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Recap / Samurai Jack - S5 E5: "XCVI"

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Ashi has finally seen the light and wants to learn the true reality of Aku's world domination, no matter how harsh it is. Having lost his patience with her for all the grief she gave him earlier, Jack tries to rebuff her at first, thinking she will not change, but Ashi browbeats Jack enough that he tiredly resigns to taking her on a journey that shows her all is not what it seems to be, and graces her with a second chance.

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As they explore the dystopia that is Aku's rule, the two warriors come across many terrible sights. Among them, Jack and Ashi must rescue a group of enslaved alien children from being used as the pawns of the evil Dominator. With his morale at an all-time low, this quest may prove to be the final nail in Jack's coffin.

Meanwhile, Aku's lair comes under attack, and the cranky overlord is thoroughly bemused by the riffraff on his lawn. Nevertheless, he sees a chance to break out of his slump by throwing his weight around. However, an old friend of Jack's is still alive and kicking, and ready for a brutal battle to the finish, and he's joined by his next of kin... scores of them.


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  • Amazingly Embarrassing Parents: Right before charging into battle, the Scotsman holds up everything to tell his daughters to cover themselves before they catch their death of cold. Every last one reacts as a typical embarrassed teenager.
  • Amazon Brigade: The Scotsman's legion of daughters.
  • Art Shift: When Jack tells Ashi a story about how the siblings Sun and Moon created the stars.
  • Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Thanks to the magical properties of his sword, the Scotman quickly comes back from the dead in a form that could be best described as a force ghost.
  • Asshole Victim: The Dominator who tortured Ashi meets his end when Ashi breaks free of her restraints and throws him across the room, which causes the power source of the robot suit he's wearing to rupture and blow up.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: This is what the Scotsman does to Aku and his army. They start attacking & then the Scotsman realizes how much of a bad idea it was for him to do that, and he tells his daughters & army to retreat.
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  • Back for the Dead: The elderly Scotsman leads a siege against Aku's castle and is quickly killed for his troubles. Subverted that he comes back as a spirit of his younger self thanks to the magic runes on his claymore.
  • Back in the Saddle: This is the first time we see Aku fling into action in the season, and for him, the first real battle he's had in 50 years. Luckily for the Earth, he's still too depressed to fully enjoy it.
  • Badass Beard: The Scotsman now has one in braids... at least until he goes kablooey and comes back in his prime.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Aku is rather apathetic in his confrontation with the Scotsman, until the Scotsman mentions and praises Jack — and then Aku kills him with more intensity than he ever has with anyone else before.
    • The Dominator unwittingly presses Ashi's button; he taunts the victim of an abusive childhood by gloating about how children are so easily manipulated and changed into monsters, just after said victim has come to the realization that this is what happened to her. This pisses her off enough to somehow escape the torture machine she was placed in, and then kill him.
  • Be the Ball: Aku turns himself into a giant ball to crush the armies attacking his fortress.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Aku's eye beams break the Scotsman's claymore in two despite its magic runes, something that even Jack's katana — forged by the gods — couldn't do. It truly puts into perspective just how powerful the Master of Darkness really is.
  • Big "NO!": Jack lets one out when he thought all the children died because of him.
  • Brawn Hilda: Zigzagged. The Scotsman's daughters are tall, muscular and all of them sport a Lantern Jaw of Justice. However, they are also all very feminine, they all lack their parents' ugly teeth and are definitely very attractive.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Invoked. The Scotsman knows how dangerous Aku is, but that doesn't stop him from using his heroic sacrifice to taunt and rant at Aku until the moment he dies.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Aku doesn't even recognize the Scotsman as one of his foes (keep in mind this is the first time they've ever met face-to-face). For all he cares, the Scotsman is just some senile old man who wandered into the wrong place. Then the Scotsman launches a volley of insults at Aku until he strikes enough nerves that Aku kills him on the spot.
  • Call-Back: The design of Aku's lair seen in this episode (a spire amid a wasteland) is the same one from episode 23, "XXIII: Jack versus Demongo, the Soul Collector".
  • Came Back Strong: The Scotsman is killed by Aku... only for the Celtic magic of his sword to bring him back as a ghost and restore him to his prime.
  • Character Development: Ashi goes from a single-minded assassin to a protege willing to learn the truth about the world and Aku from Jack, even to accept that her idol is ultimately evil.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Celtic Runes from the Scotman's introductory episode turn him into a ghost in his prime after Aku kills him.
  • Clothing Damage: Jack finally gets his hands on some snazzy new duds... which are promptly ripped apart by the children he's trying to save. Seems like it's becoming a Running Gag now.
  • Continuity Nod: The Scotsman's spirit says he will raise an army with Jack at the helm to fight Aku. Such an army was seen in the vision of the future from "Jack and the Travelling Creatures".
  • Cool Old Guy: The Scotsman is now an old man in a wheelchair but still just as feisty and capable as ever.
  • Crapsack World: This episode has Jack show Ashi the extent of the cruelty inherent in Aku's empire so she can realize who the evil one is.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Aku completely annihilates two of the three armies that attacked his tower in just a few seconds (which prompts the Scotsman to tell his daughters to retreat, lest they become next victims), and then vaporizes the Scotsman when he gets annoyed with the latter's defiant taunting.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: Flora tied a big knot on her skirt to show her legs up to her left hip. When the Scotsman notices it, he immediately scolds her for it.
  • Death Is Cheap: The Scotsman dies rather predictably in his old, ailing age, yet heroically, and the episode hammers in the fact he's dead with by showing him reduced to a skeleton and then a pile of ash in seconds flat. His broken weapon lands beside his daughters and they mourn him, ready to embark on a classic "avenge the fallen loved one" plot, and Flora even plants his half-destroyed claymore into the ground as a Weapon Tombstone... oh, wait, he's back as a ghost.
  • Defiant to the End: The Scotsman's last words are praising Jack and how Aku's days are numbered.
  • Defusing the Tyke Bomb: This time, it works. Any trace of Ashi's Tyke Bomb upbringing is wholly torn away by witnessing the cruelty going on under Aku's rule.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Jack crosses it when he believes the alien children died, he leaves with the green Horseman afterwards.
  • Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu?: The Scotsman's final living act is to give Aku everything short of a middle finger.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The Scotsman raids an attack against Aku's castle completely forgetting that none of their weapons are capable of harming him.
    The Scotsman: This was a bad idea!
  • Disney Death: The children were briefly unconscious before waking up.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Given the Scotsman's big mouth, his death by Aku's eye beams was fairly certain.
  • Down the Rabbit Hole: Jack gives Ashi a tour of Aku's rule to enlighten her to all the terrible things he's doing and allowing to happen.
  • Dragon Rider: Jack befriends a sea serpent/oriental dragon monster to carry him and Ashi to the mainland.
  • Everyone Has Standards: This is what causes Ashi's Heel–Face Turn. She was willing to murder Jack and her sisters would have outnumbered him, but innocent villagers and children cross the line for her.
  • Explosive Breeder: The Scotsman and his wife have born an army of daughters.
  • Eye Patch After Time Skip: The Scotsman has a tartan eye patch over his right eye when he reappears as an old man. No longer the case now that he's been rendered dead/a ghost, with his eye and his youth fully restored.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Many times throughout the episode, but most notably the Scotsman and Dominator suffer gruesome deaths. At least the former of these doesn't exactly stick.
  • For the Evulz: Aku sees the Scotsman's daughters retreating and has this chilling line to say, though he doesn't get to make good on it:
    Aku: Oh? Better make it a complete annihilation!
  • Functional Magic: When his daughter asks how the Scotsman can come back as a spirit, he replies it's the Celtic magic of his claymore.
  • Gave Up Too Soon: The seemingly dead children wake up shortly after a despairing Jack leaves with the Horseman.
  • Gatling Good: The Scotsman's new prosthetic leg. It doesn't do him a bit of good against an evil that can't be harmed by weapons of the mortal realm.
  • Good Counterpart: The Scotsman's (literal) daughters are the good counterparts of the Daughters of Aku. They were born with love and affection, along with his fighting spirit.
  • Handicapped Badass: Averted; the Scotsman isn't very badass at all now that he's a wheelchair-bound old man, but it seems dying and becoming a spirit has fixed that problem.
  • Heel Realization: Ashi was on the fence at the end of the previous episode and during the first part of this episode. However, seeing Jack's kindness and the status of the world as a result of Aku's rule and cruelty has finally convinced her that her mother's teachings are wrong. Her exchange with Jack when she's finally convinced after she sees an entire village slaughtered solidifies it:
    Ashi: Enough! I've seen enough...
    Jack: Do you believe now?
    Ashi: ...Yes. What can we do?
  • Heel–Face Turn: Ashi seems to complete hers during the factory scene, defeating the foreman and saving the children.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: For a few cruel moments it seems the Scotsman did this to protect his daughters; thankfully subverted, as Celtic magic has seemingly made him a spirit who is just as strong as he used to be.
  • He's Back:
    • Aku's back to causing destruction and mayhem, though he's struggling to enjoy it.
    • The Scotsman's also back! For a while, at least. Then, keeping in with this season's darker tone, he's quickly dispatched by Aku. Then his sword's magic immediately brings him back as a ghost with his youth fully restored.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Dominator keeps torturing Ashi for "fun" when he sees her as a "samurai sympathizer", using his suit to keep on making her suffer — until she overpowers him, which leads to his undoing when his own suit breaks from the shock of being thrown across the room and all the power he just recharged it with makes it explode.
  • Hopeless War: How Jack feels about the years he's spent fighting Aku.
    Jack: Do you believe now?
    Ashi: ...Yes. What can we do?
    Jack: Nothing.
    Ashi: What? What do you mean nothing? We have to do something!
    Jack: I've fought Aku for ages. I've seen countless innocents die. I've lived this nightmare for what seems like an eternity. There is no way to defeat him. There is no hope. No way out.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Subtly hinted in the moment when Ashi is bound by The Dominator and he says that she is a samurai sympathizer and "a pretty one", then grabs her face.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: When Ashi yells at Jack for being cowardly, she does have a point in that he just turned her world upside down. He's the only one that she can trust to tell the truth about Aku and what is good and evil. Jack agrees, and decides to show her in the morning.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: When the Scotman sees the other two armies being effortlessly decimated by Aku, he immediately regrets trying to attack.
    "You know what? This was a bad idea! Time to go girls!"
  • Large Ham: The Scotsman; fifty years and he hasn't changed a bit.
  • The Last Dance: The Scotsman likely knew he was at his endgame, so he decides to make it worthwhile and give his all against the Lord of Darkness. It goes without saying that the Scotsman went out with a bang.
  • Little "No":
    • Flora says this when Aku kills the Scotsman.
    • Jack also says this when Ashi demands he show her the truth.
  • Made of Explodium: Ever hear stories about batteries exploding when they get used while damaged? Now imagine someone wearing a suit like that which does the same, only über turbocharged. Dominator's power suit broke from the sheer force of being thrown across the room, and since it was just recharged with plenty of power, it malfunctioned so badly that it went up sky-high in a blue-tinted explosion, killing him instantly. The resulting explosion also takes out the control panel nearby which is generating the audio frequency enraging the alien children, causing a second explosion.
  • Make an Example of Them: Jack shows Ashi a single tree in a grove of spikes, explaining that they were once all trees but Aku destroyed all but one as a display of his power.
  • Mama's Boy: Invoked: The last thing the Scotsman says as a living human is "Why don't you go cry to your mama!" to Aku.
  • More Dakka: The Scotsman used to have a machine gun for a prosthetic leg. He's since upgraded to a minigun.
  • Never Hurt an Innocent: The Dominator exploits this trope against Jack by weaponizing mind-controlled children, knowing that he can't bring himself to hurt them.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • Aku kills the Scotsman like one would kill an annoying insect, but it seems all he did was kill the Scotsman's elderly and frail body; he's now a benign spirit with as much power as he used to have.
    • The Dominator does this, too; his demonstration not only enraging Ashi enough to break free and crush him, but finally see who the villain is.
  • Not Afraid Of You Any More: Ashi sees a vision of her mother verbally abusing her for her failure to kill Jack. Ashi merely replies that she wants her mother to tell her the truth about the world.
  • Not So Above It All: Ashi is... rather perplexed by Jack's makeshift outfit when infiltrating a city of Aku.
  • Not Too Dead to Save the Day: The Scotsman is killed here but the runes on his sword keep him on Earth as a ghost (and brings him back to his prime to boot).
  • Not Quite Dead: The children turned out to be fine after Jack left with the horseman.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: The Scotsman happily accepts his own disintegration just as he insults Aku for being a coward, and in true Obi-Wan fashion, comes back as a spirit.
  • Orcus on His Throne: Deconstructed. Aku has been loafing around because he's burnt out from fighting Jack over and over and no longer finds satisfaction in oppressing people, but the sudden attack on his lair motivates him to see if he can buck his retirement by going on the warpath once again. It does... until the Scotsman mentions Jack and Aku gets all mopey again.
  • Overprotective Dad: Hilariously done by the Scotsman, who demands his daughters cover themselves before charging into battle against Aku.
  • Papa Wolf: The Scotsman is willing to stand up to Aku himself, with no backup, to protect his daughters.
  • Pet the Dog: Aku wanted to let the Scotsman go, seeing nothing but a wheel-chair bound geriatric.
  • Powered Armor: The Dominator wears it, and it makes him pretty strong and able to fire electrical blasts, but its battery — charged via an ordinary outlet — seems unable to hold a charge for long.
  • Reality Ensues: The Scotsman was Jack's equal in combat... 50 years ago. While he might have been able to survive a confrontation with Aku back then (as Jack has without his sword), he's not The Ageless like Jack and thus time did take its toll on him, leaving him wheelchair bound. As a result, his siege against Aku's castle is predictably ineffective as Aku quickly dispels it and then kills the Scotsman.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: The Scotsman unloads a sick yet spectacular one on Aku, calling him out for being a coward who's scared of Jack.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Up until now, Aku's eye blasts have always been white. He uses a set of even deadlier red beams on the Scotsman that turn him to a a pile of dust.
  • La Résistance: The Scotsman, his family, and company have taken on this role.
  • Royal "We": The big and burly cossack-like baddie who arrives on Earth at a check-station talks this way.
    "We are criminal banished from our world. We hear that Aku welcomes those . . . that are like us."
  • Say My Name: Ashi yells "SAMURAI JACK!" at the end of the episode, trying to find him.
  • Secret Test of Character: When Ashi demands to see proof of Jack's claims about Aku, he refuses, deeming her too consumed by hate to accept it. When she says he knows nothing of her past and insults him, he immediately agrees to show her. Evidently, he wanted to see if she really wanted the truth for herself.
  • Sequel Hook:
    • After the failed siege, the Scotsman's Spirit tells his daughters that they'll raise another army to take on Aku, but first they need to find Jack.
    • Ashi goes to look for Jack after he leaves with the Horseman.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the armies assembled by the Scotsman uses rhinos that shoot projectiles from their horn, much like Tundro from The Herculoids.
    • The phoenix in Jack's story is drawn in a style reminiscent of Dr. Seuss, as is the Victorian-era coat peddler.
  • Simple, yet Awesome: The form Aku takes when facing the Scotsman's forces is the simplest seen in the series so far: a giant wrecking ball. He literally rolls over two of the Scotman's armies with frightening ease.
  • Stripped to the Bone: Aku's Eye Beams turn the Scotsman into a skeleton before he disintegrates into a pile of ash.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The ghostly Horseman, who has been seen by Jack in visions, speaks one word: "It is time."
  • Talking the Monster to Death: The Scotsman uses his most potent weapon of all — his mouth — in the vain hope that it will make Aku give up. While Aku does kill him with his eye beams, it does depress Aku to the point he completely forgets about the Scotsman's daughters by hammering Aku's inability to kill Jack over and over again, saving them like the Scotsman intended.
  • Thanatos Gambit: The Scotsman stays behind to taunt Aku so his daughters can escape, knowing that if Aku kills him, he'll just come back thanks to the runes on his sword.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: The old Jack would have gladly shown someone the error of their ways if they had the capacity to be good and put up with their attitude and stubborness, like in "Samurai vs Samurai". Here with Ashi, he basically shows her the door and tells her to beat it until she makes it clear that she really wants the truth. Of course, Da Samurai was just a loudmouth poser who was no real threat to Jack under all the bluster, while Ashi is highly skilled and seriously violent-minded.
  • Trailers Always Lie: The TV description fed readers some hoo-hah that the episode was about Jack and Ashi saving people from being used to power a Mega-Robot, as if the writers of it had only seen morsels of the actual plot. In reality, they are saving children from being manipulated by a human in a robot suit.
  • Tranquil Fury: Aside from the scowls Aku gives while the Scotsman is taunting him, he has a calm yet bored expression when his eye beams incinerate the warrior.
  • Unmoving Plaid: The tartan worn by the Scotsman's daughters.
  • Unrobotic Reveal: The Dominator appears to be a menacing red robot. However, once Ashi punches his helmet off, he is revealed to be a human underneath.
  • Virtue Is Weakness: Dominator utterly mocks Jack for being unwilling to harm children and says it will be his downfall.
  • Wardens Are Evil: The Dominator.
  • We Meet Again: The Scotsman is ready to take on Aku all by himself in battle like old times, but for all that boasting in his initial encounter with Jack that Aku placed a bounty on his head and he had his wanted poster all over the place, Aku doesn't even recognize him now, or perhaps ever did. Then again, the only person he really cares to remember these days is Jack, and/or the Scotsman could have been making everything up. Plus, the Scotsman's an old man in a wheelchair now, so it's not surprising Aku wouldn't recognize him right off the bat.
  • Wham Line: After Jack finally gives in to his despair:
    The Horseman: It is time.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: There is no mention of the Scotsman's wife, but if she's still alive, it's bound to be a really awkward reunion after this latest battle has given her a ghost for a husband.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • After finally being convinced that Aku is the evil one, Ashi asks Jack what they should do to save the world. Ashi is not pleased with Jack's response:
      Ashi: What can we do?
      Jack: Nothing.
      Ashi: What!? What do you mean nothing? We have to do something!
    • When Jack believes he killed the children, the Horseman finally — and chillingly — speaks one line: "It is time." After avoiding and even freaking out at the sight of the spectral being, Jack finally gives in and solemnly replies, "Yes." He then walks off with the ghostly figure into parts unknown, almost like he's following The Grim Reaper to his death, and completely abandons Ashi without even pausing to think about her.
  • When She Smiles: Ashi gives a smile as she looks at the stars and Jack tells her a folktale about how they came to exist.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • The Dominator, the guard of the factory is a pure sadist, using implants to turn children into bestial slaves. This cruel experiment causes Ashi to fully see who the evil one truly is.
    • This is also rather disturbingly implied when an alien criminal arrives on planet Earth, because he's been banished from his homeworld for his crimes, and he's assigned a residence in a populated village full of innocent people, with the view monitor explicitly focusing on the children. At first, he is confused because it's occupied... then the greeter indignantly asks if it will be a problem, and the criminal sports a devilish look on his face. Right after that, he happily agrees to the assignment... and we all know what's gonna happen next. Even scarier is knowing that this is a routine occurrence under Aku's twisted rule.
  • Wrecked Weapon: The Scotsman's sword is broken by Aku's Eye Beams. This doesn't stop its magic from bringing him back as a spirit.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: Jack is incredulous when Ashi thinks Aku created the stars.
  • You Killed My Father: The Scotsman's daughters say they will have their revenge on Aku for killing their dad... only for him to come back as a ghost.
  • You Shall Not Pass!: The Scotsman sacrifices himself to give his daughters a chance of escaping from Aku.

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