Recap / Cowboy Bebop Session 23 "Brain Scratch"

Short Summary

A recent so-called spiritual cult calling themselves Scratch has gain prominence across the Solar System, promising to free people from their mortal body into the spiritual beings on the net. Naturally this leads to many disapperences and a bounty being put out on the leader, Dr. Londes. The Bebop crew are forced to get involved when Faye goes missing trying to track down the doctor herself.

Main Summary

  • Contemplate Our Navels: Londes' speech at the end of the episode.
  • Evil-Detecting Dog: Ein bites Jet when the latter tries to hack Scratch's website and starts to go comatose.
  • Fantastic Religious Weirdness
  • Freudian Excuse: Londes reveals he started the cult because he can no longer move and function in his real body and wanted everyone else to have the same (lack of) body as he does.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Londes turns out to be one of these by the end.
  • The Man Behind the Curtain: Throughout the episode, it was mentioned how elusive Londes was that even the police couldn't track him down. It's eventually revealed that he doesn't exist and is just a fabrication of a paralyzed and comatose hacker whose brainwaves managed to hack the system and broadcast his messages.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The Scratch is very clearly inspired by the infamous Heaven's Gate cult, down to using similar iconography, having a similar doctrine of seeing the human body as a disposable vessel for the soul, and of course the whole suicide thing. Dr. Londes' appearance is also very clearly modelled after Marshall Applewhite, the leader of Heaven's Gate.
  • Old Media Are Evil: Londes tells Spike how TV has dominated humankind and how they would follow anything it tells them. Spike however responds with a Shut Up, Hannibal!.
  • Path of Inspiration: What Scratch's supposed goal was supposed to be.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Ed actually looks rather cute in a dress. It's the only time she wears anything outside her normal attire.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: The first in the final episodes that means things are about to get serious. Big Shot, the show the crew watch for bounty updates, winds up abruptly cancelled.
  • Straw Nihilist: Londes shows shades of this during his confrontation with Spike.
  • Villainous Breakdown: As Ed cuts Londes off from the internet, he starts begging that they leave him be.