Wild Horses

"Wairudo Hōsesu" (ワイルド・ホーセス)

19 Title
Session 19
Previous Session Speak Like A Child
Next Session Pierrot Le Fou
Original Airdate March 6, 1999
“Whatever happens... happens.” — Spike Spiegel

"Wild Horses" is the nineteenth session of Cowboy Bebop.


In order of appearance:


Spike visits Doohan, the original owner of his Swordfish II, on Earth to get much needed repairs for his ship from Doohan and his assistant Miles.

Meanwhile, Faye and Jet try to capture a bounty on space pirates. However, in an attempt to lure them, their ships suffer great damage when the pirates use cables to install viruses that make the ships shoot each other.

Thanks to a rare coincidence, the crew finds the pirates again, and Spike, on their tail, successfully immobilizes them. However, in doing so, his ship runs out of fuel, and the Swordfish is stuck in Earth's orbit, being pulled down into oblivion. Doohan, who overhears Spike's troubles, launches his pet project, a remodelling of NASA's Columbia space shuttle, and rescues Spike with help from Miles.


"Whatever happens... happens."
―Spike Spiegel
"Do you want to control the machine or do you want the machine to control you?"

Themes and MotifsEdit

Homages and ReferencesEdit

  • NASA's Space Shuttle Columbia, incidentally was destroyed on re-entry on February 1, 2003, two years after the episode aired in America.
    • Because of this, this episode was banned for some time. The Remix Collection version renames the shuttle Challenger, which, ironically, was also destroyed during flight on January 28, 1986.
  • Aircraft in Doohan's scrapyard include a B-25 Mitchell, a Mil Mi-24, an F-22 Raptor, and an F-16 Fighting Falcon. The tank which his assistant drives is an M4 Sherman.
  • "Wild Horses" is a song by the band The Rolling Stones off their 1971 album Sticky Fingers.
  • Baseball is referenced throughout the episode, most notably by Miles. Additionally the pirates names are George, Herman and Ruth - a play on George Herman "Babe" Ruth. The trio is also inspired by the anime Macross for its method of using 3 different characters to communicate a parody in this case its George Herman Ruth.
  • Spike's marks on the glass of his ship window to keep the Swordfish at a certain angle to avoid burning up in the atmosphere are based on the last flight of the Mercury program, when pilot Gordon Cooper had to do the same thing during reentry.
  • The sound effects used for both of the trajectory computers for the Bebop and Doohan's ship are sections of the boot-up sequence of the computer, MOTHER, from Ridley Scott's 1979 science fiction film Alien.
  • The starship mechanic in this episode is named Doohan. This is a reference to James Doohan, the actor who portrayed Scotty, the engineer in the original Star Trek series.

Sessions Edit