Well, fellow space cowboys, we have reached the final episode of season one of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop. This has been one wild ride and I can’t wait to hear that we are getting a second season. In episode ten, Supernova Symphony, everything comes to a head as Spike’s (John Cho) past collides with his present. Without further ado – 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!
Supernova Symphony picks up right where episode eight ends. Vicious (Alex Hassell) is giving himself a toast for becoming the head of the Syndicate. He admits to Julia (Elena Satine) that he knows about her plan with Mao (Rachel House) and Vicious lets loose on her. But Julia isn’t backing down this time. She insults his manhood by reminding him that he stayed with the woman who cheated on him. Wrong move Julia. This seems to make Vicious so mad he doesn’t cause physical pain to her, well, not yet, at least. He is going to do that but not before finding and killing Spike first.
And we have the season finale opening credits. If you skip it, then Netflix won’t give us a second season. Do you want to be responsible for that? I didn’t think so. Let’s jam.
We pick back up with Spike waking up as Jet (Mustafa Shakir) and Faye (Daniella Pineda) are looking for him in Earthland. While Faye is searching, she spots a sign that connects to her past. Before she can investigate further, Jet realizes that someone else showed up and took Spike. Over at Ana’s (Tamara Tunie), Spike wakes up in her office and learns that Gren (Mason Alexander Park) found him and brought him back. Ana had been keeping tabs through Vicious’ men and figured out what was going to happen. I love how Ana keeps saying that she doesn’t get involved in Syndicate stuff, but she is willing to do anything when it comes to protecting Spike.
Back on the Bebop, Faye uses what she saw to find a possible street address for where she grew up. When she tells Jet, she learns that he uncovered where the ship that took Spike went. He knows that Faye wants to find her past and promises her that they will once they get Spike back. At this moment, we see how close the crew has come as Faye agrees to help find Spike first. The series has always pulled me in with the found family story and it shows here.
Supernova Symphony flashes back to Ana’s, where we get the idea that Ana finally told Spike everything about that night. He promises to finally put an end to Vicious and we second that motion with Gren. Ana also tells him that Julia knows that he is alive and that Spike needs to make sure she is safe. But before he can make do on that longtime promise, Jet and Faye arrive to save the day. Except Spike doesn’t need saving and after a brief standoff, everyone gets comfortable.
Jet gets a call from Kimmie (Molly Moriarty), except it isn’t Kimmie. It’s the Syndicate and they took her in exchange for Spike. Jet loses his cool and attacks Spike, demanding to know who he really is. All the guns come back out. Spike finally opens up to Jet about his work with the Syndicate. Jet has every right to be angry at this moment. Spike had years to tell him who he really was and chose not to. Not only does that hurt his trust, but it put Jet and his family in a very dangerous situation. Now he needs to hand over Spike to get Kimmie back safely.
The crew leaves Ana’s and Jet sticks Spike in the trunk. Faye tries to talk Jet out of turning Spike over for Kimmie. She goes on about how if they work together, they can get through this. But Jet won’t listen. He is blinded by his anger at Spike for lying to him and putting Kimmie in harm’s way. And like I said, he has every right to be. But Faye won’t stand by and help him do it. She won’t carry the weight of knowing they sent Spike to his death.
The following few scenes of Supernova Symphony flips back and forth between Julia and Jet. Julia is in a car with members of Vicious’ crew. She puts it into the one’s head that since she knows the truth behind why Vicious tried to kill Fearless, she is going to die as well. She asks Julia if she ever really loved Vicious. Julia opens up about how she thought she loved him, but she didn’t know what love was until Fearless. This must strike a chord with the member who agrees that Julia should be with Fearless and kills the two members in the front seats with Julia’s help before the car flips over.
Jet arrives at the meeting place to find Vicious and the rest of his crew waiting with Kimmie. Jet tells them that Spike is in the trunk and lets them go over to get him. But this is all a ploy. It seems that Jet may have had a change of heart about the situation. They quickly take out the Syndicate members, but when Jet fires on Vicious, he realizes that they are just holograms—even Kimmie. More Syndicate members show up to deal with Jet and Spike while Vicious disappears.
Back at the accident scene, Julia pulls herself from the wreck, taking a gun with her. We get the sense that something has changed within Julia. Like she is over all of this Syndicate stuff and Vicious and ready to take matters into her own hands. Let’s just hope that she can hold onto this strength long enough to help Spike and Jet out. Speaking of those two, the Syndicate members managed to tie them up and break Jet’s arm in the process. As Jet wakes up, we find ourselves within the chapel. Fans of the anime will know which one—the 9th ring of hell.
There is a short moment between Spike and Jet here. We finally get to see Spike thank Jet for changing his mind about him and giving him a chance to right all his wrongs. And I can’t help but think that Spike means more than just this one situation. I think Spike is thanking Jet for giving him the last few years to become a better person than who he was as Fearless.
The moment is broken up by the arrival of Vicious and his crew. And to make this episode so much more nostalgic, we hear one of the most famous quotes from Vicious – “When Angels are forced out of heaven, they become Devils. You agree, don’t you, Spike?” Hassell is fantastic in this scene. Honestly, he has played a pretty fantastically psychotic version of Vicious this entire season. The direct quote from the anime is just icing on the cake here.
Vicious goes on to remind Spike just how terrible he really is. A liar, betrayer, someone who only cares about himself, a bringer of death. Vicious even tells Spike how he had a crypt made for him after that night and would come down to mourn him. Except he didn’t cry over it like he thought he would. But now that Spike is alive, Vicious can put him in it now. Jet doesn’t care about any of this and just wants them to let Kimmie go. But Vicious has other plans for all of them.
Vicious forces Spike to watch as his crew gets ready to kill Jet and Kimmie. But before they can, Faye shows up and lights up the place before elegantly severing the ropes binding Jet and Spike. Spike gets Jet and Kimmie to Faye’s ship, who couldn’t walk away and let those two die. Faye tries to get Spike to join them, but he has unfinished business with Vicious to attend to. Faye gives him her best piece of combat advice – shoot them before they shoot you.
Supernova Symphony drops a major nostalgic moment on us as we hear Rain by The Seatbelts begin to play and watch Spike walk back into the cathedral. Spike deals with the rest of Vicious men while being taunted from the top of the cathedral. And in a scene so reminiscent yet so different from the anime, we watch Spike and Vicious go head to head. Vicious pins Spike to the ground and tries to get him to see that they are the same. But Spike won’t see it. He knows that he gave up that life and has become a different person. Vicious takes Spike’s gun and prepares to put an end to him once and for all.
But in the plot twist of all plot twists, Julia shoots Vicious in the chest. But this Julia doesn’t want to run away with Spike. She has other plans that include killing Vicious and running the Syndicate with Spike at her side. Spike disagrees with what she wants. He feels like he knows that this isn’t her. And maybe Spike is right. Perhaps this wasn’t the Julia he once knew. But this is who she is now. Julia spent the last few years trying to survive being married to Vicious and she is over being afraid.
And since Spike won’t stand by her, it’s time for her to wake up. We watch as Julia takes a shot at Spike and he crashes through the window behind him, falling towards the water below with Green Bird playing in the background.
We cut to Jet as Chalmers (Geoff Stults) and Alisa (Simone McAullay) arrive to get Kimmie. It’s heartbreaking watching Kimmie refer to Chalmers as daddy and not even giving Jet a second thought before getting whisked away. Inside the Bebop, Faye packs up her room and says goodbye to the ship. Outside, she has an emotional goodbye with Jet before heading off to seek out her past.
Supernova Symphony shifts to Vicious, who has been tied up in what looks like Mao’s plant. Julia lets him on her plans to keep him locked away while she runs the Syndicate on “his behalf.” But why keep him alive? The two play a dangerous game of Russian roulette which ends with Vicious still alive and Julia leaving him behind.
Back at the Bebop, Spike returns. Alive but seriously injured. But he doesn’t get the welcoming he is used to. Jet reminds him that the only reason he is still alive right now is because he helped save Kimmie. But, if they cross paths again, Jet will kill him. Jet then heads into the Bebop and leaves Spike out on the street. But this isn’t where the episode ends, though.
We get a quick scene at the end with Spike stumbling out of a bar and falling flat on his face in an alley. But no peace comes for Spike Spiegel. He gets a rather obnoxious visit from Radical Ed (Eden Perkins) and Ein! He needs to get up because they have a job for him and it includes finding the Butterfly Man known as Volaju. And that would be Vincent Volaju, the main antagonist of Cowboy Bebop: The Movie. And on this note, Supernova Symphony and season one of Cowboy Bebop draws to a close.
What a season finale. The beginning of Cowboy Bebop reminded me of how comical and lighthearted the original anime was. But, these last few episodes proved that Netflix understood how important it was to the series that it balances both the comical side with the heavy tones. This episode hits so much harder because we spent the last nine episodes watching the members of the Bebop dance through missions and come together as a family. And then it all comes falling down as Spike’s past comes to take a chunk out of his tush.
With the appearance of Ed in the final scene, I fully believe that they are shooting for a second season. The overall events have led up to the anime episode Ballad of Fallen Angels. We still have a lot more ground to cover, including Faye’s past and Jet trying to reconcile with his daughter and family. It seems like they are setting up a season (or at least a few episodes) that cover the film’s events. But, before we get to that point, the Bebop needs its crew back together. And honestly, we do too. The emotional hurt I went through watching Faye leave Jet and then Jet leaving Spike behind was enough to bring tears to my eyes.
But, we need to talk about the big elephant in the room – Julia’s journey in this series. It differs significantly from the original series but in a good way. Julia is still a driving point behind Spike’s actions and their relationship is still there. But, we get the chance to see Julia in a different light. They chose to have her stay with Vicious and marry him instead of going into hiding. This brings on a new level of horror that Julia goes through and honestly, in the end, I can understand where she is coming from. Here are two men who were supposed to protect her and look at what happened. I am excited to see where her story goes from here and if she will face off with Spike in the end.
This is it! We’ve reached the end of the first season of Cowboy Bebop! What are your thoughts on the events of Supernova Symphony? Let us know in the comments below and on social media!