Cowboy Bebop Episode 9 Recap and Ending, Explained

‘Cowboy Bebop’ is a sci-fi neo-noir action-adventure series. In episode 9, titled ‘Blue Crow Waltz,’ the audience is taken back to the past, when Spike Spiegel (John Cho) was still Fearless, a member of the Syndicate. In that simpler time, Spike and Vicious (Alex Hassell) were still friends. They met Julia (Elena Satine) at Ana’s, and it was love at first sight for both of them. Initially, Vicious was more forthright and actively pursued Julia, and Spike stepped aside. But emotions hardly stay dormant when they are strong and reciprocated. Here is everything you need to know about the ending of ‘Cowboy Bebop’ episode 9. SPOILERS AHEAD.

Cowboy Bebop Episode 9 Recap

The penultimate episode is perhaps the perfect time to go back to the past for a show like ‘Cowboy Bebop,’ where much of the narrative is connected to what happened before the current events. It gives the audience an explanation of why things are the way they are before the much-awaited showdown between the protagonist and antagonist in the season finale.

In this episode, Spike and Vicious serve under the Syndicate capo Mr. Stax. When they were children, Vicious saved Spike’s life and made him part of his family. They grew up together, forming a strong bond. Spike was an orphan, and he never expected such kindness from anyone. As a result, he became loyal to a fault to Vicious.

As the son of Elder Caliban, certain things are expected of Vicious, but he rarely lives up to them. The Syndicate is a cluster of psychopaths, but even among them, Vicious is a special case. He is impulsive, unnecessarily cruel, and prone to bouts of self-destruction. One of Stax’s jobs as a capo is to groom Vicious for the future. He, on behalf of the Syndicate, tasks Vicious to negotiate a deal with the Neptune Cartel. He then sends Spike along with him knowing that Vicious will screw things up because of his short-sightedness. And that’s what ends up happening. After the deal falls through, Vicious tortures and kills Ka-Ching, the leader of the group that Cartel has sent for negotiation.

Meanwhile, Julia performs at Ana’s for the first time, leaving everyone in the audience spellbound, including Spike and Vicious. She and Vicious begin dating, and it quickly develops into something serious.

Cowboy Bebop Episode 9 Ending: Why Did Spike Fake His Death? Why Did Spike Want to Leave the Syndicate?

During their meeting with the Neptune Cartel, Vicious apparently threatens to cut off Ka-Ching’s hands when the latter mocks him and the Syndicate. The meeting ends then and there, leaving Stax and the Elders furious at Vicious for his foolhardiness and Spike for failing to control Vicious. With this negotiation, the Syndicate’s goal was to gain a footing in the outer planets, but Vicious’ actions threaten to undo all their carefully-conceived plans.

After receiving all the verbal thrashing that they could stomach, Vicious and Spike retreat to a club. Soon, Julia joins them. As Vicious is still licking his wounds, he tells Spike to accompany her to the dance floor. There, surrounded by an almost magical ambiance, something deep takes root between Spike and Julia. Not noticing any of this, Vicious starts enjoying himself in their company. However, after they leave the club, Vicious spots Ka-Ching in the street and runs him over. For the first time since they started dating, Julia witnesses the cruelty that Vicious is capable of.

Vicious sends Julia home with Spike before torturing and killing Ka-Ching. In her apartment, Julia seeks comfort from the person nearest to her. Spike admits that he has been in love with her since he saw her for the first time. Later that night, Stax tells Spike that Caliban himself has ordered his son’s death. Still unwilling to kill the man he sees as his brother, Spike goes to the headquarters of the Neptune Cartel and kills them all. He then visits Julia and convinces her to run away with him. The following morning, Caliban comes to see his son and contemptuously tells him everything that has happened, demanding Vicious to take action.

Vicious subsequently visits Ana and tortures her until she reveals Spike’s whereabouts. Spike has always been close to Ana, and he earlier reached out to her for necessary papers for himself and Julia. Vicious correctly figures out this might have happened. With the information he gets from Ana, he and his subordinates ambush Spike. During the ensuing shootout, Spike gets hit and falls down a rolling cliff and into the river. Vicious sees Spike’s floating body and thinks that the other man has died.

But Spike/Fearless survives. One of the last things Vicious said before the shootout is that Julia chose him over Spike, and the latter believes him. So, he decides to disappear under a new identity.

Why Doesn’t Julia Join Spike?

Despite what Vicious tells Spike, Julia intended to join him, but just as she was leaving her apartment, one of Vicious’ crew members showed up at her doorsteps and said that Vicious wanted her to go to his penthouse for safety. Having no other choice, Julia complies. She eventually learns about Spike’s death but believes that Vicious doesn’t know about her and Spike’s relationship. She eventually marries Vicious, hoping that he will keep her safe from the Elders.

Read More: Anime Like Cowboy Bebop