Friday, May 5, 2017

Samurai Jack season 5 episode 7 review

I watched the latest episode of Samurai Jack season 5 episode 7 and i was absolutely amazed. The whole show became completely dark, violent, and grim on a level never before seen. With that in mind, i will give my thoughts and analysis on this episode including spoilers.

The beginning of the episode is set in the days of his younger self when he is searching for a time portal. He is greeted by several small creatures and they guide the way. He seems to have almost given up hope of ever returning to his time..that is until he abruptly finds a time portal. Jack quickly makes a run for it. He jumps in but just as he is traveling back in time, Aku grabs him and pulls him back. It would seem that Jack and Aku would once again engage in battle but Jack impatiently runs for the portal. This time Aku destroys it and tells Jack it was the last time portal in existence. At that moment, Jack loses his self control and is consumed by anger. In a fit of anger, he rushes towards Aku and attacks him. Aku evades him, wisely knowing that he cannot defeat Jack as long as he wields the sword. Aku transforms the small ram creatures into monsters to fight him. Jack takes out all of his anger on them until they all die. In a guilt-stricken and nervous state, he drops his sword. Jack is stunned by the realization of what he had done but the sword lands near a hole and it falls in. The scene flash-forwards to Jack recounting his tale to Ashi.

As they approach the site where Jack lost his sword, they find that it's gone. Ashi quickly suspects that someone has stolen it but Jack realizes that the sword has left him. Jack then goes on a spiritual mission to restore his sword as he sits in meditation as Ashi guards him. Jack appears in the center of the universe as if he reached a state of nirvana only to embark on a raft in the sea.

Ashi notices an entire army marching towards Jack and is surprised. Nevertheless, she confronts them and tells them that she will stop them all. They then engage in a fierce and brutal battle. It is in this very moment that Ashi's loyalty, character, and faith in Jack is tested.

Jack slowly reaches a house with a man resembling Buddha stands on the dock. The man asks him to join him for a cup of tea. This is very important as tea in Japanese culture has a strong spiritual connection with Zen Buddhism. The tea ceremony symbolized honor, clarity, transcendence, and a spiritual awakening to the Samurai. It's clear that Jack must be spiritually refined in this test before he can recover his sword.

Meanwhile, Ashi has killed almost all of the soldiers. She quickly realizes too late that there is all but one left alive and has already rushed to Jack. Ashi quickly runs on foot then calls the bird to her. Ashi barely stops the arrow flying towards Jack. It's revealed that the warrior attempting to kill Jack is none other than her mother. This is probably the biggest test that Ashi has ever faced and whether or not she really has changed for the greater good. Her mother explains to her that she was always the weak one and gives her one last chance to redeem herself by killing Jack. Ashi refuses and explains that her mother lied to her about everything. Ashi's mother realizing that Ashi clearly has taken Jack's side, fights against her. The high priestess then tells Ashi that Jack killed her sisters to which Ashi replies with "you killed them! We were made for one purpose - to kill! Our fate was sealed the day we were born!" The battle culminates to a point where Ashi kills her own mother.

In Jack's spiritual quest, the monk says that all the ingredients in the tea are good but it lacks the most important quality - balance. Jack is frustrated and angered by his response. Jack desperately pleads for the monk to show him the way to his sword but the monk refuses. The monk explains that it's not for him to show Jack his own path. Immediately we see Jack's manifestation of his inner anger rant about the monk hiding the way. As the monk explains the path to the sword is something Jack must earn, Jack's inner anger tells him that he deserves it after everything that has happened.

Eventually Jack realizes that the ultimate obstacle in his quest to the past was himself. Since the time he was transported to the future in the first episode to the present, Jack has built up alot of anger and frustrations. It's his inner uncontrollable anger that has blinded him. Interesting to note that one of Jack's greatest flaws is anger. If you recall in the episode "Jack vs. Mad Jack" episode, Jack has conquered his angry side before but it seems to have reappeared later in the show. Jack vanquishes his suppressed rage once and for all. The monk finally sees that Jack is completely in harmony with himself and we see the gods from the "birth of evil" episode appear to him. At long last, Jack is worthy of wielding his sword and undergoes a transformation to his younger self. While i enjoyed this scene, i disliked Jack going back his younger self because it's not consistent with the story. The episode concludes with Jack returning to the present world and tells Ashi that the next step in their journey is to fight Aku.

These are my concluding thoughts regarding this episode. I predict in the next episode that Jack and Ashi will face Aku but will not be able to defeat him. Let me know your thoughts and predictions in the comments below as i eagerly await the release of the next episode.