miles shows up. He’s a fan of the Blue Sox. Doohan built the Swordfish, an old mono racer. Doohan is trying to rebuild another old ship in an aircraft junkyard.
Faye calls Spike and tells him the space pirates use a penguin delivery truck. Doohan gets an old part that came from a penguin delivery truck. We learn Jet’s ship is the Hammerhead. There’s two penguin delivery ships. Faye goes after one that turns out to be real. Spike goes after the pirates. They harpoon Spike, but he cuts off his monosystem and gives their virus back to them. Both ships fall towards Earth. The pirates explode, but Spike’s ship is out of fuel. He’s going to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere.
Jet can’t reach him in time, but Doohan can. The spaceship he was working on was Columbia, an old NASA space shuttle. He rescues Spike, but they aren’t in the clear yet. Spike says, “Whatever happens, happens.” A photograph at the end shows they made it.
The teaser for next episode is just maniacal laughter over scenes from next week.
Session 20: Pierrot Le Fou
A rotund figure with a beard, top hat and a cane shoots up a car full of men while Spike plays pool nearby in a place with French signs. The man starts shooting at Spike who dodges out of the way. Spike shoots him, but he’s got an invisible force field. He can also levitate. He engages Spike in hand-to-hand combat, knocking him into the air and keeping him in the air by continuing to hit him.
He’s about to shoot Spike with his gun cane, but a cat startles him and Spike escapes. Spike shoots a fuel canister near him which blows up other fuel containers. Spike is thrown forward by the blast, but the man is still alive, throwing a knife into Spike’s shoulder. He pulls back his cape revealing several more weapons. He then shoots Spike with a rocket launcher.
Jet’s friend Bob tells him Spike is in trouble with Mad Pierrot Tongpu who has been targeting high ranking members of ISSP (Inter Solar System Police). Spike is wrapped up in bandages on the Bebop. Faye says it’s his own fault he keeps winding up this way. Spike gets an invitation to Spaceland, an amusement park on Mars.
Of course it’s a trap. Pierrot shoots at him and tries to run over him with an animatronic penguin. Pierrot whips Spike around the neck and drags him off a rollercoaster. Jet instructs Ed to search for Secton 13 on the ISSP mainframe, a section that officially doesn’t exist. Ed gets in. Pierrot was subjected to painful secret experiments by the ISSP that gave him powers, but regressed his mind. Since a cat watched from behind glass, he fears cats. He was supposed to be kept locked up, but he escaped.
Faye shows up in her zipcraft and shoots at Pierrot, but he just keeps laughing manically and shoots back causing her to crash land. He approaches Spike again, but an animatronic kitty starts meowing, freaking him out. He shoots Spike’s gun out of his hand. Spike throws a dagger at his knee and he shoots Spike in the shoulder. Since he has the mind of a child, he starts crying for his mommy. He gets crushed by an animatronic marching band. There was a lot of computer animation in this one.
In the teaser for the next episode, Spike and Faye joke that Jet has the hots for an underage girl.