Cowboy Bebop (1998): Cowboy Bebop: Gateway Shuffle   Rewatch 
August 18, 2014 7:21 AM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

This session opens with Faye floating aimlessly, as both she and her ship are empty, and she tries to hail passing craft to ask for assistance. She gets a response from the ruins of a ship, where a dying man gives her a suitcase to be delivered to the ISSP, but requests that she doesn't open the case. Meanwhile, in a restaurant on Jupiter's moon, Ganymede, Spike and Jet are scoping out their next bounty, only to be interrupted by an impromptu display by the Space Warriors, a group of environmental terrorists who are out to save the Ganymede sea rat from people. There's a messy bit of monkey business, but don't worry, next time we'll make money. (I should have seen that coming.)
posted by filthy light thief (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This episode is an interesting bit of universe building, setting up how the hyperspace gates work, and quietly introducing Faye as member of the crew.

The Cowboy Bebop wikia notes that the episode title, Gateway Shuffle, is probably a play on the confidence game/con called Kansas City Shuffle, involving the mark realizing there's a con in play, but when the mark looks left, you go right.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:36 AM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

All right, I've finally caught up to the current episode. I think this might be the session where all of the prototypically Bebop story elements introduced in the previous episodes click into place. Asteroid Blues started us off with some light space opera and a really terrifying bad guy, Stray Dog Strut showed off the show's goofy slapstick side, and Honky Tonk Women introduced a bit of sleek Bondian intrigue to the mix. But it was Gateway Shuffle that gave us a little bit of everything: A hissable villain with a planetary-scale evil plot, some terrific physical comedy with the vial of "Monkey Business", and the series' first truly edge-of-your seat space battle, with Spike and Faye racing 1,000+ deadly missiles out of hyperspace.

  • Isn't Faye's space suit just the cutest? The goggles strapped to the *outside* of her helmet seem like a pretty useless bit of design, until you remember Trixie from Speed Racer.
  • In some ways Twinkle Murdock is almost a Batman villain, surrounding herself with thematically-dressed flunkies and given to random operatic outbursts, but she still comes across as a credible threat to both the Bebop crew and the population of Ganymede. It's a pity that they dispense with her in this episode, but that's the nature of CB's one-and-done approach to storytelling.
  • I don't remember seeing Ein this week, so I'll just assume that he crawled into the Swordfish's glovebox and napped through the entire hyperspace gate chase.

posted by Strange Interlude at 6:55 PM on August 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

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