"Episode XCVIII" is the fifty-ninth episode of Samurai Jack and the seventh episode of Season 5.
The episode begins with a flashback scene, where Jack explains to Ashi how he lost his sword. After walking to the top of a mountain accompanied by three small rams, he jumped into the mountain's time portal, only to be pulled back by Aku, who proceeded to destroy the portal with his eye beams when Jack attempted to use it again, taunting him with the knowledge it was the last time portal in existence. An angry Jack proceeded to lash out at Aku, who simply mutated the three rams into monstrous forms to "play with" the Samurai before escaping. Jack fought and killed the corrupted rams, only to lose his sword in the process, perched precariously over the pit where the portal once stood. When the rams reverted to their normal forms, Jack realized he had spilled innocent blood and tried to fetch his sword, but lost it due to a collapsing pillar that resulted from the struggle.
Back in the present, Jack and Ashi arrive at the mountain on the back of a giant bird, using it to explore the depths of the pit. When they can't find the sword, Jack comes to the realization the sword left him instead of vice versa. Back outside, he decides to look for it spiritually by meditating. Ashi wants to come along, but Jack refuses, leaving her in charge of protecting him. As Jack meditates, Ashi spots an army in the distance, marching towards the mountain.
Jack searches the spiritual place for his sword, eventually reaching a house in the middle of a vast body of water. A monk outside asks Jack if he is lost. When Jack says yes, the monk invites him inside to make tea.
While Jack prepares tea for the monk, the army from earlier arrives at the mountain to kill him. Ashi confronts the large force, to their amusement, but she manages to singlehandedly fight and defeat them all. Shortly after, however, Ashi spots another hostile near the top of the mountain and calls for the large bird to help her get back to higher ground. The assassin fires an arrow at Jack, but Ashi catches it just in time, using a stone slab to block even more shots in the process. The attacker reveals herself as the High Priestess. She berates Ashi for her failure and lack of focus, but offers her one last chance to kill Jack. Ashi refuses, explaining that Jack showed her the truth about Aku. Using one of the ram's horns as a makeshift dagger, Ashi protects Jack while holding her own against her mother. The High Priestess scolds Ashi for betraying their family and sparing Jack, despite the fact he killed her sisters. Ashi asserts that she and her sisters' fates were already chosen, being raised as nothing more than living weapons. Before the High Priestess can finish Jack, Ashi recovers from the rubble she had been buried under and throws one of her mother's arrows back at her, hitting her in the back and sending her falling to her death. Ashi then collapses, feeling exhausted from the fight.
Back in the spiritual realm, the monk remarks that Jack's tea is terrible, as it is missing a key ingredient: Balance. As a consequence, his path to the sword remains hidden. Confused by the revelation, Jack begs the monk to show him the real path to the sword, but the monk simply tells him it is not in his power to do so. Jack's hallucination appears one more time, angrily claiming the monk knows where the sword is and demanding its whereabouts. Instead, Jack affirms the opposite: That his own frustration has kept them from finding the sword. Seeing the truth, Jack dispels his own hallucination once and for all. His balance restored, Jack soon finds himself facing the supreme deities Odin, Ra and Vishnu. Like his father before him, all three gods deem him worthy, restore his original appearance and return his signature weapon, now more powerful than before after being infused with the purity and strength of his own spirit.
Once back on the physical plane, Jack finds Ashi and wakes her up. She compliments him for his new appearance and for getting the sword back, while he remarks on her recent battle. With his sword back at his side and confidence restored, Jack informs Ashi it's time to confront Aku once and for all.
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- Storyboard by
- Directed by
- Casting by
- Jack reunites with his katana this episode.
- It is revealed that Jack lost his katana after dropping it near a pit when a pillar collapsed on him, causing it to fall into the pit.
- Mad Jack reappears.
- The High Priestess is killed by Ashi.
- As confirmed by the High Priestess, the other six Daughters of Aku are confirmed to be dead at this point.
- This episode features the most on screen confirmed kills, with several thousand of the green-humanoid army brutally slaughtered by Ashi.
- This episode marks the return of Odin, Ra, and Rama.
- In this same episode when the Gods restore Jack and his sword, it mirrors the same scene where in Episode XXXVIII: The Birth of Evil, Part 2 when they restore the Emperor and give him the sword.
- It is revealed that they kept the katana for the period of five decades after Jack lost it.
- This is also the first time Jack met Rama, the only one of these gods he had never known.
- Jack uses Ashi's name out loud for the first time in this episode.
- Goof: After Ashi defeats the army, she is shown drenched in blood. However, after she sees someone on the mountain trying to reach Jack to kill him, she is shown with no blood on her.
- The ending scene where Ashi wakes up and sees Jack and compliments his new haircut and shave mirrors the previous episode where Jack compliments Ashi's new hair and dress. This seems to be since the previous episode represents Ashi's change while this episode represents Jack's change.
- When the Lizard Army's Leader says "We're going to rip you apart into little pieces, and then take those pieces, and rip them apart into even more pieces" is very similar to how Gordo says "I'm going to tear you into little shreds, and then I'm going to take those shreds and rip them into little shreds" in 'Jack and the Smackback'.
- In a brief scene, during Ashi's fight, a silhouette of herself resembling her previous outfit and hairstyle can be seen, possibly representing her warped upbringing and residual brutality and training she grew up with.
- It is possible that the monk is Rama. This can be seen in these factors:
- Main article: Episode XCVIII/Gallery