Episode 2 of Cowboy Bebop begins with an advertisement for a big bounty worth a tasty 2 million marks. Only, this explosives expert isn’t going to be an easy target. With a thousand different buildings they could hit and IEDs east to come by, this could be an illusive target.
Spike and Jet happen to be at a wedding and it doesn’t take long before several suspicious marks show. The first, happens to be the assassin sent by Vicious to take out Spike. The other, armed with explosives, slips away from Jet. This is our bomber. Just like the first episode, we begin with a lot of action and it certainly doesn’t disappoint.
After killing the assassin, Spike reconvenes with Jet, who is adamant on them focusing on the mission at hand. Quite literally in fact, given the bomber has left behind his prosthetic hand. Spike though, has other ideas.
Taking a detour from Jet, Spike returns to an old hangout spot. There, he’s reacquainted with Ana. Given his run-ins with the Syndicate last episode, Spike is concerned about possible loose ends. Specifically, that comes from the bounty hunter in the bathroom who’s very clearly Syndicate-trained. This has riled up Spike, who asks Ana to listen in to planetary chatter.
Now, Spike’s flashes to the past have been a point of contention through the whole show thus far, and this Syndicate singer, Julia, is the focal point for much of it. It seems the pair have a history but for now, we’re drip-fed bits of exposition. Specifically, that Julia is actually married to Vicious.
Over with the Syndicate, Vicious is tasked with speaking to the Elders. Caliban, one of those in control, calls him and Julia out for dealing Red Eye behind their backs. Vicious passes it off as a chance to expand their profits but the Elders don’t see it that way. In fact, in order to settle Vicious’s debt they require he kill Julia. Reluctantly he pulls the trigger, showing how serious he is, but the gun is empty. All of this was simply an excuse to test his loyalty.
While Spike’s been busy, Jet analyses the hand and the bomb sample, learning that it’s Vaxium Nitrate. This sends Spike and Jet down to a construction site well known for this chemical. From there, they find a supplier called Theodore Clark – or Teddy for short. Given the bomber has been leaving teddy bears with the bombs, it all seems to be connected. But could it be that easy?
Yes, yes it can. Spike and Jet head aboard the man’s ship and begin to look around, finding teddies, trinkets… and a trap. As the ship starts to take off, Spike and Jet hurry over to the cockpit, finding the place empty and pushed straight into a debris field. With bits of the ship knocked off, Theodore shows up, complete with a teddy mask. Only, his speech is muffled thanks to the mask.
After some banter, Spike squares off against the bomber one on one while Jet helps give words of encouragement – and a wrench – to knock out Theodore once and for all.
Now, a pressure pad on the floor is the real point of contention here, situated agonizingly close to the escape pod. Spike decides to let Jet go with their mark, keeping his foot on the pad for the time being. Spike thinks twice about opening up about his past though, sticking with a “thank you partner.”
Meanwhile, Vicious catches wind of his guy, Gunther, being defeated in the church bathroom and begins to make plans to thwart Spike once and for all.
The Episode Review
The second episode of Cowboy Bebop starts to dive into Spike’s past, including his mysterious ties with the Syndicate. It would appear as if this was a big part of his past and with a nickname like “Fearless”, it would appear as if he’s a pretty crucial component to this.
However, there’s some serious bad blood between the parties and it looks like he’s supposed to be dead. But why? What really happened? I’m sure we’ll find out across the episodes to come!
The idea of adding a big action scene to the beginning of this episode, much like the first, is a great way to ease into the story and the episodic approach, alongside a more serialized plot, is a nice way of paying homage to the original.
Although not as good as the first, Cowboy Bebop continues to deliver the goods with this follow-up episode.