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Recap / Samurai Jack - S5 E4: "XCV"

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Jack has survived the onslaught of the Daughters of Aku, killing all but one, Ashi. Both of them were sent plummeting to the ground following the conclusion of their heated battle. The awful deed done, Jack reflects on his actions with sorrow.

As Jack picks himself back up, he discovers a blood trail leading back to Ashi's body...only to discover his mind is apparently playing tricks on him and she's actually still very much alive. The sole surviving assassin has a lot of fight left in her, and even more rage, but before their death match can enter round 2, Jack finds himself facing a new problem when he is devoured by a beast... and Ashi gets swallowed up with him, still bent on killing him.

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Rather than patiently await his end as a behemoth's supper, Jack decides to find a way out, having been through this kind of thing before. Unfortunately, unlike all those other times, he didn't have to deal with a mouthy girl who wants his head on a platter herself, and gives him hell every step of the way out of the belly of the beast. Because the goodness in him refuses to abandon a life in peril, Jack begrudgingly- very begrudgingly- tries to drag her to safety with him, kicking and screaming... especially the last one.


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Tropes:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: The limbs on the crab-like creatures are sharp enough to cut through their shells, teeth, and seemingly anything else with no resistance. When one slices off another's leg while jabbing at Jack, he appropriates it as a makeshift sword.
  • Adorkable: Jack finds some bug carapace he turns into makeshift armor, and he quite likes how it comes with hair on the back.
  • Alien Blood: The bucktoothed crab aliens bleed bright blue, while the giant louse creature bleeds neon green.
  • Battle Discretion Shot: Jack sees Ashi being dragged away by a crab-like thing, climbs after it, and an offscreen scuffle later, the crab's mangled carcass drops down.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Jack gets fed up with Ashi's rants about Aku being a benevolent deity. So he shouts "ENOUGH!" to get her silenced, then he rants about Aku's true nature.
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  • Breather Episode: This episode is significantly lighter in terms of atmosphere than the three that preceded it.
  • Bridal Carry: Jack does this to Ashi at one point.
  • Broken Record: Ashi rambles on about how great Aku is and how Jack must die for destroying the paradise he has made. Jack eventually gets fed up with it and shouts Aku is the one destroying the world and its beauty, but Ashi still doesn't believe him.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Ashi mocks Jack that he's as good as dead after being Swallowed Whole by a giant monster. Jack's response is to treat the situation as a minor annoyance and inform her this has happened to him before multiple times.
  • Call-Back: Jack still knows how to Jump Good, using the skill to escape through the beast's blowhole.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Most of Jack's dialog to Ashi is polite and affable, despite both being in the belly of a giant monster and her repeated murder attempts.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Jack continuously saves Ashi and tries to get her out of the beast with him, despite the fact she wants to kill him, deliberately sabotages his efforts to escape, and says she would prefer death to saying thanks to him. Jack's hallucinations even call him out on this.
    Hallucination!Jack: Why do you always have to get involved? She chose her way, and now she has to live with the consequences.
    Hallucination!Puffball: (After saving Ashi again) What did you expect? A hug and a kiss?
  • The Comically Serious: Jack is this on several occasions throughout the entire episode. Here's one example:
    Jack: I wonder if it is possible for her to believe that Aku is the evil one and not me.
    Ashi: Lecherous snake!
    Jack: Perhaps not.
  • Complaining About Rescues They Don't Like: Jack repeatedly saves Ashi from being eaten by aliens inside the beast, but Ashi tells him she'd rather be dead than be grateful to him.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Jack mentions on having gotten eaten by giant creatures before.
    • Jack finally escapes through the creature's blowhole with the same technique he learned from the jungle dwellers in Season 2, Episode 1. After all these years, he still knows how to "Jump Good!".
  • Curbstomp Battle: Ashi gets easily defeated by Jack several times, as without her sisters or the element of surprise, she's no match for him.
  • Defiant to the End: Ashi. Her hands are bound, she's been swallowed, and giant parasites are trying to tear her limb from limb, and she still tries her hardest to kill Jack.
  • Defusing the Tyke Bomb: Jack tries to use the power of words on Ashi again and again to make her realize her follies, but he soon learns words won't work on her one bit because she's been bred to see him as the enemy of life itself. Eventually, he gives up on her. It's when he shows kindness to a passing ladybug that Ashi realizes he's not the monster her mother made him out to be. Actions speak louder than words.
  • Diabolus ex Nihilo: The gigantic creature that swallows Jack and Ashi suddenly appears with no warning or foreshadowing after they have a brief battle. It was buried under the snow.
  • Discard and Draw: Jack replaces his destroyed samurai armor with some armaments made from the shed carapace of an enormous alien centipede. He sacrifices a piece of his makeshift armor to see if it dissolves in a pool of stomach acid, thus warning him not to fall in. The rest gets blasted off when Jack is ejected through the beast's blowhole.
  • Enemy Mine: Averted and defied by Ashi. Despite both of them being trapped in the monster, Ashi continues to try to kill Jack instead of working with him to escape, even though he is trying to help them both. It gets to the point that he literally ties her up and carries her to safety, and yet she still struggles against him.
  • "Far Side" Island: The episode ends with Jack and Ashi on an island like this, which oddly, has a fair amount of grass and shrubs. Unlike most examples, it has a calming nature which helps Ashi cool down.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: Jack is almost as bad at this as Ashi is with the opposite trope, and spends much of the episode figuring it out.
  • Good Is Bad And Bad Is Good: Ashi has had the "Jack Evil, Aku Good" mentality driven into her since birth, greatly confusing Jack when he hears her ranting.
  • Heel Realization: At the end, Ashi passes off a prime opportunity to finally kill Jack because of a ladybug. A childhood memory has her fascinated by one only for her mother to chide her that they have no place in Aku's rule, who then kills it. Present time, Jack allows a ladybug onto his hand without killing it.
  • Helpful Hallucination: Oddly enough, Jack's hallucination draws his attention to the fact that Ashi is missing while his real eyes are closed and he's facing away. Granted, he's an incredibly skilled Samurai, who can probably sense such things; so maybe it's picking up on his unconscious awareness.
  • Honor Before Reason: Jack wants to help someone who he thinks is just a misguided young soul, even though she only wants to murder him.
  • Insult Backfire: Jack puts on some discarded bug carapaces to use as armour, which Ashi tells him is "hideous". But as she thinks Aku is good and Jack is pure evil, Jack takes it as a compliment, much to her annoyance.
  • Kaiju: The beast that swallows Jack and Ashi is so large that they're roughly the same size as its blood cells. When it first emerges, it even lets out Zilla's roar.
  • Nerves of Steel: Almost. Jack seems able to ignore Ashi's curses and insults while carrying her for a long time, but he eventually loses his cool and gets angry.
  • Nightmare Face: Jack and Ashi both get visions of some... demonic faces.
    • Jack briefly hallucinates that one of the Daughters of Aku is still lunging after him, except she has the real Aku's face.
    • Ashi gets a brief nightmare about her mother (whose face looks like a monstrous version of her mask), yelling at her to "KILL THE SAMURAI!!!"
  • Not Quite Dead: The episode begins with Jack having survived the fall thanks to landing in a batch of snow. He finds Ashi's body not soon after upon finding a trail of blood and initially assumes she was killed in the fall. Least until she tries to blindside him with her kunai.
  • Not So Different: Both Jack and Ashi's visions of the nightmarish demonic faces, implying both are mentally damaged by someone/something.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Jack's reaction to being Swallowed Whole by a giant monster...is to be mildly annoyed, because this has happened to him enough times to be more of a nuisance than anything else.
  • Overly Long Gag: Jack picking needles out of himself and Ashi lasts around 30 seconds and is mostly just back-and-forth shots of jack removing one needle from himself, then one from Ashi, each time zooming closer.
  • Proportionately Ponderous Parasites: The creature that swallows Jack and Ashi is filled with all sorts of weird creatures, although it's not clear if these are parasites, antibodies, or something else.
  • Rain of Arrows: An area in the creature has hundreds of red needles falling from above.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Jack, while acknowledging that he didn't have a choice in killing the Daughters, is still a little shaken with remorse after having to kill them.
    • Ashi isn't much of a threat without her sisters and effect of surprise since without it she is roughly a young adult with a black belt in karate against monsters and a seasoned warrior.
    • As shown with the reactions of Scaramouche and Ashi, constantly talking to yourself (albeit Jack was hallucinating) can be interpreted as strange or crazy at worst. Just ask Jack.
    • Ashi has been brainwashed from birth to hate and kill Jack. Just because he saves her life more than a few times and verbally counters every argument she can raise against him, doesn't make her any less inclined to hate him. In the end, she still intends to kill him until he happens to commit an act of goodness that not only contradicts everything Ashi has been taught, but happens to harken back to one of her personal childhood traumas. And even then, she only relents at killing him for the time being as far as is shown.
  • Save the Villain: Despite his better judgment, Jack can't bring himself to leave Ashi behind to her fate, and carries her around while trying to find a way out of the beast.
  • Seen It All: Jack's pretty nonchalant about being trapped in the belly of a big beast (it's not his first time; he's been inside a dragon, a giant jellyfish, and a giant worm in the previous seasons).
  • Skewed Priorities: Apparently self-preservation wasn't on Ashi's training regime as she keeps trying to attack Jack as they're falling into the belly of a beast. Jack has to keep her tied up to keep her from killing him.
  • Stealth Pun: Jack hallucinates a large murder of crows chiding him for, well, murder. Or maybe it was an unkindness of ravens trolling him.
  • Swallowed Whole:
    • Jack and Ashi are swallowed by some gigantic monster in this episode with the rest of it involving getting out.
    • One of the small crab creatures the duo encounter just after landing inside the monster manages to get Ashi into its mouth. Jack frees her.
  • Tempting Fate: Jack's comment when he observes the last area in the creature, a blowhole with colorful creatures flying around. There's naturally a twist.
    Jack: Looks simple enough, use the flying creatures to escape, and not fall into the pool of acid. Right.
  • Ungrateful Bitch: Ashi is so dedicated to her mission that she doesn't even care that Jack wants to save her life, and would actually prefer if they both die.
    (After being rescued from a man-eating monster)
    Ashi: "I'd be happier as that creature's excrement, than be grateful to you!"
  • Wake-Up Fighting: Jack does this at the beginning of the episode, hallucinating that Aku is right in front of him.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: At least one of the Daughters of Aku (the one with the glaive) remains unaccounted for in this episode.
  • What You Are in the Dark: While she's unmasked, nobody but the other cultists would know if she were to murder Jack on the spot (since they're alone on an islet). Heck, his guard was down while relaxed, he didn't know the scythe was there, and she could've easily stabbed him in the back (or possibly even decapitate him). After he shows he's actually a Hero with Bad Publicity by acting peaceful towards a ladybug (as opposed to her mother crushing it), she couldn't bring herself to murder him (at least not yet).
  • Why Won't You Die?: Ashi yells this at Jack at one point.
  • Womb Level: The episode has Jack and Ashi eaten by a worm like creature and having to find a way out. The creature is surprisingly massive, however, with smaller predators inside its body.
  • You Fool!: Ashi shouts this to Jack when he claims they aren't dead when they were swallowed whole by the beast.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Jack's reaction to Ashi attacking him when they're getting devoured by the beast.

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