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Episode XLIX: The Four Seasons of Death

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"Episode XLIX: Seasons of Death" is the forty-ninth episode in the fourth season of Samurai Jack. Jack must face four evils, each one on a different season of the year.

Plot

Summer

Jack is attacked by apparitions while journeying across a vast desert. He tries to fight them off but the sword does not affect them and their numbers keep on growing. He continues fighting anyway, despite the fact that the heat and his continuous movement are wearing him down. At the final moment, when he is about to be struck by one of the attacking apparitions, the wind rushes past and he realizes that they are not even real; he has nothing to fear. He continues on and the image of a lush, tropical oasis appears before him. Jack keeps walking, determined not to be fooled again, and falls into the lake; pleasantly surprised. He faced his hardship and came unto a better place.

Fall

A short, mischievous, evil scientist gathers ingredients for a potion that will be invisible, tasteless, and scentless when mixed with water. He successfully creates it and then pours the potion into a well before he hides in a nearby bush to wait for his first victim. Jack comes across the well and goes to have a drink, but the scientist unknowingly gives himself away in his excitement and Jack realizes that it's a trap. He pretends to drink, goes into death convulsions, and plays possum; when the scientist goes to check on the "body", Jack suddenly spits the tainted water into the scientist's mouth instead. His surprise forces him to swallow the water and he cries out in horror: he dies as his body mass is turned into leaves which blow away in the wind. Jack destroys the poisoned well with one sword swing as he moves on.

Winter

A tribe of creatures forge a sword from the elements of fire and ice, and imbue it with lightning so powerful it kills the caster. Then, they gather every warrior in their tribe and fight till only one is left standing to decide who will wield it. The champion goes and waits for Jack along with his path. And at the moment it starts it ends as well. Jack destroys the sword with a single strike. Jack's strength, his will, and the history of his ancestors is stronger than theirs. The warrior falls to his knees in shame as Jack continues on his way.

Spring

Jack enters an area full of nothing but thorns. As he continues, the thorns sprout flowers, the barren dirt grows lush greenery, and the entire atmosphere changes. Then out of a giant flower sprouts a woman who convinces Jack to rest with her and take a break from his quest. He obliges, and lays his head in her lap, completely relaxed, but he is plagued by visions of Aku that keep him alert. As he tries to leave, he is forced back down and realizes that he has been tricked. But, as he goes to attack her, the greenery rushes up around him and the illusion is dispelled, he is back in the barren field of thorns. The woman watches as he leaves, but instead of being angry, she settles into an almost knowing, unsettling smile...

It is possible that she was, in fact, a benevolent spirit who wish to test Jack and discreetly reminded him of his mission to vanquish Aku.

Credits

  • Casting by
    • Collette Sunderman

Trivia

  • The title also references the fact that this is the fourth season of the series.
  • This is the second episode to have more than one story.
  • This is the last episode of the series in which Makoto Iwamatsu voiced Aku. Iwamatsu died two years later in 2006. In the fifth season, Greg Baldwin voices Aku.
  • This is the last episode in the series where Grey Delisle is credited by that professional name from Season 5 onwards her appearances credit her as Grey Griffin following her marriage with Jared Griffin respectively.

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