Cowboy Bebop (1998): Cowboy Bebop: My Funny Valentine Rewatch
November 2, 2014 8:58 PM - Season 1, Episode 15 - Subscribe
Session 15 follows Faye as she recounts to Einstein the data dog what her past or lack thereof has been like. There's flashbacks and future shocks, nostalgia and nobody wins in the end.
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I'd never really considered the frame story for this ep before, but the logistics of doggie business actually constitutes a bit of original world-building. There's been spaceship shows with dogs and other domestic critters (Capt. Archer's dog on ST:Enterprise* comes to mind), but I don't remember ever seeing how they handled the where-do-they-poop question. It turns out the answer is simple: You just housetrain a dog to use a litter box like a cat. Brilliant.
As for Faye's story, the writers make an interesting choice with her backstory here by not showing all their cards at once. We learn that her name is an alias, and that she has no memory of her past, which makes the eventual "full" reveal towards the end of the series all the more vital. We're left with a space of six or seven episodes where we can imagine all sorts of scenarios for Faye's past life, something to make her current existence as a gambler/grifter/bounty huntress make sense, beyond the simple fact of her massive debts. More on that in a few weeks...
I'm also curious about the status of other cryogenic revivals in the CB universe. From the looks of things, Dr. Bacchus, Ms. Manley, and Matsumoto were running a textbook future-scam: Buy some frozen people from a failing cryonics lab, revive them using 2070s medical tech, and immediately put them in debt for the rest of their days. I wonder if that's the normal thing that happens to revivals (sort of like in the Transmetropolitan story "Another Cold Morning"), or if this is an unfortunate edge case.
This is also the episode that features arguably the goofiest Kanno/Seatbelts song, "Flying Teapot", which plays during the Pretty Woman montage sequence in the middle. I've never been entirely clear on what it's pastiching: Is it supposed to be a quirky Tori Amos/Fiona Apple/Lisa Loeb singer-songwriter kind of thing, or an off-kilter Disney princess song? I will say that it's a bit more tolerable on the show than in isolation on the CD -- it was one of the few that I'd insta-skip while listening in the car.
* I imagine if Star Trek ever had to deal with dog feces as a plot point, it would involve some kind of ridiculously over-engineered technobabble solution, rather than the more accessible one favored by Bebop. I was heartened to learn that the internet had already done some of the work on this.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:17 PM on November 16, 2014