| Heavy Metal Queen|
|Previous Session|| Sympathy for the Devil|
|Next Session|| Waltz for Venus|
|Original Airdate||December 5, 1998|
"Heavy Metal Queen" is the seventh session, or episode, of Cowboy Bebop.
An Interstellar trucker known as VT offloads a shipment and is met by a fellow trucker known as Otto who tries to claim a longstanding bet on guessing VT's real name. He fails by guessing "Val Tomiana" and VT collects his money. She heads to Mac's Diner with her cat Zeros to grab a meal and remarks that the place is unusually full of people. The bartender tells VT that the occupants are bounty hunters waiting on a man named Decker who is supposed to arrive soon. In the bathroom, Spike talks with someone who tipped them off, complaining that the tip about Decker was supposed to be exclusive. Additionally, the only real information on Decker is that he has a dragon tattoo. Meanwhile, Faye is staking out a nearby children's themed restaurant named Woody's in case Decker arrives there instead. Although she is skeptical that a lucrative bounty like Decker would show up in a place like Woody's, a large man enters with what appears to be a dragon tattoo on his chest. She tries to claim the bounty but inadvertently reveals to the real Decker seated nearby that bounty hunters are hot on his trail. The real Decker runs out the door, and Faye tears open the fake Decker's shirt to reveal that his chest tattoo is actually an eel. She chases him in the Red Tail, but he throws a bomb in her path, wrecking her craft and allowing him to escape.
Back in Mac's Diner, VT defends a waitress, Muriel, from several aggressive bounty hunters which sparks a brawl with Spike getting involved. He helps VT kick the guys out of the diner, and in return, she offers to cover his tab. Back on The Bebop, Jet feeds Ein brussel sprouts when he is called by Faye who tells him about losing the bounty. Spike orders a prairie oyster which VT says she has only seen one other person drink, her husband. Three Old Men enter the diner and attempt to collect on her bet, but their guess of "Adrian" fails. Just as Spike attempts to collect on the bet, he is contacted by Jet, who tells him to chase down Decker. Revealed as a bounty hunter to VT, she hits him and rescinds her offer to pay for his drink, since she hates bounty hunters. Spike goes outside to see that Swordfish II has been vandalized by the three bounty hunters he helped beat up. Despite her earlier actions, VT agrees to give Spike a lift, since his craft is wrecked. He negotiates for her to take Faye as well, and they load Red Tail and Swordfish II onto VT's freighter.
After offloading Spike, Faye, and their damaged craft, VT takes a call from Otto who tells her that a crazy driver had smashed into his rig and he requests help to track down the guy so he will pay for repairs. VT recognizes the reckless driver as Decker and sends out a call to the other interstellar truckers to be on the lookout for Decker's ship. Spider Mike, and his rig, Black Panther of Jupiter hails VT and tells her that he saw the ship she was looking for at the old Linus Mine. She runs him down and contacts Spike who warns her to be careful, since Decker is carrying explosives. Spike and Faye leaves The Bebop in their partially repaired craft, since Jet has had minimal time to repair them. Decker attempts to lose VT by diving into the tunnels of the Linus Mines and dropping explosives behind him. His maneuver fail to stop VT and inadvertently starts a chain reaction which destroys the tunnel they are in and kills Decker. VT escapes the wreckage just as Faye and Spike arrive, lamenting that Decker is dead.
Spike tells VT that they have to get as far away as they can, since Decker's ship is filled with enchanced nitro and the mine is starting to collapse. They head back through a different mining tunnel, carrying Decker's ship. However, the tunnel they are in collapses, trapping them inside. To clear the blockage, they remove an explosive from Decker's ship and place it in an escape pod from the Swordfish II. Spike plans to drive the pod into the end of the blocked tunnel and open the blocked tunnel. He exits his craft and while free floating, he attempts to enter VT's cruiser. After one pass misses, he uses his gun to propel himself back inside, just as the escape pod fires into the end of the tunnel, removing the debris and allowing them to escape. As they leave the collapsing mine, Spike tells VT that he knows her real name, "Victoria Terpischore", the wife of the legendary bounty hunter, Ural Terpsichore which he figured out upon seeing her pendant which had a picture of Ural inside. VT reveals that Ural died sometime ago and is doing his bounty hunting up in heaven now. She attempts to honor the bet and give Spike the money, but he only takes one bill, saying that the rest is for Ural, since he's sure that he could use a drink up in heaven.
- “I got a thing for eels.”
- — Fake Decker
Homages and ReferencesEdit
- When Faye tries to capture Decker by staking out a restaurant, she mistakenly identifies him for another man. This man has a tattoo that looks just like Decker's dragon tattoo but is in fact an eel. When Faye points a gun at the man with the eel tattoo, Decker freaks out and runs away. Decker looks strikingly like Woody Allen, and since the restaurant where he is first introduced is called Woody's it is probable that this is an homage.
- V.T. are also the initials for the first woman to ever step foot in space, Valentina Tereshkova.
- VT speaks with several truckers whose CB handles are Love Machine, Sneaky Snake, and Spider Mike. These are a reference to the C.W. McCall song "Convoy", as well as the feature film based on the song, as is V.T.'s use of the call sign "breaker one-nine".
- The entire episode is a general reference to the Deep Purple song "Space Truckin'".