"Episode XLIV: The Princess and the Bounty Hunters" is the forty-fourth episode in the fourth season of Samurai Jack. This episode features a group of extremely deadly bounty hunters and an even more dangerous warrior princess teaming up together in order to capture Jack.
The episode begins in an Arctic region somewhere in the North in a barber shop where a huge, hulking man is getting a haircut from a talkative barber. As he is cutting the man's hair he is distracted by five famous bounty hunters as they walk past his window. He identifies them as Jujunga, an Australian Aborigine marksman whose primary weapon is a flute (didgeridoo) that acts as a blow gun, I and Am, two humanoid cats that seem to "share the same mind" who constantly finish each-other's sentences and usually talk in rhythm, The Gentleman, a handsome and polite southern man who specializes in knives, and an unknown mystery man wearing armor similar to Darth Vader. The hulking man then reveals himself as Boris: "biggest, baddest, bounty hunter of all".
The six hunters all meet at an isolated cabin all for the same purpose: to destroy Samurai Jack and claim the reward Aku has put on him. They each discuss their own methods on how they plan to kill Jack: Jujunga plans to play his flute as Jack walks by and shoot him with a poison dart once he is completely off guard, but the mystery hunter argues that Jack's senses are too keen and that he would hear Jujunga inhale to fire the dart. The Gentleman plans to take advantage of Jack's focus by throwing a cloak in the air both as a shield to protect himself and also as a decoy which will allow him to throw two daggers through the cloak and kill Jack, but the mystery hunter retorts that Jack is too disciplined to fall for such tricks. I and Am plan to double team Jack by having I entangle Jack's legs in chains making him unable to move while Am attacks from above dropping bombs on Jack, but the mystery hunter tells them that Jack is cunning and hard to restrain, and could simply cut the chains with his sword and escape the bombs. Boris plans to rush Jack and have him break his sword on his armor and then pummel Jack with his clubs, but the mystery hunter chimes in again, calling Boris stupid and telling him he's severely underestimated Jack. The hunter is then revealed to be a woman named Princess Mira, the princess of a kingdom enslaved by Aku. She wants to use the bounty to free her people and, if the others help her, she will pay them the full amount plus tenfold.
Mira's plan is for them to dig holes for each of them to hide in and wait for Jack to appear. They will then spring from their holes and I will throw his chain at Jack and relieve him of his sword. Jujunga will then shoot his poison dart at Jack causing him to lose focus. Then Boris, the Gentleman, and Mira will gang up on Jack and beat him to the point where he cannot run. Finally Am will appear from the sky and finish him off with his bombs. The bounty hunters all agree the plan is the best one so far and agree to help Mira.
Am sneaks away in the trees to keep watch for Jack while the others dig their holes. When Am alerts them of Jack's approach they head to their holes and begin a long and intense wait. Jack finally appears and the hunters strike. However, the assault ends in disaster: I is able to grab the sword but Jack grabs it back and throws him aside, knocking him out. He then injures Jujunga and slashes the chain. The Gentleman attacks Jack but he is able to dodge both his cloak and daggers and takes him out. Mira takes a swing at Jack but he breaks her sword and her mask. Am throws his bombs at Jack but he catches them and throws them at Boris who is then caught in the explosion. Jack then defeats Am, leaving only Mira left. Mira, out of desperation, pulls a dagger and considers facing Jack herself. Jack waits patiently for her to make her move. After realizing she stands no chance against Jack on her own, Mira gives up and falls to the ground in defeat. Jack then walks away without looking back.
- Casting by
- Collette Sunderman
- Genndy Tartakovsky officially confirmed that while Jack fought humans in the first four seasons, he never killed them, meaning the bounty hunters are more likely unconscious as of the end of the episode.
- There is a continuity issue at the enactment of the plan; Am is shown throwing the initial chain, however in the next scene it is I again.
- Several times, Jujunga refers to his instrument as a flute, and while playing it can be seen alternating his finger position as if to change the pitch. The instrument is clearly a didgeridoo, a musical instrument native to the Australian Aborigines, which is controlled entirely by the pitch of ones breathing, and thus does not feature finger holes, nor require finger movement at all.
- This is the first episode where Jack doesn't have a single line of dialogue.
- Mira tends to point out each bounty hunter's plans will fail, which includes:
- Jujunga: Jack has sharp senses, knowing when he will attack.
- The Gentleman: Jack has discipline and will not be easily tricked, and the decoy won't be strong enough to work on Jack.
- I and Am: While she does compliment their plan being on the right track, Jack is cunning and very hard to restrain, and with the sword still in his hand, Jack will keep up against them.
- Boris: She considers Boris being an idiot as he has heavily underestimated Jack and does not know what Jack can actually do.
- Barber: Oh m...my! You..you...you are...
Boris: Boris. Biggest, baddest bounty hunter of all. Да!