The biggest fracture that occurs is between Spike and Jet, after the latter learns the truth about Spike’s history as a Syndicate assassin. Jet can’t get past this omission and the only reason that he lets Spike get away with his life is because he helps Jet rescue his daughter, Kimmie. Jet callously tells Spike, “Death follows you wherever you go,” which is a sentiment that’s originally expressed by Vicious. Spike can’t argue with this and as hurt as he is to lose Jet, he understands that he’s likely brought him more trouble than relief.
The final pillar of the Bebop crew, Faye, also bids her new friends goodbye, but her motivations for this departure have been steadily brewing all season. Faye finally has a lead on where she grew up on Earth and a chance to get some real answers about her past and family. This was supposed to be a journey that the Bebop goes on together, but there’s too much pain that lingers in Jet and Spike, so Faye’s forced to tackle this search for answers on her own. It’s a difficult, albeit necessary decision for Faye to make.
Faye learns to embrace Jet and Spike as her family, but she can’t ignore her history. Cowboy Bebop continually plays with the idea of characters’ pasts being in opposition to their present, but Faye is just desperate for any clarity on her roots. Her voyage to Earth likely won’t take up the entire second season, but it’ll keep her displaced from the rest of the cast for at least a brief period.
What Remains Of The Syndicate And Who’s In Charge?
An important aspect of Cowboy Bebop is the volatile history that exists between Spike, Vicious, and Julia, with the oppressive assassin Syndicate as their equalizer. The smoke and mirrors behind this organization results in most of Cowboy Bebop’s melodrama and eventually an insecure and paranoid Vicious rebels against the Syndicate’s Elders and wipes the slate clean. Rather than praise Vicious for his impulsive actions, Julia reaffirms her love for Spike and pledges that they both run the Syndicate together.
In the anime, Spike must come to grips with Julia’s death, but the Netflix series presents him with an even bleaker proposition. Julia attempts to kill Spike and move on when he refuses to support her plan. Spike makes it abundantly clear that he’s left the assassin’s life behind and he’s too consumed with guilt over the past lives that he’s taken. Julia, on the other hand, has only grown more hardened from years of manipulation and abuse from Vicious.
Julia cuts her losses and locks Vicious away as a prisoner while she ascends as the true head of the Syndicate. Vicious’ role as an Elder means that he’s hidden away in secrecy, which allows Julia to assert her power and emphasize Vicious’ uselessness. It’s ultimately irrelevant if he’s alive or dead since she keeps him confined to this morbid purgatory. It’s possible in season two that Vicious might be able to get back in Julia’s good graces, but what’s more likely is that Julia pushes an even more brutal version of the Syndicate that’s focused on Spike’s destruction.