"Episode XXIII: Jack vs. Demongo, The Soul Collector" is the twenty-third episode in the second season of Samurai Jack. In this episode, Jack faces a powerful enemy in the form of Demongo, Aku's disciple and one of his most powerful minions.
Reflecting on the world of evil he has created, Aku laments that Jack has proved to be the most persistent thorn in his side. Intent on destroying his nemesis once and for all, he summons one of his strongest and most reliable minions: Demongo, who possesses the power to steal the essence of powerful beings and force them to fight on his behalf. Noting that Demongo has never failed him, Aku sends his minion to defeat Jack and enslave his essence; a task that Demongo is more than happy to perform.
Jack is trekking through a rocky canyon when Demongo appears before him. After introducing himself and announcing his intentions, Demongo plucks a skull from his chest and hurls it at Jack. It ineffectually lands at Jack's feet, but after a jolt of power from Demongo, it transforms into a huge, hulking creature called a Titan. Jack battles the gigantic beast and defeats it by tricking into striking the canyon wall and causing a boulder to fall onto it. Jack approaches Demongo, intending to destroy him next, but the evil demon merely laughs as his monster dissolves into essence that returns to his body.
Laughing maniacally, Demongo launches several more skulls, blasting four of them to create new opponents. Jack now faces a samurai warrior armed with a naginata, a medieval knight with flail-like arms, a four-armed Vishnu-like warrior, and a tiger man - with a note of shock, he recognizes them. Demongo explains that these warriors once opposed Aku until Demongo stole their essence; now, they serve his will unquestioningly. The four warriors give Jack a fierce battle, but the heroic samurai eventually defeats them. Demongo remains confident that he is more powerful than Jack can handle, but Jack retorts that all of the demon's power comes from the essence he steals from others. Demongo doesn't deny it, but shrugs it off as irrelevant before taunting Jack by teleporting around his sword strikes.
Leaping to the top of the canyon, Jack sees Demongo summoning some familiar faces: all five of the enemies he just defeated. The dark entity reminds Jack that he controls the warriors' essence; if they fall in battle, he simply recalls their essence and summons them anew. Jack defeats his foes once again, but Demongo responds with a veritable storm of skulls, forcing Jack to flee into the canyon with a hundreds-strong army of beasts and warriors in pursuit.
Jack is momentarily able to evade the army by hiding in a side passage, but one of Demongo's monsters finds him. Although Jack kills the beast, he gives away his position when its essence returns to Demongo, forcing him to deal with the rest of the horde. He cuts them down by the score, but Demongo only cackles from above; both he and Jack know that it's only a matter of time before the samurai tires himself out against the endless waves of foes.
Watching yet another stream of essence pouring back into Demongo's chest, Jack realizes that he needs to somehow enter the demon's body to break his control over his slaves. As he defeats the tiger-man once again, Jack grasps its essence as it returns to Demongo; to the demon's shock, this allows his foe to enter his body. Within Demongo, Jack finds a strange void containing all of the fiend's enslaved warriors, each of them contained within a circle of blue fire as they await their master's call. Using his sword, Jack destroys all of the fiery circles, freeing the warriors' essence. Demongo can only scream in horror and denial as his body erupts with light; when it fades, he finds himself completely powerless and surrounded by all of the warriors he had imprisoned. As they close in to exact some long-awaited vengeance, Jack walks off into the sunset.
The defeated Demongo eventually returns to Aku's lair, ironically via his own essence being trapped within a glass skull. Demongo begs for forgiveness, but Aku refuses and crushes the skull in his fist, grimly noting that "the saga continues"...
- Written by
- Storyboards by
- Yuhki Demers
- Michael Manley
- Casting by
- In the game Fusion Fall on cartoonnetwork.com, Demongo looked as he did in the beginning of this episode, meaning he most likely collected more souls after this episode.
- Demongo, upon being summoned, quotes Darth Vader when he says: "What is thy bidding, my master?"
- When Demongo prepares to summon the Titan for the second time, the skulls on his body are missing.
- One of the warriors Demongo summons resembles an overweight Donatello from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- One of the warriors is voiced by renowned Asian-American actor George Takei.
- Jack recognizes the group of four warriors Demongo summons after the Titan is defeated for the first time, implying that they have crossed paths before. However, no such encounter is ever seen in the series.