Cowboy Bebop ends its freshman season with one of its stronger episodes, wrapping up storylines and revealing a shocking twist along the way.
This recap of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop season 1, episode 10, “Supernova Symphony,” — the ending/finale explained — contains spoilers.
Cowboy Bebop season 1, episode 10 recap – the ending explained
Now that we know the true backstory of Spike, Vicious, and Julia, we can go back to right when Vicious tossed Mao’s head into the fireplace. He pours himself a drink and celebrates his new head of the Syndicate. Of course, he lets Julia know her plan failed. She denies it, and that gets her a glass to the side of the head instead of the back of his hand. Julia laughs at him when he says she did this for Fearless. No, she said. She did it because he is not a man. I mean, what kind of man stays with his girlfriend that sleeps with his best friend (fair point)? Vicious’s response is that he will hurt her in new ways that have not been invented yet, but don’t worry, she will have company.
Jet and Faye can’t find Spike anywhere in the creepy, empty carnival. Jet, though, sees signs that a ship landed and picked him up. Meanwhile, Faye finds a house painting that looks like the one she saw on the VHS tape her mother took of her on the corner of Greenwich Avenue. No matter, Jet finds out that the ship that picked him up is registered to a woman named… Ana.
Spike wakes up in Ana’s bar. He finds her and Gren at the bar, and Ana comes clean about her involvement. Spike knows it is not her fault and tells her. She lets Spike know Julia knows he is alive. Then, Jet and Faye show up with their guns drawn. Ana and Gren have a pair of their own too. Which one will blink first? Spike, of course, is telling everyone to put their weapons away — everyone is with him.
Of course, the good times are about to end. After Jet gives him a big goddamn hug, thankful that his partner is still alive, Jet gets a call. The Syndicate has kidnapped Kimmie, his daughter, So, as the story goes, Jet picks up his partner and throws him on top of the bar with a gun pointed at his temple. Who are you? He demands. He finally comes clean, his name was Fearless, and he used to be a contract killer.
Jet throws Spike into the trunk of his car so he can exchange him for Kimmie.
While Julia is in the backseat with her bodyguard, she informs her that she will be killed when she is gone because she is the only one who knows why Fearless was “killed” by Vicious (she was in the room when Vicious was slapping Julia around earlier). Did you ever love Vicious, she asks? She says she didn’t know what love was. Until she meets Fearless, she throws a garrote over the driver’s neck; with the help of Julia, she shoots the other one in the head, and the car then turns over and takes couples to roll down the highway.
I would have asked her what’s love got to do with it. Because when she comes to, they are in the car, the woman that saved her life is spitting blood out of her mouth. She tells Julia to find him and hands her a gun. Julia walks away without even thanking her.
When Spike drives to the airport and has the bad guys pop the trunk, Vicious stands 20 feet away, holding Kimmie hostage. As they open the trunk, Jet gives Spike the signal, and they shoot everyone. Jet opens fire at Vicious, and the bullets go right through his hologram head. That’s right. He was never there. Nor was his daughter. Vicious then gives the signal for 50 more armed goons to come out and capture them.
Vicious has both Spike and Jet tied up in the church, around some giant stone pillars. He brings out Kimmie and a dozen more, like we said, armed goons. Vicious lets Kimmie run up to her dad, and Jet is grateful to Vicious, who thinks he will let them go. He hears his maniacal laugh and tells him no, he is going to kill them all. But first, he is going to make Spike watch his partner and daughter die in front of him.
Only, Faye is not going to let that happen. She is in Whitney’s single-seat ship and, in one of the very best scenes in the series, rains down a barrage of firepower through the stained glass windows, watching every Syndicate bad guy (and girl) fall from the ship’s hot lead. As Spike gathers up Kimmie and helps the injured Jet out of the church, one of the goons wakes up and fires a bullet. Spike turns and takes one in the back, saving Kimmie. Jet shoots the assassin, shocked that his partner took a bullet for his daughter. He gets them in Faye’s ship, and Spike sends them away. He needs to finish the job.
He enters the church and has a Highlander fight with Vicious on the top floor of one of the Lord’s many houses, right in front of another giant stained glass window with the moonlight shining down. By the time the fight reaches its climax, Spike has a gun pointed at Vicious’s chest, and Vicious has a sword pressing against Spike’s jacket. They injure each other simultaneously, but it’s Vicious who grabs the falling gun in time and is standing over his old friend, finally ready to cut ties.
That’s until Julia shows up out of nowhere and puts a bullet of her own in her yet-to-be divorced husband. She approaches Spike and seems to be bothered by the fact that he never came back for her. She doesn’t want to hear excuses and hands the gun to Spike, so he can kill Vicious and claim the throne as the only elder of the Syndicate.
Yes, for some reason, maybe it was the trauma or years of abuse. Our doe-eyed headliner wants it all. The money, the power, and the prestige of being the head of the most potent organization the galaxy has ever known. Spike tries to explain to her that he is not that man anymore. Well, a girl wants what a girl wants, Spike. She turns around and shoots him in the chest, and he crashes through that beautiful glass window that sits over a cliff and into the cold water below.
Meanwhile, she takes Vicious back and has him tied up in the boiler room. You see, no one is allowed to see the elders. So, she will speak for him and run the organization in secret. She throws a bullet in her gun, winds the six-shooter, spins the wheel, and snaps it back. She points the gun at his head and clicks! Maybe tomorrow, she purrs.
Finally, Faye and Jet drop Kimmie at his mom and Chalmers. In one of the most genuinely heartbreaking moments in the series, Kimmie yells for her daddy. But it’s not directed at Jet, but at his Chalmers. They take off without saying goodbye, but Faye does. She is about to fly off to that home in Greenwich Ave. As she walks off into the moonlight, Jet sits there. Bleeding and with a bum knee, he sees Spike walk towards him from a distance.
They exchange a few pleasantries, but Jet ends the conversation like this: “If I see you again, I will kill you.”
The Ending of the Finale
Now that Spike is a solo act, he takes a long walk with jazz music playing in the background. He turns the corner and walks down an ally. He gets a few feet before falling face-first into asphalt. He wakes up to find a small, annoying little girl yelling his name in his ear (this looks like “Edward,” a girl from the series, a child prodigy of hacking). Spike lifts his head, looks at her, and sees the damn Corgi, Eil, next to her.
He then passes out, ending Cowboy Bebop’s first season.
What did you think of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop season 1, episode 10 (finale) and the ending? Let us know in the comments below!