The Netflix live-action adaptation of Cowboy Bebop is now only one month away. With the first season consisting of 10 hour-long episodes, it’s most likely going to adapt those that are crucial to the characters of Spike Spiegel, Faye Valentine and Jet Black. It’s also known from the opening sequence that the new live-action Bebop will also include some of the more memorable episodes from the anime like “Gateway Shuffle,” “Pierrot Le Fou,” “Cowboy Funk” and “Brain Scratch.”
Given what is known about Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop thus far, it’s worth asking which episodes are the least likely to make it into the new show. It might be easy to guess the Ed-centric episodes considering she’s not set to have a prominent role in Season 1. That doesn’t mean her story won’t be retooled to fit the show’s narrative, however. So this leaves the more lighthearted episodes that are fun to watch on their own, but don’t really add to the overarching story of Cowboy Bebop.
Heavy Metal Queen
Episode 7 of the Cowboy Bebop anime introduced the one-off character Victoria Terpsichore, the titular “Heavy Metal Queen.” Known only as VT by the episode’s characters, Victoria is a middle-aged trucker who “earns tips” by having people guess her full name. Since no one knows who she actually is, no one is able to guess it correctly. As such, she’s collected a fat stack of money that she’s willing to give to the first person who gets her name right.
Victoria meets Spike in a bar while the latter is trying to prepare a prairie oyster for his hangover. When a fight breaks out between VT and some unscrupulous men who harass a barmaid, Spike “assists” in the fight after one of the men ruins his hangover concoction. VT is impressed with his fighting abilities and decides to treat him to a drink. The moment she finds out he’s a bounty hunter, however, she cancels her offer as she has a profound dislike for the profession.
Despite her disdain for bounty hunters, Victoria ends up assisting Spike and Faye Valentine in their pursuit of a bounty head selling dangerous explosives. When Spike finds out her deceased husband was a famous bounty hunter named Ural Terpsichore, he successfully guesses her name. While “Heavy Metal Queen” is a fun episode that explores the impact bounty hunting has on loved ones, it’s unlikely to fit into the overall narrative of Netflix’s Cowboy Bebop.
Jamming with Edward
The showrunners of the Netflix Bebop have teased an appearance from Edward Wong Hau Pepelu Tivrusky IV, but haven’t said in what capacity. Given Ed’s computer hacking abilities, it’s likely she’ll be assisting the Bebop crew from a distance. As such, it’s unlikely her debut episode will make it into the new show.
As Episode 9 of the Cowboy Bebop anime, “Jamming with Edward” is about an Earth spy satellite developing a sentient AI. As an abandoned satellite, it grows bored and decides to create the geoglyphs on Earth’s surface. The satellite’s actions get mistaken for those of “Radical Edward” and a bounty is placed on her. With Ed being the center of unexpected attention, she decides to “investigate” her own case, which leads her to discover the sentient satellite.
With help from the Bebop crew, Ed is able to download the AI before the satellite is destroyed, but her partnership isn’t free. In exchange for assisting the crew in collecting the bounty on her, she made a deal with Faye about letting her join the Bebop. Faye accepted the deal as a shortcut to getting the bounty but had no intention of keeping her promise. The moment Ed caught on to that broken promise, she hijacked the Bebop and the adult bounty hunters were forced to take her in.
Toys in the Attic
Another one-off episode of the Cowboy Bebop anime that’s highly unlikely to be adapted into the Netflix adaptation is Episode 11, “Toys in the Attic.” Compared to some of the other one-offs, “Toys in the Attic” is perhaps the most unusual. The story centers on a mysterious illness that ends up plaguing the Bebop crew at an alarmingly rapid rate.
With Jet, Faye and Ein out of commission, Spike teams up with Ed to learn the cause of the mysterious illness. Ed ends up doing her own thing, leaving Spike to work alone. His investigation leads him to a mysterious sentient blob that gets everything it touches sick, but he can’t understand why.
When investigating the blob’s possible origins, Spike remembers bringing home a rock lobster from Ganymede a year prior that he had stuffed away in a fridge hidden in the Bebop’s attic. He had intended to eat the rock lobster later but completely forgot about it. Spike’s suspicions about the blob are confirmed when he opens the fridge and finds that the rock lobster had mutated into the blob. He manages to dispose of the fridge, but not before becoming sick himself.
Episode 14 of the Cowboy Bebop anime, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is a one-off story laced with mystery and adventure, but is also unlikely to be featured in the Netflix adaptation. The Bebop crew capture a couple of hijackers who attempted to steal money from the Astral Gate but quickly learn they were not actually working together. Instead, they all had one item in common: a king chess piece.
Unfortunately for the Bebop crew, they are unable to collect the bounty unless they capture the mastermind behind the hijacking: a mysterious person known only as Chessmaster Hex. Jet, Spike and Faye conduct their own individual investigations while Ed unwittingly finds herself playing a virtual chess game against Hex himself. This gives the Bebop crew the opportunity to trace Hex’s location, but they quickly discover he’s an old man living in a space junkyard. Further investigation reveals Hex was once involved in the Hyperspace Gate Project.
When Hex was 30, he helped develop the technology the modern astral gates use. When his concerns about the tech’s flaws were dismissed and he was subsequently fired, Hex intended to make a point by exploiting those flaws with an elaborate hijacking plan. He forgot about his plan as he got older, but a random group of people found it decades later and attempted to execute it.
Boogie Woogie Feng Shui
Despite being one of the more Jet-centric episodes of the anime, “Boogie Woogie Feng Shui” is another one-off story that is a joy to watch but doesn’t add to the overall Cowboy Bebop storyline. Jet receives a puzzling message from a deceased friend on Mars and seeks to decode it. This gets him in contact with his friend’s daughter Meifa, who believes the message is a sign that her father is still alive.
After following a series of clues, Jet and Meifa come across a sunstone that happens to be the key to opening the astral gate her father is trapped in. It turns out he was caught in an astral gate accident years prior and created the message as a way of reuniting with his daughter. Jet and Meifa are unable to save her father, but he accepts his fate knowing he accomplished his goal.
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