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    I Binged All 26 Episodes Of "Cowboy Bebop," Here Are My Rankings

    Time to go jam on the Bebop.

    With Netflix's live-action Cowboy Bebop coming out Nov. 19, I felt it was only right to revisit this timeless classic and see if some of my favorite episodes still held up as my favorites now. After some long hours, and countless cups of coffee, this was the list I came up with. Hope you enjoy!

    Spike smoking a cigarette in an alley
    Funimation

    26. "Boogie Woogie Feng Shui"

    Pao Meifa sitting with Jet on a bench eating ice cream.
    Funimation

    Jet teams up with a former colleague's daughter to solve the mystery of his whereabouts. Not much else to say about this straightforward plot. 

    25. "Wild Horses"

    Doohan, Miles, and Spike standing together talking
    Funimation

    Spike goes out to find an old friend to work on the Swordfish II, while the rest of the Bebop crew are out chasing pirates. "Whatever happens...happens" was how I felt about this episode, I always know the Bebop crew will find a way.

    24. "Stray Dog Strut"

    Ein looking excited about to bite someone's finger
    Funimation

    A nice debut for Ein the Corgi but overall nothing too crazy story-wise. We got to see a pretty awesome fight with Spike and Abdul Hakim, but it was still setting up its core Bebop crew so not much happened aside from that.  

    23. "Gateway Shuffle"

    Twinkle Maria with her hands raised as Spike is walking her into the Bebop after capturing her
    Funimation

    This is one of my favorite episodes at the start of the season. It's right before the "Ballad Of Fallen Angels" and has some pretty tense moments. Jet and Spike capture the leader of an eco-terrorist group, only to have to release her. Another episode that is just building the different dynamics of the Bebop crew, but still good to watch.  

    22. "Heavy Metal Queen"

    Spike trying to get over a hangover with an egg concoction while a fight breaks out behind him
    Funimation

    This episode has one of my favorite scenes in the whole series. The look on Spike's face after being bumped and spilling his egg for his hangover cure is pure gold. I also liked the dynamic between Spike and VT, the trucker who hates bounty hunters. And we get to really see the charming side of Spike in this one. 

    21. "Bohemian Rhapsody"

    The Bebop Crew all looking down at Ed working on something
    Funimation

    This one had a really touching end. The Bebop crew had to come to terms with losing out on another bounty, but gained a lot of cool points in my book. After searching for the man behind some Astral Gate robberies, they discover it's an old programmer of the Astral Gates who had warned of defects in the programming but was fired after stating the risks. 

    20. "Jamming With Edward"

    The Bebop Crew looking shocked
    Funimation

    The final piece of the Bebop Crew comes in the shape of little Ed, whose hacking skills are put on full display in this episode. We get to see Spike accept all things he supposedly hates: a dog, a kid, and a woman with "attitude."

    19. "Honky Tonk Women"

    Faye with her hands raised as multiple guns are pointed towards her
    Funimation

    Faye's introduction was pretty exciting. Here's a character trying to pay off her debt by doing what should be an easy job but when Spike is involved, it's never easy. Soon things take a turn, and Faye is automatically intertwined with Spike and Jet. There's something about her character that annoys you but also has you root for her in the end. 

    18. "Sympathy For The Devil"

    Wen onstage playing the harmonica
    Funimation

    There are more than a few episodes in this series that highlight that some people aren't what they seem to be, whether it be their appearance or where their loyalties lie. "Sympathy For The Devil" is no different, in this case, it's surrounding a child and his father who are on the run. 

    17. "Ganymede Elegy"

    Ed playing with Ein as Spike and Faye observe
    Funimation

    A story of heartbreak for Jet, where we see he had a love interest back home that he never closed the chapter on. It's the first time we really get to hear about the Black Dog reputation that Jet carried proudly back in his ISSP days. 

    16. "My Funny Valentine"

    Faye looking up while sitting in a convertible
    Funimation

    We get to dive a little deeper into the background of Faye in this one. You really get a sense of why she's so distrustful towards people and in particular, men. Having it all come full circle in this episode was nice to see. 

    15. "Toys In The Attic"

    Spike armed with a flamethrower
    Funimation

    Like something out of Aliens, the Bebop crew have no bounties but still plenty to worry about as a creature is lurking on the ship trying to take out each member one by one. The reasoning behind how the creature made it onboard is silly, to say the least, but is in line with how Cowboy Bebop handles its episodic journey. 

    14. "Cowboy Funk"

    Spike wearing a cowboy looking bewildered
    Funimation

    Another reminder that Spike has some of the worst luck, this time in the form of another bounty hunter named Andy. They're both chasing down the same bounty and it leads to some great comedic interaction between the two. Not to mention the Teddy Bomber who seems to get ignored more times than he would like because of Spike and Andy's rivalry. 

    13. "Black Dog Serenade"

    A flashback of Jet as an ISSP investigator
    Funimation

    A great Jet-centered episode that featured not only the story of how he lost his arm, but also gave us a look at Jet as an investigator for the ISSP. Seeing the detective noir flashback with the jazz playing in the background gave a great touch to this episode that closed the chapter for the Black Dog. 

    12. "Brain Scratch"

    Dr. Londes on several tv's about to use the SCRATCH program
    Funimation

    A very unique episode much like the rest, but this time a cult named SCRATCH is at the center of it all and their founder Dr. Londes is the bounty. The discovery not only of why the SCRATCH program was started but who Dr. Londes really is, made for some great storytelling. 

    11. "Asteroid Blues"

    Funimation

    As the series premiere, this episode really set the tone for how the show would continue its storytelling. You get to see some hand-to-hand combat, as well as Spike's charisma, and what the world of bounty hunting is like in this galaxy. This episode shows us the empathy that you at times have during the season for the antagonist, and in this case Katerina. It's also pretty cool that they were inspired by the likes of Desperado for the characters of Asimov and Katerina in this episode. 

    10. "Speak Like A Child"

    A young Faye Valentine recording on an old VHS
    Funimation

    Wasn't much excitement in this episode but there was some more character building for Faye. After receiving an old VHS cassette, Jet and Spike go on the hunt to find the proper cassette player for it. We see Faye in her usual element of gambling her funds away and begrudgingly coming back to the Bebop after she's emptied her pockets. There's a vulnerability to Faye we don't often get, which was a nice change of pace following "Mushroom Samba."

    9. "Mushroom Samba"

    The Bebop crew sitting together stuffed after a eating a meal together
    Funimation

    Seeing Ed take the lead in this episode was refreshing. We're so used to seeing her be the hacker and not really being at the forefront of some of the bounty chasing. This combined with hallucinogenic mushrooms and the nod to "Blaxploitation" movies of the '70s really made this episode stand out for me. I mean one of the characters is literally named "Shaft" — you'd be a jive turkey not to like this episode.  

    8. "Waltz For Venus"

    Spike unveiling the Grey Ash plant
    Funimation

    A man named Rocco interacts with Spike after being on the run from some thugs. After giving Spike a special plant, you find out the importance of not only the plant, but the reason why Rocco was in such a hurry to get it delivered. This episode has an ending that really tries to tug at the heartstrings yet again.

    7. "Jupiter Jazz Part 1"

    Spike head locking the leader of a gang for information
    Funimation

    This episode has one of my favorite fight scenes in the series, as Spike takes on a whole gang after being mistaken as Vicious. His journey has led him to Callisto, where he's looking for Gren who he believes is trying to make a deal with Vicious. Faye coincidentally runs into Gren at a jazz bar which leads to Faye discovering that Gren knows Vicious, and as she goes to get the jump on him discovers he's trans. He was the first LGBTQ+ character I had ever seen — and this was in the late '90s where it was pretty taboo. I loved the fact that they made the character not only a badass, but able to define themself as "both but also neither" – A line that you might consider ahead of its time.

    6. "Jupiter Jazz Part 2"

    Gren pointing his gun at somebody off screen
    Funimation

    We get a deeper look at Gren's relationship with Vicious, and see why Gren is so desperate to find him. All this leads to an eventual dog fight in the sky between Gren, Spike, and Vicious which in turn ends with Jet and Spike reconciling after previously splitting up. 

    5. "Hard Luck Woman"

    Spike and Appledelhi fighting with the ocean as their background
    Funimation

    A tear-jerker of an episode as we bid farewell to both Ed and Ein. Ed seemingly tricks the Bebop crew to go in search of her father who she ultimately finds on Earth trying to map out the ever-changing terrain.  There's an awesome hand-to-hand fight with Appledelhi that makes for comedy since it's not often Spike gets outworked in combat. The last scene of Ed and Ein was a beautiful send-off for the two most innocent characters of the Bebop squad. 

    4. "Pierrot Le Fou"

    Spike and Tongpu fighting
    Funimation

    The Mad Pierrot is by far one of the toughest villains Spike has had to deal with throughout the whole series, maybe even tougher than Vicious. He's a man who had countless experiments done on himself that gave him the ability to fly, stop bullets, use super strength, and speed. We should also mention the arsenal he has hidden in his coat, there's no wonder why Spike is barely any match for this force of a man. That being said, Spike and crew always find a way, although had it not been for a certain phobia there's no way they could've defeated this super-soldier. 

    3. "Ballad Of Fallen Angels"

    Funimation

    Vicious makes his entrance to the series as a man who's trying to take over the Syndicate that Spike used to be a part of, while the Bebop crew gets a bounty of an old associate of Spike. After meeting up with an old friend, Spike decides to make good on a promise he made and this leads to an awesome firefight between himself and Vicious' gang. The cathedral scene is by far one of the most iconic when it comes to the series, and shows how resilient Spike is.

    2. "The Real Folk Blues Part 1"

    Julia and Spike talking to each other at a graveyard
    Funimation

    There's so much that happens in this episode, from Vicious getting captured by the elders of the Red Dragon Syndicate, to finally seeing the history of Julia and Spike in its entirety. There's a lot of loose ends that start getting tied up in "The Real Folk Blues Part 1." It was cool to see the interaction between Faye and Julia, as well as seeing why Spike has been on such a mission to find the love of his life. This penultimate episode ends in a cliffhanger with Vicious making a spectacular move to escape, and Julia and Spike reuniting – but not exactly how we thought they would. 

    1. "The Real Folk Blues Part 2"

    Spike bleeding over his left eye while aiming his gun
    Funimation

    What a great way to wrap the whole series, with Spike making a charge towards Vicious and the syndicate that took so much from him. The gauntlet that Spike goes through to reach Vicious shows not only his rage but his pain after not only losing the love of his life, but knowing also that this suicide mission means the end of his run with Jet and Faye. Spike's resiliency is on full display showing exactly why he was so highly touted as one of the best soldiers for the Red Dragon Syndicate. His final showdown with Vicious was quick but impactful as Spike finally gets the revenge he's sought after for so long. In the end, Spike goes out the only way he knows how, as a Cowboy. 

    How did you feel about my rankings? Drop a comment below with your favorite Cowboy Bebop episodes!