"Episode XXXI: Jack and the Scarab" is the thirty-first episode in the third season of Samurai Jack. This episode features Jack discovering the ruins of a temple in Egypt where he once studied as a child, while discovering that the Minions of Set had been released.
The episode begins in Ancient Egypt in a temple where young Jack and a couple of boys play tag inside of it. Stopping when they see the priests of the temple walking by, they continue on with their games. Jack decides to hide beside a monument but the floor breaks and he falls into a hidden room. Jack is amazed at what he sees and starts to look around a wall of hieroglyphics that tell of an ancient story. The boys find Jack and come to see what he has found. Jack reads the wall of hieroglyphics: A long time ago Set, the god of evil, came to Egypt and unleashed three of his minions on the land. Nothing could stop the minions, not even the Pharaoh's armies, so the Pharaoh himself called the Gods to imprison and seal them in a chamber forever. But, if they were freed, the only salvation would be -- and Jack gets cut off by a priest who found them. He tells them to go back to their studies while he stares back at the chamber.
In the present, minions of Aku find the chamber and Aku opens the chamber by removing the block of stone. Then, in a flash, the minions of Set come out of the chamber and destroy Aku's robots as if they were made of paper. Aku recruits the minions and tells them their objective: destroy Samurai Jack. The minions obey and Aku leaves.
Meanwhile, Samurai Jack walks through the desert at night and finds the ancient ruins of Egypt where he looks around and then finds the opened chamber. The minions attack Jack by surprise, beating him up to a pulp before even he can react. Jack takes out his sword to defend himself but the minions are too quick and he barely has time to strike with his sword. Even when he does manage to score a hit, the minions' regenerative powers heal them almost immediately. Jack runs and hides behind a wall but the minions track him by his scent. Suddenly Jack remembers the hieroglyphics and figures out that the only way to defeat them is through the prophecy. Jack runs towards the chamber and reads the rest of the story which says: -- If the evil should ever be freed, your only salvation is to summon the protector and call the sun. To do this, you must look at the seat of evil. The minions find Jack and start to attack him, and he retreats to a field of ruined columns. Jack manages to push one over, starting a domino affect that causes several to crash down and block the path behind him, buying him some time. Jack thinks quickly and figures out that the "seat of evil" must be the statue of Set.
Jack races to the statue and deciphers the hieroglyphics to learn that he must find a scarab amulet that acts as a key. He sees a small slot in the pedestal and finds the first of three pieces of the scarab key and a message: Look for the other half where the moon meets the sea of reeds. Before Jack can think about this riddle, the minions find him and resume their onslaught. Jack runs and evades the minions but they eventually catch up and one slams him into a wall carved with reeds. Jack surmises that this must be the "sea of reeds". Racing ahead of the monsters, Jack finds the place where the moon shines on this wall and retrieves the second scarab piece. The message tells Jack to look for the last piece in the crown of the great Pharaoh. Jack runs for the Pharaoh's statue, slicing through stonework as he goes, creating obstacles behind him. Jack leaps to the statue's head and retrieves the final piece but it is knocked from his hand by one of the minions. While two of the minions keep Jack busy, the third attempts to swallow the scarab piece but Jack is able to leap clear and snatch the piece at the last moment. Finally assembling the scarab, the golden insect seems to come to life and flies into the sky. In a brilliant flash of light, the great God Ra descends. The minions roil with rage and two of them leap to attack the Sun God but are obliterated by his shining glare. The third turns to escape but is destroyed just as easily as his brothers. Jack thanks Ra for his help and asks if he knows where to find a time portal but the Sun God merely ascends to the heavens without a word. Jack gathers kindling and begins to start a fire as the voice of Aku curses him again and states that he is not worried for someday Jack will fail.
- Casting by
- Collette Sunderman
- This episode is sometimes erroneously referred to as "Jack in Egypt" in fan circles.
- The scarab is the symbol of Khepri, the scarab god of dawn and one of Ra's three forms: typically, Khnum the ram is portrayed as the setting sun, while Ra himself is the noonday.
- The scarab being divided into three pieces may also be a reference to this myth.
- Set (sometimes written as Seth) is the god of the desert and chaos, who is often portrayed as one of the principal evils of Egyptian mythology. Despite this, he was still highly respected and was viewed as an ally and loyal servant of Ra who protected him from Apep, the serpent and ultimate evil in Egyptian mythology. His statue in the episode could possible be a reference to the respect the Egyptians had for him despite his destructive nature.
- This is the only episode where Young Jack speaks.