Season 1, Episode 6: Sympathy for the Devil

March 3, 2010

One review down, three remaining, spent half an hour annoying my cat and grabbing a bite to eat and now I’m ready to go from reviewing episode 5 to reviewing episode 6.

Our episode begins with a hallucination where Spike is half asleep and dreams that he is undergoing surgery. Maybe it isn’t a dream and is the writers way of telling us that he actually went through surgery because with this “dream sequence” it allowed for the easy transition of what happened to Spike since the last episode, and right now Spike is at some kind of Blues club, where a small boy is playing the harmonica in a very bluesy way.

The next scene made me giggle a little bit, Faye is looking for food and all she finds is some dog food in the refrigerator. The Corgi (who still has no name) is just sitting there near his food bowl begging for it, and Faye picks it up and begins eating the can of dog food. The dog whimpers and she replies with

“You don’t work, you don’t eat. You’re a hunting dog, go hunt up some food. We girls are different; we have to be pampered because we’re delicate and refined”

and she says this as she continues to eat the dog food.

Back at the Blues club, Spike and Jet are looking for a fugitive, and they’ve got him in their sights. They’re having a little conversation as they watch him and I thought I’d quote something that made me laugh. Spike says to Jet that he thought Jet didn’t like the blues and was an all Jazz kind of guy, but Jet replies that he’s been singing the blues since he was born. To this, Spike replies “A Baby Hipster. Very cool.” It kind of made me laugh, because I imagined a baby wearing a keffiyah around his neck and a fedora, singing his rendition of Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane over the Sea” but since a guitar is too mainstream, he’s doing it using a banjo.

The two of them make a quick plan to go surround the guy, Spike from the left and Jet from the right, but it turns out that one of Jet’s friends is in the way. Jet goes over to distract him so Spike can make his move, but their fugitive begins to leave. Spike begins to follow him, as Jet is left behind talking to his friend. As Spike reaches a corner, he looks against the wall and finds that the man he’s going after is looking for someone as well. Apparently, it’s the boy and his manager (I’m guessing manager at least, it hasn’t been specified or shown) and they’ve gone off in a cab. He gets a cab as well to follow them, and Spike goes to get his ship to follow the fugitive.

Well, what a twist. The fugitive and the two people he was following reach a hotel, where the boy and manager (or what I think is his manager), go to a room and the fugitive follows them. The fugitive pulls out a gun, bursts into the room, takes aim and yells “Give it back now, Zebra!” Then in the next scene we see our fugitive getting thrown out the window (it doesn’t show who threw him though) and he’s caught by Spike on the wing of his ship.

Unfortunately for Spike though, the Fugitive has a gunshot wound in his chest and he dies on the ground. Before he dies though, he tells Spike that he “shouldn’t be fooled by his appearance” and that he needs to help someone. Now, I don’t know who he’s talking about. There are two people he just went after, one was a little boy and the other was an older man in a wheelchair. Either way, he gives Spike a ring with a stone on it and tells him that it’s the only way to defeat him. Seems like whichever one of the two it is, if it is one of the two, it’s going to be a twist.

Spike returns to the Bebop where Jet analyzes the ring and says it’s got some value to it. They don’t know what to do with it, but after a bit of talking they decide to find the story behind the fugitive that died and handed them the ring, apparently named Giraffe.

Jet sets up a meeting with his friend from the Blues club who tells Jet the story of Giraffe. Apparently, Giraffe is after Zebra, the man in the wheelchair. At one time they were partners who worked together and were the leaders of the Self-Defense Volunteers Squad, and had worked together until ten years prior. What happened was that Zebra and Giraffe had a confrontation with a group called the “Space Raiders” over a land dispute, and afterwards Zebra went missing and Giraffe was found in a silo. According to the story, Zebra had double-crossed Giraffe in order to run the entire group. However, years later Zebra reappeared and was in a wheelchair with the kid, so it didn’t turn out like he planned.

Spike decides to follow Zebra and the boy, named Wes, around. He follows them into a warehouse, where they figure out he is following them and surprise him by focusing a light on him. At which point, Wes begins talking to Spike.

Meanwhile, back in the ship Jet and Faye are looking up information about Zebra when they find an article about Wes. It shows Wes, still as a boy, shaking hands with some important people but it turns out that the picture in the article is over thirty years old. So thirty years later, Wes still looks like a child. Well, we’ve found our twist of the episode.

Back in the warehouse, Spike is trying to get Wes to come with him believing that he is the one that needs help, but Wes ends up shooting Spike in the arm. Guess its Zebra who needs the help, and Spike’s going to need help too now since the gunshot made him drop his weapon and that can’t be good. We’re shown a flashback, where Wes is given a harmonica by his parents. Soon after, half the planet explodes due to the explosion of a hyperspace gate. While his parents die, he survives because their bodies covered his, and because of this event his body stopped aging.

Wes tries to get Spike to give him the ring but Spike refuses. Wes begins shooting at Spike, at which point they have a little shoot out and Spike is able to hit the gun out of Wes’s hand after running to his own gun and quickly picking it up. Wes begins to run up the stairs to where Zebra is, and as Spike goes to chase him, Wes throws Zebra down the stairs and Spike is forced to catch him. After he does, he continues to shoot at Wes who runs further up the ramp and gets on top of a crate, he turns for a moment and Spike shoots him directly in the head, however when Spike goes up there to check where Wes’s body is, he finds nothing but a blood splattered floor. Apparently, Wes can’t die the normal way.

Spike returns to the ship with Zebra, and they attach some kind of machine to Zebra’s body. The machine allows for them to see his thoughts on a TV screen and they watch Zebra remember the day that Giraffe was shot out of the building. Before he was shot out by Wes, Giraffe threatened Wes with the stone saying that it could return time to him, making him age again. Well, this episode so far has been pretty damn good (although not as good as a 5 so far), and what’s making it better is now Jet is explaining why Wes isn’t aging, and because I’m sure you, the reader, wants to know so badly why it is; I’m going to quote it word for word.

“When the gate exploded, a coordinate system was created from the resulting twists in hyperspace, the kind of singularity that drew in vast amounts of energy, enclosing and crystallizing them into a single faceted stone, the gem that makes up this ring. The same energy broke his circadian rhythm; his pineal body continually produces a substance like melatonin that prohibits aging. That’s the theory in a nutshell.”

As he’s explaining this, Spike puts the gem onto a bullet. Jet’s not sure what’s going to happen when the bullet actually does hit Wes though. He says the entire planet could blow up, and Spike’s reply to that is “Kind of makes it interesting.” As Spike’s leaving, Faye tells him that she should say goodbye to him since it’s the last time she’ll be seeing him, to which Spike (in all his natural coolness) replies “Huh, you mean you’ll be leaving us?” unfortunately, that’s not the case. Neither she nor Jet believes Spike’s going to come back alive, and Jet himself gives Spike a cigarette and lights it for him as a sign of this.

Wes is back in the city, and he decides to get into a taxi where he shoots the driver and takes the car for himself. He begins driving as Spike starts closing in from above in his personal aircraft. Spike begins to shoot at the car from above and the taxi crashes into a gas station that promptly explodes upon impact. However, he gets up with no visible damage at all.

After getting out of his vehicle, Spike takes his time aiming his shot and then after Wes has taken three missed shots at Spike,but Spike gets a direct hit on Wes, right in the head.

Suddenly, Wes immediately ages into an old man and falls on the floor, just about to die. Looks like the bullet didn’t blow up the planet. A little bit of a shame, I was kind of wondering what Spike’s laid-back response would’ve been to it.

Spike walks up to the body, and Wes begins talking for very short bit. He says he can finally die, and he can finally be at ease. He asks Spike if he can understand, but before Spike answers him, Wes dies. Spike’s response though is, “Yeah, I understand. As if.” Spike picks up Wes’s harmonica and throws it in the air, he aims at it with his fingers in the shape of his gun, and as the harmonica reaches 12 o’clock, he says the last line of the episode.

“Bang.”

This episode gets a 4.5/5. It had great scenes, great dialogue, that ending especially was amazing, but it seemed kind of boring at times. However, the soundtrack was beautiful and for the first time wasn’t jazz, for the entire episode it was done in blues, all harmonica only. This was a great episode, but it wasn’t the best one. But god damn, that ending scene where he said “Bang” was just too good. I couldn’t imagine a better ending to this episode.

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