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"Episode XXXIV: Jack and the Swamp Wizard"[1] is the thirty-fourth episode in the third season of Samurai Jack. This episode featured Jack seeking a time portal with the aid of a mean spirited swamp hermit, who had a hidden agenda of his own.

Plot

The episode begins with Jack being guided towards Bulbous Swamp by several individuals. When he reaches his destination, Jack blows a door horn and is greeted by a Hermit. Despite his cranky personality, he ushers Jack inside his hut, where he reveals that he has been collecting mystical artifacts since the samurai's arrival. It's here that he explains the story of the Titans, which existed before the birth of Aku and the ancient gods. Their king, Cronus, who understood the secrets of time and space, created three mystical gems for control over his fellow titans. However, as he grew stronger, he became more fearful of losing his power to his children. So, Cronus began devouring all of his offspring. His son Zeus eventually defeated Cronus, freed his siblings, dethroned the titan, and imprisoned him beyond the cosmos. Zeus eventually scattered the gems across the world in hopes that they would be forever lost. The Hermit suggests to Jack that they go hunt down the treasures and use them for time travel.

As they row a raft in the swamp, the Hermit notices his reflection in the water reveals his true identity as Aku. Acting quickly, he summons an alligator which carries them towards a Mayan-like pyramid. Once there, Jack goes inside and retrieves the Eye of Cronus, only for the pyramid to begin filling with water. However, he places the helmet against a jet of water and is blown outside. Soon, he is caught by a pterodactyl summoned by the Hermit and they depart to their next challenge.

The two arrive at a mountain and Jack discovers that the Fist of Ability is being held on lightweight rocks, which are being suspended in the air by wind currents coming from a ravine. Jack uses his kimono as a parachute/kite and, after some trial and error, manages to retrieve the gauntlet.

Night falls and they journey into the desert while riding on a snake. Evetually, the two reach a glass dome which only opens at the crack of dawn. Once it does, they find the Fist of Might inside an ancient chamber. Jack descends downward, but the Hermit, who was distracted while teasing the snake, doesn't notice their rope coming loose and his companion falls onto the floor. At first, Jack is wary due to the large amount of skeletons around him. Suddenly, as he picks up the fist, a doorway opens and the Hermit advises him to escape before the sun rises. Soon, the dome is revealed to be a trap as the solar rays are magnified by the glass and become deadly. However, Jack is aciddently pushed back into the trap. Fortunately, he uses the fist to deflect the rays onto the glass dome, freeing himself and giving the Hermit their final artifact.

Back in the swamp, the Hermit assembles the three objects in a circle and orders Jack to stay out of the way as he begins a ritual. Cosmic matter descends into the objects and an explosion destroys his lair, revealing the revived Cronus. The Hermit laughs and orders Cronus to destroy Jack. The samurai is seemingly outmatched as the Hermit mocks him for being blinded by his quest and not seeing the truth right in front of his face. The tables are turned when Jack reveals that he already snatched the Eye of Cronus and the resurrected Titan dissolves, proving that he was aware of Aku's trick all along.

Jack attacks the Hermit and Aku morphs into his true form. A battle ensues, which climaxes with Aku transforming into a school of fish and swimming right into the artifacts, deciding to use the Gems of Cronus against Jack. However, the power of the Titans isn't enough as the artifacts are finally destroyed by the samurai. Aku turns into a frog and, once again, flees angrily. Jack concludes by claiming that Aku's destruction is just a matter of time and shows that he still kept the Eye of Cronus.

Credits

  • Casting by
    • Collette Sunderman

Trivia

  • This is the second episode where Aku shape shifts into someone else to trick Jack. Unlike Ikra, however, Aku's hermit disguise can be described as "paper-thin" at best, and doesn't fool Jack.
  • This episode features the closest Jack ever comes to successfully defeating Aku before the series finale.

References

  1. https://www.turneraccess.com/programmes/samurai-jack
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