Episode XCVI is the fifth episode of Season 5 and the fifty-seventh episode of Samurai Jack. While the fifth-season episodes are untitled, this episode can be unofficially titled Jack Shows Ashi the Truth or Aku's World
The Scotsman and his clan of rebels do battle with Aku. Meanwhile, Jack and Ashi work together to save a group of enslaved children from being harvested as the power source for a monstrous Mega-Robot.
The episode begins with three armies, including an elderly Scotsman and his one hundred daughters, launching an assault on Aku's lair. Inside, a very bored Aku takes notice and decides to deal with them, believing it will relieve him of his "malaise". Aku swiftly destroys two of the armies before turning his attention to the Scotsman's daughters.
The Scotsman himself stays behind to distract Aku and buy his daughters more time to escape. Fed up with the Scotsman's frequent insults and praise for Jack, Aku simply vaporizes him with his eye beams, killing the Scotsman, and returns to his lair, annoyed that the Scotsman even bothered to mention the samurai. The Scotsman's daughters soon return to mourn their father. Fortunately, thanks to the Celtic runes in his sword, he lives on as a ghost in his prime. The Scotsman and his daughters all agree to find Jack and continue the fight against Aku.
Meanwhile, back on the island, Ashi continues to question her purpose. The moon transforms into the High Priestess' face, commanding Ashi to kill Jack in his sleep. Ashi refuses, informing her mother that Jack saved her life and she only wants to know the truth. Shocked at her daughter's "failure" and perceived weakness, the High Priestess promptly dismisses her. As the sun comes up, Ashi notices Jack running away and chases him to the water. Jack soon emerges on the back of a water dragon, having tamed it to take them back to the mainland. Once they arrive, Jack thanks the dragon for its help and bids farewell to Ashi. That night, however, after Jack experiences a brief hallucination in his campfire, Ashi catches up with him, demanding to know the truth. Before they go to sleep, Ashi gazes up at the stars, asking if Aku created them. In response, Jack tells her one of his mother's bedtime stories about the creation of stars, and promises to show her the truth in the morning.
The next morning, Jack shows Ashi a single tree surrounded by spikes. It used to be a forest, until Aku destroyed most of it in a display of power, leaving the lone tree as a reminder. He then takes her to the City of Aku. Jack steals some fresh clothes from local vendors to disguise himself, and shows her the dark side of this city. An exiled criminal arrives from another world and is welcomed because of his evil nature. He's allowed to settle in a peaceful village and despite the village being occupied, he menacingly states it's no problem. This is able to further convince Ashi that Aku is evil, and she agrees to help defeat him. Jack disagrees, as without his sword, there's no other way to do so. Shortly after, Jack and Ashi come across a wounded blue creature, who informs them that the children of his village were kidnapped and taken to a nearby factory to power a new Mega-Robot.
Upon infiltrating the factory, Jack and Ashi quickly find the children, who start chasing them after going feral from mind control implants. Jack keeps the children occupied while Ashi searches for the source of the mind control's signal, only to be captured and brought before a guard called the Dominator. He sadistically tortures the "Samurai sympathizer" with electrocution while explaining the factory's plan, stopping only to recharge his armor. Seeing Jack being overwhelmed, Ashi endures the torture and breaks free of her restraints. Fighting back the pain of 10,000 volts, she manages to knock the Dominator's helmet off and hurls him into the factory's control panel, killing him in the explosion and freeing the children. However, as the children's mind control implants short-circuit, they fall to the ground, appearing dead. This causes Jack to cry out in agony and see the mysterious samurai who has been following him. The samurai tells Jack it's time for something, and Jack calmly accompanies him out of the facility. Afterwards, while Ashi is searching for Jack, she finds the children and discovers they're all alive. She then calls out for Jack to tell him they succeeded, but he's nowhere to be found.
- Directed by
- Genndy Tartakovsky
- Storyboards by
- Genndy Tartakovsky
- Bryan Andrews
- Casting by
- Karie Gima Pham
- This episode features the return of the Scotsman since the fourth season, fifty years ago in the show's time. However, he's killed by Aku effortlessly.
- He's also revealed to have had a few hundred daughters in between those 50 years.
- His sword is also revealed to be able to use its runes to keep him alive as a ghost after death.
- This episode features the first physical confrontation between The Scotsman and Aku, not counting Aku seeing the Scotsman for the first time in the climax of Samurai Jack: The Shadow of Aku.
- In Episode XI, he previously proclaimed himself to be the most wanted man by Aku until he saw many bounty posters for Jack, complete with a larger bounty for the samurai.
- Unlike the rest of the episodes in Season 5, which are rated TV-14, this episode is rated TV-PG.
- This may be due to the fact that this is the first episode of Season 5 to not feature blood.
- This is the first time the mysterious mounted samurai speaks, and delivers Jack an ominous message: "It is time", to which Jack responds, "Yes", and follows him to an unknown destination.
- Similar to Jack and the Baby, Jack tells a story to Ashi that was told by his mother just like he told the baby to put it to sleep.
- The nature of the Scotsman's death greatly parallels that of Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, in that he taunts Aku just as Obi-Wan did to Darth Vader, before bravely accepting his imminent demise. Additionally, the Scotsman returns as a spirit stronger than ever, much like how Obi-Wan came back as a force-ghost.
- According to the Scotsman, Jack has inspired many to oppose Aku. This is first seen in Aku's Fairy Tales, where children are no longer terrified of Aku and openly role-play his defeat by Jack and his allies.
- The scene where Ashi gets caught and electrocuted is possibly a reference to the movie Dexter's Laboratory: Ego Trip, where Number 12 (the near-future Dexter) gets strapped down and punished with an electric whip by Mandark.
- Also, regarding the scene in that the Dominator electrocutes ashi, it's similar to the episode of The Powerpuff Girls titled "Bubblevicious". During the episode, Bubbles is captured by Mojo Jojo and he electrocutes her with an invention of his until she, out of rage, manages to break free from her restraints after enduring the torture, similar to how Ashi managed to survive electrocution before breaking free from her bonds and killing the Dominator. Another similarity, both Bubbles and Ashi share the same voice actress, Tara Strong.
- Main article: Episode XCVI/Gallery