Cowboy Bebop (1998): Cowboy Bebop: The Real Folk Blues (Part 2)   Rewatch 
January 19, 2015 7:52 AM - Season 1, Episode 26 - Subscribe

Reunited, Spike and Julia pick up where they left off in their plans to escape Red Dragon, but it is soon foiled by Vicious. Spike returns to the Bebop for one last farewell, knowing that he will likely die before he can return, and then storms the Red Dragon's headquarters to confront Vicious for the last time.
posted by filthy light thief (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
With this, the season is over. BUT if I had planned better, I would have inserted "Mish-Mash Blues" and the Cowboy Bebop Movie in at their appropriate places. As it is, next week I'll post the mid-season recap episode, and then the movie, then create appropriate links in the comments of the various episodes, to kludge together a better watching order for future viewings.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:54 AM on January 19, 2015 [1 favorite]

Thanks for kicking this off, flt! This has been a fun opportunity to watch a favorite series with a more critical eye than I had done previously, and I think my appreciation of the show has deepened as a result.

I always forget how little time passes between Spike and Julia's cemetery reunion and Julia getting shot down by some barely-glimpsed syndicate rando; Not to mention how Spike's final assault on Vicious' lair happens almost entirely within a short musical montage. Everything (excepting the middle section with Jet and Faye) seems to happen too fast, and for good reason. It's Spike's life, running out in huge action-packed gulps.

Although many Bebop fans are prone to speculation about Spike's alive/dead status at the end of this episode. I now find myself much more concerned about what might have happened to Jet and Faye. When I was younger, I related to Spike because I was a brash hothead with vague philosophical pretensions, and now that I'm older I find myself relating to both Jet and Faye much more. Like Jet, I've lived a couple of different professional lives, and I've also been hurt by love, and I've spent an unseemly amount of time living in desperate circumstances that were partially of my own making. And like Faye, I've struggled with not knowing where I truly belonged, and have seen my youthful idealism give way to mercenary self-interest. So whereas I used to be able to indulge in the live-fast-die-young fantasy of Spike's last stand, I now feel much closer to the existential uncertainty felt by the rest of the Bebop crew.

I watched this episode right before settling down to bed last night, and "Blue" was still in my head when I woke up this morning, where it lingered through breakfast, my bus commute, and up all 18 floors to the office. That's some powerfully beautiful music!
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:17 PM on January 20, 2015 [2 favorites]

(BTW, I also totally forgot about the movie. Since it didn't actually show up until well after the series was over, I'm fine with taking it as an out-of-sequence midquel. And I also realized that I never watched "Mish-Mash Blues", since it was never on Adult Swim or the DVDs. Looks like it's up on YouTube in fansubbed form: Part1 | Part2)
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:24 PM on January 20, 2015

The end of Cowboy Bebop brings Spike's arc to a satisfying conclusion, but it's very frustrating how almost nothing else outside of Spike gets any resolution. Jet and Faye both get their own episodes, but those episodes don't deal with how they're going to go on in the future, there's very little indication of what will happen to them (or my own favorite character, the Swordfish 2). Do they continue to live in the bubble of purgatory that the Bebop seems to have developed? Do they go their separate ways? Was anything actually holding these people together?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 9:36 AM on January 21, 2015

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