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Recap / Samurai Jack - S2 E3: "Jack and the Smackback"

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Jack gets kidnapped and enslaved. He's taken away to an arena, where he's forced to fight in gladiatorial combat for cheap entertainment.


  • All of Them: After Jack defeats three of the Dome's champions in a row, the game master decrees that all the remaining champions will fight him at once. In this case, 'all of them' means 'six.'
  • Anti-Climactic Unmasking: After sawing through the helmet of a huge cyborg opponent, Jack comes face-to-face with a pitiful looking fish like creature, begging to be put out of its misery. This is also what causes Jack to realize, how close he came to becoming a killer.
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  • Blood Sport: Big time. Like the thunder-dome, two men are supposed to enter with only one man leaving. Thankfully, our hero Jack would never go so far as to finish a wounded opponent with no desire left to fight.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Jack's first two opponents are this.
  • Clothing Damage: Jack's entire robe gets damaged during the fighting.
  • Cyborg: Jack's second opponent is this, conveniently allowing Jack to dismember him without causing any lasting damage.
  • The Dog Bites Back:
    • After spending the episode making Jack and the other slaves participate in his Gladiator Games, the game's announcer winds up face to face with a very pissed off Jack, holding his sword to his neck, before the latter tells him to set the rest of the slaves free. He wisely obliges.
    • The robotic slaver who's spent the episode whipping Jack and the other slaves, gets sliced to pieces by Jack, on his way out.
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  • Finish Him!: What the crowd constantly chants and desires after every fight. Jack being Jack, doesn't oblige.
  • Giant Mook:
    • Jack's second opponent's legs are taller than Jack.
    • His third opponent is a gigantic sumo wrestler.
  • Gladiator Games: The whole episode revolves around Jack being captured and made to fight in a giant arena of death against other enslaved fighters until he can regain his sword.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Jack comes dangerously close to this in his second fight, after he cuts off his opponent's cybernetic arms with the latter's own weapons and almost kills him, to see his opponent is just a pathetic little aquatic creature underneath his amour and having a Heel Realization.
  • Involuntary Battle to the Death: Every warrior in the arena is a slave and forced to fight for the amusement of an audience. The guys fighting are not brutalizing each other by choice.
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  • Made a Slave: All of the contestants fighting in the arena are NOT there by choice.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Gordo's voice and appearance are modeled after Randy "Macho Man" Savage.note 
  • Series Continuity Error: A minor one. Jack's topknot hair is shown to be held up by a ribbon in this episode rather than a pin, simply so he'll have something to tickle his opponent with.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Inverted. See talking is a free action below.
  • Take a Third Option: In his third match Jack manages to survive without harming his opponent, by tickling him into submission, as an act defiance towards the announcer. Unfortunately, said announcer remedies this by having six champions attack Jack at once in the fourth match, forcing him to have to fight back to defend himself.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Played with for laughs, after Gordo, Jack's first opponent goes into a long Badass Boast instead of fighting immediately, but when Jack tries to criticize him for this, Jack gets punched mid sentence.
  • Tragic Villain: Implied with Jack's opponents, who were all likely innocent people press ganged into becoming killers, like Jack almost became.
  • "You!" Exclamation: Jack's last words to one of the (robotic) slave drivers, who has spent the episode whipping him and the other slaves for any minor show of disobedience and even while setting them free, before Jack slices his head off.


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