Cowboy Bebop went out with guns blazing in a bullet-ridden finale that saw Spike pitted against his nemesis Vicious — also offering a nice nod to anime fans.
A blood-soaked Vicious toasts himself as the new head of the Syndicate – after slaughtering everyone else – and he thinks Julia is plotting against him too. “There is nothing in this world to believe in. The least of all people,” he sneezes, slamming a wine glass to her face. Next, he wants Fearless’s head on a pike… and while we’re on the subject of Spike, he wakes up with Ana after narrowly surviving that fight with Mad Pierrot as Jet and Faye search for him at the abandoned carnival. During the search, Faye spots an ad for a retro suburban development called Greenacre Avenue, and it evokes a memory of her childhood home. She scans old home videos to confirm – and now she thinks she knows where she grew up.
She shares the exciting news with Jet, and he promises to help, but first they must find Spike. They follow him to Ana, and after a brief confrontation with her and Gren, Jet gives Spike a huge bear hug. However, he gets a phone call and suddenly he holds a gun to Spike’s face. The syndicate has kidnapped Jet’s daughter Kimmie and will return her in exchange for “Fearless” – a name Jet never knew. Spike admits he used to be a Syndicate hit man, and an enraged Jet stuffs him in his trunk, happy to hand the liar over to a bunch of murderous thugs. Faye tries to talk to Jet, and when he refuses, she lets him go alone. Uh-oh… our Bebop crew is breaking out fast.
Jet drives to an empty dock to meet Vicious, who has little Kimmie in tow. Jet freely offers to hand Jet over… but when Vicious’s crooks approach his trunk, Jet gives a signal and Spike shoots his way out, leaving bodies in his wake. However, when Jet tries to shoot Vicious, the bullet goes right through him. They realize he’s just a hologram, and so is Kimmie, as more gunmen arrive to take them hostage. Meanwhile, Julia is driven off by more of Vicious’s henchmen, but she manages to convince one of them to help her, and they kill the others, flipping the car over. The henchman who helped Julia is mortally wounded, but she hands Julia a gun and tells her to “find him.”
When Spike and Jet recover, they find themselves trapped in a church Spike calls “the ninth ring of hell.” A smug Vicious greets them and promises Jet he won’t hurt his daughter…he’ll just kill her. Still furious at Spike’s betrayal, he points to the spot in his own family crypt that he had saved for Spike. Now he wants Spike to see his friends suffer, and just as gunmen are ready to open fire on Jet and Kimmie, a flash of light shines through the church windows, followed by a hail of bullets. It’s Faye coming to the rescue, mowing down Vicious’ goons in a gunship: “Welcome to the ouch, motherf-kers!” She also frees Spike and Jet, and as they’re about to board her ship, Spike decides to stay behind: “I’m not done here yet.” Faye’s wise advice: “Shoot them before they shoot you, huh?”
Spike returns to the church, where he shoots a few more bad guys before being ambushed by Vicious wielding a katana. Spike has only a wooden chair leg to defend himself, and they fight back and forth until Spike gets their hands on a gun, and they freeze, locked in a deadly stalemate. Vicious eventually stabs Spike through the shoulder and Spike shoots him through the shoulder, but the gun flies and Vicious uses his katana to turn it towards himself. He is about to shoot Spike when he himself is hit by a bullet. It’s Julia! Spike is happy to see her, but she wants to know why he never came back to save her from Vicious’s evil clutches. “You’re nothing more than a dream I had to wake up from,” she tells Spike as she shoots him dead in the chest, sends him flying through a stained glass window and plunging to the ground.
Kimmie is safe in her mother’s arms again, and Faye packs her things from the Bebop and sets out to find where she’s from. Vicious wakes up in chains, held captive by Julia, who reminds him that he is now an elder, so no one is allowed to see him and she can speak on his behalf. She fires a single bullet into a pistol and spins around the room, aiming it at his head and pulling the trigger… but it just clicks. (“We’ll try again tomorrow,” she tells him.) Jet and Spike, both very limping, have an uneasy reunion: “If I ever see you again, I’ll kill you,” Jet tells his old friend. And later that night, Spike stumbles out of a bar and sinks face forward into the alley… when he’s startled by a manic redhead boy in glasses named Ed, who yells, “I’ve got a job for you!” (Yes, this is Radical Ed from the original anime.) She has a big bounty for Spike to collect – if he ever wakes up.