Cowboy Bebop: Sympathy for the Devil   Rewatch 
August 30, 2014 4:34 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Spike and Jet go after a three million Woolong bounty on Giraffe, a former member of the Self Defense Volunteer Squad. Appearances are deceiving, pulling Spike and Jet into a strange story of an unlikely survivor of a hyperspace gate explosion.
posted by filthy light thief (2 comments total)
 
Running notes and thoughts from this episode:
  1. Faye: Everyone is hungry, but only those who work get food. Get a job, dog.
  2. We get to see a flashback to Spike's fake eye, though it doesn't seem to really play into this episode
  3. Giraffe to Spike: "Don't be fooled by his appearance ... help him ... the stone"
  4. There's no cure for dying, yet.
  5. "I'm no kid." "All kids say that."
  6. Shot in the head, he leaves an explosion of blood on the floor, but disappears
  7. The "Alpha Catcher" is pretty keen, and made me think of the old MTV bumper about viewing someone's thoughts
  8. Jet made a magic bullet.
  9. Faye gets sentimental.
  10. Spike gets brutal.
  11. Time has a way of catching up with you.
  12. "I see, I can finally die now. I feel so heavy, but I feel at peace. Do you understand?"
  13. Harmonicas are tricky

posted by filthy light thief at 12:08 PM on August 31, 2014


We get to see a flashback to Spike's fake eye, though it doesn't seem to really play into this episode

I think the eye-implantation flashback is meant to be a callback to Spike's first "death" when he left the Red Dragons. If I'm remembering the overall timeline correctly, he lost the eye in the shootout, and the artificial one is a reminder of the life he left behind.

I used to not be such a fan of this episode because A) the science is a touch too magical for my tastes and B) the dramatic structure is a bit of a straight line, even with the Act 1 twist.

But just like in Sessions 1 and 5, Wen reflects an aspect of Spike that he's never really confronted before. In this case it's Spike's ambivalent relationship with his own mortality; Wen has lived multiple lives, just like Spike did growing up on Mars, joining the syndicate, and then becoming a bounty hunter. When Wen says "Do you understand?" it's because he recognizes that Spike too has cheated death, but it's not altogether clear that Spike really does understand. The "bang" he does during the fade to credits is a mirror of the one we'll hear in the final session.

Other thoughts:
  • Fatty Rivers, along with further establishing Jet's bottomless network of old colleagues, is the first indication (aside from the BIG SHOT program) that there's plenty of competition for bounty heads.
  • Similarly, the moon-explosion flashback is our first solid clue that something fairly catastrophic has happened to Earth, necessitating the rapid frontier-style colonization of the inner solar system.
  • I never noticed it before, but Wen is wearing a kids' version of the classic First Series/Castle of Cagliostro Lupin III suit: Black shirt/pants, yellow necktie, blue-green jacket.
  • Considering how many times he has to catch falling people/dogs with the Swordfish II's fuselage, Spike should just install a giant catcher's mitt forward of the cockpit.

posted by Strange Interlude at 5:20 PM on September 4, 2014 [1 favorite]


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