Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Samurai Jack season 5 episode 4 review

The previous episode concluded with Jack falling from a broken tree along with Ashi and the other daughters of Aku. This week's episode wasn't quite what i expected but the light humorous tone and exploration of Ashi's character as i'll discuss. Spoilers included.

The episode begins by Jack surviving the fall and looking at the bloodied body of Ashi, presumed to be dead. Jack once again hallucinates that the crows accuse him of being a murderer. Jack is deeply troubled and says they chose their own fate in defense. Little does Jack know that Ashi is still alive and she attacks him. He manages to capture her and is surprised by her warped mentality. At that point, he sees a very troubled and misguided soul rather than a real enemy. He chooses to spare her and take her with him as they are attacked by several creatures. Suddenly, they find themselves swallowed by an enormous creature and have to find a way out. From that point on, Jack is constantly having to deal with both the creatures and Ashi.

While in the creature, Jack faces more hallucinations. His former self tells him that she should suffer the consequences of her actions. This internal dialogue is very interesting because we get a glimpse into Jack's younger self. We've never seen Jack encounter a situation like the one he currently is facing but if he did, he'd probably show no compassion towards someone like Ashi. It's in this episode that we realize that now that Jack is older, he blames himself for her hateful character. He feels guilt over not vanquishing Aku and is now paying the price of seeing a human brainwashed to Aku's will. Meanwhile, Ashi seems to be stuck in an internal struggle of her own. From what it seems, she feels abandoned. It's like she wants to give up her quest to destroy Jack but is reminded by her "mother" in a dream of her original purpose.    

Ashi is captured and Jack saves her from deadly creatures. She's clearly ungrateful and keeps raving about how majestic Aku is. Jack has an outburst and tells her the truth about him. He explains to Ashi that Aku has destroyed mother nature and that is what makes him evil. Ashi refuses to believe it and continues to make Jack suffer even as he struggles to find a way out of the enormous creature. Both come across a group of creatures amazed as Jack says "even in the bowels of the darkest of creatures, there is beautiful light." They struggle to make their way out of a blowhole and eventually land on a piece of land.

Ashi manages to free herself with a blade and sneaks up on an unsuspecting Jack. She then has a flashback of when she was a girl, she saw a ladybug and ceased from training. The high priestess took the ladybug and called it a distraction then crushed it in her fingers. Flashforward back to the present, Ashi sees a ladybug land on Jack's finger and he does nothing to it. She slowly drops her weapon and falls down as she succumbs to the truth. Ashi finally realizes that everything that she's learned has been wrong. She was told in episode 1 that Jack was the one who threatened to destroy mother nature but the high priestess killed the ladybug. Ashi slowly learned to value life in a way that she never has before. She realizes that if her whole purpose was to kill then Aku isn't as benevolent as he is made out to be. She has no other choice but to journey with Jack for the time being until they figure out what to do next.

In conclusion, these are my thoughts and interpretations of the episode. I'd like to hear more about what you thought in the comments below as far as whether or not Ashi is redeemable and what will happen in the future.


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