Netflix’s live-action series brings broken friendships and revenge

Cowboy Bebop is the recent live-action Netflix remake of the eternally popular animated series of the same name. As such, it has a lot to do. It is not for me to say whether or not he achieved that massive goal in this article; I’m just here to explain the somewhat complex ending of the show’s first season for those who might be a bit confused by all the strands woven together in the finale. Every member of the Bebop futuristic bounty hunter team, Spike Spiegel (Jean Cho), jet black (Mustafa shakir) and Faye Valentine (Daniella Pineda), have their own agendas and demons to grapple with between now and the end credits, so things get a bit tricky. Add to that the tattered pasts, love interests, and enemies of the characters, and you’ve got a finale that has a lot of details to work out. But hey, that’s what we’re here for. Let’s dive in and dismantle this caravan of Cowboy events together.


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Intrepid, Vicious and Julia: a love triangle

The story between Spike (who was called Fearless when he worked for the villainous Syndicate), Vicious (Alex Hassell) and Julia (Elena Satine) is truly the backbone of the process leading up to the season finale. Spike is a partner in crime with Vicious, and the two have done terrible and violent things for the Syndicate during their time together. But Fearless had an eye for Julia, Vicious’s beautiful blonde girlfriend and singer. When the two disrupt relations with the Venusian Cartel and Vicious finds one of them on the street and begins to torture him, he asks Fearless to take Julia home. He doesn’t ask her to sleep with her, but Fearless takes the initiative anyway. Of course, after a few hours in the bag together, Fearless and Julia are head over heels in love with each other.

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Vicious’s father (Jean Noble) wants his son dead because of the war he may have started with Venus, but Fearless takes it upon himself to wipe out the entire cartel rather than kill his best friend. But that’s not enough to make up for Fearless’s indiscretion with Julia, so Vicious brings in a team to take out his pal. Intrepid finds himself slaughtered and swimming with the fish for his sins, although he obviously does not die. Instead, he takes on the identity of Spike Spiegel and becomes a cowboy alongside Jet Black.


Cowboy-Bebop-Julia
Image via Netflix

Jet Black’s Jilting family

Jet’s past isn’t so much his fault, but that doesn’t mean it’s not as tragic as Spike’s. He was a cop and a family man with a wife and a daughter. While trying to stop a dirty coworker, he ends up getting shot by him instead. Worse, he was framed and sent to prison for several years. This obviously causes a rift in his family, leaving room for the very cop he initially thought was the culprit of moving in with his wife and becoming his daughter’s stepfather. While Jet, as the cowboy he becomes, ends up finding the real villain, it’s not the man who has taken his place on his property. Things therefore remain quite tense within the family unit. They only go from bad to worse when Jet’s daughter Ana (Tamara Tunie), gets kidnapped by Vicious and his thugs, due to his association with Spike. This, of course, leads to the revelation of Spike’s past as the Syndicate hitman, which creates a potentially unbreakable rift between the two friends and partners.


Faye’s forgotten past

Faye Valentine’s past is a mystery, and there are good reasons for it. She seems to have been in cryogenic sleep for too long, causing permanent amnesia. When she was finally woken up by a con artist named Whitney pretending to be her mother (Christine dunford), Faye had no recollection of herself to go against the request and ended up getting everything she had cheated on her. When she meets Whitney again, she is already a cowboy and a member of the Bebop, and aware of Whitney’s ways.

Faye wants to return the villain for his significant bounty, but ends up helping him out of the world in exchange for his “identikit,” which could supposedly restore all of his lost memories. Instead, it turns out that this is just a VHS recording of herself as a child, telling her future self about who she is and what she hopes to become. There is one usable clue on the strip, however: Greenvale Avenue, the name of the street where she grew up.



Cowboy-Bebop-Netflix
Image via Netflix

A cowboy bebop breakup

With all of that in play, the climax occurs during a trade where Spike is to be traded by Jet for Ana. But when the deal goes down, Jet signals to Spike, who is sealed in the trunk of a car, at a pivotal moment. He shoots through the car, killing some of Vicious’ men. Sadly, Vicious himself cannot be removed, as it turns out that he and Ana are just holograms that disappear before his father’s eyes. He and Spike are then overpowered in confusion and wake up tied to posts in Vicious’s family crypt with Ana.

To complicate matters further, Julia, who was sent with some Vicious thugs to be killed. But she manages to handle the hitman who strangles the driver, causing a huge car crash from which only Julia walks away, of course. Meanwhile, Vicious is about to execute Jet and his daughter in front of Spike, but is stopped by a hail of gunfire from Faye’s ship outside. She eliminates some of Vicious’ men and even pulls on the ropes of the three hostages. They get out of the brawl and Jet and Ana board the ship while Spike goes to confront Vicious and end things once and for all.


It’s a high-octane fight between the two men who once called each other “Brother,” with Vicious wielding a sword against Spike’s radiator. But Vicious manages to gain the upper hand. Before he can deliver the killing blow, Julia shows up and shoots him, pushing him aside. Turns out she’s not quite the delicate snowflake she’s been presented with all season. She wants Spike to finish off Vicious and then take control of the Syndicate by his side. Spike declines. This infuriates Julia, who says, “You were clearly nothing more than a dream that I needed to wake up to,” implying that their love was a lie, after which she put a bullet in him. back. Spike falls through a stained glass window and she leaves him for dead – the same mistake Vicious made so many years ago.


It’s the beginning of the end for the Bebop crew. Faye tells Jet that she has a chance to find out who she really is and goes to investigate her trail on Greenvale Avenue. When Spike resurfaces, Jet tells him that the only reason he’s still alive is because he helped save Ana. His years of deception and his past with the Syndicate are too hard to forgive for Jet. His last words to his former partner are: “If I ever see you again, I will kill you”. Meanwhile, Julia has Vicious shackled in what looks like a boiler room. She explains to him that since the Elders (Syndicate leaders) had been eradicated earlier (by Vicious, no less), he will now become one of them. However, they still wear masks, so she will speak for him. She then plays a little Russian roulette, loading a single spin into a revolver, spinning it and shooting it once. When no bullet emerges, she tells him that they will try again tomorrow.



Cowboy-Bebop-Radical-Ed
Image via Netflix

The final scene of the final episode of Cowboy Bebop finally introduces the fan favorite character, “Radical Ed” (Eden perkins) to the procedure, even if only to yell at a passed out Spike who just tripped out of a bar. In the anime, Ed was a young girl, abandoned by her father, who becomes a talented hacker and ultimately, a member of the Bebop. Here she screams in Spike’s face that she wants to hire him to find “The Butterfly Man”, Voluja. We also see that Ein, the team’s semi-beloved dog, is also watching Spike. For those who don’t know who Voluja is, he was the main antagonist of Cowboy Bebop: The Movie, a former soldier driven mad by experimental tests for a pathogen. His nickname arose from the fact that he constantly hallucinates bright butterflies.


And it is so Cowboy BebopThe first season of live action comes to an end. The team is disbanded. Jet is even more alienated from his daughter due to his kidnapping and completely isolated from Spike. Faye is about to try to unearth her past, Julia runs the Syndicate with Vicious hostage, and Spike is a complete mess, though apparently not so bad that Ed won’t hire her to take out this butterfly man.

Are we going to see how all those strings end up unraveling? Well, that ball remains in Netflix’s court, as they haven’t given the green light for a second season of the show yet. Keep your fingers crossed, cowboys.


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