"Episode XXXIV: Jack and the Swamp Monster" is the thirty-fourth episode in the third season of Samurai Jack. This episode featured Jack seeking a time portal with the aid of a mean spirited swamp hermit, who had a hidden agenda of his own.
The episode begins with Jack being guided to the Bulbous Swamp by several individuals. When he reaches the destination, he blows a door horn and is greeted by The Hermit. Despite his cranky personality, he ushers Jack inside his home, where he reveals that he has been collecting mystical artifacts. It is here that he reveals the story of the Titans which existed before the birth of Aku and the ancient gods. Their king, Cronus, understood the secrets of time and space and created the Gems of Cronus. However, as he grew stronger, he became more fearful of losing his power to his children, thus began devouring them. His son Zeus eventually defeated Cronus, freeing his siblings, and dethroning and imprisoning Cronus. Zeus then cast the gems to Earth in hopes that they would be forever lost. The Hermit suggests to Jack that they go hunt down the treasures to use them for time travel.
As they row a boat in the swamp, the Hermit notices that his reflection in the water reveals his true identity as Aku, and thus he summons an alligator to carry them to a Mayan-like pyramid. Once there, Jack goes inside and retrieves the Eye of Cronus, only to have the exit locked and the pyramid filled with water. However, he uses the helmet against the jet of water to be blown outside. There he is caught by a pterodactyl summoned by the Hermit and they depart to their next challenge.
The group arrives at a mountain and Jack goes inside to find that the Fist of Ability is being held on rocks which are being suspended in the air by currents coming from the ground. Jack uses his kimono as a parachute/kite and, after some trial and error, manages to retrieve the fist.
Night falls and they head into the desert while riding on a snake and reach a glass dome which is set to open at the crack of dawn. Once it does, they find the Fist of Might right inside. Jack descends but the Hermit, who was distracted while teasing the snake, doesn't notice the rope come loose and the samurai falls. At first Jack is wary due to the large amount of the skeletons around but, as he picks the fist, a door opens and the Hermit advises him to use it. The sun rises and the dome is revealed to be a trap, as the solar rays are magnified by the glass and become deadly. Jack is pushed back into the trap but he then uses the fist to send the rays back at the glass and destroy the dome, freeing himself and giving the Hermit the final artifact.
Back in the swamp, the Hermit assembles the three objects in a circle and orders Jack to stay out of the way as he begins a ritual. Cosmic matter descends into the objects and an explosion destroys his lair, revealing the revived Cronus. The Hermit laughs and orders Cronus to destroy Jack. The samurai is seemingly outmatched and the Hermit mocks him for being blinded by his quest and not seeing the truth right in front of his face. The tables are turned when Jack reveals that he had snatched the Eye of Cronus and thus the resurrected Titan dissolves, proving that he was aware of the trick all along.
Jack attacks the Hermit and Aku morphs into his true form. A battle ensues, which climaxes with Aku transforming into a school of fish and swimming right into the artifacts, deciding to use the Gems of Cronus against Jack. However, the power of the Titans is not enough and the artifacts are finally destroyed by the samurai. Aku turns into a frog and, once again, flees angrily. Jack concludes by claiming that Aku's destruction is just a matter of time and shows that he had kept the Eye of Cronus.
- Casting by
- Collette Sunderman
- This is the second episode where Aku shape shifts into someone else to trick Jack. Unlike Ikra, however, Aku's hermit disguise can be described as "paper-thin" at best, and doesn't fool Jack.