We are nearing the end of season one of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop live-action adaptation. We watched as Vicious (Alex Hassell) dealt with The Elders in the last episode while Spike (John Cho) dealt with one of my worst nightmares. But now it is time to watch as both Spike’s past and present collide. But first, we have to get through episode nine, Blue Crow Waltz. This one takes place years earlier and dives into the past of Spike, Vicious and Julia (Elena Satine). Let’s dive in!

DISCLAIMER: This is a recap and, by definition, will contain spoilers for Cowboy Bebop. If you haven’t watched it yet – stop. Go watch it first and then come back. You can thank me later!

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NOTE: Since this is a flashback to when Spike was with the Syndicate and known as Fearless, we will be referring to him as Fearless. It only seems fitting since this bounty hunter has lived two lives and the man who Fearless was is not the man Spike is trying to be.

Blue Crow Waltz opens straight into a flashback of Fearless and Vicious. The two discuss the finer details of dealing with one’s private hair while waiting to handle a job. We can see how Fearless was the more meticulous one, using a garrote and trying to keep the kill as clean as possible where Vicious just stabs him over and over in the stomach. And doesn’t even have the decency to clean up afterward. Savage really. But we also see that Fearless does have a code. No kids. This makes me wonder what Julia was talking about during the virtual reality fiasco back in Binary Two-Step.

Cue the opening theme! Do I have to warn you at this point?

We pick back up at Ana’s (Tamara Tunie), where Vicious and Fearless report a job well done to Stax (A Martinez). Now The Elders want them to negotiate a deal for diamonds. Did you know that it rains diamonds on Neptune? Vicious is relatively sure he will get precisely what they want and Stax sends him on his way. He then as a bit of a sidebar with Fearless. Clearly, Stax doesn’t like Vicious and having to play parent to a son of one of The Elders. Their heads ride on this job going through, so it’s now Fearless’ job to make sure Vicious doesn’t screw it up.

The next we see Fearless, he is cozying up at the bar with Ana. The two flirt a little back and forth, but Fearless is definitely not Ana’s type. But it is pretty clear everyone else finds him to be exactly what they need. Gren (Mason Alexander Park) pulls Ana away for a bit of an emergency. The girl initially set to play next is otherwise preoccupied and I don’t think the patrons would like her new idea of entertainment. The only course of action left is to stick Julia up there. Back out on the floor, Fearless returns to Vicious, who is just beyond chipper to finally be getting the respect he deserves. He undoubtedly fits the spoiled rich kid who gets what they want trope here.

Gren gives Julia a charming introduction and she takes the stage. And folks, can she sing. But we aren’t the only ones to notice. She seems to have caught the eye of both Vicious and Fearless. Backstage, Julia is celebrating her performance when Ana arrives with a gift. It seems that Ana has already warned Julia about the Syndicate. But which one sent the wine? Was it Vicious of Fearless?

John Cho as Fearless and Alex Hassell as Vicious in Cowboy Bebop.

John Cho as Fearless and Alex Hassell as Vicious in Cowboy Bebop. Image courtesy of Netflix.

Blue Crow Waltz brings us to one of Vicious and Julia’s dates. He is rather charming indeed, even learning a bit of Russian for her. And he makes it clear that he is looking to keep Julia all to himself. I wonder if she feels the same? And does she know exactly what kind of man he can be?

Later, Vicious and Fearless head to meet with Stax, who forces them to hang outside the room for a bit. During this time, we learn that things are getting quite serious between Vicious and Julia. Fearless even makes the joke that she has seen the real him and is still sticking around. But has she? Unless she thinks that his tantrums and abusive nature is cute, we doubt she saw the real him.

Stax finally calls them in to let them know that the deal will happen soon. But they have rules that require those involved to leave their weapons at the door. This clearly ticks off Vicious, but Fearless seems like he can handle it. Vicious and Fearless arrive at the meeting point and it appears that Vicious didn’t listen to the rules. Thankfully Fearless is here to play babysitter.

Back at Ana’s, we learn from Gren that Julia has been fired. But not really. It is just a rouse to surprise her about her promotion to headliner. Though, I can’t imagine that Ana is thrilled with her choice to date Vicious. She is a woman who sticks to her guns, and I’m sure we will see this conversation eventually play out.

Vicious and Fearless aren’t so lucky back at Stax’s office. Vicious’ attitude got the better of him and he botched the negotiations by threatening to cut the guy’s hand off. He also thinks it’s funny, but Stax isn’t thrilled in the slightest. Now The Elders will need to figure out a way to fix their mess. All Stax wants Vicious and Fearless to do is sit on their own hands and do nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Their idea of nothing is to go to a bar and drink. Vicious complains that he did the right thing and needs the others to realize that. Julia arrives eventually and you can tell that Vicious is going to let his attitude ruin their date. But Fearless steps up to the plate and offers her everything Vicious won’t. Congratulations, a dance and attention. We learn a few things over the next scene, including a bit about how Vicious saved Fearless by bringing him into the Syndicate, that Fearless (and Spike) are as charming as can be and that it seems Julia and Fearless have an underlining attraction. Shame she is currently dating the most psychotic man in the universe.

Elena Satine as Julia and John Cho as Fearless in Cowboy Bebop.

Elena Satine as Julia and John Cho as Fearless in Cowboy Bebop. Image courtesy of Netflix.

On their way to the next club, Vicious spots the man he negotiated with and decides now is the best time to send a message. Julia finally gets to see just how terrifying Vicious can be before Fearless takes her home. At the same time, Fearless and Julia get intimate at her apartment, Vicious deals with punishing the man who made him look like a fool. And now both Vicious and Fearless have made choices they can’t go back on.

Blue Crow Waltz cuts to Fearless getting a text from Stax. During their meeting, we learn that things are far worse than we expected. Fearless tries to take the fall, but it’s Vicious the Neptune Cartel wants dead. It seems like their hands are tied in this case and I wouldn’t put it past the Syndicate to off one of their own for the sake of peace between rivals. And I’m right. Vicious’ dad Caliban (John Noble), actually sanctioned it and demanded that Fearless be the one to carry out the execution.

Fearless refuses at first, but it seems like the idea of someone else torturing him doesn’t sit right with him. At Vicious’ penthouse, we learn about his dark past and the torment his father put him through over the years. While I can understand how those things have shaped who he is now, I still can’t find it in myself to feel pity for him. I don’t know if it was the story Vicious told or if Fearless never intended to kill him, to begin with, but it seems like the plan has changed.

The next we see Fearless, he is watching the other members of the Neptune Cartel. His plan? To kill all of them so they can’t demand Vicious’ head. And he succeeds. On his way out, a teenage girl sees him. He tells her to run. We see him shoot one more time and hear a body hit the ground, but it is unclear if it is the girl or someone else. Fearless then goes back to Julia’s and convinces her that they need to flee the Syndicate. They set their plans and Fearless heads off to get help from Ana. She is just as reluctant but knows that Julia is safer with Fearless than with Vicious.

At Vicious’ penthouse, he wakes up to a visit from his father. Dad starts to congratulate him on going after the cartel but then calls him out for lying. Caliban also gives him a heads up about what Fearless and Julia have been up to and that they plan on fleeing. But how would he know? Was Fearless being followed? Or did someone rat them out? So, clearly, Vicious is angry about this and heads out to put a  stop to it. First, paying Ana a visit to figure out where Fearless is taking Julia. I didn’t need another reason to dislike Vicious, but knowing Ana’s limp is because of him just adds fuel to that fire.

Blue Crow Waltz draws to a close as Vicious intercepts Fearless and Julia’s plans. He sends for Julia to be taken to his penthouse before dealing with Fearless himself. Vicious lies to Fearless and tells him that Julia chose him before the guns are drawn. The last we see of Fearless, he is floating in the river.

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Talk about a flashback episode. Cowboy Bebop’s look back at Spike’s past is an emotional rollercoaster for sure. It answers quite a lot of questions that have been raised over the last eight episodes. Most notably, what happened at the Blue Crow. I can understand why Spike has chosen to try and move on from his past and begin a new life aboard the Bebop with Faye (Daniella Pineda) and Jet (Mustafa Shakir). Not only did he lose the love of his life that night, but he also lost the only family he ever had. But will he ever be able to escape it?

I’m worried that Spike’s choice not to open up to Jet and Faye about his past will cost him in the long run. At this point, we know that Vicious won’t stop until Spike has been dealt with and is now in control of the entire Syndicate. What will Jet and Faye think when Spike’s past finally comes back to haunt him one last time? And speaking of the past, I couldn’t help but notice that the closing card quote is “You’re gonna carry that weight.” One of the most quoted lines from Cowboy Bebop. And it fits perfectly here. We only have one episode left this season, and I am praying that Netflix announces that we will get a second season soon. I need so many questions answered and I doubt they will be able to do it in the final episode.

But before we dive into it, we have to know, what do you think of Spike’s past? Let us know in the comments below and on social media!

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