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Episode XCIII

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BeCareful
"Be Careful, Samurai."
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Episode XCIII is the second episode of Season 5 (the fifty-fourth episode) in Samurai Jack.

Premise

Out of weapons and pursued relentlessly by the masterful seven Daughters of Aku, Jack faces what may be his final confrontation.

Plot

The episode begins with a disinterested Aku waking up from his bed. After hearing his name called, he hears that some of his subjects have brought tribute. When he rises to greet them, he sees that they are mud people and, upon noticing the mess they are making, orders them to leave. Some of Aku's scientists then arrive to discuss the new design of a Beetle drone they made to kill Samurai Jack. Much to their surprise, he says he doesn't care what they do and declares that he does not care about Jack, ordering the scientists to deploy the drone if it amuses them.

Out of view, however, Aku is seen talking to a psychiatrist (himself in therapist clothing), in which he expresses his concern about Jack. After Aku destroyed all the time portals, stranding Jack in the future, he hoped that age would eventually catch up with Jack and kill the samurai. Unfortunately, the initial time travel Aku sent Jack through made Jack immune to the aging process, and Aku is now faced with the dreaded reality that he now has to co-exist with Jack for eternity. Nevertheless, he remains confident that someone will eventually kill the samurai.

Meanwhile, a white wolf is walking in the woods and, seeing a fork in the road, turns left. This is mirrored when Jack also hits a fork in the road and turns left. Both the wolf and Jack sense something is not quite right. The wolf is then pitted against three giant blue-green tigers who he fights viciously. Jack notices the extra large Beetle drone the scientists deployed and destroys it with one throw of his trident. However, he was being observed by an unknown presence following the large explosion of the Drone. Taking off on his motorcycle again, Jack fails to notice a trigger wire just as his motorcycle runs into it, causing him to crash as an explosion destroys his vehicle. When Jack gets up, he is quickly, yet brutally, beaten by a group of shadowed individuals. One steals Scaramouche's tuning sword, quickly using it against him and cuts part of Jack's beard off. He attempts to use his handgun, but it is swiftly destroyed, and this is soon followed with his armor and machine gun. Desperately, Jack makes a run for it after activating the last of his explosives to buy himself some time, as a sudden downpour begins.

Jack manages to find a hiding place in the destroyed Giant Beetle Drone. His doubt in his mind manifests as Jack in his prime, initiating a heated debate between Jack's two sides. The hallucination points out the futility of his battle, demanding that Jack give up and join their ancestors, since Jack lost the only weapon that could hurt Aku. Jack refuses, believing his attackers are nothing but "nuts and bolts", and that he's always found a way to overcome the odds no matter what Aku has sent to kill him; moreover, Aku himself hasn't been seen in years. The hallucination, expressing his desire for closure, begs Jack to end it all; through a crack in the metal, Jack sees the horseback figure haunting his visions, as well as a temple-like structure in the distance.

Choosing to make a run for it, Jack runs through the rain, feeling his intense focus kick in. Looking behind, he finally identifies his attackers: the seven Daughters of Aku in hot pursuit. Jack arrives at the ruined temple complex before them and hides while they split up to look for him. Failing to find Jack, the Daughters simply bide their time, melding into the shadows so they can wait for him to reveal himself. Jack tries to slip away, but is quickly caught and runs for his life as the Daughters regroup and chase him down. Barely managing to dodge the Daughters at every turn, Jack eventually arrives at the basement, where a large tomb with multiple coffins lies surrounding a skeleton upon a throne. The Daughters arrive shortly after and begin searching, eventually closing in on the coffin Jack is hiding in.

As their combined attack shatters the coffin Jack is in, he barely avoids the assault. Grabbing the skeleton's battleaxe, Jack attempts to defend himself but is quickly overwhelmed. The axe and the rest of his armor are swiftly destroyed, forcing Jack to flee. As he nears an exit, a member of the Daughters of Aku ambushes him and attacks him with her sword. Jack manages to disarm her, slitting her throat in the process. The Daughter of Aku collapses in death as Jack is shocked to see that she was bleeding. The Daughter's mask breaks in half revealing herself to be human.

Jack is visibly horrified that he has taken a human life, but realizes that she was able to stab him in the stomach with a dagger, causing him to bleed profusely. Just as Jack notices she has his tuning blade, he hears the remaining Daughters of Aku approaching. Jack recovers his tuning blade from her corpse, and despite his waning consciousness from his injury, he manages to hit the hallway walls with his tuning blade. This causes the rocks to vibrate, culminating into a massive explosion as he falls into the river below, preventing the remaining Daughters from following. In the river, Jack is seen to have lost a great deal of blood while floating downstream.

Back in the woods, the wolf had managed to kill all the tigers, but is heavily wounded and remained unconscious.

Credits

Trivia

  • Jack kills his first human in this episode, as he defeats the Daughter of Aku with a bob cut by slitting her throat. He shows shock and disgust when she turns out to be flesh and blood as he believed her to be nothing but "nuts and bolts". Genndy Tartakovsky himself officially confirmed that Jack has never killed any humans or sentient creatures, so the Gentleman, Boris, Jujunga and I and Am from The Princess and the Bounty Hunters were simply unconscious and injured.[1]
  • According to Jack when talking Mad Jack in his mind, Aku hasn't shown up in years.
  • Jack loses all of the equipment and gear he accrued in the 50 years since season 4.
    • He also loses the tuning blade in the river at the end of the episode.
  • The fact that Jack hasn't aged has apparently "driven" Aku to need therapy, as he is upset that Jack hasn't died from old age yet.
  • When Aku tells his scientists about his lack of caring about Samurai Jack, he states "That was the old Aku. This is a new Aku!" This is a possible subtle reference to Aku's original voice actor, Mako, who died in 2006 and was replaced by Greg Baldwin.
  • This is the first episode of Season 5 where Aku physically appears, as well as revealing that he physically sleeps.
  • Aku's flaming eyebrows are shown to not actually be Aku's natural "hair"; instead he pulls them from his bedside table and puts them on.
  • The wolf represents Jack, while the tigers represent the Daughters of Aku. It is interesting to note that tigers are the only other creatures besides humans that naturally prey on wolves.
  • Jack's inner conflict telling him "that the only honorable thing to do" was a reference to seppuku, an act of honorable suicide committed by a Samurai warrior, done through disembowelment.
  • As of this episode, Aku's teeth seem to be outlined in black instead of red.
  • The background music in the tomb scene is a version of The Ecstasy of Gold, the film score of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. In the movie, the song also plays when Tuco searches for a grave similarly how the Daughters of Aku search for Jack.
  • In this episode, Aku is shown to be more mild-tempered compared to earlier episodes as he didn't execute the mud aliens or send them to the Pit of Hate when they dirty his floor unintentionally.
  • Jack's near-naked appearance in the second half of the Episode is presumably a nod to his "Almost Naked" appearance in Episode XXIV: Jack Is Naked.

Goofs

  • When Aku says it's hilarious that Jack wonders around like a mad fool his tongue is purple instead of red.
  • When Jack is beaten into submission by the daughters, he is shown with his boots flying off and barefoot, when he emerges from the beetle drone debris to make his mad dash, his boots have returned.
  • When the Daughters of Aku arrive in the tomb a brief overhead shot shows eight of them instead of seven.
  • There are times when the Daughters of Aku have the same weapon as the other:
    • In the scene when they destroy the coffin Jack is hiding in, two of them have a Kanabo.
    • After knocking Jack down when he grabs the skeleton king's axe, two of the Daughters have Katanas.
    • When disarming Jack's axe, two have Katanas.
  • When Aku first wakes up he punches his clock off his dresser, but the clock is back on the dresser seconds later.
  • When Jack recovers his tuning blade from the slain daughter, he takes it out of the sheath, but in the next shot it is in its sheath, and the next shot it has unsheathed once more.
  • One of Aku's scientist has lips that are colored differently than his skin, but when Aku tells the scientists that they can destroy Jack if they want to the scientists lips are colored the same as his skin.
  • When Jack tells his doubtful self that he's been doing fine without the sword his(doubtful self) eyes are colored black instead of blue.

Reference

  1. http://www.theverge.com/2017/3/10/14881920/samurai-jack-season-five-genndy-tartakovsky-cartoon-network-adult-swim

Gallery

Main article: Episode XCIII/Gallery