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Recap / Cowboy Bebop Session 1 "Asteroid Blues"

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We begin the series with a strange montage of violent events of a past life. While we don't know this now, this will play heavily by the end of the series. After which we're introduced to the excellent theme song "Tank" before opening the episode.

Cut to an overview of the solar system of that time. Obviously, things have changed since the 20th century, space travel now being very common most importantly. After which we shift to a ship with the words "Bebop" scrawled on the side. Cut to a man in shadow boxing in the dark and some food being cooked. It's here we meet the main characters, Spike Spiegel and Jet Black. After they eat, the two make it known they are down-on-their-luck bounty hunters and get down to business on their next perpetrator (with some funny dialogue about their last job explaining why Jet's "bell peppers and beef" had no beef).


We then shift to a domed city built on an asteroid, Tequila, and the perpetrator in question Asimov Solman, entering a bar with his seemingly pregnant girlfriend. Asimov and the bar's owner go to the back room to discuss a drug deal on "Bloody Eye" which Asimov uses on himself as a demonstration. Things explode into chaos when a group of flunkies working for the crime syndicate that Asimov stole the drug from storm into the bar with guns blazing. The dealer Asimov was trying to sell the drug to is killed, but Asimov takes out the attackers easily thanks to the drug boosting his speed, reflexes, and strength to superhuman levels. Elsewhere Spike visits his Indian friend Laughing Bull to get the location on Asimov's whereabouts while Jet checks in on what's left of the bar and gets information from two loud-mouthed syndicate stragglers.


Asimov and his girlfriend, Katrina, have taken a break at a rest stop where he is suffering from the after effects of the drug. Spike just happens to be in the restroom with him as well, but nonchalantly gives Asimov advice on washing his hands and leaves him be. Spike runs into Katrina soon after and has a friendly conversation with her where the two show a fair amount of chemistry. They talk about Katrina and Asimov's plans for the future, but Spike is very pessimistic about their chances, and reveals that he's a bounty hunter who was planning to capture Asimov, but after seeing Asimov coming down from the drug he thinks Asimov is sick, weakened from the drugs, and beneath him to capture. Spike has barely finished speaking, however, when Asimov gets the drop on Spike and almost chokes him to death but Katrina stops him. With that Asimov and Katrina make a hasty exit as Spike loses consciousness, but not before he is able to quickly swipe a vial of Bloody Eye from Asimov's pocket.


Jet finds Spike later, waking up after passing out from Asimov's death grip. The two trade information and Spike shows his partner he has the sample of the drug, (revealing himself to be quite a sneaky pickpocket) and Laughing Bull's prediction as to where Asimov will be next. Jet opts to pass on this bounty, however, saying that Asimov isn't worth the hassle if they have to deal with him while he's on Bloody Eye, and votes to let the police or Asimov's old syndicate take care of him. Some time later we see that Asimov has arrived at his next location, a café, and once again bargains with the "owner". When asked for a demonstration of the Bloody Eye, Asimov finds his sample missing, which the owner proudly holds out in front of him. The owner, who is of course Spike, reveals his knowledge of the bounty, destroys the sample, and then proceeds to kick the un-boosted Asimov's arse.

Syndicate goons soon arrive in the midst of their fighting. While Spike is fighting them off to keep them from summarily killing Asimov, Asimov and Katrina make their escape. A stray bullet grazes Katrina's stomach and we see that her "pregnancy" is nothing more than a holding bag for the drugs. Asimov angrily yells at her for this, showing the he cares more about the drugs than her. Despite what he said earlier, Jet arrives to take care of the mob while Spike goes after the pair in his spacecraft. As they head toward the dome's exit, Asimov uses copious amounts of the drug on himself, despite the pleas of Katrina. The police barricade the exit and Katrina realizes that neither she nor Asimov are getting out of there alive. A gunshot rings out as Spike catches up to their ship and finds that she has shot Asimov and is cradling his head in her arms. Katrina sadly tells Spike 'adios' as the police riddle her craft with bullets, forcing Spike to pull away; when he looks back, Katrina's corpse is floating through space, the remaining Red Eye vials spilling out from her dress.

After this, we cut back to the Bebop, where Spike finishes practice and gloomily looks out over the stars. Dinner, once again "bell peppers and beef", is then served.

"See you Space Cowboy."

This episode has the follow tropes:

  • Downer Ending: Spike actually does seem to start a budding relationship with Katrina during their talk at the rest stop and her dream of seeing Mars. Sadly however, her dream never comes true.
  • Eye Scream: Red Eye is administered as an optical spray.
  • Foil: Although we won't realize it until much later in the show, Asimov and Katrina (an Outlaw Couple looking to escape the syndicate that he's involved with and set up a new life for themselves, but are being prevented from doing so by his criminal organization) share an awful lot of similarities with Spike and Julia, (an Outlaw Couple who looked to escape the syndicate that he was involved with and set up a new life for themselves, but were prevented by Spike's old fellow syndicate member Vicious) and Spike's look of complete shock when he sees that Katrina has done a Mercy Kill on Asimov is because it hits a little too close to home for him.
  • Mercy Kill: Katrina to Asimov, as he was most likely addicted to Red Eye and wouldn't have given it up even if they had escaped.
  • Pillow Pregnancy: How Katrina manages to smuggle the Red Eye.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The drug isn't called "Red Eye" for nothing.
  • Shout-Out: The villain takes his name from famous sci-fi author Isaac Asimov.
  • Slasher Smile: Asimov after taking the drug.
  • Super Serum: Red Eye slows the perception of time to a point that Asimov can kill a horde of Mooks with guns bare handed. It also induces berserk fury.
  • Walking Disaster Area: Jet rants about how they recently succeeded in bringing in a huge bounty, only to have to use all the money to pay off the damages Spike racked up in the process.


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