"Episode XX: Jack and the Monks" is the twentieth episode in the second season of Samurai Jack. The episode features the story of Jack beginning to lose sight of his destiny and later meets a mysterious group of Monks who eventually lead him to the truth found atop a mountain.
One rainy day, Jack is fighting a horde of Aku's robots to get to another time portal that will send him home. Jack defeats the robots, but the portal is destroyed before he can use it. Downhearted at losing yet another chance to return to his time, Jack screams in rage before tossing away his sword in dejection, saying "It. Is. Impossible." Jack picks up his sword and goes to leave when a gust of wind takes his hat. He chases after it, but it is caught by the leader of three monks. Jack awkwardly asks for his hat back, to which the monks oblige before continuing on their way. His curiosity piqued, Jack asks where the monks are going, to which they simply point to the top of a huge mountain. When asked what they're seeking at the mountain's peak, the monks reply "Truth", before elaborating on a great power that supposedly resides at the summit, a summit that no one has ever reached. Enticed by this supposed power, or perhaps the challenge itself, Jack decides to join the monks on their quest.
The path up the mountain proves long and treacherous, and Jack is forced to contend with goat-men, rock monsters and frigid temperatures, conditions which the monks are able to endure with relative ease. Jack is separated from the monks during a snowstorm and is attacked by a Sasquatch-like creature. The creature brutally beats the already-weary samurai, but Jack is able to kill the creature by crushing it with a large icicle. Tired and hurt, Jack tries desperately to complete the climb, but is unable and collapses in defeat. As Jack lies defeated in the snow, he once more mutters "It. Is. Impossible."
Suddenly, Jack is struck with visions of his home and his family, broken and enslaved by Aku. The monks appear and ask if Jack has given up, if he is willing to abandon the hope and desperation of his people, and to allow evil to forever rule the world. The lead monk then asks, "HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN!?" and Jack is reminded of his past, the home and family he was taken from by Aku, and all that he is fighting for. Jack awakens from these visions and replies "No. I have not forgotten." His strength reignited, Jack presses on, until at last he reaches the summit. All that awaits at the top is a view of the horizon, but Jack knows what he has actually gained: a reminder of why he fights, and what he has to gain in victory. Jack thanks the monks, then shouts across the horizon to Aku that he will never give up, and that one day he will return to the past and destroy him.
- Casting by
- Collette Sunderman
- Jack shouting out Aku's name at the top of a snowy mountain is very similar to the a scene in Rocky IV, where the main protagonist, Rocky, runs up to the top of a snowy mountain and shouts his enemy's name.
- Jack hallucinating the monks asking him if he has forgotten and remembering his homeland is similar to Jack's hallucinations in the future (Episode XCII) to which his Father demands why Jack has forgotten his purpose.