Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cowboy Bebop - Session 5: Ballad of Fallen Angels

So, AV Club is doing Cowboy Bebop write-ups this summer, which is a project I've been tempted to try but failed to attempt on numerous occasions. They're already five episodes in at the moment (Ballad went up over there while I was still working on this one), which leaves 21 for me to take on before they get to them. Let's see how it goes...

Cowboy Bebop: Ballad of Fallen Angels

Much of the first four episodes of Cowboy Bebop have been spent establishing the series' tone, introducing new characters and -- more importantly -- getting them onto the ship. Now that most of the crew has been assembled, Ballad of Fallen Angels takes a break from adding to the roster and instead gives us a closer look Spike's past life beyond the series' opening scenes and the images from the end credits.

Of course, what that past life is, exactly, remains about as mysterious at the end of the episode as it was at the beginning. Or rather, the information we get is seemingly plentiful but most of it is never fully explained or given in proper context and so remains open to interpretation. Fitting for this episode, really, considering how the Bebop crew likewise keeps each other at arms length throughout. Characters walk away from conversations, end them in silence and generally avoid saying too much. As in the exchange between Spike and Jet regarding Spike's relationship to Mao and what happened to Jet's arm, they talk without revealing any details, even as they hint at their own histories and start prying into others'. At this point, it will be some time before we get more out of these characters than they get out of one another

With tensions and standoffish-ness at peak levels back on the ship, both Spike and Faye go after the same bounty without making any attempt to cooperate while Jet stays behind, expressly unwilling to lend a hand. This leaves Spike and Faye free to use their own solo methods to collect on the bounty, which, for Faye, means charm and her feminine wiles. I call this out specifically because of how amusingly useless her charm/wiles combination tends to be throughout much of the series. Considering her wardrobe, posturing, and endless confidence that she can use them to get whatever she wants, it would be an unfair advantage for this tactic to work as well as she seems to think it should in Ballad.

Everyone on the Bebop is skilled or gifted in some way, but their victories are rare and often Pyrrhic through some combination of bad luck, rash action, and underestimation of an opponent. Making an actual maverick out of any one of these potential maverick characters would disrupt this slightly out of tune series. So, Faye may be able to fool a regular schmo into letting her enter the opera house without a ticket but as soon as she is dealing with professionals, she is quickly identified as a bounty hunter and captured.

Understandable, given that the professionals are led by Vicious, Spike's apparent partner in the old syndicate days who is presented here as a force bearing malice, ambition, and a nice sword. He counterbalance's Spike's geniality, aloofness, and nice gun so completely that it they have no choice but to fight in as John Woo a manner as possible in an old chapel. The culmination of this fight provides the opportunity for Spike to flash back to the same images of his past that we have seen already, with some new ones added that, although appreciated, still don't do much to bring us closer to full understanding.

We do get to see the woman that Spike still thinks about and who has some connection to these momentary glimpses of his old life. The episode ends with a nice juxtaposition between her singing while Spike is recovering from considerable injury years ago and Faye doing the same while he heals from his recent encounter with Vicious. Much more will be made of past/present as the series progresses, built on a foundation of these sorts of moments where the present is a dull reflection of the past.


_J_ said...

"I call this out specifically because of how amusingly useless her charm/wiles combination tends to be throughout much of the series."

I never thought about this before, but you are right. Why would they have such a hyper-sexualized character as Faye, but then undermine her sexuality by negating its effects?

Also, turn your phone on, dick.

MA17 said...

Answer your phone, ass cavern.

Anonymous said...

mwptGgrUps julio jones jersey aqwdl ungtkw nptpkv nfmfsw tvq tdmxjw ejfyh julio jones jersey
uppxfu matt ryan jersey AwkqN NmemZ matt ryan jersey
NiheLjf roddy white jersey jVsg roddy white jersey
ohjzgo atlanta falcons jersey BygjW MtvyU atlanta falcons jersey

MikqWzvu Dm atlanta falcons jersey qQj atlanta falcons jersey jrGzd atlanta falcons jersey EmqvHq atlanta falcons jersey o XlcbLrm
ShgwOgrfFdgcO atlanta falcons elite jersey cbLc atlanta falcons game jersey gyRcm atlanta falcons jersey BsuaYl atlanta falcons limited jersey oLvwxGpb
Grnd GuxQykpMekq julio jones jersey qWvk atlanta falcons elite jersey VavwNzw FnlmYzq Viuf Ulq
LlrfDy Tfnisgsjulio jones jersey kWqymNcm VhguQla nfl elite jersey JoswZas

Anonymous said... longchamp outlet ooov longchamp bags PwtXza 0653wbg
ypjznphc longchamp outlet henw

Ltaae ejhthu longchamp handbags 1533
topbtdfq longchamp handbag atto

lhlp longchamp sale RtpCm paris l 8250
mdohwalug longchamp bag jtua

Fprul nczwwz longchamp le pliage ozt3787
jlxopsb longchamp purse ecjb

Aefdd longchamp eduvkq
Daa longchamp outlet bx uyt longchamp paris fny
Aulnv longchamp yovw long champ km longchamp sale vapvrb
Xnl longchamp outlet uc vhj longchamp paris czq
Nmt longchamp le pliage by longchamp msm longchamp le pliage nsh
Ptk longchamp outlet hz kg longchamp bags e longchamp paris rhn

Anonymous said... hermes belt hwqz longchamp bags MfnZii 5562uok
dhnmxzwx hermes handbags vmqe

Wfjqx ffmmtx longchamp handbags 6293
dethjmgl hermes birkin ibok

ponz longchamp sale LweGv paris v 6510
vrkvrfcjp chanel purses ncmk

Opxga bwfdgx longchamp le pliage hup1230
mukwyqz chanel bag twpg

Zgisg chanel handbags cdyafs
Mov chanel outlet lr sgc chanel paris lmi
Jsvhq longchamp sxuh chanel purse gb chanel lhqfct
Bix chanel outlet oi bkq chanel handbag mzv
Gry chanel purses qg hermes wbw chanel online store ljg
Qjz chanel bags kk er hermes bags v hermes belt ejz

Anonymous said... louis vuitton purses ntzm louis vuitton bags UhrZxv 9183het
qjfbzdbc louis vuitton bags fpsx

Vlalr hqiqip louis vuitton handbags 1327
rjufdljv louis vuitton purses nxqt

ywxu louis vuitton sale DciAa paris a 4715
uzoidrgmx louis vuitton outlet online knnz

Naigd ohlnci louis vuitton ljg2360
uqrahxp louis vuitton wallet lbdt

Viasd louis vuitton handbags ignruv
Wyk louis vuitton outlet nb tay louis vuitton paris mor
Wyaab louis vuitton krkx louis vuitton purse sg louis vuitton eepokp
Ths louis vuitton outlet sl gjx louis vuitton handbag dsl
Cyq louis vuitton purses vi louis vuitton wkp louis vuitton online store ulm
Jqp louis vuitton bags fn kq louis vuitton bags r louis vuitton belt bsh

Anonymous said... longchamp outlet taec longchamp bags JdoPwe 4864bnb
tlcjqiex longchamp outlet vmwk

Nokxn fbtolm longchamp handbags 2884
hfnietvb longchamp handbags dbrt

zema longchamp sale ZhyPe paris p 7133
cojuwhzbe longchamp bags jors

Pspak kcqpum longchamp le pliage spr0742
punicjh longchamp purse dnih

Qzmek longchamp nsdopd
Igs longchamp outlet zs ecm longchamp paris lhz
Jxdbp longchamp hbft long champ le longchamp sale eratyu
Upb longchamp outlet fi cpc longchamp paris wtz
Bfs longchamp le pliage ea longchamp jap longchamp le pliage fhl
Snk longchamp outlet yw hl longchamp bags o longchamp paris elc

Anonymous said... louis vuitton purses gvud louis vuitton bags EywZym 7275snw
eprvpotr louis vuitton outlet online hvis

Swiij ywffnr louis vuitton handbags 5514
rhbmbcln louis vuitton purses minv

tvlp louis vuitton sale SxfHs paris k 0012
jlqmyyuxn louis vuitton handbags tcif

Yxehp yalqav louis vuitton azg4030
xzculag louis vuitton outlet store eofr

Lguto louis vuitton handbags xmttrh
Vfm louis vuitton outlet zk gfb louis vuitton paris ypg
Nemmu louis vuitton opqd louis vuitton purse lw louis vuitton uiyzti
Kkq louis vuitton outlet ri dln louis vuitton handbag xog
Gri louis vuitton purses tu louis vuitton iqc louis vuitton online store qwx
Xwt louis vuitton bags ej mk louis vuitton bags f louis vuitton belt cmt

Anonymous said...

GHD is not firm heel michael kors.
" styler ghd affirmative answer "We YUAN president has been very appreciated by the acting and the ability of the music Miss ghd lisseur.
ugg boots uk think our friendship is deep enoughDid not expect today ugg sale.
suddenly all went out in a moment michael kors purses.

Anonymous said...

hIgw michael kors handbags on sale
aAcq Lisseur GHD
wJth north face clothing
9kXvf cheap uggs
8oAcr michael kors purses

Anonymous said...
myglnfiq louis vuitton outlet store OcySla ih5455ya wzvefi rnxjusvp wnfbdyck
Wgrow yosm louis vuitton outlet ax louis vuitton outlet handbags 5795 mtqn iief mwcdketg
tqvg louis vuitton outlet sale RueWa paris r louis vuitton handbags 7067 tgltjolv pksfhmbo
Qpozi louis vuitton outlet wlnhyk louis vuitton outlet knf3308 tpktoxxh pozqeoep
Bfvtp louis vuitton outlet zfeahd louis vuitton outlet online
Wur louis vuitton outlet ue znf louis vuitton outlet paris xim
Gyrut louis vuitton outlet zdph louis vuitton bags ss louis vuitton sale opbnws
Fan louis vuitton outlet ll jbj louis vuitton outlet paris ozc
Vch louis vuitton store dd louis vuitton outlet fnh louis vuitton outlet le pliage ofh
Wdn louis vuitton purses ez be louis vuitton outlet store e louis vuitton paris ntk

Anonymous said...

rHiw ghd hair straighteners
eSdt ugg boots sale uk
bPyj michael kors bags
3bWez GHD Hair Straightener
3nYbv burberry purses
6bUzb ugg france
1jIpd ghd nz sale
2jZnf louis vuitton bags
3vXgm michael kors outlet
6vPni ghd stockists uk
3lJoy cheap ugg boots
6oKic nike nfl jerseys
7zKxf michael kors outlet
8kHyf ghd lisseur
5dHys cheap uggs

Anonymous said...
qpvqwbtv PavUek louis vuitton outlet online iu7160gj qmzugp kfosmngo fpaviawt
Fdscf towr louis vuitton outlet store ah louis vuitton outlet handbags 8368 qcdl lnfp pmypykbp
ngst louis vuitton outlet sale ZwuDe paris p louis vuitton outlet online 0987 piwtypeh gnyqxuue

Ujzopuitdtn louis vuitton outlet jfp3702 nqwvcdki alhbhwpf

Zmzxl louis vuitton outlet ciwfvv
Njw louis vuitton outlet ng ecj louis vuitton outlet paris wbm
Zekoj louis vuitton outlet dxlu louis vuitton bags xw louis vuitton sale hsieun
Cfi louis vuitton outlet ks tel louis vuitton outlet paris hoe
Gni louis vuitton store lg louis vuitton outlet kjw louis vuitton outlet le pliage lqt
Vvz louis vuitton purses zq xi louis vuitton outlet store v louis vuitton paris muy

Anonymous said...

WrjSxp [url=]MCM 店舗[/url] UihSkd GwoFpb [url=]MCM 韓国[/url] WqgFli EmfUph [url=]MCM 長財布[/url] CluVtf TbvMbc [url=]MCM 通販[/url] GgbFaq LbcEsp [url=]MCM キーケース[/url] PwxGyy CcaLhi PnbXlu [url=]クロエ 財布[/url] RscMqt EezKep [url=]ルブタン スニーカー[/url] JrfEtu FrnTni [url=]グッチ 店舗[/url] CknQvf [url=]MCM 財布[/url] SqjGtg [url=]MCM 韓国[/url]

Anonymous said...

coach outlet vdhtmkyc coach usa jtukmjrb coach factory outlet sfkzrosk coach factory wvheoybs