| The Real Folk Blues (Part 2)
|Previous Session|| The Real Folk Blues (Part 1)|
Session 26 : The Real Folk Blues (Part 2), is the 26th and final episode or "Session" of Cowboy Bebop.
Cast (in order of appearance):
PlotEditIn lieu of the usual opening theme, the session begins with a simple title card that displays the Cowboy Bebop logo.
Julia reveals to Spike that she was supposed to kill him, but, out of love for him, instead chose to run and be hunted. She embraces Spike and expresses her desire to run away with him again.
At the Syndicate headquarters, Vicious confronts Shin and asks if the "target was terminated." Shin replies that "he got away" after killing their agents. Vicious then inquires about Julia's whereabouts and, after receiving no definite answer, warns Shin not to follow in Lin's footsteps.
Spike and Julia drive to Annie's store for supplies, where they find her bleeding to death from a bullet wound. Annie denied knowing Spike's whereabouts to the Syndicate, instead telling them that he was dead. She also tells Spike that the Elders have been assassinated. As Julia enters, Annie expresses her joy that the two have been reunited and dies. Spike and Julia abandon their plans to run away together and prepare for an encounter with more Syndicate members.
Back on the Bebop, Faye approaches Jet and the two discuss Spike. Faye says that Spike was "nothing but trouble" and may already be dead; Jet refuses to go after Spike, insisiting that he is dealing with his own past and that Jet is in no condition to help him. Jet then asks about Faye's impression of Julia, to which she responds, "Like an angel from the underworld. Or maybe a devil from paradise."Syndicate members arrive at Annie's shop, and a firefight ensues. Spike and Julia escape to a nearby rooftop, but Julia is mortally wounded and collapses. As Spike holds her, Julia mutters a final sentence (though it is not heard) and dies in Spike's arms.
Jet seeks out Laughing Bull to find out Spike's location. Laughing Bull explains that a guardian star is formed when a new life is born and this star fades when that life ends; he predicts that Spike's star is about to fall. Laughing Bull also tells Jet not that he should not fear death, but rather allow it to "gently guide us to infinity."
Vicious and Shin arrive at Annie's store and find Julia's coat. Vicious comments that Spike has nowhere to return and predicts that he will seek them out.Spike returns to the Bebop, to Jet's surprise. While Spike eats, he tells Jet a story of a tiger-striped cat who died a million deaths and came back to life each time. One day, the cat met a white female cat. She lived to old age and died, and the tiger-striped cat cried a million times, eventually dying but not coming back to life. Jet comments that it's a good story; Spike says he hates it because he doesn't like cats. The two share a good laugh, and Jet asks if "it's for the girl." Spike replies that she's dead and there is nothing he can do for her now. He starts to leave when Faye blocks his path. Faye points a gun at Spike, accusing him of still being tied to the past. In response, Spike reveals to Faye that his eyes are different colors because one is artifical, replacing the one he lost in an accident. He says that he sees the past in one eye and the present in the other, watching life as if it were a dream. Faye protests, since Spike has never told her anything about himself before. She tells Spike that even though her memory came back, she had no place to go to and begs Spike not throw his life away. Spike replies, "I'm not going there to die. I'm going to find out if I'm really alive. I have to do it, Faye." Faye fires her gun into the wall in frustration and tears up as Spike walks away.
Spike takes off in the Swordfish II, and flashbacks of the past (Spike meeting Julia and fighting alongside Vicious) are interspersed with scenes of the present (Faye crying, Jet cleaning the Bebop, and Vicious walking into a chamber at the Syndicate headquarters and waiting for Spike). Spike walks into the Red Dragon headquarters, to the surprise of the Syndicate members there, and begins a one-man assault with plentiful explosives and firearms. As Spike fights his way through the hordes of Syndicate members, he takes several wounds before encountering Shin, who reveals that Vicious is on the top floor and leads the way. As Shin presses the elevator button, he is caught off guard and gunned down. He tells Spike that Vicious must be stopped and that he was waiting for Spike to return and take over, then dies.Spike storms into the chamber where Vicious is waiting. An explosion destroys much of the room, and Vicious tells Spike again that he is the only one who can kill him and set him free. Spike retorts that the same applies for Vicious, and the two duel, proving equally matched despite Spike's numerous wounds. Spike and Vicious end up disarming each other, with Spike's gun at Vicious's feet and Vicious's katana in Spike's hand. Spike coldly tells Vicious, "Julia passed away. Let's end it all," to which Vicious replies, "If that is your wish." At the same time, the two slide each others' weapons back to their proper owners--Spike shoots Vicious in the chest before Vicious manages to land his blow, and he falls to the ground, dead. A flashback of Julia's death reveals her final words: "It was all a... dream," with Spike responding "Yeah...just a bad dream."
Bleeding, in a world covered with light, Spike limps down the stairs from where he dueled Vicious and towards a group of Syndicate members, who stare at him in shock. Spike looks up, smiles, and mutters "Bang!", pointing his finger as if it were a gun, before collapsing to the ground. The credits roll as the camera zooms out into the sky and eventually into space, where a bright star fades away.
A final picture of Spike on the floor with his eyes closed is shown, a peaceful smile gracing his lips. The session and series ends with the sentence "You're gonna carry that weight." And when the credits roll, a bright star in the background vanishes.
See You Space Cowboy's Not Final Max Mountain Root
This being the final episode, it of course resolves the plotlines concerning Julia, Vicious, and Spike.
The climactic gunfight in the Red Dragon Syndicate headquarters mirrors the church shootout from Ballad of Fallen Angels in a few ways:
- Spike throwing a hand grenade around a corner after pulling the pin with his teeth.
- Spike briefly using two handguns akimbo before getting shot and losing the use of one arm.
- Spike getting cut on the left cheek (though this time it is from broken glass, not being cut by Vicious)
- A brief standoff between Spike and Vicious before they wound each other (this time mortally).
Real World ReferencesEdit
- The Real Folk Blues is a series of blues compilation albums released between 1965 and 1967 by Chess Records and distributed by MCA Records. Each album in the series highlighted the music of one major Chess artist, including John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Sonny Boy Williamson II.
- You're Gonna Carry That Weight (The final words shown on-screen before the episode fades out) is a reference to the song Carry That Weight, the 15th track of the seminal album Abbey Road, by The Beatles. It was written to tell their fans that the Beatles had broken up and was part of the final suite on the last album they ever made as a group.
- The Birds flying away In Julias death up to Vicious fight is a reference towards A Better tomorrow 2
- The final shootout scene is highly inspired by the film Taxi Driver where Travis Bickle enters the brothel and shoots everyone on sight
- When aired on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim, Session 26: The Real Folk Blues Part 2, has the brightness and contrast levels of the colors turned almost extremely dark, probably to mask the blood shed that occurs frequently during the gunfights.