| Honky Tonk Women|
|Previous Session|| Stray Dog Strut|
|Next Session|| Gateway Shuffle|
|Original Airdate||November 7, 1998|
"Honky Tonk Women" is the third session, or episode, of Cowboy Bebop.
In order of appearance:
Faye Valentine walks into a shop on Mars and is tracked down by a group of thugs. She shoots at them first with her Heckler & Koch MP5 submachine gun but they outnumber her and capture her. She is brought to the ship of Gordon, a criminal casino owner, who comments that Faye is the reincarnation of Poker Alice, a famous gambler from the Wild West.
Gordon recruits Faye to help him in an elaborately stage illegal business transaction that involves Faye's talent as a gambler and cheater. In return, Gordon will pay for Faye's accrued debts.
Spike and Jet enter Gordon's casino to get some quick cash since they are down to their last 5 thousand Woolongs. Jet comments that Spike's eyes are too good and he'll get thrown out if he wins too much.
Spike sits down at a blackjack table where Faye is the dealer. She is told that a man with Spike's appearance will sit down at her table, lose all of his money, and give his last chip to her as a tip. Gordon wants Faye to deliver the chip to him and her debt will go away.
But when Spike is down to his last chip he decides to keep it. On his way out he collides with his look-a-like and ends up with the other man's chip-the one that Gordon wanted. Faye catches up to Spike and demands the chip but runs off when a couple of casino thugs approach Spike and ask him to come with them. They start a fight with Spike and it takes a large group of men to take him down.
Meanwhile, Jet has hit a jackpot of playing slots with a total winning of over 200,000 Woolongs. Faye uses her bracelet to remotely fly her zipcraft, the Red Tail, to her for an escape. Spike and Jet escape from the casino thugs without Jet's winnings and catch Faye before she escapes the casino.
Back on the Bebop they learn from watching Big Shot that Faye is worth 6 million Woolongs and they decide to turn her over to the police. Jet inspects the poker chip that Spike picked up and learns that there is a computer chip inside. Jet explains that three years prior, an organization named S.I.T. created a master decryption program called "CryptBreaker" which can decrypt almost any security code. Shortly after its completion, the programmer turns up dead and the program disappears. The catch is, the program itself is encoded, and the computer chip is the key to unlock it. ISSP has been searching everywhere for it, but couldn't find it due to it being hidden in a casino chip. This is where Jet intimates a past involvement with the ISSP.
Gordon calls them and asks for his chip back, but Jet knows its real worth.
Jet and Gordon arrange a trade of 30 million Woolongs for the chip and Spike takes his space suit out for an old-fashioned standoff on the hull of Gordon's ship. Spike throws the chip at a thug and the thug releases a briefcase of money but also shoots a gun at Spike. Spike ducks behind a rotating turbine and sails into the air, knocking the thugs gun away and catching the chip he tossed.
Faye managed to escape her handcuffs using a hairpin, blast her zipcraft through the Bebop's hanger, and take off with the briefcase of money before Spike can reach it. Gordon's ship retaliates by firing gunshots and rockets at the Red Tail, but Faye is able to reverse the polarity of the rockets and send them back to Gordon's ship, blasting the flight deck away.
Spike escapes with only the poker chip, but to him and Jet it's worthless, so they spend it at another casino.
- “You know the first rule of combat? Shoot them before they shoot you.”
- — Faye, talking to a shopkeeper in a shootout
- “You don’t know anything, do you? Romani are Gypsies. And you know what we call someone like you? A gadjo, that means a bumpkin that doesn't know which way is up.”
- — Faye Valentine, after Spike captures and handcuffs her.
- “Gadjo. I like that.”
- — Spike Spiegel
- “It’s just like Charlie said in my dream. If you want to receive you have to give. See Spike, you got to listen to your dreams, that’s how you find your dream girl.”
- — Jet Black
Themes and MotifsEdit
- No Smoking Allowed: During the elevator scene Spike attempts to smoke a cigarette but Jet points out that there is "No Smoking Allowed". Spike smoking in non-smoking areas will be a recurring theme in Cowboy Bebop.
- Handcuffs: Twice in this episode Faye is handcuffed. First she is captured and handcuffed by the criminal casino owner, Gordon, and later on she is captured and handcuffed by Spike and Jet. She will be handcuffed once again in Gateway Shuffle.
- Three Old Men: Antonio, Carlos, and Jobim make another appearance in this episode. They are sitting at a baccarat table and Spike taps their facedown card for good luck. The card comes out a natural nine, winning them a large pot as Spike helps himself to a few chips. Spike otherwise doesn't recognize the three old men from "Asteroid Blues".
- Missed Bounty: Spike and Jet learn that Faye has a 6 million Woolong bounty on her head and attempt to collect by turning her over to the police. They fail to do so and throughout the series they are often unsuccessful at collecting on bounties.
Homages and ReferencesEdit
- Honky Tonk Women is a 1969 hit song by the English rock band The Rolling Stones. The song describes a "honky tonk woman" as a sort of exotic dancer or prostitute.
- Poker Alice was a 19th-century professional gambler and card dealer that was skilled in counting cards. Her fame grew in Sturgis and Deadwood, South Dakota around the same time as notable Wild West figures as Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane. Like Faye, she smoked cigars, carried a gun and was a felon.
- Charlie Parker was a 20th-century American jazz saxophonist and composer, and is considered one of the most influential jazz musicians. He is considered one of the primary musicians of the bebop form of jazz that is faster and relies more on improvisation with harmony.
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe was an 18th-century German writer famous for writing the play Faust, and was one of the key figures in the Weimar Classicism movement that spread across Europe and has influenced literature around the world.
- When Spike and Jet are in the lift, the lift has a screen that says "Welcome to Spaiders [sic] from Mars". The Spiders from Mars was one of David Bowie's backup bands. Spaiders from Mars is likely to be the name of the casino.
- A honky tonk is a name given to bars in the Southwest and Deep South United States, often featuring piano or live band entertainment, typically cater to a rougher clientèle, and may be centers of prostitution. The history of this term can be traced back to as early as 1894.
- "Piano Bar I"
- "Piano Black"
- "Black Coffee"
- "American Money"
- "N.Y. Rush"