Samurai Jack Season 5 Review: Episode 5 (XCVI) (SPOILER ALERT)ModernSpongeBobSucks Scotsman: Hold it! You're not going anywhere, ya' big buffoon!
Aku: I'm sorry, old man. I think you're lost.
Scotsman: I ain't lost, ya tree ogre. I might be old, but I've lived long enough to see the world rise against your tyranny! Admit it, ya big oaf! You're scared. The samurai is still out there inspiring people by the thousands. After all these years, you're powerless against him. You've been shivering like a wee baby, hiding in your crib, afraid to show yourself 'cause ya know he's out there, and you can't do anything about it! [Laughs] You're just a big baby! Why don't you go cry to your mama?
That's the Scotsman for you. Welcome once again to another review, fellow TopTenners and visitors! This is MSBS here with a review of the fifth episode of the fifth season of Samurai Jack! Now if you have been keeping up with my reviews, you'll have noticed that my reviews of each episode have been kind of delayed lately, which is why I had to delay this review prior to the airing of the seventh episode of the fifth season of Samurai Jack. I apologize for the inconvenience of delaying the review of the fifth episode, as it was mainly due to school work and a case of the runs that I was not able to complete my review of said episode. Anyways, as usual, I recommend that you make sure you are caught up with the last four episodes, especially since the last episode prior to this one connects to it. And as always, this review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. So without further delay, let's begin my review.
So the fifth episode begins by showing us a barren and gray wasteland where Aku's tower and lair stands. Suddenly, 3 rebel armies intent on attacking Aku drift onto the scene in sequential order with each one blowing a horn when their respective army assembles into place. The first army consists of Trojan-like men controlling tanks. The second army is composed of knights mounted on armored rhino-like creatures. And the third and final army is an entire mass of about a hundred female Scottish warriors, who ALL happen to be the biological daughters of who is now an aged Scotsman, his voice reprised by John DiMaggio. Dang, the bang must have been big between him and his wife over the years! Anyways, shortly after reprimanding his daughters for their skimpy outfits and telling them to cover themselves, the Scotsman and his daughters then charge in along with the other two armies as they begin their assault on Aku's lair. Multiple shots are fired in rapid succession by the tanks and the rhinos, albeit only acting as noise to Aku's ears as he feels irritated by it. When Aku then investigates the source of the noise, he decides to go and annihilate the rebel armies, as he believes that it will break him out of his "malaise". So he then jumps out of his lair and transforms into a rolling ball of death! The Scotsman witnesses this as Aku then single-handedly takes out the tank and the rhino armies without a hitch. Realizing that the assault was a complete failure and a bad idea to begin with, the Scotsman then tells his daughters to retreat while he plans to stall Aku to allow them time to escape and prevent Aku from killing them. And so the plan goes as planned when the Scotsman meets Aku face-to-face for the first time in the series, roasting him with his trademark insults as he praises Jack and how he has inspired many to rise against Aku while he claims that all Aku has been doing is hiding like a coward. You know, all the stuff that's coming out of the Scotsman's mouth is technically true, especially since all Aku does nowadays is mope around at how he is powerless to defeat Jack as long as he has his sword and that him destroying all the time portals and causing Jack to be immortal has pushed them into an eternal stalemate with each other. Moving on, Aku eventually has had enough of the Scotsman's roasting of him and then decides to literally roast him instead, completely killing him on the spot with red eye lasers. Going off of this, I would like to say two things. One, we already knew that the assault on Aku's lair was going to fail, especially since it was advertised by the promo for the episode. Two, in spite of that, I never actually expected the Scotsman to just go out like that! I was actually feeling pretty sad and almost cried when the Scotsman died and his daughters were in tears as they could only look on as his sword flung to the ground shattered and his bare skeleton turned to ashes. And Aku being delighted at killing the Scotsman but then going back to being depressed due to the mention of Jack himself was the addition of insult to injury in this scenario. So after Aku leaves the scene, one of his daughters takes up the Scotsman's shattered sword and plunges it into the ground, swearing that she and her sisters will avenge their father. However, then a very glorious miracle happens...
Scotsman: [Laughs] I be back, and in me prime no less!
Daughter: Dad? Oh, you live!
Scotsman: Ha! Eh, kind of.
Daughter: But, how?
Scotsman: Oh, my darling Heather blossoms. Celtic magic. [Twinkle]
Daughter: What's next, father?
Scotsman: We regroup and plan to fight another day. We'll amass a bigger army. We'll find Jack, and finally defeat that big baby!
Basically, thanks to the Celtic runes, the Scotsman was able to be resurrected back to life as a ghost with the same appearance he had from the original series. And so with the Scotsman having been revived in his prime, he and his daughters plan to find Jack and assemble a bigger army to finally defeat Aku once and for all. Dang, never have I experienced such a barrage of emotions in just a few seconds. First thing I know, I find myself in joy as I root for the Scotsman in his myriad of insults against the Shogun of Sorrow himself. Next thing I know, I'm left in tears at the Scotsman's death as his daughters mourn him. But the last thing I know, I'm suddenly crying tears of joy when the Scotsman is brought back to life, showing that his role in the main story is not over just yet.
Moving on, the episode then shifts its focus from the Scotsman and his daughters back to Jack and Ashi for the remainder of its duration, where they were previously seen resting on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean after having escaped the belly of a giant monster. That said, Ashi is first seen questioning her purpose in life and what the truth is, going back and forth between her mother and Jack in her head. Suddenly, then the moon in the night sky transforms into Ashi's mother's face, acting as an illusion to Ashi that attempts to command her to kill Jack in his sleep. Fortunately, Ashi refuses and tells her mother that Jack saved her life and that she wishes for the truth. Baffled by her daughter's change of heart, Ashi's mother condemns her for her defiance and ultimately declares that her own daughter has failed her before finally disappearing as the sun rises. Looks like Jack isn't the only one struggling with himself now! Anyways, Ashi then sees Jack awake and running towards the water, following him to where he is as he jumps into the water and reemerges with a tamed sea dragon. Ashi then mounts the sea dragon as it takes her and Jack back to the mainland while it does a couple of breathtaking scenes of swimming and flying into the air along the way. After it reaches the mainland, Jack thanks the dragon for its help and parts ways with Ashi. However, Ashi doesn't exactly plan on parting ways and still has questions for Jack regarding the truth about the world. So she then goes to Jack's location in the middle of the night, where he is residing by a campfire and suddenly experiences a brief hallucination similar to his previous one from the first episode on a significantly smaller scale. Ashi demands Jack to tell her the truth, to which Jack then replies that she must be patient, much to her frustration. So the two proceed to go sleep, but not before Ashi gazes at the stars and asks Jack if Aku had created them. Jack tells her no and then tells her one of his mother's bedtime stories about the creation of the stars, which gives us a brilliant and cosmic display of what the story is about, with the Sun and the Moon along with a phoenix being involved as well. When the story is finished, Jack finally tells Ashi that he will show her the truth next morning.
So the next morning, Jack takes Ashi to a barren land full of spikes, with only a lone but beautiful tree in the sunlight seen at the end of the land. Jack explains to Ashi that this barren land used to be a lush forest, but was made the way it is now because of Aku, with the lone tree solely serving as a reminder of the power Aku has over the world. Next, Jack takes Ashi to the City of Aku, where he subsequently disguises himself using clothes he steals from the local vendors and reveals to Ashi the dark side of what the city is. This is shown when an exiled criminal arrives from another world and is welcomed into the city by a city entrance manager due to the criminal's evil nature. The manager then tells the criminal that he can reside in a village occupied by innocent people. The criminal is aware of this issue and makes note of it, but the manager SADISTICALLY shows no care for the village being occupied as he states it is not a problem, much to the criminal's delight. Ashi is further convinced that Aku is evil, finally resolving to help Jack in his quest to defeat him. Unfortunately, Jack says that without his sword, which he had lost, he cannot defeat Aku, as it is the only way to do so. Thus, he claims there is no hope in defeating Aku.
Shortly after, Jack and Ashi then stumble upon a devastated village, where they then meet a wounded blue creature that tells them that his village was attacked and that all the children were kidnapped and taken to a nearby factory to act as an energy source for a new Mega-Robot. Jack and Ashi then seek to infiltrate the factory and rescue the children. They manage to reach the factory and are quickly able to find the children inside a storage garage, all standing with their eyes closed. However, a mysterious person guarding the factory then slowly turns up the sound frequency on a mind control system that sends the children into a frenzy, causing them to chase Jack and Ashi as Jack tells Ashi to find the source of the mind control signal while he tries to run from the children. Ashi then runs across a series of intricate and complex industrial beams before finally reaching the source of the mind control signal, only to be subdued by a robotic guard called the Dominator. Meanwhile, Jack is left defenseless as he is endlessly pursued by the children and cannot harm them. Things aren't any better when the episode shifts back to Ashi, where she is now being sadistically tortured by the Dominator through electrocution with his armored hands, who explains to her the factory's plan, only stopping his electrocution of Ashi only once to recharge his armor. When he begins electrocuting her again, she sees Jack being overwhelmed by the children, with the Dominator menacingly commenting on how Jack can't do a thing to them since they're just innocent children, explaining that the children had mind-control chips implanted in them in order to do his bidding and that he sees them nothing more than mere tools. Dang, and people thought Aku was evil. Just wait until I tell you what happens next! So in lieu of seeing Jack suffering, Ashi manages to endure the pain of the electrocution and finally break free of her restraints! On top of that, she also manages to fight back the Dominator and knock his helmet off, hurling him into the factory's control panel and killing him in the explosion. Now the part I want to talk most about is the Dominator's helmet being knocked off. Initially, when I first saw the Dominator, he appeared to just be a robot. However, when his helmet got knocked off, he was actually revealed to be a human! So what that means is that a human (A HUMAN, I TELL YOU!) was just about as sadistic or even more sadistic than Aku himself! I know Aku is not above killing children, but I don't think I've ever seen him as sadistic as the Dominator himself! Heck, maybe not even as sadistic as the manager who menacingly allowed the criminal to go and kill a village occupied by innocent people! Ironically, even though Aku is still evil, there have been a lot more characters in this season so far that are probably more evil than Aku! Ranging from Ashi's mother to the Dominator, this season clearly shows you that Aku isn't the only evil in the world of Samurai Jack.
Moving forward, the children are finally freed from their mind control as their mind-control chips short-circuit and knock them out unconscious. Unfortunately, Jack mistakes this event for the children being killed, causing him to cry out in pain as the mysterious samurai warrior that had haunted him in the first three episodes of the season appears, claiming victory as he tells Jack that it's time for something. Jack then complies without defiance and follows the mysterious samurai warrior out of the factory. Man, just when I thought him not appearing in the fourth episode meant Jack was out of the woods, this guy comes rolling back! Anyways, Ashi then searches for Jack and finds the children, who have just begun to regain consciousness and are all alive. Ashi is joyful that they're alive and calls out to Jack that they saved the children. However, Jack is nowhere to be seen, and all Ashi can do is shout his name at the top of her lungs asking where he is as the episode ends.
We've reached the halfway point, guys! Five episodes down, five more to go! While the episode may appear to be the slow point of the fifth season to some, I honestly don't see any difference in terms of pace for this episode compared to the previous episodes from this season. Slow or not, it's still good in its own way in many aspects just like the other episodes. And not a decline in quality has been seen or has yet to be seen. In fact, I doubt there will be any decline in quality in the episodes to come for the fifth season of Samurai Jack. Getting to the point, the episode does just as good as any other episode did in this season. Brilliant animation, meaningful adult themes, splendid voice acting, lots of character progression in development, lots of emotions, and some decent amount of action (thought not as much as the previous episodes in my personal opinion with the exception of the fourth one) make this episode top-notch. And while this episode isn't action-heavy, it does develop Ashi's character development further, which had started at the end of the fourth episode and had progressed much further in this episode. And we can only expect it to go even further in the next episodes to come. Also, I'm pretty sure Ashi is going to have a father-daughter relationship with Jack for the remainder of the series. Personally, while a romantic relationship may seem cute at first and I kind of ship Jack and Ashi together, I also believe it would feel kind of rushed since it's been 50 years that have passed in the series and romance was never the main focus of Samurai Jack. Either way, I'm looking forward to more episodes to come. So don't let me down now, Genndy Tartakovsky! Then again, why should I have to worry? He's made great strides in the world of animation, so I'm pretty sure he won't screw up Samurai Jack. So in closing, here's my final score for the fifth episode of the fifth season of Samurai Jack:
9.0 out of 10.0 stars
Thanks for reading and be sure to check out episode 6 of the fifth season of Samurai Jack after doing so. Until then, peace!
Awesome review! Just finished the episode myself! - RoseRedFlower
Thank you! I appreciate the feedback! - ModernSpongeBobSucks
Did you watch XCIX, I did and it was cool
(SPOILERS) Jack and Ashi kiss in the end, it made me change the channel. it was so awkward... - Cartoonfan202
UPDATE: Now I have finally watched XCIX, and honestly, I was very surprised yet very satisfied when I saw Jack and Ashi kissing in the end. - ModernSpongeBobSucks
God dang it, Cartoonfan202! I didn't even watch episode 8 yet! - ModernSpongeBobSucks
This comment is now outdated. - ModernSpongeBobSucks