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Recap / Samurai Jack - S3 E2: "Jack and the Rave"

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Continuing on his journey, Jack arrives at a small town as darkness falls, deciding to find an inn for the night. When he finds it, the innkeeper is in a state of mournful sobbing, unable to stop as he checks Jack in and shows him to his room. When Jack inquires as to why, the innkeeper simply states, "the music", before slamming the door. No sooner does Jack begin to ponder on this when music begins to reverberate out of the woods, and several shadowed figures emerge from the woods, enter the town, and begin to vandalize it.

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Jack soon spots the innkeeper trying to call out to one of them by name, his daughter Olivia, but instead of returning to him, she and the other figures attack him, forcing Jack to intervene, but as Jack draws his katana, the innkeeper stops him with the horrifying revelation that the vandals are just innocent kids, leaving Jack to be mercilessly beaten before the kids withdraw back into the woods and the music fades away. As the innkeeper begins sobbing again, he explains to Jack that the kids are the Children of Aku, having been brainwashed by a music record created by Aku himself. Angered by Aku trying to turn the youth of his Bad Future into loyal, brainwashed servants, Jack vows to rescue Olivia and the other kids from Aku's grasp.

Following them into the forest, Jack ambushes one of the alien kids heading to where they are all going, and disguises himself as a raver, allowing him to infiltrate the location where all the kids are going. However, he's forced to perform several martial arts moves as a dance routine to avoid blowing his cover after bumping into a couple of the ravers. Soon, the DJ himself, DJ Stylbator, an agent of Aku, appears, and as he hypnotizes the kids again to dance as one to his music, Jack avoids the same fate by plugging his ears with makeshift earplugs from scraps of cloth from his disguise. However, Stylbator sees him not dancing and spots his katana, quickly changing tunes to have the brainwashed kids attack Jack.

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Jack manages to reach the stage to confront Stylbator, knowing that destroying Stylbator's turntables will silence his hypnotic music and bring the kids back to their senses. Stylbator tries to fight back via lasers from his gold tooth, but when he finds himself outmatched by Jack, he turns his DJ equipment into a large robotic mech for him to beat Jack with, dragging the fight to a nearby ravine. At one point, Stylbator has Jack at his mercy and ready to deliver the killing blow, but Jack, seeing the hypnotized children and remembering his vow to save them, recovers his katana, hacks Stylbator's mech apart, then destroys the turntables once and for all, killing Stylbator, and silencing his dark music permanently. As Olivia and the other kids come back to their senses and wonder what happened, Jack explains everything, tells them to return home, and never dance to Aku's music ever again.

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Olivia returns home to the inn and is reunited with her father. As the two share a joyous reunion, Olivia's father thanks Jack for everything as the samurai disappears into the forest to continue his journey.


Tropes

  • Getting Crap Past the Radar
    • Among the articles of clothing Jack steals from a passing-by raver is a pacifier, which real-life ravers use to combat the dry mouth and teeth-grinding that comes as a result of taking ecstasy.
    • The evil DJ is named Stylbator. As in his style is "masterbatory" (self-aggrandizing).
  • Magic Music: DJ Stylbator plays rave music that puts all the local teens under a Mind Control spell.
  • Missing Mom: Olivia's mother is never seen nor mentioned.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: The ravers have demonic red eyes while under Stylbator's control.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: No actual food is involved, but same general principle - Jack gets a room at the inn, almost immediately goes to investigate the music and vandalism, spends the whole damn night fighting Stylbator, and... just walks off into the sunrise afterwards. It's cool, yes, but wasn't he looking for some rest to begin with?
  • Video Game Adaptation: Cartoon Network created a Flash game based on this episode where the player controlled Jack and had to destroy five loudspeakers while avoiding the hypnotized raver children as well as not hurting them, either. After destroying the speakers, Jack could confront DJ Stylbator and take him down.

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