I can’t stress enough that my hopes for Bee and Puppycat were high when it started. Each episode was solid and the fourth episode was downright brilliant, striking the perfect balance between whimsy and poignancy.
Sigh. But this final episode made a ton of design decisions that are just mind-boggling. The production team had to know that that this episode would most likely be the last one. To my knowledge, a second season has not been confirmed although there is a Bee and Puppycat comic book. One of the things that I’ve come to dislike about anime over the years is that few franchises can real stand on their own. So many of them are just long trailers for the manga (comic series) that spawned them and you’d be less disappointed in the long run to just start there and ignore the animated versions. To me, Bee and Puppycat needed to wrap itself up in this final episode as multimedia franchises aren’t my jam. I don’t want to have to juggle a ton of different formats to get a complete story.
There were a couple of options open to the creators especially since at a 29 minute run time, this finale was more than twice as long as the other episodes. They could have A) had Bee break the curse that Puppycat was hinted to be under, letting him return to being a space outlaw and bring the series full circle with the first episode, B) gone on all out with another whacky adventure and ended with a ‘the adventure continued’ non-ending which might have been acceptable or C) made the final episode about everyone but Bee and Puppycat and throw in a big reveal at the end that leaves more questions than answers.
….And they went with option C. Well, let’s dig into this pile of disappointment.
The rent is due. Bee is briefly shown waking up and checking the reminder on her iphone and then the action switches over to Deckard’s house. Deckard’s sister gives him a check and tells him to drop it off at the landlord’s place because she has coding to do. This is where it starts to go off the rails. A female wrestler bursts in like the Kool-aide Man through the wall. This is Toast, sister’s rival back when she used to be an amateur wrestler, and she’s come for a rematch. This is the first baffling design decision as Deckard’s sister wasn’t even an established character. She appeared for like two minutes in the second episode and this pointless subplot eats up four minutes of screen time.
Deckard heads off to the landlord’s place and bumps into Bee. She is very pleased because she can pay rent on time for once. Deckard and Bee get attacked by an angry dog and an angry crow. They try to eat her hair, get tangled in it, then the dog and bird discover they are soulmates because they are both violent, blood thirsty creatures. They run off to cause destruction and are never seen again.
Cardamon, the landlord’s son, has been taking care of Bee’s property because his mother is in coma. His house is a mess and he has only his dog, Sticky, as a companion. Everyday he brings her a plate of candy in the hopes she’ll wake up. As he curls up beside her on the sickbed, the scene transitions to one of the series’ weirdest vignettes. It recounts the story of a lonely octopus who falls in love with a princess’s long hair after mistaking the trailing end of it for a lady octopus. The princess takes pity on him and gives him her hair, but it gets away from the octopus as he swims through the ocean. As he tries to grab it as it floats away, he ties his tentacles in knots. He tries to loosen himself up by pulling at the tangles and ends up tearing himself apart. But he’s reborn as a ton of little jellyfish. As all this is going on, a singer drones out a depressing rock ballad accompanied by acoustic guitar.
Cardamon has to take the checks from Bee and Deckard. When he sees Puppycat, he gets the strange idea to make Sticky marry Puppycat so they can have weird puppykittens together. Bee convinces Puppycat to play over at his house. Puppycat doesn’t care about Sticky. He just wants to watch Pretty Patrick on the TV. When Cardamon tries to force Puppycat to marry Sticky, Puppycat comes across his comatose mom. Cardamon explains his logic – he thought his mom was like a sleeping princess and somehow forcing the dogs to marry would be like getting a prince to kiss her. Then she’d wake up. It doesn’t make a lot of sense and like most of the episode, it just seems to be there to fill the extended run-time.
Deckard shows Bee his herb garden. Before they get there, he takes the letter he was going to send to the cooking school to reserve his place and pitches at a dumpster. But he misses. Bee picks it up and realizes that he’s turning it down for her sake when she sees who its addressed it. This make her very sad. When she asks him about it, he says he doesn’t want to go if it means leaving the island.
Just then, Puppycat tries to escape from Cardamon’s house but gets stuck crawling out the window. Bee thinks to transport them out of there by accepting a job from TempBot, but Deckard gets taken to the other dimension in Puppycat’s place. He is really freaked out when he sees Temp Bot and floats through empty space.
Temp Bot sends them to help a galactic baker who makes crystal-filled donuts and delivers them to customers through black holes. But then the alien baker gets a crystal stuck in his finger like a thorn. Bee has to pull it out and the alien comments that she is very strong since he couldn’t remove it and he’s a lot bigger than she is.
For no reason, the black hole suddenly goes nuts and all these hands come out of it. They try to steal the baking crystals and destroy the kitchen planet. They pull the alien baker into the hole and Bee grabs onto him. She pulls so hard that her arm breaks. But that’s okay. Bee is actually a robot. You can see all the bolts and belts holding her together through her torn skin. As it turns out the dream-sequence in the first episode where multi-colored ribbons burst from the cuts in Bee’s wrists was foreshadowing. The ribbons look exactly like the multicolored belts that run through her machine parts. The baker gets absorbed.
The planet collapses and Bee has to save Deckard from getting crushed by a falling bit of debris that’s three times his size. She punches it and shatters it into bits with her good arm. Bee defeats the black hole arm monster with the deep frier while in some kind of robot trance. Somehow they all make it back to earth.
Deckard picks a bit of baking crystal out of the gash on the back of his skull. He tells his sister that he sent back his acceptance letter and plans to leave for classes in the morning. I guess the shock of finding out Bee was a robot ended his pining for her, but never-the-less, he is the only character with any real growth. He started out wanting one thing and then after experiencing some weird stuff, made some tough decisions about were his life was headed. Bee gives Cardamon a piece of the baking crystal and this wakes his mother up from her coma as sea water and jellyfish fall out of her. Bee comes out to Puppycat that she is a robot when he finds her broken arm being repaired by the Dad Box. They are both very blasé about it. And that’s where it ends.
In many ways, the plot twist is well… stupid. It’s not like it wasn’t foreshadowed. The birthday song has lyrics that go “I hope you aren’t broke and everything’s running good,” that can have a double meaning. At first blush, it’s like dad is hoping she has money and easy life but in reality he means that she doesn’t need repairs. But we also saw a photo of Bee as a child with her father and this brings up so many questions. Did her father build her several bodies? If so, why would he do that? And does Bee turning out to be a robot explain anything?
The answer is no. It doesn’t. This episode was a pointless mess. It added nothing to what came before and in many ways detracts from the understanding of Bee we gained from the excellent fourth episode. Episode five is a disaster on every level and that this is the final episode, the note it ends on, just makes it all the more disappointing.