Cowboy Bebop Season 1 Finale: Recap, Review & Ending Explained

Supernova Symphony

So here we go, after 9 episodes of explosive action, bombastic set-pieces and gorgeous aesthetics, we’re up to the finale and what a wild ride it has been.

The scene for episode 10 of Cowboy Bebop opens with Julia awaiting her fate at the hands of the blood-soaked Vicious. He’s livid, demanding to know the extent of her betrayal. Laughing maniacally, Julia stands up and confronts Vicious, antagonizing him and claiming he’s not even a man.

Spike meanwhile is found on the outskirts of the fairground, which has been destroyed after the massive explosion in episode 8’s bombastic conclusion. Interestingly, Faye finds a scene for Greenacre Avenue which, as it turns out, happens to match the house from the VHS tape she watched. More tellingly than that though is there’s no sign of Spike.

Now, it turns out Spike was actually picked up by Ana, who’s been looking out for him this whole time. When Spike awakens, he vows to take out Vicious, just as Faye and Jet appear at the bar, guns aimed and ready to fire. Spike organizes traffic though, calming everything down.

Jet receives a call from Kimmie but there’s a problem. The Syndicate, led by Vicious of course, have held her captive in exchange for Spike’s life. Jet immediately turns a gun on Spike and calls him out for being a Syndicate hitman. Jet is livid that he’s been lied to but Spike makes a play for his own life, stopping Jet from pulling the trigger and heading to the exchange point.

Of course, that point just so happens to be the fishery we saw earlier in the season. A shootout inevitably ensues, with a gorgeous split-screen shot as the fighting breaks out. However, it turns out this whole meet was a set-up, as Vicious and Kimmie were actually holograms and not even there to begin with.

Surrounded by guards after walking right into this trap, the pair are tied up in a strikingly beautiful church and left to the real Vicious when he shows up.

Vicious grabs Spike’s head and forces him to watch as Jet and Kimmie look set to meet a grizzly demise. Only, bright lights outside pave way for a barrage of bullets to rudely interrupt their operations.

Faye Valentine shows, turning the tables and shooting through the church windows, taking out all the different goons. Faye’s a pretty good shot too, shooting Jet and Spike’s binds and allowing them go free. Vicious is nowhere to be found but Spike and Jet make it outside.

With Jet and Kimmie safe, Spike heads back inside the church to square old debts. This inevitably leads to Spike and Vicious going toe to toe. Spike is bested by his brother, looking down the barrel of a gun, until Julia shows up and shoots Vicious.

Having earlier escaped a pretty gnarly car crash, she propositions Spike. When he declines, deciding instead to be free, she winds up shooting Spike and watching as he falls out the church window to his doom.

Meanwhile, Jet gives Kimmie back to her folks, glum and regretful over what’s happened. With the threat thwarted for now, Faye heads off from the Bebop too, deciding to follow her instincts and discover her origins and who she really is. She hugs Jet goodbye and walks toward parts unknown.

At this point, we skip across to Julia who has Vicious tied up, kept alive for a possible season 2 while she takes her place as his wife, speaking on his behalf with the Syndicate.

Spike too is alive, from the looks of it, and he rocks up alongside Jet while he’s outside the Bebop. Their relationship has been severed, thanks to Spike’s hidden past, and he watches as Jet heads back aboard and takes off without him.

How does Cowboy Bebop Season 1 end?

As the episode closes out, a drunken Spike collapses in the alleyway. Hyperactive Ed suddenly shows up with Ein though, encouraging him to find a bounty with him.

The Episode Review

So there we go, we get our obligatory cliffhanger ending, there’s plenty of drama and ensuing conflict across the episodes and we catch a glimpse of the hyperactive Ed, who was of course part of the original anime.

This final episode brings most of our big plot threads to a close, while leaving lots of the table for a possible second season. Faye’s past is still unexplored, to an extent, while Jet’s past ties to Kimmie look to be severely broken after the incident involving the kidnapping.

Likewise, the three bounty hunters have now gone their separate ways but it also leaves an intriguing prospect on the table for season 2, with standalone chapters involving all three hunters involving in their own arcs.

As I said all those episode sago though, this is going to be an acquired taste and if you’re not taken after the first few episodes, it’s unlikely you’ll enjoy what’s here either. However, Cowboy Bebop has been an enjoyable watch, although the decision to leave Vicious alive is a highly questionable one.

Now, this whole arc could have been resolved with Julia actually killing Vicious and then herself becoming that very same character, a cruel and twisted woman after Spike rejected her. Instead, there isn’t much in the way of satisfaction when it comes to closing out these antagonistic threads.

Despite the loose ends, there’s enough here to enjoy and the gorgeous visuals have really helped elevate this show. Still, there’s going to be a very polarizing reaction to this and it’ll be interesting to see what side of the debate people fall on.


So let us know in the comments below! Do you love this remake? Loathe it entirely? Or do you fall somewhere in the middle?

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You can check out our full season review for Cowboy Bebop here!

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