Cowboy Bebop (1998): Cowboy Bebop: Jamming with Edward   Rewatch 
September 21, 2014 7:02 AM - Season 1, Episode 9 - Subscribe

In the 9th session, the crew go back to the ruins of earth to track down a hacker who is accessing satellites to carve giant drawings in South American deserts. While on Earth, everyone says they should talk to Radical Edward, a mysterious hacker whose description changes drastically from person to person. Ed is found, and the bounty is claimed, but the culprit is deemed not eligible for bounty collection.
posted by filthy light thief (2 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This was a fun episode on a number of fronts: of course, I'm stoked to finally see Ed in the series, and all the quirky whimsy she brings. It's also an interesting sci-fi tale of a lonely satellite who doodles on the earth, to re-create the Nazca lines that were obliterated from the earth when the moon was destroyed in the astral gate accident of 2021 and meteorites rained down on the earth. The meteorite "rain" continues to the present day, resulting in people living underground for the most part, and weather warnings for "falling rocks."

For me, this episode is a great bit of world-building, where we learn a bit about how things are now as the story at hand (the search for the hacker who authorities assume has taken over the satellite), instead of someone laying out "this is the world and how it came to be."
posted by filthy light thief at 2:53 PM on September 21, 2014 [1 favorite]

Finally, the full crew is assembled! It's easy to forget over the course of the first eight sessions how ultimately essential Edward is to the overall Bebop group dynamic, but once she appears it's obvious.

Going back to Cowboy Bebop's archetypal Lupin III parallelism, if Spike:Lupin :: Jet:Jigen :: Faye ::Fujiko, then clearly Edward must be parallel to Goemon, both for her lone wolf (cat?) nature and wild-card ability to remove otherwise impassable obstacles for the Bebop crew.

Ed also completes the skewed found-family structure of the Bebop crew, as noted by Spike in the epilogue. The arc of these first few episodes is Spike and Jet's kicking-and-screaming transition towards a kind of rough-hewn domesticity: First with the arrival of a pet, then a "hard-headed woman" (Faye's role is multivalent; she and Spike have a bratty sibling dynamic, whereas she and Jet behave like a feuding married couple), and then baby/Edward makes five.

Looking back on the session, I'm sort of disappointed that MPU never makes a repeat appearance, even though its program was apparently copied onto Ed's computer. It would sort of interfere with Bebop's usual one-and-done rhythm with their guest characters, I suppose. In either case, part of my personal head-canon for the show is that Ed fires up MPU's VM once a week and uploads him whatever photographs she can find of other primitive artworks, sort of like feeding a tropical fish or reptile.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:26 PM on September 21, 2014 [2 favorites]

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