The Crow?

How ABOUT that crow?

How ABOUT that crow?

Addng spoiler space to the top of this posting because it gets posted places where it may be seen by people who haven’t seen Cowboy Bebop (previously the postings weren’t).

This posting contains spoilers of epic proportions.

Is this enough spoiler space?

I’m probably being ridiculous about it.

Do not read if you haven’t seen the entire series unless you don’t mind being SPOILED. 😀

That should do it. Ahem.

There is a fourth possibility for the end of Cowboy Bebop that has been kicking around in my brain but just now sort of gelled and I want to run it past whoever has seen the show and may have thoughs on the subject. I think it looks possible, but there are a few potential issues with it. Note up front – I’m not trying to make a case for this idea, it’s just something I noticed and felt the need to share. In fact, I know I posted about this on’s Cowboy Bebop message board in the past, but didn’t have any detail behind the idea. Frankly, it doesn’t get a lot of traction with me, but hey, see what others think, right?

To recap – The three best-known perceptions of the end of Cowboy Bebop are:

1. He died – people believe he was slashed across the abdomen then collapsed and died on the stairs.
2. He lived – people believe he was (or was NOT) slashed across the abdomen then collapsed on the stairs out of exhaustion.
3. The ending is deliberately ambiguous, a la Shane.

These three have been discussed ad nauseum already both here and elsewhere so I won’t bore everyone with rehashing the arguments pro and con for these three positions. Plus I don’t really feel like going through that again (I don’t have anything to say at this point that I haven’t already said and I’m beyond tired of repeating myself).

The FOURTH, I think, is an interesting possibility, and that is that Spike DID actually die three years previous, that what we saw in the prolog was Spike moments before his actual death. Cut to three years later, he’s on the Bebop working out. I’m thinking this could possibly be an homage to Alex Proyas’ “The Crow,” about a rock musician named Eric Draven who is murdered along with his fiancee and is brought back to life by a crow who guides him along the path of revenge. He returns to the grave at the end. I think a Crow homage is possible because the main character was a rock musician and if I remember correctly, the music in the movie was pretty darned cool.

Here are where I’m getting this idea:

1. Already mentioned – what we saw in the prolog was possibly Spike moments before his death. Cut to three years later, he’s on the Bebop working out.

2. Asteroid Blues – Spike tells Bull that he’s already died once (referenced again in Real Folk Blues).

3. Ballad of Fallen Angels – Spike falling backwards out of that cathedral window with no visible means of surviving. Problem with this to follow.

4. Jupiter Jazz – Lin shoots Spike point blank and Spike survives, waking up surrounded by crows and crow feathers, one crow even sitting on his chest looking him in the face (homage to The Crow and possibly a hint?). Spike comes to and says that it must have been a tranquilizer bullet, “they’re mocking me.” Problem with this to follow.

5. Spike’s thinking he’s in a dream, like he’s not entirely sure of reality. This could be consistent with someone who thinks or knows that he’s dead, but is still walking around, getting hungry, hurt, etc.

6. “Bang.” Drop. ’nuff said.

With me so far? Ok, good.

Some of the problems I’m seeing with this:

Problem with 3: Jet was seen rushing out of his quarters after hanging up on Faye, “Not my problem!” Presumably he’s rushing to the Hammerhead and made it in time to catch Spike before he hit the pavement, much like Spike caught Ein and Giraffe with the Swordfish. So there IS an explanation for how Spike could have survived – they just didn’t show Jet catching him. If that’s what happened, of course. Maybe it’s supposed to be ambiguous. Or not. Just sayin’.

Problem with 4: Vicious doesn’t seem particularly surprised to see Spike walking around (ok, technically he was flying the Swordfish) after he was shot… unless he thinks Spike was wearing a bullet-proof vest. My question with that is, is that something Spike and Vicious (or any of the Red Dragon) did as a matter of course? Wear bullet proof vests? Sure didn’t look like it from the shootouts they showed us in the prolog, Ballad of Fallen Angels OR Real Folk Blues, so I’m not sure Vicious would assume that unless he thought it was the only possible explanation. I think I would still expect a bit of surprise from him to see Spike still among them. UNLESS… Vicious was just busy dealing with Gren, then Spike in the Swordfish to register surprise. Can you tell I don’t really know what I think about this? 😀

I don’t know if I ever bought the ‘tranquilizer bullet’ story. Would the syndicate USE those things? They didn’t know Spike would be there, had no reason to think he’d be there, so Lin wouldn’t have loaded tranqs just in case he met Spike. Unless he habitually carried two weapons, one with real bullets and one with knockout drops which he would use if he didn’t want to kill someone. I think this is assuming too much that has no basis in what they showed us here or in other sessions. This could be a plot hole (or something not explained or hinted at in the series). Seriously, this is something I’ve been having questions about since the first time I saw Jupiter Jazz. In short, not sure what to think.

Another potential problem with the Fourth Possibility is the fact that there were crows present in the scene where Julia was killed, but none where Spike was supposed to have been killed/returned to the grave at the end. That kind of blows a bit of a hole in the whole Crow homage idea too, because if Spike WAS supposed to be an homage to Eric Draven, I would expect to see crows at his alleged ‘death’ as well.

Ok, playtime.

What do you guys think? Any more possible “hints” that Spike is influenced by or an homage to Eric Draven? Or are there holes in this idea that I’m missing or forgetting? I’m stacking these cards, please shoot them down (or add more cards). 😀

4 comments to The Crow?

  • pureblood-3

    First thing I think of when I read this: I really need to see the Crow. It’s been recommended to me so many times, it’s in my local comic shop for £2.50, I’ve just never gotten round to buying it yet. So unfortunately I’m not really able to say whether I think Bebop references it. One thing I would say however is that I doubt it references it as much as you’re saying. Aren’t the crows more of a John Woo thing? It’s probably a case of Bebop having crows and it just happens to resemble the movie the Crow, without having actually intentionally referenced it. But just because it wasn’t intended doesn’t mean the similarity isn’t there, it’s all about how we interpret it. I could be wrong though :P.

    The tranquilizers were interesting. I think the whole of JJ was pretty contrived though. Faye just happened to visit Callisto and just happened to run into Gren who just happened to be the guy who met Julia who just happened to go out with the guy who ruined his life. And Gren just happened to make his plans to meet Vicious the day Spike was in the area, so Ed could just happen to pick up codename Julia. So Lin just happening to have tranquilizers doesn’t seem too farfetched lol. I would say that Spike and Vicious very much have a Harry vs. Voldemort type dealio, where it seems only Vicious can kill Spike and vice versa. That could be why Vicious wasn’t surprised to see him still alive, and also why he used tranquilizers. By the way, it was definitely Vicious who ordered Lin to use the tranqs, I’m not sure but you seem to think Lin did that of his own accord or something. Maybe he did, it’d be cool if he did, but because Spike said “They’re mocking me”, so I’m fairly certain it was Vicious’ plan to do that.

  • I can’t remember specifically what triggered that. LOL. I just like exploring stuff like that – you know, come up with an idea, find stuff that supports it and also find stuff that contradicts it. Sometimes it helps to type things out when trying to think it through and I thought it would be interesting to hear what others think. Like I said, it wasn’t getting much if any traction in my own brain, but sometimes I think the best way to find out if an idea has merit is to get other opinions. I didn’t think it had much merit to begin with. 😀 I almost didn’t post it, because while I found things that looked like they COULD support the idea, it was also easy to shoot it down.

    If you do get a chance to see The Crow, I recommend it. I saw it two or three times, but it’s been decades. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to bother with the remake they’re talking about now. 😛 Heh, plus I have a bit of a fangirl crush on Alex ‘The Great’ Proyas. I’ve loved every movie of his that I’ve seen and I think he’s wonderful.

    LOL, yeah, you are so right about JJ. You know, you kind of expect that things ‘just happen,’ it’s part of life, you know? I know it’s a small world and all, but it did stretch credulity to the breaking point. Still, we got to meet Gren, my favorite part of the sessions.

    But the tranquilizers still bother me. Why would Vicious have Lin carry the tranqs though? I suppose it could have been the Elders that insisted on that – maybe not wanting to start trouble on that moon by killing people? I think it would be more Elders than Vicious. Yeah, I can accept that. The Elders didn’t want to get involved with Callisto, wanted nothing to do with it like they told Vicious. Using tranqs makes perfect sense then, ’cause they won’t kill anyone, so no attention from law enforcement should they need to shoot anyone. Plus, they WERE moderating (at least until they started killing everyone in Real Folk Blues) maybe trying to get away from all the killing to begin with (something that nauseated Vicious).

  • Spikeface130

    I thought the crow was more of a style influence rather than a story influence. Take Vicious’ bird and compare the church shootout scene in the crow to the one in BoFA. Compare spike falling from the church to brandon lee falling from his apartment.

    • Yeah, no doubt. 🙂

      This is just an idea I was playing with, kind of a “what if?” thing. After typing it out and publishing it, I read it again and said “naaaaah.” LOL.

      I’m still HIGHLY intrigued by Spike saying he already died once, and especially that ‘tranquilizer bullet’ in Jupiter Jazz. I guess I was trying to explain that to myself by using The Crow, but it really doesn’t work.