Session Nine: Jamming With Edward
We get an Earth based story this time out, after a long dormant satellite suddenly starts laser blasting giant images onto the face of the planet. A bounty is put out on the vandals responsible and that wins the Bebop’s attention. Well, Jet and Faye’s attention. Spike thinks hackers are boring.
This is Earth fifty years after the jump gate explosion we learned of in Sympathy for the Devil. It destroyed a large part of the moon, raining rocks and debris onto the surface of the Earth and forcing inhabitants to take refuge underground. Half a century later catastrophic meteor strikes are still a part of daily life.
Many assume the hacker behind the rock carvings must be Edward. There is a wide variety of stories behind just who Edward Wong Hua Pepelu Tivruski IV is, but Radical Edward is actually a teenage girl—perhaps even a “tween-age” girl. She is instrumental in solving this episode’s mystery, but her help comes with a price: she wants off Earth. The crew are happy to play along, intending to welsh on their agreement, but you can’t cheat Radical Edward.
Spike makes of point of reminding us that he hates kids, animals, and women with attitude. It’s a good things he limited the list to three things, or he’d have to make room for even more crew members!
Session Ten: Ganymede Elegy
This episode starts with Edward and Ein bonding over a captive bounty and Jet mooning over an old watch. Yes, it’s time for some Jet backstory.
Turns out he used to be a cop on Ganymede, where he used to have a girl named Alisa. She left him and eventually took with a guy named Rhint. Things haven’t gone well for the two. Their troubles eventually include a bounty and that brings everything full circle, with Jet back in her life at the worst possible time.
I liked this backstory much better than Spike’s. While hardly the most original of stories, it avoids being the cliché ridden extravaganza that was Ballad of Fallen Angels. In fact, the main plot points are actually character driven.
A couple of points: First, there’s a weird change of perspectives in the bar scene. It’s just a flash, but it was distracting and didn’t seem to serve any purpose. Second, there’s a scene of Faye sunbathing. She actually sits this story out. If we didn’t see her sunbathing, she wouldn’t be in it at all. I mention only because it highlights how conservative this show it when it comes to sexuality. Her outfit notwithstanding I can think of only two other scenes, her original appearance and one in the movie, that make it a point to draw attention to Faye’s looks. She’s a member of the crew and comes with a package of skills and problems, just like everyone else. (Speaking of skills, I forgot to note the shooting skills she demonstrated in Waltz for Venus!) And, in spite of Japan’s infamous school girl fixation, Edward is strictly off limits.