“Heavy Metal Queen” is a close second favorite episodes of Cowboy Bebop. It has one of the most kickass opening sequences, music-wise, and I really like Spike in the episode. One of the funniest scenes in the entire series is when Spike joins a bar brawl because another bounty hunter bumps into him and makes him drop an egg in his lap (it doesn’t sound like it would be that humorous, but OMG, it is – I’ve been that hungover before).
All of that aside, “Heavy Metal Queen” also features the best one-shot character in the entire show: VT.
First of all, she’s badass. When the server is being sexually harassed by a group of bounty hunters, she takes things into her own hands and manages to handle the majority of them, even before Spike enters the fray. She’s also well-liked by her fellow space truckers and is among the very best, running cargo the fastest anyone has ever seen (in Bebop lore, that is). She’s loyal and take-charge, perfectly happy with who she is and what her capabilities are.
Second, her relationship with Spike is the driving force behind this episode. The bounty the Bebop crew is hunting dies about midway through the episode, but it doesn’t even really matter. You find yourself rooting for VT and Spike to become friends, or at the very least, you’re extra curious as to what VT stands for. I mean, you know you’re going to find out eventually, seeing as there is a bet going on among the space truckers, but this is Bebop, so really, anything is game. (And no, I’m not going to tell you what it is; go watch the episode yourself.) When it’s finally revealed, they’ve made peace with each other, or VT has somewhat dealt with her issues and I can imagine that they might have gone and had a beer sometime off screen.
My third point is that she gets people having discussions about sexuality and gender representation. Although I don’t think the creators intended her to be viewed as such – I personally think she’s just a very masculine woman, especially considering her profession – I’ve read that some people think she might be transgender. Cowboy Bebop later on includes a gender fluid character, so it’s not like this is beyond the realm of possibility, but the fact they don’t draw attention to that makes me think that people may just be projecting. Which is perfectly fine. Your head-canon can be whatever it is you want it to be, like Mark Hamill said about Luke being gay – “If he’s gay to you, then he’s gay.” I just love that her character can cause these kinds of talks and promotes a sense of inclusiveness that a lot of U.S. TV shows could learn from.
Then of course, fourth, her cat, Zeroes, is plenty enough a reason for her to be the best damn one-shot character in Bebop history.