The latest episode of Season 5 of Samurai Jack aired recently, and things have gotten a lot darker than they have ever been in the previous four seasons. Although the noble warrior has decimated every enemy that demon Aku sent his way, the second episode has Jack doing something that he had never done in the past seasons of the action anime.
[Warning: Samurai Jack Season 5, Episode 2 spoilers ahead]
The once bright-eyed Samurai Jack is no longer his perky and rather humorous self. As immortality, a rather sad side-effect of time travel finally catches up with him, Jack takes on a rather dark persona, plagued with hopelessness. Season 5 has the hero purged off all the optimism and renders him far grittier.
A warrior filled with weariness and darkness is not to be trifled with, and as the robots are replaced with humans, Samurai Jack stands on the precipice of a moral dilemma about taking a life. In Episode 2, Season 5 of Samurai Jack, the warrior commits a rather horrendous crime and is instantly embroiled in a tug-of-war with himself.
Samurai Jack 2002: Jack buys high heels thinking they’re the best weapons
Samurai Jack 2017: Jack slices someone’s throat pic.twitter.com/ULP4eZ85Pw
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Some rather striking changes in Season 5 include the introduction of actual human enemies. Till date, demon Aku has sent across mechanized soldiers and other artificial creatures. As expected, Jack has skillfully destroyed hoards of these synthetic and brainless creatures that lacked a human soul. Incidentally, Jack has faced several human enemies in the past, but he has chosen to defeat them by leaving them wounded. Fans of the series know that Samurai Jack is not one to take a human life.
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However, in the latest season of Samurai Jack, the warrior has to battle a few of the Daughters of Aku. The seven women sired by demon Aku with the High Priestess have a sole purpose in their life. Raised by their mother, the daughters were groomed to kill Jack. This puts the ninja in a rather awkward position. Hiding in a coffin while attempting to distance himself from one of the women, Jack is seen struggling with his conscience.
Fear, apprehension, and the moral anxiety are clearly seen on his face. However, when faced with reality and forced to make a choice between killing or getting killed, Samurai Jack’s training takes over, and with a swift movement of his katana, the warrior attacks and kills one of the women. The reaction on the samurai’s face betrays his inner thoughts as a horrified expression appears. It becomes amply clear that this is the first time Jack has actually killed a human. In Season 4 of Samurai Jack, the warrior did take on an entire group of bounty hunters, but the animators never explicitly indicated if he had killed them. In other words, Jack has come close to taking a life in the past but never has he actually committed the act, even if it was in self-defense.
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The latest episode is undeniably one of the darkest of Samurai Jack yet, and fans are wondering what it means for the series. Since Season 5 has been confirmed to be the last, it could indicate that the warrior is finally accepting the gruesome realization about killing humans being a part of his journey. However, the tension, remorse and other emotions that flash on his face, make it amply clear that the warrior doesn’t want to take a human life.
Polygon had earlier reported that Samurai Jack creator Genndy Tartakovsky had confirmed that Season 5 of the series was supposed to be the darkest yet. As this season marks the end of Jack’s journey, he wanted to experiment with themes that he never did before.
[Featured Image by Genndy Tartakovsky/Samurai Jack/Adult Swim]