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Recap / Samurai Jack - S5 E9: "C"

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Jack and Ashi's Big Damn Kiss continues... then they stammer awkwardly at the realization they had Lazarus' blood all over them. Including in their mouths. They awkwardly and reluctantly separate to find a change of clothes. Ashi finds a leftover uniform from when the prison was active and some way to launder Jack's gi. When she finds Jack, he has showered and washed off all the gunk as well. Ashi is nowhere to be found as Jack dresses, but he sees his reflection of his formerly hopeless self. Lost Jack reminds him to be careful.
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They find food and make a fire to cook it. Ashi asks Jack if he ever thinks of his home. Jack tells her that he does, and reminisces fondly of his home, his father the emperor. He describes with warm reminiscence the turn of the seasons. Ashi asks if there was ever a girl, and Jack cheerfully answers "many," only a second later realizing she was asking about a girlfriend. Jack explains he was only eight years old when Aku arrived to remake the world. Ashi apologizes for making him talk of it, but Jack tells her it's nice to remember the past, and it is the only way he will ever see home again.

The next morning, Ashi wakes — alone. Jack is gone.

Meanwhile, the head of Scaramouche has found transport in the form of galloping tentacles. He finally gets to Aku's tower only to encounter a drive-thru style statue of Aku. It informs Scaramouche when he gets within range that Aku will no longer be available for appointments — ever. Scaramouche is nonplussed but undeterred and makes his way into the tower.

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Aku: Didn't you hear the recording? Go away.

Scaramouche persists and insists his information is important enough to be worth disturbing Aku. An annoyed Aku arrives to ask what it is. Scaramouche reveals that Jack has lost his sword. Aku asks if Scaramouche is sure.

Scaramouche: I'd bet my life on it!

Aku is immediately shaken from his dismal malaise, and in gratitude, restores Scaramouche to his full form once again. The two indulge in a mutual Happy Dance.

Jack has crossed the desert by himself and has found a junkyard. He finds it familiar but before he can really get thinking on it, Ashi, who has tracked him, has found him. She's furious he left her behind and calls the samurai out for it. Jack is silent a moment, then explains that he did it because he fears what will happen.

Jack: Aku has taken from me eveything I've ever ... loved. I don't want you to become a memory.
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Ashi begins to tell Jack that everything has that has led up to this moment means that they must be meant to fight and defeat Aku together. As if on cue, Aku arrives, delighted to be reunited with his foe, now that he has no sword.

Jack draws the no longer missing sword. Scaramouche reacts with shock. It's all he has time to do before Aku obliterates him for being wrong. Aku then makes hasty apologies for interrupting and begins to take his leave until he smells something familiar. His own essence. In Ashi.

As Jack watches in horror, Aku deduces how Ashi can have his essence in her: he once personally visited the Cult of Aku, and impressed by their worship of him, left them some of his essence in a goblet—Aku figures that the High Priestess somehow consumed his essence (most likely by drinking it), which led to her becoming pregnant with Aku's children and ultimately resulting in Ashi (as well as her sisters) being born with Aku's evil as part of her.

Having had to listen to this, Ashi gapes in dismay at the truth of her parentage.

Undeterred, and more determined than ever, Jack leaps to attack, but finds his blade blocked — by Ashi's. She looks horrified and insists she is not attacking on purpose, and that she cannot control her own body. It's Aku making her fight him.

Ashi: It's not me!
Aku: Of course it is, sweetheart! You wouldn't let your daddy get hurt by that bad, old samurai!

Jack implores Ashi fight and focus to drive Aku's evil out from within, but Ashi's efforts are for naught. She can watch herself attacking but do nothing to stop Aku controlling her body like a toy. Aku decides that his little girl is actually holding back and has to do a better job protecting her daddy, so he forcibly transforms her into a demonic Daughter of Aku. His essence creeps over her entire body as she screams helplessly. When it finally engulfs her, her face is erased, leaving a pair of blank white eyes and her father's flaming brows. The demon Ashi attacks Jack, who now is on the defensive because he doesn't want to hurt Ashi. Despite his best efforts, though, his sword nicks her arm. Because of the magic of the sword, the essence of Aku recoils from the sword. For an instant, Ashi is her own woman again.

Ashi tells, then begs Jack to kill her, since she can't fight the influence, and then defeat Aku. Before she can beg him again, the essence of Aku reasserts and Demon Daughter of Aku Ashi attacks again. Jack drops to his knees, and lays the sword on the ground, unable to fight in earnest against the woman he loves. Aku takes up the sword and holds it up triumphant while the now-entirely demonic Ashi stands at his feet. Jack lays prostrate before his nemesis in surrender. His battle is truly lost.


Tropes:

  • All for Nothing: Scaramouche's journey to Aku's castle to tell him that Jack has lost his sword becomes this due to the fact that Jack recovered the sword before he could get there. He even unknowningly lampshades this by saying "I didn't come all this way for nothing!".
  • And I Must Scream: Once Aku's darkness takes her over completely, Ashi is left unable to even protest her fate. It's only when Jack cuts the darkness that Ashi is able to reassert herself, and even then only for a short time.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: Jack clearly had never expected Ashi to follow him again, let alone confess that he'd fallen in love with her. But clearly the idea of losing her, as he has everything else he loves, is paining him.
  • The Anti-Christ: Ashi, whether she wants to be one or not. Aku clearly warms up to the idea of having an heir quickly, despite not having intended the High Priestess to use his essence in that manner.
  • Asshole Victim: As funny as he was, Scaramouche deserves little or no pity after Aku killed him, considering how he mass-murdered many innocent people.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: The episode ends with the Samurai falling on his knees and surrendering his sword to Aku, then Aku being in possession of Jack's sword, and Ashi under his control.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • After Scaramouche tells Aku that Jack lost his sword, Aku fires his Eye Beams, leading us to believe that he was pulling a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on him, but it turns out it was to restore his body.
    • When we saw the graveyard of the Guardian's challengers, we were led to believe that there would be a rematch between Jack and the Guardian. Instead, it was a rematch between Jack and Aku.
  • Battle Trophy: After Jack ceremoniously surrenders by refusing to kill Ashi, Aku claims his sword and holds it over Jack as a trophy to his victory.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Aku has seemingly killed the Guardian and destroyed his Time Portal. All that are left are his cool shades. Considering that Jack was supposedly destined to use this portal eventually, it points toward "impossible event".
  • Big "NO!": Ashi yells one when Aku covers her with his evil blackness.
  • Big Word Shout: Aku, in true ham form, has a lot of these:
    • He tells Scaramouche to "GO!" via the recording.
    • When Scaramouche swears his life on Jack losing his sword, he yells "WHAT JOY!"
    • He yells "STOP!" when he sees Jack drop his katana, preventing Ashi in demon form from dealing the killing blow.
  • Blade Reflection: Jack and Ashi are shown reflected in each others' sword blades during their forced duel. Ashi's corrupted form is shown in Jack's sword when he refuses to kill her.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: For a moment, Aku imitates Jack's words and face when he appears to him and Ashi:
    Aku: (normal tone) I bet you are wondering (Jack voice) why? Why now for our sudden reunion?
  • Bus Crash: Aku apparently killed the Guardian when destroying all the portals.
  • By Wall That Is Holey: The giant robot Aku shoves onto Jack and Ashi has a rather large crack in the front of it, which is how they are able to survive such a huge mass falling on top of them.
  • Call-Back:
    • What happens to Ashi here is very similar to what happened to Jack in "The Aku Infection", except poor Ashi was born with the infection.
    • The way Aku put his essence into the cup for the cult is identical to the way he put his essence into the Ultra-Robots. Also, as with them, the essence of Aku remains 'part' of Aku for all intents and purposes, which is both how Aku senses his essence in Ashi and can control her.
    • Just as in "Jack and The Zombies", Aku once again decides to deprive Jack of his sword. This time, Aku decides it's not enough to just forcibly take the sword away from him, instead exploiting Jack's feelings for Ashi that he will surrender the sword willingly, leaving him vulnerable.
    • "The Beginning" had a moment where Aku recognized the blood of Jack's father, the Emperor who originally sealed him away. "Jack and the Zombies" revealed how- he could smell Jack's blood, meaning it probably holds true he can smell anyone else's too. This time, Aku smells Ashi's blood (presumably) and recognizes the scent of his own essence running in her veins.
  • Cliffhanger: Aku turns Ashi into a manifestation of himself, with Jack unable to kill her. He drops his sword, which is taken by Aku as a trophy.
  • Continuity Nod: When Scaramouche tells Aku that Jack lost his sword, his flaming eyebrows momentarily go out in shock, similar to how they did in "Jack and the Zombies".
  • Cosmic Horror Story: Ashi's entire existence has shades of one: she was born when a Made of Evil Eldritch Abomination granted his cult a bit of his essence, which her mother drank and was impregnated by. And when she finds it out, said abomination turns her into a puppet and morphs her into a Humanoid Abomination. It's like something straight out of H. P. Lovecraft, with her as Wilbur Whateley.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: A sadistic version, where Aku's dialogue would suggest this were the case, even though Ashi clearly does not approve of it.
  • Darkest Hour: The time portal destined to be used by Jack is revealed to be destroyed, Aku's morale has reached its peak, Ashi and Jack's romance is cut short by the horrific reveal of her origins, and the episode ends with Jack's grim surrender and Aku's triumphant seizure of the sword.
  • Dead Hat Shot: The Guardian's broken shades are shown, implying that he's dead despite there being no body.
  • Demonic Possession: Of a sort, though Aku only needs to indirectly mind-control and transform Ashi though telepathy.
  • Didn't See That Coming: During the flashback where Aku left some of his demonic essence as a gift to the Daughters of Aku, you can tell by his tone of voice that he wasn't expecting the High Priestess to actually drink it.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Ashi ventures back into the prison ship to find clothing, only to realize she has no idea where it might be. She happens upon some signs which lead her to crew quarters and a spare uniform.
  • Dirty Coward: As per usual with Aku. He's all too eager to hunt down Jack after believing he no longer has his sword, but when he find that Jack does have his sword, he decides to hightail it out of there, as previously lampshaded in "Jack Vs. Aku". note 
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Aku's flashback to how he unwittingly assisted the High Priestess in conceiving Ashi and her sisters feels a fair bit like someone recounting a forgotten one night stand.
  • Downer Ending: The Guardian's portal is destroyed, thus ruining all of Jack's remaining hopes of ever returning home. Ashi is revealed to be Aku's biological daughter and falls under his control. Rather than kill his lover, Jack surrenders his own sword to Aku and his daughter.
  • Dramatic Irony:
    • Aku celebrates Scarmouche's news that Jack has lost his sword, both unaware that Jack has gone through his spiritual journey and earned it back.
    • Doubly so for Aku, unaware that he was indirectly responsible for Jack losing the sword in the first place.
  • Due to the Dead: When Jack sees the Guardian's broken glasses, he looks like he's grieving for his former opponent.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Ashi catches Jack in the middle of taking a shower. Judging from how long she stared, she must've really liked what she saw.
  • Exact Words: When Aku asks Scaramouche if he's sure that Jack lost his sword, he responds, "I'd bet my life on it." Aku upheld the terms of that bet.
  • Flaming Sword: Ashi has one when controlled by Aku, seemingly composed of Hellfire applied to the sword she picked up.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: Just like the prison ship, Ashi's prison guard shirt also has the stylistic design of the number 92 on it.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Ashi turns out to have been born by the High Priestess impregnating herself with Aku's essence.
  • Happy Dance: Scaramouche starts one after Aku restores his body then Aku joins him.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Attempted. Ashi begs Jack to kill her once Aku possesses her, knowing that it's the only way he'll be defeated, but Jack can't find it in himself to kill someone he cares about.
  • He's Back: Scaramouche is granted his original body by Aku as payment for delivering the news about Jack's sword. It lasts long enough for both to realize Scaramouche delivered this news too late, and Aku kills him for it. As for Aku, he's finally driven out of his depression from that news. Even if Scaramouche seemingly lied to him, it was not a total loss, because he discovered the nature of Ashi's birth.
  • Hope Is Scary: While Jack has certainly gotten better, the experiences he's gone through have left their mark on him. After taking a shower, Jack looks at his reflection and for a moment it takes the form of how he was when he was lost in despair. The reflection then tells Jack to "be careful" as Jack knows that hope can make one strong but it can also be fragile.
  • Hope Spot: The appearance of the Guardian's enemy pile... and then what seems to be left of the Guardian.
  • Human Shield: Aku uses Ashi as one by taking control of her, both using her to prevent Jack from going after him, as well as using Jack's unwillingness to kill her against his enemy.
  • I Have Your Wife: Not only does Aku discover Ashi was born with his essence, but he also discovers how close she is to Jack. By taking control of Ashi, Aku knows Jack would be unwilling to kill her, enough to get him to surrender.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: A truly cruel example; Ashi is indeed "in there" and can hear Jack, but Aku is controlling her like one would a puppet. Jack's words can't do a thing, even though she wants them to.
  • Iron Butt Monkey: After enduring a substantial amount of abuse, Scaramouche finally manages to reach Aku to tell him that Jack no longer has his sword. Too bad that he doesn't know that Jack got it back in the time it took him to reach the Master of Masters. Aku blows his head up.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Jack tries to leave Ashi behind because he's worried that he'll lose her too. His concerns become rather justified later on, and this was exactly why he's been wary of making attachments throughout the series.
  • Karmic Death: Scaramouche gets his karmic death for real when Aku sees that Jack has regained his sword, and blows up Scaramouche's head, the one thing that wasn't destroyed in his fight with Jack.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Scaramouche is on the receiving end of this when Aku kills him for giving outdated information about Jack's sword. While this was very cruel of Aku, let's not forget that Scaramouche worked for Aku and had massacred an entire village.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Aku doesn't waste time getting rid of Scaramouche once he finds out Jack still has his sword.
    Scaramouche: Oh, but Master, I— (head explodes)
  • Killed Offscreen: The Guardian and his portal are implied to have been destroyed by Aku some time long ago.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Aku firmly reminds us that he is the embodiment of evil. Bringing about the darkest ending to an episode of the series to date.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: It turns out that the Daughters of Aku really are his daughters, and that Ashi is Aku's child, meaning he has command over her.
  • Never Found the Body: The Guardian is nowhere to be found aside from his broken shades. Either his corpse has long disintegrated or He's Just Hiding!...
  • No-Nonsense Nemesis:
    • As soon as Aku finds out Jack has lost his sword, he immediately teleports to where Jack is and prepares to kill him after taking a moment to rub the situation in his face... until Jack reveals he's retrieved the sword, which nearly makes him scram, until he realizes something interesting about Ashi...
    • When Jack said Aku destroyed every time portal, he meant every time portal, including the one protected by The Guardian.
  • Noodle Incident: Somewhere along his journey, Scarmouche acquired an octopus body. He did get thrown in the ocean last he was seen, so that may have been part of it.
  • The Nose Knows: Aku is able to smell his essence in Ashi.
  • Not Hyperbole:
    • When Aku said that he destroyed all the time portals, it was left ambiguous if the Guardian's portal was still intact. This episode confirms that Aku meant what he said: he got every time portal, including the Guardian's.
    • Ashi being called a Daughter of Aku wasn't just a title the Cult of Aku gave her; she was spawned from Aku's essence.
  • Oh, Crap!: Scaramouche has this reaction when he realizes he dug his own grave when Jack shows his thought-to-be lost sword, with Aku looking at him thinking he was lied to.
  • One-Winged Angel: Aku forcibly inflicts this on Ashi, turning her into a smaller, feminine version of himself.
  • People Puppets: Because Ashi was born of Aku's darkness, he's able to control her body at will. He's even able to use that darkness to turn her into a version of himself.
  • Properly Paranoid: Jack tried to leave Ashi because he was afraid that he'd lose her because of Aku. He was right.
  • Reality Ensues:
    • Kissing with dried-up Alien Blood in your mouth is icky, no matter how much you love each other.
    • The Guardian may have been tough, but there's no way he could have defeated Aku, especially because nothing short of Jack's sword could've done that.
    • With the realization that even the Guardian's portal was destroyed, Jack has accepted that even if he defeats Aku, there is no way for him to return to the past to save his loved ones or the rest of his people.
  • The Reveal: Ashi and her sisters are the literal Daughters of Aku. Aku visited the Cult once, and impressed by their worship left behind some of his essence in a goblet. The High Priestess drank it, became pregnant and gave birth to his daughters.
  • Screw Destiny: Unintentionally, but the Guardian's previous appearance implied Jack would be destined to enter his portal. Unfortunately, Aku destroyed it, and him. Thus, Jack's future took a slightly divergent route.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: When Aku finds out Jack has retrieved his sword, he sheepishly sees him off and starts to retreat—until he realizes something about Ashi.
  • Shoo Out the Clowns: Scaramouche is killed right before Aku forces Ashi into fighting Jack.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Scarmouche finally manages to tell Aku that Jack lost his sword, but is immediately killed by Aku when he finds Jack still has it. However, by making Aku go to Jack, he sets into motion the reveal that Ashi is Aku's literal daughter and that Aku has control over her.
  • Spit Take: Jack and Ashi end their kiss when they realize their lips are sandwiched over leech guts.
  • Speak of the Devil: When Ashi is speaking of how she and Jack will defeat Aku together... he shows up a lot sooner than Jack expected.
  • Staking the Loved One: Ashi begs Jack to kill her now that Aku's essence has overtaken her, but Jack can't do it.
  • Tempting Fate: Scarmouche tells Aku he bets his life that Jack lost his sword. Sure enough, Aku makes good on his word and kills him once he finds out that Jack got his sword back.
  • Transformation Horror: Aku forces Ashi to painfully turn into a demon much like himself.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Very subverted. Aku may have not encountered Jack for 50 years, but he improves on old tactics by adding the flavor of harming Jack emotionally.
  • Villain Override: Aku does this to Ashi upon discovering she was conceived from the bit of his essence he gave the cult.
  • Waterfall Shower: Jack uses a broken water line outside the ship in this fashion.
  • Wham Episode: After fifty years not facing Aku, the inevitable happens and Scaramouche tells Aku that Jack lost his sword. Outdated as that may be, Aku still ambushes Jack. Aku later reveals that Ashi is his daughter and takes control of her, forcing Jack to surrender and kneel before him.
  • Wham Shot: The Guardian's shades lying broken on the ground.
  • You Fool!: Aku gives a big "YOU FOOOOOOOOOOL!" when he thinks Jack lost his sword. Then Jack draws it. Aku still gets the last laugh anyways upon later developments.
  • You Have Failed Me: After seeing Jack still has his sword, Aku offs Scaramouche by blowing his head up.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Subverted. Scaramouche brings the news to Aku that Jack lost his sword. Aku zaps him, making it look like he was pulling this trope, but he was zapping him to restore his body. However, Scaramouche was a dead man walking the moment he gave Aku completely false news.

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