Cowboy Bebop season 1, episode 9 recap – “Blue Crow Waltz”

November 19, 2021
M.N. Miller 0
Netflix, Streaming Service, TV Recaps


Each subsequent episode of Cowboy Bebop gets better because it builds on the legend of Fearless and “Blue Crow Waltz” answers all your questions in the season’s most satisfying hour yet.

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Each subsequent episode of Cowboy Bebop gets better because it builds on the legend of Fearless and “Blue Crow Waltz” answers all your questions in the season’s most satisfying hour yet.

This recap of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop season 1, episode 9, “Blue Crow Waltz,” contains spoilers.

Read the review of season 1.

Cowboy Bebop season 1, episode 9 recap

This episode opens with Vicious and Fearless in a flashback enjoying each other’s company. They are janitors, cleaning up an office (hey, we all have to start somewhere). A man then walks out of his office, on his cell, and he is telling someone excitedly how they are taking down the Syndicate tonight. Not so fast, as Fearless chokes them from behind using a garrote. As the man is about to die, Vicious comes up and stabs him a dozen times, causing a bloody mess. Fearless, objecting to his acute behavior, hears someone behind him and pulls out a gun. It’s a woman and her child. They stand frozen until he lets them run away. Vicious then complains they can identify them. It doesn’t matter, no kids. That’s the code.

And those are the breaks.

Julia, meet Vicious. Vicious, meet Julia. Oh, and this is Fearless

Vicious, as we know, is a hothead. He lets his anxiety and feelings of inadequacy get to him. He overcompensates instead of sticking to his directives. He has no discipline. This is what his capo thinks of him. Fearless is told to keep an eye on him. Of course, he can’t because Julia has taken the stage of Ana’s club. They are both bewitched by her, but it’s Vicious who asks her out first. They are serious, but he hasn’t brought her around to hang out with his best friend, Fearless, yet.

That’s when professionally, Vicious is having a dreadful week that seeps into his personal life as he screwed up a couple of deals that have the Syndicate questioning his usefulness. So, he sulks at the table, drinking his drink, while having Fearless meet Julia for the first time. He is a killjoy, so Julia drags Fearless to the dance floor. They have immediate chemistry, even though it seems Julia is being overtly flirtatious. They stumble into each other’s arms and stare at each other for a brief second before realizing someone snapped their picture (the one Spike keeps in his room). Fearless, sensing Julia is just throwing herself at him, he says they should drag Vicious to another club to cheer him up.

You’re a good friend, she responds.

Well, you can’t get Vicious out of his mood. He spots one of those annoying Neptune gangsters and runs him over with his convertible, with Julia in the passenger seat and Fearless in the back. Even though his best friend tells him to, you know, don’t do what he thinks he is about to do. But he does, beating the man senseless and tells Fearless to take Julia home (oh, I bet he will).

Fearless, meet Julia. Fearless, meet Julia. Oh, and Now Make Sweet, Sweet Bepop

One minute as they enter Fearless’s apartment (I guess he assumed this would be Julia’s new home), she tells Fearless how much she is trembling (using my best bimbo voice, “Julia scared”). Fearless approaches her and says he is safe with her. And in one of the weirdest montage mashups, it goes from Fearless and Julia’s passionate lovemaking knocking over wine that spills over the counter to the wine turning into gasoline (just like Jesus, I suppose) that Vicious is pouring over the poor man by the docks. While Fearless is playing life the wheelbarrow with Julia, Vicious pulls the man’s teeth out, one by one, with his hand plyers. 

For some reason, no one seems guilty, scared, or thinks that Vicious will come looking for his girl. But this is where he tells Julia why they are friends — an origin story if you will. Vicious saved Fearless’s life when he was nine, and they have been best friends ever since. Fearless, though, he gets a call he will regret — his capo has found out that Vicious killed the man, and a war will break out unless Vicious is killed. He understands his loyalty to him and the reason for it. Think about it this way, if he doesn’t, someone else will. At least he will be quick about it. 

Spike finds Vicious at his home. He is now holding a knife behind his back. Good old Blondie is sitting in front of that lit fire, telling his best friend how this is all his fault. He knows, even though his father is head of the Syndicate. He tells Fearless to leave because they will be here soon. He walks behind his friend, sitting on the couch, and still holding the knife behind his back, leans down to whisper into the ear of his childhood friend. “I won’t let that happen,” he says.

So, Fearless, we think, is heading into the Syndicate’s headquarters to take them out. But he enters the Neptune Cartel holdout. In the best scene of the series so far, he slow-motion kills them all, like the Bride in Kill Bill. He made his choice, so he went to Ana. She arranges passports and safe passage for “Fearlia” to leave immediately.

The Ending – Father Dearest

Caliban shows up the next day and finds his boy passed out from an all-nighter and lots of booze. He congratulates him on a job well done, and he didn’t think he had it in him. Of course, this is a trick, and Vicious takes the bait. He is a sniveling coward, and to make it worse, he takes credit for things that he doesn’t even do. To make matters worse, Fearless demonstrated that he is only loyal to himself, not Vicious or the Syndicate. This catches Caliban’s son’s ear. That’s right, “boy,” Fearless was with your “w***e” last night (now you see where Vicious gets it from).

So, Vicious does what Vicious does. He intercepts Julia before she can meet Fearless at the bridge at midnight. He tortures Ana into telling him how his childhood friend is going to escape. He then puts a couple of dozen hot pieces of lead into Fearless as he drops that rose onto the wet cement, and he tumbles over the railing into the water below. 

What did you think of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop season 1, episode 9, “Blue Crow Waltz”? Let us know in the comments below!

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