Cowboy Bebop E11-14

1.11 Toys in the Attic

A fun throwback to some sci-fi staples. The obvious influence is Alien. It pretty much follows the film’s plotline. I wished the story diverged a little more. Still, the comedic tone does make it enjoyable. Spike lighting the cigarette and the 2001: A Space Odyssey montage are two of the funniest scenes in the show so far. I love the resolution, especially Spike’s little pontification punctuated by Ed’s fitful sleep. Not a grand episode, but good enough.

1.12 & 1.13 Jupiter Jazz

I love how the show is taking its time to fill in the backstory. We’re getting more of Spike’s past, but in an elusive way. The flashbacks are fragments, the characters don’t monologue about what happened, but talk how they would about events both would know about as an integral turning point. It feels a lot more organic and less fabricated. It never smacks of exposition.

I don’t think it’s a surprise that Vicious is back. He’s too essential to Spike’s past to be swept away so quickly. And yet, the episode is more defined by Vicious and what he has done. Once again, main cast just happen to be around in a larger world with a bigger story constantly unfolding around them. They’re certainly players, but they’d be supporting cast.

This two-part episode also finds a way to give Faye some good moments. At first, I worried the story would try to cram her into a narrative that should really focus on Spike, but somehow the episode seems more about Faye’s growth as a character than getting more glimpse of Spike’s past. Also, how about that twist? You so cray, anime.

1.14 Bohemian Rhapsody

This is a good episode. There’s some great storytelling and sci-fi going on in its runtime, but this is probably the most forgettable episode since the ecoterrorist one. It’s not bad, but it lacks the goofy fun or the serious artfulness of most of the other episodes. It’s middle of the road, tonally. In a more straightforward show, it would be a good filler episode. Here, it feels a bit bland. I did like the crazy chess games that went on and the conclusion was quite fun.

© 2013 James Blake Ewing