Cowboy Bebop (1998): Cowboy Bebop: Bohemian Rhapsody   Rewatch 
October 26, 2014 9:15 AM - Season 1, Episode 14 - Subscribe

The Gate Corporation have put out a 12 million Woolong bounty on capturing the mastermind behind a series of bold Astral Gate heists, which drained the savings from people as they check through a hijacked gate. Spike, Jet and Faye have each caught a number of perpetrators, but they're no closer to the mastermind, whose lone signature is a pawn device, loaded with a saved chess game.
posted by filthy light thief (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The title is a literal reference to the phrase, and maybe the lyrics of Queen's song of the same name, according to TOR's rewatch post.

I loved how this episode built up Ed's character, with small glimpses and moments. Chessmaster Hex of Ed: This is either an idiot or a genius! I like this fellow.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:45 PM on October 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

Finally playing catch-up with this one, three weeks late. From a tech perspective, it's interesting to see how an episode made over 15 years ago manages to work in everything from script kiddie hacking and Anonymous (dilettante hackers operating under the auspices of an unseen authority) to massively distributed payment breaches (a la Target and the other retailers hit in the last 12 months) to the ubiquity of NFC figurines in video games (Skylanders/Disney Infinity/Amiibo).

Other than that, I have to say I still find the episode to be a little bit flat on rewatch. Maybe it's because the "surprise" about Chessmaster Hex's identity is given away a bit too early, but I wish the mystery had been played up more. I'm also ambivalent about the role of the rival bounty hunter, Jonathan. He seems to just show up for the sake of being instantly neutralized; the competition between cowboys is something that Bebop already explored a bit more successfully with Fatty a few episodes back, as well as in the upcoming episode with Cowboy Andy. I feel like the writers weren't really willing to commit to Jonathan being either full-on comic relief or a legitimate threat, so they punted without really giving him time to make an impression one way or the other.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:11 PM on November 14, 2014

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