Episode XCIX is the eighth episode of Season 5 and the sixtieth episode of Samurai Jack. While the fifth-season episodes are untitled, this episode can be unofficially titled Jack, Ashi and the Dangerous Desert or Jack and Ashi
In the depths of space, a massive, rectangular spacecraft suddenly collides with a large asteroid, sending the ship crashing to Earth somewhere over the Sahara desert. Meanwhile, Jack and Ashi are preparing to board an enormous, camel-like creature which acts as a ferry across the desert. After sampling some food from the market stalls, with surprising results for Jack (temporarily turning his head into a tropical fish), the two board and the creature departs. Ashi and Jack quickly find themselves hemmed in by a large crowd of green tiger-men wearing lettered shirts. The close proximity makes the two somewhat nervous, as a mutual attraction develops between them, until Jack notices that the sweaters of the tiger-men spell out: "Die", "Death" and "Die Samurai Jack". Realizing the tiger-men have set a trap, Jack and Ashi fight back, but with every touch and near-collision, the attraction between the two seems to rise. They finally decide to retreat, escape off of the beast, and begin to traverse the rest of the way on foot.
Eventually, they stop to drink at an oasis and Jack makes one of his handmade straw hats for each of them. Soon, a sandstorm hits and the two seek shelter in a towering structure that happens to be the spaceship seen earlier. As they explore, they discover that the ship is actually one huge prison, though the prisoners have mysteriously vanished. Suddenly, Ashi is bitten by a strange leech-like creature. Jack kills the creature with a single sword swing, but a sinister green infection starts to spread from the bite. Acting quickly, Jack is able to suck the poison out and stop the infection and, after hearing a horrible screeching sound, the two decide it is time to leave. They race back to where they entered, but find it's not the same. They climb a ladder and cross several catwalks, all the while being pursued by the screeching creature, becoming completely lost in the vast corridors of the prison ship. Eventually, they find themselves in a large chamber containing a huge glass prison cell, broken open. It is here that they confront the creature that has been chasing them: A massive horde of the same leech-creature that attacked Ashi join together to form a vaguely humanoid shape. The Leech Swarm Creature attacks, throwing pieces of itself at them. The two warriors fight back, but soon must retreat. Jack cuts a ventilation line, allowing Ashi and himself to escape amid the concealing steam.
Jack and Ashi find themselves at a door which, after scanning to make sure they are not prisoners, lets them in. It turns out to be the ship's armory. A computer voice explains that the creature that attacked them is known as Lazarus-92. It shows Jack a weapon made specifically to kill Lazarus-92. Unfortunately, Ashi accidentally sets off a laser rifle, causing Jack to miss the part where it explains how to arm the weapon. Ashi arms herself with a double-bladed spear and a shield and the two go out to battle. They soon encounter Lazarus-92 again, but Jack is unable to figure out the initiation sequence. Ashi offers to try and he tosses the weapon to her while he holds off the monster with his blade. However, a swarm of the leeches outflank Jack and attack Ashi. She is able to fend them off, but not before they eat away her clothing, leaving her naked, much to Jack's embarrassment. He quickly removes his gi and drapes it over her, claiming that she "needs protection". Jack and Ashi fight on, but are soon surrounded. Jack tries once more to activate the weapon while Ashi covers him. The leeches overwhelm them just as Jack manages to figure out the initiation sequence. As the two are covered by the alien worms, the weapon activates and electrocutes the leeches, killing them all simultaneously. As the creatures die, the infection in Jack and Ashi's wounds is also neutralized.
Recovering from their ordeal, Jack and Ashi turn to look at each other. Finally realizing their feelings for each other, they embrace in a passionate kiss.
- Written by
- Directed by
- Storyboards by
- Casting by
- This episode is the second episode of Season 5 to be rated TV-PG alongside Episode XCVI. This is most likely due to the fact that there is no blood. Episode XCVII also had no blood, but had a higher rating due to cursing and Jack almost committing seppuku.
- On the giant camel-like creature, an anthropomorphic camel is riding it.
- The walrus merchant that Jack and Ashi encountered bears a resemblance to Wally Walrus from the Woody Woodpecker cartoons. Billy West also voiced Wally in The New Woody Woodpecker Show.
- Jack and Ashi travel the desert at the beginning of the episode. This is similar to how Jack and Ikra traveled the desert in "Jack and the Warrior Woman".
- Ironically, both episodes feature some sort of romantic subplot. Unlike the previous episode, which had a bad ending that revealed Ikra to actually be Aku in disguise, this episode has a good ending.
- The moment when Jack and Ashi enter the crashed ship, then later try to turn back and exit the way they came, only to end up not finding a way out, echoes how Jack entered the haunted house, but could not find his way back out when he tries to leave in the season 3 episode "Jack and the Haunted House".
- Ashi and Jack become a couple by sharing their first kiss.
- Ashi is the second girl to give Jack a kiss, the first being his childhood friend on the cheek when Jack was a kid from 'Jack Remembers the Past'.
- Although Jack and Ashi have a make-out session and not just an ordinary kiss.
- Jack and Ashi's relationship developed inside of a literal ship.
- The song that plays when Jack and Ashi kiss is Dean Martin's "Everybody Loves Somebody" from 1965.
- This is the first episode in Season 5 without the classic ending of Will.I.Am rapping "Gotta get back to the past".
- This episode marks the second time Ashi was completely naked since Episode XCVII" .
- Although Ashi and Jack didn't become a couple until now, it was foreshadowed in previous episodes of this season.
- Episode XCIV: Ashi and her sisters witness deer nuzzling. Also in this same episode, the white wolf foreshadowed that Jack would find an intimate partner that would help him heal his wounds physically and mentally.
- Episode XCV: The puffball hallucination asking Jack "What did you expect; a hug and a kiss?"
- Episode XCVII: Jack awkwardly compliments Ashi's hair and dress; Ashi smiles from this.
- Prior to this episode, Jack and Ashi already had a symbiotic relationship as they helped each other heal physically and mentally, were already close friends, cared about each other deeply, and had a similar background/upbringing.
- There was a lot of sexual innuendo/tension in this episode:
- Jack and Ashi feel uncomfortable holding hands.
- Ashi notices something poking her and it is Jack's sword.
- The scene of Jack and Ashi boarding the camel is similar to a typical scene in Japanese romance anime where people rush to squeeze into a train and are shoved closer together.
- The two become nervous due to the amount of physical touching they do while they fight the tiger men.
- Jack is unsure of how to use his weapon (the device).
- Ashi suggests that she tries activating the device, to which Jack hesitantly agrees.
- Jack becomes nervous when he sees Ashi naked.
- As the two are overwhelmed by Lazarus-92 just before finishing it off, the two moan quite heavily and they yell each other's names.
- At the end, the two engage in a passionate kiss.
- As Jack is shocked to see Ashi naked, she doesn't seem to care (mainly because she doesn't understand). However, in Episode XCVII, she says "Uh Oh" when realizing that she has no clothes on. This could also be due to the fact they were in a life and death situation and Jack worrying about Ashi being naked didn't really matter at that point. Also, take into consideration two key things:
- 1.) Ashi never wore real clothes. for her entire life up until Episode XCVII.
- 2.) Ashi was raised by an all-female cult, where all the other members (including her sisters and their mother) had the same black "bodysuits" as she did, so it's not like there was much of a "nudity taboo," if there ever was one.
- The episode bears resemblance to the plot of the 1979 film, Alien, to which crew members on a ship must find a way to destroy a deadly creature that wants to kill them.
- The scene where Jack tries to operate the machine by clicking a single button and then stubbornly pressing multiple times out of failure is a reference to Dexter's Laboratory, where the show's intro had Dexter do the same shortly before the title card.
- The spacecraft greatly resembles the design of the Monolith from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey.
- Main article: Episode XCIX/Gallery