Season 1, Episode 20; Pierrot Le Fou
April 10, 2010
The first half of this episode is the best I’ve seen of this entire show. Spike’s walking the streets and he comes about a very round man killing a group of people using a cane he has that shoots bullets, and after that all goes to hell. The guy is crazy and starts shooting everything, including Spike, who almost gets killed but escapes. The man turns out to be an assassin named Mad Pierre and he’s been killing all the major ISSP officers, and no one knows anything about him. The guy can fly. He can god damn fly. Even in the future that’s amazing. So far this is the creepiest episode of the series, and it’s also the most amazing. The use of silence to intensify the scenes between Pierre and Spike’s gunfight makes the scene so much more dramatic and almost imprints the entire scene in the viewers mind. The battle, as short as it was, leaves a creepy tone once it’s over, and it also leaves Spike covered in bandages. Not surprising, since this guy can FLY AND SHOOT OUT OF A CANE. He also took the time to reveal that under his jacket he had as much weaponry as all of the people on Normandy during D-Day, on both sides.
The second half of the episode was better than the first, and put together, this was the most amazing episode of any show I’ve ever seen. It had everything I wanted in it, a child-like sense of playfulness and cruelty and the ability to show how innocence as corrupt. It turns out that Pierre is an ISSP experiment, trained to be the perfect assassin- but an error occurs where although his body is that of a super soldier with super soldier abilities, his mind is reverting to a younger and younger age. The error forces ISSP to abort the experiment, and during transport to a permanent holding facility, Pierre kills everyone before he reaches his cell and then goes out and starts killing others. Spike is invited by Pierre himself to come to a circus themed theme park where Spike and Pierre are all alone, what occurs after he gets there is an extremely creepy, psychedelic, spaced out adventure showcasing childlike innocence in the way that children have no idea that they cause pain to others. In the end, Spike and Pierre are at a stare down with the entire theme park alive behind him, and as a large mechanical marching band marches towards them, Spike throws a knife at Pierre (who shoots him back) and it hits him in the leg. Pierre, having mentally reverted to an age between five and seven, falls on the floor and cries out for his mommy until one of the giant robots in the parade steps on him and kills him.
This was the best episode of cowboy bebop yet. I would recommend this as an introductory episode to anyone who never watched the show before for a few reasons. For one, it showcases the director’s skill of setting mood and tone, and knowing what sounds to use and what sounds to dismiss. The silence in the first fighting scene is unbelievably intensifying. Second, the action in the episode is at a perfect amount and is perfect in general. Also, the episode doesn’t spoil anything about the story, it brings out all of the characters best traits (Spike’s coolness, Faye’s self-centeredness [there’s one scene in specific where Spike is in bandages trying to reach an orange and she grabs it for herself, and leaves the peel on his head], Jet’s father-like spirit and knowledge [he spends the episode talking to the ISSP finding information about Pierre], and Ed’s general kookiness [she spends the episode making weird noises and bantering]) without revealing any information about them. Well, I guess there is a spoiler in there being that a new viewer will get to see the entire bebop crew well before they actually are a crew, but that’s also spoiled in the theme song (if you pay any attention to it). Simply put, this was the greatest episode of anything ever. I loved this episode so much; I’m going to watch it again. 5/5, I’d give more but then it would be an improper fraction.