Cowboy Bebop (1998): Cowboy Bebop: Honky Tonk Women   Rewatch 
August 15, 2014 2:22 PM - Season 1, Episode 3 - Subscribe

In the third session of Cowboy Bebop, Jet dreams of Charlie Parker quoting Goethe, Spike and Jet cross paths with a sneaky gambler who complicates things for the bounty hunters when they learns what she's after (and then who she really is), and there's shady deal done, stand-off style, in space suits.

At first, the mysterious gun-toting, gambling outlaw doesn't have a name, but is referred to as the reincarnation of Poker Alice (the Queen of Hearts), a true old western gambling woman.

The Three Old Men show up again, we learn a bit more about Jet (he was an ISSP (Inter-Solar System Police) agent), and Spike shows off his regurgitation tricks.

Later on, we learn Alice's real name is Faye Valentine, and she has a sizable bounty on her head. Faye uses some fun tech, when she remotely requests her zipcraft, Red Tail, pulls out a wireless lipstick camera, and uses an electric bobby-pin lock pick, but to keep the show grounded in the past, there's a silent samurai film shown in the Spiders From Mars Casino, and the gambling machines are all old-fashioned one-armed bandits that spit out coin tokens.

We learn of a super-decryption tool, and its value to the underworld. Space antics ensue, and Faye disappears with a suitcase full of money. In the end, it's easy come, easy go.
posted by filthy light thief (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The next episode of Cowboy Bebop (Gateway Shuffle) airs on Sunday morning on Cartoon Network, so I wanted to get the FanFare posts up to speed. After this, I'll keep posting them on Sundays, if no one else does first.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:38 PM on August 15, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was wondering - how many shows alter the intro to keep it accurate regarding the cast of characters involved before the intro rolls? I ask this because I forgot that the whole core cast is depicted in the intro, even before there's a hint of Faye or Ed. And paying attention to that, you can assume that Faye will make a significant return in future episodes, even though she disappears with the money in this episode. Heck, they're in the poster used for this show (see the image inset).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:35 PM on August 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

> I was wondering - how many shows alter the intro to keep it accurate regarding the cast of characters involved before the intro rolls?

Gatchaman Crowds did this, rather, the Gatchaman form of a character was not shown in the intro until that transformed form had appeared in an episode. Mawari Penguindrum also did this to some extent, where changed in the intro served as a foreshadowing that a new character would be making an appearance, not necessarily in that episode.
posted by needled at 10:02 AM on August 17, 2014 [1 favorite]

I missed that this one got posted on Friday (catching up to CN's broadcast schedule?), so here's my two cents:

As I've said in the previous weeks, one of the things that I like about Bebop is how it tweaks and undercuts the normal genre conventions. For instance, we're initially presented with Faye Valentine as a futuristic update on the typical action-adventure femme fatale a la Fujiko Mine from the Lupin III series, or the classic "bad" Bond girl. (For that matter, Spike and Jet can also be understood as expies of Lupin and Jigen) But even though she eventually gets the drop on our heroes and makes off with the ₩30 million ransom, she spends most of the episode either getting captured or being made to do the bidding of powerful men, instead of the other way around. As a femme fatale, she is clearly out of her depth.

In the Lupin cartoons, we don't really have any idea why Fujiko always double-crosses Lupin other than that she's a sexy, devious, greedy woman. By contrast, Faye has both sex appeal and cunning, but as we find out over the course of the series, those qualities are fueled by a genuine need that is separate from mere greed. Faye is perhaps the most vulnerable person in the entire series, and not for fake woman-in-peril reasons, but because it's innate to her character.

Anyway, some other things about this session:
  • I never noticed it before, but the name of Gordon's casino is "Spiders From Mars", visible on the elevator Spike and Jet ride down in.
  • I finally got around to looking up the source for the Goethe quote from Jet's dream.
  • Spike's laid-back tussle with the casino goons seems to be the inspiration for Joseph-Gordon Levitt's fighting style in Brick.
  • Does anybody actually know how Spike & Jet got the drop on Faye when she tried to make her mid-episode getaway? One minute, they're clinging to the outside of her zipcraft, and the next she's handcuffed to the Bebop's toilet. Ah, well...
  • I'd never noticed the matching shots of the Bebop mini-fridge, once while Faye's tied up, and the second after she picks the handcuffs. The second time, the fridge has been ransacked, suggesting that she devoured the contents before trying to bolt.

posted by Strange Interlude at 6:32 PM on August 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Faye is the second tragic figure of the show after Spike. With exception of Ein, almost every major character is dealing with the loss of something, be it their original calling, their past, or a loved one. The show humanizes Faye brilliantly and I love that they have her escape at the end, rather than immediately tying her into the crew. They provide her background, but it doesn't exist entirely just to make her part of the cast right then and there. To along with what Strange Interlude covered, Faye, despite the intro remains a very mysterious person. Her relative powerless state through much of the episode felt at odds with her dynamicism later on in the show (minus the escape and stealing the 30 million).

Faye also vies with Ed for perhaps some of the most touching moments, too.
posted by Atreides at 7:50 AM on February 9, 2015

What I can't understand is why Jet and Spike didn't turn the chip over to the authorities after the gangsters tried to double-cross them.
posted by ob1quixote at 1:34 AM on May 5, 2015

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