Episode 4 of Cowboy Bebop Season 1 begins the episode with the focus shifting across to Faye Valentine. She meets a guy called Mark Manley and demands he help out. Faye is suffering from amnesia after being awoken from cryo-sleep and without her Identikit, she’s in the dark over who she really is.
It turns out her mother, Whitney, conned her completely and right now, she has nothing to lose. Mark rings Whitney for Faye, but there’s a problem.
Midway through this conversation, eco-warriors show up at the joint, fighting for the Callisto Liberation Front. They’re space warriors intending to return the colonies back to mother nature. They have a serious grudge against this company, who are responsible for terraforming planets and causing species to go extinct.
If they don’t comply and stop their work on Callisto then there will be hell to pay. And just to show how serious the leader of this gang are, she holds a terraforming bomb in her hand. One of her clumsy guards drops it though and the ensuing results are spectacularly gruesome. Anyone who ingests the fumes are turned into a tree. Tellingly though, Mark Manley is taken away in the ensuing chaos as a hostage. The eco-warriors steal Faye’s ship too, leaving the hunter emptyhanded.
Faye Valentine shows up in a cantina, confronting Spike and Jet, encouraging them to team up with her. Offering a 60/40 split, the trio formulate a plot to go after these eco-terrorists, given they’re not a hot target with a tasty bounty on their heads, especially after the CEO’s death.
Now, this mark – Maria Murdock – is worth 25 million but Spike has his reservations about teaming up with Faye. He’s not sure she can be trusted. While he and Jet argue over this, Faye takes off in Spike ship, compete with Ein, the dog they commandeered from the dog-napper last episode.
Meanwhile, Vicious doubles down on hitting out against the Elders. He intends to declare war on them. Only, Julia has an alternate idea. She believes Vicious should attack from the side, rather than head-on, and orchestrate a coup rather than a war.
Mao in particular is power-hungry and that means she can be manipulated. Given the eunuch always falls in line with her, Mao appears to be the key to all this. In order to sweeten the deal, Julia arrives before Ana and asks for her help in setting up the meet.
Faye tracks down Manley, who’s now been turned into a tree, and sets to work taking his belongings from the man’s pockets. Only, a gun to her head stops Faye in her tracks. It’s Jet and Spike, who catch up to her. Off the back of this, Spike reverses the deal and makes it a 60/40 in their favour instead.
With the terms agreed, Faye, Spike and Jet team up together and take out Maria before she can drop her eco-rocket. With Faye in an adjacent ship, knocking the rocket off-course, she saves the day while also learning crucial intel via a call with Whitney. Her past could well lie in Alba City.
As the episode closes out, Maria and her subordinate pull the pin on one of their eco-bombs, sacrificing themselves for the greater good.
The Episode Review
Another self-contained chapter rolls round, this time focusing on eco-warriors and seeing Faye Valentine join the bounty hunters aboard the Bebop. The dual storyline between the eco-warriors and Faye is nicely worked, although this is another chapter that directly rips from the anime.
Of course, much like the previous chapter, this one really doesn’t touch the quality of the animated classic. However, the visuals are absolutely stunning and there’s a really slick visual design in this one.
Despite the similarities and reworked stories, Cowboy Bebop is undoubtedly charming and if you’ve made it this far then you’re probably in this one for the long haul. Quite what’s next for our eclectic ensemble remains to be seen but one thing’s for sure – there’s plenty more episodes to sink our teeth into.