Series Issues: Samurai Jack makes A New Choice. Episode XCIV

You gotta live with the choices you make. And there will be spoilers, Jack.

(Source: Adult Swim)

The shock from last week is still lingering in our minds. This time, it’s not a kids’ cartoon. Jack has forgotten how to fight like a samurai. His mind and spirit are hurting more than the dagger in his gut. As he embraces a log that carries him down the river, a frog seems to warn him of impending danger. And we all know they’re somewhere behind him, but Jack is in no condition to face them.

The vision of his past self shows up again, warped and evil. It’s not himself. He’s lost his way… And glowing green, he’s seen the warrior with the antlers again. A vision? An enemy? An ally?

The reappearance of the wounded wolf was a surprise. However, there is nothing surprising about the wolf tending to him. Warming him. Bringing food and licking Jack’s wounds. Whether the wolf ever existed is another matter. Jack also remembers being a kid, and having his father, the Emperor, face down a group of assassins. The decisions you took in life have brought you here. Jack remembers his father giving the assassins the choice to walk away. A choice they never took. Blood was spilled in front of young Jack’s eyes that day (some of it literally on his face).

When the Daughters of Aku follow the trail, they encounter Samurai Jack waiting for them. He’s not quite him again yet, but he’s closer than he’s been in a long time. Facing them down with a spear, we don’t expect him to have the upper hand. Yet he does somehow. He’s accepted that he needs to live, even when others might want his death. And so, he leaves the choice to live and die to his enemies, like his father once did. The Daughters of Aku are not really understanding. They want him dead, and that’s their only reason to live.

We see a few of them die, stabbed or cut. I believe three of them died on the screen while three of them were thrown into the abyss. The last one is probably Ashi, as she loses her mask only to wish him death as she falls. But then the branch gives way, and the Samurai suffers the same fate. Which means his last three antagonists might just still be alive.

Highs/Lows/TimeIsOnMySide

  • The wolf. Savage, but kind. What drives him to protect Jack? There’s something of a kindred spirit there, if there ever was one. A lone wolf. I was so happy of seeing an animated show where a wolf is not a villainous animal.
  • The remaining six Daughters of Aku encounter a deer and find themselves at a loss. What exactly is it? Then a stag shows up, and because of the antlers they believe it’s a minion of Aku. It’s a curious scene of ruthless training assassins facing nature, something they have never encountered before. It was rather poetic.
  • Nature seems to be on Jack’s side as the snow falls down and provides him with cover.
  • Three more Daughters fall, but this time they were given a choice. It’s shocking but still feels fair.
  • Obviously, Jack will survive the fall which means the three non-stabbed Daughters might still breathe.
  • Three episodes in, and we can guess the Daughters will not be the only major enemies hunting the Samurai. Before the showdown with Aku, new and more terrible enemies will appear. Something tells me that eventually Jack will need allies for the battle ahead. It’s time for the lone wolf to shed his skin and grow a new one.

That will do for now.

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