Episode XCV is the fourth episode of Season 5 and the fifty-sixth episode of Samurai Jack. While the fifth-season episodes are untitled, this episode can be unofficially titled Jack in the Belly of the Beast.
With the furiously reluctant aid of Ashi at his side, Jack searches for an escape from a gargantuan creature that has swallowed them whole. Will her interactions with the Samurai reveal to Ashi the light of the world's true enemy?
Following a nightmare of fighting the Daughters of Aku, Jack wakes up in the snow, having survived the fall into the valley. Soon enough, a trail of blood leads him to Ashi's body, seemingly dead on impact. Jack hallucinates that a murder of crows is taunting him for killing real humans, though he quickly defends his actions, claiming the Daughters already chose their path.
Unfortunately, Ashi also survived the fall, and Jack is forced to fight and tie her up once again. As a restrained Ashi continues to badmouth him while swinging from a tree, Jack ponders her entire way of thinking, and decides to convince her that he is not an enemy. Before he can do so, however, a giant monster emerges from the ground and swallows them both whole.
Against repeated attacks from Ashi, Jack manages to save her and break their fall, landing in the bowels of the beast. When they stop to rest, Ashi praises Aku and revels in her "victory," gloating that they are both trapped inside the monster and Jack will soon die as a result. Jack is more positive, however, having experienced exploring the innards of large creatures before, and determines there must be another way out.
As Jack tries to explain that Aku is the true enemy, multiple blue-green creatures arrive and attempt to eat them, with Ashi kicking Jack towards the swarm in another attempt to kill him. Using one of their severed appendages as a makeshift sword, Jack kills several of the creatures before rescuing an unhelpful Ashi, strapping her to his back and retreating deeper into the monster.
While stopping to rest again, an unconscious Ashi dreams of her mother's command to kill Jack. Waking up, she spots him nearby. A small puff-ball creature appears before Jack and tries to convince him to escape without Ashi, believing she is only evil. Jack refuses to listen, but the puf-ball creature's opinion is shared by Jack's self-hallucination.
While Jack argues with himself to Ashi's confusion, she is kidnapped by a red, crab-like creature, and Jack's hallucination is quick to notice. Ignoring his past self and snapping off a makeshift mace from the monster's body, Jack kills the creature that abducted Ashi and brings her back. Unsurprisingly, she isn't grateful for the rescue. The small puff-ball from before asks if Jack was expecting a hug and a kiss, to his annoyance.
As Jack presses onward, Ashi continues to rant about his inevitable demise while singing praise for Aku. Finally fed up, Jack once again tries and fails to reason with her before being forced to take shelter from a hail of needles. While waiting for the storm to pass, Jack, in an attempt at small-talk, explains acupuncture to Ashi while removing their needles.
Eventually, after hiding from a centipede-like creature, Jack takes the pieces of its discarded exoskeleton as makeshift armor, taking Ashi's disgust as a compliment. While climbing to a higher area, Jack determines a way out is close, causing Ashi to send them both falling. Fortunately, Jack manages to grab a makeshift vine and save them both, keeping Ashi on a longer leash for the rest of the climb.
Finally, after reaching the top, Ashi gazes in awe at the assorted flying creatures, while Jack spots an exit to the outside over a large pool of acid. As they hitch a ride on one of the flying creatures, a large, transparent fish-like predator spots them and gives chase. Using the flyers to evade and hide, Jack and Ashi manage to jump through the exit before it closes and escape from both monsters, landing in a surrounding ocean and freeing Ashi in the process.
Once outside, Jack rescues Ashi, then swims to a nearby desert island. Coming to her senses and spotting her sickle in the water, Ashi prepares to finally kill an exhausted Jack. Before she can do so, however, a ladybug flies past, and Ashi recalls a moment in her youth when she interacted with a ladybug during a sparring session, only for it to be squished to death by the High Priestess, claiming the insect was distracting her and generally "not part of Aku's Order." As Jack interacts with the ladybug in a more harmless manner, Ashi drops her sickle after remembering her mother's words, faced with the reality that the samurai may not be truly evil after all as she was indoctrinated into believing.
Distraught, Ashi then sits on the island with Jack, albeit from a distance, seemingly making peace with her "enemy" and pondering about what the truth really is.
- Written by
- Directed by
- Genndy Tartakovsky
- Storyboards by
- Genndy Tartakovsky
- Casting by
- On the original scheduled air-date of April 1, 2017, this episode was replaced with an all-night marathon of the Season 3 premiere of Rick and Morty, and was delayed one week as a result (all part of an April Fools' Day joke).
- This is the first episode of season 5 where the mysterious horseman in Jack's visions doesn't appear.
- Ashi says "I will undo the evil that is you, Samurai!" This is a reference to the original intro of the show, where Aku said "Now the fool seeks to return to the past, and undo the future that is Aku!".
- The puffball hallucination saying "What did you expect? A hug and a kiss?" was foreshadowing Jack and Ashi's relationship in Episode XCIX.
- The episode has some similarities to Episode XV, Episode XXI and Episode XVII.
- Jack once again explores the inside of a monster, though not by choice, and briefly mentions the adventure to Ashi.
- Much like the Scotsman's wife, Ashi is less than happy about being rescued and frequently complains while Jack carries her.
- Main article: Episode XCV/Gallery