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BeCareful
"Be Careful, Samurai."
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"Episode XCVII" is the sixth episode of the fifth season, and the fifty-eighth episode of Samurai Jack.

Premise

Ashi's search for Samurai Jack helps her to see the positive effect he has made on the world after encountering numerous people and places where he has changed things for the better.

Plot

The episode begins on an airship that Ashi, now alone, is traveling on. Two large hooded creatures, believing that she is one of Aku's bounty hunters, approach and attack her, vowing she will not hurt the Samurai. Instead, Ashi quickly assures them she only wants to help Jack, believing he might be in danger. Convinced she is not an enemy, the creatures are revealed to be two Woolies, who tell Ashi the story of how Jack saved their people from the Chritchellites. Once the story ends and the airship arrives at its destination, Ashi thanks the Woolies and jumps from the ship, using her kusarigama to grab hold of a tree and safely land in the forest below.

Meanwhile, Scaramouche's severed head reactivates. Despite his handicap and destroyed mobile phone, he resolves to get in touch with Aku to inform him of Jack's missing sword.

While walking through the forest, Ashi comes across someone attacking a group of Beetle Drones. The hunters are revealed to be the Three Blind Archers, who Jack saved decades earlier. When Ashi confirms her allegiance to Jack, the Archers escort her back to their village, where they have erected a statue of Jack in his honor. After hearing their story of Jack's heroism, Ashi asks for the whereabouts of the Samurai. Though the Archers have not seen Jack since the day they were rescued, they remain loyal to him, and so Ashi continues her search.

Scaramouche eventually reaches Heck's Bucket Seaport (the same port from Episode XLV) and attempts to board a ship, only to be frequently stopped by a sailor on the dock for numerous reasons, including being one of Aku's deadliest assassins. Undeterred, Scaramouche finally manages to sneak aboard with help from a small-headed man and continues his mission.

That night, Ashi comes across a rave outside a village. When she inquires the whereabouts of Jack, the DJ (revealed to be an older Olivia) sings the story of how Jack saved them all from Aku's influence. Further convinced of Jack's heroism, Ashi presses on. Approaching a waterfall in the forest, Ashi remembers the time her mother indoctrinated her and her sisters by having them dive into burning ashes, "becoming one with the darkness" and giving them their signature "outfits". Diving into the river, Ashi spends the rest of the night scrubbing off her ashes, letting her hair down and creating a new outfit from nearby foliage, finally putting the past behind her.

While relaxing on the ship, Scaramouche spots a phone booth on the deck and tries to put in a call to Aku. However, he is quickly drowned out by a nearby crowd of anthropomorphic dogs. When Scaramouche rudely explains that he's trying to use the phone, the dogs take offense and toss him overboard, much to his displeasure.

Back in the forest, Ashi stops at a tavern to get out of the rain. When Ashi asks the bartender (revealed to be an older Da Samurai) where to find Jack, he feigns hearing loss until she blurts out her intentions, causing all the tavern's patrons to gang up on her. As the customers share their scars and agree that Jack is the best warrior in the world, Da Samurai tells Ashi the story of the time he met Jack and decided to change his ways afterwards, eventually becoming the bartender of the tavern where they first met. Demongo arrives shortly after, but leaves when he notices the terrible condition of the warriors there.

Upon exiting the tavern herself, Ashi encounters a strange girl with large eyes, who tells her she can find Jack by traveling north. Ashi does so and finally finds Jack in a cemetery, being surrounded by the ghosts of great samurai of the past. The Horseman soon appears and prepares to help Jack commit seppuku for the latter's perceived failure. Dodging the Omen's attacks in response to her intervention, Ashi reminds Jack of all the people he's helped and that hope is not lost, confirming that the children they saved together are very much alive. His confidence restored after hearing the truth, Jack manages to save Ashi from the Omen, killing the apparition with the sword intended for his own disembowelment. Once the ghosts of the other samurai return to their graves, Jack thanks Ashi for her help and compliments her new hairstyle and dress. When Ashi asks what their next move is, Jack explains it is time to find his sword.

Credits

  • Written by
    • Genndy Tartakovsky
  • Storyboarded by
    • Genndy Tartakovsky

Trivia

  • This episode features the return of the Woolies, the Three Blind Archers, Olivia and the Ravers, Da Samurai, and Demongo.
    • There is also a Spartan warrior in Da Samurai's bar.
  • Aku's current top four assassins are Deathblow, Da-Bomb, Scaramouche, and Gentle-Jim.
  • This is the first episode to use on-screen profanity (hell, damn, badass, and SOB), while this was the second episode to use the said profanity (damn) since the deleted scenes from Episode L: Tale of X-49.
  • This the first episode of the season to have a song in it.
  • This is the first episode to use direct sexual humor. This is seen when Scaramouche goes on the boat with the passenger, and states that "he looked like a talking penis".
    • Amusingly, this was also a (coincidental) reference to one of Tom Kenny's roles: Wally Langford from Mission Hill, who repeatedly mentioned the word "penis".
  • It's revealed that the Well of King Ozric was cursed by Aku.
  • Scaramouche is revealed to be alive after the events of Episode XCII, albeit decapitated and attempting to return to Aku to inform him Jack has lost his sword.
    • Demongo is also revealed to be alive, shown when he walks in as Ashi is in the bar asking about Jack, claiming he has come to take the greatest warrior's souls. After seeing how disfigured they are, however, he quickly remarks that he must've come to the wrong place and leaves.
  • It was revealed that Ashi and her sisters' black clothes were not actually clothes but burned on by ashes as part of abusive indoctrination from their mother, pushing them into hot embers naked.
    • When Ashi is knocked into the hot ash, her entire body, including her face was covered in ash. However, the ash only covers the body permanently, leaving the face completely intact.
    • These are washed off by Ashi, and she makes a new outfit out of leaves and vines, as well as letting her hair down.
  • As of this episode, Jack gets his "mojo" back and seeks to find his sword to kill Aku.
  • Jack attempts to commit seppuku in this episode before Ashi saves his life.
  • Anthropomorphic dogs that resemble Astro, Spike Bulldog and Big Dog from The Jetsons, Tom and Jerry and 2 Stupid Dogs respectively make their cameo.
    • Those three dogs are based on characters of Hanna-Barbera Productions, Inc.
    • Scaramouche insultingly tells the dogs to "go get somebody their slippers". Interestingly, Astro used to carry George Jetson's slippers.
    • In the same episode, a robotic version of Popeye appears in the bar with other thugs.
      • Popeye's cameo is a reference to Tartakovsky's shelved Popeye animated film. Amusingly, Tom Kenny voiced Popeye in the test footage of the proposed film.
    • One of the thugs slightly resembles Maui from Disney's Moana.
    • Another cameo is from a green alien version of Usagi Tsukino (Sailor Moon) during the rave.
    • There also appears to be a background alien character reminiscent of a villain from the Hanna-Barbera series Space Ghost, Zorak, on the airship, just before the Woolies attempt to attack Ashi.
  • This episode reveals that The Omen is in fact a physical entity and not a figment of Jack's imagination.
  • Jack awkwardly compliments Ashi which was foreshadowing Jack and Ashi's relationship in Episode XCIX.
  • The identity of the mysterious girl with the large eyes who guided Ashi to Jack's whereabouts was never revealed.

Goofs

  • As Scaramouch tries to get on board the ship whilst using a dog body, the sailor guard points out to a sign that says 'No Dog'. However, as Scaramouch tries to quiet down the noise on the ship, there are dogs who have been allowed passage.
    • The anthropomorphic dogs are sentient aliens, so they are allowed to board. The restriction applied to real dogs only. Furthermore, they are offended when Scaramouch insults them with terms such as "Rover", "barking" and "go get somebody their slippers".

Gallery

Main article: Episode XCVII/Gallery