Sorry about the late review, was at a Con and couldn’t do it until today. Anywho… Samurai Jack Season 05 Episode 06 might be a very polarizing episode. Because on one hand, it gave us “Jack’s Greatest Hits” as it were, and showed, even more, evolution in Ashi. But…it came at the cost of an eye-rolling comedy sidequest, and a near-the-end sequence that will leave many puzzled.
Let’s start with the good. Ashi was again a standout here, as she began her own quest to find Jack after he disappeared last episode. It was great to see her genuine concern for Jack’s absence and asking anyone who would listen whether they knew where he was. What this lead to was the ingenious idea of bringing back classic characters from the first 4 seasons of the show to voice their praise of Jack. Now, you could argue how some of them are alive after 50 years…but let’s not weigh on that. The party/rave scene was a standout visually as the audience literally got to show
The party/rave scene was a standout visually as the audience literally got to show their love of Jack as they acted out what he did and even danced in a way that represented his fighting style after a fashion. Seeing Ashi react and even enjoy all of this was a very touching thing. Especially when she literally changed her look to reflect her new life…oh, and she was apparently naked the whole time…classy.
However, there is a catch to this. Half of the point of this season is that Jack has given up hope because he believes there is no hope left in the world. And last episode showed why he did that…and yet…we saw patch after patch after patch of hope, it’s almost overflowing. It’s a weird thing because we’re supposed to believe that without Jack constantly attacking Aku that Aku has truly won…and yet…there are people still singing Jack’s name, we saw an army of Scots rise up to try and fight Aku…so how can Jack think there’s no hope when the people still fight back?
Which of course leads us to the final sequence. Which, much like this episode, is very polarizing. On one hand, bringing in the act of Seppuku, in which a disgraced samurai would kill himself to save himself from the dishonor was brilliant. But…the fact that the knight that we’ve kept seeing was simply a ghost of some sort that wanted Jack to do the act was kind of…odd. Remember, Jack literally screamed in terror of this thing when he saw it in episode 01. Why? Was he afraid of what it meant? What he might have to do? It’s unclear.
Also unclear, why was it a spectral form before…but then Jack could not only touch it but kill it? Very unclear. Thankfully, it ended with Ashi not only saving Jack, but then Jack saving her, and then stating oh so epically…”it’s time I find my sword.”
And then…there’s Scaramouche. I really didn’t like this side-story. I know this show can do comedy, it did it before perfectly! But this…not so much. I get the intent, with Jack not having his sword, he’s susceptible to Aku killing him. But having Scaramouche “suddenly” come back to life…then hop his way to a ship…only to be turned away…then getting on board to “collect call” Aku…and then failing to give the info? It just felt pointless.