Sad Clown A-Go-Go
Episode 8 of Cowboy Bebop begins with gunshots. Vicious shows up with his guards to the prison, releasing a Red Eye junkie by the name of Pierrot LeFou. He’s lusting for blood but Vicious proves his worth, killing the guard. He tasks Mad Pierrot with killing Spike in exchange for giving him as much Red Eye as possible.
Meanwhile, it’s family time for the Bebop crew. Spike, Faye and Jet are out bowling, with Spike hitting a strike and Faye knocking the ball down the gutter. It doesn’t take long though for a cake to be presented, complete with singing.
Heading outside, Mad Pierrot shows and immediately hits the trio with a barrage of bullets. When Ein starts barking, it distracts Pierrot long enough to let the hunters back on the Bebop to safety. Spike is in a rough way and he’s left behind to recover while Jet and Faye head out.
Jet meets Woody who reinforces how dangerous Pierrot is. He’s a phantom, with his file completely scrubbed free and hiding any possible weaknesses. Woody also throws shade at Spike too, pointing out how shady his history is and how Jet should probably dive deeper into this.
When Jet returns to Bebop, there’s a big problem. Pierrot establishes a neural link with Ein, using his eyes to project his own message to Spike. The hunter has two hours to meet him or the killing will begin. Despite Pierrot consumed by a force-field, Spike decides to head out and meet him head-on.
While Spike gears up, Jet tries to squeeze intel out of him regarding his past. He knows Spike has a military background of some description, but the details (that being the Syndicate ties) are kept hidden for now. Jet and Faye decide to join Spike though, not allowing him to go about this on his own, leaving Ein behind while they fly off.
On the way, the gang rhyme their plan but of course, sometimes the best laid plans suck. The Bebop winds up breaking down en-route, sabotaged by Spike frying the fusion module. Spike himself leaves and slips away on his own.
Spike shows up at the abandoned fairground alone. Pierrot starts playing his games but Spike distracts him with a robotic dog. Eventually he rushes in and kills the assassin.
Meanwhile, Vicious meets Santiago, who hands over the handcuffs and prepares for this coup. He’s brought before the Elders, pledging treason. As Vicious’s head is cut off, things take a startling turn.
It’s revealed that Santiago and Vicious have actually swapped places, shielded by some clever tech. With Santiago decapitated, Vicious brandishes his sword, making short work of Mao, the guards and the rest of the Elders.
Vicious approaches Caliban, the remaining Elder, and stabs him right through the heart. Just before Mao dies, she tells Vicious to say sorry to Julia for not killing him on her command. It’s the final bombshell to disrupt this happy family set-up, and one that promises to explode in the future.
A blood-soaked Vicious returns home with Mao’s severed head, throwing it in the fire while staring daggers at Julia.
The Episode Review
Ultimately this episode’s lesson is that sometimes the best laid plans suck. That much is especially true here, as we see both Jet and Julia’s plans go up in smoke. Vicious is clever and understands that a coup would have been in play and manages to get around that, killing all of the Elders and taking command by force.
Likewise, Jet’s plan for the trio to work together and take out Pierrot is useless (throwing into question all those rhymes and repeated phases) as Spike just uses a toy dog to distract the guy and run away. This whole fight feels a little too quick and anticlimactic though, for what’s otherwise an important episode when it comes to Vicious and that Elder plot.